Prayer: Wrapped in Perfect Love

Despite being told to listen to the song many months ago, I only listened to it yesterday after being told that I’d be singing it as part of my church choir.

Listened to it… Absolutely Loved it…

And then I understood why the friend who initially recommended it to me said she always gets emotional when she hears it.

The song is called Reckless Love by Cory Asbury – Bethel Music
and I’d love for you to listen to it, just click the link above.
I’ve also put another link here, for the version by One Voice (at the beginning of a sermon video), which is the first one I listened to and loved!

I want to pray for us with the message of this song…

A lot of us have forgotten how  B I G  and how permanent God’s love is.
We’ve forgotten what God’s love means.
We’ve forgotten that we even have God’s love.

Today I’m reminding you that you are absolutely wrapped in the love of God, and you MUST remind yourself of this fact Every. Single. Day.

The part of the song that touched me most, is when it said;

‘It Leaves the ninety-nine…’

When Jesus tells this parable in Luke 15:3-7 (please read), He explains to us that heaven truly rejoices over a lost soul that comes home.
He is therefore telling you that He personally seeks you out, to bring you up and out of whatever issue you’re in, and bring you into the perfect will of God.

‘Leaves the 99’ tells me, that He’s so focussed on each and every one of us making it to the kingdom of God, that He won’t settle for one short… (Matthew 18:10-14)
He won’t leave you behind, or give up on you, despite the multitude that may already be doing their thing and pleasing Him – He steps out specifically for you, to come and find you, and draw you in to Him.

This is the Love of God.

A Love that doesn’t get fed up of loving us, will never stop being on our side and no matter how undeserving you feel of it, it will always be there, wrapped right around you (Romans 8:38-39) – it just takes you to open up your heart and let it in!

As you listen to the song, I ask that you pay close attention to each word, as it emphasises the energy with which God’s Perfect Love Pursues you.

For those of you who just can’t fathom WHY His perfect love would chase after you – remember what Jesus said in the parable mentioned above, and go into more scripture to see it yourself (1 John 4:9-10, Romans 5:8); that even in your imperfection, God loves you and God wants you…

And with that I pray,

Father,

Help each and every one of Your children to receive and embrace Your love this week, and always.
Help us to lay aside our carnal knowledge and opinions of the type of person that deserves to be loved by You, and let us accept wholeheartedly that Your Perfect Love is just for us, even in our imperfection.
Help us to truly believe in the power of Your Love, and become strengthened by it in every way possible.
Help us to no longer run away from Your Love, but rather let us rest in it, be lost in it, and be completely wrapped in it!
We thank You for Jesus Your son, We thank You for Your unconditional, unending Love, and we ask that never again will we forget that we have it.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

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

 

#PerfectLove
#RecklessLove
#RelentlessLove
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

 

A Prayer for your Week: 23rd-29th Oct 2017

Getting the right words down, in the right order, to mean the right thing, in the perfect way, definitely, takes time.
Which is why when bogged down with uni work, or just so many other things, you’ll find that there won’t be a post even though you expect one – why, because I can’t ever give you any old rubbish, it truly has to be God’s Untainted Word.

However I said somewhere in the welcome pages that this whole platform is definitely bigger than just me, therefore I know that being ‘busy’, is never acceptable as a reason to not keep up with the work of this ministry.

Therefore today God gave me this concept of sending you guys a prayer and best wishes from the bottom of my heart during these ‘busy’ times (Merciful King, Love hearts to Him), in order to ensure the consistency of posts you all deserve, and still give you something REAL.

So Let’s pray for our week;

Strength

Father, I pray for each of us to realise that we need not ask You for strength anymore because we already have it!
Therefore we ask for the ability to activate and believe in Your strength that already lies within us.
We thank You for making us strong;
Strong enough to get through the painful situation,
Strong enough to forgive wrongs,
Strong enough to help others,
Strong enough to keep going!
We thank You that Your strength in us shall allow us to overcome every existing weakness, and enable us to conquer in Jesus’ Mighty name.

Verse to prophesy: Philippians 4:13

Courage

Courage for the big things… Courage for the small things…
Father, we thank You for the courage You have placed in us.
You instruct us to be BOLD and Courageous in Deuteronomy 31:6, and that’s exactly what we’re going to be in this week!
Courage to stand up for others,
Courage to stand up for ourselves,
Courage to stand uprightly for Christ…
Father, we ask that You will give us the opportunity in this week to exhibit this courage and boldness, and let it bring glory and honour to Your name, in Jesus’ name.

Wisdom

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and without reproach,
and it will be given to him.”
[James 1:5]

 

Wisdom to make a decision, and not regret it immediately after because it’s the wrong one – Father we thank You for and ACTIVATE, the wisdom You have given us.
Wisdom to make the right decisions,
Wisdom to act in the appropriate way in response to scenarios,
Wisdom to deal appropriately, and lovingly with our peers in all areas of our lives…
We thank You because the wisdom You have given us, will cause us to stand out this week in one way or another.
Our wisdom-driven behaviours, mannerisms, and choices will cause someone to ask about the Jesus in us! And will cause them to come to know Him, in Jesus’ name.

In all things,

We pray that we will walk in love, walk in Christ, and be a living testimony of His Gospel.
May this week be like none other; filled with surprises, blessings and opportunities to share Christ.

All in Jesus’ Perfect name we pray,
Amen.

Go out and smash this week! 🙂 

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

 

#Blessed Week
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

Love With a ‘No’

From a young age, for many of us, ‘No’ has probably been one of our least favourite words to hear.

Usually associated with refusal, rejection and denial – ‘No’ is almost always seen as a bad word, that stimulates negative emotions.

But have you ever realised that we can also Love with a ‘No’?

Did you know, that sometimes,

No can say – ‘You’re not ready’

No can say – ‘I want you to learn’

No can say – ‘I want you to grow’

And ultimately, No can say – ‘I want you to depend on God’.

Today I want us to understand that as friends/siblings/parents/partners – whoever we are to the people in our lives, we each have a responsibility of knowing when to say ‘No’, for the right reasons.

I get it – we would do absolutely anything for our loved ones, just to see them smile and just to make sure that everything is alright for them.
I mean we literally just spoke about being our brother and sister’s keeper on Sunday, and ensuring that we’re always there for them, so why would we now be discussing the concept of denying them of what they may request from us?
Well, what God is telling us with this post, is to ensure that we get the right balance.
Loving and caring for someone goes beyond giving them what they ask for all the time, but actually sometimes requires us to be tough and disciplined, in order to produce the best them they can be. 

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness
and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
[Hebrews 12:11]

Whilst this word can sometimes have negative connotations, what the bible attributes to discipline are good things like self-control, wisdom, knowledge and growth.
Therefore without making the other person seem inferior, our ‘No’ can serve as good discipline, which is important in order for them to grow and learn from their situation.

Now let’s be real, some of us will struggle with this.
Particularly those of us who have fallen into a cycle with a friend or family member who keeps finding themselves in the same situation as a result of poor decisions. Each time they cry for help, we run to their rescue.
Firstly, God bless you for your diligence in supporting them all the time. And please don’t entertain any feelings of guilt as you now read this post, but rather be encouraged and led by the Holy Spirit to know that one day you will have the strength and wisdom to say ‘No’, in order for them to benefit from the crucial lesson that awaits them in the midst of that circumstance.

Yes it will hurt.
In fact the bible already says it will be painful, and this can be true for both us and them – we may feel like we’re letting them down, whilst they may feel unloved/rejected.
But let us not lose focus on what really matters…

You see, though our intentions our good, we fail to realise that sometimes we may end up depriving people of the growth and development that God has purposed a situation for in their lives. And this isn’t at all a post to blame us, but it’s just to make us mindful of the fact that in some cases, we ought to take a step back, and let God be God in their lives.
Let them remember that they ought to always depend on God.
And rather than us trying to take over His role, let us ask Him for the wisdom for us to know when not to intervene, so that He can take control and His perfect will be done.

Looking at the verse again, it says discipline produces a
H A R V E S T  of  R I G H T E O U S N E S S,  which means that our timely ‘No’ can positively contribute to the building of good and proper character – a man or woman that seeks God’s heart, and whose ways are pleasing in God’s sight.
Whether knowingly or unknowingly, some of us have fed our friend’s bad habits for so long, simply because we haven’t said ‘No’.
With this verse in mind, we ought to make the conscious decision to refuse to encourage any detrimental behaviour, and instead be a light in their lives by saying ‘No’, in order to push them to break away from every practice that doesn’t glorify God.

Now I know some of you will be thinking, ‘But a ‘No’ from me doesn’t necessarily stop them from seeking help somewhere else, which could be even worse’.
This is where we remember the importance of prayer and taking everything to the throne.
After seeking wisdom of when to say ‘No’, we must remember to pray that they will receive the ‘No’ with love and will appreciate the training it eventually provides.
Most importantly, our prayer should be that they shift their focus away from man and unto God, and that they seek guidance from Him alone.

Before we go, let us take note of this for ourselves too…
We also must learn to be open to receive a ‘No’.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but whoever hates correction is stupid.
[Proverbs 12:1]

In loving discipline and knowledge, and taking into consideration what we’ve discussed above, when we find ourselves on the receiving end of a ‘No’, let’s first remember that this isn’t because the person doesn’t love us.
Let us be reminded that we should depend on God, seek His hand in every situation, and pray not to miss the lesson.

With the promise of God in Romans 8:28, we can be confident that whether we’re saying it, or it’s being said to us – the right ‘No’, will surely produce good fruits in our lives.

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

 

#LoveWithANo
#TrueLoveSaysNo
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

Keeper…

Apologies that it’s been a while.
Without making excuses, I’ll admit that I just need to plan myself better to ensure frequency of posts is never compromised.

That out of the way, I have a task for us this week (and always):

Be your Brother/Sister’s Keeper.

What do I mean by this?

Let’s have a look…

“You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” 
[Colossians 3:12]

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another;
[Romans 12:10]

I want us to be more mindful of the people around us.
More importantly – more mindful of the people we haven’t seen or heard from in a long time.

It’s very easy to become so consumed with everything concerning us and our families that we don’t even stop to bother ourselves with the business of anyone else.

We’ve spoken about this recently, in A Need For You, however, God brought it actively to my mind again to remind us of the importance of our responsibility of being the light of the world – spreading love on this earth.

We cannot only think about ourselves as Children of God. We have to think of others too.

Yes I know you have so much going on, you have deadlines to meet, you need your alone-time, but I want us to pray for the desire and ability to be unselfish…
To be unselfish with our time, resources and emotions, and in doing so, reach out to those whom we may have not spoken to for a few days/weeks/months/even years.

Don’t allow your worries to hinder you from doing so – worries of;

Will they think I’m just being nosy?

Is it any of my business to ask how they are?

Will they even respond?

Just go with the right intentions (to extend the love of Christ), pray for the wisdom and direction of what to say, and go ahead and check up on them.

Considering the words from the scripture above;

Compassion, Kindness, Affection,

Let’s step into the week with a heart ready to love and care for our brothers and sisters.

We never know what people are going through, and even though they may not always reply with details when we ask ‘How are you?’, we can definitely be assured that the seed of love has been sown in that person’s life and has reminded them that someone is looking out for them.

Task: Let’s reach out to least one person this week, become consistent with it, and add people to that list as the Holy Spirit plants their names in our hearts.

Don’t underestimate the power of the Love of Christ in you.  

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

#MyBrothersKeeper
#MySistersKeeper
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

 

A Need For You…

So we’re stepping into a new week, only by the grace of God, and of course, I have a message for you…

There is A Need for You…

Someone needs your smile

Someone needs the hope you have within you

Someone needs the strength that you can share

Someone needs the encouragement your words provide

Someone needs the comfort that you bring

Someone needs the love of Christ that flows from within you.

I want us to make this week all about everyone else.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

not looking to your own interests
but each of you to the interests of the others”.
[Philippians 2:3-4]

I want us to take the scripture in Philippians as literally as possible, and try our best to put our own concerns and burdens aside, as we look around to help the people around us.

To some of us, this may sound extremely silly or uncomfortable or hard to do or just not ideal, because your present situation is tough – but what God told me to tell you, is that in the same way He is sending you as a helper to someone else, so will He send someone to you – therefore, you need not worry one bit about what’s going on with you – (remember what His word says in Deuteronomy 31:8Philippians 4:19).
Pray for the strength to turn your eyes away from your issues, and focus on helping the people in your care.

Focus on your neighbour, and consider their needs.

Let them on the train before you, pay the extra £1 they’re short of, phone that relative and remind them someone is thinking of them, pray about the problem that is causing your friend to cry.

The bible teaches us to regard others above ourselves, to acknowledge their interests above our own and to value the things concerning them more than those concerning us.
Like I said above, sometimes when we’re going through so much hardship, and feel like life is working against us (even in the simplest of scenarios such as running late for work), this word is far too difficult of a pill to swallow.
We’re wallowing in our own worries and our self-pity that we don’t even have space to think of others or what they’re going through or how we can help them, because we are in need of help ourselves!!
But what the bible reminds us of here, is the fact that Love is unselfish (1 Corinthians 13:5)…
Therefore with the love of Christ, we ought to remember that there is always someone who is in deeper need that we can reach out to.
And no this isn’t about feeling better about yourself, but it’s about acknowledging that as children of God, God has given us a grace to ALWAYS be a blessing, regardless of our present circumstance.

So let us be mindful of our surroundings.
Let us consider others, and acknowledge their needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and let us stretch out our hands and pull them up from whatever valley they may be in!

This week, and always, I want us to remember that we are Ambassadors of Christ.
His Spirit lives richly in us, and we represent Him and everything He stands for.
Therefore just as He came to serve, and honour those He lived with, we ought to do the same with an open and joyous heart, desiring to make the lives of those around us pleasant and peaceful and filled with light.

Let’s start by labelling this week 25/09/2017-01/10/2017 as our #SelflessWeek.
And I pray that through the manifestation of the various selfless acts we carry out this week, we will be encouraged to permanently embed selflessness and living for others, into our everyday life.

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

#SelflessWeek
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

 

Getting Back to Me…

Sometimes we stray so far away from who we are and what we really stand for, but the grace of God brings us back.

Let’s talk about making the most of that.

You see, what many of us do, is that once we’ve fallen so far by the wayside, and gone so far off course, we feel ashamed to ever come back.
We must understand, however, that coming to the realisation that something isn’t right about the way we’re living, is only by the grace of God, therefore we mustn’t waste that privilege of being able to identify that something has gone wrong…
We mustn’t allow our fear of what people will say, to keep us somewhere that we no longer desire to be…

Of course, we may feel silly, ashamed, foolish, and many other emotions, because people probably advised us against many things that we ended up doing, but chose not to listen.

We finally realise that we’ve made a bad decision, or in some cases, a whole string of bad decisions, but a fear of their reaction to our return, holds us back from making the right turn to get back to who we were…

Getting back to me…

Getting back to the Christ in me…

This is something I feel believers should be more transparent and open about, because the truth is, everyone falls.

And no I’m not saying we should become more accepting of sin and doing wrong, but it’s simply about being more real about the fact that sometimes we may have off days/weeks/months or even years.
Sometimes things happen to us that cause us to fall away, people come into our lives that distract us, or even for no reason at all, we just lose focus, lack wisdom and choose to do things our own way.

It’s kind of like that prodigal son story found in Luke 15:11-32.

Once you’ve read this story, you’ll see that we have three important characters;

The Lost Son – living life his own way, indulging in worldly pleasures, making bad decisions.

The Obedient but Annoyed Brother – living for Christ diligently, listens to instructions, therefore doesn’t understand why there should be a fuss about someone who has only gone and done everything they shouldn’t be doing.

The Compassionate, Forgiving Father – a loving, constant, faithful, amazing God, who understands our human flaws, and is happy when we return to our senses, and return home.

Today I want to talk to us about the fact that at different points in our lives, we may actually find ourselves being able to relate to both sons…

Of course, we desire not to fall and sin and lose our way once we’ve accepted Christ, but sometimes, it happens.
So let’s talk about being The Lost Son…

The magnitude of how lost we are, or how lost we become, can vary between each person. So when I speak about being lost here, I’m talking about when we find ourselves out of character and living in a way that just doesn’t identify with what we truly believe in, or what we know we should be doing for Christ. Therefore this could be the smallest thing or the biggest, but it’s just anything we’ve been doing over and over again that isn’t pleasing in God’s sight; anything that is ruining our witness to the gospel.

My message for you today is, don’t be afraid to go home – to Get back to the real you, and get back to the Christ in you.
Understand that your mistakes do not define who you are, and just like the son in the story, God sees your remorse (Luke 15:18-19) and will welcome you with open arms (Luke 15:20).
Do not be ashamed to admit your faults. Don’t allow pride and shame to keep you in sin, but rather be open about your weaknesses with your brothers and sisters in the body of Christ and allow the mercy of God to turn your heart around and right your wrongs.
Embrace Getting Back to You, and you’ll be surprised who you inspire to do the same.

Now many of us may find ourselves in the position of The Obedient but Annoyed Brother, many times in our lives.
We just don’t understand how/why someone will choose to do all the things they’ve done. And therefore we get irritated and feel like they should know better.

My message for you each time you’re in this position will be the same, and that is, don’t judge and don’t push them away.
We have to show compassion just as our Father does, and even if we are going to advise them on their wrongs in order to help them not to fall again, let us ensure that we do this love.
Our work begins not only when our brother/sister finally realises their wrong, but actually, it starts from when we first see them venturing off (Galatians 6:1-2).
Let us be a constant voice that encourages them to come back, and let us ensure they know that they have someone to speak to if ever they need to.
When they’re back home, we ought to let the found soul feel warm, and let them know that we accept the new and true them, which is who they are in Christ. Therefore let’s refrain from making references to when, and what they did whilst lost, as a constant reminder of this may just push them back there.
As heaven rejoices over them, let us rejoice too (Luke 15:7Luke 15:32).

I’ll finish by saying this; Getting Back to Me embraces the fact that who we are in Christ, is our true self.
Therefore I want to encourage us not to be ashamed of letting people know that we were once lost.
Allowing people to be open about their weaknesses, rather than hiding them and suffering in silence, means that they can receive the support, help and accountability that will actually enable them to overcome the various things they struggle with.
Therefore as the body of Christ, let us create an environment that enables people to discuss their flaws (with remorse and a desire to change), and let us provide the opportunity and support for them to grow into their True Christ-like self.

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

#GettingBackToMe
#GettingBackToTheChristInMe
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

 

 

What can I do for You?

Having recently had many conversations regarding relationships, and ‘getting it right’, and understanding the different requirements etc, it made me think about applying certain things to our relationship with The Father.

One thing that came up in particular is the fact that as individuals, we often focus solely on receiving our personal wants and needs from others.

Meaning that though we’re in a relationship with another person, we only concentrate on the different things we expect that person to do for us; how their actions and decisions can benefit us, and how anything and everything pertaining to them, can please us.

But what about the other person?

Today I’m asking us, What about God?

A relationship with God is the most important relationship anyone should have, therefore we ought to evaluate our behaviour in this relationship, every now and then, in order to see how we can improve it and make it better – all in the desire of drawing closer to Jehovah.

So let’s be real, just as we can sometimes be selfish in our relationships with one another, we are often also very selfish in our relationship with Abba Father.

Many of us get to a place where our prayers (which ought to be conversations) only contain requests galore…

“Father can You do, ABCDEF,
maybe I don’t need G,
but I definitely need HIJK and all the rest of it.”

We wake up, and yes we may manage to thank Him, but again, we jump in and ask Him to bless our days, grant us favour and grace and so on.

Now don’t get me wrong, asking God to be the centre of your day is not a bad thing, trusting in the beauty of His grace and therefore desiring your day to be saturated in it, again, is not a bad thing, but what God gave me for this post, to pass on to you, is that
every now and then, it’ll be nice for us to ask Him what He wants…

If we read Deuteronomy 12, we see a God of specificity.
And don’t worry, I understand that this chapter is in a completely different time, where there was no Saviour yet, but what I want to draw from it, is that we serve a God who pays attention to detail.
And if the bible tells me that my God is Consistent, never-changing, the same today, yesterday and forever (Revelation 1:8, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8), then that must mean, that this Specific and attention to detail God, still exists.
So why not appeal to that side of Him every so often?

Why not acknowledge that He has wants and desires too, and rather than ask so much for things that can bless our own lives, let’s ask God how we can Perfect the one thing that He takes from us, which is our worship.

I’m not asking you to go before God with a goat or a cow, but I am encouraging us to develop a habit of ASKING God what He wants and how He wants it…

How would You like me to proclaim Your name today?

How would You like to be served today?

What do You want my worship to sound and look like today?

What songs do You want to hear me sing to You?

What can I do today to make Your name and glory STAND OUT to those who experience and encounter me?

Many times we base our entire ‘living for God’, on what we think and assume He wants, what we’ve seen or heard others do, or what we’ve been told to do;

““These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”
[Isaiah 29:13]

But the bible tells us a true worshipper, worships in spirit and in truth – John 4:24.

Therefore I want us to become more sensitive to the Spirit of God in us and let us listen to what God is saying about true worship, rather than imitating what we’ve seen around us.
Let us become unselfish in our relationship with God, and learn to stop focusing only on what we can get out it.
Instead, let us ask Him what He wants, and actually wait to hear what God desires of us.

Let us desire to have a heart that is near to Him, through a worship that is no longer based on rules and acting, but rather based on a deeper knowledge and understanding of what God wants, what God likes, and what God will be pleased with.

Let’s pray;

Father, I know I have the freedom to worship You freely all the days my life, so I pray that You will help me to worship You in a way that is personally perfect for You.

Let me not focus on doing it anyone else’s way, but rather help me to acknowledge and focus on what You want, and how You want it.

I pray that after reading this message, I won’t get caught up on worrying about worshipping ‘right’, but instead, I pray that I will always long to worship You in Spirit, and in Truth.

Help me to always consider You more in my daily living, and let me walk closely with You, and become so familiar with Your heart and Your desires, that the things that flow from me naturally are more and more aligned with that which pleases You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

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

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

 

 

 

Schedule Him In

This is somewhat a PFP, but soon I feel I’ll need to announce that less, because I can feel God transforming the tone of this platform.

That out of the way let’s talk…

If you’re someone who already actively makes time for God, and spends time with Him consistently, then well done, but still, keep reading.
There is something in here that God has for someone you know, and it is your responsibility to share it with them.
So make sure once you’ve read it, and God shows you exactly what you need to show them, you share it with them.

Now getting into the post…

Today I led a short bible study titled ‘Using your free time wisely: Getting closer to God’.

Now while the emphasis is not necessarily on the fact that it’s only in our ‘free time’ that we should attempt to grow in God, the point here is simply Making Time for God.
So truthfully, for many people who may not already actively spend enough time with Him, yes, it may start out that you find you only want to fit ‘God stuff’ in when you’re less busy – but I am sure that once you begin studying Him more, and growing in Him, you’ll understand that He deserves much more than just your left-over hours of the day.

Now let’s look at something – many of us will proudly and openly say that we love God. This is great.
However moving on to knowing God, it’s likely that fewer of us are able to claim this so boldly.

So I asked during bible study today, ‘How can you love a God you don’t know?’

I mean it’s already one thing that we don’t see Him, but then to not really know much about Him either – how is it possible to love Him?

Well here’s what we raised in our session – yes, we can still love our God without knowing Him properly.
How?

Well, it’s because we know of Him, we hear of the things He does, we are cultured and steered by peers and parents to believe in Him, we ourselves are direct beneficiaries of His kindness and mercy and grace and so much more, and most simply, because we are recipients of His love. The bible tells us that we are able to love Him, because He first loved us – (1 John 4:19). All these things enable us to love God, or rather, have love for God, despite not necessarily knowing Him.

So here’s the thing, knowing of God, is not knowing Him. Knowing of Him is not understanding Him, ‘getting’ Him, relating with Him, knowing where He’s coming from.

Friend, knowing of God is therefore probably good enough to love Him superficially but it’s hard for it to go any further than that.
And the thing is, I’m sure you desire more.
I’m sure you desire to worship God in spirit and in truth, and honour Him with your life, and Love Him with all your heart as the bible says in Matthew 22:37.
I’m sure you yearn to love Him deeper and grow in Him more than ever before.

Which is why we need to make time for God.
And in making time for God we’re studying His word, we’re opening our hearts and ears to Him, and we’re drawing closer and closer, day by day.
In drawing closer to Him, we’re learning more about Him, about His mind, about what pleases and displeases Him, and essentially we are walking and living in a way that exudes a true deep Love and Reverence for God the Father

Now I like practicality, so I’ll share a few ways how we can begin to spend more time with God, and doing the things of God.

Remembering that this is a PFP, please understand that these ideas are simply suggestions of resources, as well as people/ministers whose teachings have personally agreed with my spirit and have benefitted my walk with God.
There are also some suggestions included below that were raised by other individuals at the bible study today.
I want you to note that this list isn’t exhaustive, nor a guide to being the perfect Christian (if that exists at all), but rather it provides (hopefully) relatable and realistic ways for you to take an active step forward in Getting Closer to your God.

Before anything on the list –
The first step is to make time for God!
Whether you start by dedicating five minutes of your lunch break everyday, or by deciding to get up thirty minutes earlier each day – decide a realistic (but worthwhile) period you want to set aside for God, set it aside, spend that time with Him and just see how it goes.

Now here you are, different things you can begin to incorporate into your life, to get closer to God:

Watch videos of teachings, preachings, sermons, topics, bible discussions and so on.
Swap that music video, or reality TV show for a word of God – initially you won’t really want to do it, but just click on it (the God vid), and you’ll see how your day becomes transformed by the presence of God.
Examples: I follow One Church LA on YouTube and enjoy teachings by Pastor Toure Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts.
Also on YouTube, Ify Alexis has a range of messages/sermons, as well as a young women’s ministry called Love Limitless.
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat – seek that Christian video/word and click it instead of skipping past it.

Read the bible – Joshua 1:8.
Now this is one of the most obvious ones, but possibly the hardest to know how to do.
A suggestion I have is to select a book in the bible, skim through to see how many chapters there are, and then create a reading plan for yourself with an aim of when you would like to read it all by e.g. one week, a few weeks, a month.
Tip: Always ensure to pray before reading – for God to give you understanding of His word and ability to apply it to life where appropriate.
If you don’t have a physical book bible, it’s easy to download any available bible app on to your phone, or access one online – I often use BibleGateway for my online bible, easy to navigate.

Use The Bible App.
There are many reading plans on this App that encourage a structure to read the bible.
Look through and pick one/some that suit you, and begin them. Once you’re done, choose another, or you may at this point want to do the above, and create your own reading schedule of a particular book in the bible.
I’ve enjoyed many of the plans written by Joyce Meyer.

Read articles on Christian blogs/platforms from people of relatable backgrounds.
This could be someone at a similar stage of life to you e.g. student-student, or someone at the stage you’re aspiring to reach next e.g. single-married; whatever you find resonates well with you for whatever topic/topics you’re seeking to learn about.
Examples: Hopefully this platform (Untainted Word) plays a helpful part in being one of the platforms you can come to, and learn.
Love Limitless as mentioned above.
My friends have also enjoyed and shared with me words from desiringgod.org.

Read devotionals.
These are words (and in some cases prayers too) that encourage you for the day, and also give a few scriptures for you to read as well.
Examples: UCB’s Word for Today was suggested at bible study today.
But you can also type in ‘devotionals’ into Google, and see what it brings you.
The Bible App above also has many of these.

Pray.
This is another obvious one and a very very important one but sometimes a difficult one when it isn’t a common practice. A suggestion raised today was to set a timer and don’t stop praying until it rings. You may only set it for 2 minutes initially, but just start with something, and gradually increase the time.
What to say when you pray? Friend, I’m not telling you what to say, I’ll just remind you that God is YOUR Father, you are HIS child, therefore be free with Him and just have an open and honest conversation with Him, and hey, don’t forget to listen back for Him speaking too.

‘Alone-time’ with God; Dates with God.
This could be dinner for two – where the other party is God, or a walk in the park, or a sit-down in the coffee shop – dedicate moments of pure ‘alone-time’, listening-time, with God.
You’ll be surprised how much He’s been waiting to share with you – He just needs you to give Him those moments.

Now go ahead and choose a couple…
I encourage each of us to select Prayer by default – as we know that this is key, and the bible does say to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), so let’s try not to go another day without a prayer, from today onwards.
From the rest of this list, I hope there’ll be at least one or two more things that you’ll be willing to try out – starting today!!

I want to end by saying this…
Having shared so many different suggestions, and opened you up to many different platforms being led by other people in the Christian faith, it is important that we always always always seek out the truth. I’m not saying question everything you read or hear, but simply pray beforehand that God will direct you to resources that will teach sound doctrine, and enrich your spirit in the way He desires for it to be!

I hope you’re excited for a new walk and a new level of Loving and Knowing God!

(Please please feel free to talk to me – let me know how this goes, how you find some of these resources and share with the rest of us some other things that maybe work well for you.)

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

 

*Disclaimer: (and I chuckle as I write this, but it’s important that I do) I haven’t been paid to ‘advertise’ any of these ministries/platforms/websites/resources. These are genuine suggestions from myself of resources that I personally use and feel benefit my walk with God.*

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.

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 *