We all have a choice

Posted: October 7, 2017 in Inspiration
#weallhaveachoice
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honour and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
1 Timothy 1:15-17 NLT
Here Paul summarizes the Good News: Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and no sinner is beyond his saving power. Jesus didn’t come merely to show us how to live better lives or challenge us to be better people. He came to offer us salvation that leads to eternal life. Have you accepted his offer?
Paul was not nearly as interested in creating an image as he was in being an example. He did not hesitate to share his past, because he knew his failures would allow others to have hope. At times we hesitate to share our past struggles with others because we are afraid it will tarnish our image. Paul demonstrated that lowering our guard can be an important step in communicating the gospel. People will not believe the gospel is important if they can’t see that it is crucial in your life. How has Christ shown patience with you? Did he stay with you when you doubted and rebelled? Did he remain faithful when you ignored his prior claim on your life? Did he love you when you disregarded his Word and his church? Remember that his patience is unlimited for those who love him. Don’t be afraid to let others know what Christ has done for you.( Tyndal Study Bible)
The scripture intended was just verse 15. As I was meditating this, I read further. When Jesus gave up his life for our sins. There was another important event. The Holy Spirit was released over the earth. The significance of this is that it’s available to us all. Salvation and the power of the Holy Spirit.
As unbelievers, there are two things that many don’t understand. First is no matter what we have done or in what position we are in; God loves us. He loved us so much that gave His Son Jesus to die for our sins. I can’t understand why people don’t realise the importance of this. Think of this for a moment. The world’s calendar is designed around the birth of Jesus. Before Christ and 2017 after Christ Jesus. Has anyone made more of an impact in this world? Many important things have happened in the world but none as significant as the birth of Christ.
The second point is that Jesus died for our sins. I am not sure that people understand the importance of this event. The Bible is clear we should not lean on our understanding. What we should be doing is trust God’s instruction in everything. Know, we think that we are smarter than that. What we don’t realise is our lives is God’s design. We are created with the power of choice. All we need to do is make the right decisions. All the promises of God are at our disposal. It up to us. Carefully read the scripture and commentary again.
“Lord, give me the wisdom to make the right choices. Holy Spirit guide me. Amen.”
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Glorify Him

Posted: October 5, 2017 in Inspiration
#glorifyhim
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Colossians 3:17 MSG
“Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus” means bringing honour to Christ in every aspect and activity of daily living. As a Christian, you represent Christ at all times—wherever you go and whatever you say. What impression do people have of Christ when they see or talk with you? What changes would you make in your life in order to honour Christ? (Tyndal Study Bible)
These are such powerful words, can people see the Christ in you? What impression do people have of Jesus when they talk to you. Flip I fail horribly.
The sermon in Church, the other day, was about unity the power of one. Why I think of the sermon when I read this verse is because, how many times have you complained about your circumstance at work. Moaning about your boss. The things other people don’t do. You feel sorry for yourself. The thing is if we perform as one at work without dissension and complaints, the job will get done much better. Yes, I can hear you asking or saying we can’t except, if things are wrong. What you can do is pray about it. Pray rectification over the situation. As Christians, we know that with prayer all things are possible.
Consider this for a moment if we do and say all things to Glorify God will we have any problem at work or in our private lives. Nope, I don’t think so. If you are not a believer and you are reading this, why don’t you do all things to glorify yourself at least. Your peers will respect you more. The thing is to accept Jesus as your saviour you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit like I said before. That will guide you and give you strength to achieve this goal. It’s an unfair advantage.
Consider the last question in the commentary. What change will you make to honour Jesus?
” Lord guide me to Glorify You. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Two wrongs

Posted: October 4, 2017 in Inspiration
#twowrongs
“See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.”
‭‭I Thessalonians‬ ‭5:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
13-15 Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.
‭‭I Thessalonians‬ ‭5:15‬ ‭MSG
Two wrongs don’t make it right. How many times are we in this position in our daily lives. Is there anything the Word of God the Bible does not cover? Take a look.
“The ministers of the gospel are described by the work of their office, which is to serve and honour the Lord. It is their duty not only to give good counsel, but also to warn the flock of dangers, and reprove for whatever may be amiss.” (Mathew Henry Commentary) It is his opening line in his commentary on the verse above. When I first read it, it did not make sense. The Holy Spirit guided me to read the Message version of the scripture. It then becomes clear as daylight.
I am going to list some keywords all from above scripture.
* Two wrongs don’t make a right
* Get along among yourselves,
* doing your part
* warn the freeloaders to get a move on
* encourage the stragglers
* reach out for the exhausted
* patient with each person
* attentive to individual needs
* Don’t get on each other’s nerves
* Look for the best in each other
* always do your best to bring it out.
Yes, we have Minister’s and Pastor’s, what we must not forget as Christians we are all God’s ministers or disciples. So never think this does not apply to me. It certainly does.
A couple of things come to mind. We should empower ourselves with knowledge and skills to achieve this end. And we must pay careful attention to our calling. We all have a responsibility as a part of the Body Christ the Church.
Pay careful attention to the keywords again. Not so easy to fulfil. When you do the rewards will be amazing.
“Lord, I pray these words and instruction over my life. Holy Spirit guide me. In Jesus name. Amen”

No need

Posted: October 3, 2017 in Inspiration
#noneed
“If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭94:18-19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
Your teenager is late coming home on a stormy night.
Your boss wants to see us first thing in the morning.
The doctor is asking to run some more tests.
Our mind swirls in the waiting room for news of the surgery.
The doctor says, “I’m sorry. There is no more we can do.”
She was supposed to call to tell me if I got the job an hour ago.
Our savings are gone.
He/She walks out the door.
Have you experienced any of the above before? Yes, I am sure you can relate to some of these. There are so many things that come at us and create anxiety.  All beyond our control. And it’s the lack of control that causes our emotions to implode. The question is what do we do in these instances. The psalmist instructs us to turn hard toward God.
I think of Peter walking on water by Faith, yet when he took his eyes of Jesus and looked at the waves, he began to sink. In other words, everything is from God and we should never take our eyes off Him. His peace passes human understanding. His comfort brings joy even in the midst of howling winds and large waves crashing at our feet.  When we know God, help is not on the way; our Helper is always present with us.
When the Psalmist wrote this, he was touched by God, but it’s not like today, where the Holy Spirit is with us daily. All we need is to believe. It’s not like in the past where they had Godly encounters. We have access to the Holy Spirit all the time. How grateful we should be for that gift.
Rely on God and the Holy Spirit.
“Lord, I thank you for Spirit gifts. Thank you that we can turn to You daily, with all our sorrows, big or small.  Holy Spirit guide us on right paths. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Peace of God

Posted: October 2, 2017 in Inspiration
#peaceofgod
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
Christians should live in peace. To live in peace does not mean that suddenly all differences of opinion are eliminated, but it does require that loving Christians work together despite their differences. Such love is not a feeling but a decision to meet others’ needs (see 1 Corinthians 13). To clothe ourselves with love leads to peace between individuals and among the members of the body of believers. Do problems in your relationships with other Christians cause open conflicts or mutual silence? Consider what you can do to heal those relationships with love.
The word rule comes from the language of athletics: Paul tells us to let Christ’s peace be umpire or referee in our hearts. Our hearts are the centre of conflict because there our feelings and desires clash—our fears and hopes, distrust and trust, jealousy and love. How can we deal with these constant conflicts and live as God wants? Paul explains that we must decide between conflicting elements by using the rule of peace. Which choice will promote peace in our souls and in our churches? (Tyndale   Study Bible)
I was speaking about the Holy Spirit yesterday. It can guide us daily. Read the Bold commentary again. Paul explains that we should use the rule of peace. What choice will promote peace? And we have the Holy Spirit to guide us.
The important part to me however is, we still have to examine our hearts and make the right choices. The Bible, the Word of God, is our reference to everything. It’s our Google to live. Everything about being a Christian is about doing; it’s not only about hearing the Word of God, but it’s also about doing.
Just as the scripture says let the Peace of God rule in your hearts, its a choice, you have to make a choice. As it says we are called, but it would be worthless if we don’t react.
“Lord, I pray for your Peace. I pray for right choices. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Goodworks?

Posted: September 30, 2017 in Inspiration
#goodworks
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
We become Christians through God’s unmerited grace, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part. However, out of gratitude for this free gift, we will seek to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not merely to please ourselves. While no action or work we do can help us obtain salvation, God’s intention is that our salvation will result in acts of service. We are not saved merely for our own benefit but to serve Christ and build up the church (4:12).
We are God’s masterpiece (work of art, workmanship). Our salvation is something only God can do. It is his powerful, creative work in us. If God considers us his masterpieces, we dare not treat ourselves or others with disrespect or as inferior work. (Tyndal Study Bible)
I have said this many times. It’s amazing how scripture speaks to us. I never select scripture. I have a Bible app, and daily scripture is posted. I use a scripture a week in arrears. So that I have more time to consider the Word.
It was Pentecost Sunday a while ago. It marks the point that the Holy Spirit descended on the World. Everything God does is with purpose. He wants us to be perfect. He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us daily. It also provides us with the power of understanding what God wants from us. It’s that little voice that speaks to you. Yes, that one that says this is not right. This gift of the Holy Spirit is available to all of us. All we need to do is accept Jesus as our saviour. The power of that Spirit is what raised Jesus from the dead. That power is available to all of us, just believe.
Consider the scripture again. We are God’s creation, and our purpose is to serve God. Read the commentary again. You see I read this and wonder how that fits in our daily work life. Well like this, just shine for God, reach out and touch others by your words and actions. And with the power invested in you through the Holy Spirit, all things are possible, no hurdle too big. Just believe and claim it.
“Lord I pray that we will be Your perfect example. Guide us to do your Good works. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Prayer

Posted: September 29, 2017 in Inspiration
#prayer
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
‭‭James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness. But confessing our sins to each other still has an important place in the life of the church. (1) If we have sinned against an individual, we must ask him or her to forgive us. (2) If our sin has affected the church, we must confess it publicly. (3) If we need loving support as we struggle with a sin, we should confess that sin to those who are able to provide that support. (4) If, after confessing a private sin to God, we still don’t feel his forgiveness, we may wish to confess that sin to a fellow believer for assurance of God’s pardon. In Christ’s Kingdom, every believer is a priest to other believers (1 Peter 2:9).
The Christian’s most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer. The results are often greater than we thought were possible. Some people see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails. This approach is backwards. Prayer should come first. Because God’s power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense to rely on it—especially because God encourages us to do so. (Tyndal Study Bible)
What strikes me is the last couple of days scripture fits so well. Monday it’s wise to keep quiet and listen. Tuesday share and do good to others. Wednesday trust in the Lord. Today confess your sins. It is like scripture is talking to just me. I am sure most probably a couple more than just me.
Take note what the commentator above has to say how to deal with those sins. Not necessary to say more about the remedy.
What I can say is sin keeps you from God. My experience. Sin is like a wedge between you and God. Even a little white lie. None of us is perfect, so I say when you have committed a sin deal with it soonest. Repent or use the guidelines above. So that you can stay close to God.
Last, remember every believer is like a priest. We all have a responsibility to reach out to others. Assist in any of their struggles.
“Lord thank you for Your guidance. Amen. “

All your heart

Posted: September 28, 2017 in Inspiration
#allyourheart
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬
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.
To receive God’s guidance, said Solomon, we must seek God’s will in all we do. This means turning every area of life over to him. About a thousand years later, Jesus emphasised this same truth (Matthew 6:33). 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. (Tyndal Study Bible)
A while ago I had the opportunity praying for Bertus, he and his wife were going through a tough time. Let me explain.
Finances were none existent. He was without a job. His wife was going through a quiet time at work. She is an estate agent. So in short things were hard. They sought counsel at Church. They both got saved and things started changing in their lives immediately. They moved to Johannesburg and are prospering. My question is, are they still seeking God’s counsel? As expressed by a friend that brought them to Church. We both don’t know the answer but we pray that they still walk with God. My experience and failure in the past are, I forget there is a God in good times, and start leaning on your own understanding. Instead of trusting God in all, in the trying times and when we are blessed. Just like I said yesterday our default is to look after ourselves. Not to consider Gods will.
The trick would be to learn a new default or better still, consider and Glorify God in everything we do. Easier said than done. Use the Bible as your guide.
” Lord I pray for Your understanding. I thank you for favour and blessing. Amen.”

Share

Posted: September 27, 2017 in Inspiration
#share
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Since these Jewish Christians, because of their witness to the Messiah, no longer worshipped with other Jews, they should consider praise and acts of service their sacrifices—ones they could offer anywhere, anytime. This must have reminded them of the prophet Hosea’s words, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praises” (Hosea 14:2). A “sacrifice of praise” today would include thanking Christ for his sacrifice on the cross and telling others about it. Acts of kindness and sharing is especially pleasing to God, even when they go unnoticed by others. (Tyndal Study Bible)
In this case, where the grammar of one language (Greek) doesn’t fit well with another language (English). In English, “do good” and “share” are action verbs, but in Greek they are nouns. The verb in this statement is “not forget.” Perhaps a better way to translate this is: But do not forget about good works and fellowship, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. The point is not to forget fellowship.
Obviously, when we are sharing what we have with others we are demonstrating fellowship, but unfortunately, the translations leave much out. If I told you not to neglect friendship, you would know that I’m encouraging you to bolster your friendships. It could be through kind deeds, or just sitting down and talking with someone. I think this is what the Hebrews writer is after as well. Fellowship with another person doesn’t just happen, and effort has to be expended to keep the state of fellowship going. Just because we have it, we should not ignore the relationship.(La Vista Church of Christ)
Have you heard the comment survival of the fittest? The first thing we think of when things are terrible is ourselves. Because that forms part of our survival instinct, which is natural. So to unlearn that habit is going to be hard. We have a duty as Christian to always think of others. We are to be an example to society.
Sharing here does not always mean money. It means sharing of your time, serving and sharing your wisdom. I think of a good friend of mine. He is a unbeliever or I should say, he believes but has never taken that step of salvation. He spends hours in community service. At least 3 – 4 hours a day. Not during working hours after hours. My question is are we better than him just because we believe. I think not. Remember who Jesus said is be the greatest, he who serves most. Salvation is the essential element, yet that’s not all. Just like my friend you have to do your bit.
“Lord let me reach out to others in all ways possible. In Jesus name. Amen”

Silince

Posted: September 26, 2017 in Inspiration
#silence
“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
This proverb highlights several benefits of keeping quiet: (1) It is the best policy if you have nothing worthwhile to say; (2) it allows you the opportunity to listen and learn, and (3) it gives you something in common with those who are wiser. Make sure you pause to think and to listen so that when you do speak, you will have something important to say. (Tyndal Study Bible)
Have you experienced this before, when you catch yourself doing something completely needless? There is no benefit from doing or saying that or it. Saying something worthless, you are criticising or making a derogatory comment. Just this morning I caught myself criticising a colleague’s behaviour. I can sit here know and say why waste your energy? There is nothing to gain from it.
Take time and consider the commentator. Think of the three points he makes. If nothing worthwhile to say keep quiet, silence gives you a chance to listen and learn, and it gives you something in common with wise people. Is this not a better aspiration?
Have you heard the saying Quiet confidence? Here is what Wiki How, has to say.
1. Be at ease with yourself.
2. Be smooth.
3. Don’t talk to everyone around you.
4. Smile!
5. Voluntarily take some alone time.
6. Pay attention in class.
7. Change up your normal routine occasionally.
8. Wear jewellery (If allowed) in class that you like, no matter how odd or different it may seem.
The interesting thing is we don’t need Wiki how all we need is to pay heed what the Bible says. And the Bible was there first.
“Lord I thank you for your word. Amen.”