Showing posts tagged with: grace
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18Aug
Sometimes, stop & weep
RelationshipsLeave a comment

It’s 4.20am. I woke up to settle my daughter back in bed. But I couldn’t go back to sleep because something was on my mind.

As I picked up my phone, to check the time, my emails, insta (as you do), perhaps out of habit, or in an attempt to distract my self from what was weighing on my mind, I came across this article from the BBC

Sometimes we get desensitised to horrors like this so we scroll on. I was about to move on but I believe the Holy Spirit, got me to go back and look at the picture again. To read the caption again. I think He needed my mind on this. Not on the matter on my mind this early morning.

Here’s another article from Aljazeera:

Can you comprehend losing 14 relatives in one go? Can you comprehend digging their grave? Can you comprehend the pain from the wrenching hearts of the survivors?

As impossible as it is to, I think it’s important we take the time to try and comprehend. Romans 12:15 asks us to mourn with those who mourn. You can only truly do this if we try to comprehend why those who mourn are mourning.

We deal with all kinds of things that keep us awake early in the morning. Some are important, truthfully, some are absolute trash. But in all these things. I pray we learn to stop, and weep with those who weep. And rejoice with those who rejoice.

Maybe we’d be much kinder to one another. Maybe we’d be more patient. Maybe we’d smile more. Maybe we’d worry less. Perhaps we’ll see the need to pray without ceasing. Maybe we wouldn’t fuss over nonsense!

Sometimes we fear that stoping to comprehend the pain of another might drive us to despair. It’s possible. But I think with the Spirit of God in us, He gives us a well balanced mind. A mind that is strong enough to be perplexed but not driven to despair.

I think compassion begins when we learn to stop and hear the silence of a friend. When we stop to comprehend the pain of our neighbors. Compassion begins in comprehending the reason why another rejoices.

Today, please stop. Think about another person. Pray about another person. Rejoice with someone. Weep with someone.

Start with Sierra Leone.

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17Aug
Choosing your hiding place
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I often play hide and seek with my nearly 4 year old daughter. When she was a little bit younger, before we start the game, she’d tell me where to hide and sometimes she tell me where she’ll hide! 😂😂😂 (She’s bossy like that)

Recently I came across this verse in the bible that got me thinking that whilst announcing where you were going to hide might not be the best idea on the playground, in real life we often need to choose and announce our hiding place before the storm.

This a Psalm of David. David knew about hiding. He had to hide in caves from Saul who was trying to kill him. One time he had to disguise himself as someone who was mentally unwell in order to hide amongst the philistines, long time enemies of Israel at the time.

But in all of these clever places he found to hide, he discovered that his real hiding place was in God! And he announced it upfront in the above verse.

If you choose you hiding place upfront, we settle it before you’re under pressure. If you make a good decision to ALWAYS hide in God, every challenge you face has to contend with Him.

If you choose your hiding place upfront, the emotions that get stirred up in us when we’re under pressure stands less chance of driving us to hide in the wrong place.

Have you caught yourself hiding away in an alcoholic beverage? In food? Drugs? Other people? Sex? The gym? Music?

There’s a place for all (or should I say some) of the above in life. But none of them was designed to be our hiding place. None of the above is equipped to hide you like God can.

In fact the place or person you consistently run to for shelter when you are under pressure eventually begins to exercise Godlike power over you.

If you’ve been hiding in anywhere but in God, return to the stronghold in God today. Practically we do that by choosing to believe that God WILL preserve you in trouble and eventually deliver you from trouble!

We hide in God when choose to believe that He is willing and capable of keeping you safe in EVERY WAY!!

Pray like David prayed: YOU ARE MY HIDING PLACE LORD!

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27Jul
When the promise doesn’t make sense
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If you’re like me, trying to live a life of faith in God through Jesus, there will be seasons of great contradictions. Living a life of faith is simply living a life that is directed and influenced by the Words of a living God, captured in scripture. Living a life of faith is choosing to live with expectations set by believing in the promises of God. 

The contradictions set in when you bump into situations that are directly at odds with the promises of God. 

When you expected help that never seems to be there. When you expected that they would fall on their knees asking what must I do to be saved after you shared the gospel with them as the Spirit of God led you to do. But all you got was a weird look. When you expected provision that is still pending.

I have learnt that these are the times when the quality of your faith is tested. I have learnt to fall back on the covenant. Psalm 89:34 says that God will not alter His Word or break His covenant. 

The Words of a God, His promises and instructions are backed up by the covenant. Even though God’s Word is good, on the basis of His integrity as a person, the covenant makes the promise legally binding. 

It’s one thing for a nice, trustworthy friend to give you a promise. It’s another thing for them to go through the effort to go to court, write up papers and sign an affidavit to make that promise legally binding. 

That’s what God has done. He gave His promise. Even though it is good enough, He legalises His promise by sending His son to die on the cross. Hebrews 6:18 tells us that this is God’s attempt to let you know how serious He is about His promise. 

I have learnt that the promise is given to set your expectation. And the covenant is given to help us keep our expectation set when the promise doesn’t seem to make sense. I have learnt to fall back on the covenant, particularly in seasons of great contradictions. 

Practically this means I am not afraid to be without an explanation for the contradictions, because I believe that the covenant ties God to me permanently, and if I keep walking conscious of His presence with me, in time, the pieces of the puzzle will fit. 

Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Don’t quit or abandon the promise of God simply because it doesn’t add up right now and you’re looking like a mug right now. God has legally bound Himself to fulfill no His promise. Keep the faith. Be patient. You will inherit the promise. 

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04Sep
NO SUBSTITUTE FOR FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD!
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Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

God in His wisdom has set up a covenant with mankind. A covenant is a binding agreement that outlines the basis of the relationship between 2 parties. In Hebrews 8, God tells us about the covenant that is currently in effect between God and man. A key part of this relationship is that we will all have the privilege of a personal relationship with God. Which means we get to have a first hand experience of Him!

I believe we are living in times when the only thing that will set you apart from the rest is YOUR personal knowledge of Him! There so many perplexing things happening in the World, and even in the body of Christ. I believe the only thing that can keep you in peace in the times we live in is a FIRST HAND experience of God.

I’ve been friends with my wife now for about 10 years and we’ve been married for 5 of those years. I have spent A LOT of time with her in these years! We haven’t been apart for long at all. So it’s safe for me to say I know her! My relationship with her is not based on how anyone else sees her, but it’s based on my personal, FIRST HAND knowledge of her.

Most Christians have a second hand experience of God. This means that what we know of God is what someone else said about Him.

Thank God for people he uses to teach us about God. I believe that preaching and teaching about God is indispensable to the health of our relationship with God. Just like learning about women and marriage is indispensable to the health of my relationship with my wife. But those who teach me about relationships are still not my wife! I will run into BIG trouble if I treat them in that way!

Those who teach you about God and His ability are NOT GOD! They will never be God! A relationship with them will never be a substitute for a relationship with God! We honour those who teach us about God, but we WORSHIP GOD! Real worship comes out of a first hand experience of God.

Every one has an opinion about God! With the internet, every one can voice their opinion, and with social media you can even get opinions about God that you didn’t ask for! Delivered direct to you door! Without a personal knowledge of God, you will be open to the torment that comes when you inevitable come across someone who says “you’re doing it ALL wrong!”

Learn all you can from those who teach about God. But prioritise a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him. He is available to us. I define worship as any intimate interaction you have with God. You can’t be tormented by different winds of doctrine if you worship I.e interact with God personally. Seize every opportunity you have to relate with God. It’s an awesome privilege made available to EVERYONE by & through Jesus.

How about right now, just talk to God. Say hello. He’s waiting. Fear of every kind dissipates when you have a FIRST HAND experience of God. We live in times when there is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A PERSONAL, FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD!

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08Aug
Don’t be silent! Speak about your Hope!
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I’ve been deeply moved by the terrible things going on around the world, particularly in recent weeks. It’s been heart breaking to see people suffer terribly, sometimes as a result of Man’s depravity, but also as a result of a world that is literally decaying.

On the surface or in the natural, it looks as if there is no hope. In the natural there is no reason why anyone should have any concrete hope of good, either in our personal lives or collectively as humans.

This is where those who believe the bible come in…1 Peter 1:3 Amplified Bible (AMP) says 3 Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

If you believe in Jesus as the Lord of your life, you have an ever-living hope! A hope that is always alive! A hope that means that in the darkest, most confusing of times, you still have a positive expectation of good! A hope that means that even when you’re down, you still don’t expect to stay down! A hope that means that even when you can’t articulate the answer you need, you’re still comforted by the truth that the Lord of your life is all knowing, well able and absolutely trustworthy!

If you have the “YouVersion” Bible App, you probably received 1 Peter 3:15 as the verse of the day…here’s what the latter part of that verse says “…And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it”

 

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There has never been a better time for those who have this ever-living hope (by virtue of their faith in Jesus ALONE)…to talk about this hope we have. There is no hope in the worlds media…which is the primary source of information for our world…but there is hope in Jesus! It will be a complete injustice for us to be silent about this hope!

 

Firstly, this means that in our personal lives, regardless of what we are dealing with: small or great, in plenty or in little, we need to exercise our blood bought right to be hopeful. If you’re sick, expect healing! If you need money, expect provision! If you need wisdom, expect bucket loads! If you’re threatened with death, expect life! Expect the goodness of God in your life without apologies! Faith gives substance to what we hope for!

Secondly, make a decision to become a witness to this hope! A witness is someone who is qualified to give an account of something or someone because they have a personal experience of the thing, event, or person. You cannot be an effective witness to anything that you don’t have a personal experience of! Being a false witness was punishable by death according to the law!(thank God we are no longer under the Law!).

This is one reason why it is imperative that as a follower of Jesus, you don’t let religious folk talk you out of believing God for every thing! From a painful bunion on your toe to an incurable disease BELIEVE GOD! From the smallest physical material need to the deepest Spiritual need, BELIEVE GOD WITHOUT APOLOGIES!

Our world needs witnesses to the hope that we have! People who can talk about hope for healing because they have seen God heal them. Or freedom from the cycle of depression, debt or addiction, because they have experienced that freedom through Jesus. People who are not afraid of death, because they have a personal experience of the faithfulness of Jesus that they are confident that He will receive them on the other side, just like He promised!

Finally if you do have any experience of Jesus (I believe as a believer, you do), there is no better time to look out for opportunities to give an explanation for the hope we have! Jesus is literally the hope of the World. He is in you! Don’t be silent about Him! 1 Peter 3:15 in the amplified says we are to do this “…courteously and respectfully.” We are not looking to win points, we are looking to give others the solution to life, that God lovingly gave us in the person of JESUS.

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26Apr
Secured By His Love
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We often believe that there is something we can do to ensure that our relationship with God is secure. This is why we often have a list of do’s and don’ts that we look to adhere to. In this message we look at the thing that secures the believer’s right standing before God: HIS LOVE. Check it out! Hope it blesses you.

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07Apr
How to get promoted
LeadershipLeave a comment

Getting promoted is not something that is set aside for others. It is literally within your grasp. The nature of the environment doesn’t even need to hinder your progress because your success is an inside job!

The story is told about a man called Daniel who was a prisoner of war and a slave. He was in a place where by virtue of the type of environment he was in, he was supposed to be one of those who should not be noticed.

He was not supposed to be someone who had anything to say about anything in this environment, because the facts & figures from the standards, stereotypes and statistics were stacked against him.

But Daniel was a man who had the Spirit of Excellence, and it was this spirit of excellence that caused the king to begin to plan things things for Him…

There is something about excellence that causes kings (people in authority) to find you out…you begin to register on the radar of those who can help you when you become excellent at what you do…

Please never forget that most of the time, opportunity watches you before opportunity shows up at your door. Kings watch you before kings speak to you.

In Daniel 6, the king first noticed Daniel, and based on His observation of the kind of person that Daniel was, He began to make plans for Daniel’s promotion.

Right now there is somebody making plans for your promotion because there is always room for you to be promoted, but the question still remains, what is it about me that should cause them to call off their search when the find me?

Here is a short list of several things you could do at work today to put you on the radar of kings.

How to get promoted

1. Learn to leave your personal baggage at Home! Step away from being that person who is always going through something. Don’t be that person that always has a need that is not being met.

Those who get promoted are those who don’t always come to the table with their need…they are those who come with a seed. Kings love people who bring something to the table.

2. Check your attitude. Are you are problem spotter or a problem solver? What is your attitude at Work.

Don’t complain about problems at work! You’re not doing your boss a favour, they pay you to be stressed by the companies issues.

If you will get promoted you’ll need to be that one with a good attitude. And the good thing is that irrespective of what you’re facing, you can always choose your attitude.

Attitudes can be changed by changing what you believe!

3. Understand why you are paid to do what you do. You will never be effective if you don’t know why you are there.

Why did they put you on the pay roll? How does that contribute to your company? You will get disillusioned when you don’t understand why you do what you do. People who know why will always be promoted over people who just know how.

Kings are always looking for people who understand why they are where they are and what their role is.

4. Learn to be flexible to change. Kings are looking for people who are willing to be flexible…willing to change. Don’t be one of those that just resist change for the sake of it.

Most people just resist change because change always requires something of you.

If you don’t change, you’ll stay where you are…that’s why eventually people who resist change become:-
a) Passive – and real leaders don’t need passive people…real leaders need to know exactly where you stand…
b) Aggressive…could it be that opportunity is by-passing you because you are trying to control the situation by being aggressive!

So learn to embrace change…the most sure thing here on earth is change!

Hope you found that helpful. Congratulations on your promotion!

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20Mar
Sometimes I am ashamed of Christianity
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If I’m really honest, I am sometimes ashamed to be associated with Christianity…the religion! 

I feel ashamed because for the most part our voice is only heard loud and clear condemning something or someone

I feel ashamed because for the most part we are always looking for new recruits, but once they sign up, we begin to hold them to spurious standards which we haven’t really kept ourselves. And like an abusive spouse, every time they inevitably fall short of those standards we beat them down with our Words, our silences and our glares. 

I feel ashamed because for the most part we have become a hospital that doesn’t like sick people. We talk much more than we do. 

I feel ashamed because for the most part we who are supposed to be a refuge have become the last place that our world will consider seeking refuge in. 

In spite of the shame i sometimes feel, as a result of the above (I’m sure you can think of more reasons) I know that the state of the RELIGION is only a reflection of the fact that mankind is still very sick. Sick with the nature of sin. Christianity, the Religion,  is man made. What else do you expect from something that is made by sick sick men (mankind).

In spite of the shame I sometimes feel, I am also very thankful for Christianity, the Religion. I am so thankful because this man made, thing…this religion, introduced me to the most awesome person I know. Yes at the time of introduction they didn’t do a very good job of announcing who He really was. However I still got to meet Him. His name is JESUS! 

I heard that He was a hard task master who wanted to make me a slave. I heard that He had a long list of things that I needed to do in order to be accepted by Him. But when I met Him, I found that He didn’t demand anything from me. Truth is, He gave EVERYTHING for me. In fact it is the nature of His sacrifice for me that demanded a response. The more I learn about His sacrifice & His mercies, the more I see that the only fitting response to Him is to lay my whole life down for His cause. In meeting Him I have also learnt that I can only do this with His help. 

I heard that He was a tough judge who was writing down everything that was wrong with me, and seizing every opportunity He could get to remind me of them. When I met Him, I found that in the multitude of everything that was wrong with me, He was/is the only thing that was RIGHT with and about me. 

Religion made Him the lead vocalist in the sound track of shame, which played loud on the stage of my life. But when I met Him I found out that He was really the only voice that spoke words that preserved my dignity. When I met Him I found out that He is not ashamed to call me His brother! 

Religion put a limit on His acceptance of me. Religion told me that even after meeting Him, I could do something thing that causes Him to change His mind about me. But when I met Him, I found out that His love for me was scandalous & illogical! His love for me was just plain crazy! In spite of my messy, messy life, He voiced His resolve to stick with me. In Hebrews 13:5b he said – I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless norforsake nor let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

There are so many more things I could say about Him, but let’s leave it there for now. I’ll say this though.. He is NOT THE PERSON RELIGION SAID HE IS. He is kinder, more patient, more accepting, more real than anyone could have described.

Yes, Christianity, the religion is messy…very messy. That’s because it is man made, and man is still very very sick. I pray that you can look past religion, and meet Jesus. The journey of discovering Him is a life time thing, but it starts with a simple decision. A decision you can make right now. No priest, pastor, bishop, christian is even needed to make this decision valid. You can make a decision to discover Him today, by yourself. Right where you are, you can speak to Him. In case you weren’t sure what to say, you can say something along these lines: 

“Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your son Jesus to die for me. The Bible says if I say with my mouth that Jesus
is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I will be saved. Jesus, I now confess you as my Lord and believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead. I welcome you into my life. Right now I believe that I am saved. I am born again. Thank You Father.”

It will be great to hear from you if you made this decision. Speak to someone who knows and loves Jesus. Look for a church where they are more interested in Jesus than they are in Religion. Welcome to the Jesus adventure! 

if you didn’t feel to make that decision today, I’m praying you get another opportunity to consider Jesus, despite what religion says. 

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24Jan
Make up your mind!
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Romans 16:25 – Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past

A man/woman without conviction is like someone giving life an extremely limp wristed handshake. 

I love the conviction of Paul in the bible. He was so convinced of who He was that He would often write about himself ” Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God (Colossians 1:1, 2 Timothy 1:1, Ephesians 1:1). And with regards to his messages, He boldly refers to it as “MY GOSPEL”…notice how unapologetic he was! 

I think people who do significant things with their lives are people of great conviction. They are people who are clear about what they believe and who they are. Paul still has critics today, but i believe that it is this clarity about who he had become by the grace of God that sets him head and shoulders above his peers. No one can take away the product of his conviction – 2/3rds of the best selling book of all time! 

Everyone – critics & cheerleaders alike – has an opinion about who you are and where you are headed. I think most people spend their lives living out what others think about them. I reckon that’s a one way route to destination mediocre, because you will always be dancing to the tune of the opinion poles and you never get the chance to be yourself long enough to be good at being you! 

One of the things I love about being a person of faith is that I can find out who I am FROM MY MAKER! So can you!

Whatever you do, there’s always going to be someone who has an opinion of who you are and who you should be…and you will wear yourself out if you live to prove them wrong or prove them right. It’s like being tossed around by every wind of doctrine! (Ephesians 4:14)

Find out who you are. Be clear about you are. People should confirm who you are not tell you who you are. Honestly, regularly & truthfully review your beliefs, and stay true to them. 

In order to get good at being you, you’ll have to spend your life being you. I believe that everything that God has for you is reserved for the real you, not the you that everyone thinks you are or should be. 

Spend your life being you! 

Have a brilliant weekend

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29Nov
DON’T MIND THE “EXPERTS”. WORK YOUR “LITTLE” GIFT!!
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I recently came across some people having a conversation about somebody who has (in my opinion) a God given platform to speak to millions of people every day. Typically it was a conversation around how in their “expert” opinion, this person was shallow and didn’t know enough about what he supposedly represents. It always cracks me up when I see people with little or no results pontificating about someone who has achieved more than these “experts”) could ever dream about with all their knowledge! 

The truth in many ways concerning this preacher in question, is that there is not a lot of substance in what they preach. But here is another amazing truth: this guys and his team ARE WORKING THE LITTLE THEY HAVE!! They are WORKING IT with everything they have! The thing that annoys these “experts” is that the more they criticize this dude, the more his platform expands. 

A lot of times, life is not about how much you know, it about what you do with what you know! Jesus’ parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 highlights this point. The “experts” are like the 5 talent guy, but instead of working what they have like the guy in the parable does, they are busy analysing how little the gift of the 2 talent guy is. Meanwhile the 2 talent guy is busy WORKING HIS 2 TALENTS!! 

Don’t pay attention to those who think little of your gift. Don’t mind those who think you don’t qualify because of something in your past, your education, your background, your style, your weaknesses or even your personality. Yield the little you know to the Grace of God. You might be the least in your field, but God’s grace can empower you to “Labour more than them all” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

You were not called for the audience of the “experts”. God called you to a life lived for the AUDIENCE OF ONE (Jesus). The “Little” you have been given is what makes your life worth it. 

DON’T MIND THE “EXPERTS”. WORK YOUR “LITTLE” GIFT!!

 

 

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