A Stake In The Ground

31st December

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2 Corinthians 5:17

The eve of a new year is such a significant occasion in a believers life. It allows us to look back and reflect on all God has done for us and look ahead to all He will do for us. It allows us to reflect on God’s grace and mercy, His constant provisions, His support in moments of weakness and most importantly, His steadfast and committed love towards us, His children. Yet above all else, it gives us an opportunity to re-focus our intentions and re-align our visions to be in tune with all the Holy Spirit has for us for the forth-coming year.

There is a wonderful scene in Lord of the Rings movie, where a wizard named Gandalf, when confronted with a great evil, slams his staff into the ground and shouts out to the evil “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” There is a great significance about this action, not just in the film but Spiritually as well. Why? Because it is about time that we as Christians did the same thing with our enemy. In Jesus’ Name and in His power we can put a ‘stake in the ground’, and say that from this moment on, enemy, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS”. You shall not enter into my mind, my school, my work, my marriage, my children, my relationship with Jesus, or any other place. It is time friends, to stand your ground, and to resist the enemies fiery arrows. It is time to stop allowing the enemy to be comfortable leading us away from the path of righteousness.

In Jesus’ power and girded with the armour of Christ, we can stand firm. But the conscious decisions to start saying NO must come from us. Will you put your stake in the ground?

Turn The Light On

30th December

..God’s Light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the Light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the Light and refuse to go near it for the fear their sins will be exposed.

John 3:19b – 20

According to some, the scientific definition of darkness is the ‘absence of light’, rather than darkness just being the opposite of light. This can be demonstrated when in a room, which has no light, a match is lit and the brightness begins to dominate the darkness and bring light to the room. Moreover, light exposes the darkness, reveals what is hidden and shows what cannot be seen when there is no light.

Interestingly, have you ever tidied your desk under the watchful eye of a desk lamp? You will soon realise that the desk is more dusty than you first imagined. As you begin to move things around, the dust particles are exposed by the light and it is revealed that.. you have a lot of cleaning to do!

The same principle can be adopted into God’s Kingdom. In fact, it is actually rather a principle we have adopted from Jesus’ teaching. Jesus, the Light of the world, came to this earth and through His teaching, acts and deeds, exposed man’s sinful nature by bringing light into what was and is a dark world. However, Jesus’ light wasn’t to tell us how bad we are and to point fingers at us but rather it was a way to get back onto the right the path, almost like a lighthouse protects boats from crashing into mountains and rocks.

Unfortunately many avoided the Light, not wanting their dark deeds to be exposed and for that reason, continue to live in darkness, headed towards danger. However, there are many that accepted the Light and now follow the path to eternal life. For those of us who have accepted the light, we now also stand as a beacon of Jesus, bringing hope and light to the darkness that we see around us everyday. Let your light shine bright for the King.. May we sing together ‘Shine, Jesus Shine’, ‘Blaze, Sprit Blaze’, let our hearts be set on fire for YOU!

Do This Is Remembrance Of Me

29th December

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember Me.”

Luke 22:19

As we look back over the year that has passed, there are probably many things that you would want to remember and many things you would like to forget. Our lives are a constant journey, learning more about God’s grace with each new day and more about who God has made us to be. Yes we may have made many mistakes and done things which we regret but God’s mercies are new each morning and everyday is a new gift from God. His grace is more than sufficient in our weakness’ and His love truly does cover a multitude of our sins.

The one thing that remains consistent throughout our memories is the fact that Jesus came to this earth, lived a sinless life, was crucified for our sakes and rose again on the third day, defeating death and sin. We remember this by partaking in ‘communion’, which stands a symbolism of what Jesus did for us by sacrificing His body and shedding His blood.

The great news is that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is ‘GOOD NEWS’ all year round. It is the constant in a changing world and the foundation on which our faith is built. Moreover, as another year comes to an end, it is a fantastic opportunity to re-align ourselves to Christ being the focal point in our lives and the path that we can follow for a new year.

Journey Beyond Christmas

28th December

Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13-14

For some, Christmas means separation rather than reunion. It means a parting glance: Jesus leaving heaven; Joseph and Mary leaving Nazareth; the Magi leaving Babylonia; and maybe you being away from your loved ones.

But now it’s time for all of us to say goodbye to Christmas as we haul off the tree, throw away the leftover candy, box up the decorations, help the guests out the front door, and try to get our routine back to normal.

Here’s the great thing. The incarnation of Christ—the truth of His entering the world for us—is a reality we never leave behind. His abiding presence is a constant reality. We never say goodbye to Him. We’re never separated from Him, not today, not ever. The Bible says, “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Take a parting glance at Christmas and then press onward into a new year with Christ!

#Today’s message is taken from Turning Point Daily Devotions

God’s Children

26-27th December

Weekend Edition

See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognise that we are God’s children because they don’t know Him.

1 John 3:1

After the presents have been opened, the turkey has been eaten, games have been played and wine has been drunk, what is left? Is there still a buzz and do we still have the Christmas ‘spirit’? Of course. The root of our joy is knowing who we are, and our identity in our Saviour Jesus Christ. That is what we celebrate. His birth, life, death and resurrection. It is not a one-off event to remember but good news all year round. As C.S Lewis rightly said,

The Son of God became a man, to enable men to become the Sons of God.”

That is the good news. The Gospel. The truth that remains throughout all generations and until the end of time. Jesus came into this dark world, to reveal His light, the light that shines in the darkness. His light exposes our wrongdoings and leads us to the path of repentance, acceptance and restoration. His light transforms us from being enemies of God to Sons and Daughters of the Most High God. That is joy; and that joy is not just for Christmas day, but all year round. We are His children because He loves us and we have accepted His love. Will you accept His invitation to become adopted into His family?

Merry Christmas

25th December

but the angel re-assured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Saviour – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”

Luke 2:10-11

Rejoice, it is Christmas day. A time to celebrate the goodness of all life has to offer. A time to let go of hurts, forgive and be reconciled to loved ones. A time to eat, drink and be merry. A time to give to those who are less fortunate. But also a time to remember those who don’t have, who live in poverty, without homes, without warmth or clean water. To remember those who are living through war and disease and those battling with loneliness.

Today, as we celebrate Christmas across the world, let us rejoice in the good news that Jesus was born and that through Him we can find peace in war-torn societies, shelter from life’s hardships, Spiritual wealth, healing, both physically and spiritually, and an identity and belonging in Christ.

Today, may you know the warmth of Jesus’ love, the acceptance of a Saviour and the joy that His birth brings. For it is in Jesus that our hope is found. Remember those who don’t have in your prayers and actions. Be blessed. Merry Christmas.

Jesus Born In Bethlehem

24th December

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on My behalf.

Micah 5:2

Bethlehem was not considered the most notorious place for a Messiah to be born. In fact it was a very small town, even village, yet from it, this prophetic promise rang true; The Messiah was truly born. A ruler of Israel had finally come. His origins were in the distant past; namely at the beginning of time. Jesus’ birth fulfilled so many prophecies, of which this one of them.

Furthermore, this small village was so full of people at the time of Jesus’ birth, that there was not even a room that Jesus could be born. Instead of the majesty of a King’s room, He was born in a lowly stable, and put to sleep in an animals feeding trough.

Jesus showed us one of the greatest messages through His birth; Small beginnings are not insignificant: Wealth does not dictate the plan God has for your life. Jesus, being born in a lowly stable in Bethlehem, demonstrated complete humility and showed us that life should not be dictated by circumstance but by the plan God has for you. For it was from a lowly stable that the King of Kings and Lords of Lords was born and through His life, we can all be saved.

Joseph – A Man Of God

23rd December

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:20-21

How would you feel if you found out that the woman you were engaged to became pregnant and it wasn’t your child? It almost sounds like something out of a soap opera. Yet this was the reality for Joseph, King David’s descendant. In fact so real was the emotion of this situation, Joseph planned to quietly separate from Mary. However as today’s verse shows, and angel of the Lord gave a prophetic word to Joseph in a dream to ease his fears as to how this situation happened and what to do next.

However, the angel offered no explanation. He gave no apology, and no further instructions of any kind – and yet Joseph hurried to comply with God’s command through the angel’s words. He immediately took Mary home to be his wife and named her Son Jesus the moment He was born.

At least three other times Joseph got instructions from an angel in a dream, and all three times he immediately complied (2:13-15, 19-21, 22-23). Today’s readers might think, ‘Hey, if I got a message from an angel, I’d listen too’Really? Not everyone in the Bible did. Pilate’s wife ignored God’s dream about crucifying Jesus, and King Nebuchadnezzar ignored God’s dream about associating with the bovines. Yet Joseph, in all three dreams, completely obeyed God.

That’s the kind of man God looked for to rock His Son’s cradle. And it’s still the kind of man He seeks to rock the world. 1

1 Some of today’s content is taken from a commentary on the life of Joseph in the NLT ‘Man’s Bible’: PG 1255

Jesus Lived As One Of Us

22nd December

You must have the same attitude as Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not think of equality with as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.

Philippians 2:5-7

It is comforting to know that Jesus Christ lived as one of us. He felt our pains, lived through our temptations (although did not sin), experienced our struggles and yet still do all this without sinning and without compromising. As Paul writes,He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being”. Even more incredible is that the sentence He gave up His divine privileges” in the original Greek, literally means that ‘He emptied Himself’ for our sake and made Himself of no reputation taking the form of a slave/servant… The God who is above all, became the least of all to show us His love by giving Himself as our substitution for the debt of our sins.

He walked as one of us, and was treated as one of us. He was beaten for our sake, and hung on the cross for our sins… The God of the universe, there at the beginning of time, put to death by the hands of those He has created. Why? He did it for us. Isn’t incredible to know that Jesus Christ lived as one of us, for our sake? If He didn’t, we would not know God’s love and His incredible plan for our lives.

What Will You Be Doing For Christmas?

21stDecember

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptised into one body and one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13

Christmas is celebrated differently everywhere… Interestingly some countries don’t even celebrate it at all. For some, Christmas is a normal working day, children still go to school, and Christmas passes by without an ounce of the Christmas spirit we experience in the western world. For others, Christmas is a fun time. Christmas is a time were family get together, sharing food and presents with one another, enjoying playing games, and being together.

Yet the one thing that unites the believers around the globe at this time of year, is the fact that we can celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, no matter where we are in the world. It is an incredible joy to know that there are millions of Christians around the world that are rejoicing that Jesus was born over 2000 years ago, to take away our sins, to shower us with His love and to show us the way back to God.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas and wherever you are celebrating it (if at all), then remember this – there are others around the world that are as excited about celebrating Jesus birth as you are. They may not be celebrating in the traditional ‘Christmas’ way that you might know, but they are celebrating because a Saviour was born – the Lamb Of God.