The Holy Spirit – Part One


Join our Pastor Ray as he shares about the dynamic of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Video

Session 1

Welcome to The Holy Spirit sessions.

Over the years, there have been many different interpretations of the Holy Spirit. Some of these have been based on a certain individuals understanding and some handed down from organizations doctrines.

For us today, misunderstood interpretations, have sadly resulted in some negativity, confusion and fear when it comes to finding out more about the Holy Spirit.

Please join me over the next few sessions where we will unpack some scripture and prayerfully the Lord will guide us into the simplicity of the Holy Spirit.

In this week’s session we are going to be introduced to the Holy Spirit.

WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godly Trinity.  First, there is God the Father, then Jesus the Son, and the third member is the Holy Spirit Matt.28:19; 1 John 5:7 KJV.

God created the world, and because of Adam & Eve’s disobedience, Jesus came to earth to restore us, the sons of Adam and Eve, from our sinful condition.  We know by now that this was necessary because our nature just wants to sin all the time, and anyone who sins, spiritually dies Rom 6:23 and can’t get to heaven.

HOW ARE WE MADE UP?

Mankind is made up of three main parts 1 Thes.5:23. Let’s look at this simple diagram:

Our Body – Firstly, we have our physical body – 1 Cor. tells us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit 1Cor.6:19.

Our Spirit – Then, is the spirit of Man – and Please note here: this is not the Spirit of God. These scriptures clearly confirm… Prov.20 “…the spirit of man is the lamp…” Prov.20:27; Prov.18 “…the spirit of Man can…” Prov.18:14; 1Cor.2 “…except the spirit of man within him…” 1Cor.2:11; and 2Tim  “…be with your spirit…” 2Tim.4:22.

Our Soul – Thirdly, is the soul, the place of our will, emotion and intellect – “…He restores my soul..” says Ps. 23 and Ps. 116:8 “…for you have rescued my soul from death…”. God is able to restore our souls.

THE HOLY SPIRIT – OUR PROMISE OF HELP

When Jesus left the earth, after completing His work here, He promised to send someone to help us in His (physical) absence.  In Acts 1, He promises that we will be “baptized with the Holy Spirit”. He goes on to say that the Holy Spirit will give us the power to be His witnesses (which is another way of saying that we will be duplicates of Him) “to the uttermost parts of the earth” Acts 1:5, 8.

Jesus said that it would be best for us that He goes away, because if He didn’t, the comforter (or the Holy Spirit), won’t come…” John 16:7.

He refers to the day when the Holy Spirit comes to us and makes us one with our Lord, when He says in John 16:26 ” …in that day you will ask in My name…” – IN THAT DAY.

HE CONVICTS US OF SIN AND GOD’S FORGIVENESS

We know that Jesus kept His promise and in Acts 2 we see the Holy Spirit did duly come, at first in the form of tongues of fire upon the heads of the Disciples Acts 2:1-4.  There is also something quite meaningful here; the first evidence of the Holy Spirit’s arrival was not only the tongues of the fire on their heads but the fact that the people spoke, “…with other tongues…”.

Please bear this in mind as we continue into future sessions. 

What would be the purpose of Jesus sending the Holy Spirit?  The living bible describes the answer in John 16:8: “…and when He comes He will convince the world of its sin, the availability of God’s goodness and of deliverance from judgment.” (John 16:8).  Verse 13 adds that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth Jn.16:13.

SIGHT IS NOT ENOUGH – WE MUST ENTER

As a new Christian, Matt.16 shows us that the first thing that the Holy Spirit did for us, was to convince us of our sinful condition and our need for change Matt.16:17. This is called receiving sight through being ‘born again’ John 3:3.  But we can’t stop here, for sight of a place is only the beginning.  Having seen that place, we must now enter into it John 3:5.

Entry into the Kingdom of God simply means that we understand that our old sinful nature was taken away on the cross with Jesus. We then start seeing the holiness of God and we begin the journey of becoming Holy just like Him.  To become holy, we have to have a complete reconditioning of our minds.

Let’s just recap here:

The Holy Spirit has come to show us our sinful nature and the need to change.                                                

The Holy Spirit shows us the need to be holy as Jesus was holy.

And…

The Holy Spirit begins to help us on this journey.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN

You may ask, “How does this all physically happen?”  Quite simple really.  At the point where we begin to see our sinfulness, we’ve become born again – the Holy Spirit has come to live inside us.  Seeing our sinfulness and wanting to be holy, are two of the many things that we now become aware of, as He takes up residence within .  Our minds start to become renewed and new actions follow – day by day. I’d like to encourage us all to read Romans 8 verses 8-17 this coming week, as our time is limited on this video.

The scripture in Gal 5 shows us that as the renewal process begins, we start to display the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, and Faithfulness Gal 5:22-24. Another way of describing the fruit of the Spirit is what happens to us when the Holy Spirit comes to stay inside us. Let’s have a look at this diagram: (Fig.2).

Notice here that the fruit (and that’s singular – not Fruits), the fruit of the Spirit, are all together as one – in other words we can’t have one without the other. This is shown on the outside green ring of the picture. The gifts He allows us to use, on the other hand, are plural not singular, and maybe used as and when the Lord allows, for His glory and for the benefit of the body of Christ.

HE GIVES US GIFTS

However, the fruit of the spirit is not all we receive. We see from Acts 2 that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God Acts 2:38.  Once He lives in us, as we see in 1 Cor., He himself will give us gifts (and this is plural – not gift). These for the glory of God and helping the body of Christ 1Cor.12:7.  We will speak at length on these gifts in later sessions, but for the moment we will see ourselves in the position of the early Disciples, who when the Spirit came upon them, ‘spoke in other tongues’.

Let’s just repeat : –

The Holy Spirit comes to live in us and this is a gift from God. 

The fruit (which is singular), of His Spirit begins to grow in us

When He lives in us, He too gives us gifts (now plural not singular) (1 Cor.12:1).

HOW MANY GIFTS CAN I HAVE?

How many of these gifts can we have?  Quite simply, as many as we desire!! 

Is there anything that will stop us from using these gifts?  Yes, there certainly are. There are at least three conditions that will hamper our use of the gifts.

WHAT WILL HINDER MY USE OF THE GIFTS?

Firstly, if we have any unforgiveness in our hearts, it needs to be prayed out. Look at John 20: “Then he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are unforgiven’ John 20:22-23. We can look at Matt.6:15 and Mark 11:25-26 for further confirmation of this point.

Paul tells us in Eph.4, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice Eph.4:30-31.

Secondly, is being afraid of making fools of ourselves in front of others when we use the gifts, in other words, fear of man. Although we may not want to hear it – pride prevents us from speaking out. Pro.29 says, “The fear of man brings a snare; But those who put their trust in Jehovah shall be safe” Pro 29:25.

And lastly, unbelief will also hinder our use of the gifts. Hebrews 11 says, “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him Hebrews 11:6.

OK… let’s recap what we’ve shared this week:

  1. Who is the Holy Spirit? – The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godly trinity
  2. How are we made up? – Human kind is made up of Body, Soul and Spirit
  3. The Holy Spirit : our promise of help – Jesus said He had to leave the earth in order for the Holy Spirit to come to us
  4. He convicts us of sin and God’s forgiveness – The Holy Spirit will be our teacher
  5. Sight is not enough; we must enter – The Holy Spirit will convince us of our sinful condition and need for change
  6. How does this happen? – We need to have revelation that our old sinful nature has gone and daily be led by the Holy Spirit
  7. He gives us gifts – The Holy Spirit is a gift from God and He himself brings gifts to us – fruit of the Spirit (singular) and gifts of the spirit (plural)
  8. How many gifts can I have? – We can use as many of the gifts as we desire
  9. What will hinder my use of the gifts? – Unforgiveness, being afraid and unbelief will hinder our use of the gifts

Next week, we will go a bit deeper and explore WHEN it is that we receive the Holy Spirit, as well as answer some questions that may have concerned us ABOUT the Holy Spirit in the past.

Let’s end off this session by praying together in your group if you are in one. Through the sessions on “Let’s Look at Prayer”, hopefully by now we are all used to praying with each other and we’ve begun to hear God sharing His heart with us in the prayer time. Ask the Lord to empty your heart now as you sit and listen for the ‘still small voice’ of the Holy Spirit deep in your heart and share what you hear with the others.

Thanks so much for joining me in this first session. Until next time… the Lord bless you all.

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Rushing God’s Season


How are you and I feeling about our current circumstances? After this message, why don’t we take a moment out to take stock of what’s really happening in our lives, at this point in time. How much of it would we like to change – if we had the power to do so? And then again, I wonder how successful we would be in making the correct change.

I think of a young child who sees a packet of sweets and just wants to eat them – and eat them now! The child’s desire is for the sweets and that’s all he or she can think of – knowing how good they will taste. The little one doesn’t yet have the capacity to understand that, as they continue eating the sweets without stopping, they will be doing harm to their bodies and very soon will feel sick, because of not knowing when to stop eating. Feeling nauseous and looking back, the idea of eating the sweets won’t be so appealing after all!

This little example is so similar to how God works with us. In a sense, He sees the immaturity in our lives but has the maturity to know the absolute importance of sticking to the life plan, which He has designed for us.

A Basket Of Fruit.

In the book of Amos, God shares with Amos how He has placed before the Israelites, a basket of fruit – not any fruit – but summer fruit. It creates a picture of a lovely selection of beautifully ripe, juicy, sweet fruit. Everything good and all that they needed.

The people asked, “When will the new moon be over, so that we may sell grain, And the Sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales, So as to buy the helpless for money And the needy for a pair of sandals, And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?”

The Israelites were in a rush to get on with their lives – so focused on their business’s that they didn’t have time to see their ’basket of fruit’, or understand what God was about to bring upon them, should they not keep their focus on Him.

God was giving them their needs (in other words the fruit) – giving them a season of time – but they couldn’t see anything, other than getting back to business. Just like the child with the sweets…

God has planned our current circumstances – every single detail of them. He knows them intimately well, and even though we may not think so, it is like a basket of ‘summer fruit’ for us.

Yes, given the chance, we probably would change things in our current circumstances – why? – because it would make us feel comfortable – for now. How would the actions of those changes impact our lives in the future Kingdom of heaven? Would they draw us closer to God or lead us away from Him?

The Master architect knows exactly what situations our lives need to experience in order to bring us closer to Him.

Let’s not rush this season of time that God has allowed for you and I – after all – it’s only a season – things will change again. Let’s see our current circumstances as the basket of summer fruit God has placed before us – enjoy and appreciate the taste. Have peace, as we trust the Father in our current season – He is allowing it to change us, for the better. Perhaps we can’t see why He’s allowing the season – but we need to trust, that He knows the little child who won’t know when to stop eating the sweets!

If we have a quick look over our lives, we’ll see how God has arranged it into perfect seasons. We probably grumbled at the time we were deep in the midst of them, but look how amazingly they turned out, for the purpose of drawing us closer to Him….

Once again it’s been a joy for me to have spent this time with you. May The Master bless your current season and many more after…. Until next time –  bless you all.

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

The Progressive Influence: Christianity and Modern Black ...
Jesus chases the money lenders out the Temple.

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Let’s Look at Prayer – 3


If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

The Progressive Influence: Christianity and Modern Black ...
Jesus chases the money lenders out the Temple.

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Let’s Look at Prayer – 2


Our Pastor Ray talks About Prayer

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The Progressive Influence: Christianity and Modern Black ...
Jesus chases the money lenders out the Temple.

There is no Copywrite on this material, you are welcome to copy and distribute. We only ask that you never sell it to anyone.

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The Kingdom of God – Part Two


For those of you who have just joined us, you need to read through “The Kingdom of God” first.

Luke 17:20-21 KJV

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/17-21.htm

20And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Continue reading “The Kingdom of God – Part Two”

God’s Cinderella


 

I really don’t believe God gets any kind of joy at seeing us suffering in our daily lives, as we go about the challenges we face. God certainly is not like a human being. As a genuine Father, He wishes to see us succeed in getting to know Him. Why would He want us to know Him? Simply put, so that we have someone to help and guide us daily – a spiritual Father of great wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Who better to call on during our day than one who is compassionate and caring?Calling God

God is not bound by time as we are, and therefore He can see into our future. From the ‘foundation of time’, God saw our whole life span on this earth. This is quite an astonishing thought. As a result, He knows the correct path for us to travel through time, in order to end up firmly in His spiritual kingdom forever.

In a sense we are very similar to Cinderella in the famous fable. As Cinderella’s Step Mother and sisters were jealous of her, treating her badly, so the world is the same with us. Because our world is filled with people soaked in self-centred natures, we are more often than not, in an uphill battle as our lives unfold. Inclusive in the uphill battles are the down sides – the times when we seem to miss the mark with God. Getting angry with Him, blaming Him, not managing to do the things that please Him or just misunderstanding Him.

We look at fellow believers and think that we fall far short of God’s expectations, while others are constantly flying in their walk with the Lord. We seem to use other believers as a measure, comparing ourselves to them. As we dwell on thoughts of failure, we become more demoralised and eventually believe there is no hope for us.

According to the fable, when the fairy Godmother asked Cinderella what she wanted, Cinderella replied that it didn’t matter what she wanted because it would be impossible for her wishes to be granted. The fairy Godmother’s reply to Cinderella was, “Let me be the judge of that!”Cinderella and Godmother

How many times have we thought it impossible to achieve God’s expectations…? In a way we are right! In our own strength it is impossible. However, if we allow the Holy Spirit within us to do HIS work – in us and through us – we will begin to find a greater peace flowing throughout our lives.

The truth of the matter is this: For by that one offering, He perfected forever all those whom He is making holy.

God sees us as a finished work. Isn’t that astounding? For those who have received, by grace, God’s gift of salvation, He sent His son to pay the ultimate price so that sin could be removed forever. Not only did Jesus die to remove our sin, but also to put to death our sinful nature which came into the world via Adam’s sin of disobedience. Through the death of Jesus – the scripture in Romans tells us – we are no longer slaves to sin!

As God looks upon us, He sees what we look like ‘in Him’ – our glorified bodies – our future.

If you knew that by tackling a certain difficult task, there was an absolute guarantee of a great reward at the end – you would certainly persevere through that task with excitement. And so it is with the Lord and our lives. For those God's Rewardwho have committed their lives to Him, believing by faith that change will come, He sees the finished work and is excited to commit Himself to us on a minute by minute basis. He fully commits to us because He knows His reward is great.

The final product He witnesses is worth everything He has had to put up with from us daily – our every outburst of anger, our every rebellious thought, our every tear shed. As we commit to Him, remember: He no longer sees our weaknesses but through His son, He sees the joy and peace he has longed for us to walk in.

“…And so Cinderella and the handsome Prince were married and lived happily ever after…”

YOU… ARE God’s Cinderella – married to Him – His bride – forever to live happily ever after!

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Died for My Sin or Resurrected for my life?


We have heard about the “The Gospel” – the foundation of the Christian faith. Today there seems to be many different versions of how the gospel is interpreted, what the Gospel is or what it means.

The gospel is normally explained by saying, “Jesus died on the cross so that my sins may be forgiven”. This explanation is correct, but is it the fullest answer?

In the Christian faith, a tremendous amount of focus is placed on the death of Jesus, and quite rightly so, for it was the ultimate sacrifice paid for mankind’s sin. A debit that God paid in order that we might have opportunity to have our wrong doings wiped away…as far as the East is from the West. This is an amazing thought and one worthy of our focus.

So…. the gospel shows us how we are forgiven our sin – but then what? Is that the end of the story?

We have seen from past articles that Adam lost his likeness to God through disobedience. He gained a sinful nature Adams sinand passed this nature down the line of mankind. Therefore, every human being is born with a sinful nature – an engine if you like – that drives us to sin. This drive to sin comes about automatically and is so natural that we are powerless to resist.

All of mankind, irrespective of culture, is bound by this self-centred nature. This all adds up to a pretty miserable and difficult existence. No tolerance or respect for one another.

However, the gospel of the Kingdom shows us the next step in the death and burial of Jesus. A continuation of the story. The scriptures show us that on the third day, Jesus rose from the grave. It also shows us that around 500 people witnessed this event. This is an historical fact.

The Apostle Paul asks a very pertinent question in the book of Romans. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound – God forbid”. Paul goes onto explain that our old sinful NATURE was buried with Victory over sinJesus – the engine which drives us to sin. Hallelujah – we are therefore no longer slaves to the sinful nature – we don’t have to sin any more.

He continues by saying that if our old sinful nature died and was buried with Jesus, then also we were raised up in the newness of life with him.

So… the gospel of the Kingdom shows us that we have power to overcome the temptation to sin by the fact that Jesus took away our sinful natures. This is worth focussing on!

This makes the gospel real in our personal lives. Yes, Jesus died for our sins, but He also died that we might walk in victory daily!!

Here is a point to ponder – how many services have we attended in honour of the resurrection of Jesus and heard that He took away our sinful natures?

The resurrected Jesus gives us a toolbox to use in our daily lives. This toolbox helps us through our walk on earth. It helps us stand firm as we are sanctified (made more like Jesus) – daily, a bit at a time. The final reward will be when we hear His voice saying to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

The toolbox is the resurrected Jesus – the Holy Spirit! We don’t have to look outside ourselves to find God – He lives within us!

We are the temple of His Holy Spirit.

By all means focus on the fact that Jesus died for your sins, but never forget the fact that the resurrected Jesus lives Victory over sin 2.pngwithin you – the very character of God, giving you power to overcome the sinful nature and granting you wisdom and knowledge about life circumstances.

When we are confronted by life’s tests and trials, will it be necessary for us to ask the question, “What would Jesus do?”

With His character firmly within in us, the question is, “Will we allow Jesus to do what He needs to?” …..

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published weekly.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

 

 

Believing, in Business? – Part Two


Part Two

Who is the CEO of your business?

15. Did you need capital to start your business, and if you did, do you mind telling me how much?

“As mentioned, by Gods grace I didn’t need a capital amount up front to start the business. I had no money of my own and I didn’t want to apply for a bank loan. We bought the business for about R240,000 and I made an arrangement to pay this off on a monthly basis as the cash flow came in.

At home, I had an amount of about R1,500.00 which I kept in my clothes cupboard. It was money that I used to pick up if I found it lying around the house or small change from other purchases. We used that money to buy some product for the first order we got and it grew from there! ”

16. How long did it take you to cover all your costs and become profitable?

“The way I planned the forecast was that we should be profitable from the start. It was only monthly running expenses that had to be paid at the end of the month. The business has shown a profit each year of trading to date. It has taken us about 6 years to get to a place where I can comfortably say the company makes an annual profit.”

17. Did you experience pressures in the beginning?

“Yes, it was mostly the doubt of the business succeeding. There were personal pressures and family pressures. There were also business deal pressures and added stress wondering if suppliers would produce what we needed on time and in full.”

18. Did you have a mentor, or someone who was able to guide and direct you?

“No, no particular person. There were quite a few people who gave me advice through the experience of working with them. I was able to witness first hand when situations went wrong and learn how not to do things! But, really at the end of the day, it’s my relationship with the Lord that is my guiding hand. There are answers for everything in God’s word and it is the best “How to…” manual ever!”

19. Were you able to develop successful networks and how did you achieve that?

“Yes, I’ve been able to achieve some very successful networks because of communication and mutual respect for others. I have learned that one of the most important things in life are relationships. Good solid, productive networks are formed by open, honest and respectful communications with those around us. This is not restricted to businessNetworking but applies to marriage, family and friendships as well. As I spend time with people, I get to know and trust them and the reverse applies.

Once again, I take my example from the Lord. Relationship bridges are formed out of serving others, putting their needs before mine. When we have this attitude towards our relationships they will be meaningful and long lasting.”

20. Was your family negatively affected in the beginning?

“I think they were affected but I wouldn’t say negatively. Like myself, they were concerned about the future of the business. They could see that, at times, I was very worried. It was amazing to see how they encouraged me with words that I had spoken to them years before. Things the Lord had taught me to share with my wife and children, were coming back to help me. So, they were concerned, but also very supportive.”

21. What do you perceive your strengths to be?

“I think probably my best strength would be communicating with others. Based on my relationship with the Lord, I strive to deal with people in an open, transparent and honest way. This has helped our business to form long term, healthy relationships with our clients.”

22. What was your most exciting moment in the business?

“There have been a few exciting moments because of the growth the business has shown over the last 6 years. Now is one of those moments because we have just exceeded our best sales month since we started. The turnover is tenSales Bar times bigger this month than it was in our first month of trading!”

23. What was your most challenging moment in the business?

“There have also been a few of those…mostly relating to concerns over cash flow. When the bank balance is low and I have commitments to make, that is always a challenging time for me. Our staff are No.1 in our business, followed by our suppliers and then our customers, so it is very important that our employees’ salaries are paid on time. It has only been in the last eight months or so that I’ve learned to have peace during these tough cash flow times.”

23. How difficult was it to find good staff?

“It was very difficult, and still is, to find good staff that are willing to work hard, to be loyal and honest. Finding the right person for the job takes time and skill. Great attention needs to be paid to the interviewing of prospective employees. It helps to have a guideline for interviewing candidates so that not too much emotion interferes with the selection process. When finding new staff, I pray hard to ask the Lord to put the right people across my path.”

24. Do you feel now that you take a more managerial role versus an entrepreneurial role?

“Yes. However, the entrepreneurial side is always there, it’s not something that I can just turn off. I find myself constantly coming up with ideas – the majority of which are absolutely disastrous! I have to be more managerial at this current time to lead the business. I believe it’s important to understand the difference between managing and entrepreneurship. Management is taking care of the seed born out of an inspired idea.”

25. Where did you set up your business?

“We operate from a business park in Johannesburg. We have a warehouse and a showroom with administration offices. Customers are able to visit us, browse the various bottles and products and then purchase what they need. We cater for the small entrepreneurial business and large companies who require us to deliver to their warehouses.

26. How did you choose this location?

“It was a branch of the previous company that I worked for. I was involved in the set-up of the branch originally. We selected that area because of its location to Johannesburg’s CBD and also the town of Soweto in the South West of Business ParkJohannesburg.”

27. Have you faced many challenges since setting up the business, and how have you dealt with them?

“There have been a number of challenges relating to finding new customers and suppliers. We concentrated on our service to the small customers, making sure we served each one equally. This resulted in repeat business and once we were taking good care of the smaller clients, the bigger ones came.

In the beginning, starting the business with no capital was difficult. This has slowly been resolved by careful cash flow management and using profits to fund our growth.

Staff difficulties were and are resolved by applying Godly principles. Often we try to resolve situations with too much emotion, when, if we apply Godly principles, situations are resolved fairly. Applying God’s principles in our business means we have to trust God for the outcome – not something that comes easily!”

28. What is the most important piece of advice you can give any person thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?

“As human beings, we all enjoy attention. So being able to sell yourself is a first step. We all do this when we socialise so why not in business? As people grow to like you, they trust you more and then selling your product or service is the next natural step. If you can’t sell yourself, selling your product or service will always be an uphill battle. Your testimony is very important. How you treat others, how you present yourself and whether or not you conduct your business in a fair and honest way. Respect for others is critical. Your focus should always be on the needs of your customer and not your own gains. These all come back down to the Godly command of loving your neighbour.”

29. What do you find personally rewarding and satisfying in owning your own business?

“When I look back and see how far the business has come in six years, I feel excited and humbled at the achievement. It has been wonderful to see the Lord’s hand working in every aspect. The most rewarding thing for me is now that my sons are involved in the business, I have more time to do my ‘real’ job, which is sharing the Gospel with others, whether they be connected to the business or outside of it. That is my true passion.

Personally, it has been very rewarding to have been used by the Lord in this process.”

30. Has it all been worth it?

“Yes, very much so. I have learnt a lot about trusting God. You know, there is a difference between having faith in God and trusting in God. I have never had a problem believing that the Lord can do anything He wants to do at any time (faith in God). However, trusting Him in a given circumstance is sometimes very difficult, waiting on Him for His will to be done in that instance.

It has been amazing to see how the Lord has changed lives through the business. Not only those employed here, but others outside the business.”

31. What is the most important lesson you have learnt?

“Probably the most important lesson was to learn to be honest and open with people, whether employees, suppliers or customers. The relationships I have with each of these people are like bridges for communication. Clear communication with others in our lives is critically important. When situations fail, you can be sure somewhere along the line, there is miscommunication – one party’s expectation was different to another. As a manager, I have learned to issue a clear instruction and then ask the other person to repeat back the instruction to me so both our expectations are the same.”

32. How did your Christian faith help you with this experience?

“I found that when you own a business, it is easy to become lazy and take shortcuts. From the start of the business, I placed the Lord as our CEO. Therefore, in my heart, I was meeting with Him every day and reporting on what was happening in the business. I had placed His principles into the business and did everything within those boundaries. At times when I didn’t feel like doing things, my relationship with the Lord would help me push through. When I was humbled in relationships with others, the Lord helped me accept the error of my ways and put myself in the shoes of others.

Without the Lord’s relationship, I can categorically say that there would be no business.”

…time with the Master”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

Believing, In Business?


Part One

Who is the real CEO of your business?

A young believing entrepreneur was interviewed for an article concerning how believer’s dealt with business issues, when working in a worldly environment with those who have different belief systems.

Int: Would you tell me about yourself before you decided to start your own business?
“Before I started this business, I worked for a privately-owned Plastic Bottle Manufacturing company and then felt led to go into full time Missionary work. I went to Malawi for about 3 years with my wife and young family. When we felt that work was complete, we came back to South Africa and I was invited to work for my old company again. It was after that season of time that the opportunity came for me to start this business.”

Int: What kind of business do you have?
“Simply put, we buy and sell Plastic Bottles and accessories into various types of industries i.e. Cosmetic, Food, Chemical and Pharmaceutical. We don’t manufacture anything but have verbal sales agreements with about 40 Entreprenuer 2 jpg manufacturers around Johannesburg. This helps us to focus on servicing our customers without the added challenges of manufacturing.”

Int: Were your parents or relatives entrepreneurial?
“Although my father was loyal to a large corporate company for the greater portion of his working career, he was an entrepreneur at heart. I believe, had circumstances been different, he would have started his own business. He used to repair motor cars on weekends to generate extra income to help support and educate our family.
Two of my brothers initially followed suit into large companies but Later on in life, started their own businesses.”

Int: Do you have any role models in your life?
“My role model is the Lord. He is the basis of everything. I’ve tried to put His character and principles into the business, my family life and my personal life. I’ve seen and worked with several people along my business journey and liked the way some of them worked. I’ve taken a bit of something from each one – following the good examples and leaving the not so good!”

Int: What was your education and training, and did you possess any special skills to start your business?
“I never applied myself very well at school and so never achieved great results. I don’t have a South African Matric but finished school with the British GCE ‘O’ Level grade. After school, I didn’t have a desire to further my education but really wanted to earn money.
I would say that I like being with people and learning about them, which automatically led me into work where I was meeting new people. Through that I went into the Sales field.”

Int: Did you have a job before, and what was the nature of the job?
“After school I spent a few years trying to complete a Radio Technician apprenticeship but really couldn’t settle and so my business journey started as the Team Leader of a group of ladies who went door to door in office blocks selling jewellery. I moved from there to a company that sold Plastic Piping and Valves where I worked in the Stores department doing stock control. I was promoted from there to Counter Sales and then given a brand-new company car (which I crashed on the first day!) I was told to go and find new customers, which I did and really enjoyed that.”

Int: Did your previous job experience help you in your venture?
“Yes, it definitely did. Over the years I learned a tremendous amount. I gained product knowledge, customer and supplier contacts as well as general administration and distribution experience. I learned that communication between people is of utmost importance.”

Int: How did you come about the business opportunity?
The company I was working for was beginning to lose market share and eventually their cash flow was at critical levels. They had a Cash Sales outlet in Johannesburg, which I was instrumental in starting up some years before. I asked if I could buy this branch from them and my offer was accepted.

Int: Did you have to change your goals and lifestyle to start the business?
Not really. In my life everything revolves around my relationship with the Lord, so whether I was working for a boss or managing my own business, I was focussed on Him and His principles. So, in essence, I did things the same way, it was just the job that was different.

Int: How did you evaluate the opportunity?
There wasn’t too much time for me to properly evaluate this opportunity because a decision needed to be made quickly. The evaluation I made came from my experience in the market up to that point. I did sales forecasts and estimated costings, so there was a bit of evaluation but nothing in depth.

Int: How did you evaluate the level of competition in the market?
“There were really only about four other companies doing the same type of business that we were doing. They were situated geographically quite far away from us. We didn’t interfere with them or their customers and they didn’t bother us. We had heard in the market place that they were not supplying their customers a satisfactory service, so I knew if we provided good service with quality products at the right price, we would grow the business.”

Int: Did you start on your own, or do you have partners?
I started on my own with my wife who I consider to be my partner. As the business grew, we gave shares to two of Entreprenuer 4 jpg.jpgour sons who work in the business. A third son of ours has recently joined the business so it is a real family business!

Int: Did you compile a business plan to start up?
I didn’t do a business plan in the beginning. As mentioned, I did a basic sales forecast with costs projected for three years to see if it was a viable venture. By God’s grace I didn’t have to apply for a loan to start the business, so a full business plan wasn’t necessary.

Int: How long did it take to compile the forecasts?
“It took me about a week to do the forecast with costs. I still do the forecast and budget every year so that we have a set plan to follow. I have a system of monitoring the sales and expenses daily and this helps to keep one step ahead of whatever situations arise. I spend about 30-60mins a night updating the figures.”

“…time with the Master…’

Part Two will follow next week.

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

You Are So Special…


 

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a Living Soul.

As usual in my walk with the Lord, I have often read scriptures and not really thought very deeply about them. It’s amazing how we can read a verse a few times and nothing ‘jumps’ out at us, and then one day we read it again and it comes to life! Such is the greatness of our heavenly Father – such is His great love for us. His hand is upon our lives day in and day out, carefully steering us on the path of life which He has planned for us.

“…let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. How wonderful that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost decided they should create a being which was different to all creation on earth up to that point. Somebody special, whom God desired to have fellowship with. Not only would God be able to see and talk with Adam but also, He would bless him with the whole earth to have as his own. And so, mankind was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God.

“…God formed man out of the dust of the ground…” As I ponder these words, I try to imagine what it might have been like at the time that Adam was ‘formed’. Was the dust that God used to form Adam the same as the dust that we know today? God had not yet cursed the ground from which Adam had been formed, so it could have been a veryAdam, dust of the Earth different substance from what we know. Adam was surely very different compared to humankind today. He not only had face-to-face fellowship with God, but God brought all the living creatures to him so that he could name them. How many animals can you and I name right now off the top of our heads?

“…and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” God placed His own breath into Adam – Adam became a living soul. God had breathed Adam’s spirit into life. He was no longer just ‘dust’, but now became a living soul with his own spirit and own body. There was breath in the bodies of all the animals and other creatures on earth, but God had not breathed into them. Adam was created a very special and unique being. A being God had formed for His own joy.

We know that all this changed when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Therefore, as God promised, Adam and Eve died spiritually and were condemned to a place of solitude from Him. Spiritual death meant that humankind would no longer have communion with God. After Adam had reached 130 years old, he had children in his own image and after his own likeness  – our direct line of hereditary.

I thank the Lord that He sent His son Jesus to restore the situation back to what it was originally in the Garden of Eden. Jesus gives this opportunity to every human being, regardless of culture or nation.

He “… breathed into his nostrils the breath of life..”. As we come to know Jesus and Him crucified, we receive the breath of life from God. This is no ordinary breath. Not a breath that has been mass-produced or thoughtlessly brought into life. No, this is HIS breath – the breath of the almighty Lord of Hosts – the breath of true life, and we are heirs of this wonderful breath as we acknowledge Him.

Each one of us is a unique creation – made greater than any other being on this earth because God desires to have Uniquenessfellowship with us. God ‘formed’ each one of us – not thoughtlessly mass-produced, but individually crafted. We are HIS workmanship created for good works in Christ (Good works where? – IN CHRIST!).

Don’t let the world tell you that you are just like everyone else. You are not like anyone else! When you became reconciled with Him, you were given your own unique spirit, breathed into you by God Himself. You were uniquely ‘formed’ by the Master tradesman to be used by Him and have the fellowship He so desires to have with you.

Hold your head high and know that you are very special to the one who breathed life into you, irrespective of how many times you feel you have disappointed Him or those around you. Know HIS breath of life is in you now… and…forever more!

From: “…time with the Master…”

Published Bi-Monthly

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.
Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).