Receive

Posted: September 20, 2017 in Inspiration
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Receiving Christ as Lord of your life is the beginning of life with Christ. But you must continue to follow his leadership by being rooted, built up, and strengthened in the faith. Christ wants to guide you and help you with your daily problems. You can live for Christ by (1) committing your life and submitting your will to him (Romans 12:1-2); (2) seeking to learn from him, his life, and his teachings (Colossians 3:16); and (3) recognizing the Holy Spirit’s power in you (Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:22).
Paul uses the illustration of our being rooted in Christ. Just as plants draw nourishment from the soil through their roots, so we draw our life-giving strength from Christ. The more we draw our strength from him, the less we will be fooled by those who falsely claim to have life’s answers. If Christ is our strength, we will be free from human regulations. (Tyndal Study Bible)
Paul’s comparison to the plant is spot on. An excellent example that we need nourishment. Not only physical nourishment, food, but also mental nourishment. The Bible and its wisdom is an incredible source of mental stimulation.
As I ponder this scripture I wonder, my thoughts go back to Abraham. Do you remember the story of Abraham how God tested him? He had to offer his son as an offering. Can you imagine what he went through Sarah only birthed the child at the age of 90. Right at the death, God presented him with a lamb. He tested Abraham obedience.
Another thing comes to mind Abraham never had the Bible as a point of reference. How then do we fail with all these tools at our disposal? We have access to the Bible and can study as much as we want.
“rooted and built up in him, overflowing with thankfulness.” These are just two captions of the scripture above. I am not Abraham bur strive to win favour from God. I spend many hours in the Word of God. That in itself does not make me perfect. I have many shortcomings one which is patients. When criticised, I don’t take the time and ponder my response. If a response is necessary? Remember what John Bevere said, in his book “Undercover,”  never justify your actions, if you do you are most probably wrong. I pay heed of this scripture; I should come from the point of thankfulness, rather than defend and justify.
As the Scripture says, we received Christ, the Bible and the Holy Spirit. All we need is faith like Abraham and realize the Lord will provide. Just look what he has done for us already. The key is Faith.
“Lord. Strengthen my Faith in you. Make us rely on You wholeheartedly.  Amen.”
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Hard work

Posted: September 19, 2017 in Inspiration
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭20:35‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Paul was a tentmaker, and he supported himself with this trade. Paul did not work to become rich but to be free from being dependent on anyone. He supported himself and others who travelled with him (he also mentions this in some of his letters; see Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:9).
These words of Jesus are not recorded in the Gospels. Obviously, not all of Jesus’ words were written down (John 21:25); this saying may have been passed on orally through the apostles.(Tyndal Study Bible)
Two things stand out for me. Hard work and helping the weak.
A colleague of mine, Pastor’s a Church in Brackenfell. I was asking about his workload. Because just like Paul he holds done a full-time job. I asked why, his answer, “I don’t want to be a burden to the Church.” We had this conversation before I read this scripture. On top of this, just like close friends in our Bible study group, he counsels three nights a week. Work, counselling, and Preaching is that hard work? Yes, it is. Well, you have heard this before, rather ask a busy person to do something. I have to say it’s not always about giving money; you can give of yourself as well, time, etc. Just as scripture describes, it’s better to give than receive.
I asked him how do you stay sharp? He explained that his energy comes from the Bible. He spends every spare moment in the Word of God and Prayer. So consider my friend’s position he is giving more than he is receiving. So just like Paul was not accepting anything to live off, making his money working.  Not a burden to anyone. In the meantime ministering to all those Churches. Wow, now that is giving. Do you know more people that do this? How blessed they are to have the talent and wisdom to do this.
So the question is do you, and I go out of our way to assist others. We can start by helping colleagues in the workplace. There are always some that are less fortunate than ourselves, in talent or finance. You don’t have to give financially; you can give your time and experience as well. Make a chance to touch others lives.
” Lord I pray for a sharing spirit. May I not be a burden on anyone. Amen.”

Pray about it

Posted: September 18, 2017 in Inspiration
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Paul distinguishes between freedom to sin and freedom to serve. Freedom or license to sin is no freedom at all, because it enslaves you to Satan, others, or your own sinful nature. Christians, by contrast, should not be slaves to sin, because they are free to do right and to glorify God through loving service to others. ( Tyndale Study Bible )
I want to stress that there is no licence or freedom to sin. Reading the commentary, I learnt in my time as a Christian that sin binds and holds you from the grace of God. It has the same effect as being bound by chains when you want to exercise. You see sin clogs the mind and cuts the line of communication with God. If you are honest with yourself, you will acknowledge it. Many times we sin, and that bad feeling you get from it, one thinks is enough punishment. You feel bad, and you think you have paid the price for that sin. Sin is forgiven when you get saved, what you have to realize you will have to account for your actions.
Sinning in the flesh and the world is easy. Why, because nobody is watching? Well, at least, you think they are not. The world might not see; God sees everything. Let me use this example. Fooling the unexpectant innocent person is easy. Most of us have talents if you have skill in sales as I do. Convincing people of your innocence could be easy. I have done that in the past and am not proud of it. In his book “Undercover” John Bevere says. If you try and justify your actions, you are most probably wrong. He teaches not to try that rather just say nothing and respect the authority of the person. Repent your sin and pray about your position. Prayer will give you strength and wisdom to deal with all challenges. All of us sit under some form of authority, and we must respect that. If it’s not our boss, it’s somebody else; ultimately we are under God’s authority. Remember all authority is from God. Romans 13:1-2 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. In other words, all authority that exists has been created by God, so, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
What I am saying, don’t think you are free to do as you like. Yes, we humans have choices. What we must remember is that we must live with is the consequences of that choice. Proverbs 28:13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. If authority around us are messing up, like Jacob Zuma, then as a true Christian we should pray for them. Pray for your boss if he is making mistakes. You will be amazed how vindicated you will feel.
“Lord I thank you for the lesson. Thank you for the privilege of choice. Give me strength and wisdom to make right decisions. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.”

Are you in shape?

Posted: September 16, 2017 in Inspiration
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Are you in shape both physically and spiritually? In our society, much emphasis is placed on physical fitness, but spiritual health (godliness) is even more important. Our physical health is susceptible to disease and injury, but faith can sustain us through any tragedy. To train ourselves to be godly, we must develop our faith by using our God-given abilities in the service of the church (see 4:14-16). Are you developing your spiritual muscles?(Tyndal Study Bible)
Are you in shape? I am not talking about the outer appearance. And just like the scripture says it’s not only the physical shape we are in, it’s the spiritual as well.
Think of this for a moment. How many people do you know that look good physically yet there many underlying issues with their health and fitness. No matter how you look it what you do physically, is what is important. How you train and what you eat is important. Not only how you look. Many out of shape people are the happiest. Not always, though. Spiritually they are failing.
So the same is for spiritual fitness. It is easier to look in shape spiritually. You can look like you in control, yet underline there is a lot wrong. Like scripture asks are you training spiritually? The Bible is your handbook. Just apply what you read. Carefully listen to the promises, of the Bible, it takes care of today and the future. You implement the principles today it takes care of tomorrow. The right choices today will give you inner peace and greater promise in heaven.
Can you turn your back on that?
“Lord I thank you for daily revelation. And thank you for all the promise. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Nothing is to hard

Posted: September 15, 2017 in Inspiration
“O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭32‬:‭17‬ NLT)
Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭18‬:‭14‬ NLT)
“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” The obvious answer is, “Of course not!” This question reveals much about God. Make it a habit to insert your specific needs into the question. “Is this day in my life too hard for the Lord?” “Is this habit I’m trying to break too hard for him?” “Is the communication problem I’m having too hard for him?” Asking the question this way reminds you that God is personally involved in your life and nudges you to ask for his power to help you.(Tyndal Study Bible)
This is such a difficult concept to grasp for the nonbeliever. I am a sceptic; surely this does not work. Well, let me tell you how wrong I was. The results are outstanding if you believe.
The Bible speaks about faith the size of a mustard seed. Have you seen a mustard seed, it is very small? Its says if you have Faith the size of a mustard seed you will achieve everything.
Well just think about the story of Abraham and Sarah. She was 90 + years old and gave birth to a son. Would you even consider that these days? Yep, it is a miracle.
Remember I spoke about the Holy Spirit before. If you believe, that Spirit will dwell in you. It’s that spirit that resurrected Jesus from the dead. That’s available to all of us if you believe.
I can tell you this works in all aspects of daily life.
“Lord, I know nothing is to hard if you believe. Give me faith so I can overcome all challenges. Amen.”

Serve

Posted: September 14, 2017 in Inspiration
“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭20:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
A “ransom” was the price paid to release a slave from bondage. Jesus often told his disciples that he must die, but here he told them why—to redeem all people from the bondage of sin and death. The disciples thought that as long as Jesus was alive, he could save them. But Jesus revealed that only his death would save them and the world.
These words come to my mind, Holy, Humble and Pure. The words come to mind when I think of Jesus. Let me quote from our study material, at Bible School, a description of Jesus. He lived an absolute Holy life. He was motivated by Genuine love. His conduct was truly humble. He was Gentle and meek. He lived a life of prayer and was a hard worker. (CLT) Wow, can you and I ever be like that?
I remember from scripture. The disciples ask Jesus, who was the greatest among them. (Luke and Mathew) Jesus was very specific with His answer, “he who serves most.”
All our lives we seek to please and seek recognition from people around us. Seek God’s attention in all you do rather than people. I was listening to Ken Davis on the radio yesterday. He was talking about the choices we have in life. He referred to teenagers, how they seek recognition of their peers rather than seeking God in the things they do. Just think off all the mistakes teenagers make. Would they and we make a mistake if we follow the principles above? It could be seen as a price, what a small price to pay.
We don’t need to die to redeem our sins, Jesus did that for us, all we need to do is believe. No price just faith. So I ask, please believe the rewards are enormous.
“Lord give me a serving nature. Help me in my walk to be like Jesus. Amen.”

The Lord speaks

Posted: September 13, 2017 in Inspiration
“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭25:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
When the Lord speaks, he does what he says. It is comforting to know that God’s plans and activities are closely tied to his word. When we pray according to God’s will (as expressed in the Bible) and claim his promises (as recorded in the Bible), he hears us and answers our requests.  (Tyndale Study Bible)
Just yesterday we spoke about the victory over death, we receive eternal life when we accept Jesus as personal saviour. I chose life what did you decide?
When the Lord speaks, he does what he says. Have you wondered how God speaks to us? In writing my task for Bible school, I came across this. He talks to us in these ways.
Through his Word the Bible – God speaks to us through his Word, continuously. Sometimes you read it makes no sense then the next time, wow I never saw that.
Through his Son Jesus – We just celebrated Easter this event just like Christmas touch people. Jesus also speaks through the Bible.
Through nature, God’s Creation – For a moment think of the powers of nature; I surf you can’t comprehend the power in the ocean. The vastness of nature you just have to wonder who is responsible for this.
Through other Believers – God will use all sorts of people to communicate his message to us, whether we act on it is up to us.
Through music – Here again, we have to follow our will, we need to listen to the right music. Pastor Aidan always says when the music stops the anointing stops.
Through Circumstances – Something happens to you, and you realize that there is a message right there. Sometimes your circumstance is a test of your faith. Do you have faith your marriage is going to be a success?
Through his Spirit – When saved the Holy Spirit lives in us. It whispers to us all the time. Reminds us when we are doing wrong. Important here is we need to will the Spirit to live in us.
The most important thing in all of this we should be listening. Pray and tell God that you are listening. Don’t do what I do is hear and then not act on the message.
” Lord I pray that I will hear Lord. I pray that You will guide me in working you wish. “In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.”

The way

Posted: September 12, 2017 in Inspiration
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?””
‭‭John‬ ‭11:25-26‬ ‭NIV
Jesus has power over life and death as well as power to forgive sins. This is because he is the Creator of life (see 14:6). He who is life can surely restore life. Whoever believes in Christ has a spiritual life that death cannot conquer or diminish in any way. When we realize his power and how wonderful his offer to us really is, how can we not commit our lives to him? To those of us who believe, what wonderful assurance and certainty we have: “Since I live, you also will live” (14:19). (Tyndal Study Bible)
Everyone knows that there are only two inevitabilities in life: death and taxes. The supreme question today, it seems, is not so much what you believe about Easter, but whether or not you have filed your income tax return. At least that is what many think. And so on this day before the SARS filing deadline, it is surely appropriate to consider the more inevitable of those two — not taxes, but death. For resurrection has no meaning if you do not view it against the background of death. (Ray C. Stedman)
I was preparing a written project over the weekend. Consider this,  Chrismas and Easter, indeed the most celebrated events in the world. The birth death and resurrection of Jesus. Is there any other event that is more famous in the world? I don’t think so.
Just like the commentator says there are more important things to consider than just the holiday. There is nobody that had a greater effect on the world than Jesus. There is no other name like Jesus.
Consider the scripture. You will be saved and receive eternal life. Your sins will be forgiven, and you will receive eternal life. Oops and I forget the ticket to heaven. Please take the time to consider these promises. Paul wrote this to the Ephesians 3:20  – “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, All we need to do is believe.”
So eternal life, heaven and an abundant life. What’s to consider do we have a choice.
“Lord I thank you for your promise. Reach out and touch the heart of your people. Amen.”

Head of the world

Posted: September 11, 2017 in Inspiration
“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Christ is “supreme over all who rise from the dead.” Jesus was raised from death, and his resurrection proves his lordship over the material world. All who trust in Christ will also defeat death and rise again to live eternally with him (1 Corinthians 15:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:14). Because of Christ’s death on the cross, he has been exalted and elevated to the status that was rightfully his (see Philippians 2:5-11). Because Christ is spiritually supreme in the universe, surely we should give him first place in all our thoughts and activities. ( Tyndal Study Bible)
The church, described here is the universal church, it is the place Christ puts us when we come to him or get saved. The church is described as “the body.” The body has action and function. It also produces results. The body is designed to respond to the head. The body of Christ is intended to respond to Jesus Christ, the head. The church can make an impact for Jesus Christ. This is the issue at Colosse — his supremacy over the church.
Jesus is described as the “head” of the body. The brain (“head”) produces motion, co-ordination and function of the body in physical terms. Jesus Christ sets up the policy and power for the body to function. When the body functions healthfully, then God is glorified. ( Verse by Verse Commentary)
Two things stand out for me Jesus’s resurrection and significance of it. Jesus, being the head of the body, the church.
After we have taken that step as a non-believer to become a Christian, our gift is eternal life. Like I said before can one even conceive that notion, eternal life? What a privilege over the unbeliever. Faith, however, is an important aspect of our lives at this point, we have to believe.
Jesus is a critical part of our Christian life. We have accepted and believe that Jesus died for our transgressions, what we need to do is share that Good News. Secondly, show people that Jesus lives in us. You see that power that resurrected Jesus from the dead three days after his crucifixion, known as the resurrection power, the Holy Spirit. This power is available to all of us. As Christians, we need to share this good news. These are the gifts of salvation. The gift of the Holy Spirit is so incredible; I can’t believe that there are people out there that don’t embrace it. Through it comes many things, understanding and healing are just a couple.
Today Jesus’s death for the sins of the world and then three days later his resurrection, do we conceive the enormity of the event? When Nelson Mandela died, our nation mourned. There is no way we can compare Jesus to anybody else. He is certainly the most significant person that ever walked this earth. Do you understand what I mean?  I feel so proud and privileged to have part of that.
When we have taken that step, of salvation, we form part of the Church the body of Christ. All believers and all Chruch establishments form part of that body. I would just like to stress the point above. And don’t think as a believer you don’t need to attend Church. The Bible speaks of the gathering of the Saints. We are to learn the Word of God, the Bible. There is no better place to do that, than the Church. We all need homes, places of protection. The Church is the best place for that, our spiritual home.
” Lord Jesus I thank you for dying for my sins. Thank you for the power you have invested in me, the Holy Spirit. Give me the conviction to share this with my world. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Eternal life

Posted: September 10, 2017 in Inspiration
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
‭‭John‬ ‭5:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Eternal life—living forever with God—begins when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior. At that moment, new life begins in you (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is a completed transaction. You still will face physical death, but when Christ returns again, your body will be resurrected to live forever (1 Corinthians 15). (Tyndal Study Bible)
I spent the day surfing with my son yesterday. Sitting in the Ocean made me think how Big our God is. Firstly I am always amazed at the power of the Ocean. We catch those walls of water which propels us to the beach. Amazing, think of this for a moment. How large is the Ocean and all that lives in it. Think of the earth and everything in it. Two things come to mind. Scientists have been trying to understand the beginning of the world for years. They are no closer. The Earth is only a minute part of the universe. The distance to the edge of the observable universe is about 46 billion light years because the universe is expanding all of the time.(Phys.org) Then some want to tell me there is no God.
You see all these things, Creation, Universe and Eternal life are concepts that hard to grasp. I am going to ask you this question? If we are practical people, tell me in what space does the universe hang? There is no explanation. We just have to accept. So my next question is can we grasp the concept of eternal life? Can you put your head around that?
When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and saviour, all the promises of the Bible apply to me. It can apply to you too. So take note what the scripture says, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.” This is, Jesus, speaking, a public teaching. Wow, I wish I was there.
Believe and accept.
” Lord I thank you for your word. And all its revelations. Amen.”