Don’t Settle For Anything Less Than God’s Best

1st June

Pursue righteousness and a Godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.”

1 Timothy 6:12

Compromise is one of the biggest things corrupting the Christian faith throughout the world. Compromise on true Biblical doctrine, on solid teachings from the Word of God and in people’s own life style choices. Yet this problem is not just limited to today’s church but was a constant theme in the time of writing this letter to Timothy. False teaching was prime, with many trying to attract more followers by watering down their message, some even to the point of preaching heresy.

Yet, just as Timothy was encouraged to stand strong against such things, so are we also encouraged to keeping fighting the good fight for the true faith. Yes it costs. Yes we may not always be popular, as what the Bible teaches constantly goes against the grain of worldly living, but our role is to be God pleasers and not man pleasers. God has commissioned us all to hold true to His word, to not compromise on truth and to pursue righteousness. Stand strong and hold dear the true faith. Don’t compromise but rather be empowered by the Holy Spirit to pursue righteous living. Our time in this world is short and we may never know when it will come to an end. Stand strong. Fight the good fight. Don’t stray from the path you know is true! God is with you. His grace gives us the power to fight on.

The Obedient Leader

21st August

…He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

Philippians 2:8

The cross in Bible times was a mark of shame. It was one of the worse ways to die and was reserved for the most wicked of criminals. The bible even calls it a curse to be hanged on a tree in the book of Deuteronomy. Some even say that because sin entered the world through a tree (the tree of knowledge where Adam took the apple from), that is why it was cursed. Make of that what you will, but what we do know for sure, is that on the tree that Christ was crucified on, all sin and curses were broken as Jesus became sin for us and broke the curse of the law by becoming the curse for us. He took our place.

Yet all this was in submission and obedience to the Father. When Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Lord, take this cup from me”, the anguish He was feeling was real. It was far from easy for Him to give His life, to take our sins and to be beaten to death. Yet He cried out the most powerful words, “Nevertheless, not My will but Yours!!”.

True obedience calls us to submit our own desires and align ourselves with the will of God; even if the cost is great and involves big sacrifices. Jesus our perfect example, showed us how to live an obedient and self-less life. The cross nows stands a blessing for humanity. Moreover, it is not so much the cross itself, but what happened on the cross that causes us to rejoice. Let us draw on the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection to enable us to live lives submitted in obedience to God our Heavenly Father.

The Chicken In The Oven

30th May

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”

1 Peter 5:7

When you are praying, are your thoughts distracted by the problems and worries that await you? Are you carrying burdens and weights that are pulling you down? If that is you, then know God is for you and cares about you so so much.

Sometimes, our worries and problems can cause such big distractions in our lives, that it affects our sleep, our relationships, and our walk with God if we allow it. It is like the picture of someone being in church, listening to God’s words, or joining in with worship, yet their heart is so distracted and consumed with thinking about the roast chicken in the oven, waiting for them when they get home. They are so distracted, that they miss out on what God is saying and doing. So it is with our lives, when we allow our cares and worries to blind us to the reality of the great God we serve.

Peter knew, all too well of these distractions and encouraged the believers to not let their cares and worries get in the way of their relationship with God. He knew the importance of letting go, of giving his worries and cares to God. Not only does God care about every small detail of our worries and cares, but He is more than able and capable to help us get through them. Your cares are in safe hands. Give them to God. Write them down if need be. But don’t hold on to them. They will weigh you down. They will become a distraction for you. Give them to Jesus and trust that He cares about YOU!

The Healer’s Touch

29th May

She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind Him through the crowd and touched His robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch His robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.”

Mark 5:27-29

So often we hear of countless stories, were people are desperate for healing in their bodies, and like the woman in today’s story, spend so much money and time, seeking doctor’s advice and seeking medical healing. So often, people get to the point of hopelessness after exhausting every medical possibility for healing, and then turn to Jesus for healing. Yet how much more would our faith grow if we turned to Jesus in the first place. This is not to say that seeking medical help is wrong. Far from it. God has given us the knowledge and skill to be able to give the correct diagnosis and perform medical treatments to heal our sicknesses. But who knows our body better than the One who made it?

It seems that the woman in today’s story, prior to her frequent doctor visits, didn’t know about Jesus either. It is more than likely, that after hearing about Jesus’ miraculous power, she then made a decision to go to Him for healing, or at least just be able to reach out to His garment; a decision that proved correct, because as soon as she touched Jesus’ robe, she was instantly healed. Her faith in Jesus’ power made her well.

Friends, let us too, seek Jesus for our healing. Let us reach out to Him, in assurance, in full confidence that just once touch of Him and from Him, can completely heal our bodies from physical and spiritual sickness. Let our priority be to seek the Creator. Let Him walk with us through every decision we make, whether that be for supernatural or medical healing. He can do all things. He is power. He is love. He is ours.

I Long For You

27th – 28th May

Weekend Edition

I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.”

Psalm 84:2

Isn’t it great when you desire something other than to satisfy yourself? Whether that be to help others, to see others do well or perhaps something different all together. Yet how great it is to desire to be in God’s presence more than anything. The Psalmist says exactly that in today’s key verse. He longed so much for God’s presence. There was nothing else He desired more. To sing and shout joyfully to the living God with his whole being.

Today, we too can be filled with that desire, to serve, seek after and have the presence of Almighty God within our hearts. Where else is there to go other than Him. Whom else do we have but Him. He alone can satisfy. We can enter His presence freely through the grace, love and forgiveness of Almighty God. Pray for more of Him and He will give it. Pray for more of His Spirit, His indwelling in your hearts. Enter His courts with joy. You are His beloved.

Fear Not… I Am With You

25th May

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you with My victorious right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

God’s promises are always true. His word never lies. The great thing about the Bible is that we can put ourselves in the center of His promises as we apply these truths to our lives too. Today’s eternal promise to the nation of Israel, found here in Isaiah 41:10, is one such promise. God’s promise, through the prophet Isaiah, to its original audience, would have come as a great source of encouragement. God was reminding the nation who He was, who they were in Him and His plans for them, which started way back when Abraham was called out of the land of Chaldeans and into the land of Canaan. Throughout that time, Israel faced problem after problem, some of their own doing by turning their back on God, but God never left them. He was faithful to the promise He made them; even if they had to walk through hard times, He promised them He would never leave them because they were His, ‘You are My servant, For I have chosen you and will not throw you away’(9). God was not done with them. ‘The Lord, the First and the Last’ (4) was and is the One making these promises!

Friends, these same promises, are not just for Israel, but for us too. God is not going to leave you in the valley you may find yourself in. He will not ‘throw you way’ or leave you to disaster. He promised to be with you and He will hold true to that. You may not be able to see Him, but trust that He is holding you with His victorious right hand. God will never leave you. Don’t be discouraged but be strengthened. He is with YOU!

The Rich Fool

25th May

Then He said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own”………“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Luke 12:15,21

What is your priority in life… Is it like modern day rappers…..’Get rich or die trying‘? Or is it as Jesus encourages, to have a ‘rich relationship with God‘? Jesus never condemns people for having earthly wealth. In fact it is a Godly principle to be a good steward of what God has given (not just financially but in the talents and gifts He has given us also!). However, what Jesus does address is the issue of greed and people’s love of money when it takes the place of God in their lives.

As Jesus was preaching to the crowds two men called out to Him and asked Jesus to help them settle a family dispute about an equal divide of their father’s estate. Jesus warned the two brothers to guard themselves from greed. He added that life is not measured by how much wealth you have or own. To highlight this message, Jesus shared a story about a very rich man who had so much wealth, that he had nowhere to store it. That night as he was pondering on building bigger storehouses for his investments, God said to him “You fool! You will die this very night..!” The issue Jesus was addressing, was not how the man could be a good steward of his wealth, but what he said after, I’ll sit back and say to myself…you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink and be merry”, the love and greed for money and its place in his/our heart.

Life is truly not about what we earn or own. It is a huge blessing if we have been given wealth but our joy and happiness should never be dictated by material possession. True joy comes from having a ‘rich relationship with God’. Our investments here on earth should first be investing in the Kingdom of God, in our individual relationship with Him and in partnering with God’s work on this earth to extend His Kingdom. Let us reflect on our lives and analyse our Spiritual investments. Where is your priority?

Don’t Worry But Rather…

24th May

Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.”

Psalm 37:1-4

As we wake up once more to news of the sad and tragic loss of lives by acts of evil, our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones. It is yet another reminder for us to pray for His peace and His Kingdom to come on this earth as it is in Heaven.

Yet too often, it is so easy to get knocked down by the worries of this life. It is so easy to be swayed and rocked by devastations in our lives. But time and time again, throughout the Bible, spoken by various writers, speakers, prophets, kings and teachers, we are encouraged to not worry but trust in God. When God is at the center of our lives, we cannot be shaken by any earthquake around us. Of course that is not to say that we don’t care about or mourn about what happens in the world around us, but rather it means that our faith in HIM is unwavering despite of what is happening around us, still trusting for His peace and calm in both this world and personally in our lives.

David too, in his Psalm, encourages us to not worry about the wicked. Perhaps between verse 2 and 3 the words ‘but rather’ should be included. ‘Don’t worry about the wicked…..BUT RATHER…trust in the Lord and YOU do good!’ When we trust in Him, when we do good, when we take delight in Him, He gives birth to the desires in our hearts. Yet what is incredible, is when we trust and delight in Him, He puts His will and His desires into our hearts, which then become our desires.

Keep trusting, keep praying, and keep doing good. Don’t worry, but rather trust in Him!

He Speaks And Demons Flee

23rd May

When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the cemetery to meet Him… When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw Him, ran to meet Him and bowed low before Him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.””

Mark 5:2,6-8

As you start a new day, why not remind yourself that there is no power of hell, no evil spirit and no scheme of man, that can ever compare to the power of Jesus or that can ever separate us from His love. We serve the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and the Name above all other names. Even, according to this story in Mark 5, the evil spirits know how great Jesus was and is.

Notice that Mark says in verse 6, that even while Jesus was some way off, the demon ran and fell at His feet, begging Jesus to not torture him. This demon, legion, because there were many inside this man, knew that Jesus was not just a storm quieter, He was the Son of God! The demon, trembled before Jesus, like a weak helpless defeated prisoner. Just by Jesus’ presence, victory was won because He was and is greater than everything demonic. He is POWER. He is STRENGTH. And you are His child!!

Whatever you are facing, invite Jesus into it and see Him change the situation by the strength of His mighty power. He can calm storms, move mountains and set the captives free. He is Jesus Christ. He speak and demon flee.

He Speaks And Storms Obey

22nd May

But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with His head on a cushion. The disciples woke Him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.”

Mark 4:37-39

Do you know that there is nothing in this world, greater or more powerful than our God? No circumstance, no storm and no thing, is greater than Jesus; a point amplified by today’s story.

While Jesus and His disciples were crossing over the lake, a storm began to brew that took a turn for the worse. High waves began crashing against the boat and the boat began to fill with water. It is not mentioned how big this boat was, but it couldn’t have been a big boat, which would have meant that those in it, realised that their lives were in danger. Yet notice the small yet significant detail that Mark chooses to include in his account of this story; ‘Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat WITH HIS HEAD ON A CUSHION’. Isn’t that an interesting point to highlight.

Making mention of this point shows us two things. Firstly, that Jesus was not fazed by the storm, and secondly, even when Jesus was sleeping, He knew He was in control and could rest in who He was and in His power. Some say that Jesus was so tired that He didn’t feel the effects of the storm, hence why He was sound asleep. Yet a more plausible reason why He didn’t wake up, must be the fact that He was in control. Nothing fazed Him. Nothing caused Jesus to fear. He knew who He was and He knew His Father would protect Him too.

Friends, as we too battle through the storms of life, let us spiritually rest, with our heads lying peacefully on a ‘cushion’, knowing that although a storm is raging all around us, we have a God who is more powerful than whatever we are facing. Call out to Him. Reach out to the God above all gods, to the Name above all names, knowing that He has the power to save from and protect you in, any storm you face. We too can rest in the storms.