Live wisely

Posted: April 22, 2017 in Inspiration
“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Colossians‬ ‭4:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬
We should be wise in our contacts with nonbelievers, making the most of our opportunities to tell them the Good News of salvation. What opportunities do you have?
 
When we tell others about Christ, it is important always to be gracious in what we say. No matter how much sense the message makes, we lose our effectiveness if we are not courteous. Just as we like to be respected, we must respect others if we want them to listen to what we have to say. (Tyndal Study Bible)
Just like I said the other day if you do or say nothing, nobody can form an opinion about you.
That’s the dilemma we are mandated to be shepherds and fisher of men. We need to say something. We are to be the example and light to people. We are to spread the good news of the gospel. Now, how are we going to achieve that without speaking and doing?
When I read this scripture, I think about how as a young Christian everyone eyes are on you. They ready to pounce soon as you make a mistake. Do we as Christians make mistakes and succumb to our old habits of course we do. I certainly do. There were a couple of times just this week; I faced challenges.
Know you see that’s exactly what the scripture is referring to. Live wisely and let your actions and conversations be gracious and attractive. Is moaning, bickering and arguing attractive? Nope. Is negative talk gracious? Nope.
All of us yearn to be recognised. We seek solace in all the wrong things. The attraction at parties because you have money. These things are short lived. Think of those famous people that do that? They tend to die lonely and at a young age.
Can you imagine being popular for all the right reasons? How much more value will that add to people’s lives.

It’s what you say

Posted: April 20, 2017 in Inspiration
Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭13‬:‭3‬ NLT)‬‬‬‬‬‬
You have not mastered self-control if you do not control what you say. Words can cut and destroy. James recognised this truth when he stated, “The tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body” (James 3:6). If you want to be self-controlled, begin with your tongue. Stop and think before you react or speak. If you can control this small but powerful member, you can control the rest of your body. (Tyndal Study Bible)
As I was pondering this scripture, this question came to mind. How do people judge or box us? How do they make up their mind who and what we are? If we never say or do anything, then they can’t form an opinion. Can we go through life not saying or doing anything? No, you can’t.
Know I have said this before I am in Sales. On the Sales floor, we meet people daily. We have had around 45s to a minute to create an impression. People would rather deal with people they like and impress them. How do you do that? Yes by communicating and this is done, by the way, you look, behave and speak. Body language and what you say in those opening seconded’s are key.
Who more important to impress upon than your love ones, family and friends? Then the rest of the world, you touch.
Fantastic again the “Bible” a guide to our daily life.
Guard your mouth around everyone. The fruits from that will be plenty full. And your surroundings will be happy. Just like in sales rather try to impress upon people than say the wrongs things. Think before you speak.
Be God’s shepherd in what you say and do.
“Lord I pray for smart words to Glorify you. In Jesus name. Amen”

God Works

Posted: April 19, 2017 in Inspiration
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3‬:‭16-17‬ NLT)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God. It is not a human book. Through the Holy Spirit, God revealed his person and plan to certain believers, who wrote down his message for his people (2 Peter 1:20-21). This process is known as inspiration. The writers wrote from their own personal, historical, and cultural contexts. Although they used their own minds, talents, language, and style, they wrote what God wanted them to write. Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in control of its writing. Its words are entirely authoritative for our faith and lives. The Bible is “inspired by God.” Read it, and use its teachings to guide your conduct.
The whole Bible is God’s inspired Word. Because it is inspired and trustworthy, we should read it and apply it to our lives. The Bible is our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true. It is our safeguard against false teaching and our source of guidance for how we should live. It is our only source of knowledge about how we can be saved. God wants to show you what is true and equip you to live for him. How much time do you spend in God’s Word? Read it regularly to discover God’s truth and to become confident in your life and faith. Develop a plan for reading the whole Bible, not just the familiar passages.
In our zeal for the truth of Scripture, we must never forget its purpose—to equip us to do good. We should not study God’s Word simply to increase our knowledge or to prepare us to win arguments. We should study the Bible so that we will know how to do Christ’s work in the world. Our knowledge of God’s Word is not useful unless it strengthens our faith and leads us to do good. (Tyndal Study Bible)
As I read these words above, I ponder things. I want you to tell me or show me a greater book than the Bible. Has any book impacted people’s life’s more than the Bible?
Every single lesson that I have learnt in my life is described correctly in the Bible.
One my biggest successes in life were my achievements as a triathlete. At the time I started out the current SA Champ, Tim Stewart challenged me. He posed the question “What do you hope to achieve in this sport?” I answered, “ to stay in shape and maybe a bit more.” He told me was that if I don’t commit 100%, I won’t amount too much as a triathlete.
It motivated me to seek advice. I realise today; it’s all in the Bible. I need not have looked further. But back then I never knew the Bible and God, I looked elsewhere. I stumbled upon, SMI – Success Motivational International – their program – Becoming a Champion.
You can imagine the rest, and yes in my book became a Champion Triathlete.
A couple of weeks ago, I met the MD of SMI in South Africa. How bizarre. So I go on to tell him my story. What impact the program has played in my life. I also told him that I have recently met God. I explained what an impact that made on my life. He smiled and explained to me that the Founder of SMI – Paul J Meyer – is a huge Christian and based many of his teachings on the Biblical principles.
As I write this, I have goose-flesh. So please don’t tell me, the biggest sceptic of them all. God does not have a plan for each of us. What’s crazy, I am only know discovering His plan for me. I am still not 100% sure what that may be. God will reveal it in His time. What amazes me, there are just too many coincidences.
So don’t even try to tell me what’s written in Bible is not true. What has happened to me is not true? All I say to all out there open your eyes. He, God the Son and the Holy Spirit is with us daily. Open your eyes and see.
“ Lord I give thanks for this revelation, I know there is much more. I pray that I with You can impact others. I pray this Jesus glorious name. Amen.”

Make it easy

Posted: April 18, 2017 in Inspiration
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2 NLT)
This “huge crowd of witnesses” is composed of the people described in chapter 11. Their faithfulness is a constant encouragement to us. We do not struggle alone, and we are not the first to struggle with the problems we face. Others have run the race and won, and their witness stirs us to run and win also. What an inspiring heritage we have!
 
Long-distance runners work hard to build endurance and strength. On race day, their clothes are lightweight and their bodies lean. To run the race that God has set before us, we must also strip off the excess weight that slows us down. How can we do that? (1) Choose friends who are also committed to the race. Wrong friends will have values and activities that may deter you from the course. Much of your own weight may result from the crowd you run with. Make wise choices. (2) Drop certain activities. That is, for you at this time these may be weight. Try dropping them for a while; then check the results in your life. (3) Get help for addictions that disable you. If you have a secret “weight” such as pornography, gambling, or alcohol, admit your need and get help today. (Tyndal Study Bible)
The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run with endurance, and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We will stumble if we look away from him to stare at ourselves or the circumstances surrounding us. We should be running for Christ, not ourselves, and we must always keep him in sight.
There is a debate about who the Author of Hebrews was. Most believe that it was Paul. So let’s accept that.
Paul is describing the run of faith and what you should do to be successful at it. The huge crowd he is referring to is the people of Israel.
I constantly make myself guilty of being like the rest of the world. Go to Church on Sunday and then forget about God till next Sunday. Know if I want to be a shining light for God I should be an example in everything I tackle. Everything should be done with zeal. It’s not so much what we do on a Sunday but what we do during the week. Our Head Pastor Att Boshoff preached about this before. The Title of his message Breaking Boundaries depicts this culture of hard work we should wear daily. You see he said that we as humans create your boundaries. By our lack of faith, we limit ourselves.
The most important thing is, we are never alone in our walk. We have fellow Christians and most importantly God and the Holy Spirit.  I am in sales, so very results driven. What is amazing is that I can always measure when I am trying to do things on my own. My results are good but never great. When I really on God in everything my results are great. Take note of the parts in Bold.
Nothing in life worthwhile comes easy, it’s hard work.
“Lord I pray that I rely on You fully. I know that I am not alone but have you. I thank You, Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Give Love

Posted: April 14, 2017 in Inspiration
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35 NLT)
To love others was not a new commandment (see Leviticus 19:18), but to love others as much as Christ loved others was revolutionary. Now we are to love others based on Jesus’ sacrificial love for us. Such love will not only bring unbelievers to Christ; it will also keep believers strong and united in a world hostile to God. Jesus was a living example of God’s love, as we are to be living examples of Jesus’ love.
 
Jesus says that our Christlike love will show we are his disciples. Do people see petty bickering, jealousy, and division in your church? Or do they know you are Jesus’ followers by your love for one another?
Love is more than simply warm feelings; it is an attitude that reveals itself in action. How can we love others as Jesus loves us? By helping when it’s not convenient, by giving when it hurts, by devoting energy to others’ welfare rather than our own, by absorbing hurts from others without complaining or fighting back. This kind of loving is hard to do. That is why people notice when you do it and know you are empowered by a supernatural source. The Bible has another beautiful description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. (Tyndal Study Bible)
We live in this world full of trouble, we have questions about life, and I we feel deprived. The word in the scripture that struck me is “giving” or “give”. Not just a word, an instruction, to do what? “Give Love”
This scripture is all about love and giving. We all know love is unconditional or so it should be. Put these two actions together “Love and Give. “ Will there be any trouble in the world, no there won’t. No conflict if you love and no poverty if you give. Yes, it seems unreal, remember the day before yesterday we spoke about compassion, it goes hand in hand with love.
Know here’s the thing, both these words are verbs. Verbs are actions. You have to do them. It’s not just a figment of your imagination. It’s all about doing. You can’t just think about giving; you have to do something about it.
You see the unemployment in SA will never get resolved if there is not a clear and concise plan. It goes for everything in life though. If you don’t have clear, workable plan nothing will happen. Nothing just happens. So if SA does not have that plan, it will never happen. And every program needs a champion or a leader. So at the end of the day, it’s always up to us.
You see “Love” will fix your mindset. With that correct mindset, we can make plans. Just like the commentator says it’s an attitude. It’s that attitude that will make you a better person, not only for yourself for others as well.
“Lord make me love unconditionally. In Jesus name. Amen”

Be kind and love

Posted: April 12, 2017 in Inspiration
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (‭Ephesians‬ 4:31-32NLT)
We can bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit by the way we live. Paul warns us against unwholesome language, bitterness, improper use of anger, harsh words, slander, and bad attitudes toward others. Instead of acting that way, we should be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us. Are you bringing sorrow or pleasing God with your attitudes and actions? Act in love toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as God acted in love by sending his Son to die for your sins.
 
This is Christ’s law of forgiveness as taught in the Gospels (Matthew 6:14, 15; 18:35; Mark 11:25). We also see it in the Lord’s Prayer—“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” (Luke 11:4). God forgives us, not because we forgive others, but solely because of his great mercy. As we come to understand his mercy, however, we will want to be like him. Having received forgiveness, we will pass it on to others. Those who are unwilling to forgive have not become one with Christ, who was willing to forgive even those who crucified him (Luke 23:34).(Tyndale Study Bible)
I spoke about this before. As a man thinks, so is he.
What stands out to me is that when we apply these principles, the Bible teaches us that we will be complete. So if you want to be pure in everything, you should have pure thoughts. It makes me think of people that go on secluded mountain retreats to get in touch with their spiritual side. You see, you don’t have to do that. You can achieve that right where you are through the application of Biblical principles.
Like most things in life, it takes practice. It takes around three weeks to form a good habit but can be broken in a moment. So we should keep our minds pure as these attitudes determine everything that will bring us lasting rewards.
We have the Biblical principles, yet the most important thing is that we can rely on God and the Holy Spirit to give us strength and determination to achieve these goals. We achieve that through a healthy prayer life.
Apply and rely on God.
“Lord I pray for your strength and determination. Let me be kind to the world. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen”

Do something!

Posted: April 11, 2017 in Inspiration
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭11-12‬ NLT)
If no one has ever seen God, how can we ever know him? John in his Gospel said, “The unique One, who is himself, God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us” (John 1:18). Jesus is the complete expression of God in human form, and he has revealed God to us. When we love one another, the invisible God reveals himself to others through us, and his love is made complete.
 
Some people simply enjoy being with others. They make friends with strangers easily and always are surrounded by friends. Other people are shy or reserved. They have a few friends, are frequently uncomfortable talking with people they don’t know or mingling in crowds. Shy people don’t need to become extroverts in order to love others. John isn’t telling us how many people to love, but how much to love the people we already know. Our job is to love faithfully the people God has given us to love, whether there are two or two hundred of them. If God sees that we are ready to love others, he will bring them to us. No matter how shy we are, we don’t need to be afraid of the love commandment. God provides us with the strength to do what he asks.(Tyndale Study Bible)
Jesus was the complete expression of God in human form, and we should all strive to be like Him. Just as the writer says, if we love others, God is revealed through us. That love should be unconditional Remember; love is not merely a feeling, but an action. Show that love goes along with your actions.
Because we all have compassion, we all like nice things said about us. You see, it’s not without doing something. Nobody will comment if you have done nothing. The meaning of compassion – the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it. It’s thus important to DO and not only say. So, if we want God’s love to shine through us, we have to do something.
Something that stands out to me is that it’s not how many you love, it’s how much. Quality rather than quantity. You have to practice with the people around you. I still fail, but practising I am. Reach the people around you.
This principle jumps out at me. Do things around you right, and individuals and opportunities will be given to you.
“Lord thank you for loving me. Make me love others as You love me. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.”

You can tell

Posted: April 10, 2017 in Inspiration
Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭9‬:‭10‬ NLT)
Are you a mocker or a wise person? You can tell by the way you respond to criticism. Instead of replying with a quick put-down or clever retort when rebuked, listen to what is being said. Learn from your critics; this is the path to wisdom. Wisdom begins with knowing God. He gives insight into living because he created life. To know God is not just to know the facts about him; you must stand in awe of him and have a relationship with him. Do you really want to be wise? Get to know God better and better. (See James 1:5 and 2 Peter 1:2-4 for more on how to become wise.) (Tyndal Study Bible)
You can tell who you are by the way you react to criticism, as emphasised in the bold section.
I remember the days before I was saved and still in the world. It makes me think of the words in Galatians: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”  This applies to this context too. We are so worried about what the world thinks and how much money we have. It’s more important to love than to worry about what those around us think. Galatians says that this law about love is the most important of all the rules. If we adopt this approach to all concerned and even our work, this world will be a better place. It’s this soft heart that will determine how you will respond to criticism.
“Fear the Lord”. This means to obey and respect the principles in the Bible – love being the most important (1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.). You see, criticism is not always wrong. There are many lessons to be learned from people’s comments or even their lack of a reaction. One can be criticised by the other’s silence. We should take careful note if people comment on our response. More importantly, we should listen; there might be valuable wisdom there. How sad would it be if we miss the opportunity to learn?
Arm yourself with love and wisdom. The rest will come automatically. And when you do this, the snowball effect is initiated.
“Lord, I pray for obedience, love and wisdom. May I glorify Your Kingdom. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.”

Trust God

Posted: April 9, 2017 in Inspiration
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-6‬ NLT)
When we have an important decision to make, we sometimes feel that we can’t trust anyone—not even God. But God knows what is best for us. He is a better judge of what we want than even we are! We must trust him completely in every choice we make. We should not omit careful thinking or belittle our God-given ability to reason, but we should not trust our own ideas to the exclusion of all others. We must not be wise in our own eyes. We should always be willing to listen to and be corrected by God’s Word and wise counsellors. Bring your decisions to God in prayer; use the Bible as your guide, and then follow God’s leading. He will direct your paths by both guiding and protecting you. (Tyndal Study Bible)
Examine your values and priorities. What is important to you? Where is God on that list? In what areas have you failed to acknowledge him? In many areas of your life, you may already acknowledge God, but it is the areas where you attempt to restrict or ignore his influence that will cause you grief. Make him a vital part of everything you do; then he will guide you because you will be working to accomplish his purposes.
I am answering a question in Bible study at the moment, explaining that it’s important that when saved, your heart should not be divided. In our life, prior to our salvation, we had a divided heart. We share our hearts with many aspects of daily life, family, church, work, faith and social life. I am taught that your whole heart must be devoted, to God, when you achieve this, all other aspects of life will fall into place.
Read the scripture again; we are to trust God in all things.
Continuously we are faced with challenges and opportunities. What we immediately do is lean on our own understanding. I in a sales environment am very quick to rely on my talent and skills. What we don’t realise is that these talents are God-given and God has a plan for us. So rely on Him. Just like the writer says, the more time I spend in God’s teachings, the less I lean on my own understanding. Trust God in everything. Ask Him all the time for wisdom and understanding. Pray all the time.
Read your Bible and trust God for everything.
“ Lord I pray for closer understanding of your Word. Help me to share this wisdom. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.”

Love your neighbour

Posted: April 8, 2017 in Inspiration
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭14‬ NLT)
When we believers lose the motivation of love, we become critical of others. We stop looking for good in them and see only their faults. Soon we lose our unity. Have you talked behind someone’s back? Have you focused on others’ shortcomings instead of their strengths? Remind yourself of Jesus’ command to love others as you love yourself (Matthew 22:39). When you begin to feel critical of someone, make a list of that person’s positive qualities. When problems need to be addressed, confront in love rather than gossip. (Tyndal Study Bible)
As I ponder this scripture, I remember how I was before I got saved or “reborn”. Even the people in the Bible questioned this concept of being “born again.”
I had an opportunity to lead a group in Bible study that where ex-drug addicts and street people. I started doing that as a young Christian. I had favourites within the group. If you asked me before being saved whether I would help even financially, I would have refused. My attitude was that they could suffer in their decisions and choices. After spending almost two years with them, I loved each of them the same. My heart became soft, and I became compassionate. This change was not only for them, but to all people around me. I started touching people in different ways. This even happened at work with all I was in contact with. Don’t get me wrong it is still a work in progress, but God’s love is in me, I have changed and keep on improving. I have a calming and a very chilled approach to things. My love ones gets frustrated because I am sometimes too chilled.
This scripture motivates me to approach all things, not only people, with this attitude. Even love your daily chores and work.
“God I pray that You will teach me to love the way you do. May I touch people and be an example of love. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen