Thursday, 30 August 2012

Hope

Although you might find yourself in a big black hole, in Jesus there is always hope!

Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Psalm 27:4-5 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Mark 5:35-36 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Read them, encourage yourself through the Word of God

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Not too devastated

Today I went back to the doctor for what was supposed to be the final scans etc to end this saga. After sitting around half the day waiting to do the two MRI's and then waiting 2 hours as the doctor was behind schedule it was finally my turn. Already an exhausting day!

But then, more drama: The Doc spotted a blot about one third of the original one. He didn't see the scans before, so stood staring at them for 10 minutes, mumbling terms and words that I have never heard before. And yes, I got worried!

The original blot. The dark spot is the cyst that had to be removed

 
Its one of two scenarios:
1 - Part of the cyst remained behind and has to be cleared later
2 - There is a gap left open from removing the cyst

I choose to believe that it is the second instance, as that would not require another op. Also, I have decided to build my house on the Rock, as per Matthew 7:24.

This half-storm will not fluster me, at most there might be a lesson to learn. There always is... Other than that I only have a thankful heart

Monday, 27 August 2012

What are we entitled to?

What is our Godly Inheritance? How do we posses all that God has for us?

It is rarely mentioned that the reason Jesus Christ came was so that we Gentiles could receive an inheritance [Acts 26:18]. The dictionary defines this as having the right of an heir to inherit wealth and/or a title. It is something given by birthright – a heritage accessed by the mere fact that you are in the family line. An heir does not struggle to attain his rights because it is something he found himself in when he was born. We have such an inheritance.


Previously this inheritance had been solely reserved for the children of Abraham, because at that time we were without Christ, being aliens from Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world [Eph 2:12]. But now that we belong to Christ, we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. In Christ Jesus we have also acquired a title because Rev 1:6 says he has made us kings and priests to His God and Father.


So as a king what exactly are we inheriting? All that Christ has – power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing [Rev 5:12]. And what portion of this eternal inheritance is ours? All of it. We are joint-heirs with Him. What He has, we have also – sharing equally as joint-owners. We are heirs of God together with Him. Since everything came from Him, He is the original and true owner of all seen and unseen.


Our inheritance is not reserved somewhere waiting for us to partake of it later. It was unlocked for the here and now because the one who bequeathed it to us died to make it so. For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance – now that he has died as a ransom. [Heb 9:15]. Start manifesting your Godly inheritance today by proclaiming it as yours. It is yours for the taking and not for asking.

Remember that this all is not to enrich ourselves, but everyting, always, to the glory of God.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Godly Inheritance

Proverbs 13:22 - A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children, but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous.

Unlike an earthly inheritance that is passed on after death, a spiritual one is imparted over the course of a lifetime through godly words and actions. There are many spiritual treasures you can leave to your children that will have a lasting impact on their lives.

What is your legacy? What is mine? How do I carry it over?

As a few pointers you should have:
 - A desire to follow Jesus.
 - A reverence for God’s Word.
 - An understanding of how to listen to the Lord.
 - A pattern of obedience. 
 - A faith that conquers the trials of life.
 - A forgiving heart.
 - An orderly lifestyle.
 - A servant's spirit. 
 - A generous hand.
 - Sincere love. 

There are more, and notice that they are all good...

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Dance, dance, dance!

My awesome wife bought me a new CD today. Its Afrikaans, of an artist that I have liked since the first time I heard him sing. She laughs every time I make a silly move while listening to it, or if I change the words to fit something I am thinking of, all great fun.

In the Bible we are urged to dance before the Lord:

2 Samuel 6:14
David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might

Exodus 15:20
Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing

The Lord gives us joy. Personally, when I am happy, there is always a song in my head. I have to dance to that song, for Him. I believe its His voice talking to me, so I have to respond.

Let us DANCE!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Trust

Do I trust the Lord in everything I do?

Can the Lord trust me?

How do I define this "trust" thing?

These are general rules for trust in a relationship, but can easily be applied in our relationship with the Lord:

The first thing you need to do show you are trust worthy, and to build trust in relationships is to warn people, or explain yourself when you do something out of the norm in your behavior. Do this before your behavior is questioned. Most of the time, people wait until they are questioned, and then even legitimate excuses sound odd. So, if things are crazy in your life, or if some major life change is taking place, just point it out. This will help people to judge your behavior through the right lens.

Next you want to build your trust worthiness by being predictable. When people know what to expect from you, it is less likely they will get suspicious about your actions, or not trust your deeds. So, stay predictable, or make sure you have a reason for changing your behavior, and that it is evident. You will want to be consistent with what you do, and even if you throw in some spontaneity, do it consistently so it is not questioned.

Next, you will want to make sure your words match the message. No one is going to think you are trust worthy if you say one thing and do another over and over. So, if you want to say something make sure you say it with truth, and make sure that your actions are consistent with your words. Do not tell someone you love them and hate being away from them as you rush off early for work. So, build your trust and show you are trust worthy by making sure your words, tone of voice, body language and facial expressions are really consistent.

With God it is the same:
 - Behave consistently: Read your Bible, pray, etc every day
 - Be predictable: With integrity, true to yourself, others and God.
 - Let you actions speak for themselves

Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Monday, 20 August 2012

How much do you love Jesus

Did you ever ask yourself how much You love Jesus?

We know Jesus loves us and what He did for us, but what do you do for Him?

I think its important to ask that question to yourself because you never hear any sermons about this topic, how much do we love Jesus?

An even better question might be HOW you show that you do. And NO, I am not promoting anything radical here. I am not a radical person, unfortunately. I promote calm, responsible thinking and actions.

So, how do we show it?

Firstly, by committing to Him
Secondly, by doing your daily devotions.
Thirdly, by having faith. Showing faith by believing Him even when it seems impossible. Almost like in a marriage: In good times and in bad times!

Trust Him, He is there for you

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Living He loved me

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a Virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He

Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

'Cause living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore

Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him from rising again

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my beloved one bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day, oh, glorious day

Thursday, 16 August 2012

This is it!

Love:
 - is patient,   
 - is kind,
 - does not envy,
 - does not boast,
 - is not proud,
 - does not dishonor others,
 - is not self-seeking,  
 - is not easily angered,  
 - keeps no record of wrongs,
 - does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth,
 - always protects,
 - always trusts,
 - always hopes,
 - always perseveres,
 - never fails.

Very nice, but we are all human... We are living in an imperfect world. We struggle with a lot of things, love being one of them.

There are different types of love:
1 - Philos love: a love based on friendship between two people
2 - Eros love: known as "erotic love"
3 - Agape love: unconditional love.

All of these pertain to love, but agape is the highest form of love.  It is a love that is totally selfless, where a person gives out love to another person even if this act does not benefit you in any way. Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love.

Jesus showed this love by dieing for us. We need to get to a stage where no matter what happens, we choose to love. Only God can help us with that.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Profit

1 Corinthians 13 verse 3

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.


We all work hard for our money. Its a fact of the times we live in that we need money. Some of us have more than others, some work harder for little than others do for a lot of money, but we all require it...

If I had to give away ALL of my belongings right at this very moment, my house, car, furniture, investments, everything, it might be pretty hard.

If you felt you have to give it away, would you tell someone? Who would you tell? Is it normal to tell someone that you are helping a friend or relative? Is it normal to help?

I believe so. Money is one of the things most spoken about in the Bible. That is since the Lord knew it would be such an obstacle. We have to change the way we think about money as it has to be a vessel for the Lord to start helping others. Not to boast.

Having money should increase our love for other people, in order to help out. Not having money should teach us to accept help, since it might all be part of God's plan.

Start playing you part, in love.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Earthquake

1 Corinthians 13 verse 2

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.


There are few things that can destroy like an earthquake. I've been lucky enough to escape the destruction of an earthquake. I have never felt it. Because of the mines in SA I have felt some small tremors, but nothing like what this photo suggests!

If this verse talks about faith to move a mountain, I would suggest it that faith needs to be as strong as an earthquake. An earthquake could possibly do that... Imagine for one moment your faith in God is THAT strong. I would imagine anything you say would probably happen. Maybe not instantly, but in time. I am, to date, yet to meet a person with such faith.

You can have all the wisdom, know all the facts, do anything, you can be the very best! BUT, some things are certain: You need God and you need to love. You need to show love, otherwise you cause destruction. Maybe not physical destruction, but emotional or otherwise.

Commit to Him and you will also feel His love...

Monday, 13 August 2012

Master of ceremonies

1 Corinthians 13 verse 1

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.



I used to present a lot of training at work. When standing in front of an audiance you have to choose your words very carefully. What you say and what you do is listened to and watched very carefully.

The writer here talks about the tongues of both men and angels. How do I speak with the tongue of a man? Is it merely talking? Does he write about the fact that we have to spread the Word of God. Does the writer address the words we say in public since we are being watched?

I believe that our words make a difference. We are being watched and what we say can make a lifetime of difference to someone else. We have to spread the Word, that is one of the primary tasks that Jesus gives us. We have to talk, but we also have to walk. Walk-the-walk.

The verse adds: "but do not have love". The way I speak indicates if I have love. Gentle, kind words as opposed to harsh words or gossip. But its not words alone. To indicate that I have love I have to back it up with my deeds. My actions have to follow what I am saying. It must be sincere.

I don't want to be a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. I want to love, and thus adjust my actions.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Am I loving?

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Since all of this is true, who do we have to love? My:
 - Wife
 - Family
 - Friends
 - Neighbour
 - Colleagues
 - Fellow church-goers
 - Also my enemies?????

The others are mostly easy. How do I then love my enemies? By not getting angry at them. By merely not hating them? By doing good to them? All of this is true, but is it LOVE? is love not more than just not hating?

Do some introspection and start loving like God does.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Why do you cry?

All of us, at some stage or the other, cry. We as men, even if we don't want to admit it, cry. Crying is probably as much part of living as laughing. Something that happens from time to time, even if we do not prefer it.

So, why do we cry? We cry when someone passes away and we cry when things do not quite go our way. We also cry tears of joy when we are extremely happy.

All of us have a few things in life that really matters to us. Those driving forces or passions. Besides the people we love, these things make us tick whether it is your work, a hobby or some strange passion. If that is what you love you will put your heart into it.

But then, at certain stages in life, things don't always go your way... What you have planned or desired goes wrong, not according to plan. You might have failed yourself or someone might have failed you.

Its fine to cry. You cry since your heart is in pain. Since one of your passions did not work out, or had a speed wobble. Its not the end of the road. It will never be.

Also cry before the Lord. He gave you a heart, not of stone, but of flesh so that you may live. A gentle heart so that you may feel. And tears, so that you can show those feelings...

Live your passions, in the Lord

Monday, 6 August 2012

Olympic gold

If you didn't read yesterdays story, first go and read that.

Many of the Olympic athletes cry when they stand on the podium to receive their medal. Those are not tears of sadness, but tears of joy. Joy, because they have achieved one of the biggest goals of their lives, if not THE biggest!

They put in everything, train every day and give it their best shot. During their race, for sure the final, every ounce of energy goes into their effort. Their body takes a pounding in order for them to get to that milestone, winning gold!


 
Why do they do it? Why is it worth it? How can a small piece of metal be worth so much to them if it actually costs only about $350? Definitely not for the financial reward...

The fact is that this is their passion. This is what they live for. All the blood, sweat and tears they suffer through is because they absolutely love what they do. Since they were little it was their biggest desire, and now they have achieved it.

We might sometimes feel that sometimes we also suffer on this earth. We put in all the effort, but do not earn the reward. 

Not to worry, your reward will come in heaven. Keep on doing the hard work, take the shots and put in the hard yards, be the best you can be.

One day is one day...

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Olympics

The 2012 London Olympics is ongoing and quite a treat. Being a sport lover I enjoy all the drama and intrigue that it produces. All of it for one thing: Winning gold!


It is obvious that the athletes involved put everything into the one chance they have to get on the podium and make their respective countries proud. The fact is that these athletes actually sacrifice a lot for this one chance. They exercise every day. They eat healthy. They also spend a lot of money on coaches, doctors, physio etc. All of these run up a pretty penny. The so called blood, sweat and tears.

Then, on the day of the race/competition, they have one shot at victory. They put in everything they have. Some races take 10 seconds, other 2 minutes, other 2 hours. Every jump, throw, run, ride or row is performed at maximum power or force. Every precaution is taken to ensure the goal at hand is achieved.

Now, on our relationships with God we are also in a race as stated in Philippians. We give our lives to Him and started living this disciplined life, similar to the athletes competing at the Olympics.

We have to be disciplined like the athletes. We have to perform our Christian tasks:
- Have a committed time for Bible study, daily
- Pray out loud, and softly, daily
- Share my spiritual life with others
- Visit church weekly. Commit to a church that you can associate with
- Adjust the distractions in your life, live disciplined.

Enjoy the Olympics, also enjoy God

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, 

He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake. 

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

On Broadway

WOW

Tonight my wife and I went to their schools musical. It's an annual affair and improves yearly. My wife has nothing to do with it, but loves to go and as a consequence I go with. Every year I walk out of there blessed by the pure talent at hand.

alt

 
It is quite obvious that the kids, as well as the teachers involved dedicate a major amount of time to the musical. To sing probably comes naturally to most of them, but to do it to perfection requires sheer determination. And then comes the dancing... It isn't just a sing-song, the kids have to dance and perform while singing. this has to be practised over and over to perfect.

For them the end result comes at a cost. Nothing in life that is worth something comes easily, it comes at a cost. Passion, dedication, time and effort. Without putting your mind and body into it it won't happen.

Dedicate your time to your passion, let your passion be the Lord.