Talk To Me…

Food for Thought…

How many of us are guilty of this?

Someone has done something you don’t like; offended you, been rude, hurtful, or simply annoying, with their words or actions towards you; and so you’ve cooked up an entire fight in your mind and you are absolutely boiling….. Planning how badly you’re going to ‘go off on them’, or maybe even just not speak to them ever again.
(We each have our personal ways of dealing with people who upset us, but you get my drift). 

I have a question for you friend,
Do they even know they’ve done anything wrong?

In many cases, the answer is actually ‘NO!’

And in all cases, whether or not the other person is aware of their fault,
We have to understand the importance of communication – we ought to remember and appreciate the importance of being sensible enough to verbally address situations with people when we feel that they’ve done something displeasing to us.

Communication not only allows a resolution, but it also gives you peace and freedom, from an anger that actually has the potential to eat you up, and completely destroy that relationship, if harboured too long.

Communication allows you to understand where they are coming from; it develops your perspective – you get to understand why they said those words, what they intended to achieve by doing what they did.

Communication allows them to understand you better – by you explaining how their words or actions or decisions made you feel, you allow them to relate with you better. They have the opportunity to think of it from your point of view and therefore widen their outlook on the situation.

Communication allows growth – they now not only know what displeases you, but they can be mindful that it could potentially upset others also.
They are therefore able to reflect on why/how they were perceived as hurtful, and (if deemed necessary) they can revise their delivery/choice of words, or work on changing that action to something less selfish/aggressive/(whatever it was perceived to be by yourself).

The bottom line is this;
They won’t know unless you tell them.

Therefore there is no point walking around sulking, moaning and telling others, or sizzling up a storm of an argument to attack them with.

Your most important step, and responsibility, is to speak with them.
You’ll notice I didn’t say it’s your first step, and that’s because some of us will benefit from stepping away from the situation and calming down, and reflecting on it.
Once this is done, all of us, not just those who get heated easily, but all of us, will most definitely benefit from asking God to direct our words and our entire approach, because the last thing we want, is a full blown argument.

Therefore let us remember to speak to God first, before we speak to them…
Ask Him to soften our hearts
Ask Him to sanctify our tongues
Ask Him to open up our minds.

And with this, we will be able to;
Have a cool, calm and mature overall approach,
Say things in the right way, for the other person to understand well, and understand in love,
Receive what the other person says without creating a bigger problem or dismissing/doubting their reasoning/explanation for their behaviour.

I’ll end by saying this;
For as long as you aren’t a mind-reader, I can assure you that the next person also ISN’T!
So Go!
C O M M U N I C A T E  with them, and smooth things over; remembering that the word of God encourages us not to last long in a state of anger (Ephesians 4:26).

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

Point It Out

Let’s read;

“If your brother or sister sins,
go and point out their fault,
just between the two of you.
If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

[Matthew 18:15]

 

‘Just between the two of you’………
Now the ellipsis here is extra long, because I’m trying to emphasise what that line says.

When we go to correct, our brother or sister, the bible doesn’t say ‘make a spectacle out of it’.
It doesn’t say, ‘talk about it with Jason and Jenny’. It doesn’t say ‘change the way you perceive them’.
And it doesn’t say ‘judge them and never speak to them again’.

So why then do we find ourselves doing all these things (plus much more, sometimes)?

Why is it that many of us find joy and excitement in further tearing down a brother or sister when they fall?
Why is it that we derive pleasure in letting the whole world know that Anna made a mistake?

Friend, if the bible tells us something, let’s do what it says, and lay aside all other things that our flesh wrongly leads us to do instead.

So, when we see a brother or sister doing something wrong, let us approach the situation in the way that the word of God tells us to – call them to the side, let it be only the two of you, and let them know their fault.
(When we read further in this passage, we’ll see that, yes, indeed, others may need to get involved if they don’t take to correction, however let’s do it this private way first. 
There’s a reason why it’s written in this order, right?)

Now let’s go back a little (forgive me for starting the expansion of this bible verse in the middle, but that part just stood out to me so much!)

So,
‘Go and point out their fault’.

When your brother or sister does something wrong, the bible says to point out their fault – let them know wrong is wrong.

This part of the verse actually speaks to each of us in two ways.

Number ONE: We have a role to play in being the pointer-outers…
Now in this day and age, we seem to have a culture of being too careful.
We don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes, so we don’t say anything about things that we know go against the word of God, but look, the bible tells us to Point. It. Out…
We need to forget ‘careful’, and start fulfilling God’s word more, and stop allowing our brothers and sisters to walk in the path of destruction!

(Side note: Don’t get it wrong, this doesn’t mean point out every single thing you deem is a problem, because that actually becomes based on your own opinion.
There’s also this whole thing about the appropriateness of certain things being dealt with by you and whether you have a relationship with that person or not, but this is where you pray and ask God to show you clearly, if you should be the one to speak to them, and how).

Many of us, in various situations are beginning to take the word of God that says ‘do not judge’ out of context, and we have twisted it to a point where we are no longer comfortable with saying anything about anything – just to be safe…

We all know when something is point blank, obviously wrong, and the bible is telling us to point this out. Why? Because we have a duty to help that person realise that it isn’t something that edifies the name of God.
In doing so, we help them to walk in the light, and turn away from what could lead them downhill.

Let’s rid ourselves of the attitude that turns a blind eye, because ‘it’s not me so it doesn’t concern me’, or the attitude that says, ‘let them do them, and let me stay in my lane’.
The bible says that heaven rejoices over a sinner who repents (Luke 15:7, 10), therefore this should tell us how important it is to correct one another appropriately, and bring each other away from sin.
Friends, let us realise that we have a responsibility to ensure the correct functioning and uprightness of the body of Christ at all times.
We therefore have to pluck up the courage to follow the prodding of the Holy Spirit when He is telling us to call our brother or sister aside to put them right. As mentioned in the side note, ask God if you’re the right person for the task, and then ask Him what to say, and how to say it, but please make sure you do it.

 

Number TWO: We can expect; if we are the ones doing something wrong; to be told that what we are doing is wrong! – We can expect to be corrected.
Though we are striving for it, not one of us is perfect and therefore not one of us is above correction.
So, if this word of God says that your brother or sister ought to point out your fault, then friend you need to have a humble heart to receive that word from them.
Don’t be stand-off-ish, and don’t have the attitude that no-one has a right to tell you of your faults. Rather, open your heart and ears, seek the right advice and direction, and be ‘won over’, as the bible describes is the goal of this in the first place.

“Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”
[Proverbs 19:20]

“If you listen to constructive criticism,
    you will be at home among the wise.

If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
    but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.”
[Proverbs 15:31-32]

 

These two passages from Proverbs teach us both as a corrector, and receiver of correction, that it must be done in a constructive manner, and that an end result, is growth in wisdom and understanding. Therefore, let us not despise the love that comes from a brother or sister telling us when we are doing something wrong.

The bottom line is this; none of us would know what is and isn’t wrong, if we aren’t somehow informed, therefore in love, with compassion, and with a genuine heart to propel the gospel, let us do what the word of God instructs us to do – let us help one another, up, and away from sin.
Let us provide light and wisdom for one another, and let us enhance each other’s walk by speaking when we need to speak, following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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.

Trained Thoughts

In Gracious Words; Speak Life, we looked at the fact that we should be kind and constructive and helpful with the things that we say.
But only briefly in that post did we explore the fact that the bible teaches;

“Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.”
[Proverbs 4:23]

The Good News Translation of this verse reads;

Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.’

Before we talk about anything else, I want us to understand that the condition of our heart is extremely important.

The heart is where God Himself searches, to know the true character of a person; to know one truly loves Him and is for Him.  (Jeremiah 17:10)
The heart therefore must be nourished with good things, because it controls absolutely everything else; ‘from it, springs the situations, the issues, the happenings of life’.

Now let’s move to the next step, before anything else, after the heart we have our thoughts, hence why different translations of this Proverbs verse, will refer to our thoughts, if it doesn’t mention the heart.

Our thoughts are crucial!

Our thoughts, are the products of our hearts, and they determine –
Our words,
Our actions,
Our beliefs,
Our morals,
And therefore essentially, they determine our character; the person we are and the way we live our lives.

So in short, our hearts ought to be clean, for our thoughts to be clean, in order for our lives to glorify God.

Prayer point:
Father,
Purify my heart, and teach me to feed it with the things that will bring forth goodness and positivity.
Help me to make the right decisions with what I watch/read, whom I surround myself  with, and what I spend my time doing, in order for me to ensure that my heart is being filled with things that will produce thoughts of life and love, not otherwise!

I once read something that said,

‘If we watch our thoughts, we won’t have to do so much watching over our mouths’.

Now that’s why we’re here today…

We already know that it is important for our words to be positive, to build, and to encourage others, but the question now is, is it a struggle for you to produce life-speaking words, or do they flow from your tongue naturally?

Do you find yourself always having to stop yourself from cursing, cussing, and tearing others down, or do you find that your mind automatically encourages you to think the best, of and for, others?

Don’t be ashamed if you relate more with the first part of these two questions – that’s exactly why we’re here, we’re going to highlight it as an issue, and we’re going to deal with it…

‘Why does it need to be dealt with?’ You may ask…

Well friend, if we could speak, act and live, just for the sake of it, then we wouldn’t have to worry about dealing the heart and our thoughts!
However here is the truth;
It’s not good enough for us to say things just because we know it’s the right thing to say.
Neither is it good enough for us to do things just because it’s the right thing to do.
The God we serve is One who looks at the intention – and the intention begins at the heart.

Therefore we need to go back to the step before the words and actions, and be transformed by the renewing of our minds, in order to  C O R R E C T  the way we think.

Jesus teaches us with what He says in Matthew 5:28 regarding adultery, that actually, sin begins with the thought. A similar concept is mentioned in James 1:15 – basically telling us that harbouring a wrong thought, will give birth to the wrong practise, which is sin.

So, Simply put – Our thoughts are powerful!

Now let’s flip it.
If the wrong thoughts have the power to birth wrong words and actions, then surely the right thoughts – the God-pleasing thoughts, will birth Christ-like words, actions and attitudes.

Friend, from today, Let’s focus on thinking right.

Let’s begin to cast out rude thoughts, negative thoughts and tempting thoughts, and immediately replace them with the better opposite.

Let’s not only work on what we’re thinking, but as mentioned above, let’s work on ensuring the heart; the root of it all; is being filled and encouraged with the things of God.

Spend more time, feasting on God’s word to know what it says.
Spend more time fellowshipping with those who already have a positive and trained mind, rather than those who are bitter and see the worst in everyone.

Be careful with the shows you watch and the social media feeds you follow – if all they represent is cheating, theft, lying and death, then these will also be the first things we think of when a situation arises.

Above all,

P R A Y.

Ask God to give you a heart that chases after Him in every single aspect of life!
Pray for God to renew your mind, transform your heart and therefore perfect your thoughts, in order for you to truly be, a person of Love, a person who is pleasant and a person who is positive in all things.

As we strive towards Christ, we have to ensure that we have it right from the very foundation – so, let us Train our hearts and our thoughts, so that from them, GOOD life will flow.

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

The Love His Death Shows

Some of you may have come across this verse during this past Holy Week;

“He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.” 
[Isaiah 25:8]

Firstly I want to wish you a Happy, Joyous and Refreshing Easter!

And whilst you’re (hopefully) chilling out on this Bank Holiday Monday, I want you to just take in the Love of God for us, once more.

‘He will swallow up death forever…’

Let’s have a look at what it means to swallow, because for some reason, this was the word that really stood out to me;

Swallow = to take in and cause to disappear.

This verse therefore tells us that God sent Jesus to earth, to eradicate death, to cancel death and to conquer death for us, so our souls could reign with God in eternity when our bodies pass on from this world.
(We must understand that the death this speaks of isn’t in the physical, but rather the death of the soul which is much more important).

This verse in Isaiah speaks in anticipation of a coming Saviour; Jesus Christ, and what we know already, and in fact what we are celebrating at this time, is the fact that Jesus fulfilled the Word and Will of God, by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day – just as the word said He would.

“After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” And the disciples were filled with grief.”
[Matthew 17:22-23

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.”
[Luke 24:1-8]

Now what I want us to do is just think for a second,

‘Why me?’

The death of Jesus Christ is the most selfless act known in all time, to any and everyone, and the bible tells us that it was done just for us!

Just for you.
But why?

Who are we that God cares so much about us being with Him that He had to take such a massive decision, in order to bridge the gap between us and Him? – (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Who are we that God would send Himself, as a Man, to come to earth to suffer, serve and save?

Who are we that God would send a Blameless Lamb to be the perfect sacrifice? – Why didn’t He use someone who deserved to die? Why didn’t He use someone who was a bad person, a sinner, a mean person? We could sit here all day and begin to think about all the types of people who maybe society would deem as deserving of death (we have no right to make that judgement by the way), but the point I want us to see is actually the fact that God selected His own Son, whom was perfect and divine, clean and without sin, to die for us sinners…

This is LOVE.

Every year, at Easter time, we get an opportunity to reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ.
And every year we hear of the fact that Christ’s rising provides us with a new hope and joy in the Lord, an opportunity for a new beginning.
Thank God for Jesus!

Today, I want us to look at the theme of LOVE that runs through this entire story.

Look at the fact that the bible tells us God loved us even when we were sinners.
(Romans 5:81 John 4:9-10)
Look at the fact that the bible tells us God loved us first, before we could ever love Him.
(1 John 4:19)
Look at the fact that the bible tells us God loves us so much, and so He doesn’t have a desire for us to perish, but rather to have that everlasting life!
(John 3:16)

Just take in this Amazing Love of God!

I pray that Love –
will be Lifelong for you,
will Overflow in your life,
will bring you Victory over every situation,
and will Establish great things in your life, in Jesus’ Mighty name. Amen.

I’ll leave you with this verse, for you to reflect on the words and just try perceive how deep and real the love of God is, and in doing so, I pray that you will redevelop a greater understanding of how precious you are, how special you are, and how so truly and genuinely Loved By God, you are!

“knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
[1 Peter 1:18-19]

Happy Easter… Make sure you share the Love.

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

Cast your Cares…

The bible says ‘Cast your cares…’

And there’s a good reason for it!

Because if we didn’t put those worries just somewhere else, onto someone else, they would literally drive us mad. 

The amount of things our minds need to think of, comprehend and process in one day is truly unthinkable.
Now then to add unfortunate circumstances, negative outcomes and bad news into this mix – it would physically and mentally be unbearable. 

So here is what the bible teaches us to do, when we are feeling overwhelmed with problems, consumed with grief, and it just feels like so many things are going wrong… 

Casting all your cares
[all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all]
on Him, for He cares about you
[with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”
[1 Peter 5:7]

Cast your Cares. 

It says give your worries, your anxieties, your troubles, your concerns, all unto Jesus – Your Lord, who saves, who redeems, who looks after…

The bible assures us that He will carry our heavy load, and relieve us from the strain and the weight of ‘life’ that we’ve been carrying on our shoulders…

Then Jesus said,
“Come to me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.”
[Matthew 11:28]

The bible assures us that we will be made to stand firm, strong, tall, and steady, because God Himself will sustain us….

“Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.”
[Psalm 55:22]

He will not allow us to ‘slip and fall’….

Cast

Your

Cares.

You see there is a sense of peace, in running away from those problems for a second. And that’s what some of us do, when we turn to external, worldly things to relieve the pain, the hurt and the worry. We run away, but only for a time.

But let’s talk about true peace

“And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
[Philippians 4:7]

When we run into Jesus, and hide in Him, what we are given is not temporary like that of the world’s.
No this peace is not a false feeling found in ‘quick-fixes’ from the world, but rather the true Peace of God provides us with a permanent escape, a permanent resting place.

When you Cast your Cares, you receive great Peace from entrusting all these issues into the hands of a Man who actually isn’t a mere man and is truly divine and conquered death and therefore through conquering death actually now sits at the right hand of God and has power above every single issue that confronts you.

When you Cast your Cares you allow yourself to Get Away.
Yes friend, Casting your Cares provides your mind with a holiday – it takes you away from the stress and the strife, but the better difference is that once you give it to Jesus, unlike a physical holiday, you don’t have the concept of returning home to ‘reality’.
With Jesus, your new found peace is maintained throughout your home (your heart). Peace becomes your reality…  

Peace becomes your insurance and security that with Jesus, Everything. Will be. Okay.

The only thing left to remind you of, is to continue doing your part.
What I’m saying here is, make sure you uphold and fulfil your physical role, when and where applicable, e.g. making the job application, studying for an exam, and so on.
Jesus does His part, and we must also maintain ours, through the strength and ability He has given us, because together, it makes the manifestation perfect! (Read James 2:14-26 which teaches us about the need of both faith and works to go hand-in-hand).

Let Jesus take those burdens COMPLETELY, and allow His peace and power to comfort you, and overcome every problem and every situation concerning you, today, and always. 

Cast your Cares, Maintain your Peace, Uphold your Role.

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

Saving Daily…

Your worst day is your best day, really.

The bible tells me that all things work together for the good of you who loves the Lord God…

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose.” 

[Romans 8:28]

Let’s explore that today.

So sometimes we can have what we call ‘a really rubbish day

We find ourselves experiencing multiple unfortunate circumstances and we wonder
‘What on earth is going on?!’

The kind of days I’m talking about are the ones where:
You missed your train/bus,
Your car broke down,
You waited longer for your lunch because they got the order wrong the first time,
You got to work/school/university late,
You found out you forgot something really important at home
And so on and so on….

On days like these, with so many things happening ‘not in our favour’, we really feel as though someone is out to get us.
We feel victimised and ask ‘Is it only me?’
Some of us even wonder where God is; questioning His presence in the midst of everything that happened…

The answer is, He was right there.
Yes friend, on that ‘terrible’ day, God was right there with you at each moment, proving Himself to be an Immortal God, and saving you from more things than you know.

We must understand that the presence of God never leaves us. 

Deuteronomy 31:6-8
Genesis 28:15
Exodus 13:21
Exodus 33:14

The word of God tells us that God Himself goes before us. (How amazing?!!)
Therefore when God sees things that could possibly harm us, He removes/blocks/diverts them; sometimes without us noticing anything at all, but other times by causing something to happen in our lives that will strike us as being unusual, or simply not part of our routine/schedule/plan for that day.

We must undertsand that the Blood of the Lamb – Jesus, covers us daily and therefore what we see as an annoying delay/setback/diversion, is actually the protection of our Saviour .

So would you believe me if I said there wasn’t a single thing that happened to you on that ‘horrible’ day, that God didn’t know about?
Could you possibly accept now that your lateness, your broken down car/missed train, the wrong lunch order and everything else that happened; God purposed it for your benefit?
God was saving you from something that you couldn’t see…

The point of this message isn’t for me to act as God and give you explanations of why He did certain things on different days of your life, but I just want us to be a bit more grateful…

Grateful for His Faithfulness, Grace, Mercy, Love, Kindness and Loyalty to His word.

I want this message to cause us to be mindful of the fact that these so-called ‘bad days’ are actually the ones we ought to give God extra thanks for.
Why?
Because despite the fact that we felt like we took many losses, the truth is God caused us to Win.
God gave us victory over multiple small arrows that were sent to destroy and harm us, and caused us to rise above them and overcome – because He loves us and knows that we love Him…

So friend, when we have these days filled with what we deem as negativitiy and misfortune, let’s flip it around and see the positive!
Let’s flip it around and see a God who is taking every opportunity to save, protect, guide, cover, nurture and ultimately  L O V E  us.

Let us never forget that we are covered;
By God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, every day of our lives, and they are paying close attention to us, every step of the way, making sure we’re okay (put very simply).

 

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

A Prayer for Women

International Women’s Day 2017…

Many women in the bible are true inspirations for how women of God ought to behave and walk with God.

The word of God in Proverbs 31:10-31 enlightens us on what it is to be a virtuous woman, and this is a fantastic guide to live by and pray with at any time.
If we read a few more stories across the bible, we’ll find that actually there are more messages we can get about many different women of Grace, Honour and Glory.
So let’s make a deal, I’ll summarise for now, but promise me that you’ll make the time to go back and read the stories to get the full picture.

Both Men and Women, please thank God for Women today (and always), and let us pray for them, using these stories…

 

Mary, Mother of Jesus

(Context of story found in Luke 1)

Mary was a lady of purity and uprightness, who was going to get married to a man named Joseph.
When it was time for Jesus the Messiah to come into the world, God decided to use Mary; a virgin; to bear and birth this Holy child.
Mary was obedient to God’s word, she trusted in God’s word, and surrendered herself to God’s work.

In all that you do, may God always be pleased with you.
May you be a woman of great value and worth, whom God honours and deems worthy to be entrusted with great responsibilities. (Luke 1:28-30)
May your heart be one of devout obedience and trust to the will of God, and may you never waver in your faith to serve and fulfil the will of God. (Luke 1:38)

 

Ruth

(Context of story found in The Book of Ruth, Chapters 1-4)

Ruth‘s husband died.
Not only did her husband die, but her husband’s brother and father died also, leaving her husband’s mother (Ruth’s mother-in-law) lonely; widowed and at a loss of both sons.
When Naomi (Ruth’s mother-in-law) urged her two daughters-in-law to return to their mothers’ homes, Orpah (who had been married to Naomi’s other son) kissed her mother-in-law, obeyed her instruction and left, but Ruth remained.
Naomi made this request for Ruth to leave her in her sorrow, bitterness, and loneliness more than once, but Ruth refused.
Ruth made it clear that she would stick with Naomi, come what may.
Eventually Ruth remarries and restores joy in Naomi’s life after she has her own son, whom Naomi embraces as her own family.

May you be a woman of loyalty and love, diligence and kindness. (Ruth 1:16-17)
May God give you the courage to stand with those who need you, regardless of what the custom or tradition may be!
May the Lord use you to bring joy and hope to those who feel helpless, and feel as though they have lost it all, and may you be a source of the restoration of all lost glory in their life. (Ruth 1:20 & 4:13-17)

 

Esther

(Context found in the Book of Esther, Chapters 1-10)

Esther was an orphan, but was well cared for by her uncle Mordecai.
She was seen and favoured by a King who took her as his wife and crowned her as Queen.
At a time, people of the same nationality as Esther were being oppressed and sought out for destruction and death.
Queen Esther did not forget her humble beginnings. She addressed her husband (the King) with wisdom, asked for mercy on her people, and this resulted in the deliverance of her people and even favour for her uncle along the way.

May the Lord bring you to a place where you will be looked upon with great favour above all others. (Esther 2:17-18)
May the Lord enrich you with humility, and endow you with wisdom to deal with difficult situations in a way that will bring success and victory at the end. (Esther 5:7-8)
May the Lord use you to deliver many from oppression.
In whatever form the oppression may be, may the Lord make you a woman of strength, courage, and dedication, to bring an end to people’s suffering and pain. (Esther 7:3-4, Esther 8 [particularly 8:5-6, 8:7-12])

 

Elizabeth

(Context of story found in Luke 1, Matthew 3:13-17, Matthew 11:11)

Elizabeth was a righteous woman.
Despite her longing before God for a particular thing, and seeing no answer, she still served Him and worshipped Him and honoured Him without question.
When the Lord said it was time, He blessed Elizabeth’s womb, and though her and her husband were advanced in age, she bore a child.
God used Elizabeth to birth a great man, who would not only be a relative of Jesus the Saviour, but would also have the honour of baptising Him.

May you be a woman of righteousness. (Luke 1:6).
May you be able to endure the journey God has put you on, and wait patiently for Him to come through for you.
May you be able to trust in His timing, and in waiting on God, and trusting Him to give you His best, may you be surprised with unexpected, glorious blessings; blessings far greater than you could have ever imagined. (Luke 1:25).

 

To Women all over the world,
Happy International Women’s Day.

You are celebrated, and prayed for.
May God honour you all, lift you up, and use you for His glory,
All we have prayed, in Jesus’ name,
Amen!

 

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

I Forgive You…

You’ve been hurt.
Like, really hurt by someone, and to be honest, you’re struggling to get past it…

Today I want us to look at the importance of Forgiveness.

So first, let’s talk real talk…

When we’ve been hurt, naturally we don’t want to talk to that person, we don’t want to help them, and to be honest, sometimes it can go as far as us not wanting anything to do with them.
It’s the instinct of our flesh to hold a grudge, resent them, and possibly even seek a way to inflict pain on them, just so ‘they know how it feels’.

Most times, the memory of the scene or the words that caused the hurt, replays over and over in our minds, again and again, and for many of us it becomes something that occupies so much space in not just our minds, but our entire lives.
For others, actually we can do quite well ‘moving on’ and getting on with life without them in it, but failure to truly release that person and deal with our negative emotions towards them means that we still carry the hurt around with us and it only takes a mention of their name, or an unexpected encounter with them face to face, for all those emotions to come rushing back from wherever they were hiding.

Bitterness. Anger. Pain. Disappointment.
When we dwell on these emotions (and more) for so long, we find that we become consumed by them.
We become a different person; a negative person; a pessimistic person; someone who lacks trust in others because ‘all they’re going to do is just hurt us again like the previous person did!’

Shall we B R E A T H E…
Just for a second…

And remember one of the most cliché but important Truths of life;

God is Good.

And if God is good, it means His intentions for you are good, and nowhere in His plan did He write for you to be stuck in a rut, unable to forgive Jason because of what he did to you either last week, or 5 years ago.

God has enabled you to forgive others, and He holds your practise of forgiveness with great importance.

We ought to realise a few things about forgiveness:

  1. Forgiveness of others is a requirement for us to be able to receive forgiveness from God.
    As people who try not to, but still sin daily, the last thing we would ever want is for God to withdraw His forgiveness from us! But Jesus tells us plain and clear that if we fail to forgive our brothers and sisters truly from our hearts, we ourselves, will not receive forgiveness from God! (Matthew 18:21-35)
    Also read Matthew 6:12 and Mark 11:25.
  2. Forgiveness allows us to show a piece of Jesus to the person who wronged us.
    In many verses (you can check out Ephesians 4:31-32, Colossians 3:13)  we see that it says, ‘As the Lord forgave you…’
    When we forgive others, we actually show them a love that God, through Jesus Christ, showed us.
    We show them a love that says ‘I love you despite your wrongs’, and as humans, we need that love daily, because we sin and fall daily. The bible even tells us to make allowance for one another’s faults in the Colossians verse above.
    No, this doesn’t give them a pass to hurt us over and over again just because they know we’ll forgive them over and over again as Jesus instructs in Matthew 18, but actually, this love and this mercy we are able to show them could actually help them to also heal from any possible guilt that could be consuming them.
    The strength it takes to forgive, is definitely one that comes from God, so not only can your forgiveness encourage the individual to practise the same towards others in the future, but it can also point them to God to draw strength from Him too for whatever reason.
  3. Forgiveness liberates you.
    You don’t have to worry about how harsh you have to be to prove your anger, you don’t have to concentrate on making sure this person knows you don’t like them, you don’t have the bitterness eating away at you bit by bit, and you don’t have that strain on your heart from holding the grudge. Yes friend, Forgiveness provides spiritual, mental and physical freedom.
    When you forgive, you free yourself and you allow yourself to receive such a massive part of your own healing, because you have let go of the hurt, and left it unto God, who will deal with it perfectly, as well as continue to heal every one of your wounds.
  4. Forgiveness is an instruction.
    We see it spoken of so much in the bible, that it is clear that we have to learn to forgive, and do so genuinely.

So with that said, go before and ask Him to strengthen your ability to forgive.

Ask Him to give you a heart that can let go of wrongs, let go of sour memories of hurt, and let go of all bitterness, so that you can heal and move forward.

Your right to be upset should never be questioned, nor belittled, however let us always hold on to the fact that God wants us to walk amicably with one another, and therefore we ought to forgive each grievance, ‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice’, and never get tired of forgiving.

Though sometimes painful itself, Forgiveness definitely is a beautiful thing.

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

March, Be Good to Me…

The 1st of March 2017.

Welcome to the third month of 2017 (ALREADY!!!).

Each time we reach a new month, we seem to look back at the distance we’ve travelled since the beginning of the year.

The first day of the month is always a good opportunity to stop, look back and evaluate what has happened in our lives, in the year so far.

Some of you may look back with joy and a sense of pride, because you’ve achieved both the expected and even unexpected.
Others may feel contrasting emotions; disappointment and hurt, because things haven’t gone according to how you would have liked.

To the people that fall into the latter category, can you guess what I’m going to say next?

Yep! I’m going to tell you,

It’s okay…

Now understand me, I don’t say this to make you falsely feel better about yourself, or feel like you can settle for less, or drop the standards you have created for yourself.
I don’t say this in order to validate any excuses you made in place of some of the achievements that you ought to have obtained, and neither do I say this to make you feel like it’s fine to not reach your goals and just drop them halfway, but I say this to remind you of the beautiful…

Grace and MERCY

…of the Most High God.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy
and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

[Hebrews 4:16]

I need you to remember this verse when the world tells you it’s too late or you’ve gone too far – remember that you can always still approach the throne, and remember that He who sits on that throne, is rich in mercy…

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
[Ephesians 2:4-5]

Now I know we all love Grace so much – the unmerited favour of the Most High God, but today I want us to explore MERCY a bit more – what is it and what does the bible say about it?

Mercy; (according to the Oxford dictionary)

  1. Compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm
  2. An event to be grateful for, because it prevents something unpleasant or provides relief from suffering.

 

Now the bible, having read the the two verses above, encourages us to approach God and ask for mercy (compassion or forgiveness) when we are in need, and it gives us the confidence to do this, because we’re told He is rich, overflowing, saturated in mercy.

The bible also tells us that;

The Lord is merciful and loving,
    slow to become angry and full of constant love.
[Psalm 103:8]

So what does this mean for us?

Well firstly it doesn’t mean that we should go around intentionally messing things up, or not trying our best, in the hope that God will have compassion on our careless behaviour, because though He is slow to anger, He also is not a fool (Galatians 6:7) and will not be mocked.

Thankfully, what it does mean, is that a God who is ‘constant in love‘, is telling you that He won’t withdraw His compassion from you just because you make a mistake/wrong decision.
This means therefore that we shouldn’t think it’s over just because it didn’t work the first time.
It means we shouldn’t write ourselves off and beat ourselves up about things we may have done wrong, or failed to do.

It means, yes, we got things wrong/made mistakes/misjudged situations, but there are steps we can take to ensure growth and improvement from the circumstance –
1) Being remorseful where appropriate,
2) Learning the lesson in that season,
3) Praying for the Spirit of God to completely overtake our fleshly desires which cause us to fall (Galatians 5:13-26).

The Mercy of God is here for each and everyone of us, giving us the ability to start afresh and get it right with the wisdom of God and be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
The Mercy of God is what reduces what seems like a massive error to you, to absolutely nothing, because He trusts you to take this new chance, and do it with His will in mind, and therefore do it better.

 

I’m praying for a March of Mercy for us all…

Let us say these few lines of prayer together:

Wherever I have gone wrong, Father help me to put things right.

Whenever I have given up, Father help me to get back on track, and keep pushing.

Whatever good I have unknowingly let go of, Father allow me to meet with it again and grab hold of it and make proper use of it this time.

However I have fallen out of Your will, and/or done things that aren’t of Christ, Father empower me to get back up, put on Your armor and walk the walk I ought to walk with Christ Jesus.

March, be Good to me…
in Jesus’ Mighty Name,
Amen.

(Also have a read of Micah 7:18 and Psalm 51:1-2, and use them in a prayer for Mercy).

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