We Are The Father’s Children

29th-30th October

Weekend Edition

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”

Romans 8:15-16

What jumps out at you the most from the above passage? Is it that you are no longer slaves to fear of rejection, mis-identity or even God’s wrath? Or is that the fact that you are now adopted into God’s Kingdom, into His beloved family? Aren’t both such fantastic news? Our spirit of fear has been replaced with God’s Spirit; a Spirit of love, acceptance and adoption. Isn’t it incredible that ‘God’s Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are His children’!! This is a message that can never be repeated enough. It never gets old. To know who you are, to know how God sees you, and a right understanding of who God is, are all foundational to your faith and to your growth in Christ.

Think about children. They rely so heavily on their parents. ‘Dad I’m hungry’, ‘Mum, I’m thirsty’ are such common statements to come out of a child’s mouth. Why? Because they can’t feed themselves or get themselves a drink. They need their parents. They rely on their parent’s provision and protection. Think about the parents too; of how much they love their children. The way they go out of their way to feed their children, give them things that will help them grow, provide for them, protect them from danger and teach them how to behave, and how to live good and Godly lives. Without a ‘parent’ the child can’t survive.

The parent – child relationship is the clearest form of what our relationship with God is like; a message repeated numerous times throughout the Bible. However, this knowledge provokes a challenge. Have we forgotten how much we need God? Have we become too ‘grown up’ that we reject God’s Fatherly care, advice and protection in our lives and replace it with our own independent controlling actions? Maybe it is time to re-evaluate our walk with Him, and become children again in His eyes.

Outrageously Loved

27th October

“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 recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know Him.”

1 John 3:1

Today’s devotional is a request. A request to please watch this video and let the knowledge of who God is and who you are in Him, radically transform the way you think about God and the way you think about yourself. God is love. He loves you radically. This may seem like old news but let it become new and fresh to you today.

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!

Inheritance – Graham Cooke (Please click on the Link!!) Be blessed as you receive this truth.

Deeply loved, Highly favoured, Richly blessed!!

The Light Shines In The Darkness

27th October

For once you were full of of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For the light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”

Ephesians 5:8-9

The Halloween season always seems like a spiritually dark time of year. Not only do many dress up in scary costumes and play trick or treat, but underneath it all, it is a night that is celebrated by many in the realm of darkness. Sometimes you can even sense the darkness in the atmosphere. However…. There is no need to fear.

Paul strongly writes that once (before Christ) we were also part of that darkness, yet now we are alive in Christ, we are full of God’s light that breaks through darkness and exposes the darkness. The light that is in us is the Spirit of God and the victory of Jesus. We can walk boldly in that light, not fearing death and darkness, nor any power of the enemy. Jesus has overcome all things and because He lives in us, that means that we too can enjoy the blessings of Christ’s power and LIGHT!

Let us change our approach to the Halloween season, from fear to victory, and from darkness to light. We have the victory in Jesus. There is nothing to fear. Moreover, let us change the spiritual atmosphere in our neighbourhoods by letting our light shine so brightly, that it exposes the darkness and the darkness will have to flee. After all, as John also mentions in His gospel….

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can NEVER extinguish it.”

John 1:4-5

Walking In The Light

26th October

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 1:7

Jesus is the light of the world and as His children, His beloved, we can also enjoy the privilege of walking in His light. Walking in the light doesn’t necessarily mean we know what the end of our path looks like, rather it means that as we take each step, God reveals His perfect path to us, anoints our every step and is with us all of the way, guiding us and protecting us from being led astray.

Moreover, when we walk in the light of Christ, we enjoy the unity of divine fellowship with the Godhead. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial blood, we are cleansed from our sin and can freely enjoy a full, pure relationship and fellowship with the Godhead. We no longer have to fear the darkness, or separation from God, but are united in one with Him.

The best news, is that this gift of fellowship and promise of guidance, is freely given as a result of accepting and receiving Jesus’ love and forgiveness. This means that anyone who is part of God’s family is entitled to fellowship with the Father, and is given a ‘light’ filled life. If you are fed up of living a life haunted by darkness and un-surety, a life leading nowhere, then turn to Jesus. Let Him lift you out of darkness, fill you with His light and lead you step by step on a path into a glorious relationship with the Creator of the world. He truly has a plan for your life. Don’t miss it.

The Foolishness Of The Cross To Those Who Don’t Believe

25th October

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God!”

1 Corinthians 1:18

If you don’t know what you are being saved from, then the method of salvation is meaningless or even foolishness! Think of the Titanic: Those on the boat believed that it was indestructible. If you told the people on board the boat to make sure they knew where the nearest emergency exits were, where the life-jackets were and where the nearest lifeboats were, they probably would’ve laughed right?! In fact, sadly, there was not enough boats for all those on board the ship, because even the designers didn’t think the Titanic could crash. It is the same with today’s society. People don’t realise that Godless living leads to destruction, which is why people don’t hold themselves accountable for their actions, either to God or to themselves.

So what is our role as believers of the truth? Do we go around telling people they are headed for destruction, scaring them into salvation? Well, as Paul says, if we did that, they would think it’s foolishness. Do we then walk around boastfully showing off our ‘life-jackets’, because we are in the truth (much like the upper class folk on the Titanic proudly paraded their ‘special access’ to the lifeboats because of their status and wealth!). Well no to that too. Rather we should follow Jesus’ example and get alongside those who are perishing, and share the power of God’s love, because it is only after they have accepted His love, that they will fully understand the power of the work of the cross and count it as Good News! As C.S. Lewis said, “A man can accept what Christ had done without knowing how it works; indeed, he certainly won’t know how it works until he’s accepted it.” As people grow in their faith, they grow in their understanding of what Jesus’ work on the cross really meant, and subsequently change their lifestyles accordingly. It is then people will realise, that without Christ, we are headed for destruction, but with Him, we are saved!

The Upside Down Kingdom

24th October

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.”

1 Corinthians 1:27-28

God’s Kingdom is an upside Kingdom. Things don’t always look the way you would expect, or reason with your logical mind. As a self-sufficient or independent people, we always try to gain knowledge and understanding for ourselves, often depicted in stubborn men, who tirelessly and painfully chose to try to build an Ikea item, without reading the instructions or people who try to solve problems they know nothing about and end up in an even bigger mess. We, as humans, always want to be in control. It feels us with insecurity to think that we don’t know it all. Often in the Western world, even if we don’t know something, we usually ‘blag’ it or pretend that we are an expert to keep face, and to keep us from looking like fools. Yet the Kingdom of God works differently. It is when we admit that we don’t know everything, and that we can’t gain salvation for ourselves, that we truly find our peace in the truth, that God is our security, salvation is a gift and we cannot earn it.

God’s upside down Kingdom, reveals His truths, not to those who think they are wise, but to the meek and humble, who admit they don’t know, but trust. God uses the weak to lead the strong, the blind to lead those who see and the poor to feed the rich. This is not to say that we should go out of our way to make ourselves un-educated, poor or even blind. Rather it is to say, that in order to fully grasp and understand the Kingdom of God, we need to stop pretending we know it all or that we have it all sorted. We need to get back to basics, realise we need God, realise we need His ‘Kingdom Instructions’ to build His Kingdom and realise we need Him to lead us, not the other way around. Our challenge is to completely humble ourselves and admit that we need Jesus in every part of our lives. It is then, that we naturally and progressively become a beacon of His light, leading the ‘wise’, ‘rich’, and ‘strong’ to the knowledge of He is.

Practical Faith Through Prayer

22nd & 23rd October

Weekend Edition

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”

Philippians 4:6

How do we practically trust God with our worries? Answer: Through giving our worries to God. It sounds so simple and so disengaging from our problems. However, when we put our trust and faith in God through prayer, it is the most responsible thing you can do. It is like when you put money in the bank. You do it because you know it is safe, well looked after and secure (usually). You don’t worry everyday if your money is safe because you know it is in good hands. It is so simple yet give us peace of mind. Trusting God through prayer is built on the same principle. We can 100% trust God to personally engage with our problems, to help us and deal with our worries. There is no fear for those who put their trust in God.

Paul encourages us not to worry, but INSTEAD, pray. Our natural thought process is to see a problem and start worrying. Yet Paul tells us that instead or worrying, starting praying. It is the opposite of what we think is the normal thing to do. Yet just as Jesus said, echoed by Paul in a different way, what is the point of worrying? You won’t fix anything. Instead give it to Jesus, through prayer. Moreover, thank Him for all He has done, and all He will continue to do. Prayer changes thing.

Jesus’ help for our situations is not dependant on base rates, interest rates and brexit talks. His love is consistent, 100% for our good and always for the benefiting of His Kingdom. His help is free, unconditional and constant. It never runs out and is always readily available for those who put their trust in Him. INSTEAD of worrying, tell God plainly what you need, what you are worried about and trust Him for the answers.

Lord, ‘give us this day our daily needs’ and teach us to not ‘worry about anything’ but ‘instead, pray about everything’.

The Premise For Not Worrying

21st October

…but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”

Matthew 6:32b-33

Make no mistake, Jesus cares incredibly about you! He cares about you more than He cares about the flowers in the fields and the birds in the sky! Jesus said so Himself. He said if your heavenly Father feeds the birds of the air, who neither plant or harvest, yet have food, then how much more valuable are we to God than they are?

If we are so loved by Someone who cares so much for our needs, doesn’t that take away the need to worry. Yet it is not just any ‘someone’ who loves and cares for us. This is God, the creator of the world, that we are talking about. The God who formed you in your mother’s womb, the God who spoke life into you and you were birthed, the God who saw it fit to perfectly design you the way you are. Just look around you, at the natural world, can’t you see you see God’s mighty hand in all of creation. The birds that sing in the trees, the beautiful trees and flowers that adorn the landscapes around us, the stars in the sky that light up the night, and the mountainous ranges that point to God’s magnitude. If God is in all this, then how much more do you think He cares about you, His prime creation. Nothing else apart from mankind is made in the image of God. Yet you are. It is on that premise, that Jesus tells us not to worry about anything. We are His sons and daughters.

Furthermore, when we look to God, and seek His Kingdom above all else, it puts in practical disciplines is our lifestyles, that when tough times come, and worry sets in, instead on fixating on our problems, we look up to Jesus who we know is bigger than our worries, and will give us everything we need. May we not just put our trust is theological knowledge but in practical faith.

Today’s Worries

20th October

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Matthew 6:34

Jesus, in His wonderful ‘Sermon On The Mount’, shared a lot of key gems to help shape the disciples spiritual lives. The ‘Sermon On The Mount’ also encourages, provokes and challenges believers worldwide to this day and most assuredly, in many more years to come. Jesus’ simple teachings are straight to the point and highlight our need for Him in all we do, in our everyday lives. Perhaps the simplicity and directness of Jesus’ teachings is why they are so popular and often used in sermons worldwide.

One of the gems found in this sermon, is today’s key verse. Jesus highlights to His disciples, the need for trust in Him, for all their provision, and the lack of need to worry. He encourages the disciples to not worry about anything. We too are encouraged to not worry about tomorrow’s problems, however, why is that? Is it because our lives our completely in Jesus’ hands, so therefore we don’t need to worry about anything? Well, yes, for sure. Jesus is our burden carrier, our provider and our hope. But on an even simpler level, which Jesus highlights too, is that “today’s trouble is enough for today”. In other, why further burden yourselves with things that are out of your control today, and with things you haven’t even reached to yet. It is almost like Jesus is saying, ‘yes tomorrow may have many worries, but take each day at a time. Give your burdens daily to Me and let’s work through them day by day’.

Isn’t that a refreshing perspective. If we look at today’s worries and tomorrow’s worries, of course our stress levels will rise, and our Godly perspective on them will start to become blurry. Yet if we take one day at a time, each day giving that day’s worries and troubles to Jesus, don’t our worries become less stressful?! Moreover, when we give our daily worries and struggles to Jesus, the load becomes manageable as we invite Jesus into all we are doing, giving Him our daily worries and stresses for that day.

God’s Timing

19th October

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:14

The great teacher of the book of Ecclesiastes once told us that for ‘everything there is a season, a time for every activity under the sun.’ (3:1) Yet the hardest thing in life, is knowing that God has called you do to something, or has promised something, and waiting for God’s timing to do or receive it. It can so often feel like a long process and sometimes we wish that God would work to our time schedules, as if we know best. However, the truth is that God always knows best and everything always works out according to His perfect timing, not ours.

The Psalmist too, knew about waiting patiently for God’s divine plans. He was anointed to be the King by the prophet Samuel, after the kingship was ripped away from the rebellious Saul. Yet from the time David was anointed to be king, to the moment he actually became King, commentators say was around 15 years. During that time, he had to deal with Saul’s jealously towards, the constant threat of death, traitors in his own camp, and a rebellion from his own family for his kingship. If anyone is qualified to write about waiting for God’s timing, then surely it is David. Yet here in today’s verse, David advises his readers to not rush God’s timing but to wait patiently for the Lord to pull through.

Today if you are waiting for God’s direction, then wait patiently for His perfect timing. Be brave. Be courageous. God will come through. Just trust Him. “Yes, wait patiently for the Lord!”