Father in the name of Jesus, I pray you open doors for the person who reads this. Only you can open doors no man can close and for that we honor you today. Thank you for the open doors of life, health, strength, prosperity, wealth , and love. Also, thank you for closing the doors of death, sickness, weakness, despair, poverty, and bitterness. We love you today Lord and give you all the glory and all the praise. I seal this prayer in Jesus' name, Amen!!!
If you need God to open a door, pray this prayer for the person who sent it to you and for those you are sending it to. Believe in your heart and you shall receive what God has for you.
I need a door to open... God closes doors no man can open & God opens doors no man can close.
There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending school in Utah. Brother Christianson taught at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules. Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson's class.
Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over.
One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro. Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, "You think you're pretty tough, don't you?" Steve's answer was, "Yeah, I do."
Then Brother Christianson asked, "How many push-ups can you do?" Steve said, "I do about 200 every night." "200? That's pretty good, Steve," Brother Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?" Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."
Do you think you could?" Again asked Brother Christianson. "Well, I can try," said Steve. "Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," Brother Christianson said. Steve said, " Well ... I think I can... yeah, I can do it." Brother Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday."
Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited - it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.
Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?" Cynthia said, "Yes." Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"
Steve said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk. Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe do you want a donut?" Joe said, "Yes." Bro. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut.
And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Bro. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. When Bro. Christianson asked, "Scott do you want a donut?" Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own pushups?" Bro. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."
Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then." Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?" Steve started to do ten pushups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"
Bro. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.
Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.
Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?" Jenny said, "No." Then Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut.
By now, the students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.
Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten pushups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely.
Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.
Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.
Steve asked Bro. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?" Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your pushups. You can do them any way that you want." And Bro. Christianson went on.
A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!" Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come." Bro. Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him." Steve said, "Yes, let him come in."
Bro. Christianson said, "Okay, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?" "Yes." "Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.
The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut? Linda said, very sadly, "No thank you."
Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?" Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda.
Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?" Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, "Bro. Christianson, can I help him?" Bro. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, he has to do it alone. Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?"
As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.
Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, '"Into thy hands I commend my spirit.'" With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."
If there is an afterlife, they'll believe it when they see it.
Atheists do not believe in the existence of life after death. When a person dies, that is simply the end of their life.
When one dies the soul enters the spiritual world, which is related neither to time nor to place. The more righteous one's deeds and life, the closer one's spirit will be to God; the fewer good deeds, the further from God. The Bahá'í believe that life on Earth is a preparation for the soul in the afterlife and good qualities must be developed and perfected for the soul.
The soul will be aware of its good deeds and its bad deeds, and will be able to recognise people who have done the same, except for those souls who are higher in righteous deeds than they are.
There are many variants of Buddhism. Some believe that after death the soul enters an intermediate state where it is still receptive to thoughts from its physical life for approximately 21 days. It is believed that it could take a further 30 days for the soul to reincarnate into another form.
Rebirth happens in a human or a non-human form, and the soul moves from one life to another in order to perfect itself; to do good deeds and to die with pure thoughts will stop the process of rebirth and eventually allow the soul to rest in peace for eternity.
In some Buddhist traditions, the Buddha is said to have refused to speak about the afterlife, so they do not speculate.
Most Protestants believe in the resurrection of the soul on judgment day, after which saints and good souls will enter heaven and the wrong-doers will enter hell. Some believe in a time of soul sleep, during which the soul waits for the day of resurrection. Others believe that, immediately upon death, good souls go to heaven and bad ones go to hell, and there are also those who believe that the soul will go immediately to be with Christ before resurrection.
Catholics also believe in the final judgment, which will determine whether a soul enters heaven or hell. Parish priest Father Russell Pollitt SJ explained the three states that a soul may enter upon death: heaven, hell or purgatory.
Purgatory is where the soul is cleansed and purified in order to meet God face to face. "There are varied views regarding the time of these stages.
Some believe that the stage of purgatory could last until the last judgment, while others believe it is shorter, where once a soul has completed its time in purgatory, it will then enter a purified state – in heaven. We just don't know."
After death, all souls will rest in an unconscious state until the coming of Christ, when all, both the saved and the unsaved, will be judged. Seventh-day Adventists also believe that everlasting hell in the Bible simply means that hell will burn for all eternity, but not that people will burn for eternity in this hell. Simply put, wrongdoers will be burnt and turned to ashes in a hell that will burn for eternity.
Hindus believe that the body is merely a shell and when one dies the soul travels through a long, dark tunnel in which the fate of one's next life is determined through a record of one's past life deeds. Hindus light a lamp beside the head of the dead to light their way in the tunnel.
In this time, the soul will experience punishment, such as being dipped in boiling oil for bad karma, and rewards such as peace and comfort for its good karma.
Rebirth will then take place in the form of a human or animal, depending on one's measure of good and bad deeds.
Hindus believe souls that performed only good deeds will eventually reach "nirvana", where the soul will rest peacefully for eternity.
Muslims believe that the soul continues to exist when one dies. Good souls will linger in peace, whereas bad souls will be tormented in their graves.
On judgment day, all human beings will be resurrected and the body and spirit will be reunited. Everyone will answer for their deeds before God and the holy prophets (Moses, Jesus and Muhammad) and they will enter either heaven – a paradise of gardens with rivers flowing beneath (Surah 4 Verse 57), where they will enjoy a life of peace and abundance without measure, or hell, where they will be encompassed by fire.
Unlike other variants of Christianity, Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the existence of a hell as a place of physical torment.
People who die are asleep and will be resurrected after Armageddon when all will be given the chance of eternal life on earth.
They preach about God's kingdom, which they believe will bring paradise to Earth, where the dead will be resurrected to everlasting life under God's rulership.
A number of Jews believe that the soul is part of God and thus infinite. Rabbi Yossy Goldman, president of the Rabbinical Society of South Africa, explained that in Judaism punishment and reward are not experienced in this world, but in the world to come.
Heaven and hell are spiritual states "rather than fiery infernos and paradise beaches. Hell, however, is seen as rehabilitative and allows the soul to get to heaven after the necessary purification process. It is not a final destination."
Jewish mystics also speak of reincarnation and it is said that souls come back to fix things that might have gone wrong.
Followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as Mormons, believe that the soul consists of both the body and the spirit and, upon death, the spirit leaves the body. It will either go to "spirit paradise" or "spirit prison" and will be given an opportunity to repent and accept the gospel of Christ.
The two states will last until the second coming of Christ, after which the spirit will be reunited with the body in its perfected, immortal state and will be judged.
The souls will go to one of four tiered states: the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, the telestial kingdom and the fourth tier for those souls who show no remorse for their sins – an outer darkness where Satan exists.
Scientologists consider the belief in a higher entity, creator or God to be an individual choice. They believe in rebirth, and the idea that one returns in order to realise one's true potential as an immortal being that transcends energy and matter – known as a Thetan. Rebirth allows one to confront all past traumas and difficulties and eventually enables a person to become one with the universe and, of course, with God, if a person believes in a deity.
Traditional belief systems
Traditional South African cultures have different beliefs, but their beliefs in an afterlife are similar. The idea of heaven and hell is not clearly defined or applicable because this world is all-encompassing of good, evil, judgment and reward. Nontando Hadebe, a lecturer at St Augustine's School of Theology and Philosophy, explained it this way: "One of the shared beliefs is the continuum of community life that connects the dead with the living and the yet-to-be-born. "The dead are 'living' in the sense they are now spirits who live closer to God and function as intermediaries between their families and God. The 'living dead' are also part of the living and intimately involved in their lives through rituals and dreams.
They also return to the family through the yet-to-be-born. After some time the living dead move on to be with God."
Zion Christian Church
One of the key features of this church is the integration of African traditions with Christianity, by which the Christian belief in life after death is combined with the African traditional belief of the connection of the dead with the living and the yet-to-be-born. Two main things are needed: good standing with God and obeying instructions passed down from the ancestors through the mouths of the prophets. Life does not end at death, but the belief that a person returns as a spirit exists alongside the belief that only Christ can save one.
"In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch." Psalm 5:3
Get in touch with the One who created the day - to begin your day by spending a few minutes alone with God each morning? Study God's Word and share with Him, through prayer, your heart and your concerns. It will help get you in the right frame of mind. You'll find your day will start and finish a whole lot better.
Even if you're a night owl, start your day, whatever time that may be, in the same way. Spend a few minutes alone with God in your "morning" and you'll also find that your life will be enriched and blessed as the day progresses. And it would be a good idea to end your day with Him, too!
Ek hoor vanoggend hierdie oulike verhaaltjie van twee houtkappers. Een was 'n bejaarde en die ander een nog 'n jong knapie. Op 'n dag het hul besluit om 'n kompetisie te hou en te kyk wie kan die meeste bome op een dag afkap.
Die jong seun was sterk en fiks en het glad nie gerus nie. Hy het gekap dat die byle huil!
Maar die bejaarde het so elke uur vir 15 minute gerus.
Aan die einde van die dag toe die bome getel word het die bejaarde gewen met baie meer bome as die jong seun wat dit glad nie kon verstaan het nie.
Toe hul vir die bejaarde vra hoe dit moontlik is want hy het elke uur vir 15 minute gerus het hy hul geantwoord "Elke keer wat ek gerus het, het ek my byl skerp gemaak"
So werk ons lewe ook. Raak jy ook nog stil en spandeer tyd by God om jou weer "skerp" te maak vir elke dag se dagtake? Of hardloop jy net heeltyd aaneen en dink jy, jy is aan die wenkant?
Ons het nodig om meer tyd saam met God te spandeer!
Christ called out with a loud voice, "Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit." When He had said this, He breathed His last.
- Christ voluntarily entrusted His spirit into the hands of His Father.
- We need to place our lives into the hands of our Heavenly Father.
- You can trust God with your heart.
- Put your heart into His hands today!
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for being a perfect example for me. I now voluntarily place my life into Your hands. Amen.
There is a story that comes out of the Bedouin culture. "Bedouin" is the Aramaic name for "desert dwellers." These people live much as the characters of the Old Testament did. During a heated argument, according to this story, a young Bedouin struck and killed a friend of his. Knowing the ancient, inflexible customs of his people, the young man fled, running across the desert under the cover of darkness, seeking safety.
He went to the black tent of the tribal chief in order to seek his protection. The old chief took the young Arab in. The chief assured him that he would be safe until the matter could be settled legally.
The next day, the young man's pursuers arrived, demanding the murderer be turned over to them. They would see that justice would prevail in their own way.
"But I have given my word," protested the chief.
"But you don't know whom he killed!" they countered.
"I have given my word," the chief repeated.
"He killed your son!" one of them blurted out. The chief was deeply and visibly shaken with his news. He stood speechless with his head bowed for a long time. The accused and the accusers as well as curious onlookers waited breathlessly. What would happen to the young man? Finally the old man raised his head. "Then he shall become my son," he informed them, "and everything I have will one day be his."
The young man certainly didn't deserve such generosity. And that, of course, is the point. Love in its purest form is beyond comprehension. No one can merit it. It is freely given. It is agape, the love of God. Look to the cross. At the cross we encounter love in its purest form.
How happy are the people who worship you with songs, who live in the light of your kindness! Psalm 89:15 (GNB)
Where do you most like to sing - in church, at concerts, in sports stadiums or in your shower? Singing appeals to all of us because it enables one to give vent to our inner emotions.
Songs have been an integral part of divine worship for a long time. In Exodus we read how Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord (Exodus 15:1) and in the same chapter (Exodus 15:15) the song of Miriam is recorded.
Psalms are literally songs of praise. In our gem for today, the psalmist describes people who worship God in song, as happy. The reason for their happiness is God’s kindness to them.
Sacred songs can really be uplifting, particularly when sung with others. Who can fail to be stirred by the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah, which is sung with such fervour every Easter? Modern technology such as DVDs and Cds ensure that even people who live alone or live in isolated places can praise God in song.
What we must never lose sight of is the reason for our happiness. Paul, who was himself in chains at the time and had every reason to be unhappy, explained it so well in his letter to the Colossians. “You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own.” (Colossians 3:12) “Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct each other with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns and sacred songs: sing to God with thanksgiving in your heart.” (Colossians 3:16)
Knowing that God’s message via Paul applies to us too, is reason enough for us to sing with joy wherever we are.
Prayer: Almighty God, you have shown us the fullness of your love. Anoint us with your Holy Spirit so that through our witness in word and deed, we bring glory to your name. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen