Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Christian life, Difficult or easy?

Have you ever thought to yourself..Christianity is difficult!  I certainly have.

Its like waking up in the morning, and you need to put on your best behaviour. Act in a manner where you do the right thing, no anger, no swearing, you cant vent your frustration, always smile, always be a shoulder to lean on etc etc.
s this what it is about? 
I doubt it.

Lets see some of the things that Jesus wants us to do by telling us through His world:
·         Talking badly about other people – Instead of judging others and taking on Gods role, rather act with compassion and forgiveness. Really? When someone swears at you, when someone gossips about you, can you act with compassion? With Gods help we can. Just think to yourself all the time “Do to others what you would want them to do to you!” With practise and Gods help, it becomes a way of life
·         Do you ever think badly about yourself. Things like “I’m too fat or thin”, ”I’m ugly”, “I am a slow learner so everyone thinks I am stupid”. What makes us think like this? Well its not God! If we can take Gods view on ourselves and stop the rubbish thoughts that are put into our heads by the world (advertising, newspapers, television, other people), we would love ourselves, accept ourselves and forgive ourselves. Remind yourself how special you actually are. Stop justifying yourself to others and see yourself through Gods eyes.
·         Do you worry about everything? I do. But if you look at it (and I am one to talk J), does worrying actually get us anywhere? Worrying about stuff means that we don’t trust God. Read Matthew 6:27-30. Is life not more than worrying about what food to eat, what clothes to wear and what is going to happen tomorrow. I don’t know, I find myself always worrying about what may happen tomorrow. But we are called to trust God, put it in His hands and He will take care of us.

·         Is your spirit right with God. Sometimes we always try to accomplish things ourselves and leave God right out of our decisions. When things go wrong, then we ask “WHY GOD?” Hebrews 10:22 – Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart with full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having your bodies washed with pure water.  If we have a clean spirit and walk naturally in the steps of Jesus, bad language falls away as a habit and bad pessimistic thoughts become a thing of the past as these are against the Word of God. If we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, we start doing the things that He did....Did Jesus ever complain?

·         If we repent from hidden sin (sin from ages ago), a huge burden gets released from our shoulders. These burdens cause us to be aggressive, bitter, complain and do things that are not in Gods direction. Release unforgiveness. God forgave us, can we not forgive others. I am not saying its easy, because its not..especially when someone has really hurt your deeply in your life. Talk to God, ask Him, spend quiet times with Him, relate to what He is saying to you. Tomorrow we will talk about Hearing from God.
I am not saying that any of this is easy. Some things are really hard. (for me, its forgiving others for some things) but it says in Ephesians 4:31-32:
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other Just as in Christ God forgave you.
Good Luck, but through Jesus we can accomplish anything.
Would love to hear you thoughts, comments and concerns on this.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Judging God or Loving God....or both?

I was reading the book of Amos last night. Scary stuff!
This book mostly consists of Gods judgement warnings against Israel, Judah and other nations surrounding. Right from verse 1, there is statements that were given to Amos from God about what God will do to the nations and how He will make them suffer due to their wrong doings and sin.

Some of the things that God will punish these nations on are the following:
Past Sin, Individual Acts, Broken Promises, Hidden Enmity of the Heart, Incorrect ambition, deceiving, lies, no compassion, Worshipping other Gods and recommitting the same sin over and over.
Reading these short Old Testament book, makes me think that God is this scary, un-compassionate God who just judges people and has no love.
Then you read the New Testament and you have this beautiful picture of a calm, loving Jesus who helps people, a real example of pure love and peace.
I’m confused!

It makes me think, was there only judgement in the Old Testament and only love in the New Testament. Well...No.
There was love in both parts of the bible. God always expressed love and grace before He went on about judging sin. He gave chance after chance for people to come right (Israelites and other nations), but they chose to ignore Him. The difference between the testaments is that in the Old Testament there was judgement in history whereas the New Testament talks about judgement at the end of history! It’s the same judgement. God judged the nations there and then, whereas in the New Testament, judgement only is going to happen at the end, the FINAL judgement around the 2nd coming of Christ! Jesus also spoke about judgement; take a look at Matthew 5:29-30 for example. There are multiple other references in the New Testament where Jesus talks about the ‘coming’ judgement of God the Father.

Regards love; it seems that there was more love spread in the New Testament in the days of Jesus! Remember, Jesus IS God. They are the same person, the same Spirit and the same ONE!
If you read verses like Exodus 34:6-7 in the Old testament, God shows what kind of God He is, Loving, gracious and faithful. This is His way and all of this is professed before judging the nations. God gave the nations the choice to choose, they chose other idols to worship (many times) and God punished them.
Jesus is no different to His Father, being the same Spirit; they both express the same love to us!
The difference...The nations suffered in the Old Testament due to their turned against God. In the New Testament, God was so ‘loving’, that He sent His only son to die...for us...forever! All our sin, past sin and future sin has been out on Jesus shoulders when He was crucified, and all our sin is already forgiven and forgotten WHEN:

  • We believe that Jesus God for us, for our sins and ascended to Heaven
  • We confess our sin to God
  • Ask for forgiveness everyday
  • Try and repent from committing the same sin over and over
Thank God, that we have a God that is so loving, gracious and faithful to a sinning nation.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Sinning over and over...

Its so easy to ask God for forgiveness, whenwe remember...Its so easy to pray to God and confess to Him the things we have said and done that we shouldn't have...
Its so easy to walk away and think, all is OK now, and then carry on living your life...
Its so easy to make the  same sin over and over and over again...
and then repeat the cycle..

But is it easy to walk in the right path, not sinning, repenting our sin and actually not repeating it ever again? Well for me, it isn't.
I am going through a patch in my life now where I feel that I have sinned too much. That I have repeatedly made the same sin over and over and confesses the same sin to God, and then done it again the next day after promising that I wont.
You can do this for so much time, but after awhile it catches up on you. You have weird dreams, you have constant memories of the wrong things you have done in your past, you are repeatedly reminded that what you are doing is wrong, against Gods way and frankly against everything that God is.
Where to now I ask??

James 2:10 says that if we only just break one part of the law, we are guilty of breaking all of it! Well I am pretty messed then.
Our conscience tells us to sin. Everything we do is given to us by our conscience. God gave us our conscience, so when we sin, its like we are disregarding God totally and spitting in His face.
Romans 2:5 goes on to tell us that everything we do on earth is getting piled up against our name awaiting judgement day and the wrath of God will be poured out on us because of our sin.
Oh this is just making me feel wonderful! I am destined for the wrath of God!


There is a very important that we were given. A gift from God. A gift that saves us from this hold that sin has on us.A gift that was purely given for all us on earth.
That gift is Jesus Christ. He was born, He lived, He saved and performed miracles and then He died a horrible excruciating death on the cross....All for us!

God gave us another gift...GRACE. Grace is Gods kindness to people that don't deserve it.
Matthew 5:3 - Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

What do we do:
Admit we need forgiveness.
Tell God about how bad your sin is.
Know that Jesus was put on earth for our sins (from God).
After this, realise that you are set free from all sin and the wrath of God. In other words, You have already been saved!

Its difficult to comprehend this but once you have accepted Jesus, you are saved through Gods grace and your sins or 'forgotten' through the blood shed from Jesus!
Isn't this a great opportunity.
Isn't God a great God!
God knows our heart! He knows when we do things and why and how we do things. We need to try and repent, even though we sin over and over, God Grace abounds!


Friday, March 23, 2012

It all goes back in the Box..

Its amazing how, since we are born, we strive to be better than someone else.

As kids, you want the bigger toys, the better stuffed animal and the coolest mom and dad.

Then we we become teenagers we want the better cellphone, coolest clothes and be in the "in crowd" at school and going out.

Then we become adults and we want bigger cars, better paying jobs, bigger and more fancy houses, boats, bars, quad bikes etc etc.

But doesn't all of this make you think, when we die, it all gets left behind. The final time we close our eyes on this earth, what does all of these "things" mean. NOTHING!
We can enjoy them while we are alive. We work extra hours, try and get nice titles at work, try to earn bigger salaries and save as much money as possible, all in order to buy things to make our life enjoyable or fun or "luxurious".
This may sound like there is nothing wrong with it, but with achieving all these good things on earth, there must be a downside. Most of the time, while we are trying to work so hard, extra hours to gain assets, better cars, better clothes for our families...we are spending not time at home with our families.We don't have time for our husbands/wives, we don't have time for our kids because we are tired after getting home late, we don't have time to walk around the block and experience our neighbourhoods and also, we don't have enough time to speak to God, worhship Him, draw close to Him and we don't have time to LISTEN to Him!

I most certainly experience this. I am always asking God to speak to me, to unveil His plan for my life, for His Holy Spirit to testify to me...but do I ever listen??
Do I give God the time to respond?
Do I ever sit down in silence, wherever it may be, and connect with God and His Spirit through His Word?
NO I don't! And I suspect that this is the same for many of us.

Maybe I need to change my priorities!
1st is God
2nd is my Wife
3rd if my kids
4th, the rest of my family
124th, personal belongings and big cars and fancy houses and anew cellphone.

God longs for a close relationship with all of us. He longs to be with us all the time, everywhere we go, everything we think, everything we do!
God does not accept being put on the back burner and thought of maybe once or twice a day when all the other "stuff" is done.
Just think, when you do something or think of something, Is it your top priority?
I am not saying that we mustn't spoil ourselves and have nice things. God gave us a beautiful earth to live on, and luxuries to make our life good, but He didn't do that to replace His relationship with us!

I know I have some serious changes to make in terms of my priorities, Do You?
Blessings to you all!

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

I found a video on YouTubeabout this exact topic, Take a look

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Are you Spiritually Gifted?

I have just completed a course on Spiritual gifting and how God equips us each with our own gifts.
My questions before was:
  • Well God says He has gifted me, but how and what gifts do I have?
  • How would I possibly act out my gifts to benefit anyone?
  • Why me?
Well, first of all, here is a list of gifts that are mentioned in the Bible in different places:
From Romans 12: exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, teaching
From Ephesians 4: apostleship, evangelism, pastorship, prophecy, teaching
From 1 Corinthians 12: administration, apostle, discernment, faith, healing, helps, knowledge, miracles, prophecy, teaching, tongues, tongues interpretation, wisdom

There are so many gifts that God promises in the Bible, do you have any of them. Think about what you enjoy doing, what brings up a real PASSION in your heart to do something, to help others, to glorify God, Is one of these gifts something that rings a bell?
For me, at the beginning, there wasn't. I felt slightly dis-orientated because if I look at any one of them in this list (and there are others as well), I cant see myself doing any of them. I would be too scared, afraid of being ridiculed, afraid of failure....
Well first of all, you need to know your personal style,:
  • are you TASK or PEOPLE centered. Do you enjoy being with people or are you more focused on getting the job done efficiently and correctly.
  • are you a structured or un-structured person. In other words, do you like a "hap hazard" events or opportunities or are you very much into routine?
Next, what is your ministry passion:
  • Based on the above, where do you see yourself. Do you prefer:
      • Equipping people
      • Ministering to people
      • Working behind the scenes
      • Up front evangelism (Direct,confrontational?)
The answers to these question certainly helped me narrow down what I have been gifted to do.
Remember, the difference between a gift and a talent is giving as the following:

A person (regardless of his belief in God or in Christ) is given a natural talent as a result of a combination of genetics (some have natural ability in music, art, or mathematics) and surroundings (growing up in a musical family will aid one in developing a talent for music), or because God desired to endow certain individuals with certain talents (for example, Bazeleel in Exodus 31:1-6). Spiritual gifts are given to all believers by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:3; 6) at the time they place their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. At that moment, the Holy Spirit gives to the new believer the spiritual gift(s) He desires the believer to have (1 Corinthians 12:11).

Spiritual Gifts are used to GLORIFY God and EDIFY others.
Pray about your gifts, where God wants you to use them, Why, when, How?
Bless you as you go forward and think about what God had giving us as  free gift to praise His name and Bless others.
So the answer is...We are all Spiritually gifted when we accept Christ, ts up to you to find your niche!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Scripture Inspired By God!

What does this mean?

Scripture was God Breathed!
God gave men the words to write in the Bible through His Holy Spirit.
Many people doubt (including me) or have doubted the some of the words and/or events in the bible.
They have lived their life as a religion going against what is in the bible, saying it is untrue, that mere men wrote the bible on their account and had no reference to Jesus as a Saviour and that Jesus was a normal man, who was killed and did not ascend to heaven.

Do you think God would have allowed His Word to be circulated around our world today if it wasn't true?
God, being as powerful as He is, would have destroyed something that was untrue about Him and the events around Him and other.
Instead, the Bible is now (and always has been) the bestselling book ever written.
The Holy Spirit testified to these men and women who wrote the bible. Every book, chapter, verse and word was written from the Spirit of these people, which was testified to by the Holy Spirit.
When the Bible was originally written, there was no concept of chapters and verses. This was created by the earlier churches to bring 'some reading order' to the letters and books in the Bible, but they have not changed the words. They have been directly translated by many people throughout the centuries which is why we have so many Bible translations today.
But if you read different translations of the Bible, they all come back to pretty much the same thing - Glorifying God!
God spiritually equipped these people to write the bible. He chose them to create a story/fact about Him. Remember, Many of these writers were murderers, thieves, adulterous and evil people. They were changed around internally by Gods Holy Spirit testifying to them, and thus created the Best Book in the World!

Amen to that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Characteristics of the End Times.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-9 Paul mentions a whole bunch of things that indicate what men would be like in the last days.

There is no doubt that we are in the last days. It is recorded as the entire period between the 1sy century and Christs second coming.

How many of these 19 that are indicated in the above verse ring a bell to either yourself or someone you know?
  • Loving oneself or loving money
  • Boastful and proud (Outward manifestations of how proud they are)
  • Scoffing at God
  • Disobedient
  • Ungrateful
  • Nothing sacred
  • Unloving
  • Unforgiving
  • Slandering Others (Gossip)
  • No Self Control
  • Cruelty
  • Hate what is good
  • Betraying friends
  • Reckless
  • Loving pleasure over God
  • Acting religious but rejecting Gods power
  • Not understanding the truth
  • Counterfeit faith
  • Depraved Minds
What does all of this mean. Well Paul mentions that there are groups of people (unbelievers, preachers of evil etc), that find a way to worm themselves into our homes and try to persuade us to become one or some of the above points.
These people are evil, Stay away from them, beware of them and keep their influence away from yourself, your faith in Christ and your family!
If I look at myself or other people I know, I definitely find many of these characteristics. We all gossip, Love please over God often, ungratefulness, reckless, betraying friends, disobedient etc etc etc.
This is something that we need to pray against. Ask God to change us inwardly through His Holy Spirit and HE WILL!
Through Gods grace, He will forgive us. But, we need to confess and try to turn away from doing these things. We cant just leave it all up to God and say, "Well you fix it!"
I certainly have some praying and confessing to do...


I found this website with a list of other things we can look out for.
Other Signs:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Christian living Guidelines?

One would think that when you join a company that there a certain set of rules that you need to abide to.
Or are they rules?

Things like, respect your colleagues, operate in a professional manner, don't argue and engage in fighting and quarrels. These aren't rules, they are pretty much an expectation that is set in most work environments.

If you read 2 Timothy 2:15-26, it reads very much the same. God is not imposing rules on us, He is giving us guidelines on how to live a Christian life, as we would expect. Things like:
  • Avoid Arguing and foolish talk
  • Be a good worker so you are not ashamed
  • Turn away from evil
  • Run away from youthful lust
  • Pursue righteousness, love, faithfulness and peaceful lives
  • Enjoy companionship
These aren't rules, they are ways that we should live our christian lives all the time.
Yes, they are hard, as there are loads of people out there, including us, that engage in foolish arguments and fights, but we need to turn from that and face God.

As I write this, I look at my life. I often engage in fighting, arguing, un-peaceful living, gossipping, slander, unrighteousness.
But I am forgiven right?
It doesn't make it right that I live these things, BUT confessing them to God and trying to turn from them is where I should be heading for!
I look back and think, what has been the point of arguing with someone over a certain topic, whether it be work, finance, personal relationship? It just ends in hurt, saying things I don't mean and disengaging from the other person. Is this necessary? Its certainly not peaceful living, always knowing that you have hurt someone by 'having the last say'!

Being pure is what God wants from us. Turning from evil is what God needs from us.
We can do it, with His help and guidance...we just have to "want" to do it, something which I particularly struggle with.

Look at Psalm 34:14:
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

I have some serious praying and consulting with God to do, as alot of the subjects listed above are apart of my life and I need God to help me rid them. How do we do it:
Pray, Confess with Heart, and Turn away from it


Monday, March 12, 2012

One on One!

Isn't God just awesome?

Look at the following reading out of 2 Timothy 2:11-14

11This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him.
12 If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us.
13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.

If we die with Him.....If we believe in God, if we believe that He sent His one and only son, Jesus Christ to die for us...

Then we WILL have eternal life IN Him and WITH Him.
If we suffer for God, endure hardships, become persecuted, believe in Him....We WILL be rewarded and be able to reign WITH Him when He comes.
If we ignore God or down Him in front of others or in our own heart, He will do the same!
If we deny Christ before man, He will deny us before His Father!

God knows that we are what we are and do the things we do. He created us, and if we do things or have thoughts that are unfaithful...He always remains faithful to us!

The part, if we endure hardship is particularly interesting. I often have thoughts about this because..."What kind of hardships do we need to endure?"
Well, just some of the hardships that are in the bible, taken from Corinthians:
  • beatings and distress
  • imprisonment
  • poor and and 'having nothing'
  • Regarded as deceives and being punished
  • Hunger, Cold, No Food\
  • Beating, Suffering, Murder etc
There are hundreds of the them all over the bible. Many Christians will experience a major loss of friends or people teasing them or gossipping about them. This may lead to a person changing his minds and denying God in front of his friends to 'remain in the IN CROWD or stay cool with his friends!'
This is where christian strength comes in and our faith in Jesus to be alongside us MUST be strong! Difficult one, especially if you have come from a back round which was not christian with a group of friends and you have converted to Christianity. Those friends may not believe the same as you and  either tease, embarrass or deny you because of your belief in Jesus.
Don't fold because of them, This is one of the 'sufferings' that we are going to experience through our relationship with God.

Keep Strong in Christ!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gods enduring Word!

Paul was chained up in prison for a long time, but he maintained his preaching of the good news to the churches and people in and around.
Would you do that?
I would certainly find it difficult to remain positive while being treated like dirt and in prison. But think why Paul was in prison...because he was preaching the word of God.
As it says in 2 Timothy 2:8-9

Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained.
Paul didn’t feel disheartened by being in prison, in fact he preached even more. The people that locked him up thought that if he was ‘put away’, then they would keep him quiet. But in fact, as he says in the last part of that verse...”The Word of God cannot be chained”.

The Word of God lives forever. This is the way that God wanted it. This is one of the ways of  how God made  it possible for others to come to Him and learn about Him and be saved.
We should be able to go through anything to bring glory to the Lord. Look at verse 10:

So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those.
I think of one example. Writing to people in prison. Yes, they are there because they did wrong in their lives, but God will forgive if they turn to Him and call His name! And you may be the answer that they were looking for. Don't be scared of them or let their situation be a deterrent, they are still people in this world and they still deserve Gods grace...You are just the medium.

Christian Blog Topsites

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Genuine Faith...

There is a kind of faith that is really genuine.
This kind of faith means that you will do anything or anything will happen to you, but you still hold on to that belief of eternal life, Jesus ascending to heaven and believe that God has our best interests at heart.
Do you have that Faith?

Isn't it difficult though, that in many instances it is very difficult to hold faith. When events in your life cause you to think: “Cmon God, WHY? Why is this happening to me?”
Have you asked this question? Or are you doing what Paul did in prison, He wrote letters to other people, churches and friends and continually praised the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Even though he was locked up and in chains, He tried to encourage others in their faith and tell them about Jesus.

Look at 2 Timothy Chapter 1. This is an example of how Paul encourage others (Here it is Timothy), to grow their faith, spread the Word of Jesus and use the gifts that were giving to them by God through His Holy Spirit.
Paul doesn’t sit in prison and mope around and pity himself and ask God WHY ME? He says that he is not ashamed of being in prison. He lost some of his close friends because of it, but instead just saw the bright future that God will give him and the eternal future that he will have in heaven with Jesus Christ. (Looking at the bigger picture?)
Paul calls to live in the Holy Spirit, Let the Holy Spirit testify to our spirits. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide and “peace bringer” and allow the Holy Spirit to enter your life!

God is waiting, He is knocking on your door. Their is no handle on His side, and God will never force Himself into your heart. He is just waiting for you to answer Him and open the door and invite Him in.
Bless you!
Christian Blog Topsites

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fighting for Christ

Why do we keep on fighting for Christ.

Why do we need to keep on living a difficult life as Christians being persecuted, ridiculed and mocked?
Is it all worth it?

We are told to fight the good fight with true faith.
To me, this means that we need to keep on pushing for Christ. Because we believe in Christ, because we believe He saved us, because we believe He shed His blood for us, our sins and our lives, because He loves us, because He protects us, because He gave us eternal life after we depart this earth...and...and...and.
How many more reason do we need?

Well, I am sure we all know these reasons already, but still, we remain 'unconvinced' about our faith? I certainly do at times!
It says in 1 Timothy 6:12, the reason why we continue to fight in faith is because of eternal life promised to us.
Never be in a situation where you are shamed because of your actions, meaning don't let people look at you and think, "some christian that is.He claims to be christian, but then he is the biggest gossiper around and slanders people left, right and centre!".
Does this hit home?   It surely does for me!
But isn't it great that we have a God that forgives. Isn't it great that we serve a God that loves us, understands us and wipes away our sins when we confess them to Him.
Why should He though? 
We are bad people. We all sin!

I went through some of the sins in the bible that are mentioned...and actually realised how many of those I am guilty of. Take a read through them here:

Just take this excerpt from the New Living translation bible and then put your name instead of TIMOTHY:
Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge.
Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness. May God's grace be with you. 

Stand up for God. Avoid people who try and tempt you otherwise with their stories. Avoid the attempts of the devil through other people saying that are not good enough. Because you are through Gods eyes, all the time, everywhere, forever and ever!


Christian Blog Topsites

Monday, March 5, 2012

True Riches...

Have you ever thought about how rich you are?
And I dont mean money!
I think, as humans, alot of us are driving by money and are driving by how much money you have or how expensive your car is or how much money is in the bank. I certainly do in many ways. It is a difficult transition to make.
What is the point of all of this, if we cant take it away with us when we die?

Yes we all want a great job and be able to support our families and have lots of luxuries in life, but we can do this without having money drive us. Money is a reward for our good work but the driving factor should be to do the job well - money will come after.

This is the same as a life in Christ. We should strive to have a full and close relationship with Jesus, have faith in Jesus and know every bit of Him and not be driven by the rewards - they will automatically come later (because Jesus promised us).

The Holy Spirit is a reward which was promised.
Eternal life with God was promised.
A beautiful mansion and a loving relationship was promised to us after we die.

Christians do have basic material needs for food and clothing, of course, like everyone else; but when these are met a godly Christian can be satisfied!
If we keep on striving to be rich in money and have than everyone else, how are we going to have time to get to know God?