Praising in the Pit…

“Focus on remaining so gracious that when the time comes for your testimony, people’s recollection of how you maintained your faith and good character despite going through such a difficult season, will encourage them even more about what it is to truly trust in God.”

Smiling when things are falling apart around you, is possibly one of the most difficult things to do.
It’s hard to laugh, have fun, or even see the good in anything, because your circumstance is saying otherwise.

Today I want to encourage you to  P R A I S E  in the Pit.
And if you cannot think of any reason why it may be worth it, simply consider the fact that you have life, God still loves you perfectly, and His word says He will always be with you – that is more than enough to give Him praise for. (Romans 8:38-39, Deuteronomy 31:6)

In addition to that praise, here are three other key things to do:

1. Continue to do and be G O O D

Don’t allow your situation to make you bitter.
Natural emotions that we may experience when things are tough include;

  • Sadness
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Feeling fed up
  • Being irritable
  • Self-pity
  • Loneliness

and many others.

When we feel like this, it’s often difficult to be our usual selves, and in fact it is quite easy to fall into the trap of allowing our emotions to dictate and change who we are, negatively.
One of the most important things I want to tell us is that we must not allow our emotions to rule us. Yes, things aren’t great, but that is no excuse to compromise your character and forget who God has called you to be – which is someone who exudes L O V E at all times. (1 Corinthians 13).
Focus on remaining so gracious that when the time comes for your testimony, people’s recollection of how you maintained your faith and good character despite going through such a difficult season, will encourage them even more about what it is to truly trust in God.

When you find yourself getting into ‘a way’, remember that God’s word tells us a lot about His plans for us. (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28).
Therefore, knowing God has a greater purpose, plan and will for you, means you cannot allow your energy to match your present situation. Instead, you have to ensure your energy is in line with the greater place God is taking you to! For that reason you need to draw out the praise that is on the inside of you and show God that you are dedicated to praising Him in spite of what is going on in your life. Show Him that your love for Him goes beyond your circumstance and that you truly love Him for who He is, not what He does.

 

2. Don’t obsess over ‘why’

Common perspectives many of us may have adopted throughout life, is that there is a reason for everything and that there is always a lesson to learn from every season you find yourself in. While I agree with both these concepts, we must be careful not to distract ourselves with trying too hard to make them fit into our lives in the most practical or perfect way.

Here’s what I mean by this…
Sometimes God does share ‘why’ He’s taking us through things, other times, He doesn’t.
The point is, if we get so utterly consumed with finding out ‘W H Y’ something is happening to us, or we get fixated on gaining an idealistic lesson out of it, we run the risk of losing focus on how God has truly called us to serve in that season, as well as engaging with God’s actual purpose or lesson for us.
For some of us, our focus on finding out ‘why’ could actually wrongly dissuade us from praising. This is because we subconsciously tell ourselves that we need a reason and purpose for the pain before we can praise in that pit, when actually the word of God encourages us to praise and give thanks in ALL things – good or bad. (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Focusing on getting a so-called reason or lesson that we deem tangible enough to us, also falsely implies that depending on the answer we get, God could possibly be unworthy of our praise – and this is so far from the truth.
The bible tells us that He is worthy of all praise, honour and glory forever. (1 Timothy 1:17).

 

3. Surrender it all to God

This is the most important bit.
Stop trying to create the ideal outcomes in your mind, and stop trying to help God sort things out your way – just give it to Him and rest in Him.

The bible not only teaches us that we are made for God’s pleasure and to bring glory to His Name (Isaiah 43:7, Isaiah 43:21), but it also very clearly enlightens us that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Therefore some things may not make sense to us. Some things won’t add up according to how our human minds may try to work them out, and so chasing a reason, or trying to create an artificial lesson that we assume God is trying to teach us, will only leave us exhausted and disappointed.
What we should do instead in these situations, is truly and wholeheartedly seek God and ask Him to enable us to live out His very purpose for us in that situation.
We must learn the art of absolutely surrendering our will and way to God, realising that He is Sovereign and thus actively deciding to allow Him to have His way. This may not be easy – but it’s always worth it.

Worth it;
– because the earlier we surrender, the sooner we have peace.
– because walking with God is so much better than working against Him.
– and because ultimately, we should always desire for God’s perfect will to manifest, as opposed to anything else, as He really does know best!

 

Now get to know God’s Promises

It’s all well and good me encouraging you to trust God and rest in His promises etc., but you need to know His word for yourself, because that is what you have to hold on to.

So here’s a start for verses to use to remind yourself of how well God will carry you through it all, and that there surely is a greater glory awaiting you at the end:

Something crucial to remember in the midst of your pain and unrest, is that regardless of how sour things may seem, God has not, and will not EVER remove His covering over you. This means no scheme of the enemy could ever prevail over you, nor lead you to destruction, rather, just like He did with Joseph, God will turn it all around and use it for His glory and your victory. (Genesis 37:18-28, Genesis 39:21).

The story of Joseph (found in Genesis 37 onward) provides a good example of someone who praised and served his purpose diligently whilst in his pit. In fact his very service to others whilst in jail, is what then delivered him in time to come – but that’s a word for another day.

Admirable examples of other Praisers in their Pits and people who remained faithful to God in the face of adversity are;

Daniel – with friends in the fiery furnace – Daniel 3, in the lion’s den Daniel 6

Paul and SilasActs 16:16-40

JobJob 1, Job 1:20-22, Job 2:10, Job 42:10-17

In each story, as each character served their season of pain/trials with diligence and grace, we see the final outcome was completely worth the strife, especially when it caused others to give their lives to God.
So today I encourage you to keep Praising and keep your heart Faithful to God.
Praise your way into the sweeter season, because you serve a God that would never leave your current situation as your final destination.

Set it in your heart that NOTHING will steal the praise from your lips and the worship of your heart,
Because at the end of the day
God will still be God –
The Sovereign God, who knows best,
So why not Praise Him anyway?!

 

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing

Song suggestion: Praise Him in advance by Marvin Sapp

*Practical tip: (suggested by a friend and I think is a great idea) Create a playlist of Ten upbeat praise songs! Get into your praise zone with these daily and be reminded of God’s goodness.

Get Personal

Just you. And Your Father, God.
Make it personal – intensify your relationship with Him and really, really get to know Him, all for yourself.

Over time, many of us have taken power away from ourselves and have falsely filled our minds with a belief that we are powerless without our spiritual leaders.
We’ve developed a huge dependence on them, and what they can do, and what they say – that actually many of us cannot even say that we truly know God or His word for ourselves. We only know God through the pastor’s eyes. We only know that scripture how the reverend taught it. But what happens when they aren’t available?

Today I’m encouraging you to seek to truly know God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for yourself – not through a third party, not based on what any other man or woman has said, but for  Y O U R S E L F.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not to despise the power and wisdom of God that flows through His true, anointed shepherds on this earth, however the point of this message is to emphasise that you must desire your own relationship with your Maker, so you too can be in tune with the very power that lies in you through Christ Jesus!

Think about it;
(And there are many examples possible, but here are the first ones that come to mind).

Daniel knew God for himself.
This was a man so confident of God that when others were defiling themselves, he stood firm to wait on his God to provide. (Daniel 1). When faced with adversity and even at the point of possible death in the fire, he and his friends knew their Father in heaven as the One who saves, and had faith that He would intervene right on time! (Daniel 3).

Job – a man we speak about so often.
He knew God for himself . He was a man who refused to drop God, even when his circumstances really and truly looked like God had dropped him. Job had a resting place, and it was in the power, peace and knowledge of God. This caused him to keep the faith even when his world was crumbling. (Please do study the book of Job in your own time).

Now tell me, what have you got stored up within you, that you rely on when trials come? Do you trust in your ability to speak and for God to hear you and answer? Or have you belittled He that lives within you?
Do you actually know the vast amount of promises planted purposefully in the word of God, ready for your use in every single situation you will ever face? Or do you only know the few random verses that other people have paraphrased to you?

At a time where we don’t have as much physical access to our beloved leaders in church, it is really important for us to wake up our souls and realise for ourselves who God truly is, and what the words He has spoken over us, are.
Get acquainted with the wonderful promises He has so intentionally written in His word, just for you.
Understand the power of Christ that lives within you and know that you can speak and activate that power over situations that require a turn around. (1 John 4:4).
Really take charge of your relationship with Jesus, and cultivate your Spirit man! (Romans 8:12-17, Galatians 5:25)

After all, these religious leaders that we have come to depend on, are still human just as we are.
Yes, they have a special calling over their lives, but the truth is we all do! But it all comes down to choice and decisions, as to what we make of it.
The bible tells us that to each one of us a gift has been given (1 Peter 4:10-11, 1 Corinthians 12:7), thus, you must make the decision to cultivate and maximise your gift in order to empower yourself and also serve those around you. Dedicate quality time to maturing your spirit, meditating on the word of God, and developing in His wisdom. God honestly loves us to draw near to Him, so make the decision today to press in and go deeper – He’ll never reject you. (John 6:35-37).

When it’s all said and done – the grace of your pastor, or the anointing of your bishop or even your parents or spouse will not help you reach the kingdom of God. Your salvation is completely individual and the bible instructs us to work it out with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). So what better time to study God and His word, than now?

Father Lord,
Today there isn’t too much to say.
But to know You more, that’s all we ask for.
To know You deeply, intentionally and intimately, to a point where we understand that we can call out, and You will hear and answer, just like You did for Elijah (1 Kings 17:22) – that’s what we ask for.
Help us to dedicate the time and heart to get to that place in our relationship with You, where our spirit is just so in tune with Yours and Your will,
in Jesus’ Mighty Name.
Amen.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing

“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
Philippians 3:9-10

 

Gift, Speak Forth

Let the gift that God has placed on the inside of you, speak for you and work for you to deliver you and bring forth your triumph over hardship.

Many of us will wait for ages, praying for God to change a situation that He has given us the very tools to change ourselves!

The back story of Joseph in the bible, is that he was sold into slavery by his brothers due to their jealousy towards him. Then in the midst of him serving in a foreign land he was falsely imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Sour circumstances…

However when the very time came for Joseph to arise… he most definitely did! When his time had come for him to shine forth and for the bondage of imprisonment to be broken away from his life – it was the very gift that God had placed on the inside of him that caused him to find favour in the eyes of man – and thus his head was lifted and his glory and gift SPOKE FORTH.

“Now there was a young Hebrew man with us there, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream. And it came to pass, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.” Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.” – Genesis‬ ‭41:12-14 NKJV‬‬

We then read that Pharaoh tells Joseph his dreams, and Joseph again uses his gift of interpretation to enlighten Pharaoh on what God was showing him.

Then in Genesis 41:37-41 – we read about Joseph’s rise to power.

“So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”” – Genesis 41:37-41 NKJV

Please do not miss the importance of this word…

Despite him being a foreigner, and even a prisoner, Joseph’s life saw glorious elevation, all because he did not allow his GIFT to sit and lie dormant within him!

Today I pray, that when the opportunity arises and the need and demand for your God-given gift arises – you will not be asleep or inattentive to a point that you won’t realise it. Rather, in Jesus’ Mighty Name, the Spirit of God in you will cause you to know that it is time to ACTIVATE your gift and it shall be onto your glory in Jesus’ Mighty Name.

Speak to God and ask Him;

‘In the midst of this chaos Father, please show me how I can be a solution to my community.’

Have a wonderful week.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing

Foundation Scripture: Genesis chapters 40 & 41.

Words for Them

So for today, it’s a lovely quick bite of the word of God, regarding the words we speak!

It’s something God gave me, which has a short story with it, so I’ll share…

On Sunday, I had a casual chat with one of my pastors, where he asked the usual; “How’re you, how’s the fam, and particularly how’s your brother?” (who’s at university in a different city).

My response was also, the usual, “Everything’s fine, everyone’s fine, and yeah, brother is all good wherever he is too!”

Then pastor added with a smile, “That boy, he’s someone I don’t worry about, I know he’s a survivor…”

Knowing the nature and character of my brother (easy-going and just gets on with things), I chuckled and agreed.

On Monday – literally the day after this casual conversation, I was at home, and suddenly I had a few panicky/worried thoughts as I remembered that my brother had something important coming up that he had to do. But within moments of these negative thoughts creeping in, the words ‘He’s a Survivor’ also marched right into my mind and drove out every element of fear/anxiety/unease.

In that moment, God gave me this key message for you all;

You never know when the words you have spoken/a conversation you have had with someone ‘in passing’, will be the very thing that carries them through a hard time!

As cliché as it sounds, the simple recollection of the conversation I had with pastor, along with the power and truth in the statement that he made, gave me such a perfect peace over my thoughts, and confidence that there was NOTHING at all to be worried about!

We all, as children of God, also have the grace to do the same for people around us. That random conversation you had the other day, where you simply just spoke as the words came to your mind, may in future stand as the very words the other person holds onto during a time of hardship, trials, or maybe just a little nervousness!

We have to appreciate the intentionality of the Holy Spirit – The Comforter, in such moments as these, because it is He who brings the necessary memories to the forefront of our minds, thus restoring peace in our hearts when we find ourselves in moments of distress, nervousness or dire need. We need to acknowledge that moments like these are divinely orchestrated by a God who is All-knowing, and pays close attention to the very intricate details of our lives. No, these things are not ‘just a coincidence’.

Therefore I pray;

That we will desire to walk more and more in line with the will of God and call for His Holy Spirit to overtake our hearts and minds so that even when we’re not really thinking about what we’re saying, our words will still be the kind that build up, give life, and deliver people from their various situations.

I pray that in every moment of our lives, we will remember that we are vessels of God, and in assuming that role, we will stay connected with the Holy Spirit and ask that He speaks through us at all times – literally, ALL times.

Let us Speak with Purpose.

 

Scripture to read: Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 18:21.

*Also have a read of this previous post Gracious Words; Speak Life! 

 

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing.

God Bless you

 

All-Round God…

I have something short and sweet, but super important for you to feed on today!

Have a look at this lovely quote I extracted from the ‘Woman Thou Art Loosed’ study bible, by T. D. Jakes;

It says;

“Your Father is higher than the stars,

yet closer than your breath.”

This statement depicts so perfectly the Might yet Intimacy of God in our lives! And so I hope this post reminds us of the fact that God has many different amazing attributes, each applicable to the various experiences we encounter throughout life.

You see, we often forget the many qualities of God, particularly the ones that are similar to those found in a mere human, because we’ve become so accustomed to making God out as BIG and Mighty, but the truth is the bible tells us that it is we who were created in His image (Genesis 1:27). What this means therefore is that there is no characteristic found in man, that didn’t come from God first! So I’m talking about the ‘littler’ things like being a good listener, being trustworthy enough to tell your secrets, being reliable and dependable to chat with at anytime. Often these are things that we would have seen in the people we call our friends, however can I remind you that God is all this and more…
So why not tap into the original source? (I’m not saying ditch your friends by the way, but I’m just saying remember to seek God first for these things).

Presentation1

One of the reasons why the statement quoted above stuck out to me so much, is because it nicely puts two key aspects of God in one sentence. It describes the God that we popularly know as a Huge guy, up in the Heavens, who has dominion and authority over EVERYTHING, but it also portrays another key fact about Him, which is that He is not far away
It’s a statement of reassurance that God is both; more than Capable, Powerful and Supreme to take absolute control of every situation in your life, but at the same time He is Attentive, acknowledges every fine detail concerning you, and is extremely near that you can feel Him closely.

This statement reaffirms to us that God’s magnitude of Greatness does not for one second reduce His availability to us. He doesn’t have to compromise one quality for another.
HE IS all things at once, Perfectly.
Therefore, friend, I want you to be confident in the fact that God can be your Strong Tower (Proverbs 18:10) as well as your Best Friend! (John 15:15)
He can be your place of safety as well as your confidant.
Simply put, He is, and always will be All-Sufficient for you, you just need to open up and allow Him to be that God in your life!

#PressIn

Have a great week and enjoy every great grace that comes with having a God who is Enormous, as well as a perfectly Reliable Friend who sticks closely.

Check out the many names and traits of God in a site linked here, use a few different ones this week to stir up a new worship to your King!

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

When He Shows you…

I’ve once written a Facebook post on the Untainted Word page regarding this topic, here’s an expansion, in a FoodForThought type post…

The original post says this:

As God’s Beloved, 
There will be times when He will show you certain things (about situations and people) in order to protect you, but it won’t be everything that He’ll want you to act upon.

“Father, teach me my next move” is such a crucial prayer to say, because it ushers down Divine Wisdom to know how best to deal with that situation.

Sometimes God will say, ‘Do nothing’.
Other times, He’ll say, ‘Address it, by doing x, y, and z’.

The key is to make sure you 
W A I T for God to speak, 
L I S T E N to what He tells you, 
and O B E Y that instruction.

Him showing you, wasn’t for you to take matters into your own hands and REact.
Therefore be led by the Holy Spirit to 
Act Graciously, 
and bring forth the best result from what could actually be a total mess, if dealt with in a way of the flesh.

 

In the Facebook post, we briefly and succinctly address the fact that we must seek out the instruction of God, to know how to act next.
It focuses on the fact that we should deal with the information with wisdom and not jump, based on what our human feelings tell us to do.

Earlier this week, after seeing an image which read ‘Never reject what God reveals!’,
I knew that it was important to include this aspect into the message too – Not Ignoring God.

The reality is this, some of us like ‘the comfortable’, ‘the norm’, and ‘the how things already are’.
And so when we come across anything – anything whatsoever that could possibly compromise the contentment we have in that present stage of life – we block it out.
Our desire for things to remain the way they are, causes us to shy away from accepting anything that could cause a potential stir or change, as the truth.

This means yes, we will hear God speak, but we will convince ourselves that the Big Man didn’t say a word.
He’ll show us crucial things in our dreams, yet we’ll attribute it to the fact that it was just our imagination whilst sleeping.
He’ll show us clear signs, but we’ll reassure ourselves that it’s just a coincidence

Is this you?

Do you realise that your lack of boldness to ever accept or induce change in your life, leaves you stuck in seasons which you should have graduated from a long time ago?
It keeps you stuck with people whose purpose in your life has expired, and rather than adding any goodness to you, their expiration, and past-use-by-date presence in your life is causing you to become sick (spiritually, mentally) – even though you may not notice it or admit it.

‘NEVER REJECT WHAT GOD REVEALS’

Don’t Ignore What God Says/Shows/Tells

This takes C O U R A G E.

I don’t dispute that.

And I say this because sometimes what God will show you will make you uncomfortable.
You won’t have a clue what to do about it, or how to make sense of it sometimes, but this is where I need you to remember to not lean on your own understanding.
When He shows you this thing, go back to Him and ask Him what needs to be done (as it says above).
Yes, it may be uncomfortable, but that lack of comfort is what you need for things to be propelled to the next level, or for you to be saved from a toxic relationship, or for you to avoid making a terrible decision (the list goes on).

You may ask, ‘But if I’m content as you said, isn’t that all that matters?’

Well, I’m going to say NO!

In fact, I’m screaming it!!!

The false and lazy type of contentment that some of us possess, is what causes us to settle for a substandard level of living.
Substandard fulfilment in relationships.
Substandard job.
Substandard intimacy with God…

Friend, today and always, you must realise that God has greater plans for you, and the longer you stay in a place that is no good for you, the more you become unsettled, unrested, and eventually you become robbed of your peace.
That environment can no longer contain you, it is no longer conducive for you to achieve your goals and excel in life – therefore you need to trust God, Acknowledge the Revelation, and act upon it appropriately.

All in all, when God reveals things to us, we need to realise how much of a privilege it is to be Loved so deeply by Him.
Loved so dearly, that He wants to share with us, ways in which we can have a better and more fulfilling journey of life.
Loved so fully, that He entrusts us with information that He reveals to no one else.

What I’m encouraging you to do, is regardless of how uncomfortable the potential change may seem, please please Do Not ignore God when He speaks.
As mentioned above, many times these things shown to us are for our own protection, enrichment and growth in life, therefore rather than hinder ourselves, let us Thank God for the revelation, Accept it as something that needs to be dealt with, and then Obey His way of dealing with it.

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

Not Some… ALL

The thing about the bible is, the words in it do not lie.
Therefore when we see a sentence in there, or when we see a phrase in there, we have to take it for what it says.

How many of us are familiar with the Philippians 4:13 verse?
The one that tells us we can do all things through the strength we have in Christ Jesus.
How many of us believe it? (Many of us will say ‘me’.)

Okay, now how many of us truly believe and live by it?

You see, it’s one thing to believe that something is true, but it’s another thing to actually take on that truth and embed it into your own life.

All things, means All things.

It doesn’t mean a quarter, or a third, or two thirds or even 99%, but All things, means ALL…Things…

That means when you’re thinking of quitting because man, or even your own flesh has qualified you as unable to fulfil that task – you need to step up and realise that Christ is with you in ALL things, and you can and will do it – just apply yourself.

When your teachers/professors tell you that ‘Most students fail at this hurdle, hardly any students make that jump successfully…’ – you need to wear the garment of ALL things being possible through Jesus, and let them know there’s a Greater Being in you, that drives and enables you.

When your bosses say you can’t do it because of your background, or your experience, or your qualifications – you need to tap into that favour and grace from Christ that breaks protocol on your behalf and places ALL things within your reach.

Even when your family, who most people would argue are the ones who know you best – yes friend, even when they, in the deepest love for you, and through the desire of wanting to protect you from disappointment – even when they tell you that the venture is no good, or it’s too hard for you –  you need to strap up your ALL things footwear and get trekking, because Christ is going to take you there; to that desired goal and even further!

My reminder for you today is this,
When we extract verses from the word of God, let’s take them in their wholeness.

Just in the same way that we know we shouldn’t follow laws half-heartedly, or ‘pick and choose’ which commandments we want to follow, we also shouldn’t weaken verses of encouragement and empowerment, but rather, take them as FULLY as they come.

If Christ was only capable of enabling us 50% of the time, in 50% of the tasks, then the bible would tell us that!

100% UW

But as it says ALL things, it assures us of Him being 100 percent!
Therefore I encourage you to,
1. Put ALL your faith in His strength that lies in you.
And 2. Be bold to step forward and know that you truly are a conqueror, a victor and a success in EVERY single thing you lay your hands upon.

Now how’s that for a word to start your Wednesday morning?!

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

Forgiveness; No Buts

Note: You can skip the dramatics and scroll down to where it says ‘Due to envy…’ (read Genesis 37 first for context), however if you like a bit of fun whilst you read, start from the top! 🙂

Joseph was a man spoken of in the old testament.
He’s the son of a guy named Jacob a.k.a. Israel, and he had 11 brothers…

Sounds pretty normal so far, right?
Yeah, so let’s read from the scriptures (pardon my dramatic thoughts when you see them in brackets);

“Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.”
[Genesis 37:3-4]

(I don’t know about you, but I’m sensing this favouritism is going to cause some problems…)

Let’s read a bit more;

“One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever.”
[Genesis 37:5]

(Oh dear! It’s about to go down…)

““Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”
His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.”
[Genesis 37:6-8]

(Snap! Joseph you really should’ve kept that dream to yourself mate…)

“When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!””
[Genesis 37:18-20]

(I knew it!! I told you something bad was going to happen…)

“But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.”
[Genesis 37:21-22]

(Oh phew! Thank God for Reuben…)

“So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.

Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.”
[Genesis 37:23-28]

(Nooo Wayyy!)

Okay, Let’s stop there.

Oh My Goodness!!!
Who else wishes this was made into a movie?! Extremely interesting, right?

Anyway, drama aside, let’s get a message out of this…

Due to envy, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery!
How absolutely crazy?!

But little did he know, that these same brothers would need his help, and he would be in a mighty position to help…

Through the next few chapters in the book of Genesis (which I definitely encourage you to read in your own time), we see Joseph face some trials, but also he faces triumphs, as he becomes Governor in Genesis 41:39-41.
As we continue reading, we see that in fact his brothers end up needing his help, and whilst they don’t recognise him, Joseph definitely recognises them, but still helps them!
The question I want to bring out from this story is;

How far does your Forgiveness go?

Some of us say we can forgive, but never forget. We can forgive, but it will never be the same. We can forgive, but we’ll never help them out again. We’ll never do anything for them again. We could never look at them the same. We could never have love for them again…
The list of the things we say about forgiveness when someone has wronged us, is endless.

Today, I want us to look at Joseph, and I want us to learn from him…

What Joseph’s brothers did, was terrible (in fact, that’s an understatement, but I just can’t think of a better word to describe the atrocity).
However let’s take a moment to think about it properly;
If there was no sale, there would have been no rescue in the future…

After all the years that had gone by, Joseph must have come to the realisation of the fact that he was simply being used by God.
He would have seen and understood the purpose for the pain in the past, which had now enabled a greater glory of grace, for good, in the present.

Joseph was endowed with wisdom to understand that the perfect will of God had allowed him to endure the ugly act of his brothers so many years beforehand, in order to bring great blessing and survival to his family in the future; Genesis 45:6-11.

There isn’t a sense of bitterness or wickedness in Joseph at all.
He doesn’t finally see an opportunity to get his own back and punish his brothers, but rather, he sees and accepts that there was a reason for that past season.

Pray today for this spirit of true, pure forgiveness.
We want to be able to forgive in a way that makes us forget the pain, that makes us release all bitterness, and makes us to realise God’s plan through it all.

For some of us, the ‘brothers of Joseph’ in our lives are going to reappear one day, in need,
I’m asking, that just as Joseph cared more about God’s will, than the pain he endured;
We, when this time should come, (though very very very difficult) will do the same…
We will still help them, despite…..

May God give us wisdom, strength and growth, to know that it won’t be a time to ‘finally’ laugh or mock them, but in fact it will be a time to help them when they need it most!
And through this, they will truly see the power of the Love of God.

Father, we pray for the ability to forgive deeply and truly, and we pray for a heart that will always let Love win, completely,
in Jesus’ Mighty Name.
Amen.

*I encourage you to take the time to read Genesis 37 fully, and also read the chapters that follow (up to chapter 45 at least), in order to get a full picture of this aspect of the story of Joseph.*

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

Be An Example

Let’s read;

“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.”
[Titus 2:7-8]

‘Be an Example’…

That’s God’s simple message to us with this passage. (Also read all of Titus 2).
Every now and then, we can get caught up in our own desires and therefore find ourselves living for our own pleasure.
This can mean that certain actions and decisions we make, may fall out of God’s will.
Today God is reminding you to Be an Example.
Be someone who not just speaks the gospel, but exudes it.
Be someone who the word of God isn’t just words to, but the word of God is life, and it’s apparent in your life.
The bible teaches us to not just be hearers of the word, but also doers of the word of God (James 1:22).
Be someone who will read it, digest and make personal meaning of it, and then LIVE it.
God wants you to redirect your plans and thoughts towards Him, and return to living your life for Him, in order for you to live a wholesome life, but also for you to encourage and inspire those watching
We must never forget that people are watching – whether it’s to criticise us, or actually to learn from, and emulate us, people are, and always be watching.
Therefore, do the body and name of Christ justice, by living out the word of God genuinely…
The verse says ‘Let everything reflect integrity and seriousness of your teaching’.
As disciples of Christ, one of our biggest roles is to spread the gospel and share the word.
But how many of us can truly say our actions match our words?
We all know that it’s one thing to say something, but it’s a whole new level to actually display it with what we do.
Therefore this verse is encouraging us to be real to the word of God and truly be convicted by it.
This means not just doing things for the sake of it, but actually appreciating and believing in what we read, and being transformed by it, to a point where it is evident in our behaviour and mannerisms.
I’ll end by saying this;
Don’t feel pressured or overwhelmed by the responsibility to be a Light to the world (Matthew 5:14), but just ask for His All-Sufficient Grace to enable you, and to keep your Light shining brightly all the days of your life.
Remember that our greatest commandments are to Love God and Love people (Matthew 22:36-40), therefore this means if we are led by Love in all we do, doing the right thing, and living the right way won’t be as difficult as we may anticpate.
Be an Example;
A Gorgeous, Fun, Unique One!
Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Beliveing,
God Bless you.

‘Do you know who my God is?!’

Short and Sweet tonight;

We’re walking into a new week, one that we’ve never treaded before and for some of us, big things await us.
Some of us are looking forward to hearing good news or starting something new, whilst others may be dreading the fact that they’re stepping back into an environment, at work or school, that isn’t necessarily a happy place for them.

Some of us are walking into this week with our baggage from last week, even last month, and to be honest, we don’t really know how we are going to do it!

I want you you to do this;
Whatever the issue/situation/problem is – speak to it directly and tell it,
‘You won’t consume me!’

It’s so easy to forget who we are and more importantly, who our God is, when we’re faced with such challenging conflicts and dilemmas.

Today I want you remember the fact that you can, and you must, tell your problem, about your Father!

Yes! It’s a different dynamic this time.
Usually, we’re reporting every bother and every worry to our Father, but today I am telling you to stand up to whatever situation appears to be bullying your peace, bullying your joy, bullying any area of your life, and begin to tell it about how Big your God is.

The bible says that the mountains melt, and quake before Almighty God (Micah 1:4, Nahum 1:5), therefore, rather than give our mountains so much respect – by hiding, ducking, and swerving from them, we ought to stand boldly before them and begin to describe the type of God we serve;
Powerful, Almighty, Eternal, Immortal, Strong Tower – and let those mountains begin to shudder and fall before our eyes.

In that Nahum verse, it also says that the earth TREMBLES at the presence of God!
Our problems will also TREMBLE at the mere sound of us describing our God;
A God who parted the Red Sea (Exodus 14),
A God who is UNCREATED, and created the heavens and the earth, and all things in between, in only 6 days (Genesis 1:1Genesis 2:1-2)!

Friend I need you to let these issues in your life know that they are absolutely NOTHING, and they are POWERLESS over your joy and your destiny, because you serve a Living God, whose Love and Glory overrides anything that the enemy wants to bring.

In the atmosphere of prayer, look at these problems face-to-face, and with the utterance from the Holy Spirit, intimidate and shut down each and every one of them!

Let us get into the habit of REFUSING for situations to have their way – tell them ‘No you won’t…!’, and let us maintain confidence in the protection that God assures us of, in Psalm 91 (please have a read).

My God is Strong and Mighty, Ever-Faithful, Never sleeps,
What can you say about yours?

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