18 December 2011

Staying IN Christ

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is IN Christ…

One of the greatest understandings we can possess, is the supernatural power of staying IN Christ…

Being IN Christ is to stay in relationship with God, to stay immovable in Faith, to stay strong in Freedom. When you’re IN Christ your lost and dead to everything else.

The Bible is full of statements declaring that we are ‘IN Christ’. Everything Christ bought back for us was so we could fully experience relationship with Him and enjoy life. We must purposely position ourselves there through determination, commitment and sacrifice.

The enemy’s aim is to keep you out of your relationship IN Christ. The enemy can not stop you going to church, praying or reading revelation from the Word. But he can fill your heart with things that will keep you from wanting to.

Offence. Pride. Discouragement. Lust. Fear. In this state of heart, a Christian can be in church but far from God. They can still own their life, cling to the past, and live a defeated life.

As we end this year, we need to be reminded of the importance of staying IN Christ. I see too many Christians backslide and think that they will be happier if they do life their own way. This is nothing further from the Truth. The opposite of Freedom is bondage, which is to live life away from God, church and faith. You’re not free to sin - you’re bound to sin.

People who walk away from God lost being IN Christ. The Bible is full of warnings of the importance of us remaining IN Christ. This is to stay humble. To remain pure. To stay strong in the faith. Ultimately, if we don’t remain, God will remove.

1) In Christ: We Have Freedom

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Many people today are living in bondage to fear, pain, addictions and sin. This is far from God’s best and not where we should be living. God is an expert in setting people free. We must do everything to stay in this freedom, and look out for others to be set free. Check out these amazing definition of Freedom...

1. The condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without restraints
2. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, bondage or self; deliverance
3. The right to unrestricted use; full access; given complete freedom
4. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship; the freedom of the city.

2) In Christ: Redemption

Ephesians 1:7 IN Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Redemption is to pay the required price to secure the release of a convicted criminal, or slave from bondage. As long as we remain ‘IN Christ’ we will be free from these prior penalties. If you have Christ on your heart, spirit and mind - you have peace. Liberation is the first purpose of redemption. Christ came to liberate us from sin and death.

Redemption is not just about the future, it's for right now: bad things can be turned around. Blessing can't come if a curse is still active. Jesus took the curse from you on the Cross. Once you are living in Him, everything is working together for good, even bad things! Because we have tough times in God doesn't mean we are not in the will of God.

3) In Christ: Seated with God

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places IN Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us IN Christ Jesus.

Being seated with God has a price. Those prepared to live a life of discipline with boundaries will reign seated with God in this life and the next. God is not waiting for us to do something to merit grace or favour. All the promises in the book of revelation are to the Overcomers. It is only by faith that we can rise above our circumstances and be seated with God.

4) In Christ: A New Creation

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is IN Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!

God’s purpose in conversion is to regenerate and then upgrade your life! Don't forget who you are. As long as your mindset is chained to the past you won't believe that you are a new creation.

In the parable of the lost son, the younger son knows what he has but forgets who he is. The older son knows who he is but doesn't understand what he has.

Take nothing of the old into the new. This is to have (1) NO shame, condemnation or guilt (2) NO sin and death and (3) NO devil - the dominion of the enemy is broken when we come to Christ (Romans 6:14; 8:1-2, Colossians 1:13).

5) In Christ: Chosen and Accepted

Ephesians 1:4 Just as He chose us IN Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved...

Being chosen lies in the fact that we're ‘IN Christ’. You were chosen, 'In Him' before the foundation of the world. Amazing! IN Christ you are without blame and without shame. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Your Spirit must be filled with the life of God. Your Spirit transforms your life, attitudes and actions. Remember: You are highly favoured in Him. God has chosen you and neither blames, nor judges you.

5 Keys to Staying IN Christ for 2012:
1) Stay in relationship with God – prayer, the Word, worship
2) Stay in relationship with strong believers
3) Stay in the House of God – planted, serving, giving
4) Stay disciplined away from areas that tempt you and cause you to sin, lose your focus
5) Cut off anything and everything from your life that hinders you from staying in Christ!!

Ephesians 3:12 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children… This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. IN Him and through Faith IN Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

20 November 2011

Seed Time, Harvest Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…

There is a universal principle of the power of sowing and reaping…

It works for anyone who uses it, without favourtism or partiality. Throughout our lifetime there are seasons of seed time (sowing) and seasons of reaping (harvests). A season is an unknown time period with a specific purpose ordained by God. There is no greater feeling than the joys of harvest time!

Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

Every seed is a tiny beginning with a huge future. A tomato seed has a hidden set of instructions on how to grow tomatoes. They are precise, specific and detailed.

The only condition is if the seed has the right circumstances for it to grow. Likewise, our conditions are Faith and total obedience to the Word and specific instructions from God in order for our seeds to grow.

‘Seeds’ are best sown into people. Your love is a seed. Your time is a seed. Your finances are seeds. Your prayers are seeds. You are a walking warehouse of seeds! Change the seeds if you don’t like the harvests you are producing.

Your seed is any gift, skill or talent that God has given you for you to sow into the lives of others around you. The soil is the person you are helping. You need somebody to help you sow the seed you already possess to reap your harvest!

Isaiah 55:10-11 The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

God receives much glory when something small and insignificant becomes abundant and extraordinary. God’s greatest seed sown was Jesus – the Word became flesh. Jesus legacy of three years of ministry in 33AD with 12 average disciples, turned the Roman Empire to Christianity by 312AD! Today, over a billion people confess the name of Jesus as their Saviour.

Harvests can be anything too – financial increase is a harvest, reconciled relationships is a harvest, salvations from friends/family is a harvest, new opportunities is a harvest. A harvest is any person or good thing God sends into your life that blesses you.

You are responsible for your life, your seeds and your harvest, no one else. God’s abundance, open heaven and riches need to go to someone…. why not you? So, what are you doing with your seeds?

The Process of Reaping a Harvest

Matthew 13:31-32 Jesus [said]: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

1. Planted – Sowing into the House of God, People (Psalm 92:12-13)
2. Death – Dead to self, your agenda (John 12:24)
3. Moisture – Feeding your soil with the Word, Worship, Prayer (Matthew 13)
4. Weeding – Removing sin, cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches (Mark 4:19)
5. Support – Remaining in Christ, fellowship (John 15:4; 7)
6. Pruning – Cutting off things that hinder us, addictions, mindsets (John 15:2-3)
7. Fruitfulness – Harvest time!! (John 15:16)

Growth itself transforms us. We change in shape, attitudes, and priorities as we grow. A seed is a possibility. It is not a guarantee of anything. A seed is potential of a great plant. It has the potential of creating a thousand more plants by becoming fruitful. Cutting things off our life that are hindering us is short term pain, but long term happiness and life!

All of us have been given a garden, a field to tend to. We have a field of souls to harvest. We have a field of ministries to harvest. We have a field of money to harvest. We have a field that will yield nothing to us unless we tend to it.

Still not convinced? How about the seed of the living and active Word of God that was sown into your heart? You now have Jesus. You now have Eternal Salvation. It changed your life forever. That was good seed sown...

EXAMPLE – Isaac’s Harvest

Genesis 26:1-3; 12-14 Now there was a famine in the land … The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live” … Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him…

Harvests come when you sow in the right fields… the House of God. Scripture is clear that those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish (Psalms 92:13-14). There are many churches for us to go to but there might only be one right for you.

Isaac reaped a harvest while sowing in a famine because he was obedient to where God had called him to be. The blessing is in God, not your geography, circumstance, economy or family situation. If you remain in God, He will remain in you.

We have to constantly 1) Remain 2) Dig again and 3) Push through. Don’t let go of God to lay hold of a job, relationship, options. Never underestimate the power of remaining in God. His blessing falls on a person, not a piece of dirt. The only issue you’ll have is not everyone is going to be happy that you’re blessed!

Harvests take hard work, careful discipline, much prayer, great Faith and endless patience to last for years! How many people have enormous potential yet fail to achieve anything? Having potential alone is not going to make you successful.

It’s never natural talent or skill that unleashes full potential. Its discipline, hard work, following sound advice, being teachable, getting organized, planning your work and working your plan.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

God’s Word says we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Get a paradigm shift, nothings impossible with God. If God says He will do something, He will do it. There is nothing more powerful than the word of God. Do good, sow your seeds, be patient and expect your due Harvest!

23 October 2011

The Father Heart

Romans 8:15
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory...

The primary purpose of your existence is to know God as Father. He created you for relationship, intimacy and fellowship. To enjoy, rejoice and worship Him - now on earth, and forever into all Eternity. Within this relationship we discover our identity and purpose in life.

Scripture confirms this by giving us the right to relate to God with the title ‘Abba Father’, an expression of affection and tenderness under parental authority (Rom 8:15). This is an incredible privilege and invitation to all mankind. We are to relate to God not so much as our Creator, our Master or the King of Glory…. but our Abba Father.

The truth is you will treat yourself and others according to the way you think God feels about you. All of us have gone through moments in life where we have experienced rejection, shame, betrayal or disappointment, at a peer level and parental authority level. Even when we have stuffed up, God is never ashamed of you as His child.

‘In love He predestined us…’

Ephesians 1:3-6
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

We have literally been hand picked and chosen by God, before the creation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. We are children of the King. We have been predestined to be adopted as His sons.

That means Father God treats us as His own beloved children. We no longer are alone, or outcast or abandoned. When we meet Jesus, the adoption by our Father is guaranteed!

We live in a world that is strongly performance based, where a person’s value and worth is determined by what they do, not who they are. But this is the direct opposite with our relationship with God. When we come to Christ, we have value and worth because of who we are, not because of anything we ever do.

The Father Heart desires to completely shower His unconditional love on all those He has called and chosen, simply because we are His children. Our role is to simply respond to Him and receive! It is His passion and heart for us to fully experience an incredible relationship with the Father Heart. To feel His embrace, to be secure in His acceptance, to know Him on a deeply personal level.

Spirit of Sonship = The Fathers Heart

However, many believers do not experience this incredible relationship for a variety of reasons. Life can throw us many difficult challenges and bring many hurts and pain that put up walls between us and the Father Heart. Specifically, there are two types of spirits we can possess as believers which determine our ability to receive the Father Heart…

Spirit of Bondage / Slavery
• Independent and self-reliant, insecure with no peace, works mentality of striving to please God, competitive, compares easily, can’t 100% trust God, struggles in faith

Spirit of Adoption / Sonship
• Feels free and secure in God’s Love, free from guilt, shame, condemnation, value and value in relationship with God, experiences deep intimacy, peace and joy in God

The journey from Slavery to Sonship generally does not come to us naturally at salvation. An orphan or sonship spirit can reside over an individual, a church, a city or a nation. The transition from an orphan to a son comes when we have an experiential revelation of the Father God’s love for ourselves, as well as a repositioning of our heart toward sonship.

God wants to pour out this Spirit of Sonship and adoption into our hearts, until we know just how extravagantly we are loved and delighted in. Once we know how loved we are, we will invite others to come up to the table and feast with their Father.

You are already a complete success in your Abba Father’s eyes - not for what you have done or will do, but simply because of what Jesus did for you on the cross.

John 17:22-23 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved Me.

The greatest hindrance to receiving this gift of sonship is trying to earn what we have already been freely given. The harder we try to earn it, the further away we move away from Him. This is self-righteousness. What we need is the new kind of righteousness that comes only by faith.

Jesus took our place on the cross so that we could take His place with the Father, the glory of sonship! Our salvation is all-inclusive, both redemption and adoption. Have you experienced this blessing Jesus bought for you? If not, “Ask and it shall be given unto you” (Matt 7:7)

Testimony #1 - Unknown
At one meeting, a pastor from a large church in Asia wrote, "I see God the Father as distant, unapproachable, unreasonable, hard to please, strict, perfectionist, demanding, silent, absent and to be feared. I see myself as unworthy, insignificant, a failure and disposable.
He was projecting the rejection and judgment he had suffered from his earthly father onto God and interpreting everything that was happening in his life through his past experience.
"I now know that God is not like that. He is not hard on me. He is gentle and humble of heart. He doesn't see me as never measuring up. He sees me covered with grace, and He alone will strengthen and perfect me."

Childlike Faith the Key

Matthew18:2-4 The disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child … and said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The simple truth is that we need a father., to be parented. Inside each of us is a little child that needs to be loved. That is why Jesus says we must humble ourselves and become like little children.

How can a grown man become like a little child? Men are just little boys, and women like little girls who have just gotten big! - Anonymous

Testimony #2 – Peter Jackson, Canada
Through the window of His eyes, I saw into His heart. With one look, He communicated that He loved me with his whole heart. He wasn't measuring me by my works to see if my works deserved His love, He loved me regardless of my works. He could see right through me, into my heart. He knew me completely: present, past and future and still loved me. He knew my weaknesses, my failings and my sin. He knew how many times I had made promises only to break them. Yet that had not diminished even a tiny bit of His love.
My worth to Him was not determined by anything I had done in the past or will do in the future. It was solely determined by what Jesus did for me on the cross two thousand years ago. He has always loved me and always will. I knew that I would never be able to add to that value by what I do. I received in that moment a gift of God's grace, the gift of sonship. I knew now that I had the same value that Jesus has to the Father and knew the meaning of Romans 8:15 … but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'
It was like the day that I became a Christian. I laughed and cried at the same time realizing that God, my Father loved me with an unconditional, everlasting love. For the first time, I felt true honor. I was already secure in the love of Jesus, but now I know that I am secure in the love of the Father as well.

Believe today that you are a cherished Son of the family of God first, a servant a distant second. Church and Heaven are a place of Total Acceptance. Everyday you should be getting up in the morning and your first thought is knowing you are loved and accepted by the Father God.

His heart is that we would run to Him in every moment of crises, every moment of success, every moment of temptation, and every moment of suffering. God is saying to all of us ‘come home’. Where is home? Anywhere He is…

** Check out http://www.fatherheartunlimited.com/ (click on newsletters) **

26 September 2011

Waiting and Trusting in God

We live in a hyper fast paced society where no one likes waiting in lines or being told to trust in what we can’t control…

Our culture demands everything right now, from fast food, express check-outs, to 2 minute noodles. Companies spend millions of dollars every year on improving the speed of service so as not to keep the customer waiting more than necessary.

In America, it is standard practice that cars waiting in drive thru at McDonald’s beep their horn if they have waited longer than 20 seconds! Waiting and Trusting in God is therefore not surprisingly difficult for most of us…

Psalm 20:7-8 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

However, God is never in a rush. He is always patient. He doesn’t run on our time table of anxieties and worries. For Him a thousand years is just a day (2 Peter 3:8). For us, time is the greatest testing ground for faith.

Waiting and Trusting in God is an essential part of our Faith. God doesn’t work with ‘microwave blessing’ formulas. He desires for us to wait on Him and in His good timing to come to pass.

1) Trusting – Faith, hope and dependence on His plans and decisions for our life, to those who are weak, helpless or struggling, confidence in God in all our personal matters, reliance.

2) Waiting – to remain, linger, stop and pause ourselves, on His timing and promises to come to pass, expecting deliverance in an appropriate manner.

God desires for us to be patient, because He was patient on us to come to repentance and to live sold out lives for Him. Patience is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Another word for patience in the Bible is longsuffering! But it only feels this way when your eyes are on the blessing and not the blesser.

Faith would never grow if we got everything we wanted straight away. Waiting and Trusting in God is not a curse – but a blessing. Many anxieties and fears would disappear from our lives by simply waiting and trusting in God – the authour and perfecter of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Hebrews 6:12 [Do] not become spiritually dull and indifferent [lazy]. Instead you should follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their Faith and Endurance [patience].

Faith + Patience = Promises of God

For hundreds of years the ancient prophets were earnestly looking for when the Messiah would arrive and set up His Kingdom on earth. But when the right time came, God sent His son into the world… (Galatians 4:4).

Not in mans timing or circumstances, but in His – which are mysterious, best and perfect. Likewise many seek to determine when Christ will return and take us all to Heaven. Again, it will be not in mans timing or circumstances, but in His…

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Human nature hates to wait longer than necessary in life. We want fast results and quick fixes - all the time! So you can understand why we have an especially tough time waiting on God. He just doesn't seem to fit His plans into our rushed, hurried and panicked world.

When we were children, there were moments where we had to wait and trust in our parents timing– often longer than what our selfishness could stand, but hopefully more surprised by the rewards that soon came. God is exactly the same for us today.

Jesus calls us to trust Him and to let go of having to control the outcome of every situation. When we do we will have great contentment and joy, even in challenging circumstances.

To do so requires a certain emotional detachment; a conscious ‘letting go’ of wanting everything to happen our way.

All of the great men in the Bible had to wait on God’s timing for His promises and blessings to come to pass, some agonizingly long. Let’s have a look at a few…

1. David to become King over all Israel – 13 years
2. Joseph’s dream of greatness to come to pass – 13 years
3. Abraham waiting for God’s promise of his first son Isaac – 25 years
4. Jesus first miracle and to start His ministry as the Son of God – 30 years
5. Noah to build an ark and see the world flooded by water – 120 years!!!

Do you see a pattern developing here? God often gives His people a dream and then puts them through a period of waiting. Patience does miracles like no other. It stretches us, stirs us, tests us and proves us.

All of these great men had to learn to trust God. Truth lasts the test of time. The committed crowd sticks around when everyone else has walked away (Acts 2).

It is in the waiting and trusting where your real character is forged. It is in this period of uncertainty that you life takes on a whole new dimension. You learn how to trust God and depend on Him. And you learn what’s important and what’s not important.

Trust is a choice that depends on God, the alternative to worry that depends on self. To choose to trust does not mean we don't care, but that we place our cares in the hands of the One who cares for us most.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up…

30 August 2011


The Christian Faith has many meanings, ideas and interpretations these days...

I believe Faith is not so much a belief system as much as it is a lifestyle. Many people have ‘Faith’ but live a lifestyle totally against what they believe. Faith without works [direct and positive corresponding actions] is dead! (James 2:26)

Faith is a deeply personal journey all believers are to perfect. And God is committed to that for sure, for He is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Faith is believing in an unseen but huge God who can do anything. Faith is the key that turns the door for the breakthrough to happen. It is much more than Salvation… it is what gets us through the difficulties of life and gives us access to the miraculous!
Hebrews 11:1; 6 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see … it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Faith is complete dependence in the goodness and character of God. That He loves us and all things work together for our good at the end of the day. Not that all things are good, but that He can turn everything around and make all things new.

Faith is speaking what is currently not, into existence. It is an inner conviction that you know something will happen supernaturally that hasn’t already taken place. It is getting a word from God, standing on it, taking it to the bank and cashing it in! God doesn’t move by needs or wants – He moves by genuine, authentic FAITH!

Faith has legs… faith speaks… faith believes in the impossible… faith has vision... faith never gives up - Ps Phil Pringle

According to your faith, let it be…

Life is simply a journey of trusting in God and growing in Faith in His miraculous power. Are we willing to trust Him, are we willing to let go of what we hold so tightly too? Can we surrender every area of our life to His good purposes…for life?? This is the highest level of Faith we can attain.

Matthew 9:27-30
After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?” “Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” Then their eyes were opened, and they could see!

Simply put, Faith is essentially in walking with God. It is everything to Him. It pleases Him greatly as it is saying ‘I trust you God with all that I am, and I believe anything your Word promises can come to pass!’ We need to believe that God is bigger than our mountains, any troubles that come our way, and anything that the enemy can throw at us.

God can allow a number of events to take place in our life in order for our Faith to fully grow, develop and mature. Like a seed sown in good soil, the DNA of the seed is for the tree to grow into a GIANT tree, bearing much fruit, 30, 60 and 100 times what was planted. This is the Christians life from start to finish…

Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The Three Levels of Faith (by Kevin Loo)
1. Human Faith
- Hebrews 10:35 - Confidence in your Faith has great reward
- Confidence is an attitude. It comes from knowledge and what we believe about ourselves
- Faith is a law: It has substance and it is tangible. It can be seen, heard and experienced.
- Faith is the hand which takes what God offers, the ‘spiritual organ’ of appropriation!

2. Daily Faith - Hebrews 10:38 - The Just shall live by Faith
- Faith is a sense of knowing, a sense of believing that causes us to take action.
- Faith is a process and a spiritual work in progress: It equips us to take courage, think beyond the natural, live sacrificially for Christ, and take God at His Word.

3. Reckless Faith - 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 - Spiritual gifts comes from Faith
- God gives faith for a specific purpose or task. We have the faith of God. Supernaturally and for the moment the natural laws do not exist. Peter steps out of the boat and walks on the water towards Jesus (Matt 14:28-29).
- Jesus gave Peter an opportunity to obey by faith, his command to do something seemingly impossible. Peter's faith responds to Jesus' command and the supernatural law of faith suspends the natural laws of gravity and he walks on water!! Jesus is saying ‘Peter if you have faith, I will support you in things you can’t dare to imagine… even supernaturally.’

Matthew 17:20 Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible’.

So, what's your Faith look like...? I believe that if you really stepped out of your boat, nothing would be impossible in your life today!

27 July 2011

Repentance: More than you think

Repentance may not be our most favourite topic, but it is in fact an essential one that every person needs to firmly understand…

Sin is a serious matter and has many consequences. It is failure to live up to God’s standards of righteous living, and separates us from Him and His goodness. It smears the image of God within us and sends us down a path of destruction.

To live a lifestyle of sin believing you’ll never get caught is to live in deception. Scripture warns: Be sure your sin will find you out (Josh. 7:19).

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

As Christians, repentance is a topic we need to talk about. Repentance is not just a one off event at salvation, but a lifestyle throughout all seasons of life. A man can never change until he admits he is wrong and needs help.

All of us will experience days of private and public failure – either accidently, unintentionally or willfully. Sin is a choice we must take personal responsibility for. Through our own sinful behaviour we make our own major contributions to life’s pain and misery.

Matthew 5:29-30 So if your eye causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away … And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell…

Jesus gave us a strong analogy about the need to remove all sin from our lives. This is because all sin must be destroyed to a Holy God. It affects not just ourselves but all of our relationships. In the Bible there are tragic stories of entire families, tribes and nations who were destroyed because of an individual’s sin and wickedness.

Psalms 51:1; 4 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions … Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak & justified when you judge

However, despite all this, we serve a gracious God whose mercy is new every day, and abundant in forgiveness. This is only available to us through the POWER of personal repentance.

All sin is best described as a fist… and its object is the face of God - Anonymous

“Repent… the Kingdom of God is near!”

Mark 1:14-15 Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come”, he said. “The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Jesus did not come from Heaven to Earth so that we stop a few bad habits. It is no surprise that at the start of Jesus’, John the Baptist's, Peter’s and Paul’s ministries, they all began with preaching repentance. Sin has separated all people from a Holy God and only when we repent from sinning, can we have our relationship restored.

Repentance comes from our conscience which tells us we have done wrong and failed in our personal morals and beliefs. Because of our sinful nature, repentance is often the hardest command for any man to perform. Put simply: It is taking sides with God against yourself! This does not come easily. It tests the power of the will more than anything else. But it is possible…

We must first clear up a few misunderstandings of what repentance is not. The following are words that we often mistake with repentance:

1) Disappointment - An uneasy feeling or pang of conscience as to conduct;
2) Guilt - A sudden feeling of apprehensive uneasiness, sincere remorse;
3) Apology - Sorrow and anger for one’s personal sin, even with a desire to change;
4) Remorse - Deep and painful feelings for wrongdoing, tears and sadness;
5) Regret - The state of being regretful for one's wrongdoing, moral anguish and bitter regret.

As you can see, all of those are in no way repenting – stopping the behaviour and leaving it for good. These are all ‘feelings’ which can eventually lead to ‘a place’ of repentance. Repentance is far greater than saying sorry or feeling guilty. Saying sorry is simply being caught, feeling bad, admitting you have done wrong, saying you have a desire to change - but not truly repent of your behaviour…

Repentance: Not for the wimpy but the Courageous!

1 Peter 4:4 Of course, your former friends are [very] surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you

Repentance can cost us friends, our finances, comfort, convenience, lifestyle habits and more. But it is to choose the narrow path of eternal life over the wide path of destruction. When Jesus gave His message of repentance, He was loud and clear – repent or perish (Luke 13:5).

Sin is a great thief and steals especially our peace, joy, confidence and faith. Sin stains our inner condition and ruins our character. It destroys all the good within us and we become degenerate after years of sinful behaviour, leading to ‘total depravity’ – beyond help.

The word of God is a mirror and shows us our true condition. God reveals His standards of living which are good, pleasing and perfect ways leading to Heaven. Anything less is not from God and is a lie of the enemy.
For every sin you commit is a lie you first believed. Sin is by nature deceiving and an evil master. It is not a friend but a constant enemy that seeks to destroy your life. Even celebrities are not immune to the devastating power of sin, which can soon get out of control and destroy our lives and reputations forever...

Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses … I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

Repentance: The True Definition

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you

True repentance is separation, departure and a complete 180 degree turn in the opposite direction of one’s sinful ways. It is to change one’s mind, will and heart, to think differently or reconsider one’s ways. Repentance is not a feeling, it is an action.

True repentance is saying “You are right God and I am wrong. Help me to change and give me a new heart and mind to overcome this area in my life… Forever.” True repentance is that you are never the same again.

In all truth, we have not truly repented until we have stopped sinning in a particular area for good. A good indication of repentance is godly sorrow of evil behaviour that results in a changed life. By submitting yourself to God’s Lordship and complete control over every area of your life, you are showing repentance, the actual stopping of the sin. Let’s now look at the six essential steps to repentance:

1) Confess – to others and God
2) Repent – speak out and make a decision to stop
3) Trust in God – Believe God is BIGGER!
4) Reject False Guilt – No condemnation
5) Rebuke the devil – Bind, rebuke, and expose the enemy
6) Restitution – Apologise, pay back, return stolen goods

By repenting of sins now means we won't have to deal with them later when they are out of control and destroying our lives. Break the chains of anything that is holding you back in life. It might just save your life one day...

Final Thoughts

Galatians 6:24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires

There is always another level of surrender, confession and repentance we can go. There is great power in confession and repentance. Accountability shines light in the darkness and reduces its stronghold over our life. Repentance says ‘NO’ to sin, the flesh and wickedness and ‘YES’ to God, the Spirit and Righteousness.

Repentance is ESSENTIAL because if we deal with our personal sins now, we won’t have to deal with them in the future when it’s out of control. Repentance shows us our true condition and how far we are from a Perfect and Holy God. Finally, repentance is the doorway, Faith is the living room. Don’t stay there. Deal with it and move on into everything God has called you to be!

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise … but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance

26 June 2011

Obtaining Your Promised Land

God’s plan for you is greater than what you and I could ever imagine…

Make no mistake: you have a Promised Land with your name on it. Never settle for anything less than the plans of God for your life (Jer. 29:11-13).

God is the Dreamer who assigns us the dreams of our hearts. Often our personality, passions and desires get in the way, but God loves the challenge of bringing the unruly into the image of Christ.

Every human being has a divine destiny and Promised Land for their life. All of us have special talents, gifts, skills and strengths that God has given us to best serve Him and His good purposes.

Once we accept Christ into our life, we are connected to the God of our Destiny in life. Your Promised Land will in some way build the Kingdom of God – the ultimate Promised Land in Heaven.

In theory, it is better than what you could ever dream of. In reality, it’s going to take a lot of hard work, sacrifices, warfare and a huge personal cost to get there. However, there are a few key steps that will help you get there faster…

Coming out of Egypt

Exodus 12:36 And the Lord had given the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

Egypt is a type of the world with all its temptations and sin. Our society today is just like Egypt was to the children of Israel. Although not a physical location it is whatever we give our heart and loyalty too – the world, money, idols, the flesh or God.

Where they were slaves under Pharaoh, we are in slavery to the evil taskmaster of sin. Just as Moses was the redeemer of Israel, Jesus is our ultimate Redeemer and Saviour. He calls us to crucify the sinful nature and live in the freedom of the Spirit (Gal. 6:24).

Scripture adds that there were some believing Egyptians and other nationalities that went with them, drawn to the real God of miracles (Exo. 12:38). We are to bring others with us out of the worlds system and ways of thinking and bring them into our Promised Land!

The land of Canaan was a land flowing with milk and honey – a place of abundance, wealth and prosperity! So what does your personal Promised Land look like exactly? Imagine: your highest potential, greatest success, favour with men and God, prosperity and abundance, blessed when you walk in and blessed when you walk out. You’re the head and not the tail in life and everything you touch turns to gold…

“These things happened as a warning to us…”

1 Corinthians 10:11-12 MSG These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don't repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else.

The children of Israel are symbolic of God’s people today. No generation in history saw the most signs and miracles of God’s power and deliverance first hand. God was Faithful again and again despite their selfishness for wanting their old life back in Egypt.

The distance from Egypt to the Promised Land would have only taken 10 days. So why did it take 40 years and a new generation for them to get there? A lifestyle of disobedience, lack of faith, complaining and rebellion disqualified them of their Promised Land. They chose fear instead of Faith, worry instead of Trust, sin over Holiness.

Today, too many Christians live in a 40/10 lifestyle – 40 years to achieve your dreams in what could have taken 10 days. Some think it's burdensome and difficult to live a good Christian life, and that obedience is a hard taskmaster. Actually, the opposite is true! Disobedience is the hard taskmaster - all of our problems usually come from not obeying God.

All of their mistakes and failures Paul writes, happened as a warning to us today. Let us take careful notice not to repeat their costly mistakes and failing to enter into their destiny...

Take the Promised Land!

Deuteronomy 1:8 See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.

When the children of Israel were ready to enter the Promised Land, it was a new and different generation. They were bold, prepared, and courageous to take what God had already given them. However, they could not just walk in and take it – they had to fight for it. Under their new leader Joshua, they had Faith that their God was bigger than the giants dwelling in the land.

Steps to Getting to your Promised Land:
1) Be Thankful
2) Obey Godly Leaders
3) Moving where God leads you
4) No Complaining
5) Obedience to God
6) Have Faith

Habakkuk 3:19 The Lord is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.

God’s Promises are certain and always sure – it’s up to us though to take them and fully utilise our abilities and talents that He has given us. God has allowed us to figure stuff out, work through problems, be creative and amazing minds for a reason – to grow in Faith, in character and strength in all areas (wisdom, confidence, patience, experience etc.)

Don’t spend 40 years walking around the wilderness… be Faithful with what’s in your hands and step towards your Promised Land today!

29 May 2011

The Foolishness of the Gospel

1 Corinthians 1:18-19 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate’.

Some of the most important questions the Christian must ask themselves is: What is the background and significance of the Cross? What are the implications of the Cross on the Gospel preached? And most importantly, how does the Cross impact the Christians life?

What few fail to realise is that God was the Author of the Cross. It was His doing from beginning to end. His intention from start to finish. Every detail, every moment, every nail…into the flesh and nerves of His beloved Son. This is the price that had to be paid for mankind to be set free from the punishment required to be satisfied. The Righteous for the Unrighteous. The Innocent for the Guilty. People like you and me…

It does not take long for the casual observer to figure out that God’s method of Salvation is a rather challenging one to accept. One of the most difficult beliefs for people is that the Cross is the centre of the Gospel and God’s method of Salvation to mankind. The paradox that Jesus’ hideous sacrifice brought our redemption and reconciliation to a Holy God.

1 Corinthians 1:20-21 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

In all honesty it takes a brave and courageous person to believe, live and stand for the theology of the Cross. After overcoming all doubts, there are many important lessons the Cross has to teach the true believer. It is my belief that we need to get Back to the Cross – everything about what it means to live as Christ did. To become anything less is to reduce His work on the Cross altogether…

It is one thing to wear a cross around your neck … another to pick up and carry your cross daily - Jentezen Franklin

Take up your Cross??

Luke 9:23 AMP And [Jesus said to the crowds], If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].

The 21st Century views today of ‘take up your cross’ do not even closely reflect the original views of the people in Jesus time. To take up your cross meant to live in such a way for Jesus cause that at the very most you were prepared to die by crucifixion - a hideous form of death later abolished by Roman rule.

For a follower of Christ to say that they worship a God whose leader died in this way was considered understandably foolishness, offensive, moronic and idiocy. Common responses to this admission included abuse, violence, slander and every form of persecution imaginable.

What we must understand though is that Jesus did not deserve this hideously and detestable form of death. It was not His crimes but your crimes that He died in this way. The price of Sin is so high in God’s eyes, that it deserves nothing less than this form of punishment.

Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

This gives new meaning to Jesus words of taking up your Cross. Jesus told all who choose to follow Him in no uncertain terms, that that they must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him. Anything less is superficial faith and hypocrisy. Anything of value must have a personal cost to it. As ambassadors of Christ we represent an absent king, conducting ourselves in a way that imitates our master. Let’s have a look at what this means in its fullness:

1) Deny yourself - Crucify the sinful nature with its passions and desires and walk in the Spirit
2) Take up your cross - Prepared and armed to suffer for Him and His cause
3) Follow me - Ready and willing to follow His leading wherever

Become a Fool to Become Wise

1 Corinthians 3:18-20 If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.” And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.

The wisdom of this world makes evil look good. The wisdom of this world makes people 'God'. The wisdom of this world rejects Jesus and makes Him a subject of mockery. And the wisdom of this world denies God's Goodness - even His existence!

Despite the general revelation of His works in the earth, the world still did not know God or worship Him appropriately. The wisdom of this world can never know God or His ways. He has silenced the world’s wisdom as foolishness by His method of Salvation by the Cross.

The people of the world, particularly the philosophers of this age, through their wisdom and united investigations, denied His existence or misrepresented Him under an evil being. They knew Him not so as to glorify Him as God, or to worship Him in a right way and manner...

God’s ways are so much higher and better than our ways, that we must accept the fact that we need to become fools in order to be wise enough to relate to God. It is only by accepting the foolishness of the Gospel that one can be themselves accepted by God.

Let him who boast, boast in the Lord

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

The Cross effectively stands out over every other religion and faith. Jesus earlier said that it pleased God to choose this form of salvation, that only the humble and childlike would accept it (Luke10:21). Why? So that no one may boast before Him that they obtained Salvation by their own efforts.

The scribes and Pharisees idolised their own wisdom yet they missed the Son of God standing right in front of them. All our victories over the enemy are obtained by the power of the Cross and the Holy Spirit working inside of us. God must now have all the praise for our salvation and all that we achieve. God is pleased to reveal the hidden mysteries of Heaven to the simple and humble of heart. But let us beware of spiritual pride, which has been the destruction of many.

God could have called anyone more intelligent, more wealthier or more attractive - but He called you. Today, we are called to become living sacrifices, daily laying down our lives to live in a way that pleases God (Rom. 12:1). Through the Cross we are now overcomers and the righteousness of Christ.

Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord!

22 April 2011

The Goodness of God

Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

When you understand the character of a person, you will understand their choices and decisions in life. God is no different - when we understand His divine character and nature, we will agree and appreciate His decisions and judgements for our life as well.

God’s Goodness should be expectant and delighted in by His children. If our eyes are open, we will see His goodness follow us, chase us down, and run us over! Sometimes it is well hidden and then becomes a surprise in an unexpectant moment, to maximise our delight and joy.

Goodness can be defined as:
• Kindness, dispensing of good and wonderful gifts, compassion, helpfulness, gifts that are pleasant, lovely and enjoyable; to someone’s benefit or profit;
• God’s abundant overflow of unmerited gifts to all people, good and bad, especially His offer of Salvation by means of His Beloved Son, due to His Mercy and Grace.

The Goodness of God is the overall summation of His Divine and Perfect Character. Apart from God, we can not even begin to understand what True Goodness is, for it can not be understood apart from knowing God who alone is the Author of Goodness.

The Goodness of God is declared right from the beginning in the account of Creation. Repeatedly, God pronounces everything He created as ‘good’. Ultimately, all that originates from God can not be anything but good and wonderful: And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good (Gen 1:31).

The Nature of God is to Show Goodness

Psalms 31:19 How great is Your Goodness! You have stored it up for those who fear you. You do good things for those who trust you. You do this for all to see.

The Goodness of God is a foundational truth that shapes our perspective toward God and His dealings with us. God is good to all men in His common grace, showering blessings on the wicked and the righteous alike. More importantly, God is particularly good to those who believe and obey Him completely.

The Gospel is Good News because we serve a Good God. Everywhere in the Bible it declares the Goodness God. It is Great (Neh 9:35), Rich (Ps 104:24), Abundant (Ex 34:6) and Universal (Ps 145:9). Specifically, it is given to those who Fear Him (Ps 31:19), His people (Ps 119:68), and the forgiving of sins (Ps 86:5). God alone is good - in comparison, no man is good apart from Him.

Psalms 107:1; 8-9 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endures forever... Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and His wonderful works to the children of men. For He satisfies the hungry soul with goodness…

The Bible tells us the truth that mankind is a sinner, deserving God’s eternal wrath (Rom 1:18-3:23). But God in His mercy and grace has made possible one way by which men may escape judgment, and in His Goodness we can spend eternity in His presence.

Goodness comes naturally to God. He is always good - He does not have to work at it. His goodness is made visible in what He does for His people. His Goodness keeps us from harm, provides our needs, and leads us on paths of peace and rest. God's goodness is not just a theological fact but it is something that can be personally experienced.

God’s greatest demonstration of His goodness was sending His only Son to die on a Cross in our place of condemnation (John 3:5-18; Rom 5:6-8). Out of this goodness He gives each man the choice to either accept or reject His Son.

After all, He is too good to force a decision on anyone’s free will. To deny His Son is to therefore deny His Greatest act of Eternal Goodness.

The Goodness of God Leads to Repentance

Romans 2:4do you not know that God’s kindness [goodness towards you] is intended to lead you to repentance?

It is likely that the Goodness of God has lead you and me to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. The Bible shows us that it is the Goodness of God that leads one to repentance. People do not respond to repentance by threats of Hell or judgement.

People respond to God by His Goodness and Kindness. Fear of punishment wears off after a while. Yet goodness can last a lifetime. Most people turn to God, not because of fear of punishment, but because they find out that He is the only solution to their problems.

However, some believers seem to think that once they are saved that God for some reason withdraws His goodness! They think He puts us through tragedy, sickness, pain, poverty, temptations and a multitude of trials to discipline us. Such thinking is only lies from the enemy. Once we have come into the Kingdom of God He does not give us less of His goodness. He bestows upon us more and more, though in our busyness we may not see them.

There is such an absolute perfection in God’s nature and being that nothing is wanting to it or defective in it and nothing can be added to it to make it better. He is originally good, good of Himself, which nothing else is; for all creatures are good only by participation and communication from God... – Unknown

Final Thoughts

The Goodness of God is a life-transforming revelation. His Goodness is a character trait which applies to every other one of His attributes. We must believe with all certainty and have no doubt that our God is a Good God in every way. Because He is Perfect, all His ways are Perfect.

We must take this truth of God’s goodness one more step. This means that God’s wrath is good. God’s holiness is good. God’s judgement is good. There is nothing about God that is not good. There is nothing God purposes for His children that is not good.

This means He withholds nothing good from us, even trials, pain and suffering which is at work in our lives for our good (Rom 8:28). Ultimately, nothing which God creates or accomplishes, He can never be not good – ever.

James 1:17 Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.

If the tables were turned and you were God, would you be so willing to show goodness to your creation who had rebelled against you? Yet God in His greatness is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8), and He causes the sun to rise on the good and evil, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt 5:45).

Our only response to this Good God is - surely His goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever (Psalm 23:6)

24 March 2011

The Love of God

The word ‘Love’ is used for everything and anything these days...

We love our food, we love our favourite TV shows and we sometimes love our family and friends. The world believes love is whatever makes us feel good and happy, willing to use and abuse people in order to achieve ‘love’. However, the deciding factor of Love is this – selfishness centered or selflessness centered.

1 John 4:7-8 Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Apart from God, we can not even begin to understand what True Love is. According to John, God is the author and complete expression of Love (1 John 4:8; 16). When we truly know God and His unconditional Love, we can really love others just as He loves us.

For God to acknowledge He is Love is to admit that He is warm, friendly, affectionate and desires intimacy and relationship. It is a strange but beautiful idea. That God is free to share His identity, to be emotionally identified with fallen man. Furthermore, despite being all sufficient, He desires our love and will not be satisfied until He gets it – AW Tozer

Because God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8), His Love is unchanging and Eternal, for that would require Him to change.

Romans 5:7-8 Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die. But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Even if you don’t believe in God, He still loves you.
Even if you choose never to accept Him, He still loves you.
And even when you are a 1,000 miles away and live in rebellion, He still loves you.

In all honesty, there is absolutely no reason why a Perfect, Good and Holy God should love us. We knowingly disobey His commands and ways almost every day. There is no rational reason God loves us; He loves us… just because He does.

The Nature of God is to Show Love

1 John 4:9-12 This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

The Love of God is a mystery in every way, transcending all understanding of human wisdom, logic, rationale and thinking. Furthermore, it supercedes and triumphs over all sin, evil and wickedness - overlooking a persons past and instead looking at the individual’s potential good.

Scripture clearly speaks of God’s most striking manifestation of His love, not with gifts and presents, but by the death of Christ on a Cross. God has exhibited the greatness of His love with the death of His only Son in our place of punishment.

God’s Love is expressed greatest by giving mankind a second chance to be redeemed from eternal death. While we were His enemies, (being dead, wicked and guilty), Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).

Christ died for sinners who were guilty and hateful; such that their everlasting destruction would be to the glory of God’s justice and holiness. However, in His great mercy Christ died to save us, from this eternal terror. While our character and condition loved our sin, committed it daily, and were slaves to it; with many being the chief and vilest of sinners; these were the ones Christ willingly died for.

1 John 4:16-17 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

God designed to deliver us from sin and to work a great change in us – to be dead to sin and alive to Christ! (Rom 6:11) For God to love the sinner, the sinner to despise and hate the God, and for that God to die for them… is truly one of the greatest of all mysteries.

For a righteous man to die in place of the unrighteous for no other reason but out of God’s Sovereign Will and Love? We will have all of eternity to adore and wonder at its reality for us individually…

God’s Great Love for His People

Ephesians 3:17-19 [Be] rooted and grounded in love, [so that you] may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – [which is] to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge…

When Paul wrote to the Ephesian church, he desired to express in the strongest sense of the greatness of the love of God in the most emphatic manner possible. He wished that his readers would stop and meditate on this great and marvelous wonder, which comprehends all that is above, below, the past and the future:

1) Breadth – all over the world
2) Length – to all people with the eternal message of the Gospel of Christ
3) Depth – reaches to the lowest fallen people
4) Height – reaches to the infinite heights to the throne of Christ

John 3:16-17 For God loved [Your Name] so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that if [Your Name] would believe in Him, he will not perish but [Your Name] will have Eternal Life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.

God’s love indicates that it is unconditional, selfless, sacrificial, extravagant, all comprehensive, ‘your needs at my expense’ approach. It also explains many of life’s questions, including:

1) Why God creates – because He created people to love Him
2) Why God cares – we are made in His image and we need His help
3) Why we have free will – God wants a loving response from us, to accept/reject His love
4) Why Christ died – God’s love caused Him to offer a solution to the problem of sin which separated us from His Love
5) Why there is Eternal Life – God’s love fully expresses itself to us forever, it never ends!!

Final Thoughts

God’s love is the theme of the Bible - from Genesis to Revelation. Scripture declares that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We can therefore trust that His love is constant and eternal. That it never changes, never stops, never runs out, never grows weary…but is always available, renewed and abundant - every day. Let heaven and earth stand amazed at His love which lasts forever.

In Summary: He Loves you because He Loves you… because He Loves you… because He Loves you… because He Loves you… because He Loves you… because He Loves youbecause He Loves you… because He Loves you… Because THAT IS WHO HE IS…

Be encouraged – You were made for Love. You were created for His Love. To be affectionately Loved by Him alone. His Love for you makes you valuable, precious and worthy, regardless of anything you do, good or bad. Certainly, if there is Amazing Grace, this is Amazing Love.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

24 February 2011

His Mercies Are New Every Day...

Have you ever been in a situation where you really messed up to the point where you thought you’d blown it forever?

Perhaps you betrayed a close friend, made a harsh comment publicly, or failed morally in private? However, what did it feel like to get another chance? When you are forgiven and the slate became clean?

This is the character and heart of God’s mercy - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every moment we breathe His mercies are new with every day (Lam 3:23). The tender mercies or compassions of God fail not; they are ever new, always fresh, constant and perpetual, which are daily renewed.

Psalms 86:5; 15 For You, LORD, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You … [Certainly] you are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

Definition of Mercy

Mercy is defined as ‘the kind, compassionate treatment of an offender, adversary, prisoner in one’s power; compassion where severity is expected, or deserved’. Among its synonyms are leniency, forgiveness, kindness and tolerance.

The primary idea behind mercy is rendering a kindness when harshness or condemnation is expected or even deserved. A merciful person looks beyond the present state of affairs to the potential good that may result from his compassionate handling of the matter. He is willing to forget the other’s punishment or his own desire for revenge in an attempt to produce good fruit from a bad situation.

Jesus Christ, coming down from Heaven and dying on a Cross for a sinful humanity, is the personification and complete representation of the Mercy of God...

The Nature of God is to be Merciful

Matthew 9:12-13 Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

Jesus shared the mercy of God and was great at giving mercy. In saying that He desires mercy and not sacrifice, Jesus is teaching that He prefers it when people practice mercy and not blindly follow ritual.

He is not condemning the laws of sacrifice He set up for Israel to practice until He fulfilled them, but explaining that He is more pleased with acts of forgiveness and kindness than strict external compliance to the law.

Romans 3:23-25 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance (mercy) God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.

The honest truth is we don’t deserve His mercy. We can do nothing to earn it - in fact we are guilty of separation and condemnation forever when we knowingly disobey His ways which are good and perfect. It is only His mercy which is new everyday day that we do not receive what we should get. If it wasn’t for God’s Mercy, no one could be saved…

Mercy Conquers All

James 2:12-13 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Just as Jesus was merciful to us, we are to follow in His steps and show mercy in our everyday judgements (1 Peter 2:21).

When we show pity, compassion, and kindness to those in difficult straits, we are practicing the merciful attitude that God expects each of His children to exhibit at all times. Although He does not want us to be so soft-hearted that we become an easy mark for those who would take advantage of us, but He does want us to develop a keen sense of discernment that realises when mercy is a better option than the strict application of rules.

Of course each of us would lend a helping hand to another who was in physical need, but what about providing the need of mercy in a heated moment in time?

Psalms 37:21 The righteous shows mercy and gives mercy…

His mercies never come to an end: He doesn’t ration His mercy, as though it were in short supply. He doesn’t say "I can only forgive you for 10,000 sins…once you reach 10,001 you’re out of luck!" His mercy is unlimited; it never comes to an end. For where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more (Rom 5:20).

Don’t ever think that you’ve crossed the line and can’t be forgiven anymore. Don’t ever think that you’ve reached a point where God can’t use you anymore. Don’t ever think that you’ve gone too far and separated yourself from God’s mercy.

Because as long as you have breath in your lungs, you are forgivable and redeemable. Our physical death is the only dividing line between God’s eternal mercy and His eternal condemnation. Who can you show mercy to today?

Ephesians 2:4-6 But God is so rich in mercy, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favour that you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with Him in the Heavenly realms – all because we are one with Christ Jesus.

29 January 2011

‘They Will Soar on Wings of Eagles…’

Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint...

God’s purpose for your life and future is to soar like eagles…

Eagles are distinct from most birds in the world. They are the kings of the skies and strike terror in the hearts of their prey. In the sky they soar effortlessly, with views of hundreds of kilometers in all directions naked before them.

When they swoop to kill they have planned every possible alternative to the preys move. They screech before the attack to hypnotise the unfortunate victim.

It is a common and popular opinion that the eagle lives and retains his vigour to a great age of 100 years. And that beyond other birds, he moults in his old age and renews his feathers, and with them his youth and strength.

Eagles can soar for hours on end, for most of their lifetime. They are invincible, powerful, efficient and marvelous species of every definition of the word

How very fitting that those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength and mount up with wings like eagles...

Exodus 19:4 You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself…

Greatness = Unlimited Potential

There’s no question about it. You were created for GREATNESS and the impossible to come to pass. Because you are made in the image of God, you have the powers of God when tapped into and when you are obedient to His calling.

Scientists say that we only use 10% of the full potential of the human brain. Imagine the possibilities if we tapped into God and used 50%...75%....90%?

You are fearfully and wonderfully made by an incredible Creator. Why would God go to so much trouble to give us a body, IQ, heart, brain, emotions, eyes, hands and feet, only for us to struggle and fail in life?

You were created for Greatness, Victory, Triumph, Success and Complete Purpose it life. For God's plans for your life are amazing, to prosper you - exceedingly and abundantly above all that you could possibly ask or think!

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship),recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Those Who Wait Upon the Lord…

To wait upon God does not imply inactivity – it is an active waiting for His help, to trust in Him, to put our confidence in His Faithfulness and character.

God is to be waited upon for the manifestations of Himself, who sometimes hides Himself, but is to be waited for. Since He has his set time to show Himself again, His presence is worth waiting for…

He will help those who humbly depend on Him. They shall run the way of God's commandments cheerfully. Let us watch against unbelief, pride, and self-confidence. If we go forth in our own strength, we shall faint and utterly fall.

But having our hearts and our hopes in Heaven, we shall be carried above all difficulties, and be enabled to lay hold of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus – which is to know Him intimately (Philippians 3:10).