Do right

Inspiration

#doright
“All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.””‭‭John‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Many people don’t want their lives exposed to God’s light because they are afraid of what will be revealed. They don’t want to be changed. Don’t be surprised when these same people are threatened by your desire to obey God and do what is right,because they are afraid that the light in you may expose some of the darkness in their lives. Rather than giving in to discouragement, keep praying that they will come to see how much better it is to live in light than in darkness. (Tyndal Study Bible)


The light, it reminds me of the word Repentance – the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse: each person who turns to God in genuine repentance and faith will be saved. (Oxford Dictionary) This scripture is saying that some of us have not genuinely repented. Our sin keeps us from the light we don’t want people to see what we are doing.


I learnt in Bible School that there are two forms of repentance. Godly repentance and worldly repentance.


Worldly repentance – sorry for having been discovered, but am unwilling to change at heart. Because at that moment, one is condemned and embarrassed by one’s action, you feel it’s OK because you have suffered embarrassment. Often we keep on doing wrong.


Godly repentance – a great eagerness and zeal to do the right thing and prove itself. Respect for God and his Word.


So just as the commentator says. The fear of being discovered is evil. It will keep you from right ways. Even those good ways will get you persecuted from time to time. Be bold for God.


An observation over the years some people don’t want to take a stance in life. They just follow the crowd. Remember the most successful people stand out. My advice, don’t fear the light, stand out for God, you will receive the reward. 


“I pray to be Your shining light, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen”

Advertisements

Wisdom

Inspiration

#wisdom


“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”‭‭James‬ ‭1:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬


The wisdom that we need has three distinct characteristics:


(1) It is practical. The wisdom from God relates to life even during the most trying times. It is not a wisdom isolated from suffering and trials. This wisdom is the tool by which trials are overcome. An intelligent person may have profound ideas, but a wise person puts profound ideas into action. Intelligence will allow someone to describe several reasons why the car broke down. The wise person chooses the most likely reason and proceeds to takeaction.
(2) It is divine. God’s wisdom goes beyond common sense. Common sense does not lead us to choose joy in the middle of trials. This Wisdom begins with respect for God, leads to living by God’s direction, and results in the ability to tell right from wrong. 
(3) It is Christlike. Asking for wisdom is ultimately asking to be like Christ. The Bible identifies Christ as the “knowledge of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24; 2:1-7).


I have seen this many times before, especially in salespeople, they drift from one job to another. Why this example? You see,they are seeking direction to be sure where they are is the correct place to be. How will you ever know? For them, there is always something else. They are not grounded. So read this section of commentary again – “An intelligent person may have profound ideas, but a wise person puts profound ideas into action. Intelligence will allow someone to describe several reasons why the car broke down. The wise person chooses the most likely reason and takes action.” My question is would they move around if they apply this principle? My point of view it’s not always about intelligence it’s about wisdom. Wisdom would be applying those lessons from previous experience. 


The second thing that stands out for me in point two is, living by God direction will cause the ability to tell right from wrong. This improving process will eventually make us more Christ-like. 


Here is the thing how many times have I in the last while sought advice from peers instead of seeking God’s help in matters. The trick is to have faith ask and trust God wholeheartedly. 


This lesson and advice will only be wisdom if we act upon it. 
Take the time to think of the poor unbeliever. He has no access to this wisdom, hidden in the Bible waiting for the reveal. That is why it’s so critical for us to share the Good News. So that our world will be exposed to God’s Word.


Lord, I pray that all people will be exposedto your word. In Jesus name. Amen.”



Worldly stuff

Inspiration

#worldlystuff
Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring. Proverbs 11:28 NLT


Just yesterday I was talking about what we as humans relate to touch and feel things. Things we can see, fancy cars houses, etc. Considered the writer of Proverbs, King Solomon inspired by God one of the wisest people in the world. In the first part of the verse, he warns us that money that equates to things will be our downfall. Things of the world will lead us astray. 


We become richer by being generous. The world says to hold on to as much as possible, but God blesses those who give freely of their possessions, time, and energy. When we give, God supplies us with more so we can give more. Giving gives us the correct perspective. Interesting, we come into this world with nothing and leave with nothing. All we accumulate is with our God giving talents. We are all different and once we realize money is not everything we will understand the true riches of the world, God that lives in us and its available to all. 


“The true believer is a branch of the living Vine. When those that take root in the world wither, those grafted into Christ shall be fruitful.”
We often here be like Jesus. The Bible often refers to trees and vines, etc. It is what people can relate to, certainly people of that time. We are a branch of the living Vine, God. We don’t live in isolation, all believers make the Body of Christ. Note the comment, taking root, we should root ourselves in the living God.


To trust in riches is to trust in uncertain things; things not to have depended on, being here today and gone tomorrow; it is like leaning upon a broken stick.


The key here is we should trust In God, like yesterday, not lean on our own understanding and stuff of this world. 


“Lord, I thank you for these words of encouragement. May God bless us with understanding. Amen.”

Pray and trust

Inspiration

#prayandtrust”O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.” Psalm 86:5 NLT

Our poverty and wretchedness, when felt, powerfully plead in our behalf at the throne of grace.” The question is the throne of grace? God’s mercy that is where grace comes from. Obviously, the best self-preservation is to commit ourselves to God’s promises and favour. The key is to commit. It reminds me of the definition of faith, “complete trust or confidence in someone or something not seen” From the moment we are born we relate to things we see, feel and touch. So it is easy to understand our scepticism. It is our instinct from young to trust things we touch and feel.


I am the one You favour, have chosen me for Yourself and me part of Your sanctifying grace. God treats every one of us the same, with blessing and grace. Have we learnt to trust him, no we fall back on our own understanding? God’s goodness comes in two ways giving and forgiving, comfort will follow if we keep our promise to him. God promises comfort, so commit to these things and seek Him in everything, our plight won’t be in vain.  


Sometimes our trouble or pain is so great that all we can do is cry out to God for protection (86:2). When there is no relief in sight, all we can do is acknowledge the greatness of God and wait for better days ahead. 


Call on God always trust He answers Prayers and that should sustain us. 


“Lord, guide me in prayer, strength and faith to trust You. Amen.”

Alert

Inspiration

#alert

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Lions attack sick, young, or straggling animals; they choose victims who are alone or not alert. Peter warns us to watch out for Satan when we are suffering or being persecuted. If you are feeling alone, weak, helpless, and cut off from other believers, or if you are so focused on your troubles you forget to watch for danger, those are the times when you are especially vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. During times of suffering, seek other Christians for support. Keep your eyes on Christ and resist the devil. Then, says James, “he will flee from you” (James 4:7). (Tyndal Study Bible)


The Devil – he attacks us continuously. I am sure you are all aware of that. 
To overcome that, meditation is an incredible tool. Faith and religion is an action and doing, so one has to spend time in God’s word and meditation. We often consider the Devil with visible things. Do we recognize the devil with the unseen things? 


At Bible school, there is a module on time management. Two things stand out. God expects obedience from us in many areas, giving, Bible study, caring, obeying principles and loving to name but a few. How many times has the devil stolen your time and kept you from these things? The other is looking after your possessions even if old and just a few.


So guard against the unseen and seen. To overcome these challenges is to have clear and concise goals for every area of you live. 


“Lord I thank you for the opportunity to learn. Make me concise for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Choices

Inspiration

#choices

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.”‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:16-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬


If your desire isto have the qualities listed in 5:22-23, ( 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.) then you know that the Holy Spirit is leading you. At the same time, becareful not to confuse your subjective feelings with the Spirit’s leading. Being led by the Holy Spirit involves the desire to hear, the readiness to obey God’s Word, and the sensitivity to discern between your feelings and his promptings. Live each day controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit. Then the words of Christ will be in your mind, the love of Christ will be behind your actions, and the power of Christ will help you control your selfish desires. (Tyndale Study Bible)


Being led by the Spirit requires a desire to hear, readiness to obey and the sensitivity to discern between your feelings and his promptings. I am always amazed that everything with God you must have a desire. We sometimes think we can rely on faith alone. That won’t work because God is about doing. Just like the word love is not just a feeling, it’s a verb and an action. 
So just like we had to make a choice re our salvation, we face choices every day. The key to this scripture and commentary is, are we going to let the Holy Spirit guide us


Read this explanation – Paul describes the two forces fighting within us—the Holy Spirit and the sinful nature (our evil desires or inclinations that stem from our bodies; see also 5:16, 19, 24). Paul is not saying that these forces are equal—the Holy Spirit is infinitely stronger. But if we rely on our own wisdom, we will make the wrong choices. If we try to follow the Spirit by our own human effort, we will fail. Our only way to freedom from our evil desires is through the empowering of the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:23-24; Colossians 3:3-8).


I know my answer. It will make you pure.


“Lord let the Holy Spirit guide me daily. Amen.”

Lend

Inspiration

#lend

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be actingas children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:35-36‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be actingas children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:35-36‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Versions of this, the so-called Golden Rule, existed in the rabbinicwritings, Greek philosophy, and in Hinduism and Buddhism. Those formulations, however, cast the rule in a negative sense; they advocate not doing to others what you would not want them to do to you.
The Greek philosopher Isocrates wrote, “Do not do to others that which angers you when they do it to you” (Nicocles, 3.60). In his Analects, Confucius counseled, “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself” (XV.24). The apocryphal book of Tobit commands, “Do that to no man which thou hatest” (4:15). The famous Jewish rabbi Hillel summed up the Torah in the statement, “What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor” (Talmud; Shabbat 31a).


There is a subtle but significant difference in the way the Lord phrased this principle. The negative versions of the Golden Rule are the epitome of human ethics. Yet they are little more than self-serving expressions of self-love, concerned primarily with obtaininggood treatment for oneself in return. Jesus, however, calls for selfless love, lovethat focuses solely on the well-being of its object. The love He commands seeks to treat others the way it would want to be treatedby them—even if they do not love that way in return. That is how God loves, and that supernatural love is impossible on the human level. Only Christians are capable of it, “because the love of God has been pouredout within our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who was givento us” (Rom. 5:5). (Grace to you) 


In my opinion, thecritical section of this scripture is this, “Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.” Repaid? When we do things in life, we always are checking what’s in it for me. How many of us do things without expectation. I have met many people especially Christians that expect nothing in return.


Acquittance of mine went through a divorce recently. They fell on hard times. His wife lost her business because of a crooked partner. His position in the downturn also became strained. He lost 50% of his income. They stuck together for a long time trying to work things out. To improve their position, he even moved to Joburg. His wife met somebody else and forced the divorce. She thought he had money and could improve her situation. Today they aren’t together. My question is why? 


Let’s rather consider the principle. Doing things with a wrong expectation, getting together for the wrong reasons. It’s has been provenrepeatedly that it won’t last. That is why the Bible, our life handbook, demands us to lend without repayment. In the commentary, the writer refers to selfless love. One expects nothing in return. Remember yesterday I said we should be weenedoff our old habits. This, most probably, is one of the hardest things to do. I think of my daily tasks we are always thinking what’s in it for me.


This verse refers to love. That bad habit we have, what’s in it for me, lingers with us, in loveas well. I am going touse that word selfless here. Are we that?
It’s not about you. It’s about unconditional love.


Lord, I pray for humility, make me humble in every way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”