The King and His Kingdom – Part Five


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 5

Welcome to PART 5 of the King and His Kingdom which we’ve entitled the Role of the Parents.

Having completed the roles of both the husband and wife, this session, we are going to take a closer look at the Godly responsibilities of Parents. Many of the principles applying to the role of the husband and wife, mentioned in the previous sessions, will apply to parents as well.

God’s Promise

God has made and will continue to make a great nation of His people, because He has a covenant with them, promising this very thing. They are a redeemed people from every nation, who have been made into kings and priests for the sole sake of God – to reign with Him … even on earth. (Rev5: 9-10).

Mankind was created to give glory, honor, and power to God. This being their main purpose.  As a result of the fall in the Garden of Eden, mankind did not give glory to God, nor did they subsequently realize their real purpose, because of their fallen state.  Jesus came to restore this circumstance and we can see in 2 Cor., mankind has been redeemed to live for God’s good pleasure (2 Cor.5:14-15).

This objective of living for God is so singularly important, that both Jesus and Paul advised against marriage in the scriptures of Matt.19 and 1Cor., as it could distract the focus of establishing God’s purposes on earth. (Matt.19: 10-12; 1 Cor.7: 8, 32-33). Jesus says in fact, that there ought not to be a single relationship or possession that should take precedence over our love of Him (Luke14: 26,33).

We must bear in mind here that it was God who instituted marriage (not mankind), and that separate principles apply to married disciples. This, so that the Gospel can continue to be shared through the testimony of marriage.

Through correct training of our offspring, God’s plan of making His children into a great nation will continue to come to pass.

Godly Seed

Husbands and wives are a team effort for God’s objectives being carried out on this earth, and ultimately in the Kingdom of Heaven, as they are co-heirs of His Kingdom.  (1 Pet.3: 7; Col.3:19).  But also, by virtue of their acceptance of marriage, they will be accountable to God because of their status as parents and also teachers. (James 3:1).

They will have the unique role of bringing children into the world and then raising them as Godly seed, whilst their marriage and family life will both encourage other believers and give hope (salvation) to the lost; thereby producing Godly seed in others (Mal2:15 NLT). This will ensure that God’s authority will flow through the family and be passed onto the next generation.

Family Unit

From the viewpoint of the Church, it is reliant on strong functional family units, to make it, as a body, effective for the Gospel.  The strength of the local church is directly related to the strength of its family units.

The strength of the family unit will see God’s authority flowing out into the community, into workplaces, and eventually into the nation.

Next, we must clearly see that outside the Christian marriage and family unit, the world does NOT HAVE A GODLY MODEL, and therefore has reduced hope of finding salvation.

Role Models

Today we see the result of marriages not working according to Godly principles – crime, drugs, and all types of debauchery. Parents operating outside of God’s principles will project the wrong role models for their children. Children will not experience God’s authority through their parents and therefore will not know how to pass this authority onto future generations. 

To successfully raise Godly seed in our children, parents need to first have both the role of the husband and the role of the wife working according to God’s government, or their words of instruction will have no life-giving qualities.  Effective communication for Jesus comes from an authoritative communicator, not an articulate one (Matt.7:29). Both parents need to be effective, authoritative communicators, with testimony in their own lives, to earn the respect of their children (Matt.7:29).

EM Bounds wrote this: – “No man can preach beyond the level of his own testimony”.

How does God see Children?

We need to see children in the important light that God sees them and as Jesus describes in Matt 18 and 19:

In our relationship with the Lord, we need to become like little children. They are the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.  When we respect little children and serve them, it is as good as doing it to Jesus (Matt.18:1-5; Matt.19: 13-15).  If we reject and ill-treat them, we may as well be put to death! (Matt.18:6;10). Perfect praise comes from children (Matt.21:15-16).

Obedience produces Fruit

In Gen.18, we see God’s covenant with Abraham was put into play because he was obedient regarding the bringing up of his child, Isaac (Gen.18:18-19).  Further, Abraham was an effective communicator. On the way to the sacrificial alter, Isaac hears his Father prophesying … “God will provide a lamb…”. Then he witnessed the dagger over his body. However, Isaac remained obedient because of the way he had been brought up. He heard his father prophesy life and trusted him (Gen.22: 8-11).

Communication

Positive communication follows the form of speaking words of life.  Prov.18:21 warns us that either death or life flows from the tongue.  The only way we can communicate life is by abiding in Jesus, so that He abides in us (Jn.15:5), in other words, our relationship with God should be real and well-grounded.  When we are led by His Spirit, out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths will speak (Jn.7:38).

Communication also involves listening. James 1 tells us we need to be better listeners than speakers (James 1:19).  If Jesus was willing to minister to the need of children, so it is that as parents abide in Him, they will seek ministry opportunities when their children approach them, wanting to speak.

A child who is accustomed to communicating with a receptive parent will never struggle to communicate with his parents in later years.  Just as our communication habit with God needs to be cultivated, so does our communication with our children.

Lastly, communication involves lifestyle.  Whilst talking and listening is important, it is a scientific fact that the human brain only retains 7% of all that it hears, but on the other hand, retains 38% of all that it sees and hears – and that is Lifestyle. 

Parental Examples

Someone once said, ‘Zip the lip and walk the talk’.  Children will be most affected by what they see in their parents’ lifestyles.  Particularly up until they are able to have their own relationship with God, they see and communicate with God through their parents.  Any child who has had a poor relationship with his parents will struggle to have a relationship with God. Their trust in God is founded on trusting their parents.

It must be always remembered that with regard to training children, we have strong competition from satan.  He works through the very effective media of television, magazines, worldly friends, education, and worldly entertainment. 

The scriptures speak much of correctly disciplining children.  Discipline is never an easy thing to effect, but without it, children may not inherit the Kingdom of God (Prov.23:13-14). The reason for this is because the sinful nature inherited from Adam, causes a child to have a sinful heart (Ps.51:5). The habits of the sinful nature need to be trained to re-new the thinking.  Proverbs 22 says that discipline is the way to train children (Prov.22:15).  Parents need to discipline with diligence (Prov.13:24). Discipline should be effective, but not damaging (Prov. 20:30).

Discipline

Society today has a negative outlook on the use of Biblical discipline, largely because, over years, the biblical methods have not been correctly adhered to, resulting in cases of abuse of children. Discipline may take many forms. Parents should seek the Lord diligently over this issue to find the correct and preferred method for each family.

Whichever method is sought, here are some points to remember:

Some ‘Do’s and ‘Don’ts’

  • Don’t keep threatening verbally.
  • Don’t discipline hastily or in anger.
  • Don’t discipline in front of friends or in public.
  • Do act after speaking twice.
  • Do discipline promptly.
  • Do follow through with, and complete the corrective action.

Discipline should be considered ONLY after:

                a. A child has broken the rules that have been set for them—ensuring they fully understood the instruction.

                b. Parents have gone the second mile with them.

If parents do not discipline their children when they break the rules they have been set, then parents undo valuable work (Matt.5:19 and 37).

In a Nutshell….

The role of the parents is to disciple their children to a place where they will hunger and thirst for God.

In a practical vein, Prov.22 says we are to ‘train up a child ..’ (Prov. 22:6). We do this first of all by communication, and secondly by discipline.

Children simply need to understand their boundaries socially and within the family unit. They will often explore for themselves how far they can go, before transgressing rules.

We should disciple children according to Godly principles – ‘permit’ what has already been ‘permitted’ in heaven and ‘forbid’ what has already been ‘forbidden’ in Heaven (Matt.18:18).

And last – but definitely not least – remember, “a family that prays together… stays together”. Parents should never stop praying for their children – ever!

OK… time to recap what we’ve shared this week:

  1. God’s Promise – God is making a great nation of His people, because He has made a covenant with them promising this very thing. Through correct disciplining of our offspring, God’s plan of making His children into a great nation will come to pass.
  2. Godly Seed – Husbands and wives are a team effort for God’s objectives being carried out on this earth. They are co-heirs of His Kingdom. Parents will be accountable to God because of their status as parents and also teachers. They will have the unique role of bringing children into the world and then raising them as Godly seed.
  3. Family Unit – The strength of the local church is directly related to the strength of its family units.

We must clearly see that outside the Christian marriage and family unit, the world does NOT HAVE A GODLY MODEL.

  • Role Models – Parents operating outside of God’s principles will project the wrong role models for their children. Both parents need be effective, authoritative communicators, with testimony in their own lives, to earn the respect of their children (Matt.7:29).
  • How does God see Children? – When we respect little children and serve them, it is as good as doing it to Jesus.  If we reject and ill treat them, we may as well be put to death! Perfect praise comes from children.
  • Obedience produces Fruit – God’s covenant with Abraham was fulfilled because he was obedient regarding the bringing up of his child Isaac.  Further, he was an effective communicator.
  • Communication – Communication follows the form of speaking words of life.  The only way we can communicate life is by abiding in Jesus, so that He abides in us (Jn.15:5).  Communication also involves listening. Out of their relationship with the Lord, parents will seek ministry opportunities when their children approach them wanting to speak. Communication involves lifestyle.
  • Parental Examples – Children will be most affected by what they see in their parents’ lifestyle.  Any child who has had a poor relationship with his parents will struggle to have a relationship with God. Remember that parents face competition from Satan through the very effective media of television, magazines, worldly friends, education and worldly entertainment. 
  • Discipline – Discipline may take many forms. Parents should seek the Lord diligently over this issue to find the correct and preferred method for each family. Remember the list of ‘Do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ mentioned earlier.
  • In a Nutshell…. The role of the parents is to disciple their children to a place where they will hunger and thirst for God, done firstly by communication, and secondly by discipline. Children simply need to understand their boundaries socially and within the family unit. 

Please join me soon for PART 6, where we will explore some principles of the Kingdom of God for working believers in the business world. Be blessed during this coming week – I look forward to being with you soon.

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. 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.)

The King and His Kingdom. Part 2a.


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 2a

In previous sessions we’ve looked at the Kingdom of God and how it is that as we obey God’s principles, (or His Government), we are blessed by Him (Psa.1:1-4). We also saw that as we drift out of His principles in our day, God is not able to bless us – this is because His Government is indisputable, irreversible, and final. We see in the books of Zechariah and Daniel, that His government, or another expression for His word or law, is beyond debate or question, whether we agree with it or not! (Zech.14:9; Daniel 2:44).

God desires to bless you and me on a daily basis, but if we do not adhere to His principles, His own government prevents Him from doing so. If He were to bless someone who is acting outside of His Government, then He would be obliged to even bless the accuser of the believers, the devil – a situation He cannot have!

The more we obey these principles, the more we feel the character of God in us, and the more we walk in His authority.

These Godly principles need to be real in our lives. If they are not real, practical and easily understood, then our daily walk with the Lord becomes a farce – an act for the world – which we struggle to maintain in our strength on a daily basis. No – our relationship with God needs to be a true reflection of blessing to us and those around us.

In our daily lives, we will not be perfect in our display of God’s principles. As we miss the mark with God, provided we are truly sorry, we receive forgiveness. As He forgives us, God intends for us to learn from the error of our ways and His amazing grace will help us to continue our day, without guilt.

If the Lord’s principles are near to our minds on a daily basis, it will help us to walk closer to Him – help us to be more aware of the path to glory.

Let’s take a look at some of these Godly principles which make up God’s government and see how we measure up to them. Perhaps this will give each one of us an indication of why we are not being blessed by God as much as we could be?

Please remember there are many more principles in His word than what we are looking at in this session. Let’s try and prayerfully sit with the Lord on a regular basis, asking Him to reveal others to us, so that we become more aware and more blessed.

Mat 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

Are we being an example for the Kingdom of God on a daily basis? How do we reflect God at home and work? And what about in our daily relationships – family and work colleagues?

Mat 5:25 “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.”

Do we have any issues with others that have been left unattended? The scripture says deal with it now or it may turn into something worse.

Mat 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’;

Mat 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

The Lord shows us here that sin has been committed in our hearts even as we think about doing something wrong. This, before we have physically done anything!

Mat 5:37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

How do we answer others in our daily communication? Deceitfully – or truthfully and to the point. Interesting that Jesus says “anything beyond this comes from the evil one”!

Mat 5:42 Give to the one who asks you and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Do we feel the need to judge how others are going to use that which we give them, instead of just giving and allowing God to be their judge?

Mat 5:43 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

Mat 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

How did we react the last time someone was negative towards us in our day – did we pray for them or get angry with them?

Rom 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

It’s very difficult to live alongside others if we are proud and conceited. We will always feel that we are superior.

Rom 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

Rom 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Rom 12:19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

How many times when we are offended by another do we want to take revenge? God says it’s His job to judge and avenge others.

Rom 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and those which exist are established by God.

Rom 13:2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

It’s very easy for us to disobey or be deceitful to those in authority over us. Mankind may not see – but God does! Are we receiving condemnation from God because we disobey those He has put in authority over us?

Php 2:4 not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.

Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and questionings:

Php 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.

Going about our daily tasks without having negative comments or thoughts is very difficult. God says we should see where we can serve others instead of criticizing them. 

In your group now, please read the following three sections of scriptures out aloud together. At the end of each section, pause and discuss for 10min what you have read together. After your 10min discussion, read the next section.

SECTION 1

Rom 14:13 Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this, not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

Rom 14:19 So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another.

1Co 10:32 Give no occasions of stumbling, either to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the church of God:

1Co 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

1Co 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

1Co 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1Co 13:8 Love never fails…

Rom 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Rom 12:20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

SECTION 2

2Co 9:6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2Co 9:7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God, loves a cheerful giver.

1Pe 2:15  For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

1Jn 3:18  My Little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth.

Pro 11:15  He who is a guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it, But he who hates being a guarantor is secure.

Pro 11:28  He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

Pro 12:1  Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.

Pro 12:15  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

Pro 13:18  Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored.

Pro 14:29  He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.

SECTION 3

Pro 15:1  A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Pro 15:6  In the house of the righteous is much treasure; But in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

Pro 15:27  He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live.

Pro 16:7  When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Jas 1:23  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;

Jas 1:24  for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

Jas 3:8  But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.

Jas 3:9  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;

Jas 3:10  from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

Php 2:3  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Mat 5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

Rom 8:6  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace:

Php 3:20  For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Remember – as we adhere to these principles daily, we will be blessed. I pray that the Lord has ministered some ‘pearls of wisdom in this session. These Godly principles for our daily lives are very difficult to adhere to if we try in our own strength.

As we enter into the Kingdom of God here and now, we have acknowledged that our old sinful nature (the engine that drives us to sin), has died and been buried with Jesus. Let us begin to walk in the new resurrected nature that God has given us.  This is the nature that is able to walk daily in God’s principles.

Please join me next week, for PART 3, where we will start to look at the roles God would like us to fit into. Be blessed during this coming week – I look forward to being with you soon.

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. 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.)

Seven Promises in Him


Join Our Pastor Ray as he shares on the Seven Promises

7 Promises ‘In Christ’…

You know one of the most amazing things I find is the way that God talks to us. If we dwell on the fact that He is all powerful and everlasting… then it’s even more incredible that He would take time to talk to you and I.

One of the ways He shares His heart with us, is through His word.

Look at this scripture in the book of Ephesians: …and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…. One of the incredible things here is that the scripture speaks in the past tense – isn’t that amazing…. We have already been raised up into heavenly places with Christ!!!

Have you ever come across the expression “In Christ” or “in Him”?  So… what does “In Christ” or “in Him” mean?   It simply means how we behave as Christians here on Earth.  In other words, the way we walk our Christian path on a daily basis. As we obey God (or His Godly principles), we are walking “In Christ” or “In Him”. The more we walk in His principles – the more we are ‘in Him’.  When we miss the mark with Him in our walk, we are no longer “In Christ” or “In Him”.

I’d like you to do something positive for yourself in the next few days and spend a bit of quiet time on the following encouraging 7 promises:

No Condemnation

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Are we feeling condemned over any issue? – no need – as we walk in Christ there is no condemnation.

Free from our sinful nature

“…Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death”. There is no longer any need for us to do things the way we do them – we have a new nature – in Christ.

Our new nature is in Christ

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive”. Our new nature (which desires to follow God) is in Christ.

Never separated from God

“…nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. What a wonderful promise – we are safely in His hands!

No partiality

“… for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. The Lord sees all His children as equal.

We will walk in good works planned by God for us

“…created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them”. We may have many plans but God has already ordained our steps.

His promises to us are guaranteed

“For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore, also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us”.

Notice here that each of these 7 promises applies if we are ‘in Him’ or ‘In Christ’. Trying to imagine what ‘In Him’ means could be very difficult and complicated for you and I. However, as we’ve shared before, God’s word is never complicated when He opens it up to us, by the power of His Spirit.

God needs to control our walk here on Earth, until Jesus returns. As we walk ‘In Him’ (or according to His principles), He is able to bless us. Let’s see confirmation of this in the Psalms: “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Lastly, if we’re are finding it difficult to stay ‘in Him’ on a daily basis, remember that it’s God’s doing that we find ourselves ‘in Him’ – not any work of our own. We can strive to be good Christians daily, but we will fail at some point, until we learn that it is Christ in us, who gives us the strength to change.

Thanks for this blessed time together – may the Master richly bless your week ahead – until we meet again – blessings

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. 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).

Mission Malawi – Chapter Twenty One


15.03.96
Well, this is the day that the Lord has made – we will rejoice and be glad in it!! Just a few minutes to share again before the work of the day begins and thoughts are consumed and lost forever.

I finally had a reply from the elders of one of the large denominational churches who had volunteered four mature believers to assist in the outreach. I was truly blessed by that until this morning when they came and withdrew their support on “denominational” grounds. I told them what a terrible disappointment this is for God and that the Devil has now succeeded in dividing a combined attempt to reach the lost.

By Gods grace we are now alone on this little mission. In our weakness He is strong – our hearts are willing and pure for Gods purpose.

Again, anger and disappointment sear through my heart. Please change me Lord. I have a deep peace about what is happening, a peace which can only come from you.

20.03.96
Hallelujah!! – the outreach went ahead. We showed the ‘Jesus Film’ in Chechewa, set up in the middle of the local market on a cool African evening. We couldn’t count how many people came but we estimate around 250. After the film our team began their long awaited turn to preach. Generally, they were warmly received and counselling commenced.evangelism

During the preaching however, a homeless man approached one of our team and stood right in front of him. He moved very close to his face and became very agitated. As our brother tried to preach, the homeless man began to dance and gyrate so as to block him from seeing and talking to the people. Others in our team saw this and ran over to the scene and immediately began praying…recognizing a demonic presence. “Lord we submit to you…by Your power and might clear this stronghold please in Jesus name”. The man sat down on the ground, perfectly still and quiet!

Afterwards each member of our little team were surrounded by a group of people asking questions.

Two home cell groups have been arranged for those who wanted to hear more (including the homeless man!!). Others were sent to local Churches of their choice to attend Sunday services and to gain further teaching and discipling.

Attempts to find accommodation for Andy and Sue have been fraught with misleading and dishonesty at every turn. Housing officials and private people alike. We can’t afford to pay the new rental in the house that they are staying in and so now we are in the Lords hands.

We have just found out that the scooter which was given to us has no spare parts. Amazing that the agents have been misleading us for two months. This means that now Andy and Sue will not have transport when we go to Zim.

Our funds are also extremely limited now as we have had to take funds out of the business for everybody’s needs. How often Lord, will I find myself in this situation? I don’t want to run away from these works that you are doing in me to help me learn to trust you more. I thank you for the grace which you have already poured out on me.

Other ministry work appears to be coming along well. Theresa-Anne teaches English at a local denominational church and this obviously provides much area for sharing with the children. Andy is leading two house groups a week, which he is very blessed about (particularly when he has to walk and ride through tropical thunderstorms to get there!).Teaching

Two of our young men teach “R.I.” (Religious instruction) at the local government school and it’s a joy to see how the little children are responding to the gospel.

We lead two other house groups per week within the area, which deal mainly with marital and other “domestic” challenges. We have prayed much since we came that the Lord would pour out His Spirit over this area, and we are really seeing answers, which is encouraging for those whom we are discipling.

The group we conduct at Customs and Excise is perhaps the most encouraging for us. The Lord has really touched the hearts of these men and women and changes in their lives are reported each week. No doubt the department is seeing the benefit as well!

Kathy and Sue attend an “inter-denominational” Ladies Bible study group where they have some lovely fellowship with the “missionary community”. Today, the group was praying for peace around the world. Kathy and Sue were led to share with the ladies that sometimes the Lord uses war, destruction and famine to turn lost souls to Him and that we should always for HIS will to be done.

I was asked to assist at one of the Home cell groups of a large denominational church, which is proving a real ‘bumpy ride’, as this is a group of real intellectual Ex-Pats from America and England (Help Lord!!). The gospel is simple and experiential, very different to theology, which can sometimes cause barriers when trying to receive the true gospel.

28.03.96
We have been able to successfully register a church (in order to allow us to stay legally in the country – not for the purpose of starting another denomination!!). This process normally takes three years so we can really see Gods hand on this situation and we therefore believe that the Lord may want us here for a while longer.

Kathy and the children are all well. Theresa-Anne has been registered to write her GCSE Cambridge Mathematics and English exams in May and June. The Lord has miraculously opened doors for this to come about and we are very grateful for all the precious people who are helping us here. Please pray for her.

Kathy has begun Simons reading and writing program and they are both enjoying it very much in their little school room out back. Bethany is a bit left out, but Sue is doing a sterling job of keeping her ‘pre-schooled’ for a few hours each day. Daniel (wow, how many more!!) keeps Nanna (my mother) on the hop during school hours.

Wayne is always a great help to us and has become a very practical/mechanical young man. Who would have thought that he would be such a blessing to us from such a young age – bless him as he grows Father. I am so proud of him as I see how he goes about daily chores – busying himself with something, keen to be involved. God has placed deep insight and great sensitivity into this young man and because of that, God will use him always in quiet but effective ways. He has so much to offer others and will give freely as God directs.

Andy and Sue have recovered from all their ‘tropical’ sicknesses and are now well on the way to becoming fully blown African missionaries, having survived many shattered illusions. They are such a great help to us and a real asset to the mission here.

I can’t help but marvel at the Lords power when I think of Andy and Sue. From the day they arrived here to this day, there have been such wonderful changes in their lives as individuals and in their marriage. Many ‘grey’ areas have been cleared up for them and there is a true freedom in their relationship with each other.

Andy, who was on medication for a form of epilepsy, has now been completely healed and no longer takes medication daily (or at all). He does a full normal days’ work including driving, which he was not able to do before. Thank you Jesus for your healing!

Andy shared with me how, with the help of the Lord, he has been able to truly comprehend that his ‘old self’ (the one which suffered these terrible attacks), did in fact, die with Jesus on the cross around 2000 years ago. As he became aware of past hurts and angers in his life, he was able to deal with them. They began to lessen, and so the healing became more and more evident in his life. The past hurts and unforgiveness were an area in his life where the evil one had dominion. This therefore became a stronghold in his life. As he shed these feelings, the light became stronger and stronger, resulting in a physical strengthening.

Mission Malawi is a bi-monthly publication 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.
If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; http://www.adcrucemchristi.com
Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

Be still in your busy day…


We are busy in our lives. Whether it is at work, at play, bringing up children, managing work colleagues or simply trying to make ends meet – we are busy and in today’s world, it seems we are getting busier. We are constantly pouring ourselves out into the lives of others. The common factor of all these types of busyness is that they drain us – physically and emotionally.

 Is it possible for us to – ‘take time out’?

 Yes it is! I’m not necessarily talking of going on a vacation for a few weeks, although that would be very nice, no, I’m talking about taking ‘time out’. This time out can be a few minutes or a few hours depending on our circumstances. Ever heard of a ‘power nap’? Well, what about a ‘power time out’?

 A wonderful scripture says, “Be still and know that I am God…”Be Still...2

 The other day I had planned my day as I thought it best. I was secure in my plan, which in turn brought me peace of mind. As I began the day, I received a business call, which would result in me having to make a one hour round trip by car to fulfil an urgent need of one of my customers. My first reaction was to start complaining, grumbling because MY plans had now been changed. My day was already under pressure and now it would seemingly get worse…..

 I climbed into the car and set off on my trip. Very soon, I began to dwell on the thought – ‘the Lord knows everything’. As I ‘abided’ in that thought, I began to calm down and the anxiety started to drift away.  It was then that the scripture came to me…. “Be still and know that I am God….”

 I asked the Lord to help me linger in this scripture while driving. Jesus said that if we abide (to stay a while – not jump in and out) Abide in Mein Him, then He will abide in us. So I kept the scripture on the movie screen of my mind and this is what the Lord showed me….

 “Be still and know that I am God…”

 ‘Be’ – “Just BE”, said the Lord. “Just exist…don’t try to be somebody that you aren’t. I fearfully and wonderfully made you. There is no other like you. Wherever you go – just BE. Split seconds before you were conceived in your mother’s womb, you did not exist, but I formed you – and you were! From the foundation of time I planned for you to BE”, said the Lord.

 ‘Still’ – Where there is stillness, there is depth. Our Father so desires for us to come to a deeper place with Him. We cannot find that depth until we are still, a still place where He will share His heart with us, where we will hear His heartbeat.

 ‘and Know’ – “Don’t try to figure me out”, said the Lord, “don’t take opinions of others and form Me into those opinions – simply ‘KNOW’ that I am God, simply ‘KNOW

 ‘I am’ – “There is nothing outside of Me”, said the Lord, “Walk with boldness wherever you go, for I am with you. Wherever YOU go…I AM” said the Lord…

 Had my plans not changed that day, I would have missed this ‘time out’ with the Lord.

 For those of us who are parents, normal conversation with our children is usually about them constantly ‘asking’ us for things. How lovely it would be for us instead, to sit with our children and hear them expressing their opinions about life or simply saying to us, “I love you…”

 God is the same with us. He would love us to have ‘time out’ with Him and discuss the things on our hearts while telling Him that we love Him.

 Don’t plan your next time out – just do it. Stay focused on Him for a few quiet minutes and let Him share His heart with you. Receive from Him rather than asking from Him. You will be blessed, and your inner strength will be revitalized.

 From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time withe 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).

Mission Malawi – Chapter Fourteen


‘Mission Malawi’ is a series, printed from the Journal of Brother Ray, His family and a team of missionaries. Why not start from the beginning of their journey – you will be truly inspired.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Fourteen”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Thirteen


Zimbabwe

July 1995 – August 1995

 Kathy’s parents had asked us to please return to Zimbabwe for the birth of our 5th child. They had kindly offered to pay for all the costs and also knew of a Christian doctor who would oversee the birth. I asked Titus if he would like to accompany us because he had never been out of Malawi before. He was very excited.

19.07.95

It’s wonderful how the Lord has brought us to this lovely place at Lake Kariba, in the Northern part of Zimbabwe. The ‘Cabanas’ belong to Zimbabwe Sun and the unit we are staying in is part of Kathy’s parents time share. The contrast of life is amazing. How good the Lord is to allow us to experience different types of living. We need to learn to trust Him more and really KNOW that He will never forsake us. Kariba

 Kathy is starting to feel uncomfortable now and we expect that something should happen soon, by Gods grace. We are about 500km from the hospital that she has been booked into, but the Lord knows!!

05.08.95

Praise the Lord! After two weeks overdue date, Kathy and I are blessed with another little boy. We have decided to call him Daniel Stephen. The birth was another wonderful testimony to the Lord. Although Daniel was the heaviest of all the children, his birth has been the easiest. The doctor, a precious brother in the Lord, said Kathy would be his ‘tithe’ patient and so we did not have to pay for his services. We were blessed by Kathy’s parents who kindly met the hospital bill for us. We are truly so grateful for all these faithful people who are so willing to open their hearts to us in obedience to the Lord.

 10.08.95

We have been blessed with more gifts of money to be able to buy some groceries to take back to Malawi with us. There is also enough to have a new tent made for the little caravan/trailer that the Lord blessed us with in South Africa.

 One day while I was standing in the queue at the Mozambique embassy, a man came up to me and began to ask me some questions about Malawi. A Zimbabwean, he owned an art museum in America and was trying to find certain types of wood carvings to take back to America with him. After chatting for some ten minutes, he disappeared to the front of the line where he collected his passport from a man who had been in the line on his behalf.

 About 15 minutes later he came back as though he was looking for someone in particular. As our eyes met, he said, “Ah, I’ve been looking for you”. A bit taken a back, I wondered why he was looking for me. He then asked me what line of business I was in. The Lord opened a door for me to share briefly with him. Right there, in the queue, he took out his wallet and blessed me with two hundred Zimbabwe dollars. It was the exact amount we needed to finish the last of our shopping. The man in front of me couldn’t believe his eyes. He said to me afterwards, “But that guy didn’t even know you!!”

 How great is the Lord. If I had complained and had not stood in that line for as long as I did, I would have certainly missed the blessing the Lord had planned for us….”

With our new addition safely in the arms of Mom and Kathy’s family, we planned our return trip to ‘Area 49’ in Lilongwe.

Area 49
Area 49 Lilongwe Malawi

Kathy and the children would stay with her parents until strong enough to come back to Malawi. Her parents had once again kindly offered to pay for them to fly back when she was ready.

17. 08.95

After much planning, praying and packing, Titus and I are ready to leave for Malawi. We plan to leave at 4:00am. All being well, we can expect to get to Lilongwe at about 4:00pm. A long 12 hour journey. This journey is difficult for me as there are always ‘niggly’ challenges at the border posts. I believe from time gone by, in the days of white supremacy in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, there has been left a certain amount of unforgiveness and anger towards white people by some of the custom and immigration officials of these countries.

 Whilst I can appreciate the very difficult job these people have, their attitudes always appear to show their desire to have their authority respected. I am blessed that the Lord uses them to humble me.

 Arriving back in Lilongwe, the Lord has really granted us favour with men, apart from the Malawi customs gentleman who was very angry at Titus because he spoke in English! We have found Arthur Jacob, Patrick and Joseph all well and mightily blessed.

 The Lord has had His hand on the little businesses and they have all grown. Thank you Lord.

 18. 08. 95

After going to bed filled with the joys of returning to faithful brethren, we are awakened with a terrible shock. The Combi is up on pieces of log and stone – all four tyres and rims stolen!

I can’t find words to describe our disappointment. Somebody in our locality knew that we had arrived and had informed the thieves. All four new tyres given to us in South Africa a few months before, especially for Malawian conditions, had been stolen!Stolen Tyres

My first thought is: “Why Lord?”. As I ponder deeper on those words, the Lord shows me that actually, I have no right to even ask such a question. What right does a selfish sinner have to question the Almighty and powerful, everlasting God who knows all things?

 God, in His infinite wisdom had allowed this thing to happen and all I desired to find out was what lesson was in it for me. At this time the anger within me is too great to see very much.

Mission Malawi is published by “…time with the Master…” on a bi-monthly basis.

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

 

 

Mission Malawi – Chapter Five


Publisher’s Note:

I was unable to download original pictures from the Malawi collection, for technical reasons and hope to have this sorted by the next issue. Thank you for bearing with us in this challenge.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Five”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Four


25.02.94

David, Frank, Hein and I began early morning prayers this week. They have fellowship meetings Mon, Wed, and Fridays. Tonight is our first meeting and we will attempt to do the first teaching, ‘The Fall’. God has shown us clearlyYoung disciples at the mission that we are to impart the Gospel to faithful men. At this time we see David and Frank as two whom we will work closely with. I am a bit uncertain of Frank at this time, but the Lord will show us. We prayed for one of Frank’s children, a daughter, who has a very bad cough (TB?).

The Lord through David: “Rest in me, this is my battle and I will fight, you must seek me for strength and rest in me”.

Do everything without complaining, otherwise God will keep us in the wilderness.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Four”