Christmas 2018; A Gift

Christmas Day!!

It’s that amazing time of the year again, when we get to think about God’s perfect love for us. A love so deep that He decided to give us Himself in human form, for a greater purpose of redemption (John 3:16-17).
It’s fair to say that Jesus Christ was, and always will be the most perfect gift ever given to all of mankind.

This Christmas, God also wants me to let you know that YOU, as you have been fearfully, wonderfully and perfectly crafted (Psalm 139:14), you too are a great gift to the world around you!

God is calling us to identify with He that is within us, recognise the many talents, qualities and abilities that we possess, and birth forth our gifts, to edify, nourish and brighten the world around us.

So as I wish you a Sweet and Merry Christmas, I pray this for you also…

That you will allow Jesus’ birth to shine perfect light into your life and bring transformation in the areas that require His touch.

I pray that the gift of Christ, will have purpose and meaning in your life, and will activate every great thing that has been lying dormant in your life!

I pray that in the next few days, before we get into the New Year, you will seek God earnestly, to know and understand what greatness He has placed in you, so you can bring it forth for His glory and thus fulfil every assignment He has set ahead of you in 2019.

I pray that you will live to Be A Great Gift to the world!

May all the light, love and laughter of Jesus’ birth fill your heart and your home during this festive season, and beyond.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God bless you

Love always

Can They See You?

What’s different about you? 

When you go for a job interview, the employers are looking for something in you that makes you stand out in comparison to others.
They’re looking for that ‘thing’ that suggests to them that you’d be better than everyone else, for that role.

As we all know this, we go to interviews with our best. We make sure that our CVs/Resumes are in tip-top shape, and we make sure that every unique thing about us is right in front for them to pick up on as soon as they see us…

Here’s my question for today:

When you walk into a room, can people see you?

No, I’m not talking about the outfit, the shoes, the hair, the watch – but I’m asking, when you walk into someone’s life, do they see something in you that is ‘just different’?

Initially, that’s exactly how they may describe it because they can’t quite put their finger on what it is, but they know that there is something different about that guy/lady.

As time goes on and they get to know you more, or just somehow find out about you more, they’ll begin to specify the attributes that contribute to this difference – ‘That lady is always positive’, ‘That guy always brings good vibes’, ‘That woman is generous’, That man is always encouraging people’….

How do people describe you when you’re not in their presence?
I’ll give you a moment to think about it.

Alright, so let’s hit the scriptures;

I’ve linked the whole of Daniel 4 here for you to read in your own time.
For this post, we’ll jump and skip between verses, so it isn’t too many words on a page, but let’s start here – the king of Babylon has a dream, and he seeks someone who can correctly interpret the dream for him;

“But one night I had a dream that frightened me;
I saw visions that terrified me as I lay in my bed.

So I issued an order calling in all the wise men of Babylon,
so they could tell me what my dream meant.

[Daniel 4:5-6]

But despite calling for all magicians and sorcerers etc, he still has no one who can tell him what the dream really means;

“When all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers came in,
I told them the dream, but they could not tell me what it meant.”
[Daniel 4:7]

But then one man came in, and he was different;

“At last Daniel came in before me, and I told him the dream.
(He was named Belteshazzar after my 
god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)
“I said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too great for you to solve.
Now tell me what my dream means.”

[Daniel 4:8-9]

Let’s pause here for a bit…

As the king reports this story, he begins verse 8 with ‘At last’.
Indicating that he had anticipated this man who was set apart from others.

Friend, does the world, and do the people around you, ANTICIPATE you?
When there is turmoil or disarray, do they wait in hope for You, knowing that your presence will bring something different?

You see, prior to this chapter 4, Daniel had shown himself to be different.
He had made bold decisions (Daniel 1:8), and in all he did to honour God, he had the Lord’s backing (Daniel 1:17).
He spent time with God, was endowed with wisdom, and so showed forth his gift in a way that caused people around him to want to worship his God! (Daniel 2:46-47)

Friend, do you show forth your gifts from God?
If you do, is it in a way that glory returns to God, and not yourself?
Do you stand strong in your beliefs despite what everyone else is doing, and like Daniel did, allow your True God to come through for you because you choose NOT to disregard Him, and NOT to defile yourself?
Ponder on these questions for a moment, and when you’re ready, keep reading…

So what we’ve seen is that prior to this chapter, Daniel had shown the king his ability before (in chapter 2) – hence the ‘at last’, and hence the anticipation.
Meaning the king had formed an opinion of who Daniel was – mystery solver, wise man, a man in whom the Spirit of the Real God lives in….

I ask, what do people acknowledge about you?
Does your daily life represent God enough, for them to desire you and associate your name with positive things?
Just as the king saw greatness in Daniel, do people around you see greatness in you?
Do they see a problem-solver, a peace-bringer, a logical-thinker?
Do they see generosity, selflessness, self-control, discipline, a joyful heart, good vibes?

What I found amazing about this story, is that the king is so sure of his opinion of Daniel!
After describing his dream in verses 10-17, the king says;

““‘Belteshazzar, that was the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had.
Now tell me what it means, for none of the wise men of my kingdom can do so.
But you can tell me because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.’”

[Daniel 4:18]

He reiterates once again, the fact that the Spirit of God lives in this Daniel guy.

So I ask, how firmly do people stand by their perception of who you are?
Yes, I know you don’t live to please others, but this question pertains to your consistency.
We all know that we should live in a way that is Christ-like, and God-fearing, but some of us seem to have a rota for when we put the armour of God on and off.

Are you someone who is hot and cold?
Are you consistent enough with what you portray, how you live, how you behave – that people see the same you at all times?

Skipping to the end of Daniel 4, a lot has happened in between; Daniel interprets the dream, the dream is fulfilled, and the king then says this;

““Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven.
All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.””

[Daniel 4:37]

He is moved by the excellence and truth of Daniel’s spirit, that after the dream is fulfilled, the king himself worships God! The True God of Heaven and Earth.

I want to close and bring it all together by asking you this;

How much do you blend in?

Some of us are indistinguishable from unbelievers.
Some of us have days on and days off – we have a certain crowd we play Christ-like with, and another set of people we dabble in sin and pleasure with.
Some of us have that tendency of a great spirit, but every now and then you want to hide it.
Some of us have an excellent spirit – we are bold and unafraid of living for God – no we aren’t perfect, but we’re striving to be the Daniel of our environment.

Let me tell you this, as a follower of Christ, you have no business looking the same as everyone else.

When you walk into a room you ought to bring Light and Life to it.

When people see you, even if they can’t initially identify exactly what it is, they must still know that there is something Positively  D I F F E R E N T  about you!

So I ask you again – How much do you blend in? – With the crowd, with the world, with those who don’t know God…

I hope your answer to this question (if it’s anything other than ‘Not at all’) makes you so uncomfortable, that you begin working on your change from today onwards.
I pray now and forevermore, that the Light of Christ in you will shine brightly for all to see, and be transformed by!

Let us pray:

Father,
Just as Daniel didn’t compromise You, give me a heart that will always stand firm in serving and honouring You.
Let me stand out with my gift from You, that people will anticipate it and will acknowledge Your excellence as it is presented forth.
Let Your Holy Spirit be rich in me! Let Him shine through so strongly, that there is no doubt that I am a man/woman of God.
Give me a heart that is consistent in absolutely everything I do.
Just as the king was firm in what he perceived Daniel as, help me to always be hot for Your work, diligent in my service, and consistent in my living for Christ.
Let my life cause people to run to You and just as the king did, let them turn to know You, worship You and praise You.
When I walk into a room, Father let Jesus be seen in me!
All this we pray, in Jesus’ name.
AMEN.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you.

#TheDanielOfMyGeneration
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying (Let’s keep our daily prayers up for the youth of today – our leaders of tomorrow)

 

 

 

 

My Gift; My Service

Let’s read:

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
[1 Peter 4:10-11]
 

Okay, so let’s pick this apart a bit.
A few things stood out to me when reading this;
Gift
Service
God.

Gift

So a gift (according to the Oxford dictionary definition) is;

  1. a thing given willingly to someone without payment,
  2. a natural ability or talent.

God has willingly given each of us a gift (or even multiple gifts [plural]), without us paying a single penny for it, and He graciously and carefully designed these gifts when He was creating us, therefore we find that they are things we naturally flourish in and are talented in.

Now look at this, though many of us may have a gift that seems the same on the outside e.g. the ability to sing/dance/draw etc. – it is still a very different and unique gift that God gave to YOU for a reason!
So I guess that’s the first thing we should address – we should never see our gifts as something un-special, or common, or something that someone else can easily do!
We have to realise that in being fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), God has knitted us together purposefully, knowing exactly what qualities and abilities He has put in us that will complement our gift in order to make it Different and Great!
No one will ever use your gift like you can, and for that reason I need you to know and believe that it is Special, Unique, and most importantly NEEDED!

Service 

Your Gifts Birth your Service on this earth.
And as mentioned above, friend, the service that your gift brings, is Needed.

“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
[Matthew 20:28]

One of Jesus’ names is ‘The Son Of Man’, it describes the fact that Jesus came to earth to serve, therefore in being like Christ, service to others is a major part of our lives!
It is therefore very important for us to truly tap into the talent that we have, no matter what it is.
The only way we can truly thrive on this earth, and be ‘in our element’, and fulfil the purpose of God for our lives, is by using our God-given gifts and using them well!
The bible tells us that we ought to be ‘stewards of God’s grace, in its various forms’ – so this says two things;
1 – That our service is important because we represent God in our communities and in whatever we are doing.
2 – That God’s grace can be displayed in ‘various forms’, therefore we must appreciate that we each have something different, and something authentic to offer with our gifts.

You see, many of us bury the talent or the skills we have because we feel like the field is already occupied or overpopulated!
But this is definitely the wrong idea, if we read Matthew 25:14-30, we see that the servant who buried his talent ended up losing it, because he displayed an irresponsible and ungrateful attitude!
None of us want to lose what God has given us.
So stop thinking about others, be thankful for the gift He has graced you with, and step forth with your gift and begin to serve with it.

If you sing, you better do re mi away.
If you’re a poet, please word play till kingdom come!
If you’re a make-up artist, friend you better decorate those faces like your life depends on it!

Pardon my dramatic sentences, but I just want us to appreciate how important it is for us to NOT be afraid, and NOT compare ourselves to others, and just go for it, because the world needs what we have inside of us.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 
[Matthew 5:14-16]

God 

Let us thank Him everyday for our gift and ask Him to refresh and revive it and increase our anointing in Jesus’ name!

The verse we read at the beginning talks about ‘the strength God provides’ and this is one of the most important things to remember.
Our help and our strength comes from the Lord God Almighty – it is He who enables us to use our Gifts in the best way possible.
Therefore we shouldn’t ever try to do it all on our own, neither should we do it for personal praise or recognition.
The gift that we have is one that should be offered back to God, for Him to bless it, and direct us at all times to know exactly how we should put it to use, so that in all things His may be praised.

I pray that you will enjoy your gifts, and keep them alive by using them as much as you can to bless and impact others.
Friend, I encourage you to Love your gift; love the fact that God has given it to you, and love the fact that God has given you the opportunity to use it (that special thing), no matter how unorthodox, to Glorify His name, through Christ Jesus.

Please Please, don’t ever stop using your gift, God has given me this message for you, saying;
‘Do the best you can do with it, and watch how I myself will build and improve You.’

Remember, the Gift wasn’t given by mistake.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you.