Submit To One-another

17th October

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

EPHESIANS 5:21

Submission is a term that can conjure negative feelings. Yet in a Biblical context, and more so in this passage, submission is not a sign of weakness or negativity but an act of humility and strength. When you submit to someone else, you are empowering them to be who God made them to be. You are releasing people in their gifts and bringing God the glory. The same applies in marriage, the context of which this passage was originally written for. Submission in marriage is not one way. It is mutual.

Paul alludes to the relationship between us (God’s church) and Christ. He tells us that just as Christ loved us, so we should love each other. Just as Christ laid down His life sacrificially for our sakes, so we should do the same with each other. Christ gave us the perfect example of ultimate humility, sacrifice and submission. He put our needs before His own life, and freely gave it up for us. If we believe this, then we should have no hesitation to freely lay down our lives, not only for our spouse but for all.

When Jesus laid down His life for us, He elevated us to become children of God, no longer slaves to the enemy, sin and temptation. He empowered us to live in His original plan for our lives and in turn, glorified Himself through us. See how powerful submission and humility are?! Both ends of the deal, end up with God getting the glory! Our natural desires of glorifying ourselves are quashed as we start to live in Gods desires for our lives.

When You Pray, Do You Believe?

14th & 15th October

Weekend Edition

““I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in My name, and I will do it. Yes, ask me for anything in My name, and I will do it!””

John 14:12-14

Perhaps today’s key verse needs reading again! Did you get it? Did it sink into your hearts? Jesus clearly says, that we can ask for anything in His name, and He will do it. We have access to the power of the name of Jesus Christ: the name that has been exalted above every other name in all of existence, both past, present and future. Moreover, Jesus promised that the disciples (we are included in this promise too), will do even greater works than Jesus did! How is this possible? Well simply, because we can witness the greatest miracle of all, salvation through Jesus Himself. It is greater than seeing the dead rise, greater than seeing broken limbs healed, and even greater than seeing body parts regrow. Yet all these things too are possible with God, because Jesus said it. Because Jesus lives, because He resurrected from the dead, because He now sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, we are empowered and equipped with the authority of Jesus’ name. When you pray in His name, believe for the answers, trust for the miracles and watch the power of God in action!

I Stretched Out My Frail Arm And You Took Hold Of It

13th October

The Lord will not reject His people; He will not abandon His special possession…. I cried out, “I am slipping!” but Your unfailing love, O Lord supported me. When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”

PSALM 94:14, 18-19

For some, Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, yet if you are reading this devotional today, it might just be your lucky day! We have good news for you. You are God’s special possession and He promised to never leave you. Even when it feels like you are slipping, falling and even drifting away, know this, that the Lord God is still supporting you, cheering you on with His unfailing love. When you doubt God’s goodness, when you doubt God is with you, when you are surrounded by situations that feel overwhelming, look back to this verse and live in God’s promises for you.

Honesty should be at the forefront of our relationship. Just as the writer of this Psalm so openly shared his struggles with God, so should we. We shouldn’t think that having an off day is a weakness but rather know that His strength is made perfect through our weakness. There is nothing wrong with crying out to God, telling Him exactly how you are feeling. He wants to help us and He will help us. It is His help and comfort that gives us ‘renewed hope and cheer’. Stretch out your hand and trust that God will pull you up!

Don’t Miss Out

12th October

Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of His miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God.”

MATTHEW 11:20

You would think, after seeing Jesus heal a blind man1 and feed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish2, people would turn to Jesus in repentance, falling at His feet. These are no mere human achievements. They are completely supernatural events. Yet sadly many didn’t. How could anyone possibly ignore them and not want to turn to the One who did these great miracles? It seems madness right? Yet, and the same is true today, so many people experience and see the miraculous and even encounter God’s wonderful presence, but close their hearts to Him, because the love of this world, is greater than their love for God.

Friends, although this may seem like a hard thing to read, it is important that we too do not fall into the same bracket of seeing the miraculous, experiencing God, yet closing our hearts and ignoring the Holy Spirit because we feel there is too much to give up. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we choose Christ, yes we may have to give up our pleasurable yet sinful habits, but what is waiting for you, can’t even compare in greatness to our former lifestyles. Don’t close your hearts to the loving arms of our Creator God. Acknowledge the work of Jesus in your life and let it change you. Turn to Him and you will receive life and life in all of its fullness. A life that doesn’t leave you feeling empty but full in every sense.

1Mark 8:22-25

2Luke 9:10-17

Letting Go..

11th October

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

1 Peter 5:7

Isn’t it such a wonderful thing to know that the Creator of the world, cares about you and me? He cares more about the little details in our lives, than even we do. In fact He cares so much, that He doesn’t want you to be the bearer of things that burden you. Peter, in His epistle to the churches says, that we should give all our worries and cares to God. What’s the point of carrying them, particularly when sometimes the things that cause us to worry are out of our control. Rather give them to the God who can do something about them.

Carrying burdens only weighs us down, like wearing an extremely heavy back-pack. We can try to carry on in life, but eventually the weight of our cares will weigh us down to the point of collapse. Friends, don’t wait until then. Give your cares to Him now for He cares about YOU and wants to carry your worries so you don’t have to.

I’m With YOU

10th October

…and be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20b

Do you know that Jesus promised to be with you always?! You may feel alone, overwhelmed by your surroundings and situations, but if Jesus, the King of Kings, promised to be with you always, then you can be sure He is. No matter what you may be facing, Jesus is with you. That is a fact and an unshakeable truth.

Yet this verse takes on even more significance if read in the context of which Jesus spoke. Jesus, after revealing Himself to the disciples, commissioned them to be bearers and sharers of the Good News: The Good News that Jesus was no longer dead, but had resurrected. Jesus gave all authority and power in Heaven to His disciples, so that they may be equipped with the spiritual and physical tools to do what He asked: make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Know this friends, we too are included in this Great Commission. Yet Jesus didn’t leave us without the tools to boldly share this Good News. He equipped us too. Moreover, we are not alone. Jesus didn’t just drop the manual on our laps with a few tools to figure out how to fix this broken world. NO, instead, he has equipped us, empowered us and lives in us and is with us, until His work on this earth is finished. That means He is with us forever, until He comes back again! Rejoice you are not alone. Rejoice you have been equipped. Rejoice the King is one day coming again. Now go, have victory in the jaws of defeat, life in the face of death and boldness in all things… The King is alive and He is with you.

A Burden Lifted

9th October

Then JESUS said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.””

Matthew 11:28-29

Sometimes the heaviness of life’s problems and worries, feel like a weight on our shoulders that pushes us down. We can almost be consumed by the cares of this life. It can feel like the ‘yoke’ Jesus alludes to in Matthew 11: a big heaven wooden contraption, attached to oxen, to help them when ploughing the fields in unison and in a straight line. If you feel like an oxen today, like the weight of your burdens are pulling you down, then there is good news.

Jesus says that He will give us His yoke so we can walk in unison with him. Instead of the yoke being on our shoulders, we can be at rest that Jesus is carrying the weight of our burdens. He encourages us to give our needs and burdens to Him. His yoke is light, because He is doing the carrying. What an incredible image right?! The God who created the heavens and the earth, wants to stand along side you, to battle through life together with you and to lift and hold you when you are weak. And not only that, He wants to take away your burdens so that we can find rest for our souls. Praise God.