Showing posts tagged with: Peace
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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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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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26Feb
Change your light, Change your life
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Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? (Mark 4:21 NKJV)

There is an awesome story bible story in Acts 20 about Paul which I love so much. In this passage, God tells Paul that as he (Paul) would die in Jerusalem, but Paul’s response was…However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24)

It is natural to be fearful and to even change your plans if someone told you that in your journey to your place of work or study you would be killed…well unless you have a different understanding…a different light on your lamp-stand that means that you don’t see impending death (as prophesied by God HIMSELF…not a spooky Christian) as an obstacle, or as something that should cause you to change your plans.

An understanding of what God said in His Word brings or sheds light on how you see your life (Psalm 119:130). Let this light be a blue light.

An understanding of what every other person/circumstance says also brings or sheds a different kind of light on what you face. Let this light be a red light.

Now once you turn the light on, once you place the lamp on your lamp stand everything in your environment starts to reflect the light you turned on! So everything in your life right now is either looking blue or looking red! Everything is you see now is seen through the light shinning in the eys of your understanding.

Since my beautiful daughter was born, the baby light has been turned on in the eyes of my understanding so now my whole world is reflecting that light! I am no longer just thinking about myself but I am thinking about everything because in view of my understanding that I now have a daughter. In fact I even feel like there are more babies in the world now!

Everything you are seeing with your natural eyes is reflecting the light shining in the eye of your understanding. In other words, what you understand about what you are facing right now informs how you feel about what you are facing. Your understanding also informs the conclusions you are drawing from what you face.

I believe the Bible. I believe in Jesus. Here’s what the bible says about Jesus: In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4, 5 NIV)

Today, let’s make some decisions to do some things:

1- Get understanding about Jesus and what He says about you and your circumstance
2- Take down the “red light” (what you naturally understand about what you’re facing) from the lamp-stand of your heart.
3- Put up the “blue light” that is Jesus on the lamp-stand of your heart.

Let an understanding of Jesus be the light through which you see your relationships, future, your identity, your circumstances etc! Make a decision that it’s the blue light that informs everything you see in your life!!

When you see your life differently, you will see different things in your life! Change your light, Change your life

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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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02Jul
Death can be the best time of your life!
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Death can be the best time of your life!

In the last week there have been a few reports of people who died, and it has been quite interesting to see how we respond to death.

To a lot of people death is the worst thing that can ever happen to them or to any other person. This is because most of us (Including some christians) are uncertain about what happens after death! This uncertainty is the reason we try to live life with one goal…not dying! (Even though the whole point of life is death…we’ll have to look at that another time)

Unfortunately the person who is afraid of death is the one that is open to all kinds of manipulation. The terrorists can only terorise someone who is afraid of dying! The quack preacher can only con someone who is full of the fear of death. What you fear the most has the greatest potential to control & manipulate you.

Check out what the bible says about JESUS, and what He did when He came a few thousand years ago…

HEBREWS 2:14-15 (MSG) Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.

Jesus offers an alternative to living life full of the fear of death! He embraced death so that we don’t have to be afraid of death. He makes a bold promise that anyone who simply chooses to BELIEVE in HIM will never die (John 3:16). You don’t need to do enough good things to buy that security of receiving that promise, you simply need to TRULY believe! Right living will eventually follow right believing.

If I die, please cry only because you will miss me…I think it’ll be plain rude not to cry if i die! But be extremely happy for me because I believe in Jesus that Man from Galilee. Just like Paul in the bible, I love being here, I love life, but I am fully convinced that the best part of my life only begins when my body dies. I get to walk on streets on Gold. I get to speak with Jesus face to face! I get a glorified body! I am fully convinced that the best part of living is dying. If you know anyone who died believing in Jesus, I understand that you miss them, and I pray that the Spirit of God Himself will confort you. But I the truth, the highest form of reality is that their life just got soooooooooooooo good!

Today you can get that same assurance of life after death. Simply choose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God & that He came to save you from sin. Which means you’ll have to acknowlege that you are a sinner, not because of what you’ve done/are doing, but because you are human! Accroding to the bible because of what Adam did, we are now born into sin. If you choose to believe these things and you are bold enough to say it out loud with your mouth to God, today, you can have the same assurance of faith!

If you already believe in Jesus and you have confessed Him as your Lord, like John says in 1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. Don’t live iife afraid of death! Death is the best thing that could ever happen to you!

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27Jun
Let God.
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Let go & Let God

…that’s probably one of the cheesiest advice you can give/receive. However if applied, it’s also one of the most prominent reasons we get to see the end of our faith!

God always gives us dreams that are bigger than our current station. Dreams that have so many unknowns. We don’t like unknowns because we can’t control unknowns! However if your dreams will go past being just a dream, then we need to learn to be comfortable with ambiguity.

I pray that you find the courage in God to step into the “unknown”. That you will recognise that the everything that is unknown to you is known God. I pray that we learn trust God with our “unknowns” and remain faithful in that which we do know.

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27Jun
Father to the Fatherless
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Paslm 68:5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.6 God sets the lonely in families,[c] he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

One recent report on families in the UK suggested that a quarter of all families with dependent children are headed by a single parent, in the vast majority of cases, the mother. Probably more than ever we live in a generation that is growing up without the influence of a father. As a pastor I have found that this is one reason why a lot of people struggle with receiving God as a father, simply because there is no natural reference point to help understand the concept of a father’s love.

Today I am praying for everyone who did or does not have the influence of a father in their life. I pray that you will see that because of what Jesus did, we have been adopted into the family of God. The bible says we received the spirit of adoption when when we believed in Jesus (Galatians 4:6). This profound demonstration of God’s grace is the reason you don’t have to be fearful! You are not destitute. You are not an orphan. God loves you the same way that He loves Jesus. Just like it is inconcievable for a mother to abandon her child, and inconcievable for God to abandon His son Jesus, YOU WILL NEVER BE ABANDONED BY GOD BECAUSE OF JESUS! NOTHING WILL separate you from the LOVE of God for you.

For every wound that has been inflicted because of your experience of fatherhood, I pray that you see that bitterness, unforgiveness, anger is not the only option. There is a balm in gilead. Through Jesus, it is possible to break free from all those negative emotions that stem out of your wounds. As you look to Jesus, as you investigate His character and nature, I believe you will experience supernatural healing for those hurts!

I pray for every father, that God will help you be who you need to be to your children. If you have not been involved in your biological children’s life, I pray that God intervenes in your situation, and that he makes all things possible. I pray that you will see that He is your helper. With Him you can leap over a wall! With Him you can be the best father that you can be today.

I pray for every man, that you will have the courage, the boldness to be a father to somebody. That you will be a reference point for the fatherless, who are hearing the message of the one who is the father to the fatherless.

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11Jun
Have you become a storm expert?
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When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! ” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really yo

u, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. (Matthew 14:26-30 NLT)

One thing that is constant in life is storms. Rich, poor, tall, short, skinny, bigbonned, black, white, Pink, green, whoever you are, wherever you come from, storms are inevitable!

Here is another inevitable truth, at some point, irrespective of your religious persuasion or your background, Jesus will be presented to you as the saviour walking on water, right above the storms! A some point you will hear that Jesus is a healer, that He is able to give you real peace about what happens in the after life, that He is also able to give you wisdom for what you are facing today. I pray that when Jesus is presented to you, like Peter, you’ll be bold enough to take Jesus at His Word…I believe you will find that He is who He said He is if you dared to believe Him.

For those who have already believed like Peter and have experienced “walking on water”…i.e. you’re experiencing the peace of knowing that your eternity is secure, you have/are experiencing His provision, Healing etc…storms still rage in our lives. The beauty of being a believer is that we have a saviour for life! A saviour we can simply call out to, just like Peter did!

Unfortunately most of us have become STORM EXPERTS! We reckon, it can’t be as simple as calling out to Jesus…this is a storm we’re talking about! So we opt for reading books about managing the storm of depression, poverty, addiction. We compare notes on storm managements. We attend conferences on overcoming demonic storms, sin storms. We write blogs about people who, by our “intelligent” estimation are not good storm managers and write off those who are sinking or even those who we also “intelligently” estimate to have sunk!

Now I believe in teaching about practical things to do with relationships, money, business etc, because some of the problems believers face have nothing to do with the devil or demonic attacks. It could just be a case of ignorance or a lack of common sense in that particular area. The health problems we could be facing might not have anything to do with the prince of Persia trying to stop your purpose & destiny!! It might just be that 3 spoons of sugar in each of the 12 cups of tea/coffee you have a day is not exactly God’s best for you!…I digress…

Here is where I’m going, Storm Management cannot be a substitute for the simple act of calling out to Jesus! Being saved from whatever you need saving from, need not be as complicated as we make it out to be. Never elevate anything, any teaching above the simple act of looking to Jesus to help you to start doing the impossible, and to bring you back to the top when it appears that you’re sinking!

Jesus is the your saviour from the storms! I pray that as you begin to look to Him like you once did, you will experience the storm calming, faith building power found in the person of Jesus!

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