A Prayer For You…

This Evening,

All I want to do, is pray for you…

 

In Jesus’ name,

I pray over your week,
That it is blessed with joy and peace and fruitfulness in every area.

I pray for uncommon favour for you and your family wherever you go, with whomever you meet, and in whatever you do.

I pray that God Almighty, will sanctify each endeavour with His anointing, and direct you to walk in line with His will.

You will not make any bad decisions, take any bad turns, or make any choices that you will later regret! Rather, I pray that God will open up your eyes, ears and heart to be sensitive to His voice, to know what His will for you is, and what His plans and expectations for you are.

I pray that anyone that will pull you down, delay your blessing, obstruct your journey, distract your calling, or be detrimental to your life in any way, be removed by the Lord God Himself.

I pray that wickedness shall see you and flee, and darkness shall be turned into light whenever you arrive!

Again, regarding decisions, I pray that you, the person making an important decision this week, you will have peace both before and after making it.
You will not decide, then begin to wrestle in your mind if you’ve made the right choice. God will direct you, His Holy Spirit will give you the knowledge and wisdom to know clearly which decision to make, and you will obey and make it right in Jesus’ Mighty name.

Your Heart;
I pray that God will give you a heart that loves Him.
A heart that is in Love with Him deeply.
A heart that puts Him first above all things.

I pray that in loving God, you will honour Him with your whole life, you will desire more and more to die to your flesh, and live by His Spirit instead.
I pray that the words you speak, the thoughts you think and the actions you take will all glorify the name of Elohim Jehovah!

I pray finally this; that someone will encounter you this week,
and will encounter the Christ in you.
This encounter will not be ordinary in any way,
and through it, this person will just
H A V E  to give their life to Christ.
The urge in them and the fire in them to know this Jesus, will be too much for them to resist or ignore, and they shall, in Jesus’ name, this week, through you, know and accept that they have a Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

All of this, I pray for you, and your family,
in Jesus’ Mighty, Precious Name

A M E N.

 

Have a pleasant, positive and life-changing week!

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.

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.

Grace… Even though I don’t Deserve it

NOTE: This is a PFP – Personal Founder Post:
Untainted Word isn’t a personal blog, therefore I believe it’s appropriate for you to get a heads up if a post is going to be one of these ‘PFPs’.
Every now and then, certain topics will be easier and better explained with real life and personal examples. 
Whilst they’re still inspired by God, they’ll most likely also contain details of specific things that occurred/happened to me as an individual, in order to give you a full picture, and better understanding of whatever the point it is.
This post is the first of its kind… I hope you enjoy 🙂

Now this is the thing about the Grace of God.

Nothing that you actually DO, can earn it, or remove it from your life.

When God has covered you with His Grace – that’s it, you’re covered.

(Sometime later, in another post, we’ll talk about not taking grace for granted, but today let’s talk about enjoying grace and understanding what it really is).

I’ll tell you something God taught me the other day…

Now, I launched Untainted Word on January 16th 2017.
I’ve been pretty consistent with ensuring posts go up every Sunday and Wednesday as I said they would.
However in the past week and a half – I’ve slacked…

I’ve allowed everything else to get in the way, e.g. exams, and other things, I haven’t organised myself well, and so I’ve been putting off posting and haven’t sat down to just listen to what God has to say, in order for me to write and share.

As if that isn’t enough, I was also LATE to church two Sundays in-a-row. And as a choir member and worship leader, this wasn’t good enough, especially as it meant that I couldn’t give my service to God as I ought to.

For me, I don’t like to disappoint God.
I mean, when you love someone, the last thing you want to do is disappoint them, or let them down, or neglect them.
I felt like I had done all of the above to God in the past week/ten days, and so my human mind went into a mode of thinking I would see the consequences of God’s disappointment, through misfortune and ‘No’s’ as the answers to my prayers.

Who else has ever done/felt like this?
Who else sometimes just anticipates the manifestation of negative things and awkward situations, because you know you haven’t been giving God your best recently?

I’m sure a lot of us sometimes believe that that’s the next step, and so we even get ready to accept a streak of bad, bad, bad, until we feel like we’ve gotten our act together and are back in right standing with God, where we then deserve the ‘good’.

Well bad, bad, bad, was nowhere near my portion.
In fact, in the midst of all my short-comings before God, I received a ‘Yes’ to at least three major prayers in my life and in the life of friends.

Someone say ‘GRACE’…

Grace is what enables God’s blessings to still manifest, even when you’re not necessarily doing the right thing or in the right place.

Grace is what allows you to still reach your God-ordained destination in life, despite you straying so far off the path beforehand.

Grace is what permits us to be saved, through the Love of God and the act of Jesus Christ, and therefore we can now have a relationship with God, draw closer to Him, and reign in heaven with Him after physical death.

Grace is the supernatural, courteous good will of God which focusses not on our sins, but simply on the Love He has for us – therefore bringing us back to a place of blessing, mercy, and positivity regardless of the circumstance.

Be it in your relationship with God, or even with your actions and decisions in life,
Grace doesn’t look at your works as a criteria to decide whether or not you receive it.

And that is what we should understand…
Grace wouldn’t be Grace, if we had to work for it;

“And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.
But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

[Romans 11:6]

So stop thinking it’s determined by you.
And stop thinking of all these ways that God will ‘deal with you’, because you haven’t given Him your best.

In one of the moments of receiving good news, despite my sincere gratitude, I felt so unworthy…

I said to God, “I don’t deserve this.”

But He replied,
“Even when you’re not giving Me your best, I still love and come through for you,
I just want you to love Me back and love Me more”.

God’s simple desire of a child who Loves Him is never-changing;

So he answered and said,
‘You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,’…”
[Luke 10:27]

But sometimes we forget this, and our behaviour and actions don’t reflect someone who loves Him at all.
Therefore believe it or not, sometimes the Grace of God actually serves as a reminder of  the fact that He is faithful to His word in Romans 8:28, and so it encourages us to get back on track with Loving God, wholeheartedly; with our words, our service, our actions and our entire lives!
It encourages us to focus back on God and give Him our  B E S T.

As overwhelming as it may be to comprehend, God doesn’t withdraw His grace, favour, mercy, kindness, or hand of blessing from our lives when we’re in our mess and muck.

The truth is, God’s Grace goes far beyond our human imagination, therefore when we’re expecting a spiteful reaction to our failure before Him, He just shows us His consistency and faithfulness.
With God’s Grace, there’s no such thing as ‘too good to be true’,
And the concept of something negative needing to happen, in order to balance out all the positives you’ve been experiencing, is also a lie!

The Grace of God; Unmerited Favour of God, is  R E A L.

So let’s pray tonight and always, that our hearts will be able to accept and enjoy the Grace of God, and never question it.

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

Make Room…

Let’s read,

“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
[John 14:13-14]

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
[Matthew 21:22]

“And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
[Mark 11:22-24]

  1. Have faith in God
  2. Don’t doubt in your heart
  3. Believe that you have received it…

The bible doesn’t just say things for decoration.

I need you to look at this word and understand what it’s telling you.

Firstly we need to have faith that truly, God is an awesome God.
He’s a God who does great and mighty and glorious things, a God who works wonders (Psalm 77:14).

Now when we pray, the next thing is to have no doubt that God can and will do what we have asked for, (even better than what we ask for).
We ought to pray, and rest in the knowledge that our prayers are in the hands of a God whose word is ‘Yes and Amen’ (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Finally, Jesus tells us to  B E L I E V E  that we have received what we asked for.

Now that’s why we’re here today…
I want to know how you believe.
I want to see how you believe.

Today, the focus on this verse isn’t the doubt, or the ‘have faith’.
Today God is saying, ‘Prepare for what you are praying for‘.

God is saying, ‘You’ve asked me, I’ve heard you, but there’s no space, no opening, no opportunity for Me to manifest this great big thing that I have for you, my love…’

So friend, it’s time to get up!

Once you’ve prayed, I need you to not sit on that prayer, but rather,  A C T  on it!

Some of us have asked for a new car and haven’t made enquiries about a) How to sell the old one, or b) Where to get the new one from.

We ask for a new job or a job promotion but we aren’t feeding ourselves with the knowledge and understanding that the role requires in order for us to fulfil it well.

‘Oh but I’m waiting till I get the answer to the prayer first then I’ll…’
No, no, no God doesn’t want you to wait until you get there, He wants you to prepare in advance!

I understand that it can be daunting to do this, because we don’t want to give ourselves a false hope and then be disappointed, however God is a faithful God and He won’t put your faith to shame.
Be confident to begin walking as someone who knows they already have what they ask for, and in doing so, understand that your preparation does some important things…

It creates space – the first verse we read says ‘Whatever you ask, I will do’, that means your prayer is already answered before you see it/know it.
But your preparation is what ushers it in; it creates the necessary space required for it to manifest in your life, and occupy its, let’s say, ‘plot of land’ in your life.

It shows God you mean business and you’re ready when He is, to receive that which you have asked for.
It shows Him that you understand the difference between being granted something, and actually receiving it.
Him granting the request is good, because that means it’s yours, but only when you stretch out your hands to receive it (through your preparation), are you able to grab hold of it, use and implement it in your life.

It gets you ready… Properly.
In the midst of your preparation, God will teach you things, speak to you, and show you things that are important for you to know how best to maximise what He gives you.
Your preparation allows God to move you into the right head space; appropriate for that thing/those things.

Today,
I need you to Move. Be Active. Make Room; for the baby, the car, the university admission, the job, the house, the husband/wife, the ministry, the business, the this, the that and the other, because,
God has it ready for you, but He’s saying ‘Show me you’re ready to take it!

And remember, as you prepare in faith, that faith won’t be put to shame.

 

 

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.

 

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Let’s read:

“I praise you,
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” 

[Psalm 139:14]

Alright, three areas:

  1. Appreciating the Most High
  2. Understanding our Beauty and its extent
  3. Believing in God’s work.

Part 1: Appreciating the Most High

I love the fact that the first part of this verse says ‘I Praise You‘!
It urges us to exalt and thank God for creating us, and show our gratitude for His continued grace upon our lives.

Being the first part of this verse, this act of praise unto God serves as a template for how we ought to acknowledge His hand in our lives at all times.
When we embrace the goodness within us, and when others acknowledge it too, we ought to first say “I praise You Lord…”
In doing so, we are giving God the credit He deserves as our Maker; who formed us intricately in the womb and knit all things together in perfection (Psalm 139:13).
We are reminding ourselves each time of our source and our foundation, and also reminding others of this too, whilst hopefully encouraging them to either a) Start to do the same, or b) Desire to know this God you speak of.

We can use this concept of worshipping and honouring as a guide throughout everything in life, to remember that ‘Before me, it’s You (God), because You are Great and Worthy’.

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they existed and were created.”
 [Revelation 4:11]

Part 2: Understanding our Beauty and its extent

Having an understanding of our Beauty involves us realising that we are, as the verse says, ‘Fearfully and Wonderfully made‘.
Which means, God designed our entire being with accuracy and precision and we ought to Love every single bit of us!
Every intricate detail about you was an intentional brush stroke made by God, therefore you should take pride in you and be confident in who you are.
Always wear the true you.

You must understand that your beauty extends far greater than what you can physically see when you look in the mirror.
Yes your exterior is beautiful,
But what lies within you is extremely imporant and in fact is amazing.

The word of God teaches this particular aspect of internal beauty in the context of wives winning the souls of their husbands for Christ in 1 Peter 3, but we can all (men and women) benefit from understanding the importance of a beautiful heart and spirit in the eyes of God;

“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”

[1 Peter 3:4]

Now let’s look at these words;
Fearfully
made, says God took His time, paid close attention, and thoughtfully crafted us into unique individuals.

Wonderfully made, says God very smartly and wisely designed the complexity of our physical human bodies, our minds, and everything else about us, in a way that is unimaginably great.

He designed everything in a way that it all works together to allow us to be the best we can be in fulfilling our purpose!
So let this part of the verse be a reminder of the truth…
When people call us names, or try to belittle our ability, or make fun of what we own or have achieved, we can ignore and rise above their negativity because we know that we are a fearfully, thoughtfully, intricately, excellently and wonderfully crafted Masterpiece of the Almighty God.

Part 3: Believing in God’s work.

This area of the verse acknowledges the quality of God’s work.
Our souls should know and believe very well that the work of God is magnificent and perfect;

“The Rock, His work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.”
[Deuteronomy 32:4]

This word serves an assurance of the fact that as God’s creation, we weren’t just made by Him throwing random pieces together in a rush, neither were we formed from cheap materials.
The Lord God – the Perfect God, used the very best resources and skills to make us.

Now I know that some of us will struggle to believe all this, because you can’t see past the apparent flaws that you’ve critically highlighted from within yourself.
But friend, please be encouraged that we all are a work-in-progress, and though already wonderfully made, God is also continuously working on us each day, to make us even better than we were yesterday.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you,
will continue his work until it is finally finished
on the day when Christ Jesus returns”

[Philippians 1:6]

For God is working in you,
giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

[Philippians 2:13]

Does this mean then that His work actually isn’t perfect, and He in fact didn’t plan as intricately as He could have, if He has to improve us so much?

Well, the answer is no.

The bible tells us that God has made everything, but for an appointed time, and as humans we do not necessarily know the timing.

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.
He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so,
people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” 

[Ecclesiastes 3:11]

What this means, is that God has already sown each seed into you, but it will bear its fruits at the appropriate time.
And why does He do this?
Because we are made for the pleasure and will of God (Revelation 4:11 again haha [the second half particularly]), and for the glory of His name (Isaiah 43:7).

Each of our stories have been written, and it includes our purpose, as well as how we evolve and improve throughout our lifetime on earth, therefore we should stop dwelling on these ‘flaws’ and simply trust in the perfect work of God, and focus on walking closely with He who will transform them into strengths.

Now just one question; I’ve told you you’re beautiful, I’ve explained that you’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made by God, but Do you believe me? 

Friend, I can tell you 1 million times that you are beautiful, and that you are a carefully crafted product of God’s perfect work – it means nothing if you do not believe it yourself.

I urge us all to always believe in our beauty, and believe we are truly special.
If we struggle with this, let us remember to 1) Read the proof (these bibles verses and others) over and over again, and 2) Ask God daily to help us to truly see and believe that we are beautiful, and help us to be confident in our beauty, both in, and out.

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