Commit

#commit
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord,  choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15
In taking a definite stand for the Lord, Joshua again displayed his spiritual leadership. Regardless of what others decided, Joshua had made a commitment to God, and he was determined to set an example of living by that decision. The way we live shows others the strength of our commitment to serving God. (Life Applications Study Bible)
Moses appointed Joshua as a leader. He was one of the twelve that went into the promised land, to explore and report back to Moses. Caleb and himself came back with an excellent report. The other 10 only saw the challenges. Yes, there were many challenges, but Joshua and Caleb only saw the positive. What do you and I see when we are faced with daily challenges? We will remember from scripture that Moses never entered the promised land only Joshua and Caleb did. They led the Israelites on the next part of their journey or next phase in their lives.
Joshua is speaking to his people, high lighting that they are making wrong choices. God cant force you to serve Him, it is a choice, and we know that He gave us that ability to choose. Joshua made his choice what is yours? We all are entering the new year 2018 a new phase in our lives, new goals and opportunities. We will be faced with choices which are you going to make? For God or not?
It reminds of these words let your test become your testimony. My question is, we are always setting physical goals, money circumstances weight loss etc. but what about your spiritual growth and well being. Do we even know how to set goals in that department?
Joshua was unwavering in his decision to serve the Lord. Take note scripture is not only talking about him but refers to his whole house, in other words, his whole family. We as mothers and fathers of families and the greater nation should be precise in the stance we take. Be the light everybody looks at, an image of God. Get our whole family to be committed.
Consider top sportsman in their quest success; they are 100% committed to there goal. A relentless commitment to achieving their ultimate goal. What are our levels of dedication to God, and all other aspects of our lives? Is it 100 %
Let’s be a Joshua
“Lord, that you can help me to achieve 100% for You, in that I can influence others. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Rely

#rely
And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭13-15‬ NLT)
When we become Christians, we receive the Holy Spirit. God’s presence in our lives is proof that we really belong to Him. He also gives us the power to love (Romans 5:5; 8:9; 2 Corinthians 1:22). Rely on that power as you reach out to others. As you do so, you will gain confidence. See also Romans 8:16.
When we make the declaration that Jesus is the Son of God and he died for our sins, the Holy Spirit is released. The moment when you do that, you will feel moved. To stay in that space and Spirit, you have to embrace all the teachings and principles as well as possible. Why I say that is because just as a snowball gets bigger and more powerful as it rolls, the momentum builds, so it is with your faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. The more you know, the more in touch you are with the spirit.
Do you acknowledge miracles today? Well they happen,  people been healed miraculously. There are many examples of things happening we can’t explain. The power of the Holy Spirit. That power is available to us.
What is vital to me as a believer is that we should impart that power we are given and show others the possibilities. We have to shine God’s presence in us. We should teach what can be done with the Holy Spirit on your side.
If you feel like you want to take that step and make that commitment, I invite you to let me guide you. Just contact me.
“Lord, I pray that you touch the unbeliever’s heart. Let them reach out for Your guidance. Let all the believers be there so that we can go out and touch the world. Let everyone believe in You. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen”

Forgive

#forgive
“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 acting as 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)
The Jews despised the Romans because they oppressed God’s people, but Jesus told the people to love these enemies. Such words turned many away from Christ. Jesus wasn’t talking about having affection for enemies; he was talking about an act of the will. You can’t “fall into” this kind of love—it takes conscious effort. Loving our enemies means acting in their best interests. We can pray for them, and we can think of ways to help them. Jesus loves the whole world, even though the world is in rebellion against God. Jesus asks us to follow his example by loving our enemies. Grant your enemies the same respect and rights as you desire for yourself.
Jesus Teaches about Judging Others
A forgiving spirit demonstrates that a person has received God’s forgiveness. Jesus used the picture of measuring grain in a basket to ensure the full amount. If we are critical rather than compassionate, we will also receive criticism.If we treat others generously, graciously, and compassionately, however, these qualities will come back to us in full measure. We are to love others, not judge them.(Life Applications Study Bible)
I wonder about the culture of self that is instilled in our lives.Because of the competitive world we are in, we taught from young to look after ourselves, rather than looking out for others.
What’s more, in the country we live there was this racial division for years. We have had 20 years of democracy, yet there is still a racial division in South Africa. If the world could just adopt these biblical principles, then it will be a better place.
I will never stop spreading the Gospel. Because of the more Christian families, there are, the better. As fathers of these families, we can instil that selfless culture. I know the enemy tries to destroy that culture. We all got a part to play in creating a better world.
Read the bold comment above. Adopt and apply these principles.
“Lord, I pray we will reach the world, with Good News of the Gospel. Give us the courage to spread the Gospel. Then Your principles will prevail. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen”

Teaching

#teaching
 
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
“The right path” is literally, “according to his [the child’s] way.” In the process of helping our children choose the right path, we must discern differing paths for each child. It is natural to want to bring up all our children alike or train them the same way. This verse implies that parents should discern the individuality and special strengths that God has given each one. While we should not condone or excuse self-will, each child has natural inclinations and gifts that parents can develop. By talking to teachers, other parents, and grandparents, we can better discern and develop the individual capabilities of each child.(Life Applications Study Bible)
I was watching this movie a couple of nights ago. “The Birth of a Nation” is a 2016 American-Canadian period drama film based on the story of Nat Turner, the enslaved man who led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. The interesting thing to me in this movie was the young Nat Turner was discovered very young, about 10 years old, able to read well. On a daily basis, he was taken in by the Mistress of the farm. His reading was advanced by the reading of the Bible, she sat with him  daily and guided him. He eventually went on to be a preacher. Obviously, he inspired his nation through his preaching.
I am not a preacher yet but aspire to be one. I actually wrote a sermon around this.  So the significance to me was, through his daily endeavours of reading and studying the Bible he went on to be a huge influence in his community. Even the white folk at the time respected him, considering he was a slave. In other words, his teaching empowered him to greater things.
Two things are important.  His Mistress noted his talent and then did something about it. As parents and leaders, we must identify talent and needs; then we must do something about it as did Nat’s Mistress. Again that call to action. The commentator above makes the same observation. So don’t box people.
Secondly, many of us growing up made wrong choices. Yes, some are against our good judgement. There are also those times that we don’t know what the correct choice is. As parents and leaders, we are to provide the blueprint. Yes and much of it is in the Bible. Just as when you want to cook an outstanding meal, you seek the best recipe.
It’s up to us; we are to do and find the best knowledge and path. In my opinion, it’s right there in the Bible.
“Lord, I thank you for your wisdom. May we influence our worlds. Amen.”

Honour

#honour
 
“Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12
This is the first commandment with a promise attached. To live in peace for generations in the Promised Land, the Israelites would need to respect authority and build strong families. But what does it mean to “honour” parents? Partly, it means speaking well of them and politely to them. It also means acting in a way that shows them courtesy and respect (but not to obey them if this means disobedience to God). It means following their teaching and example of putting God first. Parents have a special place in God’s sight. Even those who find it difficult to get along with their parents are still commanded to honour them. (Life Applications Study Bible)  
I have to admit we tend to spend more time in New Testament studying the Gospels than in the Old. To me, this is a reminder how amazing the Bible is. The words are so strong and impactful that I had to go read and study Exodus again.
Its an account of the people of Isreal being freed from the Egyptian slavery, led by Moses. A couple of interesting facts the original amount of people that went to Egypt, Jacob and his family was 70. When they eventually left 430 years later, the head count was 2.4 million people. Big herds of livestock also accompanied them. Many non-Israelites followed as well. Can you imagine the job Moses had? History tells us, the Israelites roamed the Wilderness for 40 years, a lost nation on their way to the promised land.
After two months into their travels, Moses on God instruction led them to Mount Senai. It is here that God revealed Himself to the nation in the form of a thundercloud together with quakes fire and lighting. By all accounts, the nation was petrified. Moses parted to the Mountain and received the Ten Commandments from God. Intended for the Israelites to live by.(Exodus 19/20)
As the commentator says, this was the first commandment given with a promise. It reminds me that Bible makes around 8300 promises. I can bear witness that God delivers on all of the promises in His Word. Observe however that most of them have a call to action. There is a saying ” God helps those who help themselves.” Like “love” is a verb, it’s about doing.
“Honour your Father and Mother.” I am always amazed at how simple things are, just honour and things will fall into place. One can always take that instruction a step further, that is, we too honour our leaders around us. John Bevere in his book “Under Cover.” he expands on that principle. He says we should submit to all authority wrong or right as God places all. If wrong we should pray for that authority and trust in God to fix.
Honour your Father and Mother, peers and leaders, goes hand in hand with those words Holy Humble and Pure.
“Lord, I thank you for instruction and wisdom. Holy Spirit guide me every day. Amen.”

Comes from the Lord

#comesfromthelord
 
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.’
Ephesians 6:4
If our faith in Christ is real, it will usually prove itself in our relationships at home with those who know us best. Children and parents have a responsibility to each other. Children should honour their parents even if the parents are demanding and unfair. Parents should care gently for their children, even if the children are disobedient and unpleasant. Ideally, of course, Christian parents and Christian children will relate to each other with thoughtfulness and love. This will happen if both parents and children put the others’ interests above their own—that is, if they submit to one another.
 
The purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement. Parenting is not easy—it takes lots of patience to raise children in a loving, Christ-honoring manner. But frustration and anger should not be causes for discipline. Instead, parents should act in love, treating their children as Jesus treats the people he loves. This is vital to children’s development and to their understanding of what Christ is like. (Tyndal Study Bible)
Wow does this scripture hit home and expose my shortcomings. Two things stand out for me, from the commentary.
Scripture says we should raise our children with discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. My question is did Jesus ever lose his temper. No, he never did. He put other’s needs above his own, rather submitting to those around Him, putting them first. Our quest for Christian’s is to become like Jesus. Scripture says we should act as from the Lord. Take time and ponder on these words.
The commentator makes a good point that the basis of your teaching and instruction should come from love. Remember when we started we said the foundation is love. Why, because it is from God, God initiated love, He loved us first. In the Bible it says, wifes, submit to your husbands. What it also says husband behave and act like Jesus. In both instances with your kids and your wife, won’t they submit to you, if your action comes from the Lord and you act in love? Do I need to give you that answer?
These principles apply to our business and social life as well. Both instances we have business family and social family. Won’t we get better results if we act, teach and respond in this way? I think the achievement will be outstanding. What’s more, it will make you, your children and people around you grow.
With love as it comes from the Lord.
“Lord its in Your hands, make me perform Your instruction. Amen.”

Forgive

#forgive
 
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. ” – Colossians 3:13
Paul offers a strategy to help us live for God day by day: (1) Imitate Christ’s compassionate, forgiving attitude; (2) let love guide your life; (3) let the peace of Christ rule in your heart; (4) always be thankful; (5) keep God’s Word in you at all times ; (6) live as Jesus Christ’s representative . The key to forgiving others is remembering how much God has forgiven you. Is it difficult for you to forgive someone who has wronged you a little when God has forgiven you so much? Realizing God’s infinite love and forgiveness can help you love and forgive others. Let God worry about the wrongs you’ve suffered. Don’t quench your life in bitter feuding; live renewed in love and joy. ( Tyndal Study Bible)
I am always amazed when I am presented with scripture how it follows. Like I said I just googled scripture about family, and Xmas is family time. We started with love then family the basis of society and yesterday about giving.
How many families are broken today because of some indiscretion or event that has pulled them apart? I am sure many of you can relate or tell a story in this regard.
So then if the family is key and we must operate by love. It is then clear that we should learn to forgive. God forgave us and gave us a second chance. I have said this before when you give up that’s when you fail. Why give up on your family. None of us is perfect. Are we in a position to judge?
It reminds of the words I heard from Dr Rodney Howard Brown, a Pastor from America. Holy, Humble and Pure, these are his words of affirmation. What I immediately think of, we never believe that Pastors also struggle with stuff. As we are, they are not perfect, have imperfections as we do. We all need a life guide or a book of reminders on how to do it right. We all have weak flesh; these are classic reminders of how to do it. What are your reminders?
Consider Rodney’s words of affirmation. Then consider these, Love, Family, Give and Forgive. Would this not be the basis of right living.
“Lord, I pray these words over our lives, May they stay in our memory. In Jesus name, In Jesus name, I pray. Amen