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.

Everything He does Is Wonderful

16th October

A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to Him, and the people begged Jesus to lay His hand on the man to heal him. Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put His fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on His own fingers, He touched the man’s tongue. Looking up to heaven, He sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!” Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly!”

Mark 7:32-35

Reading this passage, one might ask the question why didn’t Jesus just say ‘be healed’ like He had done so many times before. Instead, unusually, Jesus put His hands in the ears of the deaf man, spat on His own fingers and touched the man’s tongue to heal him. It may seem strange to us and unorthodox, but the end result was that the deaf man could hear and speak freely. Even the crowds were completely amazed and said, “everything He does is wonderful..”

Quite often too, in our own lives, the answers to our prayers might not always come in the way we expect. We must remember that we can’t limit an infinite God to our small finite minds. What we can be sure of is that God knows what we need before we even ask it and is working for our good and His glory. He does answer our prayers and He is a good God. Let us take confidence that ‘everything He does is wonderful’, even when it is the unexpected. God is in control.

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.