Inspiration

This is “Love”

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Nothing sinful or evil can exist in God’s presence. He is absolute goodness. He cannot overlook, condone, or excuse sin as though it never happened. He loves us, but his love does not make him morally lax. If we trust in Christ, however, we will not have to bear the penalty for our sins (1 Peter 2:24). We will be acquitted (Romans 5:18) by his atoning sacrifice. (Tyndale Study Bible)

The Bible’s central message is atonement. From the first stories in Genesis to the last visions of Revelation it is everywhere apparent that God seeks to reconcile his people to himself and that he has provided a way to do so. (Theopedia)

The English word ‘atonement’ originally meant “at-one-ment”, i.e. being “at one”, in harmony, with someone. It is used to describe the saving work that God did through Christ to reconcile the world to himself, and also of the state of a person having been reconciled to God. Throughout the centuries, Christians have used different metaphors and given differing explanations of the atonement to express how the atonement might work. Churches and denominations may vary in which metaphor or explanation they consider most accurately fits into their theological perspective; however, all Christians emphasize that Jesus is the Saviour of the world and through his death, the sins of humanity have been forgiven. (Wikipedia)

I would like to ask you, did you read this much into the verse above? Yes, I know the verse is powerful. Yes, Jesus did die for our sins. We all know that. ( I would like to get back to this point later.) Reading the commentary above is enlighting and revealing. It is so inspirational it drives me to spend more time in the Word. 

You know when you are lead by the Spirit let Him do His work. Well, do we all know that Jesus died for our sins?  The whole world does not know that. It’s our mandate as believers to tell the world. I prayed for a new brother on Sunday. I feel I should share this with you. Read Mathew 25:14-30 an amazing parable. Talents are given to all, what we do with them is critical. Some of us are saying I not good at anything. I can promise you there is something you good at. The Bible says we all form the Body of Christ the Church. We are all good at something; we just need to find it. Together as the Body of Christ, the Church we can reach the unbeliever. That is what we are mandated to do. The point I was referring to earlier. 

So just as we learnt about God’s atonement becoming one with us. We should share that with the whole world. There is much work to do any many talents to multiply and lean on. 

Lord, I thank you for the blessing. Guide me to do Your work. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Inspiration

Its written

“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ 

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus was hungry and weak after fasting for 40 days, but he chose not to use his divine power to satisfy his natural desire for food. Food, hunger, and eating are good, but the timing was wrong. Jesus was in the wilderness to fast, not to eat. And because Jesus had given up the unlimited, independent use of his divine power to experience humanity fully, he wouldn’t use his power to change the stones to bread. We also may be tempted to satisfy an entirely normal desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time. If we indulge in sex before marriage or if we steal to get food, we are trying to satisfy God-given desires in wrong ways. Remember, many of your desires are normal and good, but God wants you to satisfy them in the right way and at the right time.

Jesus was able to resist all of the devil’s temptations because he not only knew Scripture, but he also obeyed it. Ephesians 6:17 says that God’s Word is a sword to use in spiritual combat. Knowing Bible verses is a significant step in helping us resist the devil’s attacks, but we must also obey the Bible. Note that Satan had memorized Scripture, but he failed to obey it. Knowing and obeying the Bible helps us follow God’s desires rather than the devil’s. (Tyndal Study Bible)

What I have learnt in the last while is there is a solution to all our cares in the Bible. For a long time, I wondered how to overcome sinful behaviour. Empower yourself with scripture. As the commentator says, above. 

Experience has taught me, we all know in which area our weaknesses are. Identify them. Doing that has a two-fold effect. Firstly when you acknowledge a weakness, you are halfway there in the cure. It’s like saying you sorry and you won’t do it again. Secondly, you now know what to guard against and fix. It’s like admitting you have a weight problem, then creating a plan to rectify it. The scripture that I live by is John 8:32 NLT- “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Important here is to read this in context. The preceding verse – 31 “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.” By my teachings, Jesus was referring to the Word of God the Bible. How powerful is that? 

You see if you are like me then you won’t remember everything at once. So I suggest remembering key verses to help you overcome the daily challenges we face. We can spend hours exploring the verses for each challenge. I suggest each of us make our list. There is even scripture that can assist us in motivation at work. 

“Lord as I explore Your Word, reveal to me that will suit my challenges. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.”

Inspiration

Trust in God

“In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭56:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This was probably written on the same occasion as Psalm 34, when David fled from Saul to Philistine territory. He had to pretend insanity before Achish when some servants grew suspicious of him (1 Samuel 21:10-15).

David stated, “What can mere mortals do to me?” How much harm can people do to us? They can inflict pain, suffering, and death. But nobody can rob us of our souls or our future beyond this life. How much harm can we do to ourselves? The worst thing we can do is to reject God and lose our eternal future. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul” (Matthew 10:28). Instead, we should fear God, who controls this life and the next. (Tyndal Study Bible)

Wow, what powerful words these are. They cannot touch your soul. 

It reminds me of that Children’s rhyme – “Sticks and stones will break my bones. But words will never harm me.” Listen to the explanation of this. “Sticks and Stones” is an English language children’s rhyme. It persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured. (Wikipedia)

The thing that stands out to me is the last couple of words in the explanation, “remain calm and good-natured.” The principal here is most probably very similar as the scripture above. David faced different challenges every day. He certainly was not exposed to the pressure of corporate and working life. What did he do? “In God, I trust and am not afraid.” The fixes in both our challenges, corporate life and survival in the jungle, David’s and Ours, is trust and faith in God. There is no debate about this. 

What I catch myself from doing, is forget about God. The pressures of the day happen, and we forget about our real intention in the morning. All those worthy aspirations are out the window. It occurs in a blink of the eye. 

So my question is, have we a plan to overcome the forgotten Lord. What will make us never forget to rely on God? I want to leave you with these words. “Calm, good- natured, trust and not afraid.” Do and apply these words daily, and God will be proud of you and me. And that is all the recognition we need. 

The Bible does say that it’s not about good works, which might be a seed. What it’s about is faith and God’s grace. It’s more about love and reaching out to others. And love is about action, yet right actions.  

In closing, all success, in any field takes planning and diligence. No matter what have a plan and work it. 

“Lord, I pray for these words above. May the Holy Spirit guide me. Amen.”

Inspiration

Chosen people

“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

‭‭John‬ ‭6:37‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus did not work independently of God the Father, but in union with him. This should give us, even more, assurance of being welcomed into God’s presence and being protected by him. Jesus’ purpose was to do the will of God, not to satisfy Jesus’ human desires. When we follow Jesus, we should have the same purpose. (Tyndal Study Bible)

There might be a case that God has chosen a select few to come to Jesus. That’s quite the contrary Christ Jesus died for all our sins. Read what Paul says in – Colossians 3:11 NLT “In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” In John, Jesus was speaking, saying that who God his Father gives Him he will not drive away. So after the death and resurrection of Jesus, He lives in us all, through the Holy Spirit that was released on the earth. The Bible explicitly says that the power of the Spirit is available to us all. No matter what and who, we are. All we need to do is believe. God loves us, and He is very clear all of us. No matter who and what we have done. 

I must say I like the comment above about Jesus; he never followed his will but rather the will of God, it was not about Him. I was about God. So if we chose to follow Jesus, why don’t we also follow his example?

It’s made me wonder about my daily actions.

So yes, we all are God chosen people, all we need to do is, accept Jesus as our personal saviour. Jesus will not reject you. Make a choice I invite you. 

Lord, I pray your love will touch many millions more in this world. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Inspiration

Give Praise

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭105:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If God seems far away, persist in your search for him. God rewards those who sincerely look for him (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus promised, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). The writer suggested a valuable way to find God—become familiar with the way he has helped his people in the past. The Bible records the history of God’s people. In searching its pages, we will discover a loving God who is waiting for us to find him.(Tyndal Study Bible)

The scripture makes me think of a couple of things. When last outside of Church, have I given  God praise? When last have you made a public declaration of your faith? When last have I given Him praise by my actions? Secondly, why do we only call on God when we are in trouble? Why don’t we acknowledge Him with our blessings? Give praise when it’s due. 

The praise offering outside of Church is different to every Christian. For the more mature believer, it should be more challenging and impactful. Like praying for the sick and spreading the Good News of the Gospels to a tough group or individual. The young believer praises in prayer. Praise is different for every person. The important thing is we all have to give praise. Watching rugby over the weekend, it’s amazing how many players acknowledge God after scoring a try. You see that is a praise offering. With his God given talent, he was able to score a try. All the Glory to God.

Secondly, just like the rugby player, why don’t we acknowledge our daily achievements. Even those in the workplace. I can’t do that what would my colleagues think. When the chips are down, we are quick to call on God’s strength. I speak from experience here. When the going is good, we conveniently forget about God, who provided the blessings. I think we should be like those rugby players and acknowledge God more often. I believe that it will also add to you staying humble. 

Scripture clearly says we are not to lean on or own understanding. We are to rely on God for everything. 

“Lord may I praise You in all my actions. Amen.”

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.”