Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Living with the fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

How do we know if we "have" the fruit of the Spirit?
Do we feel different with the Fruit of the Spirit or do we act differently, talk differently or can others see that we "have" the fruit?

The fruit of the Spirit isn't about what we do, but its about who we are. It means that we are not effected by our surroundings or situations. The fruit has been implanted into our souls as this what the Holy Spirit has done within us.

This doesn't mean that we don't feel pain, sorrow and hurt but it does mean that, within, we are much stronger to deal with something. It also helps in how to deal with an issue and how to overcome an issue.
The Holy Spirit draws us back to obedience rather than letting us fall to the wayside. He will convict us of any wrongdoing. is our choice to grow in the Fruit. God will never force anything on us. It is our choice to allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to deal with situations.

We have to grow the fruit of the Spirit within us. Some fruit will be stronger than others, in fact, some will be seriously lacking but throughout your life they all grow. We have to be patient of ourselves and allow the fruit to grow, but in the meantime we have to be graceful to others while they watch us grow. We must know that every ones "fruit" is different and everyone is stronger and weaker in different areas...
The thing is that together, we are one family and God wants to use all of our strengths and weaknesses together as one.

We cannot grow the fruit ourselves. We are not equipped to do so. God is the only one who empowers us. We are called to surrender to God and grow the fruit in conjunction with God. We cant leave it up to Him nor can we try and accomplish it ourselves.

Our words and actions are the most important way that we can display the fruit of the Spirit within us. What we say to others or how we do things clearly shows our strengths and weaknesses. We need to choose, everyday, to let the fruit of the Spirit show in our lives.

We need to stay connected to the vine all the time.
Yes, we will fail many times, we will not show joy at times and often we will not be patient (hits home in my life)....but you know what, we are so blessed to have a God that is gull of grace. We repent and we ask for forgiveness. Allow God to transform us from within.

The apostle Paul said in Galatians 5, "Walk in the Spirit . . . If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (verses 16, 25). God's Spirit enables us to act according to God's principles—to live a godly life!


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Monday, December 10, 2012

Love...something we do!

So they say Love is an emotion....but is it really.
If love was an emotion, then God couldn't just command it in His Word.
God tells us to love others. He tells us not to just show love...but to BE love!

Emotions cannot be commanded, they are felt and shown, but you cannot tell someone that they MUST feel an emotion - like 'BE SAD NOW!'

Being Love?? What is that?

1 John 3:18 tells us to show love in our actions and not just speak love in what we say to each other.
Its easy to tell someone you love them. Sometimes its used as a 'get of jail' card, because it makes you feel better about yourself and mostly makes the other person feel better (Does it really?)
Love is also a skill that can be learned. If you are not a loving person, you can learn how to love or feel loved. Love can be practised. God wants us to be excellent lovers, not good lovers. He wants us to 'action' love, not just 'talk' love.
1 Timothy 4:15 tell us to practise love so that we can become better at it.

So how do we show love?
This is difficult for me because I know I am one of those people that hardly shows love when I need to. I go quiet and then people think I am rude or don't like them. What is the point of that?
We are called to show our love for others. (And here's the hard part - Even if we don't like them.)

The only way you can love someone is by you choosing to love them. You cannot falsely show love, like telling someone that you love them when you actually don't. The other person may feel loved for that moment, but after awhile they will see right through you. rather be true to yourself. Love is a choice and a commitment!. You choose to love someone!
You may be attracted to someone,but that doesn't mean you love them.

Lets see how Jesus showed love, as He is our role model:
  • COMPASSION - Be attentive to others needs wherever, whenever.Jesus wasn't too busy for people.
  • LISTEN - When people talk, listen to them. Hear what they have to say. If you don't understand what they are saying, ask them. Don't act interested, Be interested!
  • CELEBRATE - with others. When someone tells you an achievement that they have accomplished, celebrate with them.Show them that you care. When someone tells you that they have given their life to Christ, this has to be the biggest celebration ever!
  • FORGIVENESS - Forgive others. If someone wrongs you, forgive them. Tell them you forgive them.
  • HUMOROUS - Jesus wasn't this serious man that walked on earth, healed people, never smiled and then walked away. Jesus sat with others, spoke and LAUGHED with them. People relate with laughter. People relax with laughter as being surrounded in happiness helps drop the barriers of stress and tension between people.
  • LOYAL - When you say you will do something, DO IT. Be loyal to others. Let them know they can trust you. Trust is earned, not expected.
I think this all comes down to welcoming one another into your life. I don't mean telling them all your problems and bearing down on them, but be open to anyone. Thin/fat/regardless of race/colour/sexual orientation etc. We are called by God to open our lives to others, care for others, help others....Be the Good Samaritan. Imagine a world if everyone cared for everyone?
Embrace people with open arms (even in difficult situations!)

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Trapped By Sin..

Trapped. Committing the same sin time and time again. Being fearful, angry, mocking, gossiping, porn etc etc. These are all examples of addictions that we may have....addictions that we feel that we cannot get out of and they control us.
When confronted with the situation, for example you want to look at porn, it makes you feel better to do it than not to.
You think, God isn't looking. Its only a a small look... We fool ourselves!

Satan makes us believe that it isn't bad, that its what humans do and that God "wont mind" if we do it again, just that once more.   Theres a problem right there!

I feel, sometimes, that my strength is weaker than my sin.
No matter how much you may try, you just cannot get out of that recurring sin. You try, and really concentrate, BUT it does not go away.

Maybe it because we are trying to get away from it....without God. We, as humans, are sinful.
We know this, because Adam went against God in the Garden, and from that moment, the human race entered into a sinful thought pattern in a sinful world. We cannot get away from it.
We are not strong enough to do this alone!
We need God.We need a Divine intervener
If we could do this alone, then there wouldn't be a need for a divine intervener, a Jesus or a Spirit!
Hey, we would be awesome....But we're not!

Did you know that every time you prayed to God for help to get out of your habitual sinning that He heard you? Did you further know that He provided a solution to your problem?
Maybe we remain trapped in the same sin is because we keep the sin to ourselves and don't tell anyone about it. We try "sort" it out ourselves instead of turning toour fellow christian family to help out.
In Galatians 6 it says that " we who are spiritual need to restore them". That means that we, the christian family, need to help our fellow Christians.

The best thing then is maybe to surround ourselves with strong christian faith. People who are like minded. Expose our wrong doings, and fellowship with them....together, sin will be defeated. We cannot tackle Satan alone, but in a group of christian believers, Satan has no chance.

I don't know if this makes sense because it sounds a little crazy while writing it, but I would love to know your thoughts.

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Good News about defeating sin

To us, Sin feels good...To God, He hates it.
Its something we do all the time, continually. We try to to make excuses for sin, thinking to ourselves that it was only small. We also try and hide sin from others because we then feel embarrassed about what we have said or done.
A typical "SIN" life cycle.

God is not evil and He doesn't 'do' evil.He hates it. We, on the other hand, are attracted to evil. It forms a part of our lives, daily.

But you must bear this in mind. Sin will NEVER halt or effect our relationship with God. Our relationship with God was set in stone when we received Christ, its everlasting and it never changes because that's a promise that God gave us in His Word.

John 10:27-29 - My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

However, our fellowship with God is effected when we sin. When we sin, we grieve His Spirit within us,,,Because we have then chosen to turn away from His spirit and do things on our own. Our fellowship with God is maintained by us and it can change when we sin.

Sin does not effect our total relationship with God, because Jesus has already died for our sins, they have already been forgiven.
What it does do though, is it effects they way God and us communicate, or the way God communicates to us. It effects how useful and effective we are on earth, doing what God wants us to do and how He wants us to serve...

What we cannot do is preoccupy ourselves with sin. Yes, we sin, but get over it!
Open your heart to God, agree with God (confessing) and then repent (turn away from that sin). It doesn't mean that you wont commit it again, but what it does mean is that you are acknowledging to God that you need His hand in your life to turn away from sin.

But often after confessing our sin, we still feel guilt? Again, as I said above, try not preoccupy yourself in sin as this will cause you to re-commit the same sin. You need to get the sin out of your mind. God promised us in Hebrews that He will overlook our sin and remember them no more (This because of what Jesus did for us on the cross).

Remember, temptation is not sin. Jesus was tempted. The action you take after the temptation is the problem. If you choose to action the idea put in your head, that means you are allowing Satan to win in your mind.
Turn to God...He is the only way..

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Friday, November 16, 2012

What will it be like?

I have always wondwered what it wil be like in heaven. We know that there is no little white cloud that God sits on or that heaven is floating around somewhere.
But what is it like then.

I suppose one could turn to Gods Word for a few clues.  Heaven will be a place of endless happiness where we will be not be bound by sin anymore. It says in the Bible that we will be worshipping God:

Revelation 19:1-2 - After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.....

Just a thought. Worhsipping God, singing to Him, praising Him. I have just watched the Casting Crowns concert "Until He hears."

In fact, watch any christian concert - notice the passion of everyone singing. Thousands of people all singing together to one God, hands in the air, eyes closed and singing as loud as possible because their is no judgement there. no-one cares how you worship or sing or praise God because thats not important. People feel free to worship their God, and thats what God wants for us - free and thoughtful worship where you give yourself fully to Him.

Now, taking one concert where there is a few thousand people stuck in a room. If thats a foretaste, Can you imagine what it will be like in heaven, when Jesus has conquered Satan and gatehred all His people together for the last time. This isnt a few thousand people anymore, its millions.
Can you imagine a few million people together, singing, praising and worshipping! We will be free of burden, unhappiness, evil and where we will love everyone and everything.
I dont know, but I get goosbumps just thinking about it.
Then....I imagine Jesus Christ, our Saviour, seated upon a donkey, just meandering through the millions of passionate worshippers in heaven. He is not boastful and proud, He is just so happy that His children are around Him, together...and He knows each and every single one of them personally.

I get tears in my eyes just thinking about our pure Saviour, walking through millions of people,  all the choirs, excellent christian bands, solo singers and others all together all singing and worshipping Him, and for what He did for us. You think a concert is awesome??

It will be the best noise - all in tune and all for our blessed redeemer!

I cant wait to be there, but I look forward to the times now on earth where I can practice for that time where we wont have to worry about anything, just praising Lord!
It makes me think of the Casting Crowns song "Lay our lives at His Feet!"


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Times with Jesus..

I have always wondered what it would be like today, staying in a small town somewhere, and you hear about a little baby being born in a shed.

Imagine walking along in the shopping malls and you are feeling sick, so you take a seat on one of the benches in the mall, where all of a sudden you notice a man walking past you surrounded by a bunch of other men. The man leading the group is dressed in normal clothing but seems to be different. There is something different about Him compared to the other people around Him. This man looks peaceful, the other people around Him look excited.

The man then sees you sitting on the bench, looking unhappy and ill, He comes up to you and asks how you are?
How do you react? Weird, you don't even know this person and yet He is asking how you are. You are also interested to note the way He is looking at you as He seems to be looking through you, its like....He knows you from somewhere.
As you answer Him, you feel the unhappy sick feeling lift from your body....
What on earth is going on?
Then He says to you, "Follow me!"     huh?

Sit back, take a minute and think a little about that situation. What would you say or do?

What is very interesting is that He is with us! He IS walking past us in a mall while we are sick and feeling unhappy, He is asking us how we are, He does know us (He created us) and he is telling us to get up and follow him.
There is 2 differences here:
  • First is that we cannot physically see Him, walking around with a group of people. In Spirit He is with us, ALL THE TIME, and He is doing the same "things" as He was when He was physically on earth as a human.
  • Second, We have already been saved. We have already been delivered from evil because this man has risen from the dead, risen from evil and defeated evil. He has suffered on our behalf, and now He is calling us to follow Him forever.
Just thought this would be an interesting story.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gods Healing Today

Last night was very special. I have been in a course called “The Alpha Course” for the last 9 weeks. On week 9, which is called the “Healing Week”, you normally find a strong presence of God.
Not that God isn’t present on other weeks, but on week 9 of the course, often you get somewhat of a visible manifestation of Gods healing power.
I am amazed every time during the course to see people grow from week  1 (where the groups form and everyone if weary of each other) to now. The bond between the groups are just amazing. And this is what prompted me to write this. Thoughts in my mind last night while we were all praying to God for healing..
There are many people in the world who need healing. In fact, most of us have something that needs healing, whether its something from the past, previous abuse, current abuse, a deformity etc. It doesn’t what it is, but it can be healed.
Jesus Healed when He was on earth in human form. It says so in His Word.
What I find interesting thought, is that healing sometimes happens straight away (even just talking to someone about an issue starts a process of healing) or it doesn’t happen at all.(or does it)
Last night, we didn’t have any breakthroughs. As a group, we were all praying to God for His Healing power to descend on us. We prayed for each group member specifically over issues they need healing for, but after prayer, they felt the same thing still there. SO did God not hear us? Did not God ignore us because we didn’t say the right words or have we done something so bad that God is refusing to heal us?
There is a big lie going around that the evil one wants us to believe. He wants us to believe that there is no hope for us. He says to us that we have done everything possible but now its just time to throw in the towel and give up. He says “Well you have prayed to your God, and what has He done? Nothing!”   He wants us to believe that and doubt.
Often, as humans, we want things to happen now. We want healing to happen now. We ask “Why isn’t it happening?” We begin to lose trust in God and fail to believe in His promises in the Bible.
But we are asked to persevere. I think most importantly, we are asked to trust God. Some people are not healed, we don’t know why…but we are asked to persevere and trust God.
Also, maybe we try and “heal” ourselves and not leave it up to God. We rely on our own healing and when it doesn’t happen, we blame God for it.
We cant expect to pray once and then God acts. Yes, this does happen, but sometimes we have to carry on praying, on and on, before healing takes place. This happened to Jesus  as well where He had to ask more than once for healing for someone. Take a look at Matthew 8:25 where Jesus had to lay His hands on the mans eyes AGAIN. Or in Mark 5:7-8 where Jesus commanded the Demons to leave the body of a man. It didn’t happen immediately and Jesus had to ask AGAIN.
If we don’t get healed immediately, we cannot give up. Continue in prayer, persevere, have faith and trust God. God may be saying something to you.
It is always Gods will to heal and He will….in His time, not in ours, should it be His will for us! Also if God doesn’t heal, we cannot automatically assume that we lack faith or the person we are praying for lacks faith.
The Alpha Course last night saw many people being healed, of emotional issues, physical issues and personal issues, but what nit also saw was the Spirit of God bring an inner peace to many that were there. The inner peace that just filled peoples hearts, an inner peace that comes only from God Spirit.
If you are looking for answers or for inner healing, one option is to come on an Alpha course. They are run worldwide in many countries, and millions of people have already attended and have have strengthened their relationships with God.
When we ask for Gods Spirit to come, it comes…but it will only come into your heart as mush as you allow it to.
TRUST and PERSEVERE. God is good, He heals, He comforts and He saves!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Living in the "Now" with Jesus Christ.

SO often we get told not to live in the past but to live for the future, or sometimes you get told to live in the "NOW" moment.
Well, I believe that we should live in the "NOW" moment.

Living in the NOW moment allows you to change the way you tackle a present situation. Because you are currently in the situation (whatever it is), you can now decide what angle to handle the situation.
Do you handle it with a sense of fear? (meaning, do you retaliate at something or someone based on what they have said or done to you in the past?)
Do you handle it with a sense of love? (meaning, no matter what has happened in the past, you ignore it and extend a loving hand/attitude/way to another person or situation.)

By changing the way you live now based on the past, this tends to be based on a sense of fear. Fear about what has happened and fear about what is going to happen in the future. This will also mean, then, that your future has already been decided by your basing it on the past. You expect the future to be worse based on the past, you expect the future to be difficult because you don't have any hope in the current situation because you base everything you do and say with that bad sense of fear.
You have to change that!  How?

Well, two things.
  • First, forget the past. Whatever has happened is gone, you cannot change it. It is over. Yes it may have been hurtful, difficult, people may have said bad things to you and this happens to everyone, but why live your whole life with this in mind. You will just never get out of the fear circle and you will always be in retaliation mode, waiting for someone to say something bad/hurtful/ugly to you so you can have a quick comeback to make yourself feel stronger or more worthy. Isn't this ridiculous?  We all base our current lives on past events because we feel that we are handling them correctly, but just take a moment and go back to a confrontation you have had with someone before.
  • Involve the Holy Spirit. Its pointless involving the Holy Spirit in the past. That's gone. but you can ask the Holy Spirit to come into the present situation to guide, to comfort, to advise. You know the whole statement "WWDJ - What would Jesus do?" Well, you can do that if you forget the past while tackling a present situation and ask for the Spirit to fill you, give you a sense of direction. What will end up happening as that you will find yourself handling the situation alot different, only this time it will be out of love and not fear. The Holy Spirit is don't involved in fear and wants to bring love into your life and He wants you to show love when dealing with other (even though they may have caused hurt in the past)
Don't live your life for the past, but live it in the NOW, where you have control. You can decide how to handle a situation, with the Holy Spirit there.
What will happen, is that you will end up giving out love which will in turn see you having a whole ton of love coming straight back at you.

I write this because it is so true to my life. Dealing with current situations by thinking what happened in the past, what that person said to you 2 weeks ago, what they did to you, how they gossipped about you etc.
This has to be the most difficult thing - Showing love to someone who has caused you hurt before. But this is what the Spirit of God does, He mends relationships using the Fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Give Love to Receive.

Love is an interesting thing. As humans, I think we wait to receive love from someone else before we give it out. Problem here is, often, many people do not give out love and don’t show it. What happens then…..we never give it out as we have never received it from others.
Notice the big bad circle?  Not sure about you, but I am stuck in it.
Getting away from the worldly way, lets try and turn this around. What we give, we receive more of. Make sense?   No?

Well, think of it this way. If we live in the past and remember things that happened in the past, we will be distressed and depressed. This then pushes us to predict the future with this same thought pattern and you get into an endless life of doom and gloom, no hope etc etc.
But if we live in the present moment, the NOW, ignoring the past and future, we don’t have a platform from which to base our thoughts, only a pure start, clean thoughts, thoughts in the NOW moment. And because we are all made in Gods image, His pure and loving image, that makes us automatically loving people. God made us to give out love, show love and receive love. Therefore the NOW moment that you are living in will allow you to give out love, because the depressing past is not effecting the way you think, but the goodness of God is directing your though pattern in the present moment.
Awesome???  Yes.    Easy??? Maybe.
Its hard to forget the past, but it is certainly possible I think.

Don’t let other people dictate what your thought patterns should be. Let your own heart dictate those. Your past has been dictated by others, let your present moment be dictated by yourself and God. What will end up happening is that you will start receiving love back in abundance from those you give it to and your future will then become one that you have control over and one filled with Hope and Love and excitement.
The reason I am writing this, is because today I am in a situation where I feel that I am trapped in that circle. I am letting the past dictate my present  thoughts and actions and not giving out love, the way I should be doing.

Normally if someone is confronted, their first instinct is to attack back. This is because they are basing their actions on fear. Fear that the other person is going to “WIN” or be better in the moment. So out of fear, we retaliate with unloving attacks. And so it goes on….
Don’t let fear dictate your actions and thoughts but rather let love be the dominating emotion. Its difficult yes but not impossible.
When you give love, you receive more back. Don’t let fear rule you but give out love in order to receive it back.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Letting go of fear.

This topic really hits home for me.
Its difficult to give love  or to love people if you don't love yourself. In fact its probably impossible.

If you keep on thinking that you are not good or what people think of you or if you live in an "abusive" relationship where you are continually put down and told that you are useless or not good enough - How can you relay a feeling of love to someone else.
What ends up happening is that you develop a sense of fear, of everything, of people, of yourself.

What I mean here, is that you are so scared of what people think of you all the time, that you shut off from others. You tend to concentrate on what bad things people say to you, and ignore any good things that are said about you.
After a while, if people say something good about you, you cannot believe them as you have had the bad thoughts drummed into your head and you end believing that is the person you are! FEAR!

Love if letting go of fear! It is letting go of what others think of you and knowing that you are important! You are worthy, you are loved and you are here on earth for a reason! God made us, each individually, each for a purpose, we are made in his image and we are LOVED!!

I talk for myself here. I need to stop listening to others when they say hurtful things. It all becomes a big circle. When you absorb hurtful things from others, you start believing these things about yourself and you believe that the only way you can feel better about yourself is to say those hurtful things back to others....and it goes round, and round, and round, growing bigger, more stronger and more hurtful!  (What goes around comes around)
It has to stop, and you are the only person that can do that!
Stop doubting yourself.
God loves us so much, who cares what others think.

Whenever we hold on to past hurts and grievances, we don’t allow ourselves peace of mind or true happiness. We need to learn to let things go and to forgive ourselves and give up our guilt.
We need to let our reality create our thoughts, we cannot let our thoughts create reality.

What happens is we live our lives from the past and for the future, but ignore the current moment. We are so busy living a life that is based on what happened days/months/years ago and fearing the future in case something may happen. We base our living and thoughts on what has been drummed into our heads from the past that we believe that the future will be the same and then see no hope. We project the past into the future and believe that the future will be the same and see no hope.

We need to try understand that the world is a creation of our own mind and thoughts, then we can simply change our minds about what we see. I don't know how simple this may be, but it makes sense and is worth a try.
Fearing from things that have happened in the past starts breeding a new beast in your heart. What ends up happening that you end up judging others, concentrating on a small part of their action/personality that you disapprove with because it makes you feel better about yourself.
Judging becomes a habit!

I have to start ignoring the past, what happened, what was said and what I said and done. Live in the current moment like it it is the only moment you have.

If we are dwelling on our painful pasts and worrying about our futures, then we cannot live in peace and happiness in the current moment. We are constantly in a state of conflict and cannot be truly happy. Living in the moment is the key to happiness.

We have created everything we have in our lives. This means that the thoughts we have created in our minds has created a picture of how to deal with issues and people and situations. That picture that we have created will dictate how you handle situations. We need to change that "picture", and the way we deal with past hurts and the way we live in the current moment will change!

You have the choice, you can change your thought, you can ignore the past and you CAN live in the current moment. God is with us always. Ask Him into your life, ask Him to come into the current moment in your life!

May God Bless you as you read this.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Holy Spirit - Who is He, Actually?

We are called to be filled with the Holy Spirit, always. We are called to be baptised in the Spirit. This is all great, but why?

Why cant I just believe in Jesus? Or should I be believing/worshipping the Holy Spirit rather than God, or do I worship all of them, or some of them?

When I am filled with the Spirit, am I supposed to fall over, or speak in tongues or "feel something?"

I have all these questions, maybe you do too? Lets try and iron this one out...

Lets put it plainly....The Holy Spirit is God in a Spirit form. A form that is sent to us as humans on earth. BUT, do we worship the Holy Spirit (who is God) or what.
John 15:26 says that the Spirit is to testify of Jesus, not to Himself. Some Christians tend to worship the Spirit or create some kind of cult that they have to feel the Spirit otherwise they are not Christian. Well this is surely not true.The task of the Spirit it to testify of Jesus to us, to show us Jesus' way and to guide us through life.
I suppose we could put it plainly that the Spirit is the link between God and us.
Jesus sent the Spirit so that we can have a relationship with Him, not only in the Spirit.We use the Spirit to speak to God, to pray to God and to be close to Him.

My belief is that the Spirit is not some kind of product that you purchase or buy, and that once you have got it then everything is great! No,the Spirit is a process. We need to work on it, we need to pray for the Spirit all the time, be filled by the Spirit all the time. The more we dwell in the Spirit of God and deepen our relationship with Jesus, the stronger the Spirit dwells in us.

When we pray for the Spirit, often we expect to "feel" something or have this sense of power descend on us from the heavens. Some people fall over, some talk in other languages, some laugh alot, whatever. Often we see ministers on television, displaying "powers" of the Spirit and casting them over their audiences and everyone falls over their seats and lands on the floor and cries etc etc.
Surely this is not what God wants?
Is this the purpose of His Spirit?
I don't disagree that some people show certain manifestations and feel very strong feelings when they receive the Spirit, and there is nothing wrong with this at all, but having to feel something is not what its about.
Measure the Holy Spirit in your life by His fruits, not His gifts!
Galatians 5 - love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self control

See the Holy Spirit as a sort of seal from God. A seal of a relationship with God and a seal of eternal life.
The Holy Spirit works in us to break the chains of sin. He supplies the life between the tree (God) and the branches (us). We still need to trust fully in the tree to live and once we believe that the tree is our base for life and supplies us the life we need to exist, only then can we "communicate" through that life (The Holy Spirit) to the base (God).

Receiving life (The Holy Spirit) from God is enough.

So how do we know that we have the Holy Spirit in us?
  • We believe the Cross is enough. That what happened at the cross is sufficient grounds that God forgives our sins and Jesus died for our sins.
  • We openly confess about the Lord to the world. We are not ashamed of Him.
  • We must must have absolute surrender to God, always? Say to Him, "Here I am, take me and use me!"
  • Believing Gods Word. What God says, God does. God said that all who ask for the Holy Spirit, will receive it!
Have you asked God to fill you? Have you opened your door to God and let Him in?
Accept the filling of the Spirit as it is. Don't rely on feelings, Don't rely on what people say and don't rely on having to be charismatic to be able to receive the Spirit.
Rely on God only and allow Him to supply you with everlasting life!

Amen and God Bless

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

So now, we have prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit...What does this now mean to us?
What will the Holy Spirit give us or do for us?

By having the Spirit in you, you get a better sense of understanding. I think the Spirit tends to reveal alot more out of the scriptures of God, than we would normally try and understand without the Holy Spirit. We can read something one day and then the next day read the same thing and understand something totally different. The Spirit helps you understand the true meaning of the scriptures as they were written. With this in mind, I guess the Spirit will then also help us understand Gods voice and discern what is from God and what isn't?

The Spirit can also supply us with intuition. Often you may get a feeling that you need to pray for someone, a situation or a place. Just out of the blue you may have a feeling that something is wrong or is going to happen. Now here I think we should be careful because we don't want to be going off on a tangent and verge on fortune telling. The difference here is that intuition coming from the Holy Spirit will ALWAYS agree with the Word of God, also by praying for someone or something has nothing to do with fortune telling. Some people may receive a vision or a message that they need to pray for someone.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have spoken to someone about God, about the Holy Spirit, about Christianity because either they have asked about it or they are confused or they want to know more but don't know much about Christianity. We are able to receive and supply counsel which allows us to help others who are confused, suffering, depressed, feeling spiritually attacked or generally need help. God gives counsel to those who ask Him for it and we can receive it ourselves by allowing God to give us a clear mind and one full of wisdom. By just talking to someone because they need someone to listen, the Holy Spirit will talk to you at the same time and help you feel what the other person feels and show compassion, maybe pray for them, maybe share their feelings?

We are able to ward off evil and spiritual attack from the evil one. We do this using Gods Power in us. We can stop these spirits in Gods name and if we truly believe that we have been filled by the Spirit, we can do anything in Gods name!

We are called to have a relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is the "intermediary" that allows this to happen. We are given the ability to pray, understand the scriptures and spend quiet time with God. The more we pray, the more we fuel the fire of wanting to know more about God and His way for us. The Holy Spirit brings with Him a bunch of gifts:
Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

The Holy Spirit supplies us with  a Holy fear! This is fear of the Lord when we disobey Him or when we offend Him by sinning.
We cannot fear God because He is going to punish us, that He is going to "teach us a lesson" or "show us who is boss". God is a loving God and  we must fear God because our lives depend on Him and if we sin, we ourselves separate from Him and risk to be on our own.  The Holy Spirit convicts us when we do something that is not of God, but The Spirit ill never force us to do anything, it is still our decision. But if we insist on sinning and offending God by ignoring Him, it means we are walking away from Him and turning to evil as our "Father".

John 15:1-6:
 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

The Spirit supplies people with others gifts as well. Spiritual gifts. There are many different spiritual gifts that come from God and we all receive them. Everyone will receive different gifts or a gift. These gifts are implanted into your soul by the Holy Spirit and are for the sole purpose of glorifying God and helping others.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Can anyone receive the Holy Spirit?

Is  anyone good enough to receive the Holy Spirit?
DO we have to do something special to receive the Spirit of God?

Ezekiel 36:26-27, the Lord says, “I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my ways.”

Every single person on earth was created by God. He made us in His image!
No matter what you may have done, are doing or are going to do in the future, God is a faithful God and always acts on His promises.

God provides His Spirit to us on earth to be able to witness to others about Him, to Glorify Him, to help us have a close relationship with Him, to guide us when we go off track and basically to protect us and love us.
Isn't that awesome!.

Well, The apostle Paul clearly taught that we receive the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. We have all been given the same Spirit to drink...the ONE Spirit...the spirit of God!

Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation for all those who believe: “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.”

All we have to do is have a relationship with God and believe in Him! This is available to anyone!

So how do we "receive"the Holy Spirit?
Ask God without fear, knowing that God said you would receive His Holy Spirit. All we have to do is pray to God,repent and be baptised and  ask Him for His Spirit to come and fill us. When we ask God to fill us with His Spirit, He will do just that, ALWAYS!
Be prepared to be transformed by the Spirit. Don't rely on feelings or anything that you may want to "feel" or don't wait for confirmation that you have received the Spirit. I think the words of Jesus below are enough confirmation to us.

Jesus said "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened... how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:9,10 & 13)

Receiving the Holy Spirit is a wonderful experience that doesn't go away. From this day, go with faith, knowledge, understanding and love into the world, knowing that you are loved by Jesus, adored by Him, saved by Him, forgiven by Him and most of all....with Him all the time!
Pray, Pray, Pray.Ask God today to transform you using His Spirit...He will act!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Holding the Power to Serve God!

It is so easy not to be a christian. In fact I think its easy not to be a christian in this world than it is to be a christian and serve God.
But does it have to be hard. It shouldn't be a chore and in fact it, very quickly, becomes a habit and a way of life.

But how do we do it?
Well, God gives us the power to serve Him. God blesses us to serve Him and others, but it requires effort and sacrifice from us as well!
God gives us all the blessings we require in order to serve Him and then have eternal life.

God gives us the means to know and understand His Word, if we willingly study it with an open heart.

John 1:12 - But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

The power of God made available to us will allow us to have the power to become a child of God.
We also have the power to resist sin. Yes, we all sin and as soon as we do we should repent and ask for forgiveness, but as soon as we start believing that its alright for humans to sin and "we sin because we are mere humans", then we are relying on our own power and not looking and receiving the power of God to resist evil.

Ephesians 6:10-13 - Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

People ask then, why do we have so many problems in our earthly life?
Nowhere does God say we will never have problems, but God does say that He will give us the power to endure our problems, remain faithful to Him and have eternal life.
God gives us the power to do everything necessary to receive eternal life with Him.

1 Peter 1:3-5 - By God's power we are guarded to an eternal and incorruptible inheritance in heaven.

But how does God give us this power?
The power of the blood of Jesus is in the cross. When we believe that Jesus did die on the cross, shed His blood for us and then rose again, we can use that power (of Jesus blood) to fight sin and evil in our lives.
Gods love is so "much" that we cannot comprehend. He loves us so much that the bond that it creates between you and Him, give you the power to serve Him in love. But loving God and Him loving us has to lead to obedience on our part.
The power of the scriptures give us the knowledge of how to live in a way the God wants us to be. The scriptures tell us what to do. They tell us how to become children of God.
They comfort us in trouble.

1 Corinthians 1:18 - The word of the cross is the power of God.

As humans, we are unable to carry our problems/burdens alone. We have to use the power of God to help us. God says that we should cast our burdens to Him and stop trying to sort them out ourselves. This would be done by praying to God and asking His guidance/advise/help etc.

Ephesians 6:18 - And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

God says to us that we need to associate with other christian children. There is power in a group of people praying to God. There is power in a group of Christians studying the Word. God provided all of us with a family, a christian family with whom we can share our burdens.

2 Corinthians 1:4 - They comfort each other in times of need.......

We need to use the armour of God properly as it says in Ephesians. God gave us the power to do anything in His name, but we often try to use our own power to accomplish tasks and bear burdens and then wonder where God is in the situation?

We are soldiers against Satan. We have to use what God gave us to fight off Satan's attacks and evil influence. When we totally trust in God and use His given powers, we will win, we will defeat satan and we will get stronger and stronger in Jesus name!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seeing God in Others

Here is something that I know I don't do, something which I should do and something that I am going to ask God to help to start doing....

Challenge to myself......
When I see the next person wherever they may be, on the street, poor, handicapped, someone who cut me off in traffic, a fellow believer...Try to see God in them?
Really??? Is this possible? Especially to those who I believe are wronging me.

I firmly believe that God created all of us in our own special way. We each have a purpose on earth, we each have our talents and gifts that were given to us and thus, I guess this would make everyone a work of art. Every single human on this earth is special in their own right!
So then, when I meet a person somewhere and I believe they are acting in a manner that is, well, not acceptable, do I remember the above statement?

Here's a scenario, You are at a shopping centre with your family and you notice an "unkept" or a poor person walking towards you. Now you know that they are either 1.Asking for money, 2.Drunk and could cause a scene or 3.Selling something you don't want.
What is your first reaction? Do you try walk the other way to avoid them when you know they are coming to you, do you just brush them off, are you rude to them because they are "annoying"? Well, I can say for myself that I have done all of these things.
Sad, isn't it?
How about turning it around and trying to see God in that person! After all, He/She is a work of art from our God, they were made to the same perfection just like you and what right do I have to be rude and brush them off.
Does God brush you off when you go to Him and ask for His blessing?
Does God try and avoid you when He sees you are just about to pray and ask Him for something?

Matthew 28:20 says: And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

God will never forsake us, ever.
So who are we to forsake a fellow brother or sister. I do this all the time. I brush off people like this and then expect God to bless my life! How selfish!

Instead of turning away, maybe we should look for God in that person. What does Matthew 25:36 say? I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

If you turn away from a person asking for help, you are turning away from God.

How do you see God in someone that is shouting at you and reprimanding you? Maybe God is trying to send you a message through that person?
Although I am not sure how one would see God in a murderer or a rapist, but people like these are still Gods work of art, they have just chosen the wrong path and turned away from God. God still made them, maybe they have never had a positive influence in their lives. (Yes, easy to say this now until it happens to me i suppose)

I am going to try and see people wearing costumes. That every person you come across is wearing a costume. That the way you see them is actually not the person they are, that the costume is some sort of outer covering, but what is important is their inner soul/heart.
I imagine the most important reason to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors is because it’s the first step to penetrating the disguise and seeing God’s face, instead. Sometimes you may never actually see God underneath all of someone’s paint and makeup – the costume is just that good. That doesn’t have to prevent you from knowing it’s a costume and behaving accordingly.

Do we have to give money to people asking for it. No I don't think so. But maybe if we give them our time, greet them, be nice is all they may want. We all have our own way of dealing with things like this, just ask Gods guidance and see what happens....
Now the hard work starts, and that's to change my bad habits and start living my thoughts!

Bless you, Amen.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Power of Prayer

This is a personal story of our experience in the last week which, once again, proves the power of prayer and how effective it actually is when we ask God. It says in the Bible that if we ask anything in Gods name, it will be given to us. I have struggled with this verse many times, because I have often asked God for “stuff” and it has never come to being…

Here goes:

Our little boy who is only 5 months got very sick last week. On Monday we took him to the hospital where he was admitted for an “unknown” problem. After many tests, blood tests and other tests were done, it was deduced that he has meningitis. The night before we had no sleep, He screamed all night long, very uncomfortable and clearly in pain (us as well J)…
Straight away, I got onto the social networks and text messaging and stated the above, told a few friends and family about the situation and asked them for their prayers.This was on Monday morning at around 8am. By lunch time, I already had people phoning me whom I had never even known because they had heard via someone through their prayer chain about the situation. The news spread like wildfire and we had messages, status updates on facebook, voice messages, phone calls, emails, all sorts of things from hundreds of people saying they were praying for our little boy and his healing. We were overwhelmed!

On Monday night we heard the fate of the lumber puncture tests that it was indeed meningitis and that our son had to stay in hospital until it cleared and the fevers were back to normal and the swelling in his head had disappeared.
Tuesday morning came, the doctor came to evaluate him, and they couldn’t believe the difference in him. He was recovering, his fevers had subsided, he was smiling, happy, talking etc. It was like a different child from the day before.

Yesterday (Wednesday) He was discharged from hospital, and we are monitoring him now at home.
Whats my point here?
Being a Christian means that we believe that Jesus died for our sins, that we have a relationship with Jesus and that we accept Jesus Christ as Lord……..but what it also means is that we are apart of a very, very big family. A Christian family!

We are there for each other, like close brothers and sisters in a close-knit family. When I had message the few people on Monday morning and updated my status on facebook, the word spread like wildfire. Friends of ours praying for us, they let their friends know and soon we had a huge force of Christian family all praying for us, asking God to heal our little boy.
And it worked!!! Our son is healed, yes we are still keeping a close eye on him, but the healing power of God, through all the prayers from our friends/family/people that know or don’t know us. These people all have a personal relationship with the one and same God, the God that heals, the Gods that loves and the God that has endless mercy and grace!

Being a Christian doesn’t just mean knowing Jesus, but it also means being part of a family. A family in God, Christian brothers and sisters who all serve the same God and when the need arises, all stand together as one and repel the forces of evil!
We care for each other, we love each other and we stand together as one family, praising our Lord Jesus Christ, the ONLY Lord and Saviour!

Thank you to our Lord for sending the power of healing over our son and our family and thank you to my Christian family for laying down your time to bring our little boy to Gods hands.