Together for good

#togetherforgood
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NLT‬‬
God works in “everything”—not just isolated incidents—for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God can turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfil his purpose. Note also that this promise is not for everybody. It can be claimed only by those who love God and are called by him, that is, those the Holy Spirit convinces and enables to receive Christ. Such people have a new perspective, a new mindset. They trust in God, not in life’s treasures; their security is in heaven, not on earth. Their faith in God does not waver in pain and persecution because they know God is with them. ( Life Applications Study Bible )
Again a busy little pub. Missing special people I care for and recently met. What has struck me how we as humans crave company, meaningful company. In the last couple of years, I have become tired of meaningless interaction. It is such a breath of fresh air when you meet significant people. With a meaningful contribution. It is life changing.
I chatted with a friend and customer of mine this morning. He commented on my commitment to God. I explained that it is life changing. He then went on to defend his position that he is spiritual and not entirely sure about the “Church.” He questioned the view of the church what they stand for and all the doctrines. There is so much stuff out there about that I need not comment. Let me say he is a very good man. I wonder what it is about Religion that does not attract a guy like that? I wonder because I don’t have the answer to that question. I seek that wisdom. I believe it will be the remedy to this broken world. From my experience, I think the Church is changing, and it is attracting more people like him. It’s about attracting all young and old from all walks of society.
The point I am trying to make is that God has a plan for our lives. “He causes everything to work together for the good of those”. There is nothing in life that does not come with a price. Everything we do has a price financially or other. If you want to be in perfect health, then you have to eat well and exercise. It’s the same for spiritual health you going to have to practice it. Read meditate pray and stay in the Word of God. If you don’t do that, you will stagnate.
Good will come to those that are called for His purpose. Again that price, we need to understand God’s purpose in our life. If we do and act on it, all good will come to us. As the scripture promises.
In conclusion there are so many people in this world that are good; however, they don’t act according to God’s purpose. I am not sure they understand the good that will come to them if they do. So as Christian’s and the modern Church we should convince them of these things. Be that significant friend. I challenge you. God’s favour will follow.
“Lord, I pray that people see the way in my fellow believers and me. In Jesus name. Amen.”
Inspiration

Declare

#declare
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.(Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬)
Have you ever been asked, “How do I become a Christian?” These verses give you the beautiful answer: Salvation is as close as your own lips and heart. People think it must be a complicated process, but it is not. If we believe in our heart and say with our mouth that Christ is the risen Lord, we will be saved.
In telling others about Christ, an effective witness must include more than being a good example. Eventually, we will have to explain the content, the what and the how of the gospel. Modelling the Christian life is important, but we will need to connect the mind of the unbeliever and the message of the gospel. There should never be a debate between those who favour lifestyle evangelism (one’s living proclaims the gospel) and confrontational evangelism (declaring the message). Both should be used together in promoting the gospel. (Tyndal Study Bible)
It was the power of the Holy Spirit that was released over the world when Jesus died, that works in us. It’s that voice in the back of head saying that is wrong. It’s the power of that Spirit that resurrected Jesus from the dead to His Father in heaven.
Well, it’s that simple, just like the scripture says. Believe it and then declare it openly in public that’s all you have to do. It’s that easy.
The key to remember is that’s it’s a combination of these two things. Not just the one. The first part, believing is the easy part. The second part is declaring in public that’s where many fail. The words that come to mind is closet Christian. Please remember I am not judging, just highlighting what the Bible says. It is important to take a stand in life, why not the one with benefits. Forgiveness of sin, eternal life and the peace of God.
Many of us have tribulations, what we don’t realise is that all the answers are is the Bible. The one thing I learnt is that staying in the Word and close to God motivates you. What I also experienced was that spreading the Good News keeps you accountable, because you can’t say something and do something else.
“Dear Lord make me bold for You. Give me the confidence to spread the Gospel. In Jesus name. Amen.”
Inspiration

Pray and thankful

#prayandthankfull
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Our joy, prayers, and thankfulness should not fluctuate with our circumstances or feelings. Obeying these three commands—be joyful, never stop praying, and be thankful—often goes against our natural inclinations. When we make a conscious decision to do what God says, however, we will begin to see people in a new perspective. When we do God’s will, we will find it easier to be joyful and thankful.
We cannot spend all our time on our knees, but it is possible to have a prayerful attitude at all times. This attitude is built upon acknowledging our dependence on God, realising his presence within us, and determining to obey him fully. Then we will find it natural to pray frequent, spontaneous, short prayers. A prayerful attitude is not a substitute for regular times of prayer but should be an outgrowth of those times.(Tyndal Study Bible)
Have you ever grown tired of praying for something or someone? Paul said that believers should never stop praying. A Christian’s persistence is an expression of faith that God answers prayer. Faith shouldn’t die if the answers come slowly, for the delay may be God’s way of working his will. When you feel tired of praying, know that God is present, always listening, always answering—in ways that he knows are best.
Paul was not teaching that we should thank God for everything that happens to us but in everything. Evil does not come from God, so we should not thank him for it. But when evil strikes, we can still be thankful for God’s presence and the good that he will accomplish through the distress.
Always be joyful, do we have anything to be sad about? We complain yet we have many blessings to be grateful for. The first that comes to mind is your health.
I met an elderly couple on Saturday, their son has suffered a couple of brain tumours and has deteriorated to such a point where he cant walk anymore. His parents know have to look after him. Can you imagine how that must affect them? So yes we have much to be joyful for. What amazed me was their attitude towards their son’s misfortune. They were positive and looked forward to him recovering completely. It was so refreshing. You see all things are possible through God that gives us strength. Jesus worked many miracles.
I walked out to meet him and said that I would pray for his healing. What I learnt as a Christian and a trick to stay from sin, is to pray. When you think of prayer, you think it should be kept for special times. It’s just the opposite you can pray all day if you like. I do because it keeps me on the straight and narrow. It gives me strength and guides me to do the right thin.
What I experienced is, to be completely spiritually at peace you should move close to God. One of the ways I achieve that is in prayer often. I pray continuously to get direction from God and the Holy Spirit. Remember these words God works in mysterious ways. Just be patient. Amen.
Inspiration

Confess

#confess
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Confession is supposed to free us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. It should ease our consciences and lighten our cares. But some Christians do not understand how it works. They feel so guilty that they confess the same sins over and over; then they wonder if they might have forgotten something. Other Christians believe that God forgives them when they confess, but if they died with unconfessed sins, they would be forever lost. These Christians do not understand that God wants to forgive us. He allowed his beloved Son to die just so he could offer us pardon. When we come to Christ, he forgives all the sins we have committed or will ever commit. We don’t need to confess the sins of the past all over again, and we don’t need to fear that God will reject us if we don’t keep our slate perfectly clean. Of course, we should continue to confess our sins, but not because failure to do so will make us lose our salvation. Our relationship with Christ is secure. Instead, we should confess so that we can enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with him.
True confession also involves a commitment not to continue in sin. We wouldn’t be genuinely confessing our sins to God if we planned to commit them again and just wanted temporary forgiveness. We should also pray for strength to defeat temptation the next time we face it.
If God has forgiven us for our sins because of Christ’s death, why must we confess our sins? In admitting our sins and receiving Christ’s cleansing, we are: (1) agreeing with God that our sin truly is sin and that we are willing to turn from it, (2) ensuring that we don’t conceal our sins from him and consequently from ourselves, and (3) recognizing our tendency to sin and relying on his power to overcome it. (Tyndal Study Bible)
I see daily that people know they have done wrong but don’t acknowledge it. I fall into that habit. The only way to fix things is that one has to acknowledge there is a problem. If you can’t admit a mistake, how will you ever fix it? It’s just like an athlete that has the wrong training program. He is training, but incorrectly. To fix it he has to acknowledge the mistake.
So just like asking forgiveness for our sins, it releases us and brings us closer to God. Only once you have admitted you wrong can you move closer to a solution.
There are a couple of things that stand out for me in the commentary above. Firstly, true confession involves a commitment not to continue in sin. Note that you can’t conceal your sin from God, He knows everything. Most importantly to me is recognising that we can’t rely on our own strength and understanding. We have to rely on God for that. We need to pray for strength from God. (Read the Bold Section again.)
“Lord I pray for Your strength and understanding. Keep me from sin and wrongdoing. In Jesus name. Amen.”
Inspiration

Things to come

#thingstocome
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭18‬ NLT)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
In short, this describes the trails and tribulations that we go through in this life on earth. Paul puts this clearly when he says:
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
‭‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭NLT‬‬)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Paul’s own testimony lists a seemingly unbearable litany of sufferings and persecutions he endured throughout his life, yet he viewed them as weightless and lasting for only a brief moment. To Paul the future glory he would experience with the Lord far outweighed any suffering he experienced in this world. Paul understood that the greater the suffering, the greater would be his eternal glory.
Paul can speak from first-hand about suffering. He was stoned, shipwrecked, and so many times left for dead: suffering was no stranger to him. (Tyndal Study Bible)
“Glory”: Looks forward to the resurrection of the body and the subsequent complete Christ-likeness which is the believer’s eternal glory.
We can easily see that this present suffering is minor compared to the great glory we will receive when Jesus recognises us as His when we stand before Him in heaven.
Have you ever been stoned, lashed, shipwrecked and left for dead? No, I have not, our trials and tribulations take on an entirely different colour. It immediately makes me think of Nelson Mandela. This guy went to prison for 26 years, for what he believed. Will you go to prison for your faith? Paul did as well apart from all the other stuff.
What’s the worst thing you ever suffered? Does it compare?
Know while we are in this world, we might suffer. God promises us Heaven and eternal life if we believe that Jesus is our saviour and shed His blood for our sins.
All I can add is pay close attention to the Promise that God makes in this scripture.
“ Lord I pray that you care for my worldly burdens. I thank you for the promise Glory. Amen”
Inspiration

He watches

#Hewatches
But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. (‭Psalms‬ ‭33‬:‭18‬ NLT)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
This is not an ironclad guarantee that all believers will be delivered from death and starvation. Thousands of Christian believers have been beaten to death, whipped, fed to lions, or executed (Romans 8:35-36; Hebrews 11:32-40). God can (and often miraculously does) deliver his followers from pain and death; although sometimes, for purposes known only to him, he chooses not to. When faced with these harsh realities, we must focus on the wise judgments of God. The writer was pleading for God’s watchful care and protection. In times of crisis, we can place our hope in God.
Fear describe by the dictionary: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.
“drivers are threatening to quit their jobs in fear after a cabby’s murder.”
synonyms: terror, fright, fearfulness, horror, alarm, panic, agitation, trepidation, dread, consternation, dismay, distress; More (Tyndal Study Bible)
I wonder if this word fear is meant literally. If one reads the dictionary explanation, it says that it is the belief someone or something is dangerous and that it could be dangerous or could cause pain. What I think is if we don’t rely on Gods unfailing love, we can be in danger.
Carefully read this verse again, “But the LORD watches over those who fear him” A promise God watches over you if you do the right thing. Sometimes while we are doing the right thing, we run out of patience and then go back to our old ways. We live In this instant world where things happen very fast. What I certainly have learnt being a Christian is patience. You can’t rush God.
The next thing that comes to mind, our mandate as Christians is to become fishers of men. We are to win souls for God’s Kingdom. We can’t just do that the day we are saved. We have to learn how and that does not happen over night. Even Jesus spent many hours and years learning. So just like in this process of learning one has to be patient.
Teach yourself to fear the Lord and rely on His unfailing love. Be patient; God was very patient waiting for you.
“Lord, I pray that I can rely on Your unfailing love. I give thanks for You saving me Lord. In Jesus name. Amen”
Inspiration

Above all else

#aboveallelse
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭33‬ NLT)‬‬‬‬‬‬
To “seek the Kingdom of God above all else” means to put God first in your life, to fill your thoughts with his desires, to take his character for your pattern, and to serve and obey him in everything. What is really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly become most important to you if you don’t actively choose to give God first place in every area of your life.
In Mathew 22:34 onwards the crowds asked Jesus what is the greatest command of them all. Jesus replied: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.” This being the greatest commandment and the second equally as important: “ love your neighbour as yourself.” Everything in the law is based on these two commandments. (Tyndal Study Bible)
Personally, I believe this forms the basis of Christianity. Yes I know, I did say personally. I almost want to go as far and say, apply these principles and seeking God will become easy. In my case loving my neighbour only came after I started loving God. My attitude and approach changed dramatically towards people after being saved. So in my case, I daily have to seek God and his guidance to have a soft heart.
I was speaking to a colleague earlier, and he was asking, how do you stay in that zone? I explained that you need to build a relationship with God. Above all else, you have to seek Him first. I explained that if you don’t truly learn on how to rely on Him wholeheartedly, you will backslide. It’s a daily and hourly task to seek him first in everything. It’s very easy to lean on your own understanding. That is what we did all these years past. Be patient, and all will be revealed.
The one thing that I learnt very early in my walk with God. You should set Faith goals. Remember our mandate is to win souls for God’s Kingdom. What are you doing to achieve that? You can do anything; even look after old people, you will touch somebodies heart by your example. We all have different talents
So just Keep the Main thing – Seek God above all else.
“Lord I pray to put You first in everything I do. I thank you for grace. Amen”
Inspiration