Friday, January 25, 2013

Dont give Satan a foothold...(Gods Absence)

I pray and pray and nothing happens. I talk to God in the car while driving, I talk to God while in my garden and even while watching TV.

But what does this get me....silence!
No-one is listening, nothing changes, I may as well talk to the dog or my flowers because I would get the same 'nothing' response.
I feel abandoned and left out by God, that I have sinned so much and so badly that He has given up on me.

This thought pattern is the devil getting a foothold. He is doing it well, he is in there and has caught me hook, line and sinker and he's loving it.

Lets look a little at Psalm 13. (Verse 1+2 NIV)
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?


David had the same thoughts (Not just me), David felt alone and like God was ignoring Him. He also felt that God was ignoring him.
But as we know, as Christians, that God doesn't ignore us. God always listens. He may choose not to act which comes across as Him ignoring you, but He is still listening.

God always knows what is better for you. After all, He created you, He created your life plan and He will not help you to your demise if you choose that path. God will act, however, if you pray and ask within His will for you and your life.

Verse 5:
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.


As Christians we are called to trust God in anything and everything. When it seems that He isn't listening, straight away the devil puts his little claws in your thoughts and makes you think that God is ignoring you. Gods Word tells us that God always listens to us. Trust that.
Don't let the devil get involved in your thoughts.

We have to understand that God is in control, He always will be.You are not in control of your life. You do not get to make the decisions. If you do, without God, you are doomed to fail.
If I experience silence from God,I often try to look at the faith of other people. Its encourages me to see what God is doing in their life. It also encourages me to see that sometimes they also feel ignored (not only me) and that they have the same 'issues' i have.
Often, moments of silence don't mean God is ignoring you. They mean that God is trying to push you to another level of trust in Him. He wont just give you what you want, but He calls you to trust Him in everything.

We have to break our dependency on ourselves to make the decisions and rule our lives.
We need to make sure that the devil does not get access into you thoughts in moments of silence.
God is NOT ignoring you, no matter what thought you have. Don't let the devil allow himself to get entangles in your thoughts and change the Word of God so that it suites him.
We can also allow the faith of others to strengthen our faith in Christ. We are called to be one family and not divided. If you feel that you are being ignored by God, speak to another child of God. Most of the time, you will find that they have felt the same or have been in the same position. But often they will offer you words of encouragement which is all you need to 're-trust' in God.

Finally Verse 6:
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.


Praise the Lord for He is good!
Amen.
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dont give Satan a foothold...(In the Situation)

I often think to myself how the devil tries to get involved in your life and how he causes a rift between myself and my walk with God. How does he actually squeeze into my daily life so that I walk away from God for a moment.
He is very cunning. In fact all the good that God is, is totally the opposite for the devil, and He will try anything to stop you concentrating on what God wants for your life.

What the devil does is He tries to make you dwell on the current situation at hand. This could be a good or bad situation, but He will always try and turn it so you doubt yourself. He puts worry in our mind at the situation.
He wants us to worry about what is happening. Say, for example, you pull up at a shop and you notice a begger sitting by the shop entrance asking for money. You want to take out some cash to give to the begger because you have good thoughts and you feel its right.
Immediately the devil jumps in and tells you that you shouldnt give money to that person because they will spend it on alcohol/cigarettes etc. SO you end up not giving anything....

When you sin, and we all do, the devil will immediately make you believe that God is angry with you and is going to punish you for that sin. He will also make you beleive that you are not good enough for the almighty God and that you just sin too much to accepted by God.
The devil puts thoughts in our mind to doubt the love/grace and faith of God. In fact He tries to make us believe that God is an angry, punishing and unforgiving God.

Sometimes, satan will get you to believe that your current situation is too big for God. Your situation is so bador huge, that it is out of Gods hands and that He actually cannot do anything about it anymore, its left up to you.

Satan tries to get us to dwell on money in our situation. He makes you think that money is the only way out of a situation and that the more money we can make the more weel off we will be.
Money is an idol, and we are told in the Bible that we are not to worship any idol. This is why satan tries to get us to turn. Money cannot change circumstance, only God can.

Satan also tries to create a wedge between family and friends. A friend may say something which was meant purely out of jest, but satan will put a thought in your mind which says "take exception to that thought." You get upset andthe wedge starts.
Satan doesnt want families to be close and he tries everything and anything to cause rifts on families.The statment "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" sometimes does have its truths but the devil adds onto that statement and tries to exagerate the word ABSENCE.

We need to get to know the sources that satan uses to wedge a gap between us and what God wants for us. The key to identifying a satanic trap is to look at the principles underlying the situation.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dont give Satan a foothold (Temptation)...

So many feel hopeless because they sin and they cannot control it so they believe that they are doomed. This maybe because the Bible tells us that we keep in sinning and not repenting that we are not of Christ.
Strong words indeed! Yes we all sin, its impossible that some of us don't.

Sin gets so much and starts controlling people to such an extent that they become hopeless and they feel that they will never be good enough for God standards.

What may ease the burden, though, is that the thing that many people believe is also sin is Temptation. Temptation means that you are being "enticed" to do something, whether it may be good or bad.

So whats the difference of sin and temptation.
Temptation - Its a thought that is put into our minds where we are enticed to do or believe in something.
Sin - Doing something that God doesn't want us to do.

So really, Temptation is in your mind and thoughts and sin is DOING something.
The devil puts thoughts in our minds all the time. This meaning that He tempts us with things that are not of God because He wants us to turn away from God by doing wrong.
He convinces us that the whatever He has put in your mind is OK because God isn't looking or its only small.
Sometimes temptation is so strong that you don't feel strong enough to kick it out of your head. Sin is of the flesh.
Ephesians 2:3 - All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

You may ask, "well how can I not sin". Well, you cant! We are all of the flesh on this earth and we cannot stop sinning. BUT, this is why Jesus came and died upon the cross - to save us from our sins.
You may also ask, "well if you become a Christian, you leave the old self and get a new self". The word 'Self' here does not refer to flesh, it refers to mind. We will always be of the flesh and be tempted and sin. The new self means that you don't want to sin anymore and you ask for repentance daily whereas the old self showed that you loved sin, you did it without thinking about the consequences or consulting on God.

Jesus was tempted,all the time. The difference is that He didn't sin. The thought that was put into His mind by satan did not become an action and therefore did not become a sin.

No-one said that being a Christian was easy. It is certainly a struggle and the devil knows this. He also knows the flesh in sinful and He acts on this.
But you know what, God is stronger. Jesus Christ died for our sins and this means that they no longer have a hold on us.
Let the devil tempt us. Let Him put little thoughts in your mind. But its your choice what to do with that, and this choice dictates whether you allow the devil to get a little foothold in your life.

If you struggle from temptation, that's good. It means that the devil sees you as a threat because you are turning your back against him and he will try anything to get you to sin.

1 Peter 5:8-11 - Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. (The Message)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dont give Satan a foothold..(Building Walls)


I was listening to a song in the car today on the way to work it really just got me thinking. It’s a song by the brilliant Christian band called “Casting Crowns” and it’s called ‘Stained Glass Masquerade’.
The summary here is that we often let Satan get a foot in the door which pushes Gods work to the back and we concentrate on the negative. I lay down my thoughts here especially on what we think when we sit in church on a Sunday morning, often next to people we don’t know or have never met.
Let me paint 3 scenarios here:
1.       You walk into church and someone else is sitting in your seat. How do you react? Do you get upset because it’s ‘your’ seat. You have sat there for the last 10 years at the same service and how dare they encroach on your favourite seat! There’s 2 ways you can deal with this. You can get all upset, moan under your breath and immediately get a thought in your mind that the person is disrespectful, not caring and has done it on purpose. Or you can walk past and smile at them and sit in the seat next to them that may be open and understand that they are possibly new in the church and didn’t know that your name was engraved on that seat. You take a guess which action God would want you to take.
 
2.       After attending the same church service every week for the last few years, you have become part of a small group of friends that all sit together and chat before the service begins. Also, when you sit down and you see a person close to you that is poorly dressed, a little shabby and possibly doesn’t look like they belong there. We draw first impressions on a person, especially if we don’t know them. We may think that they shouldn’t be here or that they could have at least dressed a little neater for Gods place and OH, they didn’t smile at me when I looked at them. Disgusting! Church is for people that respect God, not a free for all place that anyone can just come and sit. Or you may think that the person doesn’t have anything else. They have been hurt; they have no-one else in their lives to share anything with. They are poor and are struggling on a daily basis to keep the stomachs full. Or they may have just struggled so much in life that they are so depressed and you can understand why they don’t smile at you when you look at them. You take a guess what God would do in the situation.

3.       Backing from Scenario 2, you sit down in church and you see a happy, smiling person next to you in church who greets you when you sit down next to them. They may even say ‘Good Morning’ to you. When you get up to worship during the church service, this person puts their hands in the air when they sing and they really look like a ‘faithful Christian’, one that you could possibly be jealous of because you don’t think that you look that enthusiastic when you sing and it looks like this person is so close to God and you are jealous of that because you are trying to compare them to you.
So let’s look at these scenarios as a collective. I based all on the words of the song by Casting Crowns (below).
Who are we to decide what a person is like, how they should dress, what they should say and do in church. We don’t like talking to people that we don’t know because they may look shabby or badly dressed or they look depressed and you don’t want anything to do with that. This is the devil getting his little foot in the door to make you “draw conclusions about people”. He wants to cause rift between you and others. Obviously, totally the opposite of what God is about.
Most people go to church for the same reason, and that is to learn and hear about God and worship Him. Some people go because they are lonely and maybe others go because they have hundreds of issues which they are struggling to deal with and would love someone to talk to or befriend. As a Christian family, we are supposed to be ONE, all together for the collective purpose.
We don’t know what is going in other people lives and we are not called to judge others on what they look like. Some people walk into a church for the first time and they are overwhelmed with people that are happy, smiling, talking to each other and displaying a close community. They feel alone and ‘out of the loop’ and then close up, build walls around their hurts and try and fit into the crowd and ‘look happy’.
As Christians, we are called to be a close knit family and look out for each other. Don’t let satan get in the door and cause a rift between want the Christian life is what He is trying to get you to do and that is to disregard people because of what they may look like.
Bless you as a community of God.
Here are the lyrics from the song by Casting Crowns. I thank them for their awesome music and especially the meaningful words. Visit their website on www.castingcrowns.com
"Stained Glass Masquerade"
Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they'll soon discover
That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who's been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who's traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open
Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make you stay

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Dont give Satan a foothold..

This could become the first out of a series of thoughts that I have or articles I have read on this topic. I relate to this topic the most because I suffer from the onset of anger on a  daily basis, so I refer to the "we" below but in fact I talk about myself.."I"

As soon as the devil gets a foothold into our lives, our lives start changing for the worse.
It may seem gratifying at the beginning to do something that you know is not christian is not of Christ, but then its over. That temporary gratification leads to a whole future of suffering, pain, fear, anger and unhappiness.

But, we continue to do these things. We are human, we sin, we go against God, we "un-believe" for a short time or an instant, but that's all the devil needs to get his foot in the door in into your life.
Then he starts to cause a rift between you and God.

When the devil prompt you to do something, He puts thoughts in your mind like "Well, God isn't looking, do it quickly" or "Its only small, everyone does it, so what makes this time wrong?".
And then when you do it, he turns his back on you and convicts you of the same thought he just made you believe is right.

Anger..
Ephesians 4:26-27  In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

We don't have to be angry people to have a problem with anger. To me there is 2 different sides of anger. There is a common place anger. Maybe this would be anger that comes out of complaining, people cutting in front of you in traffic or set around our worldly culture. We complain because we cant afford the new TV set or that the shop has run out of milk or that we are putting on an extra 4 kilos. Anything that is out of our "made up" comfort circle,is something that we complain about. Sometimes we wallow in self pity because something didn't go our way and then we complain - another weak form of anger.

Sometimes we think that our anger gives us a higher status, a kind of "don't take nonsense" costume that we put on. But our complaining and aggressive attitude is more like that of satan than that of Gods image. satan believes that everything is about anger whereas God is slow to anger.
Anger often becomes a habit. After living a lifestyle involving anger, you have given the devil such a big foothold into your life that it becomes a common practise and OK.
But when we grow angry, we start losing belief in God. We lose belief in His goodness in promises in a situation, any situation. Anger arises from a failure to believe the truth, and belief that God owes me something: A better marriage, a better day at work or a car that doesn't break down all the time. The problem then is that anger becomes an idol in our life. It becomes a ruler of your life, something that takes over your life from under your feet and you obey it. We look at ourselves to try and sort out a situation by using anger.
This means that we are not obeying, trusting and looking at God for answers or help but instead we rely on the "flesh".

What about righteous anger. God got angry right...So why cant we?
Well Gods anger was good anger. It was for the better of His people. Gods anger inevitably led His people to His Son, Jesus Christ. His ultimate aim is to magnify the riches of His grace, love and patience.
His anger is purposeful. Without God being angry, His people would not have realised what He did for us at a later stage.

Satan wants us to believe that God is upset with us and  that we are less than acceptable to God and He uses this very successfully. This often causes us to be angry and trying to deal with our anger ourselves because we are made to think that  God doesn't want us anymore.
Any thoughts.

Blessings.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Can a Christian lose Salvation?


I think the first thing we need to ask is “What is Salvation?” In a nutshell, it means ‘to be saved from damnation and sin allowing us to have eternal life with Christ’.

Salvation is a gift from god and not from our works, our level of faith or religious acts that we partake in. It is only through Jesus Christ and what He did at the cross that we can earn salvation. When God makes a promise of a gift, He never turns back from that.
 
Let’s look at a few points for this argument.
·         In Corinthians 2 5:17 we are told that a Christian is a new Creation in Christ. If we lose salvation then this would fall away and have to be reversed. A Christian cannot be un-created. Once a new creation had developed, the Christian inherits all the promises in God’s Word.
·         John 3:16 mentions that whoever believes in Jesus shall not perish and have eternal life. Well if Salvation had any chance of being removed from a believer that that means that Gods Word is a lie and that God had taken Eternal life away from us.
·         Christians are also justified in Christ. This means that God glorifies a Christian just as He glorified His Son, Jesus Christ. The Word mentions that once a Christian is in heaven, they will receive a newly created “heavenly” body. If salvation could be lost, then this would all be a lie as well. Romans 8:30 (NLT) says this: “And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
When Christ died on the cross for our sin and ascended to heaven 3 days later, this was a type of blueprint as what would happen to the Christian believer. Once we believe that Christ is our Saviour, we have Salvation. The answer the above question, to me, is that a Christian CANNOT lose salvation, because would mean that all the promises made by God in His Word are a lie.  But the kicker here is the word ‘Christian’. This means believing in Christ and Living a Christian should. We have to be very specific in what the question asks.

What happens if a Christian continues to live a life of strife, lies, swearing, anger or immoral life? Can they lose salvation? Well, to me, that isn’t a Christian then. Christians should not act in that way. Or what happens if a Christian had faith or did believe but then rejects Christ? Again, they have rejected Christ. 1 John 3:6 (NIV) says this: “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Christians do not continue to live immoral lifestyles and so I believe that True Christians cannot lose salvation but those that have rejected Christ will not inherit the promises of God’s Word.

Blessings

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Miracles vs Blessing

How often have you heard people say, or yourself say....we need a miracle!
Or sometimes we need a miracle for a situation to change!

Or if you are overweight and are struggling to lose weight, sometime you will say "I need a miracle in my life to change this situation".

But what exactly is a miracle?
A miracle super cedes any natural laws, laws that God laid down. A miracle will only happen when there is a crisis because it super ceded the norm or the law in that crisis.
If we live for miracles or pray for miracles then that means that we living from crisis to crisis.
Make sense?

A miracle is not going to come unless you are in crisis and a miracle is a temporary thing.
A miracle is never abundant and will not get you living your life "normally" again.
Whereas a blessing on the other hand prevents crisis. If you tap into the blessing of God, it is just so awesome.You wouldn't need to live for miracles anymore.
Blessings happen in abundance. Once you receive the blessing of God...well I don't have the words.

Look at Ephesians 1:3.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Gods purpose in life is to bless us with everything. Bless us spiritually, blessing of new birth, blessing of the Holy Spirit and a blessing of healing and prosperity. Once we have received Gods blessing, our Spiritual life will start to overflow into our natural life. We wont really need miracles.
Its the blessing of the Lord that makes us rich (Proverbs 10:22)

What also makes living for blessings rather than miracles is that once we have been blessed by God, we can pass that blessing on to others. Blessings then become attractive. This is the way that God wants it to be.
Miracles even come when we are in unbelief, but blessings demand responsibility, obedience, and faith.
Miracles are one time occurrences whereas blessings are in abundance, all the time.

When we are in a crisis or experiencing a problem, we pray to God for a miracle. but God wants us to live a in a life of blessing so that we trust that He has our back and in the meantime we can be a blessing to others.

But we cannot be a blessing unless we are blessed. How? Chase after God and blessings will start chasing after us. Matthew 6:33 - First of all, look for the holy nation of God. Be right with Him. All these other things will be given to you also. (New Life Version)

Blessings are associated with planting a seed. Some people (Believers and unbelievers) will often go to God or the church and ask God for a miracle. That's like saying to God "Well, if you do something for me, then I will trust. worship and believe in you".
God says "Why don't you give me something first and then I will give you something back that is much more abundant than a once off miracle!"
This also ties in with Luke 10. We are called to be disciples. We are called to spread the word of God to others, to pray the Holy Spirit with others and in others. We are called to tithe. Tithe doesn't just mean money, it means GIVING. We need to give ourselves back to the work of God and body of Christ.


Please don't misinterpret what I am saying. Miracles are real and they are often necessary and Jesus performed them and still does. The point here is that, as children of God, we shouldn't be chasing miracles but rather we should be chasing God and trusting God in order so that His blessings may start chasing us.
This will form a very successful circle in your life because being a blessing to others will allow God to trust you more with the task and He will continually send more and more blessing your way and you will never be in the need for a miracle in your life - it is covered.

Blessings.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Freedom in Christ.


Further on from yesterday's blog message, I share a little more thoughts on the topic of faith and grace. This time from Galatians 5.

If you take a look at the first half of this chapter, you will notice that a lot of it is very similar to the verses in Ephesians 2:1-10.

Mostly, the message here again is that we cannot be saved by doing things. We cannot gain more from Christ because Christ has given us everything already. Christ already loves us. This is a love that we will never understand because we, as humans, are unable to comprehend the goodness and purity of Christ.
There is nothing more we can do to make God love us more or make God think that we are better than we are. Christ knows us already, He has saved us already. He did this on the cross.

As you will read in verses 11/12, Paul says that there is no reason to get circumcised. Being circumcised will not make us better in Gods eyes.

In the Old Testament, you had to be circumcised to prove that you are a Christ follower, but since that day the Christ died for us....things changed.

We are living under a different covenant, the covenant of Christ.
When you attempt to live under your own plans or own thoughts, you will be cut off from Christ. Why?   Because you are not putting Christ in the centre of your thoughts and actions. You are trying to do it yourself using thoughts, ideas and influences from this world (which is not of Christ) and  we are cutting Christ out of our lives.

It doesn't matter how must 'religion' we partake in or how serious we take our religious beliefs. The only thing that matters is faith. In fact, love also matters and would come in a close second place to faith.....but what's nice is that if you have a strong faith in Christ and you really trust God in everything, you will automatically be full of love because that's what Jesus is.
 
Often, we are so focused on what we need to do for Christ, but we forget what Jesus actually did for us. We are too scared that if we don't do all sorts of things, we wont get Gods blessing. When, in fact, all we need to believe is that Jesus is our Saviour and not worry about what we need to do to gain His favour, we already have it!
The more we understand what Jesus did on the cross for us, the more love we will have in our hearts.
 
We need Faith. Once we have faith, love will fall into place and once we have that, we will receive Gods Grace and the freedom that Christ gave us when He set us free (when He ascended to heaven).
 
Amen

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gods Grace!


Based on the scripture from Ephesians 2:1-10.

At our church service this morning we were given the message on the above scripture which made me really think a whole a lot about the way I think. I thank God for my brother in Christ and our minster at Northfield Methodist, Trevor Hudson for putting this scripture in such a way which has given me all the ideas for this blog article.


 
Just  how much do we need to try and do to gain the favor of God?
Often we think that we haven't done enough, and its true...we haven't!
We never have, we never can and we never will!
We cannot be saved by our works and our doings.

But then why do we think this. Why is it that we wake up every morning and think that we need to "impress" God,  make Him think that we are good people and he more we do, the more He will think of us.
I can tell you, from personal experience, that I feel this. I feel that if I say certain things, do certain things that God would notice and I end up having a closer relationship with Him.

We will not be saved by our works and our doings.
We are a sinful people. None of us are even close to standing right with God. We are controlled by the power of the air, the prince of evil. Satan continues to work in our lives to try and turn us away from God and He tries very hard at convicting us against the things that we do, thus making us feel that we never are good enough for God.
In verse 4, there is a very big turn around for what was written in verses 1-3. This is done by the word BUT. The verse starts with the word BUT......and this BUT is really what saves us. This one word, really takes all the doom and gloom that is written in verse 1-3, and shows us that this world is not what will save us and that this "prince of the air" is not the be all and end all.

There are 2 very important words between verse 4 and 7 which is what God is. GRACE and MERCY. Without the grace of God, we are dead. Without Gods mercy we are dead in this world. It is throw Gods grace that we live.

We were dead in sin, but God through His grace, had raised us up to be able to sit with Him in heavenly places. It is Gods grace that created the difference between us and this world. Through Gods grace, we a saved from this evil world.
In verse 4 again, it says "for His great love". This is the reason why God has so much compassion for us....because He loves us so much.

Their is nothing that you or I can do that will make God love us anymore or any less. NOTHING!!!! 
It is through this love of God that we have salvation, not that we had any claim or delved His favor, but just because He is a loving God, a compassionate God and a graceful God.

Man, as I write this, I just think in awe at how much our God is for us. He doesn't punish, he doesn't drop us and he doesn't leave us alone. Would you do that to a child that you love so much. Together through Gods grace, He has made us alive, together with Christ and by grace we are saved from death.

Everywhere in the New Testament, our connection with Christ is affirmed:
We are crucified with Him
We die with Him
We rise with Him
We live with Him
We reign With Him
We are joint heirs with Him
We share His sufferings on earth.

And, here's the very important one that through Gods grace we can partake in........"we share His glory with Him on His throne!"

How do we receive Gods grace?
We have faith. That's pretty much it.
We learn to trust God in everything that we do. We need to stop young to accomplish everything ourselves. We need to repent for our sins, because no one is going to do it for us. Even the Holy Spirit doesn't repent for us, we need to do it ourselves. We need to trust that our lives are safe in Gods hands and whatever we do or wherever we go, we know that God has our back.

There is nothing we can do to earn Gods merit. We are His workmanship, He created us. It's up to us to know know this. Know that Christ is our Saviour and know that He has our back.
Trust Him, believe Him, know him.......and His grace will coming flooding towards you in such a wonderful fulfilling way.

Blessings and Amen to Gods Word for this.
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Friday, January 11, 2013

We all fall short of Glory

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (NIV)

What does this mean, because its pretty scary for me..
When I first read this, to me, it was like well "I am pretty doomed". I will never have eternal life, I'm stuck on this earth.
We have distorted Gods divine image and exchanged Gods glory for idolatry and this verse sort puts it into a box - This is the consequences of sin.

BUT, there is a thing called Grace.
Grace is Gods love for us and allowance given to us, a sinful people, the choice to be able to turn away from sin and turn to Him. Grace renews and restores humanity’s lost glory in believers.

Sin means that we don't relate to God properly. It means that we don't have the glory that Adam had before He gave into evil. This glory that He had is the glory that God wanted all us to have. That has been taken away from us but it

No person is justified and righteous before God. We have been declared a sinful people because of the days of Adam. (Galatians 3:11)

So what can we do?
There are two things that need to be done for us to stand righteous before God.
  1. Redemption - Payment for our sins. Well this ones already been taken care of by god. He sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us. Isn't He awesome?
  2. Sacrifice of Atonement - This is a big word, but basically turning away from our sin.This would be a decision that we make on our own. God has played His part, now its up to us. We need to live in faith in Jesus Christ, we need to believe that He is our Saviour and we need to know that anything can be done through our God.
We can be in right standing with God. This all depends on our belief system, our relationship with Him, our actions, our thoughts and mostly our Faith in Him.
A man in right standing with God will live by and out of Faith in God. This means that we live with the knowledge that God will act, that God will guide and that God will listen.
God made a provision through Jesus Christ so that he could graciously grant to them the good standing of right relationship with him. The granting of this relationship is called justification.

Amen

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Facing Your Fears

Often you end up, every new year, making all sorts of new year resolutions which are not kept. Admit it, how many times have you said to yourself that you will lose those extra pounds or you will sort our your work life (be more proactive), be a better father, go to gym,attend church every Sunday etc etc etc..
It so funny to see sometimes how full our churches are in January and February and then they slowly they start getting emptier as the year goes on..

Here's 2 thoughts:
  • Have you ever had that feeling where you have gained the courage to finally confront someone about something they did to you years ago and tell them.......but it never happens?
  • Here's another one..Have you ever felt that your faith journey with Christ is starting to dwindle or you feel that you could do more to strengthen it and you promise yourself that this is the year that you will walk stronger with God in your journey.......But it just never happens or rather I should say, your journey remains the same as it always has been.
We do these things because we are human. We get into habits which we struggle to get out of (Especially if they are ones where we are comfortable in).
We don't like to face difficult things. We find it uncomfortable to have to leave things behind that we are used to having around. Sometimes these things get us stuck in a bad habit or "ritual" that diverts us away from where God wants us to go.

Being a Christian is not easy - Lets say "Its not for sissies!"
But, being a Christian is rewarding, very rewarding......and its worth the difficulties.
If you commit any part of your life to God, no doubt you will have to sacrifice some part of your life in order to follow Gods ways, because we are so used to living in 'bad' habits which are not of God, that we find it extremely difficult to give up certain things when we want to strengthen our journey in Christ.

If we hold onto our fears and habits, we will end up turning our back to God, who is our source of comfort - and we will not find comfort. This is why we experience difficult times which we feel we cannot get out of, its because we have turned against Gods will for our lives in a situation.
This doesn't mean that we cant get out of it. Because our God is such a gracious God, He will always accept us as we are, with all our issues and bad habits and when we are sincere in our turning away from bad, we will see the good.

Ask God for His comfort. If you feel yourself turning away from God and getting back into your old habits, do this.
If you feel have totally lost the plot and need help, do this.
If you are struggling with breaking a bad habit because you want to walk closer to God, do this.

Blessings.
God is a God of compassion and comfort.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ridding the burden

Do you have a good Christian health?
I know I don't!

Being swamped down by un-confessed sin, un-forgiveness, worry, fear and anxiety is a major health hazard to any person. Why you ask? How can you feel positive about your future or wake up every morning and be ready for the upcoming day if you are filled with fear and worry or you don't want to be near anyone because you are harbouring un-forgiveness against them...

You have to get things off your chest. When you hold guilt inside of you for a long time, you will become like a time bomb waiting to explode. I feel like that often, where you just cannot take much more. What a sad way to have to live through this life that God has blessed us with!
Yes, we all have hassles at work or at home, but by not dealing with them, you harbour guilt and unforgiveness which leads to fear and anxiety. It becomes a rolling ball which just gets bigger and bigger every time it rolls and soon you WILL become a nervous wreck!
This is not what God wants for our lives.

If you cant talk about your problems to someone close, then talk to God. In fact the ideal situation is if you can talk to someone close AND God.
God will not strike you down with a big stick because you did something wrong. He is not going to shout or say things like: "Well, I told you. You shouldn't have done that!! You Freak!"
God is a loving God!

Psalm 32:3 - When I kept silence [before I confessed], my bones wasted away through my groaning all the day long. (Amplified version)

I talk from personal experience. If you insist on harbouring un-forgiveness in your heart, not letting past hurts go...you will suffer for it. You will only hurt yourself, your body and your relationship with family and friends. You will not be able to concentrate on what is important but instead you will keep on worrying about stuff "that may happen" or things that other people have probably forgotten about or have left behind them.
What is the point then of attracting all this unnecessary burden?

I am still struggling with this topic because it has been apart of me not to forgive others quickly and wait for them to do it again or hurt again. (even though they may never).
What a sad way to live my life?

Praying to God and asking Him to help you forgive others and help clear the resentment you may have for others is a good start.

Blessings

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas past


As we recently celebrated the birthday of our Saviour Jesus Christ, it makes me think of all the hype that the world has just gone through leading up t Christmas Day. The shops and malls were jam-packed with people And kids all shopping for presents for their loved ones, families, friends etc.

Whilst this is really fun and Christmas day is normally a really awesome day where family gets together over a good lunch and shares some laughs, lets share some thought on two topics that are often forgotten or left to the wayside.

1. For people that have lost loved ones and are alone, whether they are in old age homes, on the street because they don't have a home or people who families who are not close....this period that has past is often the most depressing and difficult period for them.
Yes, we know there are many poor people on this earth, around us, but I know that Jesus would want them to be able to celebrate His birthday with people that can afford big lunches and Christmas presents.  What I mean here is that Jesus would want us to all celebrate His birthday together, not only the "rich" people that can afford it. his birthday is not about money....It's about HIM! It's about given Jesus the time to say Thanks for everything He has done for us. This doesn't rely on how much money you have or don't have, which is the problem our society has today. All the 'rich' people Are able to get together and have fun on Jesus' birthday and be happy...but then there is another side to this that many other people are sad and lonely.

2. If we took half the amount of money we all spent on all the Christmas presents we bought each other and shared it with those less fortunate, I believe that this would give a bit of hope, happiness and light to people who may not even know the meaning of Christmas or may not even care to celebrate it because they are so lonely. It's not about giving money to people but rather giving them a bit of time. Now obviously I don't necessarily think think it a good idea to buy our little kiddies smaller presents, because children don't understand, but as adults, do we really need to have big expensive Christmas presents (often they are things we don't need because the person you are buying for has everything or you are so stressed by Christmas time and rushed that you just end up going to the shop and buying something for a person even if you are not sure that they will enjoy it or need it).

The Lord, who came to earth as a mere carpenter with no expensive mansion, had little to His name....but you know what....he had our lives in His hands. All He cared about was others, not himself. He died on earth for others. All His time on earth was for others.

If we could spend a little more of ours for others over Jesus birthday, can you imagine what kind of difference that would make to our population.

Blessings.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Christians - Keeping a Watchful eye


Sometimes being a Christian has its difficulties. In fact, being a Christian isn't for sissies.

You are always on "view" to others. Once someone sees or hears that you are a christian then their eyes and ears seem to be open, waiting for you to make a mistake or act in a particular way so that they can throw it back at you and say things like "Christians should practice what they preach" or "you are not doing what Christians are supposed to do".

It's like we are not allowed to make mistakes, and that would then make us perfect...and you know what...we aren't. The only one that is perfect is God.

But you know what is really awesome....is that God knows that we are not perfect. This is why He sent His one and only son, Jesus Christ...because we are not perfect.

You find that the people that accuse are just as guilty at the same things you do wrong, in fact, often worse.

So with this known, there really is no reason to let people upset you with their comments when we know that we are not perfect and that God has our back.

Great News hey!!

In the Word, we are told not to take trust in man, but trust in The Lord your God. There is no reason why we should be upset about things that other people have said or done to you, especially when you are a Christian.

I am sure that we all judge others. But my point here is not about judging, it's about bringing other people's wrongs when in fact all we are is human.

But then as Christians, we are also called to work together as a team. Why? Well because we all fall by the wayside, and we need each other to get back in line. To firmly and nicely tell someone what they did where it is encouraging and not malicious, hurtful, revengeful and downright ugly to make yourself appear perfect when the accusee is down and his mistake has been brought to every one's attention.

You know about the verse in the Bible......the log in your eye etc etc...

 
I would love to know you thoughts on this topic.

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