Inspiration

Blessed are those

“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What can we do to get rid of guilt? King David was guilty of terrible sins—adultery, murder, lying—and yet he experienced the joy of forgiveness. We, too, can have this joy when we (1) quit denying our guilt and recognize that we have sinned, (2) admit our guilt to God and ask for his forgiveness, and (3) let go of our guilt and believe that God has forgiven us. This can be difficult when a sin has taken root in our life over many years, when it is very serious, or when it involves others. We must remember that Jesus is willing and able to forgive every sin. In view of the tremendous price he paid on the cross, it is arrogant to think that there is any sin too great for him to forgive. Even though our faith is weak, our conscience is sensitive, and our memory haunts us, God’s Word declares that sins confessed are sins forgiven (1 John 1:9). (Tyndale Study Bible) 

The other evening at our Harvest event I met a couple of people from an establishment named the ARK. It is a haven for drug addicts. I was counselling after the Alter call. 

This one guy could not believe that God loves him after the things he had done. He looked at me very sceptical. Most probably wondering why I am taking the time to talk to him. It’s because God has taught me to love unconditionally. I pray that he gets his life together. 

“This can be difficult when a sin has taken root in our or his life over many years, when it’s serious, or when it involves others. Think of that sinful bad habit. We feel sorry when we do the sin, and then that feeling of condemnation. We believe that bad feeling is the price we have to pay for sin. You see there is no price to pay for sin. Jesus paid the price with his life. He died for all our sins. Important to note that the Bible declares it’s sins confessed that are sins forgiven. It applies to all. All we have to do is believe.

I ponder on “small sins.” Think how hard it is when you get saved not to swear. That little white lie. Temper control. Loving unconditionally. Lusting after the opposite sex. There are much more. What we tend to do is not confess these, we think they are going to slip by unnoticed. Very arrogant because God knows everything. It’s not always the big things that are important; life has always been about the small details. In God’s book, it is the same. 

It’s like not doing your work properly. God commands hard work. He does not like laziness. Think about that for a moment? 

“God, I pray for daily guidance, prevent me from sin. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Inspiration

Help each other

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

No Christian should ever think that he or she is totally independent and doesn’t need help from others, and no one should feel excused from the task of helping others. The body of Christ—the church—functions only when the members work together for the common good. Do you know someone who needs help? Is there a Christian brother or sister who needs correction or encouragement? Humbly and gently reach out to that person offering to lift his or her load (John 13:34-35).(Tyndal Study Bible)

Christ never commands us to do anything that he wants us to do on our own. Therefore, every command in the law of Christ is a call to faith. Through faith God supplies the Spirit of Christ (Galatians 3:5); through the Spirit, we produce the fruit of love (5:22); through love, we fulfil the law of Christ (6:2). Therefore, if you trust him, you will fulfil his law of love. You will devote yourself to lifting the burdens of others. ( Desiring God – by John Piper)

How many times do you feel like an island? You feel the whole world owes you. I know it happens in my case. 

Today one of my colleagues pointed out after I commented, that was the most negative comment he heard me say in the two years knowing me. I felt terrible because I am normally always positive. Well yes, it was one of those days. Then this evening I am meditating on this scripture, is that not amazing. What I have realised is that we create our own islands, we don’t allow people into our space and hearts. I wonder what I am trying to protect? Maybe there is help out there. 

“Fulfill the Law of Christ” My thoughts ponder to the principles of the Bible. Two things come to mind,  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, second to that love your neighbour as yourself. Secondly, you will reap what you sow. The commandment of love is the law of Christ. My question is if we love unconditionally, will people see our softness and will we be more approachable? Remember what the description of Jesus was yesterday, the words were, GENUINE LOVE, TRULY HUMBLE, GENTLE, MEEK, LIFE OF PRAYER, HARD WORKER. Jesus was the most approachable person in the world. 

The lesson for you and I soften our hearts, and our burdens will disappear. It will be easy to take care of others burdens if we LOVE. 

“Lord I pray for a soft heart. Through your Love and Grace. In Jesus name. Amen.” 

Inspiration

Is your way right

“A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭21:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

People may mistakenly think they are doing right, but God sees the motives behind their actions. We often have to make choices in areas where the right action is difficult to discern. We can help ourselves make such decisions by trying to identify our motives first and then asking, “Would God be pleased with my real reasons for doing this?” God is not pleased when we do good deeds only to receive something in return.(Tyndale Study Bible)

How many of us, live an actual clean life. We never falter. You see it’s not always about what we don’t do. It’s what we do, do. Doing nothing is not going to get you anywhere. Think of this, that guy that goes to work does his job, risks nothing. Drives carefully and mind his own business. Are you that type of person? Or do you take risks for God?

Consider this. A Christian that reads his Bible goes to Church prays religiously, other than that; he does not do much. I can tell you this, the Lord and the church aren’t for those types. Revelation 3:15 -16 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Where do you/I fit in? 

Firstly let us look at what we are mandated to do as Christian. We are to spread the Good News of the Gospel. Do we do that? I can’t do that; I am not that sort of person. Read – Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)

6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

We can never say there is something we can not do. Surely there is something we can do, amongst the things above. It gets back to desire, though, do we want to do these things, or do we want to live or comfortable lives.  In my study notes, there is a description of Jesus. ” He lived an absolute HOLY LIFE; He was motivated by GENUINE LOVE, His conduct was TRULY HUMBLE, He was GENTLE  and MEEK, He lived a LIFE OF PRAYER and He was a HARD WORKER.” ( Christian life training)

So apart from our own motives are we HARD WORKERS for God? Find your passion and follow it. Get out of your comfort zone. Let’s be HOT for GOD. You can apply this to your work life as well. 

“Lord, I thank you for talent. Help me find mine. Amen.”

Inspiration

False things

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Do no believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the Spirit they have comes from God” means that we shouldn’t believe everything we hear just because someone says it is a message from God. There are many ways to test teachers to see if their message is truly from the Lord. One is to check to see if their words match what God says in the Bible. Other tests include their commitment to the body of believers (2:19), their lifestyles (3:23-24), and the fruit of their ministries (4:6). But the most important test of all, says John, is what they believe about Christ. Do they teach that Jesus is fully God and 29/2 – False thingsfully man? Our world is filled with voices claiming to speak for God. Give them these tests to see if they are indeed speaking God’s truth.(Tyndal Study Bible)

I am currently in Bible School, wow, has it been tough. The most rewarding thing for me is learning about the truths of the Bible. Just like the commentator says we test things as to what the Bible says. Everything in the Bible is a 100% true. Just today I was learning that the death of Jesus and His resurrection is the most important thing in a Christian’s life. Truly man and fully God. With that came the Pentecost, which is the release of the Holy Spirit onto earth. Who’s power is responsible for Jesus’s resurrection and is available to all. All we need to do is accept the Lord Jesus as our personal saviour. Just believe. 

This scripture also makes me think of the world we live in today. Apart from false prophets, there are many other things that can lead us astray. The first thing that comes to mind is Social Media. Ten years ago it was not even around. Do these things offer genuine peace? No, they don’t it’s just like drugs and alcohol, they offer tempory results. Then the after effects set in, which is disastrous. We live in an obsessed society. Things and stuff are more important than the peace of God. I have seen how possession can steal people’s peace. The next thing that comes to mind is the evils of the internet. There is so much wrong and evil in that space. However, when correctly used it can be invaluable. 

So warning to myself is to Guard against false and evil things of this world. Spend time in the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit guide us daily. You will quickly know the wrong.

“Lord I pray for Holy Spirit guidance. Amen.”

Inspiration

Whats the meaning

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭
Paul had faced suffering, trials, and distress as he preached the Good News. But he knew that they would one day be over, and he would obtain God’s rest and rewards. As we face great troubles, it’s easy to focus on the pain rather than on our ultimate goal. Just as athletes concentrate on the finish line and ignore their discomfort, we, too, must focus on the reward of our faith and the joy that lasts forever. No matter what happens to us in this life, we have the assurance of eternal life, when all suffering will end, and all sorrow will flee away (Isaiah 35:10).(Tyndale Study Bible)
I have read this scripture a thousand times. Struggling to understand, remembering that we are warned not to take scripture out of context. Two things stand out to me – “Christ’s love compels us.” and ” that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them.” Paul is speaking to the Corinthians and speaking to us. In short what he is saying is we should live for Jesus, in fact, we are compelled to do that. The reference to, “and therefore, all died.” means we died to our old life. So back to in context, read the next two verses.
“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.”‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Well, the lights just came on for me. Do you see it? I struggled with the writing because I focused on the wrong part – “all died.” The key parts are. • Christ’s love compels us• no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them• anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person• gift from God• And God has given us this task of reconciling people to himWow, do you see how God speaks to us? Is it not amazing?
Read the commentary again. Just as it is for Paul, it is for us. We are compelled by the love of Christ to spread the good news of the Gospel. So don’t let the trials of life get in the way of us fulfilling our mandate.
” Lord I thank You for a great message. Amen.”

Inspiration

He is on our side

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus looked ahead to a new day when he would be present with his followers not in body, but through his Holy Spirit. In the body of believers (the church), the sincere agreement of two people in prayer is more powerful than the superficial agreement of thousands, because Christ’s Holy Spirit is with them. Two or more believers, filled with the Holy Spirit, will pray according to God’s will, not their own; thus, their requests will be granted. ( Tyndale Study Bible)

I would like you to take time to read the Below commentary by Tim Chaffey – Posted in Christian Living, Q & A  Tagged Bible, Christian Living, Church, Jesus Christ, New Testament, Theology permalink

It refers to Church life.” What’s interesting to me is that scripture commands us to reach out to the failing brother. I firmly believe that there is power in numbers. I have to say that God is everywhere he is present through the Holy Spirit. We can call on his strength individually at any time. That does not mean that he will answer our prayers because that is his will. Read the preceding section in Matthew.The important thing God is present at all times no matter how many we are. So just have faith you don’t need to rely on others to call on God’s power.”

Back to Jesus story. If the sinning brother did not make things right in the presence of two or three witnesses, then the case was to be brought before the church. If he refused to listen to the church’s decision, then he was to be thrown out of the congregation. I know that sounds harsh in our day because precious few churches practice discipline as Jesus instructed. Please consider preceding this verse, Matthew wrote about the parable of the lost sheep. The Shepherd would all the other sheep and look for the lost sheep. Following this verse is the parable of the forgiving servant. Jesus is asked, how many times one should forgive, and he says seventy times seven.

It is with this in mind that Jesus said that the Father would grant the request of two or more who gather together in Christ’s name and are in agreement. Agreement on what? On disciplining the erring brother. That’s what this passage is about, and yet so many Christians use it as though Jesus promised to answer their prayers when offered in certain situations.

Before I finish this post, let me stress what the Bible does say about prayer. The Apostle John wrote, “Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14–15). John also wrote, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).

So we can have confidence in God answering our prayers when we are obediently following Him and praying according to His will. If you haven’t experienced answered prayer, then perhaps you aren’t living in obedience and/or praying according to His will (or maybe He did answer it, and you didn’t recognize the response because He often answers in ways we don’t expect).

“Lord I thank you for Your power. I am privileged to be Your child. Amen.”

Inspiration

Do you hate the light?

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

‭‭John‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inspiration

Do you need wisdom

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

‭‭James‬ ‭1:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The wisdom that we need has three distinct characteristics:

(1) It is practical. The wisdom from God relates to life even during the most trying times. It is not a wisdom isolated from suffering and trials. This wisdom is the tool by which trials are overcome. An intelligent person may have profound ideas, but a wise person puts profound ideas into action. Intelligence will allow someone to describe several reasons why the car broke down. The wise person chooses the most likely reason and proceeds to take action.

(2) It is divine. God’s wisdom goes beyond common sense. Common sense does not lead us to choose joy in the middle of trials. This Wisdom begins with respect for God, leads to living by God’s direction, and results in the ability to tell right from wrong. 

(3) It is Christlike. Asking for wisdom is ultimately asking to be like Christ. The Bible identifies Christ as the “knowledge of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24; 2:1-7).

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

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

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

This lesson and advice will only be wisdom if we act upon it. 

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

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

Inspiration

Lend to your enemies

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

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:35-36‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Versions of this, the so-called Golden Rule, existed in the rabbinic writings, Greek philosophy, and in Hinduism and Buddhism. Those formulations, however, cast the rule in a negative sense; they advocate not doing to others what you would not want them to do to you.

The Greek philosopher Isocrates wrote, “Do not do to others that which angers you when they do it to you” (Nicocles, 3.60). In his Analects, Confucius counselled, “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself” (XV.24). The apocryphal book of Tobit commands, “Do that to no man which thou hatest” (4:15). The famous Jewish rabbi Hillel summed up the Torah in the statement, “What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour” (Talmud; Shabbat 31a).

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

In my opinion, the critical section of this scripture is this, “Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.” Repaid? When we do things in life, we always are checking what’s in it for me. How many of us do things without expectation? I have met many people especially Christians that don’t expect anything in return.

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

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

This verse refers to love. That bad habit we have, what’s in it for me, lingers with us, in the area of love as well. I am going to use that word selfless here. Are we that?

It’s not about you. It’s about unconditional love.

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

Inspiration

Like Jesus

“But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

How can you be sure that you belong to Christ? This passage gives two ways to know: if you do what Christ says and live as Christ wants. What does Christ tell us to do? John answers in 3:23: “Believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another.” True Christian faith results in loving behaviour; that is why John says that the way we act can assure us that we belong to Christ.

To live as Jesus lived doesn’t mean choosing 12 disciples, performing great miracles, and being crucified. We cannot merely copy Christ’s life—much of what Jesus did had to do with his identity as God’s Son, the fulfilment of his special role in dying for sin, and the cultural context of the first-century Roman world. To walk today as Christ did, we must obey his teachings and follow his example of complete obedience to God and loving service to people. (Tyndal Study Bible)

Reading this scripture reminds of the kids in Church. They are always asking what would Jesus do. It’s like a fashion to them. What I wonder is, do they understand the full meaning of those words? “Should lead their lives as Jesus did.”

Cycling home this evening pondering on a couple of things. I was thinking how quickly we return to our own understanding. Not relying on God. I say this because we always have these good intentions, and as the day progresses things go south. We fall horribly short of living as the scripture says. 

It reminds me, and this is not an excuse. One can’t accept Jesus as their saviour, and then think all is going to change overnight. Becoming like Jesus is a process. When saved we become Christian babies, and should be taught and weened off our old life. Shown how to become an adult Christian. Eventually having Christian babies of our own. In other words leading others to God. The way to become an adult is to spend time in the Word of God. Be obedient to its teachings. “Those that obey will show how completely they love Him.”  

Failing, however, is the day you stop trying. 

Let’s never fail to aspire to be like Jesus.

“Lord I thank you for making me a baby again. Guide me to be the adult. You want me to be. In Jesus name. Amen”