Inspiration

Give thanks

#givethanks


“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬


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 approach 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. (Tyndale Study Bible)


I was in a pub over the weekend. Yes, a bar, I observed something. Many of the patrons were obviously having a couple too many drinks. I stood wondering what motivates them. They are chasing fun or having fun. The thing is nothing they were doing is lasting. And the following day they are going to have a hangover. So the fun is only for a couple of hours. 


All people want fun and enjoyment in their lives. Trying to find it in a bar is not lasting. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with drinking. It is the consequence overindulgence that’s the problem. 


This particular pub is referred to as a “local.” Regular customers meet. It feels like home. The point I am trying to make is that there are other places to meet with friends and acquaintances. Church, Bible study, Social groups and events. There are much more. The results from them will be more lasting than what happens in pubs. 


If you want a result, it takes action. Consider the verse above, rejoice pray and be thankful. Dress yourself with these traits and you will see people in a different light. You will find that you are more at peace and don’t need to seek fun in dodgy places. 


Yes, I can hear you saying its not the same. How will you know if you have not tried the above? I can hear you thinking what will people say. I can tell you, the joy that you receive from God and the promises above are far more lasting and rewarding. We have not even spoken of the promise of eternal life. 


Just as the commentator says even your prayer life does not have to be one-dimensional. 


Lord, I pray these touch people’s, heart. Amen.

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Inspiration

Make time

#maketime


“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” (‭Psalms‬ ‭127‬:‭2‬ NLT)


God is not against human effort. Hard work honors God (Proverbs 31:10-29). But working to the exclusion of rest or to the neglect of family may be a cover-up for an inability to trust God to provide for our needs. We all need adequate rest and times of spiritual refreshment. On the other hand, this verse is not an excuse to be lazy (Proverbs 18:9). Be careful to maintain a balance: Work while trusting God, and also rest while trusting him. (Tyndale Study Bible)


“A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭18‬:‭9‬ NLT)


We often overlook the principles which God instils within our hearts. It ‘s hard to rely on something you can’t see or touch. This is why faith is essential in relying on God’s favour. Faith is the cornerstone of Christianity.


What David is saying here is that we should have a balance. He is undoubtedly not saying we should be lazy. With a balance of all aspects of life, we will become that “whole” person that we would like to be. Make time for all Godly aspects of daily living.


In the workplace, as you may be aware, our jobs have got good aspects as well as some less pleasing functions. You can’t just do the nice things and neglect the hard and necessary tasks. For example, cold calling in sales. To make your job successful, you have to cover all aspects and in the right proportion as well. It’s called balance.


Another area where this is critical is the gym. Cardio or toning? It’s a combination that gets the best results. So no, you can’t just eat ice cream.


So it’s not only about feeding your body but feeding your soul as well. Balance is essential in life. There is a saying too much of a good thing. So we need rest as well.


If you spend time with God in his Word and Prayer, you will sense that can rely on Him. 


Amen.

Inspiration

You can

#youcan


“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭NIV‬‬


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. (Tyndale Study Bible)

Read the news on a daily basis and you will read about some killing. 


My question is why senseless killings. It seems that there is no reason. Why? Consider my question “will it be the same?” 
What is the most important commandment in the Bible? – Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. So my question is if we obey these commands, will events like this happen. No, I don’t think so. 


All society has to conform to rules and laws. Why not adhere and apply this most important one. Love! Yes, I consider the fact that there might be people out there that don’t know about this principle. That is why as Christians, part of the Body of Christ, the Church, we are to spread this message.


So consider what Mathew is saying above. Seek first God’s kingdom and then all these things will be added to you. My experience is this, God’s love in my life has provided such peace and soft heart. I can’t imagine why people don’t embrace these principles.


So if the world does things from a position of Love, will events like these happen? No, I don’t think so. You might be saying yes Terrence that’s a pipe dream. No, it’s not it is all our responsibility to spread this Good News and make the world a better place. If we don’t dream it, it will never happen.


You can make a difference.


“Lord, be with all affected in Nice. Lord touch hearts so they can realise we can make a difference. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Inspiration

How big or small

#howbigorsmall


“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,”‭‭Psalm‬ ‭33:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬


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. (Tyndale Study Bible)I


To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.— 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NIV 


As I read this verse in Psalm, the verses about the thorn in Pauls’s side came to mind immediately. In both verses, we can sense God’s presence. David tells that His eyes are on us. Paul knew God was there with him. So he called on God to remove his thorn. God never answered that prayer. His reply was, His Grace was enough for Paul. What does grace mean – the free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. 


The commentator speaks about life and death situation, being persecuted and Paul was jailed. Can we relate to these events or tests Paul and David are talking about? No, we can’t. We all have thorns and challenges in our daily lives. What we don’t do is trust God in these difficulties. We lean on our own understanding and consider them too small to bother God with. And we think that they are so small that God does not see them. God sees everything, and nothing is too small or big for Him.


Know we should take note of the words above. God’s eyes are on us if the fear Him. Hope and trust in his unfailing love. Paul realises that God’s grace is enough. So at the end of the day all we need is God’s grace and unfailing love. We must learn to rely on His wise instruction. So our daily challenges might be smaller, but just like Paul and David we can look to God for hope and direction, no matter how small or big our thrones or challenge. 


“Lord I pray just like these words touch my heart, they will touch all and other. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.”

Inspiration

Do something

#dosomething


Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. (‭Mark‬ ‭8‬:‭34 – 35 NLT)‬‬‬


The Romans, Mark’s original audience, knew what taking up the cross meant. Death on a cross was a form of execution used by Rome for dangerous criminals. A prisoner carried his own cross to the place of execution, signifying submission to Rome’s power.
Jesus used the image of carrying a cross to illustrate the ultimate submission required of his followers. He is not against pleasure, nor was he saying that we should seek pain needlessly. Jesus was talking about the heroic effort needed to follow him moment by moment, to do his will even when the work is difficult and the future looks bleak.We should be willing to lose our lives for the sake of the Good News, not because our lives are useless but because nothing—not even life itself—can compare to what we gain with Christ. Jesus wants us to choose to follow him rather than to lead a life of sin and self-satisfaction. He wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and to let him direct us. This makes good sense because, as the Creator, Christ knows better than we do what real life is about. He asks for submission, not self-hatred; he asks us only to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge. (Tyndale Study Bible)


I have highlighted a couple of key points.


The Bible and God call us to action. Nothing worthwhile will ever just happen. You have to do something.In this case turn from your selfish ways. Here Mark is not just talking about money. Because that is the first thing that comes to your mind. I am sure he is talking about time, love and grace. Most probably all things where one’s self is involved.


The next thing he says is take up your cross or as you and I understand it, our sins and life burdens. The Bible instructs us to pick those up and lay them before God and Jesus. The promise is we will be released from all that.We all try to hang on to these worldly securities. God says we need to release and lay all this at His feet. If we don’t and have no faith then we will perish.


Rely on the promise of God believe in Jesus and you will have life, first eternal life and also life in abundance.The speaker makes a good point. I agree because that is what I struggle with the most. We can be all the things successful people are supposed to be. The first thing that comes to mind is driven and controlling. That’s all good if we just acknowledge that God and Christ is ultimately in charge. Do your job hard and then rely on God to deliver, trust me He will.


My self-centered nature will get me nowhere.


“God, I pray that I lose all that self-centered character. I pray for Your character in life completely unselfish and driven for the right reasons. The Good-news of Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Inspiration

Love does no wrong

#lovedoesnowrongLove does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. (‭Romans‬ ‭13‬:‭10‬ NLT)‬‬‬

Christians must obey the law of love, which supersedes both religious and civil laws. How easy it is to excuse our indifference to others merely because we have no legal obligation to help them, and even to justify harming them if our actions are technically legal! But Jesus does not leave loopholes in the law of love. Whenever love demands it, we are to go beyond human legal requirements and imitate the God of love. See James 2:8-9; 4:11 and 1 Peter 2:16-17 for more about this law of love.(Tyndale Study Bible)


Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭37-40‬ NLT)‬‬‬

Jesus was talking to the Sadducees religious leaders. They were questioning Him about the resurrection and the old law. They all tried catching Him out, waiting for Him to say the wrong thing, yet He never did. He always managed to say the correct thing.


How many times do we say the wrong things? If we came from a place of love, would we say the wrong thing? From the second passage of scriptiure that loving is the 2nd most important of the commandments. Jesus does say that the second is equally as important as the first.
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Will you do that for others? I don’t think so. It’s that position we should aspire to be in. If each of us love that intensely, our problems will disappear. If we love like this we will consider what we say, we will never harm anybody. Coming from that position will make us better people.A very important thing is to love everybody the same, not just a chosen few.


“Lord, let Your spirit dwell in me so that I can love unconditionally. May we all love everybody, not just the chosen few. I thank you for Your love Lord. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”

Inspiration

A Gift

#agift


“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7


Timothy was experiencing great opposition to his message and to himself as a leader. His youth, his association with Paul, and his leadership had come under fire from believers and nonbelievers alike. Paul urged him to be bold. When we allow people to intimidate us, we neutralise our effectiveness for God. The power of the Holy Spirit can help us overcome our fear of what some might say or do to us so that we can continue to do God’s work.
Paul mentions three characteristics of the effective Christian leader: power, love, and self-discipline. These are available to us because the Holy Spirit lives in us. Follow his leading each day so that your life will more fully exhibit these characteristics. See Galatians 5:22-23 for a list of the by-products of the Holy Spirit living in us. (Tyndal Study Bible)


Paul has been locked up for the second time. He was enduring extreme torture and punishment. Writing to Timothy and encouraging him to be strong, under persecution, while been tortured for what he believes. Paul is a Christian and is locked up for what he believes. A couple of things come to mind. Are we tested to this level today, are we locked up for our faith? All Paul was doing is spreading the Good News of Jesus. We are mandated to do the same. Just like the scripture says we received the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us. Do we understand the power of the Holy Spirit?


The Holy Spirit was released over the world when Jesus died. That power is so strong that it was responsible for Jesus’s resurrection. That power is a gift of God. Its there to guide us in our process of Holiness. It’s  there to sanctify us. Cleanse us from evil thoughts. So that we can show the world on a daily basis, we are a new creation in God. Born again. And if we struggle to share that message, we can call on the Holy Spirit for courage and wisdom. Think of the people in the Bible all of those who were touched by God, were bold and on fire for God. 


Pay heed to what Paul is telling Timothy. He is not only speaking to Timothy, but to every one of us. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”


Amen to that. Do you need anything else?


“Lord, I thank you for courage, love and discipline. Amen.”