Daily Bible Verse:              2 Corinthians 12:9

‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’

- His grace, mercy and loving-kindness are available to you.
- In fact, it is everything you need in life, and in your situation.
- When we are feeling weak, He will come and strengthen us.
- Give Him your weakness, and receive His grace and power in your life.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are all I need. In my weakness, I choose to trust and have confidence in You, and I believe that Your power will be seen in my life, and I know that Your grace will carry me. Amen.


Daily Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9
‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’


Daily Bible Verse: 2 Chronicles 20:15
This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.’

Alive to God Blog

November 16, 2020

Life has a way of distracting us and keeping us away from the moments that God gives us.
One issue leads to another issue and the urgent things keep demanding our attention so that the important things are left to later.
We end up in a kind of 'survival mode' where we just get through the day and sometimes wish the time away.
We can even get to the point that we say when we are done with 'this' then we will start enjoying life.
I have always been a visionary person by nature. I have always been involved in ministry and the things that concern God's kingdom and have been so aware of the eternal dimension. Recently as we have faced our own challenges as a family, I have begun to see that life is not only about tomorrow, but it is more about today and what God wants to do today. - Living one day at a time isn't always easy, but it's what God has told us to do.
It is His recipe for our lives.
It reminds me of an old hymn:
'Moment by moment, I'm kept in His love,
Moment by moment I've life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.'

We have a family friend and he told us that he always wrote the following statement in his annual diary: 'There are only two days in my life, this day and that day!' (When I will see Him face to face).
This is how we are called to live our lives.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

November 13, 2020

LIVING ONE DAY AT A TIME

Many people live in a day and time that has not yet arrived.
They live worried about tomorrow or the future and in the process they miss the moment they have in front of them.
We should consciously enjoy the day we have.
We should live today as if it was our last day.

Matthew 6:34 ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

Matthew 6:25 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?’

Luke 10:41 ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things!’

Don’t live worried and upset about many things.
Live for the moment.
Live in the present and not in the past or in the future.
Be present in the present.
Living in the past leads to regret and living in the future leads to fear.
Living in the moment is the key to finding fulfillment.


RECEIVING NEW MERCY

God is a faithful God.
He is your faithful God.
His word tells us that His mercies are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:23 ‘Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

We need to live with the knowledge that each day we can start afresh and receive His new mercies.
Don’t drag your past mistakes, failures and disappointments from yesterday into your today.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

November 9, 2020

How we live our lives is vitally important.
There are principles that guide each one of us.
These could be positive or negative guidelines by which we live our lives.
If we will live by God’s principles, we can expect to see His favour and blessing on our lives.
If we live by what ‘seems good unto us’ it can often take us down a path we would later regret.
Have you ever considered what are the guidelines or principles by which you live your life?
Are there some that should be changed or substituted with God’s principles?
If we can discover these principles and develop them into spiritual disciplines, we will be able to make sense of life.
The earlier we discover and apply these, the better, but it is never too late to begin!
They are like spiritual disciplines that we can apply to our daily lives.
Here are some of those guidelines and principles to help you get started.

FORGIVENESS

We can live a life during which we can receive forgiveness for God.
1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’

Jesus paid for our sins in full – we can know what it means to be forgiven.

Colossians 2:14 ‘He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.’

God has removed our sin from us.

Psalm 103:12 ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.’

Have you ever thought why the Bible says that God has removed our sin from us as far as the East is from the West? Why did He not say as far as the North is from the South? This is one of the greatest picture of God’s love. The North and South pole are definite points. You can actually go to those spots. By there is no East or West pole. When you get there you can still go further to the East. So in a very real sense, when God says He has removed our transgressions as far as the East is from the West it means that He has totally and forever removed it.
Forgiveness is not just something we receive; it is also something we can give!

?Mark 11:25 ‘And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.’

How often we long for mercy for ourselves and our mistakes but we demand justice when others make mistakes or do us harm.
Our lives should be guided by the principle of receiving forgiveness and extending forgiveness.
Perhaps there is an area in your life or past that you need to bring to the feet of God and ask Him to forgive you. Do it now!
Perhaps there is someone that you have not released and you still carry and IOU. It’s time to take a moment and extend forgiveness to them. Do it now!

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

November 6, 2020

WE ARE ENCOURAGED TO BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS.
Just as God encouraged Joshua to be strong and courageous so He wants to do the same for each of us.
Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." NIV
Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." NKJ
Joshua 1:9 "Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." LIVING 
Today you and I are being encouraged to be strong just as Joshua was encouraged to be strong.

THE NATURE OF DISMAY
Dismay is something that powerfully influences people.
Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." NKJ
What is this dismay?
Dismay is another word for discouragement.
The dictionary calls it horrified amazement.
It is when we become disheartened and fearful.
It becomes a reality when people lose hope.
We are encouraged not to be dismayed.

GOD IS WITH YOU
This is a great joy.
That God can be with us.
For this very reason we don't need to get discouraged.
Joshua 1:9 The Lord your God is with you.
Joshua 1:5 I will never leave you nor forsake you.

It is for this reason that we are strong.
This is the fact and this is the foundation.
Because of this we can be strong and courageous.
Because we can resist fear, discouragement, hopelessness and dismay.
God is with us.
Be strong!

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

November 2, 2020

WITH GOD WE ARE STRONG
When God is with us we can be strong.
If God is not with us we have a reason to be weak.
God promised Joshua His presence.
Joshua 1:5 As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
We can know that God is with us.
This should be a source of great strength.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE STRONG?
It is the ability to resist and stand firm.
Resist what?
Fear
Discouragement
Dismay
Doubt
AND stand firm.
Hold our ground.
Being in a place of confident assurance in God.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE COURAGE?
The main aspect of courage is being BOLD and FEARLESS.
It can be compared to words like: Daring, Adventurous (stepping out), Stouthearted, and Brave.
God wants us to be courageous.
Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." NKJ
If He is with us we can.
This is the key.
His presence.
Without it we are powerless.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

October 30, 2020

Have you ever felt weak and discouraged?
These are common human emotions.
We all go through them from time to time.
Even the great men of the Bible were faced with this.
But in these situations God was faithful.
God can be relied upon.
However, He calls for us to be strong.

AN EXAMPLE FROM THE BIBLE
In the book of Joshua we see an example of this.
Here we see Joshua, a man chosen by God.
He has one of the greatest tasks in history.
To take the Jewish nation into the promised land.
But he was fearful, discouraged and full of doubt.
Sometimes we are a bit like that.
But God encouraged Joshua all the time to be strong and courageous.

HOW GOD ENCOURAGED JOSHUA
i. God encouraged Joshua by His presence.
ii. God encouraged Joshua by His instructions to Joshua to be strong and courageous.
God encourages Joshua in this way on 3 occasions.
Joshua 1:6 Be strong and courageous.
Joshua 1:7 Be strong and very courageous.
Joshua 1:9 Be strong an courageous.

Perhaps God is wanting to encourage you in the same way, today.

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October 26, 2020

THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKES US DIFFERENT

Acts 6:15 ‘All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.’
There was something completely different about Stephen.
It seems as if he had a ‘divine radiance’.
The scripture tells us that his face was like that of an angel and his accusers could not take their eyes off of him.
It says that the people in the council noticed something different and they ‘fixed their eyes on him’, ‘they looked steadfastly at him’, ‘they looked intently at him’ and ‘they stared at him’.
The council was angry but yet they were noticing something different about this man Stephen.
The truth is that when we are full of the Holy Spirit something about us changes.
It seems like his face was glowing in some way.
It reminds us of Moses when he came down from the mountain and from being in the presence of God.
Exodus 34:29 ‘When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand, he did not know that the skin of his face was shining [with a unique radiance] because he had been speaking with God.’
It is time we begin to see more of this strange and wonderful phenomenon.
The key is the Holy Spirit Who makes the connection with God a reality.

AN OPEN HEAVEN

Acts 7:55-56 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
Here we see how Stephen sees ‘heaven open’.
He has a revelation of heaven.
An open heaven represents a direct connection between heaven and earth.
The bottom line is that in these unique moments God becomes more real.
We all desire that God would be more real.
It all starts as we are full of the Holy Spirit.
Let us pursue His Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
Let us hunger and thirst for more of His Holy Spirit.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

October 23, 2020

WHEN WE LIVE LIFE ‘FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT’ IT OPENS DOORS FOR US

Stephen was a man who was full of the Holy Spirit.
When it came to appointing people to handle the responsibilities and functions of ministry he was the obvious choice because of this qualification.
Acts 6:5 ‘And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.’
When we begin to operate under the influence of the Holy Spirit we become an asset and we bring value into the situation where we are.
In the situation in the book of Acts, we see the early day of the New Testament church. As the church grew and developed, pressures and responsibilities arose and these needed to be attended too. As a plan was devised to attend to these practical and important aspects. The plan was to appoint seven people who would pick up these responsibilities. The qualification for these positions was that these people should be ‘full of the Holy Spirit’.
It is such an awesome thought that no matter what needed to be done regardless of whether if it was menial or practical, the qualification was the same: ‘Full of the Holy Spirit’.
The truth of the matter is that there is something holy and sanctified about the practical issues of life.
The job you do, the parental role you are playing, the aspect of being a provider or simple the example that you set by the way you live your life is important, holy and sanctified.
Sometimes we write off things because we feel they are ‘small things’, but I have discovered that there are no such things as ‘small things’.
We need the Holy Spirit in every way and in every aspect of our daily lives.
Stephen was a man who was like this and as a result he was the obvious choice and the door was opened for him to become a recognised role player.
I believe that as you and I seek to live our lives ‘full of the Holy Spirit’ it will open doors for us too.
When we operate under the influence of The Holy Spirit and we are faithful over our everyday responsibilities, further doors will open.
Matthew 25:21 ‘you have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things.

WHEN WE RESIST THE HOLY SPIRIT WE ARE WHAT THE BIBLE CALLS ‘STIFF-NECKED’

Acts 7:51 ‘You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!’
We should never resist the moving and the working of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes He may move in ways we don’t like or in ways we don’t prefer, but we should not allow that to upset us.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

October 19, 2020

WE SHOULD DESIRE TO BE ‘FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT’

Acts 6:3 ‘Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.’
Acts 6:5 ‘…and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit…’
What an awesome thing for people to be able to say about you.
Can people say this about you?
Is one of the ways that people describe you as ‘full of the Holy Spirit’?
This is a wonderful compliment.
I pray that others would be able to say this about my life.
Stephen must have been a man who desired and pursued this aspect in His life.
It did not happen by accident or by default, but rather by quality decision and choice.
We can also make those quality decisions and choices for our own lives.

THE HOLY SPIRIT TAKES US FROM ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY

The Holy Spirit makes all the difference in our lives.
My late father had been in ministry for about 8 years before he discovered the person and work of the Holy Spirit in his own life. From that point on everything changed and his life and ministry went from ordinary, to quite frankly, extraordinary. Years later I wanted to document all his sermons over the years so that we could use them in future. I discussed it with him and he told me to completely disregard all his messages prior to the infilling of the Holy Spirit in his life. He regarded those messages of little or no value compared to the difference the Holy Spirit made in his life and the resultant subsequent messages/sermons. I told him that he was being too hard on himself, but he told me that that was not the case, but that was how important the life transforming person of the Holy Spirit actually was, that anything done without His influence should be disregarded.
If we are truly yielded to the Holy Spirit, there is no stopping point to what He can do in and through us.
Acts 6:8 ‘Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.’
Here was a man who must have been gifted administratively, but because of the Holy Spirit, the Lord used him greatly beyond his natural gifting.
Acts 6:9-10 ‘Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called) --Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia-- who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.’
He moved from ordinary to, quite frankly, extraordinary.
The Holy Spirit’s influence moved from natural to supernatural.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

October 16, 2020

The role that the Holy Spirit plays in our lives, if we will give Him right of way, is greater than we could ever imagine.
In this study we are looking at the life of Stephen.
He was considered to be the first martyr and stood out because he was described as a man who was “Full of the Holy Spirit.”
Stephen was a man whose life was transformed and changed by the Spirit of God.
We even see similarities between his death and the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Although we do not know much about him, his life leaves an example for us. 
You can read the story in Acts chapter 6 and 7.

THE HOLY SPIRIT WANTS TO TRANSFORMS US

The influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives leads to transformation.
He wants to take us from one degree of glory to another.
Change and growth, in a Christian’s life is an indication that the individual is allowing the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to be active in their lives.
When you stop being transformed you have stopped allowing the Holy Spirit to influence you.
2 Corinthians 3:18 ‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.’
This transformation should be an ongoing part of our Christian experience.
The transformation is that we should become more and more like Him – Transformed into His image.
This transformation should not be two steps forward and then one step back process. It should be a transformation of ‘ever-increasing glory’.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

October 12, 2020

SUSTAINED AND SUPPORTED
The word sustained also means to be supported. God did not intend for us to walk through life unaided. God’s desire is that as we go through life we know His support and carrying power. He wants to support us all the way. 
Ruth 4:15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. 
Isaiah 46:4 Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

SUSTAINED BY GOD
This is an offer that God makes to you and me. He offers to sustain us and carry us each step of the way. Will we hold on to our worries and cares or will we give them to Him and allow Him to carry them for us and as a result be sustained by God? Let these words sustain you today. 
Jeremiah 15:16 Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. 
Psalm 3:5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

October 9, 2020

SUSTAINED SO THAT WE WILL NOT FALL
We are all challenged by the prospect of falling. Life has many challenges and each step of the way there is plenty of opportunity to fall. We need divine help to see us through. 
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. 
Psalm 63:8 My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. 
God wants to sustain us by helping us stand and to help us stay standing, to hold us up and to continue to uphold us.

TO DECIDE IN OUR FAVOUR
This aspect is even more special. In court when a request or a decision is upheld, the judge sustains it. Perhaps you have heard that statement when a judge declares the word ‘sustained’. In essence when this happens the judge decides in favour of the request. In the same way God wants to sustain your requests and wants to decide in your favour. 
Psalm 119:116 Sustain me according to Your promise, and I will live. 

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October 5, 2020

SUSTAINED SO THAT WE CAN ENDURE
God wants to sustain us so that we can endure until we see a breakthrough. I believe that God has a breakthrough in store for each one of us. We must not give up too soon or become impatient. We must allow God to sustain us so that we can endure until we get to the point of victory and release. 
Psalm 54:4 God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Often we face seasons that we do not understand or cannot see the purpose in, BUT God has a plan. He will help you.

SUSTAINED OVER TIME
God does not simply want to sustain in short bursts. God wants us to know His on-going sustaining power each day of life. There is an interesting story in the Old Testament. It concerns the nation of Israel. They left Egypt and wandered in a wilderness for forty years. This was a difficult and extended period for them. Yet God sustained them through it all. 
Nehemiah 9:21 For forty years You sustained them in the desert; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.
This is what can happen when God sustains us. Even the things that would usually wear out and bring extra trouble will last. In all those years God never deserted His people. He sustained through the entire experience. God wants to do the same for you and for me.

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October 2, 2020

We all carry cares and concerns in our hearts. We all face issues that would endeavour to get us down. Yet in all this, God wants to step into our lives and sustain us. We can either sustain ourselves, and get exhausted, or be sustained by God and have renewed strength. God wants to sustain you. It does not matter what you are facing or what you are going through, God wants to sustain us every step of the way. As we give our concerns and ourselves to God, He can step in and begin to sustain us.

CARRY THE WEIGHT
The meaning of the word sustain includes a unique aspect. To sustain also means to bear the weight of something. An example is living under continued pressure and stress. We can say that a person sustains a pressured life. I remember a lady who was going through a difficult situation. When I tried to help her, she said to me that she has got broad shoulders and she can handle it. This is what you call carrying a weight or sustaining yourself. God has told us that He wants to sustain us IF only we would hand Him our worries and cares. 
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you.
This means that God wants to carry the weight for us. We must learn to let go and give it to God.

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September 28, 2020

YOUR ULTIMATE DESTINATION IS SECURE

If we know our ultimate destination is secure, we can rest in God regarding the journey.
A friend shared this illustration with me:
You arrive at the airport to book a flight, the person assisting you tells you that they have two options available to you.
The plane doesn’t look as good, the inflight entertainment leaves a lot to be desired, the flight might be a bit bumpy but they can guarantee arrival at your destination.
The plane looks fantastic, they fly higher than most, superb meals and inflight entertainment, quiet and smooth but they can’t guarantee that you’ll arrive at your destination.
Which flight will you take?
You and I have chosen the flight in which the final destination is secure.
The journey may not always be ideal, but the destination is secure and therefore anything we may face is manageable and ‘overcomer-able’ because the destination is secure.

DON’T MISS THE MOMENT

In the process of the journey, we can sometimes loose perspective and we miss the moment.
Perhaps we can become obsessed with the goal that we had had in mind.
The truth is life is about the journey.
Each leg of the journey has its own opportunities and joys.
We should get to the stage where we consciously enjoy every moment.
Our attitude should be one of ‘finding joy in the journey’.
We each have our story, and God wants that story to be a beautiful tapestry of all our experiences and ultimately His hand in weaving it all together into something good and something special that gives us our unique testimony and story.
Romans 8:28 ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.’
Let Him turn things around for you.
Let HIM ‘work ALL things together’ for your good.
Make loving God your priority and remember that you are called according to His purposes.
Genesis 50:20 ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.’
Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

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September 25, 2020

The word ‘besieged’ is a military term that means to be surrounded by enemy forces.
In old days cities were besieged in order to attack and conquer them.
That is why they would say things like: ‘The army besieged the castle’. It involves surrounding and attacking a fortified place in order to isolate it from help and force surrender.
It is any persistent effort to overcome resistance or long period of trouble.
The danger is that during a siege, the besieged can destroy themselves.
The besiege mentality is a feeling of victimization and defensiveness.
It is a state of mind where we think we are constantly under attack.
In the same way sometimes we can live with a besieged mentality.
We begin to believe that we are under attack on every side.
We can even develop an ‘us against them’ mentality.
To break besiege mentality, we must get rid of victimization, change how we talk, choose joy, and get out of the trenches.
This is not to say that we do not face attack, but it is not always an attack.
It could be the result of choices we have made, it could just be things that happen in the course of life, and it could be something God is allowing in our lives to set us up for the next great plan he has for us.
Just think of the life of Joseph. If he was not thrown into the pit, he would never have been sold into slavery. If he was not sold into slavery, he would never have ended up in Egypt. If he was not falsely accused, he would never have ended up in prison. If he had not ended up in prison, he would not have made the connection to Pharaoh. If he had not made the connection to Pharaoh, he would not have been in a position to save the Egyptian nation and ultimately his own family and nation.
Genesis 41:57 “All the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain.”
If anyone could have felt like he was besieged it was Joseph.
He went from bad to worse and yet today his story is one of the remarkable stories that inspire and encourage us.
I believe he won the battle by choosing the right attitude at each turn on the journey of his life and ultimately he emerged as one of the great people that God used.
Let us not live with a besieged mentality.
Living with a besieged mentality is like living life with your foot on the brake.
This attitude or mindset can rob us and undermine God’s plan and purpose for our lives.
Let us move beyond this way of thinking.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

 

September 21, 2020

THE RICH FABRIC OF LIFE

I recently read a story about a family who had been farmers for generations. They loved their farm and worked it faithfully and productively. Then due to reasons beyond their control they were dispossessed of their land. It was a traumatic and devastating hurdle in the journey of their lives. When they were interviewed by a journalist about what had happened, they were asked if they were bitter and angry and they owner said no, he was not, but it was part of the ‘rich fabric of life’.
Often the experiences we go through can be seen as tragic or devastating, or we can see the experiences along life’s journey as part of the rich fabric of life.
It calls for a different attitude.
If we have this attitude we can handle things with a better understanding and come out the other side without being destroyed.
Have you ever looked at a tapestry?
If you look at the finished product it is something beautiful.
But if you zoom in on a small section it looks like a mess, confusing and illogical. But as you step back, everything begins to fall into place and the picture emerges.

THE GOD ON THE MOUNTAIN IS STILL GOD IN THE VALLEY

Sometimes we may think that when things are going right and things are going our way and we are having a ‘mountain experience’ that God is there for us. Then when we face a ‘valley experience’ and things are not going as we would like, we may think that He has forgotten about us.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The God of the mountain is still god in the valley.
Year ago I heard a song ‘GOD ON THE MOUNTAIN’.
This song spoke into my heart and that fact and reality became real to me.
Here are the words of that song:

Life is easy, when you're up on the mountain
and you've got peace of mind, like you've never known.
But things change, when you're down in the valley.
Don't lose faith, for you're never alone.
Chorus: For the God on the mountain, is the God in the valley. When things go wrong, He'll make them right. And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times. The God of the day is still God in the night.
We talk of faith way up on the mountain.
Talk comes so easy when life's at its best.
Now down in the valleys, of trials and temptations
that’s where your faith, is really put to the test.
Chorus: For the God on the mountain, is the God in the valley. When things go wrong, He'll make them right. And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times. The God of the day is still God in the night.

Psalm 84:5-7 ‘Blessed are those whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.’

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September 18, 2020

The course of life is never as we had hoped or predicted.
Often we encounter unexpected hurdles and challenges.
As a young man, I had my whole life mapped out in front of my eyes. I had dreams and visions about how things would work out. The future looked bright and unassailable. But life began to unfold in very different ways to what I had anticipated. Today my life looks nothing like what I had thought it would, but I have learned through the process and I can declare that God has been faithful through it all. In fact, today, my life is a testimony to the trials and processes that I have been through and as I look at the big picture, it is something to celebrate and thank God for.
Romans 8:28 ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.’
It is the Lord who ‘takes all things’ and ‘works them together’ for our good.
He may not do it in the way that we had thought it would be, be He still does it.
This scripture is clear that He takes ‘ALL’ things and works them out for our good.
He does not just take the good things, but He also takes that bad things that happen and uses them to His glory.
So we can rest in Him.
He will take all the things we face and go through and He will weave it into something good.

LIFE IS ABOUT THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION

Life is a journey.
The journey has stops and turns, many of which we cannot foresee.
The book ‘PILGRIM’S PROGRESS’ by John Bunyan is a story about the journey.
In this book John Bunyan looks at some of the things that we face in the course of life.
He identifies many different aspects and gives them unique names: ‘Difficulty Hill, Palace Beautiful, Valley of Humiliation, Valley of the Shadow of Death, Doubting Castle and Giant of Despair, Delectable Mountains and Dark River.
All these different aspects, and others, made up the course of the pilgrim’s journey.
As we face the different aspects along the route that life takes us, the journey of life begins to unfold in the process.
If we are only focused on the destination, we may feel that the dynamics of the journey are a distraction to the fulfillment of the vision we may have had.
But it is the different aspects of life that become the journey of our lives.
We need to get to the point where we ‘discover’ that the life is about the journey and not about the destination.
The life of Joseph is an example of this dynamic.
Joseph had a dream of what would become of his life. But before that could be realized he was taken down the journey of life. The journey included rejection, abandonment, slavery, false accusations, imprisonment and being forgotten. During all these tests be came out on top of the situation and God turned things around.
Today we look at the life of Joseph and we see a tapestry of issues and happenings that all played a part in God’s great plan for Joseph and the people of Israel.
We look at his journey and we are encouraged and inspired, not just because of the final outcome, but because of the process and the journey that led to the final outcome.
Imagine the story of Joseph without the journey?
It seems unimaginable.
Your journey has a purpose and your process is not without a divine plan.

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September 14, 2020

GOD’S HAND INFLUENCES OUR LIVES & OUR CIRCUMSTANCES

The influence of God’s hands causes us to do that which God wants us to do.
2 Chronicles 30:12 At the same time, God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them a strong desire to unite in obeying the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the word of the Lord.
Look at this link: God’s hand was on the people – they had a strong desire to follow the word of the Lord.
If we will allow God’s hand to work in our lives, we too will have a desire to follow what God tells us to do.
The hand of the Lord gives us favor.
Nehemiah 2:8 Because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.
What an amazing thought.

GOD’S HAND WILL NEVER LEAVE US!

No matter what we may go through or experience, we can know that God’s hand will be with us.
His hand will never leave us.
It may feel as though His hand is removed, but this is not the truth.
Isaiah 49:14-16 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”  “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved (written your name or tattooed a picture of or inscribed) you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
Even more interesting to note is that we cannot leave God’s hand.
Psalm 139:7-10 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me; Your right hand will hold me fast.
God’s hand will never leave you!
Because of this great fact, you and I can have confidence to trust God and believe Him in every aspect of life.

PUT YOU HAND IN HIS OPEN HAND TODAY!

Now is the time to re-establish this connection.
Perhaps you have tried to do it too long on your own and in your own strength.
Put you hand in His hand today!
Matthew 14:31-32 Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?? ?And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.?
Take the hand of God and let Him get into your boat.
When He is in your boat things will change.
Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the waters.
Put you hand in the hand of the man who clamed the sea.
By putting your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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September 11, 2020

THE HAND OF GOD IS AN OPEN HAND

Years ago there used to be a bank that had a catch phrase ‘YOUR HELPING HAND FOR LIFE!’ I am not sure which bank it was. The bank has gone but the truth of the phrase, as it applies to God, lives on.
God’s hand is YOUR HELPING HAND FOR LIFE!
God’s hand is open, it is not closed.
If you see God’s hand as closed I hope that today you will change the way you think!
Psalm 145:16 You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing with favor.?
Psalm 104:28 You open Your hand, and they are filled with good things.?
I want to say that the hand of God is open to you today and He is reaching out to you and all you need to do is take hold of His open hand.
Closed hands are a sign of withholding, open hands are a sign of giving.
Even the way Jesus died was with His arms outstretched and His hands nailed open – never to be shut!

GOD’S HAND HAS A HAND IN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES

Each and every aspect of our lives is marked by the touch of the hand of God.
This includes our birth and our death.
Psalm 119:73 Your hands have made me and fashioned (formed) me.
Right from the start of life God’s hand has played a role.
Even the time of our deaths include God’s hand.
Psalm 31:15 My times are in Your hands!
And ALL along the road of life His hand is ready to help.
Psalm 119:173 May your hand be ready to help me.

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September 7, 2020

I believe we all desire to know the ‘Hand of God’ in our lives.
When we speak about THE HAND OF GOD we are speaking about two things.
His involvement in our lives.
His physical help and strength to see us through.
I have discovered how much I need this in my life.
In a sense I want to you and I to take hold of God’s hand today. To reach out and place our hand in His hand so that we can receive whatever it is that we need for life.
There was an old song with the following words:
Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters.
Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea.
Take a look at yourself and you look at others differently.
By putting your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.
We need to take hold of God’s hand and place our hand in His hand today!

PETER TAKES HOLD OF JESUS’ HAND

One of the best loved stories in the New Testament is the story about Peter and how he got out of the boat and walked on the water.
Let’s take a look at this amazing story.
Matthew 14:22-32
Just note how when Peter began to sink, he cried out to Jesus and he said: ‘LORD SAVE ME!’ Perhaps you have felt like that at times?
Look at Jesus’ response - Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and CAUGHT and HELD him!
Jesus took his and held him.
In our sinking moments this is just what God wants to do for us!
STORY – When my Nissan ended up in the bottom of the garden.
We can reach out to God and take hold of His hand.
He is ready to take us by the hand and He is ready to take hold of us.
We may feel abandoned but in the critical moment when we call His hand will be within reach!
Look how long the disciples spent battling the storm before Jesus arrived to save them.
His timing is always impeccable.
Sometimes even when we are in the perfect will of God, we still need His hand!
Psalm 144:7 Stretch forth Your hand from above; rescue me and deliver me out of great waters.

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September 4, 2020

WE SHOULD ENJOY GOD’S PRESENCE HAVING AN ATTITUDE OF BROKENNESS BEFORE HIM

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
This should be our personal attitude towards God.
We should be too willing to put things write with God and others.
We should live with a tender heart.
God does not tolerate hard hearts.
God does not tolerate self-righteous hearts.
He is looking for those whose hearts are open and tender.
Then we can know His presence.
Then we can enjoy Him.
This is key number six.

THE REWARD OF GOD’S HELP

If we can apply these aspects to our lives, then God wants to come through for us.
God wants to deliver, guard and protect.
He does NOT say that there will be no problems.
But He does say that He will rescue and protect.
Psalm 34:19 The good man does not escape all troubles—he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one.

GOD WANTS TO SAVE US

That is His plan for us.
Psalm 34:22 But as for those who serve the Lord, he will redeem them; everyone who takes refuge in him will be freely pardoned.
To save us and forgive us.
What a great God we serve.
These are the keys to the good, long life that God promises.
Lets use them and expect God to come through for us.

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August 31, 2020

GO FOR PEACE

Psalm 34:14 Seek peace and pursue it.
Look for peace and follow it with determination.
Psalm 34:14 Try to live in peace with everyone; work hard at it. (Living)
Work hard at living in peace with others.
Do not become offended or pick up other peoples offences.
But go for peace.
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy.
This is the fourth key to a long, good life.

FOLLOW RIGHTEOUSNESS

This speaks of right living.
Psalm 34:15-17 For the eyes of the Lord are intently watching all who live good lives, and he gives attention when they cry to him. 16But the Lord has made up his mind to wipe out even the memory of evil men from the earth. 17Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to him for help and saves him out of all his troubles.
Another version refers to this aspect of good living as righteousness.
Let’s look at God’s response to those who are living right:

1. The eyes of the Lord are intently watching those individuals.
2. He gives attention when they cry to Him.
3.  He hears the good man.
4. God saves/delivers such a person out of ALL his troubles.

What a reward, what a blessing.
Who would not want that?
This is the fifth key to a long and a good life.

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August 28, 2020

WATCH WHAT YOU SAY

Psalm 34:13 Then watch your tongue! Keep your lips from lying.
Our tongues are very powerful.
We need to be careful about what we say.
James 3:3-5 We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in his mouth. 4And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. So also the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A great forest can be set on fire by one tiny spark.
Matthew 12:36 And I tell you this, that you must give account on Judgment Day for every idle word you speak.
James 1:19 Dear brothers, don’t ever forget that it is best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry.
The second key to a good, long life, is watching what we say.

TURNING OUR BACKS ON EVIL AND DOING GOOD

Psalm 34:14 Turn from all known sin and spend your time in doing good.
The first thing here is to turn away from evil.
This is a deliberate action.
Turning away from evil thoughts, speech, acts and attitudes.
And then to do good.
Spend your time doing good.
This is where the Holy Spirit comes in.
He wants to empower us to do good.
This should be our way of life.
The way we spend our time.
How are you spending your time?

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August 24, 2020

God has good things in store for us.
He wants to be good to us.
At His right hand are pleasures evermore.
He wants His goodness to be a reality to us.
This goodness is available to us personally.
Available to us  as part of God’s church.
Available to us as a nation.
Psalm 34:12 Do you want a long, good life?
This is the question that David, the psalmist asked.
I am sure your answer is yes.
Yes to everything that God has for us.
Yes, to a life filled with the reality of the love and presence of God.
Well, David gives the keys.
And we are going to look at them today.

WE NEED TO LEARN TO TRUST AND FEAR THE LORD

Psalm 34:11 Sons and daughters, come and listen and let me teach you the importance of trusting and fearing the Lord.
It is important that we learn to trust and fear God.
This is something that we develop.
The result of our trusting and fearing of God we should also be obeying Him.
If you have just begun to trust God – KEEP IT UP.
If you have been walking a life of trusting and fearing God, then begin to obey and expect Him to show you Himself.
He wants to make Himself real to us.
This is key one to a good and long life.

1 Peter 3:10-12 f you want a happy, good life, keep control of your tongue, and guard your lips from telling lies. 11Turn away from evil and do good. Try to live in peace even if you must run after it to catch and hold it! 12For the Lord is watching his children, listening to their prayers; but the Lord’s face is hard against those who do evil.

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August 21, 2020

A FEW REASONS TO BE THANKFUL

1. Because of the fact that the Lord is always good.
2. Because of the fact that God always loves.
3. Because of the fact that God is always kind.
4. Because of God’s faithfulness.
5. Because of the fact that God wants to be faithful to your children and your grandchildren.

Psalm 100:4-5  Give thanks to him and bless his name. 5For the Lord is always good. He is always loving and kind, and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation.
God is a great God we have a lot to be thankful for.

THE WAY TO THANKFULNESS

You can become thankful in the following way:

1. Think about three things that you can be thankful for.
2. Allow thankfulness to rise in your heart.
3. Develop a ‘thankful’ way of life.

Thankfulness needs to be an attitude and a way of life.
God is looking for those who have thankful hearts.

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August 17, 2020

THANKFULNESS IS AN ATTITUDE

At the end of it all thankfulness is an attitude.
1 Chronicles 16:24 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love and his kindness go on forever.
We can be thankful just because of the fact that God loves us.
Colossians 3:14 Let the peace of heart that comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful.
Psalm 30:4-5 Oh, sing to him you saints of his; give thanks to his holy name. His anger lasts a moment; his favor lasts for life!
Lets have an attitude of thankfulness today.

PRAYER AND THANKFULNESS

The Bible indicates that there is a link between thankfulness and prayer.
We should be thankful for what God is going to do.
1 Timothy 2:1 Pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them; give thanks for all he is going to do for them.
We need to remember to be thankful when God answers our prayers.
Colossians 4:2 Don’t be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God’s answers, and remember to be thankful when they come.
Our praying and our thankfulness go hand in hand.
Thankfulness should be our natural response to what God has done and our ‘faith-filled’ expectation of what He is going to do.

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August 14, 2020

ENCOURAGING EACH OTHER

We need to encourage each other to be thankful.
That is what I am attempting to do with these notes.
We should remind one another to be thankful.
Ephesians 5:4 Remind each other of God’s goodness, and be thankful.
God has been good in so many ways.
The scripture says that we should ‘be thankful’.
It sounds pretty decisive.
I see a determination that needs to be in our hearts.
We must settle it in our hearts that we will be thankful people no matter what everyone else is talking about.

THANKFUL IN EVERYTHING

This is an important aspect.
We sometimes think that we should only be thankful when circumstances are idea.
When all the promises are fulfilled, when we have all that we were expecting.
But God is looking for thankful hearts in the midst of our current situation and circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Thankfulness in everything is not always easy, but it is always the right thing.

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August 10, 2020

WE CAN BE THANKFUL

You may feel that you have nothing to be thankful for.
As you read this you may be saying: ‘This person does not know my circumstances.’
That is true, but we can always find something to be thankful for.
Psalm 7:17 Oh, how grateful and thankful I am to the Lord because he is so good. I will sing praise to the name of the Lord who is above all lords.
Just think for a moment about something you can be thankful for.
I will give you a few examples: Family, Homes, Friends, Employment, Health, and the things you may have.
Focus on the things you can be thankful for.

APPROACHING GOD

As we approach God, it should be with thankfulness in our hearts.
Psalm 95:2 Come before him with thankful hearts.
As we come to God with the things on our hearts, lets us start with hearts that are thankful and appreciative.
I have a relative who is a thankful, grateful person. It is such a joy to be in her presence. She is thankful and appreciative for the smallest things. The strange thing is that she has had a hard life with many challenges and disappointments, yet she has remained thankful. It is a joy to be with her.
I am sure God looks forward to spending time with individuals who come to Him with hearts that are full of thanks.

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August 7, 2020

Thankfulness is a very vital aspect in our lives.
It is an important thing that we are thankful people towards God.
How thankful have you been lately?
I believe that we are expected to be thankful people.
Thankfulness or a thankful heart is characteristic of a true Christian.
Usually if someone is not thankful, they end up being ungrateful and often develop a lifestyle of grumbling.
God is looking for thankful people.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE THANKFUL?

To be thankful is to be consciously aware of the ways in which God has been good to you.
This conscious awareness of God’s goodness, love and kindness to us needs to become a standard in our lives.
To be thankful means that we are grateful and appreciative.
We appreciate what God has done for us.
Our hearts need to be filled with gratitude.
This is the lifestyle that we need to develop.

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August 3, 2020

THE REWARD

Rev 3:8 “I know you well; you aren’t strong, but you have tried to obey and have not denied my Name. Therefore I have opened a door to you that no one can shut.
A door – this speaks of opportunity.
The entrance to something wonderful.
Not a door that we must open.
But a door open by God Himself.
That no one can shut – including you.
No even you can get the door closed to what God has in store for you.
And all this just because we tried (attempted/endeavored) to obey God.
This should encourage you.

THE ENCOURAGEMENT

I believe God wants to encourage each of us.
He is coming soon – that’s the first encouragement.
Rev 3:11 Look, I am coming soon!
Then this great bit of advice.
Rev 3:11 Hold tightly to the little strength you have.
If you have just a little strength today – hold on to it.
You may feel like you just have a little bit of strength.
Hold onto it, don’t let it go - God will reward you.
Rev 3:11 Hold tightly to the little strength you have—so that no one will take away your crown.
God has a crown in store for those who have little strength.
What a great thought.

WE CAN BE OVERCOMERS

God is looking for overcomers.
What are overcomers?
I believe it is individuals who have held onto the little strength they have and have tried to hear and obey God.
I want to be an overcomer
A conqueror.
One, who after all that life can throw at me, still holds onto the strength that God has given me.
Rev 3:12 “As for the one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; he will be secure and will go out no more.
The rewards are what I want.

I. A pillar in the temple of my God
In His presence
A pillar – something that can carry
II. Secure
No fear
Confident
III. Will go out no more
Never to be separated from His presence

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July 31, 2020

WE ARE NOT STRONG

I feel like this often.
I don’t always feel strong.
Rev 3:8 I know you well; you aren’t strong.
Hey that’s me.
Do you think it is possible that God knows this?
The fact that we are not always strong.
YES!
He knows.
He knows that we are made of dust.
He knows that we do not have the strength.

GOD IS LOOKING AT YOUR HEART

This is what God is concerned about.
He knows us - He knows that we are weak.
But what is the condition of our hearts.
Have we tried to obey Him?
Rev 3:8 I know you well; you aren’t strong, but you have tried to obey and have. not denied my Name.
When God sees us endeavoring to obey Him, it moves Him.
What does it mean to obey Him?
I believe it means that we seek and pursue Him and when we hear Him speak we do what He says.
I love the phrase: ‘but you have tried’
I want to encourage those who have tried to follow God - God it.
He is moved by it – don’t give up and don’t stop.

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July 27, 2020

Isn’t it wonderful to know that God knows us?
Sometimes we live as though God knows nothing of our situation.
But He does.
Today I am here to tell you that God knows you and your situation.
He is aware.
We need to hold on to the strength we have.
Because God has plans for each of us.

GOD KNOWS US

This is such a great thought.
It gives me great comfort.
Rev 3:8 I know you well.
Its like sometimes I am not sure that I know myself.
What does this mean?
It means that God is aware of who we are.
It means that He understands us.
It means that He can identify with us.
He is our greatest ally.
The person who knows us and wants the best for us.

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July 24, 2020

STAYING SALTY

As we stay connected to the source we can retain our saltiness or our effectiveness.
If we loose that connection we become useless.
Salt that has no saltiness has no value.
Matthew 5:13  If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
Mark 9:50 “Good salt is worthless if it loses its saltiness; it can’t do anything.  So don’t lose your flavour! Live in peace with each other.”
Luke 14:34-35 What good is salt that has lost its saltiness?  Flavourless salt is fit for nothing – not even for fertilizer.  It is worthless and must be thrown out.

SALT AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

This is a very important aspect.
There is a peculiar quality about salt.
Salt is a hygroscopic substance.
What that means is that it attracts water.
Have you ever seen what happens to salt at the coast?
Water is a picture of the Holy Spirit.
Our lives need to be the same.
The way we live should attract the Holy Spirit and then we can be directed and led by Him.
That is what makes us, as salt, effective.
Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth.  (NIV)

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July 20, 2020

THE IMPORTANCE OF SALT

As we mentioned a little earlier salt is an important component.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica there are more than 14000 uses for salt.
It is a very effective substance.
If we are ‘alive to God’ then we can also be effective in touching the lives of others.
The importance of salt is emphasised by its needs.
People need salt to remove the tastelessness of life.
People need salt to bring healing to life’s hurts.
People need salt to remove rottenness and to preserve them.
People need salt to remove the bitter and sad experiences that they have been through.
If we are salt, as Jesus said, we are important and play a vital role.
Without salt we can expect complaints.
Job 6:5-6 When wild donkeys bray, it is because their grass is gone; a man complains when there is no salt in his food.

CONNECTED TO THE SOURCE OF SALT

Where do we get our saltiness?
Matthew 5:13-16 You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable. You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.
As Christians we need to be light and salt wherever we may be.
John 8:12 Later, Jesus said to the people, “I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.”
Jesus is our source of light and salt.
For us to remain effective we must stay connected to this source.

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July 17, 2020

SALT IS USED TO MELT SNOW

In many countries where snow and ice is a problem in winter, salt is used to melt the snow.
Canada is a country where salt is used to control the build up of snow and ice.
Ice is one of the most dangerous conditions for driving, but once salt has been applied the road surface is safer to use.
When applied to snow or ice, salt lowers the melting point of the mixture. Thus, large amounts are used in northern climates to help clear roads of accumulated snow and ice.
Many people have snow and ice in their hearts. Their hearts have accumulated coldness and hardness.
If we are going to be like salt we will be able to bring restoration to people with cold hearts.

SALT BRINGS HEALING

Salt has healing properties.
It is for this reason that many people go to the Dead Sea, for it’s therapeutic and healing qualities as a result of the high concentration of salt in the water.
We can bring healing and be a source of healing in the situations that we may find ourselves in.
We can be a source of healing to those around us.
You may have just what the person sitting next to you is looking for.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Lets be a source of healing today. This can happen in a simple way as we encourage someone else

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July 13, 2020

SALT PRESERVES

Salt is a preservative. It makes things last longer.
In the early days when the sailing ships had no source of power, meat was preserved with salt.
In this way the lifespan of meat could be extended so that the food could last for the duration of the voyage.
I have a bucket; it looks a bit like a keg, which was used on ships.  It was designed to hold fish that was packed in salt and in this way the fish was preserved.
A dash of salt added to the water in a flower vase will keep cut flowers fresh longer.
To preserve means to maintain or retain the original quality.
This is what God wants us to be. We, as the salt of the earth, preserve this world.

SALT SEASONS

One of the primary purposes of salt is to bring flavour.
It removes tastelessness and brings flavour.
People are looking for flavour in life.
Have you heard the phrase: ‘variety is the spice of life’.
People are looking for this spice in life.
To many people life is tasteless, routine and dull with many bitter pills to swallow.
Food that has no flavour is not enjoyable; in the same way life without flavour is not a pleasure.
Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
Jesus came to give us that life so that we could share it with others.
Matthew 5:13 “You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable.  If you lose your flavour, what will happen to the world?

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July 10, 2020

Salt has a very important function & has many important qualities.
There is a great deal of salt on the earth.
Just think of the oceans and how much salt they contain.
It is said that there is enough salt in the oceans of the world to cover the entire land surface of the earth with 1 meter of salt.
Salt is one of the primary components of our lives.
Salt enhances the flavour of meat, brings out individuality of vegetables, puts "oomph" into bland starches, deepens the flavour of delicate desserts & develops the flavour of certain fruits. No other seasoning has yet been found that can take the place of salt.
The Bible draws a comparison between Christians and salt.
God obviously meant for us to understand the effect that salt has because we are meant to have the same effect.

WE ARE SALT

Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth.  (NIV).These were the very words of Jesus.
Jesus was speaking to His followers as He spoke these words.
But what does it mean to be like salt?
What effect did Jesus want us to have on those around us?
Salt is a very effective substance in our lives and it has some unique properties that make us dependent on it.
God has placed within each one of us special properties that are designed to have an effect in the areas that we touch. What does salt do?

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July 6, 2020

BE PATIENT

When we are patient with others we give them breathing room.
When we are impatient we generate more pressure for people and they distance themselves from us.
We need to be patient with people.
When we are patient, people can begin to feel that they have the support and the space to be able to move in the right direction.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 Dear brothers, warn those who are lazy, comfort those who are frightened, take tender care of those who are weak, and be patient with everyone.
The Bible tells us that one of the characteristics of love is that love is patient.
This patient love can be a source of hope to others.

PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

Prayer is such a wonderful thing.
It is very reassuring to know that others are praying for you.
When you are praying for someone else, you become a source of hope for them and the situations that they may be facing.
Find out what those around you are facing and offer to pray for them. The results will amaze you!
James 5:16 Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

LIGHT IN DARKNESS

When we become a source of hope and a people of hope for others, light penetrates the darkness and brings hope.
Isaiah 58:10 Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day.
But it is far more than just this.
When we become a source of hope to others, our own darkness begins to disappear.
In other words, we will have hope within us as we begin to give hope to others.
1 John 2:8 as we obey this commandment, to love one another, the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in.

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July 3, 2020

BE FLEXIBLE

If we are going to be a people of hope we will need to be flexible.
People who are unaccommodating bring condemnation and hopelessness to others.
Often times when people are going through difficulty, others do not fully understand the magnitude of the difficulty.
Under these circumstances judgment is easily made without a real understanding.
We need to remain flexible and make allowances for others and the things that they are facing.
Ephesians 4:2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
In this way we can be a source of hope for others.

CARRY THE LOAD

Here is another way in which we can be a source of hope to others.
We can play a role in carrying the load and sharing the burden.
I once heard someone say that ‘a joy shared is a joy doubled and a problem shared is a problem halved’.
We can be a source of hope as we carry the burdens of others.
This involves effort and may mean that we have to go the extra mile.
As Christians this is how we are called to live.
Galatians 6:2 Share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command. (Living Bible)
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens. (KJV)

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June 29, 2020

ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER

One way, in which we can be a people of hope, is to be a source of encouragement to others.
I have discovered that it is a matter of those, who are a little stronger, encouraging those, who are a little weaker.
Another thing that I have discovered is that those who are a little stronger can become those who are a little weaker.
It is for this reason that when we are feeling a little stronger, that we be a source of strength and hope to others, so that they in turn can be a source of hope and strength to us when we feel weak.
We must seek out opportunity to encourage and give hope to others.
Hebrews 10:24 Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Trust God to give you creative ways to reach out and encourage others.
Isaiah 35:3-4 With this news bring cheer to all discouraged ones. Encourage those who are afraid. Tell them, “Be strong, fear not, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”

BE KIND

Kindness is another way in which we can bring hope to others.
We live in a ruthless world where everyone is concerned about himself or herself.
Selfishness is the dominant sin.
When we begin to show kindness we begin to reverse the effects of selfishness and create an opportunity for God to touch the lives of others.
As we show kindness we can become a source of hope and a people of hope to others.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.
I have discovered that everyone responds to kindness.
I remember once reading a quote in a diary. It said: ‘Be gentle with everyone, for everyone is facing his or her own challenges’.
Become a person of hope as you show kindness to others.

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June 26, 2020

God wants each of us to live with hope in our hearts.
This fresh hope is available to each of us.
As this divine hope becomes a reality to us, we can in turn become a source of hope to others.
Those who are battling with a loss of hope need to be helped by those who are full of hope.
If we are connected to the source of hope, God, then we can become a source of hope to those around us.
We can play a role in restoring the hope of others.

FULL OF HOPE

This is how God intends us to live. With an abundance of hope in our hearts.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.
When a glass is full of water it begins to overflow.
This overflow is the abundance of hope that can touch others lives and brings them to a place of wholeness and hope.
We need to make sure that hope is alive and well within our own hearts.
Each of us is called to be a person of hope, bringing hope to those around us.

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June 22, 2020

MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE

Make time for your family. Fit them into your plans and schedule. Make it real to them that they are a priority to you. They want to be with you, but the curse of the modern age is that we are all too busy. Never be too busy. Let your time together be a happy time. Look for things to do together and spend time together.

PRAY FOR THEM

Pray for your children. Ask God to bless, lead and guide them. Pray for their health and their wellbeing. Don’t stop praying for them. Expect God to come through for each of them. Ask God to make Himself and His presence real to them. If God is real to your family, they will follow Him.

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June 19, 2020

HELP YOUR CHILDREN

Give assistance to your children and help them. Don’t be a scorekeeper by remembering everything that you have done for them. Help them unconditionally. Help them and expect nothing in return. Help them, help them some more and keep on helping them. Giving help is your privilege and a blessing.

BE INTERESTED

Show a genuine interest in what is happening in their lives. Be interested in their dreams and visions. Speak about them and what they are doing. Let conversation revolve around them. Be effectively involved with their interests. Have a share in what they are doing. Be concerned for them. Never be aloof or indifferent. Get involved and get your hands dirty.

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June 15, 2020

BE HAPPY FOR THEM

When they accomplish something or get something right be happy for them. Be exited for them. Make every effort to make sure that they succeed.  Be happy for them when they surpass your own level of success. Be genuinely interested and happy for them in what they do. Perhaps their interests differ from yours or what you had hoped they would be, be happy for them. Be happy for them.

SEE YOUR FAMILY AS A TEAM

Each member fulfils and different function. There are different roles. The family is not a boss/employee relationship. It is a father/son relationship. Give your team members opportunity. Pursue winning as a team. When one member wins we all win. Don’t be threatened by the progress of any one member. Be a team. Stand together. Make the weak look good and the strong look better. This is what team is all about.

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June 12, 2020

BE THERE FOR YOUR CHILDREN

Stand with your children and give them your support. If one of them is battling, help them. Your children must never become a burden, they must always remain your prized possession. If they experience problems stay with them. Never distance yourself from them. Stay connected to them

TALK WITH YOUR CHILDREN

Communication is such a vital part of our relationships. Communicate not to say things, but communicate to say how much you love and appreciate. Find out what their needs are. Make an effort to meet those needs.  Open up to your children. Impart life to them. Make it known to them, how much they mean to you. Communication helps us stay connected with each other.

MOTIVATE THEM

Give them a reason to live. Show them the right way and egg them on. Tell them that they are doing the right thing. Urge them forward. Give them purpose and help them realise that they have a destiny to fulfil. They are not here by mistake.

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June 8, 2020

Being fathers is not always easy. But God meant that we should be good fathers. How can we become good fathers? I believe that there are some simple keys that will help us to become the fathers that God intended us to be. You don’t have to be a physical father to play a role of fathering. God wants to raise up a generation of men who are real fathers. What can we do to be effective fathers to our children or to those who look to us as people who play such a role?

ENCOURAGE

Always encourage. Take time to honestly encourage your children. The purpose of encouragement is to strengthen and harness the power within others to move them towards what is in their best interests. Always encourage when you see positive signs. Real fathers have their children’s best interests at heart. Have the best interests of your children at heart. Inspire with children with courage, spirit and hope. Spur them on and give them help. Encourage, encourage, encourage and do not stop.

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June 5, 2020

TIMES OF DIFFICULTY

Even in times of difficulty God wants to take us by the hand and lead and guide us.
When we are going through difficulty it sometimes feels like God is not there.
We may feel alone, abandoned or deserted.
But the truth is that even when faced with insurmountable difficulty, God is still there and He wants to carry us through whatever we may be facing.
Psalm 23:4 Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.

GOD WILL NOT ABANDON YOU

No matter what you may be feeling or experiencing, God has NO intention of abandoning you.
John 14:18 No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you.
Others will let us down and abandon us.
Even your closest and best friend and even your family will drop you but God will not.
Psalm 27:10 For if my father and mother should abandon me, You would welcome and comfort me.
Psalm 37:28 For the Lord loves justice and fairness; He will never abandon His people.

GOD IS WATCHING

God has not lost track of things.
God is interested and He is watching you and I closely.
Psalm 121:5 The LORD watches over you.
Here is another great scripture.
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.
We must hold onto God.
We must not give up and let go of Him.
He will not let go of us.
Psalm 63:8 My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

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June 1, 2020

GOD IS INTERESTED

There is however a greater dimension.
The fact of the matter is that it is a delight to God to be able to be involved in each aspect of our lives. He is interested!
Someone stopped me the other day and asked me the question: ‘Do you think that God knows if I exist?’
This person was feeling as if God had no knowledge of what she was going through.
But God knows and His delight is in watching and helping us as we take our steps through life.
Psalm 37:23 The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take.

BY THE HAND

It always amazes me that God, the creator of the universe, is so interested in each one of us.
He wants to take us by the hand and help us make the right choices.
In the process we will not need to fall.
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
This speaks of the very intimate way in which God wants to be involved in our lives and show us which way to go.
Psalm 18:35 Your right hand, O Lord, supports me.
Psalm 63:8 My soul follows hard after Thee: Your right hand upholds me.


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May 29, 2020

God wants to lead us every step of the way through life.
God is interested in every aspect of our lives and wants to lead and guide us as we take up life’s challenges.
It is wonderful to know that we can approach God on any issue that is a concern to us.
He has our best interests at heart and wants to see us succeed.
We don’t have to walk most of the way by ourselves and then only rely on God in certain matters.
God wants to take us by the hand and lead us step by step.

EACH STEP WE TAKE

Psalm 37:23 The steps of good men are directed by the Lord.
This verse has always been an encouragement to me.
Firstly the fact that we can know divine intervention in day-to-day life is something that gives me great hope.
Secondly, the possibility of God orchestrating and directing the aspects of our lives.
What does it mean to be directed by God?
I believe that this means that God can co-ordinate our lives.
This means that God can control, guide, order and supervise our lives.
In the KING JAMES VERSION it is said a little differently.
Psalm 27:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.
I desire that God direct, co-ordinate, orchestrate and order the steps of my life!

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May 25, 2020

CHOICES we make in THE MIND,  determine whether we live under THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH, or we live under THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS.
THE GOAL is to live in THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS! Romans 8:2 "The law of the Spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus."  

HOW?
Hebrews 8:10 (Amplified version)  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts, and I will be their God and they shall be My people.

NOTE 3 IMPORTANT POINTS:
Point 1

God's law no longer comes to us on stone tablets, but is written in our hearts.
Romans 7:6 'So now we serve, not under obedience to the old code of written regulations, but under obedience to the promptings of the Spirit in newness of LIFE.' 

Point 2
This teaches us that we are to be led by the inner promptings of the Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God concerning our lives and circumstances.  
He (The Holy Spirit) will reveal God's will for us and lead us into His fullness as we follow His promptings.
To PROMPT MEANS TO REMIND US OR GIVE US A CUE.  It does not indicate force or control or manipulation.  
God sets before each of us LIFE and DEATH and encourages us to choose LIFE, so that we and our descendants may have lives He has carefully planned for us.  
Romans 6:12-14  Let not SIN therefore rule as king in your mortal bodies, to make you yield to their cravings... Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members and faculties to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but offer and yield yourselves to God, as though you have been raised from the dead to perpetual LIFE and your bodily members to God, presenting them as instruments of righteousness.  For SIN shall not have dominion over you, since you are not under the Law, but under Grace.  

Point 3 SOW TO THE SPIRIT.
Galatians 6:8 For he who sows to his own flesh, will from the flesh reap corruption. Decay and ruin.  BUT he who sows to the Spirit, will from the Spirit reap life - life eternal.
Galatians 6:7 Don't be deceived and misled.  God will not allow Himself to be mocked, for whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.
Ephesians 5:18 'Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit!' 

Listen to and obey His voice (often gentle nudging)
Choose the LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS and walk away from THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.
Speak life, choose life and reject sin and death and do not entertain it!

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May 22, 2020

4. THE LAW OF THE MIND.
In Romans 7:23 we see another law mentioned: the 'LAW OF THE MIND'.
Our minds play a very important role in our daily lives.
The Bible tells as that as a man thinketh - so is he.
In essence the 'LAW OF THE MIND' gives us the ability to choose between the 'LAW OF SIN AND DEATH' and the 'LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS'.
In Romans chapter 8, Paul describes two classes of people.
Those who live according to their sinful natures and those who live according to the Spirit.
Which class you belong to depends on what you decide in your mind and who you will submit to as a result.
Romans 7:23 (Amplified version)  'But I discern in my bodily members a different law at war against the LAW OF MY MIND (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of SIN which dwells in my bodily members.' 
We have this ability to reason.
It is a God-given gift, but reason itself will draw us away from God.
It is for this reason that we have to be aware of this law of the mind. 
If we rely purely on reason, it will take us down the wrong road.
Our minds need to be brought under the control of our spirits and the Holy Spirit, so that it will not lead us astray.
Our minds need to set, programmed and renewed according to the Holy Spirit and not our own natures.
You see we can choose unforgiveness, grudges, anger, offence, hatred, pride and selfishness and reap the results of the relevant law, OR
We can choose to forgive, release, be tenderhearted, love, humility and kindness and reap the results of that relevant law.
Romans 8:6-7 (Amplified version) 'Now the MIND of the FLESH [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is DEATH. (Death that comprises of all the miseries arising from sin, both now and hereafter) BUT the MIND OF THE Holy Spirit [the mind controlled by the Spirit] is LIFE and soul peace both now and forever.'

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May 18, 2020

2. THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.
Another law we see mentioned is the law of sin and death.
In fact, it is mentioned more than once.
Romans 7:23 it speaks of the 'LAW OF SIN'.
Romans 8:2 it speaks of the 'LAW OF SIN AND DEATH'.
There are many other scriptures that make mention of this aspect.
Romans 6:23 'For the wages of sin is death!' 
Romans 3:23  'For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.'
1 John 1:8 (Amplified version) 'If we say we have no sin, we  delude (deceive) and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth is not in us.'
Romans 7:21  'So I find it to be a LAW, that when I want to do good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands.'

Every man, woman and child who was ever born or ever will be born has a problem with SIN.  
The Good News is that God has provided an answer to our sin problem.
2 Corinthians 5:21 'For our sakes HE made Christ to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in HIM.'
- So, we see this 'law of sin and death' that Paul mentions in his writings.

3. THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE.
Christ came and died so that this law could become a reality on our lives.
Romans 8:2 speaks about this: '...the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus...' 
Here we see a different dimension.
Here is another law that gives us all the hope we need.
It's a law that changes the dynamic in every situation we may find ourselves in in the course of life.
It is clearly illustrated in the verse.
Romans 8:2 'For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.'
Jesus has turning things around for us.
Through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit, there is another law that comes into effect and this law has the power to set us free from the other law.

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May 15, 2020

John 11:25 Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me (Added: that is a choice in our minds) will live, even though they die!' 
Life is what Jesus came to give us when He came to earth in human form to die and to rise from the dead. 
Life is our portion, our right, our privilege and our inheritance.
The Bible actually speaks of abundant life that we can enjoy.
How often we settle for so much less.
We settle for survival and 'lifeless' living, when He paid the ultimate price to give us real, true and abundant life.
Humanity is often like 'Dead Men Walking'.
We can physically alive, but dead in every other way.
The question is: 'How can we know more of His life in our daily lives?' 
What causes us to miss out and not experience this life?
Is there something we should take note of, or is there some aspect that we should be aware of that can help us to move from a place of death to a place of life?
The Apostle Paul writes about this aspect in the book of Romans and gives some direction on this point.
The Apostle Paul mentions several laws that apply to the situation and we will take a look at four that he mentions.
Perhaps in what he says we can find a key to enjoying more of this life that the Lord has in store for us.

SCRIPTURE READING: Romans 8:1-2
(You may want to read Romans chapter 7 and 8)

Romans 8:1-2 'Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.'

FOUR LAWS THAT THE APOSTLE PAUL MENTIONS IN THE BOOK OF ROMANS

1. THE LAW OF GOD. 

In Romans chapter 7, we see how the writer repeatedly mentions the law.
The word 'LAW' appears more than 20 times in one chapter in my translation.
He sums it up towards the end of the chapter.
In Romans 7:22'For in my inner being I delight in God's law.' 
God's law or what we shall call the 'LAW OF GOD' is the overarching law under which we all live.
God commanded the world to be a certain way.
He also gave commands or laws as to how we should live.
An example of this would be the law that we should not kill (murder). This law does not only apply to Christians, but most humankind oppose the taking of innocent life.
Paul, the writer of Romans, goes on to say that the law is holy (v12), the law is spiritual (v14) the law is good (v16).
I believe that the LAW OF GOD was birthed out of His love for humanity.
With the coming of Jesus this aspect took on a new dimension.
We see this in Jesus' answer to one expert who asked Him about this. 
Matthew 22:35-40 One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind'. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
So, we have the LAW OF GOD into which we are born and under which we find ourselves.
Ultimately, I believe that the 'LAW OF GOD' is a demonstration of His love towards us. 

May 11, 2020

STEPS TO PREVAILING WITH GOD:

RE-ESTABLISH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Joshua 5:2-7
God required the circumcision of all the men.
Circumcision spoke of two things:
A. Restoration of the covenant relationship between God and His people.
The act of circumcision and the spilling of blood was part of the covenant relationship between God and His people.
This covenant connection had been lost during the wandering and the wilderness experience
B. Circumcision was an identifying mark and differentiated God's people from the rest of humanity.
In the process they were marked people, belonging to God.
You and I need to be clearly visible in the fact that we belong to God.
People should have no doubt that we are God's and we are serving His purposes.
As time passes and we go through our wilderness season we can begin to look like everyone else. Our relationship with God cools and our first love can fade. We can begin to look and act like the world.
We need to re-establish our covenant relationship with God!

PUT YOUR TRUST IN GOD ALL OVER AGAIN
Joshua 5:8 After all the males had been circumcised, they rested in the camp until they were healed.
The act of circumcision had a resultant consequence.
The men who were ready to fight and possess the land were robbed of their strength and forced to rest.
This was a very vulnerable time for the nation of Israel.
The enemy was not far away and all the men were incapacitated.
They were sitting ducks and a target unable to defend themselves.
The only thing they could do was to trust God.
They would have to trust that God would undertake until such a time as they were healed and their strength had returned.
This act of complete dependence and trust in God is something that God is looking for in us.
I like to call it 'DESPERATE DEPENDENCE!'
Each of us must get to that place where we come to the end of our strength and because we have no other alternative, WE TRUST GOD!

GET RID OF THE BAGGAGE
Joshua 5:9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, 'Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.' So that place has been called Gilgal to this day. (NLB)
Joshua 5:9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, 'Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.' (NIV)
Having been through slavery the nation of Israel carried some baggage.
There was a shame, an embarrassment, a sense of disapproval, a feeling of discredit and disgrace.
God removed this. Now the people had to let it go.
In the course of life, things happen. These things leave us feeling much the same as this nation felt.
But God wants to remove the reproach and it is for us to get rid of the baggage.
We cannot carry the weight of the baggage and expect to prevail.
Perhaps there is a sense of shame in some area of your life? Today is the day to let it go and move on.
You will not prevail while holding onto it.
Yesterday is gone.
We must live in the victory of today and expect to prevail as we go forward.

REMIND YOURSELF OF GOD'S GOODNESS IN THE PAST
Joshua 5:10 'While the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated Passover.'
Now it was time to remember God's faithfulness of the past.
The Passover was a time when, as a result of the blood on the lintels and doorposts, God passed over their homes and spared them the death that all of Egypt had faced.
The Passover was a time of celebrating how God had delivered them.
One of the great tools we have in our hands as we face our present day battles, is the ability to look back and remember God's goodness and faithfulness in the past and expecting it again in the future.
As you remember God's faithfulness to you in the past it will give you the strength and courage you need to face the next battle.
I am reminded of the scripture that says: Joshua 1:5 'As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.'
Be strengthened today as you remind yourself of God's faithfulness!

SUBMIT YOURSELF TO GOD'S CONTROL
Joshua 5:13-15 As Joshua approached the city of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man facing him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, 'Are you friend or foe?'  'Neither one,' he replied. 'I am commander of the Lord's army.' At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. 'I am at your command,' Joshua said. 'What do you want your servant to do?'  The commander of the Lord's army replied, 'Take off your sandals, for this is holy ground.' And Joshua did as he was told.
The key to prevailing is to submit yourself to God.
Settle it once and for all and know that God is in control.
Submit to God!
We can only prevail if God is allowed to be God in our lives.
We need to get to the same place, where from a place of humility we can honestly say: 'I AM AT YOUR COMMAND!'

Conclusion:
Are you ready to prevail?
1 Samuel 2:9 It is not by strength that one prevails!
Proverbs 21:30 There is no [human] wisdom or understanding or counsel
against the Lord.
Then take these 5 steps:
1. RE-ESTABLISH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!
2. PUT YOUR TRUST IN GOD ALL OVER AGAIN!
3. GET RID OF THE BAGGAGE!
4. REMIND YOURSELF OF GOD'S GOODNESS IN THE PAST!
5. SUBMIT YOURSELF TO GOD'S CONTROL!

OTHER SCRIPTURES ON PREVAILING!

2 Chronicles 14:11 Asa cried to the Lord his God, O Lord, there is none besides You to help, and it makes no difference to You whether the one You help is mighty or powerless. Help us, O Lord our God! For we rely on You, and we go against this multitude in Your name. O Lord, You are our God; let no man prevail against You!
Jeremiah 1:19 And they shall fight against you, but they shall not
prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.
Exodus 17:11-13 When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and when he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy and grew weary. So [the other men] took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua mowed down and disabled Amalek and his people with the sword.

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May 8, 2020

PREPARATION FOR PREVAILING Joshua 5:1-15

REALISE THAT PREVAILING IS OFTEN PRECEDED BY A WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE.
Before the nation of Israel prevailed and entered the Promised Land there was a period of wandering in the desert for 40 years.
Before Moses was used by God to lead the nation out of captivity in Egypt, he spent years tending flocks in the desert.
Before Joseph rose to the throne in Pharaoh's palace, he spent time as a slave and in prison.
Before David was appointed king he spent years wandering and hiding in caves.
So realize that prevailing is often preceded by a wilderness experience.
If you have been facing a wilderness experience, begin to believe that there is a season of prevailing ahead.

GOD'S IDEA OF PREPARATION FOR PREVAILING IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TO WHAT THE WORLD MAY SUGGEST.
We may believe we know what we need to do to set ourselves up to prevail.
If we want to prevail in some sporting activity we know we need to train to develop our fitness and strength.
If we want to prevail in a military sense we know we have to be equipped, battle ready and we must have the necessary arms and equipment.
If we want to prevail in business, we know we must have a business plan, a marketing strategy and good management.
BUT when God prepares us for prevailing the preparation is completely different and it differs from person to person.
God prepared the nation of Israel for prevailing just before they entered the Promised Land.
This preparation was not what we as humans would have expected.
Let's take a look: Joshua 5:1-15
Now the Nation of Israel is set to prevail. The nations occupying the land have lost heart and are ripe to be conquered.
But before God allows them to do what would otherwise be the most natural thing, He takes them through a preparation process.
It is an example I believe we can apply to our own lives if we want to be prepared for the prevailing God has in store for us.

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May 4, 2020

A BIBLICAL EXAMPLE OF PREVAILING.

The Bible contains many accounts of prevailing but one stands out for me.
It is the story of David killing the giant Goliath.
Here is a little, untrained shepherd boy with only a sling as a weapon.
The mighty army of Israel could not handle what this young man was happy to challenge.
1 Samuel 17:50 'So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck down the Philistine and slew him.'
David, against all odds did the impossible.
This is a picture of prevailing.

JACOB'S PREVAILING!

Jacob also prevailed.
The story of Jacob is one of those remarkable stories.
Here is a man who wrestled with God and prevailed.
Have we not all had times when we could just not understand why God has allowed certain things to happen or why He did not seem to intervene?
Have we not all contended with God about some aspect of our lives?
Genesis 32:24 -28 And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak. And when [the Man] saw that He did not prevail against [Jacob], He touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob's thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him. Then He said, Let Me go, for day is breaking. But [Jacob] said, I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me. [The Man] asked him, What is your name? And [in shock of realization, whispering] he said, Jacob [supplanter, schemer, trickster, swindler]! And He said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob [supplanter], but Israel [contender with God]; for you have contended and have power with God and with men and have prevailed.
Notice a few things:
1. We will find ourselves in situations where we contend with God!
2. This whole experience changes us. (Jacob walked with a limp!)
3. But God can turn any situation around. He can even change our very nature.
4. Ultimately God wants to bless you and we expect His blessing!

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May 1, 2020

I believe that God wants you and I to prevail.
To live a life by His strength in which we overcome, walk in victory and prevail. Life has a way of wearing us down or wearing us out, but God wants to come and strengthen and empower us and cause us to prevail.
Yes there is a battle but we can be confident in the fact that we are not alone and God wants to work on our behalf and cause us to be a prevailing people.
It is only with God that we can truly prevail.
We cannot do it in or with our own strength.
But with God we can prevail!

WHAT DOES THE WORD PREVAIL MEAN?

The word prevail is a strange old-fashioned word that we do not use today.
It is a word that is used regularly in the Bible.
The root word meaning of the English word we know as prevail has several meanings.
To prevail means: to have strength, to be strong, to be powerful, to be mighty, to be great.
It can also include: To make strong or strengthen. To confirm and give strength, to confirm (a covenant), to show oneself mighty.
The definition of the word means: To gain ascendancy through strength or superiority, to triumph, to be or become effective or effectual.
Lastly to prevail means to accomplished your purpose.
Acts 19:20 'So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.'

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April 27, 2020

THE GOOD THINGS AND THE BAD THINGS ARE ALL PART OF LIFE

Life is not just made up of good things.
Everything does not just run smoothly.
But God remains good and God remains faithful.
The good and the bad are all part of the rich fabric of life.
Ultimately we are not in control, God is in control and He sees things from a different and an eternal perspective, so embrace every season.
Rachel dies a tragic death during childbirth, but not before a miracle happens and she produces two sons.
Joseph, who went on to save the nation, through a strange twist of good and bad that ended him up in a power position in the then known world and saved his nation.
And Benjamin who was loved by his father and called the 'son of his right hand.'

AS WE TRUST IN GOD, HE WILL BRING ABOUT SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL IN ITS TIME

The end result of this complicated love story comes the greatest story of all.
Out of the line and linage of this family came the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.
If we will be patient and work hard...
If we will sow well...
If we will rest in His plan and not get discoursed when our own plans don't work out as we had planned...
If we will trust that He has the ultimate plan and that He uses the good and the bad and works them all out for our good...
Then we will see His hand in our lives.
We will see His plans and purposes prevail and we will fit into His ultimate plan which is always the best thing we could have ever hoped for.
In His perfect time He will bring forth something beautiful.
So let us do these things and place our hand in His hand to lead and guide us each step of the way.
If Jacob could look back today, I am sure he would be amazed at what God had done.
We too can expect the same. For God has promised never to leave us or forsake us and He has promised to work things out.
Philippians 1:6 'I am certain that God, Who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished.'

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April 24, 2020

YOU WILL REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN, SO SOW WELL!

In a strange twist of fate Jacob reaped what he had sown.
The principle of sowing and reaping is one of the unshakable principles in God's word and in life.The wheel turns, and what goes around comes around and we reap what we have sown.
Years before this love story Jacob had deceived his own father and got his brother's inheritance through trickery.
Now years later he was tricked and did not get what was due to him.
If there is anything in life that I have seen over and over again in people's lives is that you reap what you have sown.
So sow well.
We all want to reap a good harvest and be successful, if it is in our marriage or in any other sphere of life.
One of the lessons we can learn is to do unto others what we would have them do unto us - this is the golden rule.
Let us sow well, so that we can reap a great and a wonderful harvest.

NOT EVERYTHING GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN

Sometimes we think that everything will go according to plan.
Often we have a picture in our heads of how things should work out.
I have discovered that in most cases things don't go according to plan.
Jacob loved Rachel and had worked 14 years for her and yet she could not have children. Leah on the other hand, the one he had not truly loved, was able to produce many children for Jacob.
Why is the question we all want to ask when things don't go according to the plans we had.
Often from our perspective it doesn't make sense and we can get frustrated and even angry.
The best advice I can give you is to live one day at a time and make the best of what that day presents.
God will work things out in the end.

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April 20, 2020

Jacob had fallen in love with girl by the name of Rachel.
Rachel was a beautiful girl in every way and Jacob loved her.
He agreed to work for her for 7 years.
These seven years passed quickly because he was so in love.
On the night he was to be married he was deceived by his father-in-law, Laban, and was given her sister Leah instead. Leah had beautiful eyes.
He was devastated.
He agreed to work for another seven years in order to get Rachel, the one he loved.
After a further seven years he finally saw his dreams fulfilled and he got to marry the girl of his dreams, Rachel.
Leah was able to have children and she had many children.
Rachel was unable to have children, but eventually God blessed and she had two children, Joseph and Benjamin.
It was during the birth of Benjamin that Rachel died.
God used this family and out of their line eventually Jesus would be born.
Through this complicated family God blessed the entire world and Jesus was born from the decedents of one of the sons, Judah, and through Jesus Christ salvation became available to all.

LESSONS FOR THIS GREAT LOVE STORY:

ALL GOOD THINGS ARE WORTH THE WAIT AND THE WORK.

We live in a world in which everyone wants instant gratification.
We want things now, we don't want to wait.
We live in a world in which people are not patient.
If it's not working, we will just abandon it and try something else.
But the truth is that all good things require patience and hard work.
If we apply patience and hard work to any situation, long enough, we are almost guaranteed to see success.
We give up too soon, we throw in the towel too quickly.
Everything that is really worth something in life requires patience and hard work.
This applies to our careers, but also to our relationship and especially our marriages.
Jacob worked 14 years to get the women of his dreams.
It was worth the wait because He loved her.
His dreams were fulfilled and he saw the fruit of his patience and hard work.

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April 17, 2020

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE KEY!
The song goes on: 'I have no power of my own - Holy Spirit come and help to realize that I have no power of my own!'
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.
The Holy Spirit makes this all possible.  It is for this reason that we so desperately need the Holy Spirit.  Before the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples they were scared, timid and cowards (so much for their own strength) but after the Holy Spirit came upon them they were bold, fearless and courageous even in the face of opposition and threat!  We need the Holy Spirit in every aspect of our lives.  We must invite Him and give Him right of way in our lives.  Some years back Phil Driscoll wrote a song and the words went: "Welcome Holy Spirit. I am in Your presence; fill me with Your power. Move inside of me."  This needs to be our cry as well!

IT'S TIME TO STEP UP INTO A NEW REALM OF LIFE AND WALK IN HIS POWER!
Romans 6:4 Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave (walk) in newness of life.
There is another dimension of life to which we should arise.  It is a newness of life into which we must step as we realise and take hold of the power and strength of God that is available to each one of us.  I believe that God wants us to live on an ongoing basis (habitually) as it were addicted to this aspect of God.  As a result it should affect our lives, our behavior and walk and we will never be the same!  Are you ready to step up to and into this newness of life, where we depend on His power and not on our own?  

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April 13, 2020

GOD IS THE ULTIMATE SOURCE OF ALL POWER (STRENGTH)
Ephesians 1:19 -20 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places].
In a sense we have to come to the end of ourselves, to the point where we realize that we need God totally.  At this point we get to a place of 'desperate dependence' as opposed to 'partial dependence'.  When we live our lives without this 'desperate dependence' we live life standing on a banana peel, ready to slip when the next hurdle comes our way.  Often we look everywhere but to God for our strength.  We will look to others, to our ability and skill, to our qualification and career, to our finances and resources, to our beauty or strength when we need to be looking to God.  All these other things have the capacity to let us down - they are not sure things.  But God and His power is what we can completely depend on.  Don't look to other places for your strength and happiness, look to God and find your peace in Him.

WE HAVE NO POWER APART FROM GOD! 
There is a song: 'I HAVE NO POWER OF MY OWN'.
John 15:5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
We have to stay vitally connected to God.  Our strength flows from God as we remain connected to Him.  If we cut ourselves off we will last for a while, but ultimately we will run out of strength.  Often when people face difficulty they get disappointed with God and become disillusioned and turn to their own ways.  We must learn to hold onto God and realize we need Him and His power in our lives to bring us out on top. (See quicksand story above)

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April 10, 2020

WE CAN KNOW HIS POWER IN OUR LIVES
His power can be 'at work' within us.  We can experience His power in our lives.  We can live, behave and walk in this dimension on a daily basis.
1 Corinthians 6:14 And God both raised the Lord to life and will also raise us up by His power.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].

God's power is at work within us.  He often uses what we are going through, to bring about His purposes.  We must not resist His working in our lives, but we must embrace it.  God's power wants to bring us through any current difficulties and challenges to a place where He wants us to be.  God has great things in store, things that are super-abundant, far above what we could ask or think.

HIS POWER MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
His power gives us what we need. 
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.
We can only go so far in our own strength.  Sooner or later we will need HIS POWER.  Life can be like quicksand.  It can swallow us up and the devil wants this to happen. We can struggle and fight this in our own strength and end up sinking even further. But when HIS POWER comes into play we can overcome and come out on top.  One day I saw an old western movie. In this movie the hero landed in an area of quicksand. As he struggled to keep from sinking, he kept sinking further in, until all that was out of the mud was his head. Then along come someone on a horse and threw him a rope and tied it to the horse and the horse began to pull and slowly he emerged effortlessly out of the mud. All he had to do was to hold on to the rope and the power of the horse would work within his situation and bring him back to life, from a sure death.

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April 6, 2020

How often we live our lives in our own strength. We run around doing what 'seems good unto us' and in the process we get exhausted, tired, stressed, pressurized, weak, depressed and worn out.  I know a lady who carried so much with her. One day I spoke to her and asked her how she handled the weight of the burden she carried in life? She retorted by saying: 'I've got broad shoulders'.  Many of us have this 'broad-shoulder approach' and we are sure we can handle whatever comes our way.  This is great, until one day, when things just get too much and we need help.  It is then that we discover that we need God and His strength in our lives.  The Bible tells us that we are 'earthen vessels'. This means that we are not as strong as we think we are and we need God more that we realize.

QUOTATION - I heard someone make the following statement: 'Everything we do in our own strengthen wears us down, everything we do through God's strength enables (encourages, strengthens, builds us up) us!' 

DEFINITION: Power - is the capacity to effect (do) something!

THE POWER OF GOD IS AVAILABLE TO US
Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. 
With God, we have the capacity, ability, endurance and perseverance to be able to really have an effect.  This verse tells us that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead can live within us.  In addition this power that is available to us will come and restore to life our physical bodies.  When this happens everything changes.  We are no longer the same.  Our lives and the way we live our lives changes.  We are no longer running on our own strength.  We can switch over to His power in our lives.

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April 3, 2020

BE A SOURCE OF HOPE TO OTHERS!

If you and I can be 'full of hope' then we can be a source of hope to others.  You can only give what you have got.  If you have got hope - give it to others.  This overflow of hope can touch others lives and bring them to a place of wholeness and hope.  We need to make sure that hope is alive and well within our own hearts.  Each of us is called to be a person of hope, bringing hope to those around us.  How?

  1. ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER.
  2. BE KIND.
  3. BE FLEXIBLE!
  4. CARRY THE LOAD FOR EACH OTHER.
  5. BE PATIENT.
  6. PRAY FOR EACH OTHER.

LIGHT IN DARKNESS

When we become a source of hope and a people of hope for others, light penetrates the darkness and brings hope.
Isaiah 58:10 Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day.
But it is far more than just this.  When we become a source of hope to others, our own darkness begins to disappear.  In other words, we will have hope within us as we begin to give hope to others.
1 John 2:8 As we obey this commandment, to love one another, the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in. 

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March 30, 2020

GOD'S DESIRE FOR US

God wants each of us to live with hope in our hearts.  God makes fresh hope available to each of us.  As this divine hope becomes a reality to us, we can in turn become a source of hope to others.  Those who are battling with a loss of hope need to be helped by those who are full of hope. If we are connected to the source of hope, God, then we can become a source of hope to those around us.  We can play a role in restoring the hope of others.

 GOD IS A GOD OF HOPE

There is a connection between faith and hope.  Mere hope is just an expectation for the best, but faith on the other hand is a belief that God will come through for us and as a result we trust Him.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.

A.  GOD IS THE GOD OF ALL HOPE!

He is the source of hope.  We need to stay connected to the source of hope.  I believe that each one of us is born with a degree of God-given hope.  But for that hope to be sustained we need to be connected to the eternal, limitless source of hope - GOD HIMSELF!

B. GOD WANTS TO FILL YOU WITH HOPE!

God wants to come right now and fill you with hope, joy and peace.  It is almost as if that is exactly what we need: hope, joy and peace.  Let Him fill you right now.  The glass must not be 'half-full' or 'half-empty' - it must be consistently full!  God has an endless supply of hope that you and I need to tap into.

C. IT HAPPENS AS WE TRUST HIM!

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.
When we stop trusting God and we begin to doubt and question, hopelessness begins to invade our hearts and minds.  So the key to staying connected to the source of hope (God) is to keep on trusting Him.  You may say: 'But you don't know what I have been through!' and you are right, but God does and as you trust Him you can begin to expect that He will fill you with hope again.  I would like to encourage you to start trusting God all over again!

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March 27, 2020

QUOTE:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.
- Emily Dickinson


LIFE WITH HOPE

Hope is an essential ingredient of life.  If we have hope we can face anything that life can throw at us.  If we have hope we can take on the challenges and overcome.  Hope is what gets you up in the morning. 
Definition: a desire with anticipation or to desire with expectation of obtainment or to expect with confidence.
Life with hope can be a life of expectation, anticipation and 'looking forward' to a good future, regardless of the circumstances right now.

LIFE WITHOUT HOPE

On the other hand life without hope is completely different.  Life without hope is hopeless.
Definition of hopeless: having no expectation of good or success.
When we lose hope we lose the strength for life.  We no longer have the strength to get up in the morning.  We do not have the strength to face tomorrow.  Everything becomes a challenge and even small tasks call for a great degree of effort.  We have experienced this first hand.  I have seen the ravages of despair, hopelessness and depression.  I have seen hope turn to hopelessness, hopelessness turn to despair, despair turn to depression and depression turn to destruction.  The medical fraternity predicts that depression will be a dominant disease in the world.  Not HIV, cancer or heart-disease, but depression.  The world is staring down an epidemic of depression and I believe it starts when hope is lost.

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March 23, 2020

STRENGTH AND PRAISE 

Our hearts need to wait upon God, our strength.
Then God can be our strength. 
Then when we realise that He was our strength, we can rejoice. 
Then because of His strength we can break out into praise. 
Psalm 59:17 'To You, O my strength, I sing praises!' 
In the previous verse, Psalm 59:16 it says: 'But I will sing of Your strength, and proclaim Your loving devotion in the morning.'
In the face of danger and trouble, David could sing. 
It takes Divine Strength to be able to sing in the face of danger, trouble and pending doom. 
When King Saul sent assassins to David's house, he was open about his desire to kill David. From then on, for the next many years (perhaps 10 to 15 years), David lived as a fugitive, constantly in danger of his life. It's interesting that David entered that period singing praises and was still able to pour out his heart to God in song at the end of that period (2 Samuel 1:17-27). 
You see, David was confident that with the Lord as His strength, he would survive the night and live to tell the tale of God's faithfulness and love in the morning. 
This he did, day by day, until, many years later, he was victorious, the battle was over, and he became king. 

So:
1. Make the Lord your strength.
2. Wait and watch for the Lord in your situation. Don't rush in where angels fear to tread.
3. Put God and His strength between you and those things that would like to destroy you.
4. Break out in praise and shift the focus from your issues to Him and His strength.
5. Get ready to rejoice and to tell the story of how faithful God has been to you!

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March 20, 2020

IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM, WAIT!    

In the middle section of Psalm 59 we find a key to success, regardless of the odds we may be up against.
Psalm 59:9 'I will keep watch (wait) for You, O my strength!' 
There is a correlation between waiting and receiving strength from the Lord. 
Our natural human tendency is to rush out and deal with the issue or challenge. 
Often when the storms of life come our way, we react. 
I wonder how many opportunities have been lost, I wonder how many doors have closed, because of our reactions in situations and to situations. 
David was facing the imminent possibility of death and right there in that moment he chooses not to react or retaliate, but he chooses to watch and wait. 
David knows the problem; he has brought it to the attention of the Lord and now he waits. 
David is not sure of the outcome, but he waits and watches for God with expectation and anticipation. 
There are times when we don't know what will happen, but in those moments, we should watch and wait with faith, until we see what God is doing or is going to do. 
It is in the waiting, the pausing, the watching, that we can receive strength from Him. (and I dare say: wisdom) 
Stop the urge to react and vent... watch and wait, His strength will be yours. 

HE IS YOUR STRENGTH 

Sometimes when we consider this aspect of God's strength, we see it like some byproduct of His character that He gives us.
But the truth of the matter is the HE is our strength. 
We receive Him, and in the process His strength. 
Don't just receive His strength but make HIM your strength. 
Appropriate Him as your strength. 
Take Him, the Lord, as your strength. 
Take hold of Him, take hold of the Lord, and strength will be yours. 
I have endeavored to make the Lord my strength. Recently I discovered how that the Lord has 'got my back' even when I didn't even know there was a problem. We recently went away on holiday. We have a little dog who is very special to us. Although the dog actually belongs to my daughter, she became endeared to us during my late wife's sickness and passing. During the time she was struggling with ill health, this little dog was her constant companion and often, we thought, this animal seemed to know that my wife was ill and would be a companion to her in her suffering. My wife left an instruction: 'Please take care of the dog!' The dog's name is Cupcake. When we went away, we gave the dog to some friends to look after. These friends live on a dangerous and busy street. During the holidays, on New Year's Eve, the dog became frightened due to all the fireworks and chewed its way out and escaped. No one even knew the dog was gone. At about 1am, someone phoned me. But my phone was already on silent for the night. She left a voice message. As I checked my phone in the dead of night, I heard the voice message: 'Hi, my name is Zanri. I have Cupcake. I was driving home and saw this dog running wildly around and she looked out of place. I picked her up. She is safe with me. You can collect her in the morning!'
Who stops in the dead of night to pick up a dog that's running around? Who will take the responsibility to care for this animal and call its owners? Who offers to take care of the dog and then makes arrangements for us to collect it?
God, my strength, had already provided for something I did not even know had happened. The dog could have been lost, stolen, run over, but no, everything was taken care of.
Now I can just give God praise and thanks for what He has done, and I had nothing to do with it. 

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March 16, 2020

THE LORD'S STRENGTH STEMS OUT OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM

 As we develop our relationship with the Lord, His strength in our lives will be an automatic outflow.
In Psalm 59 we see how David had a relationship with the Lord. 
It was a relationship that was living and real. 
The Lord was a living reality to David and David looked to the Lord for intervention, help and strength. 
David cries out to God in the form of a prayer and asks the Lord for deliverance and defense in a situation where he was an enemy of the state and a hunted man. 
But in-between his prayers we discover a deep relationship with the Lord. 
In verse 1, David speaks of the Lord as 'MY GOD'! In the process, he declares his close and personal relationship with God.

He speaks of MY God. Not THE Lord or OUR God, but MY God. 
In verse 9 and verse 17 he calls God his fortress: 'For You, O God, are MY fortress.'
A fortress is a place of safety and security and David knew His God in this secure way. 
In verse 10 and verse 17 he speaks of the Lord as the One who loves him: 'My God of loving devotion!'
It appears as if he could sense and feel the love of God towards him.

He speaks out of a tenderness of heart, regarding God's love and commitment towards him. 
In verse 9 and verse 17 he speaks of the Lord as his strength: 'O my strength!' 
It almost sounds like a sigh of relief to know God as his strength.
Just hear it: 'O my strength!'
He knew the Lord as the One who was his strength and the One from whom all strength flows. 
Perhaps he had learnt to live in total and desperate dependence on the Lord?
These things flowed out of his relationship with the Lord. 
We can know the same things out of our relationship with the Lord. 

TELL THE LORD ABOUT YOUR AREA OF NEED

David was not hesitant to speak out his need to the Lord.
In fact he was very graphic about what he was facing. 
He didn't try to water it down or minimise his challenges. 
He spoke of 'wicked traitors' and 'fierce men who conspired against him'. 
He spoke of 'snarling dogs' and 'scavengers', 'prowling' and 'growling' around him. 
He was aware of what he was up against and did not hesitate to bring it to the Lord's attention in graphic and descriptive detail. 
It reminds us of the fact that we too have an enemy who would like to see us destroyed. 
1 Peter 5:8 'Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.' 
In the same way we can bring our issues and challenges to the Lord and we can face the truth of things and tell God how we see and experience things. 
Don't hesitate to tell the Lord about your area of need. 
He is concerned about the drama you are facing. 
Step up, speak it out and get it off your chest - the Lord is there for you! 

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March 13, 2020

Scripture Reading: Psalm 59:1-17 

This Psalm was written by David.
It was written at a difficult time in his life. 
Saul, his arch enemy, had sent men to kill him.
The murderous intent of King Saul against David was openly revealed.
These men were watching David day and night. 
They were monitoring his house, looking for an opportunity to step in and kill him. 
In all if this, David teaches us, by example, that we can know that the Lord will undertake, we can trust in Him, and we can know the Lord's strength in our lives and situations. 
Things may appear challenging in your private world, but the Lord will come and strengthen you. 
Things may appear challenging in your country, but the Lord will come and strengthen you. 
Things may appear challenging in the world, but the Lord will come and strengthen you. 

WE ALL NEED THE LORD'S STRENGTH 
Each and every one of us need the strength that comes from God.
We were not designed to do it (life) in our own strength. 
There are times when we are weak, there are times when we feel desperate, pressurised and discouraged. 
There is nothing unique about this condition, it is common to all of mankind. 
I remember speaking to someone years ago who was going through a lot of challenges. I asked her: 'How do you cope?' She retorted and said: 'Don't worry about me, I've got broad shoulders!'
Having 'broad shoulders' can be helpful, but in the end of day it can wear us down and make us weak. 
How we need His help and His strength in our daily lives. 
Sometimes we simply need some 'Divine Intervention'. 
I know that I need the strength that God offers, and I am sure the same is true for you. 

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March 9, 2020

Our plans are good and well, and they have their place, but they must not be done with arrogance or with a sense of entitlement.
There needs to be a flexibility, realising that the future is not guaranteed.
It is not a matter that we should not plan because of potential disaster.
The issue is that we should realise that we, in fact, control very little and therefore we should learn to trust the Lord more than our own plans.
James 4:15 Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'
We should be open to the knowledge that things could change in ways we could not have imagine, but in all of it God still has a plan and His plans are still for our good.
Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
In the midst of all the uncertainty of life, we can have the greatest security of all and that is knowing that:
God is still in control!
He still has a plan!
He can work everything out for our good.

LIFE IS SHORT

The truth of the matter is that life is short.
James 4:14 'What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.'
The brevity of life is always something that has intrigued me.
Life is short, no matter how long we may live.
We must not deceive ourselves into thinking we have plenty of time.
'Now', is the only thing we can be sure of.
Don't wait to use your special things on a special day. Today is that special day! Bring out the best china and celebrate now.
The strange thing is how that in the midst of the reality that life is short and uncertain, we can feel so secure. It's only when we face an unexpected reality that we can be rattled to the core.
The only way to overcome this is to know where our hope and trust should be, and place it there, and then rest in our trust in the Lord.
Another translation says it like this:
James 4:14 'What is the nature of your life? You are really but a wisp of vapor a puff of smoke, a mist that is visible for a little while and then disappears into thin air.'
Psalm 103:15-16 'Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone - as though we had never been here.'
Life is short, God is good, (a good, good Father) and the purpose is to learn to trust and depend on Him at all times and in all situations.

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March 6, 2020

OUR PLANS

Often, we live our lives guided by our own plans and ideas.
James 4:13 Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.'
Planning is not evil; in fact it is very wise to plan and prepare for the future.
I believe that planning is vital for success in every area of life.
Can you imagine building a house without a plan?
Taking such action would be doomed to failure.
So planning is important.
However, sometimes we can feel so immortal and so in control that we think all things rest within our own power and ability.
When I was a young man, I felt very much like this. My life seemed to stretch endlessly ahead of me. I felt immortal (as if I would never die) and anything was possible if I just applied my heart and mind to it.
We can almost become arrogant, thinking we can go wherever to like, stay for as long as we like and do whatever we like.
This can easily become the sentiment of the way we live our lives.
It can get to the point where we try to plan our whole life without HIM.
Don't plan your whole life without Him.
Too many of God's children have become so 'mature' that they have stop trusting God and His word.
They rely more on what 'seems good unto them' and don't really trust Him.

LIFE IS UNPREDICTABLE

There is a problem with these great plans that we develop.When I was a young man in my father's church, we went through an exhaustive planning program. We spent days and many hours devising our mission statement and our goals and vision. We had a facilitator come in and help us to put this all together so that we had a short-term, medium-term and long-term plans for the growth of the ministry. We were even taken through a detailed SWOT analysis to analyze our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to guard against every eventuality. By the end of it we were all exhausted, but at least the plans were in place and we were very happy with ourselves.
Now I believe it was a good and a valuable exercise and would recommend it to others. But one aspect was overlooked, and that was if something happened that none of us could have ever imagined. That is exactly what happened, my father dropped dead at a Christian march a few years later. Most, if not all of those plans proved of little value and were abandoned and have been relegated to the annals of history.
The truth of matter is that life doesn't always go according to our plans.
James 4:14 'You do not even know what will happen tomorrow!'
A plan is very specific, yet we don't know what tomorrow will hold.
Tomorrow is certainly unknown, but next year could be even more different than we could imagine.
Proverbs 27:1 'Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.'

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March 2, 2020

Relationships are important to God.
How we treat and respond to others is something that God takes notice of.
We cannot get away with treating others incorrectly indefinitely.
We have to remind ourselves that within each human being the 'breath of God' resides.
So, we cannot treat others as we like or as we think they deserve.
We have to follow Christ's example and treat others with the knowledge that His breath is in them.
We should always remind ourselves that we will reap what we have sown.
Our interaction with others, especially other believers, should be done in a way that honours God and His Spirit that lives within them.
This is the challenge to each one of us.
This is an area in each of our lives that needs to change and be constantly aligning with the pattern of Jesus and His love and treatment of others, even in His most difficult and desperate hours.

WE SHOULD NOT 'SPEAK EVIL' OF OTHERS
This is a very practical bit of advice that the Apostle gives us.
James 4:11 'Don't speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters.'
It's not vague or suggestive in any way.
It is direct and instructive and is something we can take hold of and apply to our lives.
'Speaking evil' of others comes in many forms and varieties.
It can be as simple as saying unkind things.
At the same time it can include deliberate, intentional and malicious unkind truths and lies.
Speaking evil can include criticism, gossip, backbiting and slander.
A more subtle form of speaking evil is speaking down to others.
In one of its worst form it includes the concept of slander.
Slander is when we actually speak lies or make misrepresentations to damage another person or their reputation.
James 4:11 'Brothers, do not slander one another.'
The truth of the matter is that when we engage with these things, we are in effect not submitting to God.
God has given us clear instructions in this regard, and when we rely on our better judgement as opposed to His divine instructions, we step out of line.
To know what the right thing is to do and not to do it, is sin.
We need to challenge ourselves in this area and walk in victory so that we can enjoy God's blessing and favour on our lives and be a blessing.

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February 28, 2020

BE MORE HUMAN

This is the challenge to each one of us in the area of relationships. 
The question is what are we to do?
I would like to suggest that we 'be more human!'
What does it mean to be more human?
I think Jesus spoke into this aspect.
Matthew 7:12 'Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.'
This is what we are designed and instructed to do.
I believe the most human people will be the best people.
I believe the most human companies will be the best companies.
I believe the most human churches will be the most effective churches.
I believe if we could be more human, it would change the whole atmosphere of our lives.
You see, I believe kindness is good for us.
I recently discussed this matter with a qualified professional who has looked into this subject. She shared with me the following:

1. Scientific evidence has proven that kindness changes the brain and impacts the heart and immune system and may even be an antidote to depression.
2. We are actually genetically wired to be kind.
3. When we are kind, our bodies are healthiest.
4. Love and kindness can make a damaged heart regenerate faster and can even extend lifespan.
5. That kindness and compassion stimulate the nervous system to combat inflammation, the underlying source of most diseases, including cancer.
And lastly:
6. Gratitude can make you at least 25% happier.You see, you are wired to be kind.


James 2:13 'Mercy triumphs over judgment.'
We should begin to move in mercy, kindness and 'being more human'.
Mercy brings with it more rewards than judgement. 
Let's ask ourselves what Jesus would do, and then let us do it and follow His example.

HIDDEN TREASURES

You see, it is within relationships that we will discover hidden treasures. 
We discover that it may not be as it seems and under all the issues and challenges within relationships there are great treasures to be discovered.
James 2:5 'Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith...'
Here we see the hidden treasure.
The poor (in the eyes of the world) are rich in faith.
There is a hidden treasure within each and every human being, that includes the ones you like and the ones you don't like.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I have had the joy of being able to maintain life-long relationships. In this, I have discovered that at the most needed time, the most unlikely people have become the very treasure I needed to be able to get through what I was facing.
You see, the hidden treasure in others, may not be revealed until the moment you need it in your life.
This is all dependent on your staying in relationship with those you come in contact with.
Life is all about relationships.
Let us do what the Apostle James told us to do.
Value relationships with all others, don't show favouritism, don't discriminate, don't judge, but rather show mercy and discover the hidden treasure God has placed in each person, regardless of their personality, wealth or position.
Mercy triumphs over judgement!

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February 24, 2020

THINGS THAT CAN DESTROY RELATIONSHIPS

There are many things that destroy and undermine relationships.
In the book of James, the Apostle focuses on three aspects that can destroy relationships. 
His focus is on our interaction with others and he tells us some of the things that we should avoid.
There is something here for us to learn.  

A. FAVOURITISM

James 2:1 'My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favouritism.'
In my Bible the heading for this chapter says: 'Favouritism Forbidden!' Favouritism is when we show special favour to one above another.
Favouritism is when we show partiality or preference to one person to the exclusion of others.
We begin to feel like one person has more worth because of how they dress, or how much money they have, or their position or what we feel they have done for us.
The Bible makes it clear that favouritism should not be part of our lives.
Yet it seems such a natural thing.
Favouritism has its root in our personal preferences and not in the value of people.
Favouritism is destructive, in families, in schools, in law, in society and in life.
It robs us of something, perhaps something that we never knew we needed.
The Bible tells us that God does not show favouritism and neither should we.
It's not always easy, but we must deal with it and walk in victory in this aspect. 

 B. DISCRIMINATION

Discrimination is another aspect that can destroy relationships.
James 2:4 '...Have you not discriminated among yourselves...'
When we discriminate, we move on from favouritism and now we actually make a distinction and we place people into certain categories.
It comes with a ruthlessness that assigns people into different positions.
No longer are we only dealing with our preference, it now becomes a decision.
We begin to say that certain people are always like that.
I think the root cause of discrimination is pride and thinking that we are better than others.
It can even lead to institutional discrimination as it did in certain countries.
It brings great destruction.
Discrimination can also the result of our conditioning and how we were taught by the examples of others.
Discrimination comes in, the moment we have an 'us and them' mentality.
How do we overcome this in our lives?
We look at the example Jesus set, and we follow that.
He washed the feet of Judas, knowing that Judas was traitor.
He ministered in Gentile regions and in Samaria.
He came to earth to break down the barriers that separated people.
We are told what to do.
Philippians 2:3 'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.'

C. JUDGEMENTALISM 

There is another aspect that can destroy relationship, and that is judgementalism.
James 2:4 '...have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?'
Judgementalism is to have a tendency to judge harshly.
I was a victim of this myself.
As a young man, I was carrying a great weight of responsibility. It necessitated many meetings with many people and the making of quick, accurate decisions. Over time I developed this and when people walked into my office and I would take one look at them and already make my decision before even hearing them out. It was born out of necessity, but it was very destructive, and I had to repent of it.
I remember my late father preaching a sermon entitled: 'STOP JUDGING ONE ANOTHER!'
Perhaps we need to hear a message like that again.
It is after-all what Jesus tells us to do.
The Lord Jesus was extremely practical in His advice to us.
In Matthew 7:1 Jesus commanded us not to judge others: 'Do not judge others!'
Judging others always boomerangs onto us.
Matthew 7:1 'Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.'
Matthew 5:7 'Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.'
God would never tell us to do something we cannot do!

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February 21, 2020

SCRIPTURE READING: James 2:1-13

1. LIFE IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS

Relationships are the bedrock of life.
In a very real sense, everything rises and falls on relationship. 
In the book of James chapter 2, the Apostle focuses on relationships. 
He looks, in this passage, at our interaction with others. 
Relationships are a vital component in our lives. 
When I was a young boy, I had to learn a difficult lesson. It was Christmas and everyone was buying gifts for each other. My Mom wanted some slippers and my Dad gave her some money to buy herself some. My Uncle, who was much better off than us, or so we thought, bought his wife a large and expensive gift. When I saw this happen, I was heartsore and angry. Why could my extended family do so well, and we struggle so. My Dad took time with me and spoke to me about life. He explained that life was all about relationships and that all that really mattered was relationships. My Uncle had to often be away for business, and he compensated by buying large gifts. My father explained that it was not size of the gift that determined the state of affairs, but it was the value of relationships. At the time I thought He was just making excuses for the fact that he could not afford big gifts, but as time passed, I realised that he was correct. 
Gifts can often be used as a substitute for relationships. We must never allow things to take the place of relationships. 
I also remember when I went to Bible school, one of our lecturers opened up the first session with a message on relationships. He said that all the issues and problems people face can be traced to a relationship problem at the root. He also went on to say that all the success and opportunity people may enjoy can also be traced back to a redemptive relationship. He encouraged us, as we started in the ministry, to look after our relationships. He mentioned that it started with college secretary - he said: 'You just don't realise how powerful she is!' He went on to tell us to look after our relationships with our fellow students, parents and families. He also reminded us that as we work with people, we should look out for the relationship aspect, as it will always be a key to helping people. He also reminded us that ultimately life is about relationship with God and being reconciled to Him. 
So, you see, life is all about relationships. 
I have been blessed; in that I have managed to maintain life-long, good relationships with almost all of the people I have been in contact with. 
I have also discovered that sooner or later I would need those relationships. 
My father also endeavoured to stay in relationship with people, however hard it was. This opened many doors and allowed his life to be used in a remarkable way. These relationships crossed culture, educational and wealth boundaries and it brought great blessing a favour on his life. Many of those good relationships still produce fruit for us as a family today, years after his passing. 
In the world in which we live today, relationships are disposable. 
One moment we are BFF's (Best Friends Forever) and the next moment we are blocking those very same people from our phones. 
We must not fall into this trap. 
Just recently the president of our country came out and said that our country is battling great unemployment and he mentioned 3 reasons for this: 1. People have no assets to work with, 2. Lack of skills, 3. No network of connections. As I thought about this, I realized that what he was saying is that among other things, a lack of relationships closes the doors to opportunity. 
We need to maintain Christ-like relationships with others.

February 17, 2020

THE PLACE FOR KINGSHIP IN OUR LIVES IS RESERVED FOR GOD!

The Lord's plan for each of our lives is that He would be our King.
I remember as a child seeing a hand-drawn picture of a throne. In the one picture the individual was on the throne and the Lord was on the side. In the other picture, the Lord was on the throne and the individual was on the side.
For the Lord to be our King, we need to get off our thrones.|
1 Samuel 8:7 And the Lord told him: 'Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.'
The Lord had a special plan in mind for His people and that was that He would be their King.
This is still God's intention today.
He wants to be your King.
He wants to sit in the driving seat of your life, and He doesn't want 'back seat drivers.'
This is the divine design He has for you.
It is within this divine design that we can find our happiness, our contentment and our fulfillment.
It is within this divine design that we find the protection, provision, acceptance and love that our hearts so long for.

 
WE NEED TO EACH 'FIND OUR KING!'

For each one of us we need to get to that point where we settle this matter for ourselves.
We need to 'FIND OUR KING' for ourselves.
Perhaps that is the purpose of life, to bring us to that point where we realise that:

  1. There is a King and He is the KING OF KINGS.
  2. That we need Him in our lives.
  3. That we make Him King, by getting off of our own thrones and abandoning our 'high and mighty' ideas and embracing the fact that His ways are above our ways and His ways are always the best thing.

We cannot rely on the fact that our parents or our grandparents knew God as their King and think that it automatically divests onto us.
We have to go through our things, our own struggles, our own internal battles, until we reach the point of acknowledgement and acceptance.
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the child who has been born King of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay Him homage.'
In fact the search for Jesus is a theme that runs through the New Testament.
King of Kings is the title given to our Saviour in the Bible.
The challenge and the joy is to discover Him for ourselves.
You were not designed for other kings to rule over your heart and life.\
Our mistake, as humanity, is not to want the Lord as the King in our lives.
Our greatest moment is when we come to the realisation and the revelation that there is no other, and He is the One and He is the One we desire.
I found my King, have you found yours?

 
THE CHALLENGE TO EACH ONE

'GO FIND YOUR KING' is the challenge to each one of us.
For the vast majority of those reading this, it may already be a settled matter.
But perhaps if you were to be true to yourself, other things (the cares of this life) have crowded in and changed the dynamic, and now it's time to put things in order.
Perhaps others have relied on the fact that their parents knew God as their king, but if they have to be honest, they do not know God in the same way.
Perhaps others have never even thought about it, and now is the time to settle this matter once and for all.
May we all be able to declare with confidence: 'I FOUND MY KING!' and His name is Jesus.
He is not like any other one who you have ever known or trusted in.
Perhaps today, all your hope is gone, then it is a good time to discover your King for yourself.
Your King wants to come and restore your soul.
He wants to make you whole, right now, and for eternity.
His love is reaching out to you.
He wants to speak and make you free.
He wants you to be completely HIS, forever.
He wants to come and sweep away all your doubts and fears.
He is the One you have waited so long for - the Lover of your soul.
You can call His name, Jesus!
He will have mercy on you, and He will not turn away from you.
He is our only hope and He has come to set us free.

May the reality of His love and presence in your life be a living reality, today and every day!

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February 14, 2020

WE CAN MAKE OUR OWN 'KINGS' IN OUR LIVES

When things don't work out as planned, we can turn to other things to bring us the relief we think will solve our problems.
Things had not worked out as planned for the nation of Israel.
Up until this time they had been ruled by judges.
But now problems had crept in.
Samuel's sons had not done the right thing.
They had become corrupt, dishonest and did not do what was just and right.
Things had gone wrong.
It's at difficult times and in times of crisis that we need to be very careful about our choices.
The nation had become convinced that having a king would solve all their problems, after all it was working for other nations around them.
Perhaps, out of desperation, you have allowed something to rule over you and it has not had the desired effect.
We need to be very cautious about what we give authority to and over our lives. It can be things like our own ideas, greed, selfishness, rejection, hopelessness and things that God does not want in our lives.
The Lord desires that we would be free, and the freedom we so long for, is only found in Him and not in our own 'good ideas'.
Often God will give us what we demand.
1 Samuel 8:22 The Lord answered, 'Listen to them and give them a king.'

 COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS BRINGS DISASTER

1 Samuel 8:5 'Now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.'
The Lord had a special plan for the nation. The plan was that He would be their King.
His plan did not include an earthly king.
Comparing ourselves to others is a recipe for disaster.
When we compare ourselves to others, we are in effect letting them decide how we will act.
Comparison brings discontent into our lives, and we become dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction leads to our judgement being clouded.
A clouded judgement brings about a situation where we cannot think clearly.
Decisions made when we cannot think clearly, sets us up for wrong and inappropriate decisions.
I addition, comparison generally makes you unhappy, and often the very people you compare yourself to, wish they could be more like you.
So comparison crept in and the result was a decision that both Samuel and God disapproved of.
1 Samuel 8:6-7 But when they said, 'Give us a king to lead us,' this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: 'Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their king.'
1 Samuel 8:19-20 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. 'We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.'

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February 10, 2020

THE ROLE OF A KING

The role of a king is to rule with the aim of protecting his subjects.
The role of a king is to unify his nation.
The role of a king is to take care of his people.
The role of a king is to provide a safe space within which his people can thrive and flourish.
The role of the king is to grow the kingdom.
The role of the king is to maintain law and order.
The role of a king is bringing blessing into the lives of his subjects.
We see an example of this in the British Monarchy. It is a modern example of the role of a monarch, in this case a queen.
Currently the Queen has been on the throne for 67 years and during her tenure she has had 14 Prime Ministers.
She has been the constant in the midst of constant change.
I remember visiting Windsor Castle one day. It is truly an impressive and awesome place. At the entrance was a big sign that intrigued me: WINDSOR CASTLE, home of the Sovereign for over 900 years.
Think of it this way: In 1492, explorer Christopher Columbus encountered the Americas. These were continents which were completely unknown in Europe, Asia and Africa, and yet 400 years before this discovery, Windsor Castle was already there and already the home of the sovereign.

HUMANITY'S DESIRE FOR A KING

Throughout history we see the rise and fall of kings and kingdoms.
History and the Bible are full of stories of good kings and bad kings, of kings who lasted many years and those who have come and gone.
Although it is not as popular today as in the past, there is still a fascination with the concept, in many people's minds.
This fascination is captured for us in novels, stories and many of the Disney movies.
Perhaps it is based on the longing of the human heart to be looked after and taken care of.
In modern times this role has fallen to political leaders, who have, in most cases, failed dismally.
But perhaps it is something that God placed in the human DNA, because He knew that His Kingdom would come and that there would be a King of Kings, Who could be the King of our hearts.
Luke 11:2 He said to them, 'When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.'
There is a King and His kingdom for you!

SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 8:1-22

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December 30, 2019

THE GREATEST FRIEND CAN BE TRUSTED COMPLETELY

This is the great reality.

Psalm 118:8-9 It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in men. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

Psalm 56:9 This one thing I know: God is for me!

Psalm 56:11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

Yes, you can trust God completely. Who are you trusting in today? How about putting your trust in the greatest Friend.

WHY CAN WE TRUST GOD COMPLETELY?

There are many reasons why God can be trusted. Here are a few:

1. He is constantly the same: Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

2. He will not forsake us: Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid of them! For the Lord your God will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.”

3. He will not fail you and me:

Hebrews 13:5-6 For God has said, “I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.” That is why we can say without any doubt or fear, “The Lord is my Helper, and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me.”

God wants to be our best Friend, our Confidant, our Ally and Partner.

STAYING CONNECTED TO THE GREATEST FRIEND

This is an important aspect.

John 15:7 If you remain in Me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

We need to stay connected. In vital union with the One Who can be trusted. When we do our own thing, we lose the connection. When we lose the connection, we are alone. This friendship is a rewarding friendship IF we will stay connected to the Friend. That is the decision of my heart. May it be true for you as well.

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December 27, 2019

I KNOW A FRIEND

I know a Friend who has been the ideal friend to me. I think the old songwriter knew the same Friend when he wrote that great song: ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus.’ I think the writer of the Psalms knew this Friend.

Psalm 54:4 But God is my helper. He is a Friend of mine!

If the writer of this Psalm knew this Friend and if the great songwriter knew this Friend and I know this Friend, then you can too. Let me introduce you to my Friend, GOD. He wants to be your Friend as well.

THE CLOSEST FRIEND

The Bible tells us about this Friend.

Proverbs 18:24 ‘There are “friends” who pretend to be friends, but there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.’

God wants to be our Friend and wants us to be His friends.

John 15:15 ‘I no longer call you servants … Instead, I have called you friends’

I want more of this friendship. More of this friendship for myself, and more of this friendship for you. We all need more of the friendship of the greatest Friend.

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December 23, 2019

WHAT WOULD THE CHARACTERISTICS OF AN IDEAL FRIEND BE?

Have you ever thought about this? Here are some ideals:

1. An ideal friend would be consistent
and constant.
2. An ideal friend would always be
available.
3. An ideal friend would always
understand.
4. An ideal friend would always help.
5. An ideal friend would be able to
carry your burden for you.
6. An ideal friend would always have
the best advice.
7. An ideal friend would never let us
down.

Proverbs 17:17 A true friend is always loyal.

It is quite something to consider these aspects.

HUMAN FRIENDSHIP IS FRAGILE

Humans are unable to deliver the kind of friendship we would call ideal. People will always let us down. Even the best and the longest standing friend will fail us and not live up to our expectations from time to time. The writer of the book of Psalms experienced this:

Psalm 41:9 Even my best friend has turned against me—a man I completely trusted; how often we ate together.

This is what makes human friendship such a delicate balance. Yet, each one of us is looking for someone we can completely trust, someone to whom we can entrust ourselves. There is Someone who wants to be our friend. Someone who can be trusted totally and completely.

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December 20, 2019

We all need friends. Friends are the special people in our lives. They may only be acquaintances or those with whom you associate. Human friends can mean so much in our lives. Friends have the capacity to influence and encourage us. Do you have any real friends that you can totally depend upon? There is someone who wants to be our friend. He is the greatest Friend a human can know.

WHAT IS A REAL FRIEND?

Perhaps if we understood this we would be able to accurately evaluate who our real friends are. A friend is someone with who you have a connection. It is someone you get on well with and in whose company you are comfortable. I once heard a statement that true friendship between people takes place when silence between them is comfortable. Perhaps you have some friends like this. A friend is someone who is not hostile towards you. A friend is someone who shares your interests. A friend is someone we spend time with. A favoured companion. An ally, a mate and a partner, that is what a real friend is.

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December 16, 2019

THE RESULT

God will respond! I believe that God does not delay in responding. As we approach God like children He will move towards us.

James 4:8 When you draw close to God, God will draw close to you.

This is a promise and commitment from God. It is something that we can be sure of.

GOD IS THE ONE WE NEED

We need God! We don’t need more than God Himself. When we discover this we will find what we are looking for. We will find what we have been secretly longing for. We will find it in HIM. I want God to become the all-consuming factor in my life. Him and Him alone! God and God alone!

THE REWARD

With God we have everything! Everything is tied up in God.

Matthew 6:31 – 33 So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. Why be like the heathen? For they take pride in all these things and are deeply concerned about them. But your Heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and He will give them to you if you give Him first place in your life and live as He wants you to.

God is the one who can fully satisfy us. God is the one who can be the delight of our lives. I want to want more of God.

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December 13, 2019

THE CURSE OF THIS AGE

Every age has its particular problems. Right now we have several. They hold us back from wanting and experiencing more of God. They include: materialism, legalism and busyness. We also live in an age of religious busyness. Instead of experiencing God we have, PROGRAMS, EVENTS, FUNCTIONS, STRUCTURES and COMMITTEES, and a bunch of activities that keep us busy and take our attention. All of these things, however good they may be, can never satisfy the longing in our heart for more of God.

WHAT MUST WE DO?

We must simplify our lives. Get rid of things that hold us back or trip us up.

Hebrews 12:1 Let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up.

We must get rid of things that would stand in the way. We must not try and impress others, but we must approach God like children. We must expect that God will respond and that we will experience more of God for ourselves.

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December 9, 2019

THE DESIRE

Moses had a desire to experience more of God.

Exodus 33:18 ‘Then Moses asked to see God’s glory’.

He wanted more of God. We are encouraged to taste and see that the Lord is good. (Ps 34:8) This must be because there is more to experience. We should live like this, wanting to taste and experience more of God. Wanting to touch God with our hearts. Wanting to see more of God.

ENCOURAGING THE DESIRE

I have a desire for more of God and I want to encourage that desire. I want a mighty longing for God in my life. Complacency and religion are the enemy of spiritual growth. God wants to be wanted. If you desire more of God that is a good thing! Stir it up! Encourage that desire for more of God.

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December 6, 2019

Many of the great people in the Bible wanted more of God. Moses was one! He asked to see God’s glory. David was another.

Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

The Apostle Paul also wanted more of God. This is how he expressed his desire:

Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ

It was the goal of these men’s hearts to know more of God. This should be our desire also.

LOOKING FOR WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE

In a sense, if we are Christians, we already have God. However, that is only the start. We look for more of what we already have. It is what we already have that causes us to desire more. We each have to seek God individually. Other people cannot look for more of God on our behalf. He is waiting for each one of us to seek Him. It is His intention to show us more of Himself.

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December 2, 2019

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRESENCE AND THE MANIFEST PRESENCE

They are not the same and we can have the one without the other. We know that the Lord is here, but we can remain totally unaware of it. Only as we become aware of His presence is His presence manifest. He wants to show Himself to us and we need to make ourselves available and seek Him. This is what makes the difference between a nominal Christian life and a radiant/alive Christian life. This difference is important to understand.

THERE IS SOMETHING WE CAN DO

We need to develop a heart after the Lord: seeking Him and drawing near to Him.

Psalm 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Don't become too busy. Avoid the pitfalls of religious business and religious activity and go for the Lord!

NEARER TO HIM

Have you ever heard someone say: 'My son/daughter is getting closer to me as they are getting older', but the truth is that the child has lived with the mother or father all his life? It is like this with us - we live with the Lord all our lives, BUT there is another dimension altogether. A closer and a more real, special relationship. We are speaking here of experience; coming to know Him more intimately and with a deeper understanding. The barriers are disappearing and a close relationship of mind and heart is developing. This is what He has for each of us.

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November 29, 2019

HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US

This is a reassuring fact!

Deuteronomy 31:6 The LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

John 14:15 If you love me, obey me; and I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter, and he will never leave you.

This encourages me a lot. This fact remains the truth for you and me.

NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LORD AND HIS LOVE

We cannot be separated from His love. Even when we are totally unaware of it, He is still there and His love is still reaching out to us.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels won't, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God's love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are - high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean - nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.

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November 25, 2019

DAVID UNDERSTOOD THIS

Psalm 139:7-12 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,' even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Great heights and great depths cannot separate us from the Lord. Distance cannot separate us from Him and living in a foreign country cannot separate us from Him. Darkness cannot separate us from Him. He wants to be there for us.

Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

WE LIVE BECAUSE OF THE LORD

He wants us to seek Him, to reach out for Him and to find Him. He is not far away.

Acts 17:27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.

Our source of life is the Lord Himself and He wants this to become an even greater reality to us.

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November 22, 2019

It is great to know that we can always have the Lord near to us. He is here now and wherever we go, He is there. There is no place where He is not and no point is nearer to Him than any other point. Nobody is any further from Him or closer to Him than any other person. This needs to become alive in us! The Lord wants to be real to each of us.

ADAM TRIED THE IMPOSSIBLE

Adam and Eve were living in the Garden of Eden when they sinned. Their immediate reaction was to try and hide from the Lord. The frantically tried to do the impossible - they tried to hide from Him and His presence. He is everywhere and we cannot run away from Him or try to live as though He does not exist. Sin makes us want to escape His presence, but even sin does not change the fact that He is there.

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November 18, 2019

A SURE FOUNDATION FOR YOUR TIMES

Life is a series of seasons and times through which we pass. Each season has its own challenges and difficulties. Trouble is a part of life. It is not a matter of if we have trouble but rather a matter of when we have trouble. If the foundation is sure, we will be able to stand. Perhaps you are facing a difficult season or time right now. If you are, then hold onto the sure foundation, God will see you through and bring you out on the other side.

Isaiah 33:6 He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.

This scripture indicates that this sure foundation is a treasure in our lives. There is a key to experiencing this treasure and it is the fear of the Lord in our lives!

A SURE FOUNDATION THAT WILL NOT BE MOVED

The foundation that God is offering us is a foundation that will not be moved. It is a tried and tested foundation upon which the saints have relied and trusted and it did not fail them. Think of Joseph, David and Abraham. Just as the foundation has carried others, it can carry you as well. If we will build, rely and trust in this foundation then we will not be ashamed, nor will we give way under the pressures of life, nor will we be destroyed when troubles come.

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tested Stone, a precious Cornerstone of sure foundation; he who believes (trusts in, relies on, and adheres to that Stone) will not be ashamed or give way or hasten away [in sudden panic].

Let’s build on the SURE FOUNDATION!

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November 15, 2019

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TRUST?

To trust in God can be described in several ways.

1. To place our confidence in God. To be confident in God.
2. To depend on God.
3. Trust also speaks of the future and things that are not yet a reality and as such trusting God includes the aspect of hope.
4. To trust God is to rely on His character, ability and strength.
5. It is a complete assurance and certainty regarding the character, ability and strength of God.

Trust speaks of confidence, dependence, faith, hope and reliance. The opposite would be doubt, skepticism, suspicion and uncertainty.

MANY OF THE THINGS WE PUT OUR TRUST IN ARE UNCERTAIN

Beauty, Health & Physical Strength – Proverbs 31:30 ‘Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting…’

a. Other People – Psalm 146:3 ‘Do not put your trust in princes or in mortal men, who cannot save.’
b. Wealth and Money – Proverbs 23:5 ‘cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they shall surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.’
c. Tomorrow – Proverbs 27:1 ‘Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day will bring forth.’ (Tomorrow’s another day).
d. Life – James 4:14 ‘…you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.’
e. Fame and Glory – 1 Peter 1:24 ‘All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flower fall…’

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November 11, 2019

TRUSTING THE SURE FOUNDATION

Not only do we have to build on a sure foundation but we must also trust the foundation to carry us. When we build a wall upon a foundation, that wall relies fully on the foundation to hold it up and carry it. It does not try to carry itself or hold itself up. It relies fully on the foundation and rests completely on it. This is exactly how we need to build our lives. We need to believe in, rely on and trust the sure foundation without looking at the prevailing circumstances and conditions.

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation, a Stone, a tested Stone, a precious Cornerstone of sure foundation; he who believes (trusts in, relies on, and adheres to that Stone) will not be ashamed or give way or hasten away [in sudden panic].

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November 8, 2019

BUILDING ON A SURE FOUNDATION

Building on a sure foundation brings lasting results. On a trip to England I visited a cathedral that was built 1000 years ago. It is a magnificent structure that dominates the entire landscape and had done so for centuries. This is how it is with our lives. If we build correctly on the sure & strong foundations, we can build something that will last long after we are gone. Building on a sure foundation brings lasting results. The Bible tells us that to build on something sure is wise!

Matthew 7:24 –25 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

GOD HAS PROVIDED A SURE FOUNDATION

1. Jesus Christ is the Sure Foundation.

Mark 12:10 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Jesus wants to be the SURE FOUNDATION of our lives.

2. There are other aspects that also form part of the firm foundation that God has laid for us.

The promises of God in general—His Word, on which we can hope. God wants to be God to you; this is a foundation, a foundation of stone, firm and lasting, for you to build your faith upon.

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November 4, 2019

BUILDING ON SAND SPELLS DISASTER

When we build on anything less than a sure foundation it has the potential to collapse and fall around us. This can be applied to life, marriage, business, careers and families. The Bible tells us to build on something that is not sure is foolish!

Matthew 7:26 – 27 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

What have you built your life on? If it is on a sure foundation it will stand.

IF THE FOUNDATION IS SURE WE CAN BE SURE

If we have a sure foundation in our lives we can be sure that what we build on that foundation will be able to stand. When we begin to build, the building can only be as strong as its foundations. If the foundation is sure and strong we can build a strong lasting building that can stand the test of time. The Bible tells us that what we build in our lives will be tested.

1 Corinthian 3:13 – 15 There is going to come a time of testing at Christ’s Judgment Day to see what kind of material each builder has used. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire so that all can see whether or not it keeps its value, and what was really accomplished. Then every workman who has built on the foundation with the right materials, and whose work still stands, will get his pay. But if the house he has built burns up, he will have a great loss.

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November 1, 2019

We all need a sure foundation in our lives on which we can build. We need to know that what we are building is not in vain. God has provided a firm foundation for us on which to build our lives. If we hold to this foundation we will stand regardless of the winds and storms that life might bring our way. You have a sure foundation and it is a foundation that has stood the test of time. It is a foundation that will hold you up as well.

WE NEED A SURE FOUNDATION

Without a sure foundation you will surely fall. This is so true and especially in the physical realm. Some years ago I was involved in a project to build a new facility on our church property. It was a much-needed facility. We made one mistake and that was that we elected to build the facility on an area of landfill that had not been compacted and we did not give enough attention to the foundations on this unstable ground. The building was completed and looked really grand. But within weeks, cracks and crevasses started to appear. Some of the doors would not close and others were impossible to open. The structure became unstable and the facility could no longer be used, for safety purposes. Experts were brought in and the foundations were opened and underpinned with supports to lift and carry the foundation so that the building could be secured. The same is true in our lives. If the foundation is not sure the cracks will begin to show and the very building that we thought was so grand will begin to crumble around us. We need a sure foundation in our lives!

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October 28, 2019

HOLDING ONTO OUR FAITH

Sometimes we do get discouraged and loose hope. This is something we all have to pass through.

Luke 8:25 Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”

But no matter what we may be going through we must not let go of this vital and integral part of our Christian lives.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Hold onto your faith. Don’t let go of your faith.

FAITH WORKS

As we have said before, our faith should be active. As a result of our faith we should be moved into action.

Galatians 5:6 ‘faith works by love’.

The Bible speaks of faith ‘working’ and then also says that faith without works is dead. As a result of our faith we should be moved from a place of complacency to place of actively obeying God and doing whatever He says. God is looking for faith within us, the faith that He has implanted, faith that is active and trusting Him completely. Put your faith in action and trust God. Obey whatever He says.

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October 25, 2019

FAITH PLEASES GOD

God is looking for faith in people. Again and again in scripture we see how important faith is. We need this active faith in our lives. When God sees active faith, it pleases Him.

Hebrews 11:6 You can never please God without faith, without depending on him. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him.

It is interesting to note that without the element of faith we can never please God. I want to be a God pleaser so I need my faith to be active.

FAITH MOVES GOD

This is a very important aspect. Faith is the key that moves God. Sometimes we think that God is moved by a whole lot of different things, but really there is only one thing that moves God and that is the aspect of faith.

James 1:8 If you don’t ask with faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer. (Living Bible)

Faith is the thing that impresses God.

Luke 7:9 Jesus was amazed. Turning to the crowd he said, “Never among all the Jews in Israel have I met a man with faith like this.”

God is looking for this kind of faith.

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October 21, 2019

OUR FAITH GETS TESTED

This is perhaps the difficult part. Not only does God give us a measure of faith, He then proceeds to allow that faith to be tested.

1 Peter 1:7 These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.

The great personalities of the Bible experienced this testing of their faith. We only have to think of people like Noah and Abraham to see this principle in action.

Romans 4:9 Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.

BECAUSE OF OUR FAITH WE ARE DIFFERENT

True faith makes us different. I see many people who call Themselves Christians who have very little joy in their hearts and in essence are not much better than the average ordinary citizen who is endeavouring to be a ‘good’ person.I believe that God is looking for more than this. True faith makes us different. It does not breed complacency and passiveness. It causes us to become the dynamic Christians we were meant to be. True faith even brings changes to the things we are interested in. It starts on the inside and changes us on the outside.

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October 18, 2019

A MEASURE OF FAITH

Faith is something that has been placed within us. It is as if God has carefully planted, within each one of us, this deposit of faith.

Romans 12:3 God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Somewhere deep within us we have this special quality. This ability to trust in God.

FAITH SHOULD BE ACTIVE

Our faith was meant to be active. It was not meant to be passive or complacent. It involves action. Our faith needs to be alive, dynamic, functioning, operational and working.

James 2:20 faith without works is dead.

James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

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October 14, 2019

Faith is something that God has planted within each one of us. Our faith was meant to be active. This means that our faith should be operational. We were never meant to be passive Christians. Faith is a journey that our hearts have to take. Faith is not some strange value. It is something alive within us that propels us into what God has for us.

1 Timothy 1:19 Cling tightly to your faith in Christ.

WHAT IS FAITH?

We need to understand this vital aspect of faith. The Bible gives us a definition.

Hebrews 11:1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (NKJV)

It is that confident assurance within us that allows us to trust God and to be expectant of Him.

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October 11, 2019

THE TIME FOR GOD TO ACT

There is a time (an instant) when God moves. The story of Joseph is an example. God gave him dreams of things to come. But from that point on, everything went wrong. We was rejected, abandoned, sold into slavery, abused, falsely accused and imprisoned. There he was forgotten. Some experts estimate that this period was about 14 years and then in one day he went from the prison to the throne! It may not be in the time frame that we would have thought best, BUT, He knows best. The time comes when God responds and acts.

Psalm 119:126 ‘Lord, it is time for you to act.’

Psalm 37:7 ‘Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act.’

Psalm 42:11 ‘But, O my soul, don’t be discouraged. Don’t be upset. Expect God to act!’

There is a time for God to act.

THE TIME OF REJOICING BECAUSE GOD HAS COME THROUGH FOR US

This is another moment in time. A time of victory and rejoicing. A moment of joy in the realization that God has answered, has heard and has come through for us.

Psalm 18:1-2 This song of David was written at a time when the Lord had delivered him from his many enemies, including Saul. 'Lord, how I love You! For You have done such tremendous things for me. The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; He is my Savior.'

Maybe this has been what you have been longing for. Just as God come through for the great men of faith in the Bible, so He wants to come through for each of us. Have you given up? Don’t, victory could be just around the corner.

THE RIGHT TIME

There are times and season for everything.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a right time for everything: A time to be born; a time to die; A time to plant; a time to harvest; A time to kill; a time to heal; A time to destroy; a time to rebuild; A time to cry; a time to laugh; A time to grieve; a time to dance; A time for scattering stones; a time for gathering stones; A time to find; a time to lose; A time for keeping; a time for throwing away; A time to tear; a time to repair; A time to be quiet; a time to speak up; A time for loving; a time for hating; A time for war and a time for peace.

Whatever season you may find yourself in, may you embrace that period and allow your trust to be in the One who can be trusted. His timing (moment or instant when things happen) is impeccable! In Christ alone I place my trust and find my glory in the power of the cross, in every victory, let it be said of me, that my source of strength and my source of hope is in Christ alone.

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October 7, 2019

THE TIME TO REALISE THAT OUR TIME ON EARTH IS SHORT

There comes a time when we realize that our time here on earth is a short season. When we are young we think we will live forever. With time we begin to understand that life is short and we will not live, as we know it forever. My own father died at the age of 57. Up until then, we as a family had never experienced death first hand. In fact, even though my Dad was not physically strong, we somehow did not think he would die. But he did and it seemed premature. Up until that point we felt immortal, as if we would never die. But when death became a reality, in an instant I realized that life is short. It is for this reason that it takes courage to face old age, as the reality of the brevity of life becomes a reality.

Psalm 39:4-5 Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more. My whole lifetime is but a moment to you.

While we are young and we feel immortal, we live life as if it will never end, but in that moment in time when we discover that life is short, everything changes. From our motivations to our actions. The wise use of time is a vital aspect that we need to understand.

THE TIME TO TRUST

There comes a time in our lives when we have to trust. We should trust God at all times, but we often trust and rely on ourselves. But there comes a time to each one of us when we have no alternative but to trust God. Perhaps you are trusting for a family member, or some situation that you long for God to resolve. Then it is your time (moment) of trusting.

Psalm 62:8 ‘O my people, trust Him all the time. Pour out your longings before Him, for He can help!’

If you are in the time of trusting, there is something that you need to do, ‘pour out your longings before Him’. The greatest joy is the fact that ‘He can help.’ Let your source of hope and your source of strength be in Christ alone!

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October 4, 2019

WAITING IS PART OF LIFE

Have you ever noticed how much of our lives is taken up by waiting? We wait in line to be served. We wait for our children to get out of school. We wait for a new car we have ordered. We wait to move into a new house we have purchased. There are periods in our lives where we live in longing. Perhaps we can call it living in anticipation. And we all go through periods during which we are longing for God to come through for us. These can be difficult times; times of despondency and times when we may be tempted to despair.

Psalm 14:7 Oh, that the time of their rescue were already here, that God would come from Zion now to save his people. What gladness when the Lord has rescued Israel!

Perhaps you have been living in a time like this. A time of longing that God would come through for you, your family, your marriage or your health. It is in these times that we need to be careful. If we give up, it leads to our hearts becoming hard and that can be destructive. We must hold on!

THE TIME TO TURN AWAY FROM DOING WRONG
Here is another time in our lives that is crucial. A time (an instant) when we deal ruthlessly with sin. A time of settling issues in our hearts that will stand for a lifetime.

Psalm 34:14 Turn from all known sin and spend your time in doing good. Try to live in peace with everyone; work hard at it.

calls for a change in the way in which we live. These times (moments) of turning can be a challenge. BUT the Holy Spirit wants to helps us in all things. Perhaps you are in a time of turning away from what is wrong. Perhaps you have endeavored to do so, but you have failed from time to time. Don’t allow that to stop the ‘time of turning.’ God’s plan for us is to be over-comers. For this reason most people can tell you when they were Born Again. It was a specific moment in time when things changed in their lives.

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September 30, 2019

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 To EVERYTHING there is a SEASON, and a TIME for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away, A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak, A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Note that the scripture says ‘there is a SEASON and a TIME for everything!’

DEFINITION:
A SEASON – a specific period of time. A certain period marked by specific (climatic) conditions.
TIME - The Hebrew word most commonly translated as ‘time’ is ayt, which really refers to the instant or duration of time during which something occurs.

There is a season (a period of time) for all things but there is also a time (an instant, when something happens) for all things. Seasons are well understood, but the ‘TIME’ aspect is more difficult to grasp and understand. Time is a strange thing. Some have too much time on their hands. Most have not got enough time to give attention to everything that needs their attention. Time is an illusive thing; it seems to run away from us and in some cases simply escapes us. Time is a moment, an hour, a day, a year or any period given to us. For some time may only be a few more moments and for others time may be still many years. Time is a major issue to mankind and an issue that does not bind God. There are different times in our lives and if we can understand these, I believe we will be able to trust God even more.

ILLUSTRATION:
I recently wanted to prepare our gardens for a special function. I wanted to get the grass green and the trees to shoot their leaves. It was the season of springtime and here and there things had started to bud. Even though it was the start of the spring season and even through some plants and trees had begun to bud, most had not. The TIME (the instant when things happen) had not occurred, We pruned the trees, we fertilized the trees, we watered the trees, but they remained barren branches. We even had unseasonably warm weather, BUT the moment for their TIME to bud had not come. It did, but not exactly when I wanted it to happen. It was the SEASON but not yet the TIME! I want to look at these TIMES that many of us face during the course of life.

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September 27, 2019

FRUITFULNESS AND BEING PRUNED

It is clear that the vine also gets pruned. Fruitful vines need to be pruned to stay fruitful. It seems that as we go along we pick up baggage. Perhaps pride or a sense of self-fulfillment. This needs to be constantly removed so that whatever growth or fruit there is, is the result of what God has done and not because of anything that we have done.

John 15:1-2 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

Pruning is an easy thing and it happens to the fruitful. But there is a purpose – so that we will be even more fruitful! That is God’s plan for you and me.

FRUITFUL THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES

We can be fruitful throughout our lives. Society tells us that we have a fruitful period, usually when we are young, and then we need to retire. It is not like this with God. If we are connected to God then we can be fruitful at every stage of life or in every circumstance of life.

Psalm 92:12-15 But the godly shall flourish like palm trees and grow tall as the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted into the Lord’s own garden and are under his personal care. Even in old age they will still produce fruit and be vital and green. This honors the Lord and exhibits his faithful care. He is my shelter. There is nothing but goodness in him!

Being fruitful honours God. Being fruitful is important to God.

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September 23, 2019

GOD WANTS TO MAKE US FRUITFUL

I like this aspect because it makes it so easy. We do not have to produce our own fruit.It is a natural outflow of being connected to God.

Leviticus 26:9 I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.

Psalm 105:24 ‘The LORD made his people very fruitful.’

We see how that God wants to make us fruitful. If He does the work it is so much better and so much easier. Prayer: God I want you to make me fruitful.

GOD WATCHES THE FRUITFUL

Those who produce fruit get special attention from God. God attentively watches the fruitful.

Isaiah 27:3 I the Lord, will tend the fruitful vines; every day I’ll water them, and day and night I’ll watch to keep all enemies away.

If you are living a fruitful life then God has got His eye on you. I love to know that that I am living under the watchful eye of the living God. But being under the watchful eye of the ‘keeper of the vines’ also includes another, perhaps, difficult aspect.

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September 20, 2019

FRUITFUL IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE

But you may say, ‘If you knew my circumstances you would understand why I cannot produce fruit.’ Perhaps you have a boss who is destroying you. Perhaps you have a spouse who is undermining you. Perhaps you have to live in a situation that makes fruitfulness difficult. But God wants us to be fruitful where we are in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves. Joseph was an example of this.

Genesis 41:51-52 Joseph named his second boy Ephraim (meaning “Fruitful”—“For God has made me fruitful in this land of my slavery,” he said).

In prison, in slavery and in bondage, Joseph remained fruitful. You can be fruitful in any situation or circumstance.

THE BLESSING OF BEING FRUITFUL

God blessed mankind with the ability to be fruitful.

Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, and God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply.

Within each of us is a blessing from God that will allow us to be fruitful.
God instructed humanity to be fruitful, but not before He blessed them so that they could be fruitful. Perhaps we need to receive that blessing again so that we can be fruitful. Prayer: God bless us so that we can fruitful people.

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September 16, 2019

CONNECTED TO THE VINE
But how is this possible? How can we be fruitful Christians? It starts with a vital, living connection to the vine. Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we need to be connected to Him. This is the only way in which we can produce fruit.

John 15:4 Take care to live in me, and let me live in you. For a branch can’t produce fruit when severed from the vine. Nor can you be fruitful apart from me.

Apart from God we cannot be fruitful. We need that vital flow from God to us to make us fruitful.

BEING FRUITFUL AS WE CARE FOR OTHERS

Here is another way in which we can be fruitful. It is as we love and show kindness to others that our lives can become fruitful.

Titus 3:14 For our people must learn to help all who need their assistance, that their lives will be fruitful.

A vine produces fruit, but the fruit is not for itself, it is for others. The purpose of our fruitfulness is to be a blessing to others. God wants us to fruitful in this way.

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September 13, 2019

I know that we all desire to be fruitful people. Fruitfulness we see as an important aspect in the Bible. But how can we be fruitful? We are going to look at this all-important aspect.

John 15:16 You didn’t choose me! I chose you! I appointed you to go and produce lovely fruit always.

This is God’s plan for us, that we would be fruitful, in all things and throughout our lifetimes.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FRUITFUL?

To be fruitful we need to produce fruit in our lives. Just as we look at a vine to find grapes, so people should look to us to find the reality of Jesus. From a Christian we look for the fruit of Christianity. We must honour God, and do good, and be an example of the Christianity we profess; and this is bearing fruit. A grapevine that produces no fruit is worth nothing. Our lives should be conducive to an abundant yield. We should be abundantly productive.

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September 9, 2019

JESUS IS THE ONE WHO GUARANTEES LIFE.

Corrie Ten Boom – Life in the concentration camp. She discovered life in the midst of death.

Colossians 3:3 ‘Your life is now hidden with Christ in God.’

This is the greatest security that we can ever know. Regardless of what may come our way we can experience this life.

Hebrews 13:8 ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’

He can be totally depended upon.

JESUS NEEDS TO BECOME THE GOAL OF OUR LIVES.

He needs to become our focus. He needs to become the one that we look too.

Philippians 1:21 ‘For to me to live is Christ.’

Jesus needs to become the central theme and purpose of our lives. It just speaks of the first place or the place of priority that belongs to Jesus. The life He has for us becomes a reality as He becomes our life.

JESUS IN US IS OUR HOPE.

If we can get to this point where Jesus becomes the focus and purpose of our lives, we can experience this hope.

Colossians 1:27 ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’

Let Jesus live in you. Give Him your life. It will be all worthwhile. Make Jesus your life. This is the satisfied life that God has for us. A life connected to Jesus Christ. In effect Life is Jesus

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September 6, 2019

I REALLY WANT THIS LIFE.

I believe that we all want this life. Why would we not want this full and satisfied life?

John 1:4 ‘In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.’

This life that God has for us, is like light in a dark place. The fact that God has a satisfied life for us should be a source of hope and encouragement. You want life; it is to be found in Him. Not in your career, finances, position or education. It can only be found in the source of life and His name is Jesus.

JESUS IS THE ONE WHO SUSTAINS THE LIFE HE GIVES US.

Sometimes we experience the life God has for us. BUT then we try to maintain this life. As we experience what God has for us we need to become more and more dependent on Him and less and less dependent on ourselves. This is difficult of humans. We want to be self-sustained or self-sufficient. Jesus is the one who sustains His life in us. It is like batteries that need to be constantly charged if they are going stay fully charged. You can charge a battery once and it will run for awhile. BUT not for long. A battery needs constant life to be injected into it by something from the outside, to be something that can be used and depended on. It is just like that for each one of us.

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September 2, 2019

A FULL AND SATISFIED LIFE IS POSSIBLE.

The answer is YES. It is possible. Jesus made it possible for each one of us.

John 10:10 ‘I (Jesus) have come that they may have life and have it to the full.’

I believe that this can become a reality. As Jesus becomes our life, this promise becomes a reality. I am sure we all want this. How can it be possible? What are the things we have to know or be aware of?

THIS SATISFIED AND FULL LIFE CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN JESUS.

You cannot create this for yourself. You can try and arrive at some point, only to discover that the top of the ladder was not what you thought it would be. This life can only be found in Jesus.

1 John 5:12 ‘He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.’

It is very clear that real life can only be found in Jesus. People will search for it everywhere. But it can only be received from Jesus. He wants to be a fountain of life to each one of us.

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August 30, 2019

Many people long for this type of life. A full life where they enjoy satisfaction. However, it is illusive. Is there any hope of any real satisfaction in this life? This is the question that many people ask. The answer is YES! The answer is in Jesus. As Jesus becomes the beginning and the end of our lives we can experience a full and satisfied life.

THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS.
People are searching for happiness. There is a worldwide search for satisfaction and happiness. People seek happiness through money. People seek happiness through pleasure and enjoyment. People seek happiness through popularity and fame. People seek happiness through acceptance and sense of belonging. People seek happiness through success and winning. Most times these things leave people feeling empty and frustrated. This is the age-old trap. Because none of these things can really supply a satisfied life.

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August 26, 2019

WHAT DO WE HAVE TO OVERCOME?

Sin, bad habits, attitudes. Forgiveness, hurt. Despair, hopelessness, discouragement. Difficulties. Fear of man. Overcoming circumstances and situations that face us on a regular basis. Trials and tribulations.

Philippians 4:13 ‘I have strength for all things in Christ, Who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me, I am self sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.)

RESULTS OF OVERCOMING

Revelation 2:7 ‘To him who overcomes (is victorious) I will grant to eat of the fruit of the tree of life.’

Revelation 2:17 ‘To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the manner that is hidden and I will give him a white stone with a new nane engraved on the stone.’

Revelation 3:12 ‘He who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of my God.’

Revelation 3:21 ‘He who overcomes I will grant him to sit beside me on My throne.’

What a reward!

SURVIVING AND ALMOST DROWNING

A person who is almost drowning, is surviving. His head is just above water and he survives. The water is overcoming him all around. Perhaps you feel like this.

John 16:33 ‘In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. (I have deprived it of power to harm you and I have conquered it for you.)

God does not want us to just have our heads above water. He wants us to overcome. The greatest joy is that He wants us to overcome and He wants to help us to overcome.

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August 23, 2019

HOW DO WE OVERCOME?

1. Through being connected to God.

It is His plan for us to live a life of overcoming. This is living on top.

Galatians 2:20 ‘It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.’

When this happens we can experience a lifestyle of overcoming. How does Christ live in you and me?

2. By His Spirit.

Ephesians 3:16 ‘May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit’ (Himself indwelling your inner most being and personality)

3. We overcome because we have got God inside of us and because of the power of the blood of Jesus.

Revelation 12:11 ‘They overcame by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony.’

4. Not in your own strength.

Philippians 2:13 ‘(not in your own strength) for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you.’

5. Another tool for overcoming is our faith.

1 John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

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August 19, 2019

THE SOURCE OF LIFE

Where can we find this life? I believe that none of us want to just exist. We all want to live life to the full and experience all that God has for us. For more life we need to go to the source of life.

John 6:48 ‘I am the bread of life.’

It is only in Jesus that we can experience real living. As we experience God we will experience this life that He has for us. We need to be connected to the source of life, if we are going to live the life He has for us.

OVERCOMING

What does this mean? Overcoming has a very different meaning to the word surviving. To overcome means to get the better of, or to gain superiority over something. I believe that this is how God wants us to live. To live on top. To live a life where we prevail over and are victorious over things that would otherwise get us down. To conquer, to master, to beat, to triumph and to win.

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August 16, 2019

How is it going in your life? Are you surviving or are you overcoming? There is a great difference between the two. The Bible tells us that we can live a life of overcoming. Many people spend their lives surviving life. I want what God has got for me. I want to live the life that God has for me. I want the same for you. Let’s look at the difference between these two aspects.

SURVIVING

What does it mean to be surviving? I meet many people. Often when I ask people how they are, they tell me that they are surviving. What does this mean? It just means that they are still alive. The definition of surviving: to remain alive or in existence, to continue to function or to continue to exist or live. I believe that many people live like this. They just continue to exist or function. They are still alive and breathing, but that is about it.

ALIVE OR LIVING

Here is another big difference. To be alive is to continue breathing. To be living is more than just being alive. I want to be living life, not just still alive.

John 10:10 ‘The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.’

Life to the full, or abundant life is what Jesus has for us. God never intended for us just to live or exist or survive. There is so much living to be done.

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August 12, 2019

Step 3: Something to BELIEVE. (11 Corinthians 5:15)

“He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” True belief is total commitment to Jesus Christ. It means to trust completely in what He has done for you. “For HE (God the Father) hath made HIM (Jesus, the Son) TO BE SIN FOR US … that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (11 Corinthians 5:21) True belief is to place your entire life and eternal destiny into the hands of Jesus, who has already died on the cross, bearing all the guilt and penalty of your sin.

Step 4: Something to DO. (Revelation 3:20)

Taking this step will give you the power to keep on living a changed life.
Ask Jesus Christ into your life to be your Lord to control you, your Saviour to cleanse you, your Friend to guide and be with you. So many miss this last step and never come to know Jesus Christ. No verse in the Bible makes this last step clearer than Revelation 3:20. Jesus is speaking, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I WILL COME INTO HIM.” Jesus waits outside the door of your life. He will not force his way in. He wants to be invited in. The handle is on the inside; only you can open the door. You become a true Christian when you open the door of your life to Jesus Christ.

CONSIDER Matthew 10:38

Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow Him. Except opposition, sneers and misunderstanding – for every part of your life, your friendship, work, family, time, money, all must come under His control. IF you want to make a decision right now, look for a quiet place, get down on your knees and earnestly pray this prayer

Dear Lord Jesus,
I know I have sinned in my thoughts, words and actions.There are so many good things I have not done. There are so many sinful things I have done. I am sorry for my sins and turn from everything I know to be wrong. I know You gave Your life upon the cross for me Gratefully I give my life back to You. Now I ask you to come into my life. Come in as my Saviour to cleanse me, Come in as my Lord to control me Come in as my Friend to be with me,And by Your grace, I will serve You all the remaining years of my life in complete obedience.
Amen

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August 9, 2019

What are you going to do about it?

You cannot remove the barrier by yourself and you cannot save yourself, and neither can helping others nor doing good remove this barrier. If sin results in us being cut off from God is there no hope for us? Has God left us in our misery? What is God’s answer? God’s answer is the cross of His Son, where He proved and demonstrated His love for us, “in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8) BUT, HOW did Christ’s death prove God’s love to us? How did it remove the barrier of sin between God and us? God’s character is like a coin with two sides: JUSTICE and LOVE. His justice rightly condemns man, for sin must be  punished. His love makes Him long for man to become His friend again.  On the cross His justice and His love were perfectly satisfied. Sin had to be punished, so God in His love sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place, bearing the death penalty for our sins. By dying for us, He removed the barrier of sin that separated us from God opening the way for us. “There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin.  He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.”

YOUR PART

Step 1: Something to CONFESS.  (1 John 1:9)

You need to confess that you have sinned in the sight of God. Be deeply sorry about your sins. Hate it and be willing to turn from every thought, word, action and habit that you know is wrong.

Step 2:   Something to CHANGE.  (Luke 13:3)

“I tell you, Nay :  but except you repent, (do a right about turn) ye shall all likewise perish.”  Jesus changes lives that are willing to change.  Jesus said we must repent.  Repentance means a complete turn-around.  It is a decision to start living a new life.  YOU must make this decision.  HE will help you see it through.  Will you take it now?

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August 5, 2019

WHAT IS SIN?

I sin when I come short of the standard God has set before me (Romans 3:23). The pass mark for an exam is 50. If you get 49 marks you have failed. If someone else gets 5 marks he has failed. It is no good you saying, “I did much better than the one who got 5”. You have both failed.
50 - Pass
49 - Fail
5   - Fail

You may think you’re not so bad, better than most.  But that’s not the point, for not one of us has come anywhere near God’s perfect standard – Jesus Christ.  We can’t even reach our own standards.

We may not have done anything specially wicked. We simply are sinners because we are just not good enough. I sin when I live for myself. I sin when I say, ‘I’m my own boss, it’s my own life, I can do what I like with it.’ I sin when I refuse to put my trust in Jesus Christ. (John 16:9)

What sin does
Sin spoils!

Sin is like an ugly blot on a clean page. Being selfish, lazy, thoughtless, telling lies and dirty stories ruin one’s character. Sin destroys the happiness of a home or a friendship.

Sin spreads!

Sin is like weeds in a garden; if not rooted out, they will soon overrun it.  Little acts of dishonesty and disobedience soon become habits we cannot break.

Sin separates!

(Isaiah 59:1-2)
Sin is like a thick cloud, which blots out the sun. As a result God seems miles away. God is pure and holy. He hates sin. He cannot and will not look at sin. Sin blocks the way to HIM. Sin cuts you off from God in this life and in the life to come. Be quite clear about this; hell is a grim and dreadful reality for ALL who reject Jesus Christ in this life.

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August 2, 2019

What is a Christian? Are YOU a Christian? “I was brought up in a Christian home.” That doesn’t make YOU a Christian. “My mother always went to church.’ That doesn’t make YOU a Christian. “I believe in doing good and helping others.” So do many who don’t have any time for Christ. That doesn’t make YOU a Christian. “I was baptised and confirmed.” So are thousands who care little about Christ. That doesn’t make YOU a Christian.“I believe in God.” – So does the devil. That doesn’t make YOU a Christian. So many SAY and THINK they are Christians yet rarely bother about Christ.”

WELL, WHAT THEN IS A CHRISTIAN?

Let us begin at the very beginning. In the beginning when God made man, He made him good and perfect and sinless. He wanted man to be His friend who would look after the earth. Everything that God made was perfect. But, God did NOT make man a robot. He gave him a precious gift of a free will to choose between good and bad.
He desires for man to love Him freely. But, man chose to disobey God; he made the wrong choice. He preferred to please himself rather than God. . He SINNED.

And so sin entered into the world. It is a disease we all have, “for all have sinned” (Romans 3:23) Sin is not only a matter of murder, stealing, robbery and adultery. It includes far more.

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July 29, 2019

CONSTANT CHANGE IS HERE TO STAY

It is strange how we always want things to change and then when we arrive at a place where things seem to be going well, then we want things to remain the same. Change is part of every aspect of our lives. We need to grow accustomed to the truth that constant change is an inevitable part of our earthly life. Because of the fact that change is so much a part of life and because the future is uncertain, we need to learn to adjust, expect and be prepared for ongoing change.
The Bible speaks about change and how that God wants to take us from strength to strength and glory to glory. We need to embrace change and expect God to work in each stage of life.

BELIEVING GOD FOR BREAKTHROUGH
Faith is an essential element of our lives. We need faith as we face the different seasons and the change that they bring. But in all this we can expect and believe God for breakthrough.

Hebrews 11:1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.

We need to allow our hearts to be full of faith and expectation that at any time God could come through for us and that as a result we will experience breakthrough! The people in the Bible who God used were known for their faith and expectation in God.

Hebrews 11:2 Men of God in days of old were famous for their faith.
Begin to put out your faith and expect a breakthrough from God.

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July 26, 2019

NO SITUATION IS BEYOND THE REACH OF GOD

No situation and no circumstance is too hard for God.

Jeremiah 32:27 I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

In some case it may even feel as though God has left you or forgotten about you. The truth of the matter is that God loves you and He has not and will not forget you.

Isaiah 49:15 Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

Never limit God! He is able to reach into your situation and bring about change. We must just live with expectant hearts.

SUBJECT TO CHANGE

No matter how difficult and complicated your situation may be, God is able to turn things around. With God in the equation everything becomes subject to change. God is the God of the impossible! He can bring about change in any situation.

Isaiah 43:19 I will make a road through the wilderness of the world for My people to go home, and create rivers for them in the desert!

You may find yourself in a wilderness or a desert. This is no obstacle to God.

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July 22, 2019

Sometimes we think that things will never change. Have you ever been in a situation that never seems to change or improve and then got to the point where you begin to think that it can no longer change? Perhaps it is a problem in your family, or in your marriage, or in your health. It could also be a situation in your work environment or with your finances. When we begin to feel like this we start loosing hope. This can lead to a sense of hopelessness, despair or discouragement. We no longer expect and believe that God can turn things around. BUT everything in life is subject to change. We must begin to pray for, expect for and believe for change.

LIFE – A SERIES OF SEASONS

Nothing stays the same forever. It may feel like you are stuck in a time warp where things are not moving. What we need to remember is that life is a series of seasons. The great thing about seasons is that they change. We cannot live in a winter season all our lives. When we are in the depth of a winter season, it does feel like it will never end, but it will. God has another season awaiting you. We must not resign ourselves to the current state of affairs, but we must trust God to turn the tide and change the season in our lives.Here is an example: some years ago I visited a country that has a very long winter season. It can last up to nine months of the year. The people that had invited me told me that in February, the middle of their winter, it is statistically the highest suicide month. They ascribed this to the fact that winter has already been so long and it is still a long way from over. As a result people can get discouraged and lose hope to the point where they take their own lives. When we face winter seasons in our lives this can also happen. But the good news is that season change!

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July 19, 2019

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT – BLESSING

You might say: ‘How can I expect God to bless me?’ I believe that we can trust God and live in expectation that He wants to bless us. As you face this new season you can also ask and believe God for His blessing on your life. There is an example of such a request in the Old Testament.

PRAYER OF JABEZ

1 Chronicles 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.

You and I can pray this same prayer and believe God for a same out come.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT - EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD!

God has wonderful things and plans in store for each of us. We must begin to expect, anticipate, look forward to, begin to consider probable, likely or certain and activate our faith that God has great things in store for us.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Don’t look to man but look to God. Let your expectation be from Him.

Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.

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July 15, 2019

EXPECTATION – GIVES REASON TO LIVE

If we can live with expectation then we are really living. Living with an expectation that God wants to show us His goodness and do great things, gives us reason to live. Without this expectation we die, slowly from the inside out. The Psalmist David understood this.

Psalm 27:13 [What, what would have become of me] had I not believed (expected) that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!

God wants to be good to us in the ‘land of the living’. This speaks of being good to us in this life. David says: ‘What, what would have become of me had I not believed’. In the NKJV Bible it says: ‘I would have lost heart, unless I had believed’ In the ASV Bible it says: ‘I would have despaired unless I had believed’. Without expectation we loose heart, despair and come to nothing. I once heard someone say that if you expect nothing you will never be disappointed. That is not living. God designed us to live with expectation and hope.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT - EXPECT ANSWERS TO PRAYER

It is time to believe God for answers to the prayers that you have prayed. I am trusting for this very aspect in my life. There are many things I have prayed about, over the years and asked God to do. These things I am trusting and expecting God to answer and supply. I believe that this next season will be a season in which we will see many of these aspects, that we have prayed about, come to finality. This also speaks of fulfillment of things. These can include promises and prophecies or just the longing and desires of our hearts. What have you asked God to do? What promises and prophesies have you received that you are still waiting to see come to fulfillment? What are the desires and the longings of your heart? We need to live in expectation that God wants to do great things in all these areas. Remember that delay does not mean denial. However if there is a delay we must keep our expectation alive!

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July 12, 2019

What are you expecting from God? Do you have an expectation that God wants to do great things or have you just resigned yourself to more of the same? I believe that we need to expect and anticipate that God has wonderful things ahead for each one of us. We need to be alive with hope and expectation. I believe that we can go further and ask God for His goodness in and on our lives and then to respond with faith and expect that very thing to become a reality in our daily lives. With each new day, month and year we should be living with a constant expectation that God is going to do great things.

DEFINITION:

What does it mean to live with this expectation that God wants to do wonderful things?
A. To look forward to something.
B. To be pregnant.
C. To anticipate (excitement) or look forward to the coming or occurrence of something.
D. To consider something probable, likely or certain. (Faith)

Hebrews 11:1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.

To expect implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning

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July 8, 2019

GOD WANTS TO DO MORE THAN WE COULD ASK

That’s just like God. He would want to do even more than what we would ask.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

God wants to be good to us. We serve a good God. He loves for and cares for us.

WE CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE IN GOD

I like this part.

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

If we ask according to His will, He hears us. And because of this we can expect Him to answer our requests. Keep on expecting God to come through in your circumstances and situations.

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July 5, 2019

THE IMPORTANCE OF AGREEMENT

When we stand together we can accomplish something. We want to agree together today for your situations.

Matthew 18:19-20 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.

We have come together today. God is with us. As we agree we can expect God to come through for us.

WE NEED TO BELIEVE

This is a vital aspect. We need to mix faith into our prayers Faith moves God. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Hebrews 11:1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.

James 1:6 But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you.

James 1:8 If you don’t ask with faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer.

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July 1, 2019

JESUS TOLD US TO ASK

We are authorized to ask God for the things we need.
In Matthew 7:7, Jesus instructs us to ASK.

Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

This is followed by a great promise.

Matthew 7:8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

GOD WANTS TO GIVE US GOOD THINGS

Matthew 7:9-11 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

God wants to give us good gifts. God does not have bad in store for us. He wants to bless us like a father would bless his own children. He God wants to be good to us. But it is important to ask Him.

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June 28, 2019

It is great to know that we can bring our requests to God. It is a wonderful thought that we can approach God. That’s what we want to do today. To trust together with you, for that which you are trusting God for. I believe God listens and hears our prayers. He wants to be a Father to us and help us. We can ask God for help, in any area. Let’s trust God today.

GOD KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED

This is a reassuring fact. God is in the know. He is NOT ignorant of our needs and situations. Jesus went through hard times and He understands what you may be going through.

Matthew 6:8 Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!
Before we ask God for something, He already knows we have need of it. That’s just like a father!

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June 24, 2019

ANSWERED PRAYER

This is one of God’s plans for us. That we would experience the reality of answers to our prayers.

Jeremiah 29:12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.

Part of God’s plan is that we would have a knowledge that He listens to us when we pray. This is a great thought! Part of God’s plan for us is answered prayer.

FINDING GOD

This is another plan that God has for us. That we would ‘FIND’ Him and know Him!

Jeremiah 29:13 You will find Me when you seek Me, if you look for Me in earnest.

I love the phrase – ‘You WILL find Me’. We need to SEEK Him and LOOK for Him in earnest. And the promise is that if we do this we WILL find Him! God wants to be a reality in our lives.

YOU ARE GOING TO BE ALRIGHT

If you have entrusted your life to God, then you can have confidence. If you are endeavoring to seek Him and look for Him you can feel secure! God has plans for your life that only He knows. God is still in control regardless of how the situation may appear. He loves each one of us! And has good plans for us! Start praising the Lord for what He has in store and allow expectation to rise within you knowing that God has got a plan and you are going to be alright

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June 21, 2019

GOD DOES NOT HAVE PLANS FOR EVIL!

God’s plans for us are for our good! Not for our evil! They are blessings to us, the things He has in store for us.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil …

But despite this, sometimes, bad things happen. That’s just how life is. God is so gracious that He even turns those things into good for us.

Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

God has NO plans of evil towards us. And He can turn anything around!

A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

God wants to be a constant source of hope in our lives.
His plans for our lives include giving us HOPE! HOPE is an essential aspect in our lives.

Jeremiah 29:11 – 13 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Without hope we do not have the strength for tomorrow. God has a future and a hope for each of us. We can have confidence in this.

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June 17, 2019

GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU

Can a mother forget her newborn child?

Isaiah 49:15 – 16 Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.

‘I will not forget you!’ - You may feel like God has forgotten you, but He has not! Where man may forget in vital areas, God never forgets even the smallest detail of your life. We are engraved on the palm of His hands. He is aware of our issues and challenges.

WHAT ARE THESE PLANS THAT GOD HAS FOR US?

Great plans! Not plans we have for ourselves, which He approves of, but plans that He has for us. Plans that God has specifically designed and created especially for you. This is a great and special thought! The plans that God has for you are for your good.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good …

Plans for our good - What a thought!
‘Plans to prosper you’ – That’s what the NIV translation says. ‘Thoughts of peace’ – That’s what the KJV says. God has plans for each of us, plans for our good, plans to prosper and thoughts of peace towards us. What a great God!

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June 14, 2019

It is great to know that we can have confidence in God.
To know that we can trust Him. To know that He is working in our lives. Things are not out of control, God has everything in hand. There is an old song: ‘He’s got the whole world in His hand’. It goes on: ‘He’s got you and me brother/sister in His hand’. Because of this we can know that we are going to be alright.

GOD HAS A PLAN

For each of us God has a plan. You are not exempted or excluded.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.

Just look at the following:
There is a plan and God has a plan for you. God knows the plan that He has for you. It is good to know that God knows the blueprint for our lives. Sometimes it feels like we are just tossed around by circumstances. In the middle of all this it is great to know that we can have the knowledge that God knows what is going on for each of us! I love the phrase: ‘Declares (says) the LORD’ (Jeremiah 29:11 - NIV) This is confidence, knowing that God has the master plan.

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June 10, 2019

GOD IS INTERESTED IN EACH OF US

We don’t approach God to make Him aware of our situation. We don’t go to God so that He can see our need. He already knows. We go to God because we love and we need Him. God knows that we need Him. But sometimes we don’t realize how much we need Him When we realize this we can run to Him.

Psalm 139:17-18 How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

AGAIN AND AGAIN

2 Corinthians 1:9-10 We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for he can even raise the dead. And he did help us and saved us from a terrible death; yes, and we expect him to do it again and again.

You may feel that things are beyond your control. It may even feel like you are dying. You may feel powerless and helpless. These are not bad emotions. They are good in that they make us realize just how much we need God. The joy of this scripture is that ‘He did help us and saved us.’ That is what God wants to do. And we can expect Him to do just that again and again. This can happen as we come to Him again and again.

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June 7, 2019

DON’T STOP GOING TO GOD

Don’t turn to other things. Perhaps God has not come through for you, as you would have expected. But that does not mean we stop going to Him. We must keep on going back again and again.

Psalm 139:16 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!

On the basis of this great fact, we can go to God without hesitation. It is for this same reason that we should not turn to other things. No matter what, don’t stop going to God.

APPROACHING GOD EVERY DAY

This is the type of lifestyle that we need to develop. A lifestyle of daily going back to God should be our goal. Running on our own strength was not what God intended for us. Running on His strength was what He had planned for us.

Psalm 5:3 Each morning I will look to you in heaven and lay my requests before you, praying earnestly.

Have you approached God today for anything? Call on Him. Develop a lifestyle of going to God over and over again. He will never stop loving you.

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June 3, 2019

WE CAN APPROACH GOD

We can approach God again and again. God is open and receptive to our approaches. We do not need to fear. We can approach God with anything that is on our hearts and He is always ready and willing to listen and hear. Hebrews 4:16 So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need. The key here is to go to the Lord and to stay there. Then we can receive His mercy and His grace.

HE IS WAITING

Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love; he will conquer you to bless you, just as he said. For the Lord is

faithful to his promises. Blessed are all those who wait for him to help them.
(Isaiah 30:18)

The thought that God is waiting for me to come to Him is a source of great joy and great delight.
Look at God’s motivation for waiting for us, so that He can show us His love. I want to experience more of His love. How about you? Keep on going to God; take all your issues and concerns to Him because He is waiting. Waiting to be good to each one of us. Yes, He wants to be good to you.

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May 31, 2019

We can go to the Lord with everything. But what is even more of a delight is that we can keep on going to Him. We will not exhaust Him. We will not run out of opportunities to go to the Lord and call on Him. He is always waiting, always ready and always willing to receive us. Again and again we can go to the Lord. The problem comes when we begin to think that we can’t go to Him. But the truth is that the door is always open.

NEW MERCY FROM GOD EVERY MORNING

With each new day, God has something new for each of us. It is like we have fresh bread available to us each day.
There is not one day that we have to eat what God did yesterday. With God, each day is like starting all over again.

Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The key word here is ‘NEW’. New mercy and new compassion every morning. When you got up this morning there was new mercy and compassion for you.
When you get tomorrow morning there will be more of His new compassion and mercy for you.

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May 27, 2019

BROKEN HEARTS

Today, your heart may be broken. You may say that if I knew the condition of your heart, I would not be asking this ‘total heart commitment’ from you. But God is the master in handling the broken hearts.

Psalm 51:17 ‘A broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.’

God wants to help us. He wants to come along side and walk us through.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.’

God is looking for undivided hearts.

THE BLESSING

There is a blessing for those who will seek God with all their hearts:

Psalm 119:2 ‘Blessed are those who seek Him with all their hearts.’

Let us make the right decision. Let God into your heart.

Psalm 139:23 ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’

God knows our hearts. We need to love God with all our hearts

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May 24, 2019

WHAT IS IN OUR HEARTS IS EASY TO SEE

Luke 6:45 ‘The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil that is stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.’

What comes out of our mouths is a reflection of what is in our hearts. If I really love God, then you will hear about it. It will emerge from the way I speak. What is stored up in your heart, today?

Luke 12:34 ‘Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.’
If we are going to love God we need pure hearts.

PRAISING GOD WITH ALL OUR HEARTS

This is something else we must do with all our hearts.

Psalm 9:1 ‘I will praise you, O Lord, with all me heart.’

Praise is a very important part of our lives.

Psalm 111:1 ‘I will extol the Lord with all my heart.’

Definition of extol: To praise highly or to glorify. If you are battling in some area, then it is time to start praising God. Praise is one of the tools to overcoming. We are called to praise God with all our hearts

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May 20, 2019

DOING WHAT WE DO WITH ALL OUR HEARTS

Colossians 3:23 ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for me.’

This puts a very different light on things. We are encouraged to do what we have to do with all our hearts.
This speaks about our day-to-day lives. We can do what we do as unto the Lord. If our everyday lives can be as though we were working for God, then every aspect of our lives can become an example of our love for God. This can make even the most mundane task something special. If we can apply this too our lives then we can apply it to other areas of our lives.

LOVING GOD IS A COMMAND

Joshua 22:5 ‘But be very careful to keep the commandments and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all you soul.’

How do you follow a command? By making the decision. Our love for God needs to be total, involving our whole being.

Deuteronomy 6:5 ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’

This affects how we should seek Him. This affects how we should fear Him. This affects how we should obey Him. This affects how we should love and serve Him. Let us make this decision that we are going to love God.

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May 17, 2019

SERVING GOD WITH ALL OUR HEARTS

Joshua 22:5 ‘But be very careful to keep the commandments and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God… and to serve Him with all your heart and with all you soul.’

God wants us to serve Him with all our hearts. God is not into half-hearted commitment. God is looking for total involvement and total commitment. He needs to have first place in our lives: number one on the priority list. God needs to become a consuming passion. We need to love and serve God with all our hearts.

WITH ALL YOUR HEART

What does this mean? If we say that we must do something with all our hearts, what are we speaking about? It means that we give everything that we have got. God has got our full attention. He becomes the focus of our lives. From the seat or center of our secret thoughts and emotions we make our focal point God. God becomes our hub. Everything else moves around that main thing.

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May 13, 2019

Our hearts are a very important element in our lives. I am not talking about our physical hearts. I am talking about one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations. The central or innermost part. The center of our being. This is the part that God is interested in. He is watching our hearts. The Bible gives clear indication of the role our hearts have to play.

LOVING GOD WITH ALL OUR HEARTS

God is looking for this. We need to love God with a love that is a passion.

Luke 10:27 ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.’

How do you love with all your heart? Certainly not just on a Sunday. Our entire lives and our entire beings need to love God totally. God should not just be one of our passions. He needs to be the passion of our lives and everything else will come into priority. Have you given God first place in your heart?

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May 10, 2019

THE STORY OF PETER

The Bible tells us a story about how Peter the Apostle walked on the water to Jesus. It is a wonderful story with many lessons but it also shows us God’s character. The story happens as some of the followers of Jesus are traveling in a boat.

Matthew 14:25-31 About four o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water! They screamed in terror, for they thought he was a ghost. But Jesus immediately spoke to them, reassuring them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. Then Peter called to him: “Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you, walking on the water.” “All right,” the Lord said, “come along!” So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and rescued him.

I love the closing sentence: ‘Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and rescued him.’ Perhaps today you may feel like you are sinking. God is ready and willing to reach down to us and help us!

GOD IS INTERESTED

The truth of that matter is that God is interested in your life. God is interested in each person. God is interested in the powerful and rich. God is interested in the average and everyday people. So no matter what category you may fall into God is interested in you. Because of this God wants to love, care and give.

Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you, O my people, with an everlasting love; with loving-kindness I have drawn you to me.

You are not reading this by mistake. This is a divine moment because God is reaching down to you and He wants to make His love for you a reality. Just take a moment and respond. You have nothing to fear, God knows everything!

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May 6, 2019

GOD CAME DOWN TO US

Right from the start God came down to mankind. We see the greatest example of this when Jesus came to the earth to reach humanity.

John 3:16-17 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

There is a song we sing with the following words: ‘You came from heaven to earth, to show the way’. Jesus is an example of how God wants to reach down to us and meet us at our level with a plan to change our lives and situations. Let Him into your heart and life today.

BENDING DOWN

Psalm 116:1-2 I love the Lord because he hears my prayers and answers them. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!

I love the picture this scripture paints. I just see how God wants to make an effort to meet us at our level and come through for us. I have a little daughter and oftentimes I have to bend down and listen to her little stories. This usually happens when I get home from a long day and I am usually tired. As I bend down to listen to her it is a deliberate action on my part to give her time and to listen. I am there for her. It is the same with God. He is not too busy. He wants to make time for you and I.

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May 3, 2019

THE UNLIKELY

Perhaps because of where you are today you may feel unlikely or an unlikely candidate to receive what God has for you. The truth of the matter is that God uses the unlikely.

1 Corinthians 1:27-28 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.

You are not disqualified from receiving God’s love and help. You may feel weak and foolish or even despised and rejected, but not even that will disqualify you from what God has for you. God is reaching to each one of us with His love and kindness.

GOD KNOWS

One of the greatest joys is to know that God knows. We all live behind our masks and project to others what we want them to see. As a result oftentimes an element of our lives can be a lie. But nothing is hidden from God. This is a wonderful joy. To know that God knows our every aspect of our lives and loves us just the same. God knows our fears and worries. God knows about our sense of inadequacy. God knows our attitudes and our sin and in all that He still wants to reach out to you and me with His love. Because God knows everything about us and still loves us, we can appreciate His love.

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April 29, 2019

Oftentimes we may feel that we have to work ourselves up to God. In most religions there is the concept of earning what their god has for them. So people end up doing all sorts of things to get favour from God. This affects the way we think and act. The truth is that God came down to mankind and reached mankind at his point of need. God came down to our level. Today, nothing has changed. God still wants to meet you where you are.

WHERE YOU ARE

Where are you today? Perhaps today you find yourself far from God. Perhaps you have gotten involved with things that you should never have touched. Perhaps you have become cold and hard on the inside. Perhaps life has just become too complicated for you. The wonder is that God wants to come and meet you where you are.

Romans 5:6 When we were utterly helpless, with no way of escape, Christ came at just the right time and died for us.

God wants to come at just the right time and meet us where we are and help us with what we need.

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April 26, 2019

THE PROMISE

Here are some special promises to strengthen your faith:

Psalm 34:17 Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to him for help and saves him out of all his troubles.

Promise number 1: THE LORD HEARS
Promise number 2: THE LORD HEARS WHEN WE CALL
Promise number 3: THE LORD HEARS WHEN WE CALL
FOR HELP
Promise number 4: THE LORD SAVES US OUT OF ALL
OUR TROUBLES

These are some great promises. I am believing God, how about you?

WHAT KIND OF HELP DOES GOD WANT TO GIVE US?

He wants to give us assistance. He wants to give us support. He wants to change things for the better. Is there an area in your life that needs to experience change for the better? God wants to give us what will benefit and assist us. He wants to help to make things that are unbearable more bearable. Whatever type of help you need, God is capable of doing. Look to HIM.

TRUSTING GOD

What does it mean to be trusting God? It means we place our confidence in Him. It means we commit or place something in His care or keeping. It also means that we rely on Him.

Psalm 37:5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and he will.

Keep on trusting God. Never give up. Trust and keep on trusting. There is a promise in that verse: ‘Trust him to help you do it, and he will.’ Hold on to this hope.

Philippians 4:13 I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power

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April 22, 2019

DON’T BE IMPATIENT

Human nature gets so impatient. We want everything immediately and in the form that we expect it to be. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up on God.

Psalm 27:14 Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry.

Lets be patient, as we trust God.

Psalm 42:5 Why then be downcast? Why be discouraged and sad? Hope in God! I shall yet praise him again. Yes, I shall again praise him for his help.

GOD’S WAYS ARE DIFFERENT

Many times we want God to come through for us in a very specific way. We want a particular response. But we don’t have Gods perspective. He sees things in a different light. He has a thousand creative ways of solving a problem that we only see one solution to.

Isaiah 55:8-9 This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours.

Expect God to come through for you in any way possible.

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April 19, 2019

GOD IS FATHER

God wants to help us like a father would help is child. A good father wants the best for his child. A good father never wants his child to suffer unnecessarily. The Lord’s Prayer says: OUR FATHER. We can approach God as a father and ask Him to help us.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting comfort and hope, which we don’t deserve, comfort your hearts with all comfort, and help you in every good thing you say and do.

God our father loves us and wants to help us.

GOD IS OUR SOURCE OF HELP

We must look to God for our help.

Psalm 16:2 “You are my Lord; I have no other help but yours.”

Where are you looking for help today? Be careful where you go for help. Don’t look in the wrong places for help. Go to Someone Who can help you. Go to the Lord.

Psalm 25:15 My eyes are ever looking to the Lord for help, for he alone can rescue me.

Let God be your only source of help.

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April 15, 2019

God wants to help us. To call on God for help is a legitimate thing to do. I have often asked God for help. The Bible has many examples of people who called on God for help. Perhaps you have been calling on God for help, or perhaps you need to call on God for your situation. God wants to come through for us. Call and keep on calling on God for help.

ASKING FOR HELP IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO

We were not designed to operate independently of God.
We were created to know God and His help in our lives. David, who wrote the Psalms, was a man mightily used by God and yet he is the one who asked for God’s help more than others. We see him asking for help, calling for help and in one case screaming for help. So today if you need help, ASK GOD.

Psalm 12:1 Help, LORD Psalm 18:6 In my distress I screamed to the Lord for his help. And he heard me from heaven; my cry reached his ears.

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April 12, 2019

THE REWARDS

If we do these things and get rid of the doubt, questions or suspicions then God can begin to use us. While we are full of doubt and negativity, God cannot use us or bring about His plan and purpose for our lives. But if we can deal with these things, then the way is open for God to work in our lives and to use us.

Jeremiah 15:19 'Therefore thus says the Lord (to Jeremiah); If you return (and give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair), the I will give you again a settled place of quite and safety, and you will be My minister; and if you separate the precious from the vile (cleansing your own heart from unworthy and unwarranted suspicions concerning God's faithfulness), you shall be My mouthpiece.'

Note the rewards:
1. A settled place of quiet and safety
2. You will be my minister
3. You will be my mouthpiece

As we read on we see that God has even greater things in store. We can apply this story to our lives.

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April 8, 2019

b. A MISTAKEN TONE

Have you ever discovered that when we are going through a hard time we can begin to sound like we are going through a bad patch? Jeremiah had begun to develop this tone. It was a tone of distrust and despair.
Perhaps he was saying things like: 'God has forgotten about me' or 'God does not have a plan for me', or 'trusting God is not really helping me'. Moaning or distrust and despair do not move God, God is moved by faith. When we develop this tone we need to take decisive steps to give up and let go of this attitude so that God can begin to use us again.

Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore thus says the Lord (to Jeremiah): 'If you return (and give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair)'

c. GET RID OF THE DOUBT

When we develop doubt, we set ourselves up for disaster. Doubt and suspicions about God and His faithfulness are unacceptable and vile to God.

Jeremiah 15:19 'and if you separate the precious form the vile (cleansing your own heart from unworthy and unwarranted suspicions concerning God's faithfulness)'

Our doubt concerning God is unworthy and unwarranted. Don't let it get a foothold in your life.

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April 5, 2019

GOD'S RESPONSE

God responds to Jeremiah in his discouragement. God gives him some advice to help him out of the hole that he had found himself in.

Jeremiah 15:19 'Therefore thus says the Lord (to Jeremiah): 'If you return (and give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair), then I will give you again a settled place of quite and safety, and you will be My minister; and if you separate the precious from the vile (cleansing your own heart from unworthy and unwanted suspicions concerning God's faithfulness you shall be My mouthpiece. (But do not yield to them). Let them return to you - not you to (the people).'

Let's look at God's response:

a. RETURN TO GOD

The first thing that God does is to offer him the option of returning. Oftentimes when we are discouraged we become self-focused and self-orientated. We begin to feel sorry for ourselves. This self-orientation needs to be replaced with a returning to God and becoming God-orientated. We need to become God-conscious and remind ourselves that God is all-powerful and limitless. We must stop limiting God and return to a pace of faith in God.

Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore thus says the Lord (to Jeremiah): 'If you return'

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April 1, 2019

Many people are battling with discouragement, despair, hopelessness and depression. Perhaps you are feeling like this today. You are not alone. Even the great people of God went through experiences like this. Like Moses, Abraham, Joseph and David. The prophet Jeremiah also faced difficulty and discouragement.

EVEN THE GREAT GET DOWN-HEARTED

Jeremiah was a great prophet who had been used by God He was the one who brought us these great scriptures:

Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.'

Jeremiah 33:3 'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'

These are some of the best-known and loved scriptures, yet there was a time when Jeremiah was discouraged.
We find it in:

Jeremiah 15:18 'Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you indeed be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail and are uncertain?'

Can you see the doubt and discouragement?

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com  For more information about Alive to God, or to subscribe to our free DAILY BIBLE VERSE, please visit www.AliveToGod.com

March 29, 2019

THE CLEFT IN THE ROCK

Moses found this secret place. A place where He could experience God. In this place God made Himself real to Moses. Moses saw God. Moses knew God’s presence.

Exodus 33:21-23 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

The secret place is near to God. – ‘There is a place near me’ The secret place is found when we are near to God.

GOD IS CALLING US INTO THIS SECRET PLACE

God wants us to experience His secret place. It is for each one of us. God wants us to know and enjoy His presence.

Hebrews 3:15 But now is the time. Never forget the warning, “Today if you hear God’s voice speaking to you, do not harden your hearts against him.

We must not harden our hearts. Hard hearts block us from the secret place that God has for us. God is calling you to the secret place in Him that is reserved for you. You are invited back to the secret place in God.

THE REWARDS OF LIVING IN THIS SECRET PLACE

Psalm 91:2-4 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.

Psalm 91:9-10 If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge— then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.

As we stay in the secret place we can have victory over sin in our lives. The secret place is a place of freedom.
Freedom from evil and freedom from sin. The result of experiencing God in this real way is holiness. Holiness brings its own protection. If God’s presence is a reality to us, this will result in holiness and in this way we will overcome the forces of darkness, which would like to destroy us.

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March 25, 2019

STAYING IN THE SECRET PLACE

Living in the secret place needs to be an ongoing experience. It should be our lifestyle. Not just a moment here and there. Life keeps us very busy with the distinct purpose of keeping us away from and out of the secret place.

Psalm 91:1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

The scripture tells us we should abide. What this means is that we should stay in this place without giving up. We need to be determined that this is where we are going to stay.

THE SECRET PLACE IS THE PLACE OF HIS PRESENCE

Psalm 31:19-20 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man.

The secret place is the place of His presence. God is in the secret place and as such we can experience His presence in this place. God wants us to enjoy His presence. God wants us to know His presence. There is safety and protection within the secret place of His presence. We all need a bit more of this.

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March 22, 2019

GOD IS IN THE SECRET PLACE

The secret place is a place where God is.

Matthew 6:17-18 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (New King James Version)

This is what makes the secret place special. In fact anywhere where God is the secret place. I believe that within each of us God wants to live. What this means is that within each of us there is the possibility of a secret place.

WE CAN LIVE IN THE SECRET PLACE

Not only is there a secret place but we can live in this secret place

Psalm 91:1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

What does it mean to dwell? The word dwell indicates remaining or staying for a time period. It can also mean to live as a resident. We need to stay, remain and live like we belong in this secret place. We can reside, abide, hang out, live and stay or tarry in the secret place. How much time do you spend in the secret place?

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March 18, 2019

When I was a child I had a book entitled ‘The Secret Garden’. In this book a young girl finds this place, an abandoned, beautiful secret garden. The story depicts her adventures in this secret place where she can be herself and be alone. The Bible also speaks of a secret place. It is a place that we as Christians are meant to discover. It is a place near to God where we can be ourselves and a place where we can enjoy God. God wants us in the secret place He has designed for each of us.

THERE IS A SECRET PLACE

The secret place is a place in God. It is a place where we can be totally at home with God. It is a place to which we can keep on returning. It is a place where we can enjoy being with God. A place where we can worship and love God.

Psalm 91:1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

It is the character of a true Christians that he finds and dwells (stays) in the secret place of the Most High. There is a secret place for you and for me.

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March 15, 2019

TRUSTING GOD WITH TIMING

The best advice that I can give is to trust God with timing issues. It is not always easy, especially when we are between seasons and the boundaries are not clear. But God sees things clearly. That is why we can trust Him.

Psalm 31:14 But I am trusting you, O Lord. I said, “You alone are my God; my times are in your hands.

Are your times in God’s hands today? Let’s give Him those aspects of time that frustrate and confuse us.

GOD KNOWS

God knows what you are going through. God knows your exact situation and circumstances. And He wants to direct us every step of the way.

Psalm 139:1-2 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head. This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me.

Let’s trust God for the right time in each of our lives.

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March 11, 2019

GOD’S TIMING

This can be a very difficult aspect of us as Christians to understand. God lives in an eternal time frame with no beginning and no end. We live in a momentary time frame with a definite beginning and a sure end. It is for this reason that we see things very differently.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God sees things in a different light. He is not under pressure from time.

GOD UNDERSTANDS TIMING

Galatians 4:4 but when the right time came, the time God decided on, he sent his Son.

The time that God decides on is always the right time. Jesus also understood timing.

John 7:6-8 Jesus replied, “It is not the right time for me to go now. …… You go on, and I’ll come later when it is the right time.”

When the time to wrong it is the time to wait and when the time is right it is the time to move.

Romans 5:6 When we were utterly helpless, with no way of escape, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners who had no use for him.

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March 8, 2019

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Have you heard this phrase before? I have heard businessmen tell me how crucial timing is to the success of a deal or transaction. In our lives as Christians we also face the timing issue. We need to be sensitive to the time frame we find ourselves in. Timing can make the difference between success and failure. I remember my father telling me that there are times to ‘back off’ or ‘back down’. If we miss these time we can end up hurt and devastated, but if we can read these times we can step towards success and God’s plan for our lives.

UNDERSTANDING TIMING

This can be one of the most difficult and challenging tasks. I have seen people rush in to things long before the time is right. The result is usually devastating. It is difficult for us human beings who are caught up in time to understand timing. We are always in a hurry and want things to happen instantaneously. But there is a time for everything. This is something we need to understand and gain a grasp of so that we will not make mistakes.

THE HANDS OF THE CLOCK

Sometimes what we want to do is to push the hands of the clock up to the twelve o’ clock position. We want to get to our goal now. My mother was taking music lessons as a little girl. She was expected to practice each day for 30 minutes. She did not enjoy the practicing. There was a clock on the wall by which her parents would set the practice time. In her desperation she would sneak up to the clock, when no one was looking and push the minute hand forward so that she could end her practice early. Naturally her parents were not that stupid and the end result was usually discipline. Sometimes we live like this. We keep jumping up to push the hands of the clock on a little so that we can get on with what we think is good for us. Time is destined to move at a particular speed.

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March 4, 2019

We all go through certain time frames in our lives. I like to compare them to seasons. Seasons come and go. I find that just when I have had too much of the heat of summer, winter begins to arrive and when I have had enough of the cold, spring is in the air. When we are in a season we may think it will never end. But there is a right time and season for everything.

A RIGHT TIME FOR EVERYTHING

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a right time for everything: A time to be born; A time to die; A time to plant; A time to harvest; A time to kill; A time to heal; A time to destroy; A time to rebuild; A time to cry; A time to laugh; A time to grieve; A time to dance; A time for scattering stones; A time for gathering stones; A time to hug; A time not to hug; A time to find; A time to lose; A time for keeping; A time for throwing away; A time to tear; A time to repair; A time to be quiet; A time to speak up; A time for loving; A time for hating; A time for war; A time for peace.

This scripture has always amazed me. As Christians we find it hard to believe that these negatives should even happen, let alone that there would be a right time for them. An example: we may think that there is never a right time for war, but yet this scripture tells us that there is a time for war. Perhaps you are going through a season of one of these ‘negatives’. These can be difficult times but let’s allow God to help us through each stage or season of life that we may pass through.

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March 1, 2019

THE REWARD

If we will love the word of God and His laws we will not stumble.

Psalm 119:165 ‘Those who love your laws have great peace of heart and mind and do not stumble.’

Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Listen to the rewards:
1. Great peace of heart and mind
2. We will not stumble
3. Then you will be prosperous
4. Then you will be successful

What great rewards. As we develop a love for God’s word we can avoid stumbling.

ALWAYS THINKING OF THE LORD

I like this one. If God is a living reality to us, then we can experience Him and will not need to stumble and fall.
Without the reality of God in our lives stumbling and falling can be on going. Let your thoughts be full of thoughts about God.

Psalm 16:8 I am always thinking of the Lord; and because he is so near, I never need to stumble or fall.

Let heaven fill your thoughts. It is important that we experience God.

GOD IS WATCHING US

It is great to know that God is carefully watching us. God wants to see us walking without stumbling. He is ready to lead and guide us all along the way.

Psalm 121:3-4 He will never let me stumble, slip, or fall. For he is always watching, never sleeping.

This is God’s heart for us. When we endeavour to do what is right and allow God to lead us, we can experience. the joy of knowing that He is watching us and He wants to guard against us falling and stumbling. This is life that God has for us

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com

February 25, 2019

DOING WHAT IS RIGHT

As we endeavour to do what is right we will stay clear of stumbling and falling. Living a life of doing right is the way to live without stumbling. None of us want to stumble. We all want to walk with confidence and assurance. We can walk in this way if we are doing what is right. If you are walking a road of not doing what is right you can expect a stumbling experience.

Proverbs 4:11-12 I would have you learn this great fact: that a life of doing right is the wisest life there is. If you live that kind of life, you’ll not limp or stumble as you run.

Let’s determine to do what is right, for then we will be able to walk without stumbling.

GOD WANTS TO LEAD US

If God leads us this is the surest way of not stumbling. God does not cause us to stumble. He wants us to avoid stumbling. If we will allow Him to lead us then we can know that we will not stumble.

Jeremiah 31:9 I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble.

Won’t you let the Lord lead you? I believe that God is waiting and wanting to lead each of us.

We need to take advantage of the wisdom God has given and the wisdom He wants to continue giving us. Common sense is our ability to have sound and prudent judgment.
We must use these keys that God has given us and they will help us walk without stumbling.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com

February 22, 2019

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO STUMBLE?

It can mean anyone of the following:

1. To fall into sin or waywardness
2. To make an error or to blunder
3. To experience obstacles that allow us to fall
4. To trip in walking or running
5. To walk unsteadily or clumsily
6. To trip

God does not want us to stumble through life. God wants us to walk with Him through life confidently.

TWO KEYS TO AVOID STUMBLING

We need to know if there are any aspects we need to be on the lookout for. Proverbs tells us that to avoid stumbling we need to have two things:

1. Wisdom – Knowing and doing right
2. Common sense

Proverbs 3:21-23 have two goals: wisdom—that is, knowing and doing right—and common sense. Don’t let them slip away, for they fill you with living energy and bring you honour and respect. They keep you safe from defeat and disaster and from stumbling off the trail.

We need to take advantage of the wisdom God has given and the wisdom He wants to continue giving us. Common sense is our ability to have sound and prudent judgment.
We must use these keys that God has given us and they will help us walk without stumbling.

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February 18, 2019

God wants us to walk without stumbling. He wants us to walk with renewed strength. God wants to be able to run without growing weary and He wants us to walk without fainting. No matter if it is in our day-to-day lives or in or spiritual lives, God does not want us to stumble.

Isaiah 40:30-31 ‘Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’

Let us see how we can realise this wonderful life that God has for us.

WE NEED STRENGTH

We need to realise that we need strength and that we need God’s strength in our lives. We cannot always run on our own strength. Sooner or later we will need His divine strength. We have no power of our own. If we are going to walk without stumbling we need God’s strength.

Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak. Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’

We can have a source of renewed strength that will allow us to walk without stumbling.

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February 15, 2019

COME HOME TO THE ARMS OF THE ONE WHO LOVES AND CARES FOR YOU!

I often wonder what would have happened if Adam and Eve had rushed out to meet the Lord when He arrived and fell at His feet in repentance? We will never know how things would have turned out had they not covered and hidden things, but we do know that because of what Christ did for us on the cross, we can 'come home' to the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. In the story of the prodigal son we see things illustrated in great detail.

Luke 15:20 ‘So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.’

There is no need to cover anything and there is no need to run and hide. Run into His open arms with whatever it is that you may be carrying. He is ready and willing to receive and cover you and your issues. Notice the response:

1. While he was still on route, a long way off, his father saw him!

His father had been waiting and watching for this moment for years. The moment the father had longed for had finally arrived.

2. His father’s heart was FILLED with compassion.

Some translations say he was moved with compassion. The original Greek speaks of something taking place in the inward parts or even in the organs of the body. It speaks of a movement from the very seat of his affections. Gut-wrenching may be a better word to describe it.

3. He runs to his son.

For an old man to run is both difficult and undignified. But this father, a picture of out Heavenly Father, ran in this way to his son.

4. He threw his arms around him.

This was not a tender embrace. It was a forceful, involuntary and demonstrative action and would remove all doubt and debate.

5. He kissed him.

This became an intimate and uniquely personal moment between a son and his father. The Lord is waiting to do this for you. Come home!

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February 11, 2019

WHERE ARE YOU?

In the past when the Lord would come and meet them in the garden, they would be ready to meet Him. But this time they had run away and hid themselves. But the Lord, who knew exactly where they were, calls out and asks humanity one of the most important questions, Where are you? It's a question that we need to ask ourselves. Where are you when it comes to your relationship with God?

1. Are you covering things up?

Genesis 3:7 ‘Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.’

Trying to make things look better than they are never works with God. It may work on Facebook, but God sees through all our attempts at covering things up.

Proverbs 28:13 ‘He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whosoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.’

2. Are you hiding anything from God?

Genesis 3:9-10 The LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

We can never hide anything from God. He sees all, knows all and loves us all the same.

Hebrews 4:13 ‘Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.’

So we see that it is a futile thing to cover up things or to try and hide. Where are you? Is there any aspect that needs to be brought into the light? Do you need to step out of the shadows and into His glorious light?

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February 8, 2019

THAT TIME – THE COOL OF THE DAY

Years ago there was a man that was well known to our family. He was a great man that God had used in our country. One day he told us that he had a certain quote written in the front of His diary. The quote simply said the following: 'There are just two days in my life, THIS day and THAT day!' He told us that he lived by this principle that there are only two days that really matter in our lives, today and that day when we will see the Lord. Life is compared to a day. It has a dawning or a birthing, it has a daytime period during the heat of the day and then it has an ending or a setting, usually flowing out of the cool of the day. When we are in the 'heat of the day' in our lives, it may feel like it will go on forever. The truth of the matter is that the 'cool of the day' can sometimes arrive quickly or unexpectedly.

Genesis 3:8 ‘Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…’

There are two things we can read into this phrase; ‘the cool of the day’.

1. God was very patient with them. He did not immediately deal with them, but he waited.

The Lord is very patient towards us.

2 Peter 3:9 ‘The Lord is not slow to fulfil His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.’

Sometimes we can see God as this figure waiting to dish out flashes of lightning to deal with us. The Lord's desire is that we would come to repentance before judgement is required.

James 2:13 ‘Mercy triumphs over judgment.’

2. The Lord did not abandon them, He still came to them.

Even though they had done wrong and God, being all-knowing, knew of the error of their ways, He still faithfully comes to them at exactly the same time in exactly the same way. We serve such a faithful Father and He is a Good, Good Father. In our situations, He does not abandon or leave us, but He comes to us.

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February 4, 2019

AVOIDING THE GREAT DIVIDE.

There is the possibility that this wonderful relationship that we were designed and created for can be hindered. When this relationship is damaged or broken it causes a divide to come between us and God. Adam and Eve had done what they were specifically told not to do and this changed the nature of the relationship.

Genesis 3:8 ‘So they hid from the LORD God among the trees.’

How often as humans when we do something wrong we want to run away and hide. You have heard of 'hit and run' accidents, when an accident occurs that the perpetrator rides off in the hope that they will escape the consequences of their actions. The great divide is sin. When sin comes into our hearts and lives it brings a separation between us and the Lord.

Isaiah 59:2 ‘But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.’

Iniquities, is the word that the Bible uses for sin or wrong-doing. Sin changes the dynamic. Remember that Adam and Eve were in relationship with the Lord. They were not strangers to God. But sin caused them to see themselves and God in a different light. As a result they chose to change their appearance (they covered themselves with leaves) and they chose to hide from God. In the process innocence was lost. Don't give sin a foothold in your life. Deal ruthlessly with sin and when it happens don't run and hide from God, but rather run towards Him. Be quick to confess, because He is ready to forgive.

1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’

Remember that nothing can be hidden from God. Let's live in such a way as to preserve and develop our relationship with Him and let us stay away from sin and its ability to bring a separation and a divide between us and our precious creator.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com

February 1, 2019

WE NEED TO DEVELOP OUR SENSITIVITY TO HIS PRESENCE

We need to develop our sensitivity towards God. In the busyness of life, do we actually know when He is trying to get our attention or if He is present? In the story of Adam and Eve in the garden, there is a verse that speaks about this.

Genesis 3:8 ‘Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden…’

I have always loved this verse as it is something special. The Garden of Eden must have been a very large place and Adam and Eve could have wondered off in any direction. But there would come a time in the day when they would 'hear a certain sound'. They knew this sound so well, because it was the sound of the Lord God as He arrived on the scene for His regular walk with them. Most translations use the word 'sound' some use the word 'voice', but the original Hebrew indicates both 'sound' and 'voice'. Are we sensitive enough to hear and respond to His 'sound' in our lives? Or are we simply too busy and too consumed with the issues of life to know He is calling us into deeper relationship with Him? I desire that I would always be ready to hear His 'sound' or His 'voice' as He calls out to me to know Him more dearly and to love Him more deeply. It is almost as if we have to 'tune in' to get rid of the noise and discern that He is calling to us. Sometimes we are listening to so many voices that it is difficult to discern His 'sound' above the din. Remember He has designed you for relationship with Him and He is calling out to you. He comes to different people in different ways. He comes to us if we are saints and He comes to us if we are sinners. Let us be determined that we want more relationship with Him and we will develop our sensitivity to His presence in our lives. Let this be a quality choice and a determined purpose.

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January 28, 2019

Where are you today with God? Have you ever actually given your life and heart to Him? Is He YOUR Saviour and YOUR God? Perhaps you have loved and served God for years.....But are you where you should be with Him? Do you enjoy the relationship you used to know? Do you enjoy the relationship with Him that you long for? Is there anything in the way that could be blocking your relationship with Him? Is there anything that you are hiding from Him? Where are you when it comes to God today?

SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 2:15 – 3:10

RELATIONSHIP – GOD’S ORIGINAL DESIGN.

Genesis 3:8 ‘Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…’

Relationship was God's plan and intention for His creation. He would come in the cool of the day and walk with Adam and Eve and talk with them. I love the picture of walking with someone in the cool of the day... It is not a picture of a race track, or a quick appointment. It is a picture of uninterrupted, relaxed interaction. God had even created the environment in which they would walk and it was a magnificent garden. So the Lord creates the environment and the opportunity for fellowship with Him. His ultimate aim with everything He does is relationship and the restoration of relationship. Even when He sent His Son, Jesus, it was a deliberate attempt to bring humanity back into relationship with Himself. Relationship is a priority to God. The question we have to ask ourselves is; is relationship a priority with us, and especially when it comes to our relationship with God? It was a priority for the Creator of The Universe to make time and purposefully connect with mankind in a focused and suitable environment. It is still a priority for the Creator of The Universe to meet and interact with each one of us. Relationship with you is what is on God's heart.

If you have a PRAYER REQUEST, please send us an e-mail at Prayer@AliveToGod.com

August 1, 2017

Faith in God is a vital aspect of our Christian walk. The truth is that we all put our faith in something. The question is where should our faith be placed and do we actually live our lives with faith in God? I believe that the Lord is calling us back to a life of ‘faith in God’!

Jude 1:20 -21 ‘But you, beloved, keep building yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.’

Our faith in God is something very special; in fact, the Bible calls it ‘HOLY’. We are instructed to build up ourselves in our faith. Our faith should be a focus point in our lives.

The question we should ask ourselves is: ‘How much faith does take to live your kind of Christian life?’

What do you place your faith in?

I believe that God is calling us back to a new level of faith in Him. I want to see a new wave of faith taking root in the lives of believers. A faith that will cause us to trust the Lord for the fulfilment of His promises and that we would see wonderful things happen. A faith in God that would replace all the other things we may have placed our faith in.


Here are some things we can place our faith in:

1. FAITH IN THE PAST

We call this traditionalism.

1 Peter 1:18 ‘Since you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain manner of life received by tradition from your fathers.’

Sometimes we think that we can put our faith in the way things have always been done. Perhaps we believe if we just do what our fathers did we will be ok. The Bible calls this a ‘vain manner of life’. We should not place our faith in the past. The past is no guarantee of the future.

2. FAITH IN THINGS

We call this materialism.

The world places a very heavy emphasis on this aspect. Years ago a popular singer sang and song that focussed on this aspect. The words of the song went like this: ‘Losing everything, is like the sun going down on me!’

Proverbs 11:18 ‘Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last.’

Things may give us a lift for a moment, but that soon fades. I remember one occasion in my life when I was fortunate enough to by a new car. It was the first time this had happened and the smell was wonderful and I felt like a million dollars as I drove out of the showroom. I didn’t want anyone to eat or drink anything in the car, in case they spilt something. But very soon the wonder of the new car faded and it simply became my means of transport.

Faith in things, or materialism, is some that is fickle and passing. But faith on God brings a reward to the godly that will last.

3. FAITH IN POSITION

This is called influencialism.


This occurs because we believe that because of the position we hold to, will be able to influence any situation to our benefit. For this reason many people clamour for positions and they are convinced that when they get there, their problems will be over. Or we can believe that our connection to powerful and influential people will provide the answer we have been hoping for.

Psalm 146:3 ‘Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.’ (New Living Translation)

This scripture is sobering.

4. FAITH IN RELIGION

Sometimes our faith can be more religion than relationship with God. We then put our faith in religion.


We call this phariseism.

Luke 18:9 ‘Jesus also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves, thinking they were righteous, but who looked down on everyone else…’

Faith in religion brings death, but faith in God brings life.

5. FAITH IN MAN

We call this humanism.

Jeremiah 17:5 This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD.’

This kind of faith has taken the world by storm. Humanity becomes its own god and it thinks it is the solution to every issue and problem.

6. FAITH IN REASON

We call this rationalism.

Proverbs 3:5 ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…’

Our own understanding or the understanding within the human race, is not something that can be depended on and it is not something we can put our faith in. The Bible makes it very clear: ‘lean not on your own understanding’. The Bible also makes it very clear what we should do: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart…’ That is where our faith should actually rest.

Faith In God Opens The Door To Possibilities

Faith sweeps the believer out of the every-day, normal run-of-the-mill type of life into the supernatural!

Jesus said, “WITH GOD all things are possible”

Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

He also said “all things are possible TO HIM WHO BELIEVES”

Mark 9:23 Jesus said. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’

This means that through faith, all that is possible to God becomes equally possible to us. Praise the Lord!

What is faith actually?

In English we have two words: a noun, FAITH; a verb, TO BELIEVE. In Greek we have “pistis”, FAITH and “pisteuo”, TO BELIEVE, both words having the same root “pist”. Therefore to have faith is to believe.

The Greek words formed from this root occur almost 600 times in the New Testament. This many occurrences of this word obviously represent a theme that is central to the message of the Bible. To have faith in God is to believe in God. It means we do not have faith in all these other things, but we believe in the in God and His ability, power and final authority.

 

FAITH DEFINED:

Hebrews 11:1 says, ‘Now faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE (conviction) of things not seen.’

‘SUBSTANCE’ literally means, ‘that which stands under or provides the basis for’. For example, a title deed is the substance of ownership, it proves ownership. “EVIDENCE” is like a bank guaranteed cheque! - A proof of things not seen; a proof that there is cash in the bank. In other words faith relates us to the invisible world – the world of the unseen.

Hebrews 11:3 ‘By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.’

Hebrews 11:27 ‘It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king's anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.

Our faith can grow

The Bible tells us that we have each received a measure of faith.

Romans 12:3 ‘God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.’

The Bible tells us that our faith can grow.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 ‘We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.’

1. LITTLE FAITH

Luke 12:28 ‘If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you--you of little faith!’

 

2. GREAT FAITH

Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, ‘Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.’

 

3. FULL OF FAITH

Acts 6:5 ‘They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.’

Our faith increases as we feed on the FOOD OF FAITH, which is Word of God.

Romans 10:17 ‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’

The Bible also says that we can grow “from faith to faith”

Romans 1:17 ‘For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.’

God’s ultimate plan for us is that we should live the LIFE OF FAITH. Through meditation on God’s Word our faith will grow. Meditate!

We are called to live a life of faith

Faith is like an adventure or a trip in which we move from point “A” to point “B”. At point “A” we exercise our faith, possible by way of praying the “prayer of faith”. Our problem comes as we endeavour to move from that prayer of faith to point “B”, the answer to the prayer. How does one bridge this gap? Well, the Bible is very clear on this point in that it clearly states that we must add to our faith “ENDURANCE”.

Hebrews 6:12 ‘…follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and endurance.’ (New Living Translation)

In other words once we have prayed the prayer of faith we must NOT give up on expecting the answer to be forthcoming. Jesus is more interested in our faith lives than most of us realize. Part of His current ministry is to assist us to move on to mature faith.

Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus is the “AUTHOR and the FINISHER of our faith”

Imagine being personally taught by Jesus? “Looking unto Jesus” is therefore the key to experiencing the “finishing of our faith”. Jesus, through His Word is the One who takes us from point “A” to point “B”. God’s ultimate plan for us is that we should live a life of faith. Six centuries before Christ the prophet Habakkuk said, “The righteous shall LIVE BY FAITH”. (This is one of the two occurrences of the word “faith” in the Old Testament). This statement of the prophet is quoted three times in the New Testament, in Romans 1:17, in Galatians 3:11 and in Hebrews 10:38. It calls on us to cover every area of our living with faith. Let us live a life of faith!

June 27, 2017

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June 20, 2017

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