Step 2: Do

Here’s a quick word about,

‘Doing’ His Word

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
[James 1:22]

Sometimes we’ll read a verse in the bible and we’ll require further exposition on what it’s saying, but the verse above is so clear and direct!

I’ve quoted this verse briefly before in a previous post (Be An Example), but today I want us to take a quick look at what it says by itself, and why it is important!

We know and believe that the word of God is life, and therefore we believe that it is our manual for life and our guide for how to live and move.
However, how many times do we read/listen to the word of God and just keep doing our own thing, our own way?

How many times have we read the bible, or heard a teaching by a preacher, known that it ought to change our hearts and habits, but have decided that the change isn’t quite convenient at that present moment in our lives?

Look at this…
The bible tells us that;

“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight,
but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”

[Romans 2:13]

This verse demonstrates the significance of us not just knowing or hearing the word and the instructions/commandments of God, but actually practising, living, and fulfilling the word of God with our lives…
Our obedience in doing God’s word not only helps to put us in right-standing with the Father, but it also importantly means that we do not blaspheme the name of God (context from Romans 2:17-24), by calling ourselves His children, yet doing the complete opposite of what He desires!

Here’s a simple prayer today to begin to change our hearts that still want to wait till later or wait till we’re ready to DO the word of God;

“Father, give me the heart of obedience to be an active doer of Your word, NOW, not later.
The first step is hearing/reading/becoming aware of what Your word says, the second step is understanding and putting it to action…
In Matthew 13:1-23, Jesus shares a parable about different responses to the Word,
I pray God, that You will make me the person whom verse 23 speaks of!
Let my heart be good soil; let me hear the word, understand it, and produce good crop from it.
Help me to trust and love Your word, so that I will make a harvest out of it,
in Jesus’ Name
Amen.”

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

Perfect Peace; Isaiah 26:3

So here’s a PFP* for you this Wednesday afternoon.

Today, I woke up feeling overwhelmed.

I have so much work to do, so little time, and it’s no one else’s fault but mine.
(Haha, that rhyme was not intentional, I guess I’m a natural [Cheeky grin]).

Anyway,
Having tried to do this essay so many times, and having dedicated so much time to it, the exam I have next Friday has crept up on me, and I definitely haven’t done adequate revision for that either!

So my mind wasn’t rested this morning. And the human in me was quite worried, in fact, very worried.
On the other hand, there’s the Spirit in me, that knows it’ll all be fine at the end of the day, but still the flesh always challenges it, because I know that the bible says faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26), therefore I know I need to do the works part.

So anyway, I saw my academic mentor this afternoon, because we had scheduled a general meeting a few weeks ago, to see how it’s all going, and of course when I got there, I explained the fact that I feel like I’m struggling a little at this present moment.

And here is God…

She gave me different resources to use in my essay, and also advised me to not think too hard about it, and just get something done!
I left that meeting feeling and knowing that I can and will do it.

What’s my point here?

My point is that we should keep our hope in the Lord at all times, and trust that He will always bring us to perfect peace in our times of absolute chaos/worry/panic.

This morning, despite my worrying, I remember that there was a tiny hope I had in the meeting that I was going to attend with my mentor. I knew that God would send me some sort of direction through her, and that she would say something that would remind me that there’s still time to turn it around…

I couldn’t think of anything more real to share with you all today…

I want you to remember that there is ALWAYS still time to turn it around.

If you can just find that tiny hope that is still alive somewhere in your heart, grab it, hold on to it, and let it be the driving force, when the rest of you wants to give up.

The bible in Isaiah 26:3 says,

“You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Take this word as your truth today and always.

Even if everything around you is falling down and crumbling, God will maintain an incomparable peace in your heart, to keep you calm, unworried, and level-headed, to get through it.

What you have to do, is just make sure you Trust in Him (Isaiah 26:4). And Trust in the Process.
Trust Him so deeply, that even when your flesh wants to worry, your Spirit holds on to His word and looks up in faith, to Him.
Make sure that your focus is right – let your thoughts be fixed on Him, let your mind be steadfast in Him, knowing that,
He. Is. Able.

I pray for you today,
That you’ll locate that tiny hope that’s somewhere within you, and allow it to usher in the great peace that God gives, to keep you calm, and keep you going, in the midst of what seems like a crazy muffle of too much!

Remember, You can do it 🙂

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

 

*PFP = Personal Founder Post; a word with a personalised twist to help portray the message better *

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.

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.

‘Eyes on Me’

Let’s read;

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ”
[Colossians 3:1-4]

Where is your focus?

Are you looking to your left?
Are you looking to your right?
Are you looking behind, in front, diagonally?

Where are your eyes set? And on what are they set?

The bible tells us, that we who have been raised, re-birthed, and renewed in Christ should place our eyes on Him.
It tells us to set our eyes, our minds, our hearts, not on things of this earth, but actually on that which lies high above.

So, what does this mean?

Well firstly, it says ‘No limits’.
Some of us think so small.
We struggle to comprehend anything beyond basic and so we live our lives in the safe zone and never push ourselves to reach our full potential.

Friend, today, if you can set your heart on Jesus, and think of the power with which He conquered death, then you’ll realise that there is so much more out there for you to accomplish, which is bigger and better than what you’re sitting and settling with now, getting complacent.
Look at Jesus and think BIG.
Look at Him and realise that through Him, you are limitless (Philippians 4:13), and so no man or woman could ever determine how far you will get in life.
Look at Him and know that you are more than just a guy or lady; you are a Royal Priesthood, and a Chosen Generation, and so the fruits of your life ought to show the Excellence and Glory of God, and give praise to God (1 Peter 2:9).

Set your heart on Jesus says, ‘Think of Him first’.
We have to remember that we will not be on earth for eternity, and there is a higher place, a more precious place and a beautiful kingdom which awaits those who love and honour God.
Setting our hearts on Jesus; thinking of Him before we speak or act, means we are striving to be more like Him, in order to ensure that we don’t miss heaven.

So it does mean that sometimes, it requires us to stop and think ‘What would Jesus do?’, and then allow the Holy Spirit to guide our next move and decision.
It means we no longer make decisions or take steps without considering the consequences or implications that they may have on our lives as a disciple of Christ.
It means we daily show Him, that His death and resurrection didn’t go to waste, and truly by His blood we’ve been redeemed and transformed.
(Remember that the word of God encourages us to renew our minds, in order to transform our ways – Romans 12:2).

All in all, when we correct our focus, we will be able to get so many more things right in our lives.
A heart that looks towards Jesus and chases after Him constantly, will be strained less, in its strive to perfection, because it is following the One who can truly lead us to the Father.
When Jesus died on the cross, He purchased our salvation.
Meaning, He created the passage for us to not be condemned to eternal fire when we die and leave this earth, but rather to ascend into an eternal paradise with God, our Maker (John 17:2).

Jesus explains; ‘No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’, (Matthew 11:27);
So let us not despise nor underestimate the importance of having The Christ in our lives.
Let us continuously strive to know Jesus deeply, in order for us to also get to know the Father much more deeply and intimately.
And as we set our eyes on the Son, we will surely be drawn ever-nearer to the Beautiful Father.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
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.

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. 

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.

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.