The King and His Kingdom – Part Six


The King and His Kingdom Video
Session 6
 
Welcome to Part 6 of the King and His Kingdom, which we’ve titled the Working Believer.
 
Having had a closer look at the roles of the family this week, we want to see how God’s principles apply to us in our workplace. As believers, we are guilty of seeing the ‘church’ place as different from the ‘work’ place. God’s kingdom principles apply to us all the time – whether in church or out – whether at work or home.
 
 
 
In the Beginning
Adam was given free rein in the Garden of Eden and was told by God, “…I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth…to you it shall be for meat”. Everything was placed at his disposal. As we have today, there was certainly no need for him to ‘toil’ for his food. (Gen 1:29)
 
The result of Disobedience
They were effectively cursed when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil.’ Fallen humankind was then destined to work all their life long (We can get more detail of this situation in the ‘Gospel Explained’ sessions). Gen.3:19 shows us that humankind’s work (or Job) would not be easy, because he had lost his wonderful ‘image’ of God (Gen.1:26 5:3), and would now be burdened with a body which would be a disadvantage to working in – the human body as we know it today. Gen.3:17 confirms.
 
Humankind’s Part
In the book of Psalms, the author wrote in Ps.104 about creation, showing how God had laid the foundation for flora and fauna to co-exist. In verse 23, we see one of fallen humankind’s parts in the plan – to labor for the rest of their days on earth as part of the curse.
 
What about Christ’s Body (Church)?
Within the actual body of Christ (the bride of Christ, in other words), it is evident that not all members will receive gifts of appointment (Teacher, Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, or Prophet). Only those God has destined will grow in those gifts (Eph.4:11). These gifts cannot be obtained by studying at a school or bible college, but are given free by God to those He has ordained. As the body (church) grows, some or all of the members of the fivefold ministry may need to be supported by the remaining members of the body as they enter full-time ministry. This means that others would continue working in the world (although not be part of it) to generate funds for furthering the gospel.
 
How will they Work?
In Romans, Paul exhorts the employee to obey those in authority over them and be sincere in their daily tasks – as unto the Lord (Rom.13:1). That means all jobs – whether liked or not liked, agreed with or disagreed with (Eph.6:5-8). Work done daily should not be done ‘halfheartedly’ to make it appear as though a good job has been done but should be done with total commitment as if the Lord Himself had requested the Job to be done (1 Timothy 6:1-2). We’ll all stand before God one day, and if we have not obeyed His word, He’ll want to know why?
 
Set Apart
Our behavior as Christians in the workplace is always under the watchful eye of the world. (“…and he calls himself a Christian!!” – heard the expression?). It is therefore imperative that our behavior is unto the Lord. We should be seen as different from others in the way we work – a level of excellence in all we do.
 
Who must Listen?
This word applies to everyone, from housekeepers reporting to homeowners to directors reporting to a company board. Know that the Lord will reward those willing to adhere to His word, but those who disobey cannot be blessed, and this without partiality (Col.3:25).
 
Follow in the Steps of His Sufferings
At times it may be tough to do what our superior has instructed, particularly if we don’t agree, or worse still if they are discriminatory towards us! (1 Pet.2:18-22).
 
Some might say – “Why should I obey those in authority when they mistreat me?” Well, we need to remember that firstly, the Lord requests us to obey. Secondly, the scripture in Ephesians tells us that those in authority over us are accountable to God, so if they mistreat anyone under their jurisdiction, they will answer to God (Col.4:1 Eph.6:9).
 
Points to meditate
In previous sessions, we’ve been dealing with the roles of the husband and wife. Interestingly, there are a few similarities between the husband and wife relationship and the employee/employer relationship. Let’s have a look at these scenarios:
 
What would happen if we take the marriage scripture of 1 Peter and applied it to the workplace scenario, in other words:-
 
– The employer treated the employee with understanding – loved and honored them as fellow heirs of the grace of life? (1 Pet.3:7).
OR
  – The employee was obedient and submissive to the employer? (1 Pet.3:1-6).

AND FINALLY…
                – Both employer and employee focused their eyes on the Lord? (Taking the pressure off each other)
 
Employer and employee both have responsibilities to God in terms of His word. Provided these boundaries are respected, God can bless. If not, work situations will continually be difficult (Ps. 1:1-6).
 
Right, let’s recap what we’ve shared this week:
1.       In the Beginning – In the Garden of Eden, Adam was given free rein. Humankind looked like God and had the exact nature of God. Everything in the Garden was placed at their disposal. There was certainly no need for them to ‘toil’ for their food. (Gen 1:29).
2.       The result of Disobedience – When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil,’ they were effectively cursed. Fallen humankind was then destined to work all their life long. Their work (or Job) would not be easy because they had lost their Godly ‘image’ (Gen.1:26 5:3). They would now be burdened with a body which would be a disadvantage in which to work – the human body as we know it today. Gen.3:17 confirms.
3.       Humankind’s Part – God, laid the foundation for flora and fauna to co-exist. Fallen humankind’s part in the plan? – to
labor for the rest of their days on earth as part of the curse.
4.       What about Christ’s Body (Church)? – Within the actual body of Christ (the bride), it is evident that not all members will receive the gifts of appointment (Teacher, Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, or Prophet). Some or all of the members of the fivefold ministry may need to be supported by the remaining members of the body as they enter full-time ministry. This means that others would continue working in the world to generate funds to further the gospel.
5.       How will they Work? – Paul urges the employee to obey those in authority over them and be sincere in all their daily tasks as unto the Lord. Work done daily should be done with total commitment as if the Lord Himself had requested the Job to be done. We will all stand before God one day, and if we have not obeyed His word, He will want to know why.
6.       Set Apart – It is therefore imperative that our behavior is unto the Lord – we should be seen as different from others in the way we work – a level of excellence in all we do.
7.       Who must Listen? – This word applies to everyone, from housekeepers reporting to homeowners to directors reporting to a company board. Know that the Lord will reward those willing to adhere to His word, but without partiality, those who disobey cannot be blessed.
8.       Follow in the Steps of His Sufferings – At times, it may be tough to do what our superior has instructed, particularly if we don’t agree, or worse still if they are discriminatory towards us! The Lord said He would reward those who follow His word and deal with the superior who has been acting outside of the His principles. To the employer, Paul says that they should treat their subordinates with fairness and justice. If they take advantage of subordinates, “…you also have a Master in heaven”.
9.       Points to meditate
Interestingly, there are a few similarities between the husband and wife relationship and the employee/employer relationship. Compare the marriage scripture of 1 Pet.3:7 to the employer/employee relationship in the workplace.
 
LASTLY…
Employer and employee both have responsibilities to God in terms of His word. Provided these boundaries are respected, God can bless. If not, work situations will continually be difficult (Ps. 1:1-6).
 
 
Please join me soon for the next session, where we will look closer at examples of some principles of the Kingdom of God for working believers. Be blessed during this coming week – until we meet again soon
 
 

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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.)

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.

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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.

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My Armour or God’s Armour?


How many times do we feel that we have need to go out and ‘fight the good fight? How many times do we feel that if we don’t go out and fight the good fight, we will be disappointing God? How much of our own strength can we commit to this task when we have so much on our plates?

I have tried many times, rising early, believing that THIS day, I will be a good example of God’s child and stand firm, only to discover, like Peter the disciple, I am truly very weak!

The truth is, in our own strength, we cannot please God and our loving Father is very aware of this fact. The old nature, which we inherited from Adam, is just not equipped to please God.

Our loving Father has already poured out His peace into our hearts, so we should just take hold of it and allow Him to work IN us and THROUGH us, in HIS time. The ‘THROUGH us’ work will be a result of the ‘IN us’ work, just like the fruit of a tree. The tree does not have to concern itself with the fruit making, it’s bearing is a natural process. The quality of the fruit is dependent on the intake of the roots.

So it is with us. Spend time with the Lord in prayer, reading the Word and fellowship with other members of His family, and your ‘fight the good fight’ will be a natural process, not something you have to constantly drive.

What a blessing the scripture says:
Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.Armour of God 2

God’s armour…not MY armour. The ‘good fight’ is God’s battle and He encourages us not to try and fight this battle in our strength. Instead, He says…. “submit to me…”. We are His instruments, clay in the potter’s hands…

Gird your loins with truth….. loins are normally associated with giving life – we will only be able to fight the good fight to the level of our own relationship with our Father. The deeper we are in Him, the more effective our fruit to bring new life to those around us – the natural process of fruit bearing. Is it God’s fruit from within, or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Put on the breastplate of righteousness…. A breastplate is something that covers a large area of the body and is bright and shiny. The breastplate is seen first when a person approaches. If the breastplate is damaged and dull, it does not create a good impression. A bright shiny breastplate indicates cleanliness and righteousness. Does the fruit of righteousness shine through us as a natural process or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel …. Our Father’s desire is to disciple the nations. Our feet are going to take us to our families, communities and Nations. As we go, we will take the Gospel with us. The Gospel will regenerate minds and lives will begin to change. Is the fruit of the Gospel evident in us a natural process, or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Take up the shield of Faith …. A shield of trusting God (faith) will protect us. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we believe God has the power to resolve a condition, but we cannot seem to trust (or have faith) that He will do so for us in our time of need. It is at this time, that our trust in God is stretched. The more we stretch our trust, the more we will be protected in any given situation. Is our trust in the Lord evident as a natural process or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

The Helmet of Salvation…A helmet is vital for survival, protecting the brain, the central command station. It is in the brain that the evil one begins his mission to lead us away from God. He plants a tempting thought and we begin to entertain it. If this thought is not put out of our minds, the scripture says it will take us on a path of death. Salvation in our lives is as secure as a helmet on our heads. Jesus died on the cross that we might receive Salvation as a gift (free) – all we must do is…receive it! Within the Salvation process, our minds are renewed. Are we allowing God to work IN us as a natural process in order that He can work THROUGH us, or are we resisting Him in our own strength?

From: “…time with the Master…”

This is a bi-monthly series of spiritual teachings.
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A Timeless Tale – Chapter Three


You can start this series from the beginning, if you would like to catch up.

Where You Fit In…..

Tell me that you are getting something out of what we have discussed so far. I’ll wager that a lot of it, you never heard before; I hope so, because, if you are like me, you love hearing about new things.

Let’s update then. You feel that there might just be the possibility that your soul and spirit may not dissipate with your body when it dies, so you feel that you would like to investigate a little further.

Maybe, you’ve been a real enthusiast and looked into a few religions that might just meet with the immigration requirements that you have – good on you and well done.

Maybe you didn’t get that far yet, but have decided to keep reading; either way – good on you!

Where you fit in to the picture now, is taking a look at what you can do about getting the immigration requirements you need from this little e-book and I really want to help you with this.

Moving along with The Tree of Life Process we will want to know how we are able to take hold of what Jesus did on the cross, in order to get us all the free benefits in this life and meet the immigration requirements in the next existence.

Before we continue, I need to tell you something. I know I quipped about the cost of joining the club earlier, but the reality is, that in the truest sense, there is no club.

There is only God and you.

What will happen however is that once you have had the meeting with God, you will attract others who, like you, have also had a meeting with God. This leads to the need to spend time with these people, because that way you enjoy being with them and you learn at the same time.

But this is the thing you MUST REMEMBER. Your meeting with God and the receiving of all the benefits from Him, IS NOT DEPENDANT on you belonging to some club or organization or being monitored and controlled by a management team.

If you are sincere in wanting to meet with God, and if you have read this far, I believe you must be, then God Himself will lead you to those who will sincerely coach you, as and when God wants you to be coached.

Having said this we can continue now with The Tree of Life Process:

The Tree of Life Process – Continued

How do I personally take hold of the benefits for my life from what Jesus did on the cross?

I know that this may sound a little strange to you, but the answer to the question is, “Not much really”!

According to what Jesus said in the Gospel books, how you will begin to take up the benefits of The Tree of Life Process is actually dependant on God alone and not you.[1]

What I mean when I say this is; God understood, before He created the heavens and the universe, that you would want to receive the benefits from His Tree of Life Process. As a result He earmarked you to have them. Let’s put it this way: It’s not a matter of God being selective as to whom He gave the benefits, it’s just that He knew who would accept and who would reject His offer. (God is omniscient – knowing all things). Being very efficient in everything that He does, He would not offer something to someone, whom He knew beforehand would reject it, so then, He does not offer it to them at all.

What I have explained above is very, very important. There are many who believe that God’s Tree of Life benefits must be widely and loudly broadcast, often using techniques to persuade others to ask God to give these to them. Because God does not need the use of human marketing methods to accomplish what He wants, such efforts are, in the deepest sense, futile. However, God is supreme and His methods are not understood fully by humanity[2], but God will, if it suits His purpose, even use the futility of human effort, to accomplish His purpose.

I say that no human can receive from another human something that is not experiential in the human that is giving. In other words, if it’s not real in my life, I can’t (effectively) transfer it to you.

Remember: There is only God and you.

To summarize: God offers, you receive –it does not work any other way. So, you ask Him (no one else) and He gives to you.

The next step is believing in what actually happened at Calvary, where Jesus was crucified on a wooden cross.

What did happen?

He was nailed through the palms of his hands and His feet to the wooden beams. The cross was raised and dropped into a support socket, so that it would remain erect.

The basis of this procedure (a Roman form of punishment) was that the victim would ultimately die a very slow and painful death by asphyxiation.

Now, much has been written over the years about the physical suffering of Jesus on that cross, but, without appearing heartless for His suffering, I must say, that the pain and suffering were not the true issue here.

The real issue was that this event was the most significant and at the same time, the most powerful in the history of humanity and here’s why:

In agreement with God, Jesus offered to give up His Life as compensation for the blood sacrifice that God had always required over the millennia when His people had been disobedient. But this time it was different, Jesus would die and his bleeding body, in death, would be the very last sacrifice for humanity’s disobedience. God would require no more sacrifices from humanity after this event.

The crucifixion of Jesus was the reason for His birth and life on this earth. Without Him, there was no hope for humanity and the perfect completion of God’s original and ONLY plan.

How do you go about BELIEVING in what happened at Calvary and how does this believing bring you to the place of receiving the fruit (benefits) from The Tree of Life process, here on this earth and then immigration acceptance in the next existence?

Another way of saying, “believing in” is to have faith in. If I came up to you as a perfect stranger and said, “You are headed for a wonderful experience in this coming week”. I suppose your first reaction would be, “How do you know”? And I might say, “Someone told me and it’s not important that you know who, just now”. With this I walk away.

You say to yourself, “That man is a complete stranger, who doesn’t know me, but he must know something about me from some unearthly source”.

Now, you want a wonderful experience this week – right? So, you do not reject what I say, but rather, you accept it because that’s what you would like to happen for you.

You might say, “How stupid is that guy, what does he know about me?” You go on your way and soon forget what I said.

Which side of you is, “believing in” what I said?

OK, no prizes for the correct answer, but you get the idea.

Let’s do a little visualization here….You have time travelled to zero AD. Jesus is hanging on the cross and is in the stage of His last breath. You happen to be standing with the little group of women, including his mother, Mary.

He looks down at you….yes, you. At first you turn your head, because you can’t honestly look into his eyes, there is something about yourself that makes you feel that you not good enough to take in his gaze. Then you turn and look at Him. He starts to speak, you strain to hear. You cannot believe what He is telling you. “Come up here and die with me”. “What?” you say to yourself, “What are you asking?” As if he can read your thoughts, He continues. “If you are willing to die to your disobedient life, I will give you a new life here on this earth and a paradise for your soul and spirit when your body dies”.

You pause and try to reason, and then you say to yourself, “This man is a complete stranger, who doesn’t know me, but he must know something about me from some unearthly source”.

What seems like an hour, but in fact is only a few seconds you make your decision and hesitatingly say, “Take me, I want to go with you.”

Jesus turns his head towards the little group of women and it’s not long after, lifting His head upwards, he cries out a sentence in a language you do not understand and his head sinks in submission to death.

Suddenly, to a woman, the little group begin to wail.

It is a strange thing, that in this horror scene, you are feeling elated, you cannot understand why…but later you will come to know.

The reason for you feeling the way you do, is that something spiritual has taken place between you and God via what Jesus has just accomplished on the cross.

What did He do? He became the final sacrifice for your sins (and all other humans). When I say sins, I mean your past sins, your present sins and finally your future sins. For your part you obeyed the request from the lips of Jesus to, “Come up here and die with me”. Spiritually speaking, you joined Him on that cross and died with Him.

It did not stop there, because He was buried that day and likewise, you were buried with Him.

Finally, after three days, He rose from the dead and was lifted up into heaven, to be seated at the right hand (place of authority) of God and you went with Him, to be seated with God.[3]

Now looking at yourself, you will notice that you are still very much here on earth!

But in the spiritual sense your soul and spirit are with God, as they are the eternal parts of you and not limited by time or space. Your body, however, remains earthbound.

Seated with Jesus, next to God, the mindset that you had (which used to disobey the will of God) before you agreed to join Jesus on the cross, is no longer in you. It was buried at Calvary, never to be resurrected again.

So now you are a new person, seated with Jesus, next to God and you have a new mindset that is passionate to obey God in all respects.

You have just undergone a ‘rebirth’ process[4] and the benefits of this process are:

  • You begin to see God in a new light. You understand something about his character and the Kingdom that He established here on this earth.
  • You begin to actually live; the way God wants you to live on this earth, adopting his Kingdom Principles[5].
  • You make immigration approval to a new and better existence.

In the next chapter I would like to talk a little more on the subject of our position with God and Jesus in eternity (which for you and I will be the new and better existence for which we have now qualified).

A Timeless Tale is a series that is published bi-monthly.

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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).

[1] John 6:44,65

Romans 8:29-30; 9:12-21

Ephesians 1:4-5

Titus 3:5-7

 

[2] I Corinthians 2:16

[3] Ephesians: 1:20; 2:6

[4] John 3:3-5

[5] Chapters, 5,6,7 of Matthew’s Gospel

Mission Malawi – Chapter Fifteen


October 3 1995

Another visit from the thieves. This time we foiled them at the chicken cage but they still managed to get away with one of the chickens. It seems to be a syndicate operating in the area. One group patrolling in a vehicle, picking up the ‘booty’ while others are working. As we chased them into the darkness everything was still.

 After 15mins we heard the alarm,”wakhuba!!” a few houses away. Great scurrying around the houses but nothing. 1:45 Am. We went back to bed. At about 4:30am, we were awaken by a great commotion a few houses away.

 The one thief had been caught by a watchman after falling in to a septic drain trying to escape. His partner got away but not unscathed. He was wounded by an arrow shot from a bow. The crude arrow heads are beaten out of red hot metal and are extremely sharp. Anyone pierced by one would surely be infected by blood poisoning. Bow and Arrow

 The ‘law’ enforcing crowd marched on pulling the thief. The jeering and cheering got louder and louder as they came past our house. We tried to explain to the angry mob that we could take him to the police. They just laughed at us saying, “White man…. these are the ones that stole your tires and you want to help them?”

 The thief was burned around his groin and feet after first being beaten senseless. The mob took him to one of the local chiefs for judgment. He was handed over to the mob to do as they pleased. They took him to the church yard to be burned, but by the Lords grace nobody had the courage to light the dried branches and leaves thrown on top of him. He nevertheless died two hours later of his wounds.

 A savage killing to satisfy the hearts of a people who say they know God. Without the power of God touching their hearts, we have no chance of teaching them the Gospel.

October 9 1995

This wicked action has not deterred the thieves and last night they came again. This time Stephen (another precious soul the Lord sent to us), woke us up. As we watched the thieves, hearts pounding, they investigated the Combi and realizing the alarm was on, moved off. A few minutes later we heard the scream, “wakhuba!!”

 As we ran out into the road, there were people running in what appeared to be all directions. The thieves had stolen tires from two cars and were on their way out of the area (each carrying two wheels!), when they were disturbed. They dropped the tires and car jack in front of our house and got away.

 The Lord has sovereignly sorted out the deep freeze and washing machine import duty. After sharing the challenge with a brother in the Lord who works for Customs and Excise, he immediately got in his car and kindly went to sort it out for us. It was miraculous for Arthur Jacob and me to witness the Lord using this brother to help us. Within a few days we were able to switch on the deep freeze and washing machine. What a great blessing! Now we could order meat and other luxuries for the first time in many months. Thank you Lord.

 Our little ‘mission base’ is about to be increased in size. Andrew and Sue will arrive any day from the Mission Base at Nottingham Rd, South Africa.

My brother Christopher and his family will also be arriving shortly. They are on their way to England for a season of mission work there.

It will be necessary for us to find additional accommodation for them all.

October 10 1995

In the business of all the thief actions, our precious brother and sister, Andrew and Sue have arrived from South Africa. Originally from England, they have just completed nine months at the mission in Nottingham Rd.

 They left the mission with little or no money as their funds were all tied up with the South African Immigration authorities. At the station in Johannesburg, a friend met them briefly and blessed them with some money which would be enough to last them the trip.

 After a nightmare train trip through Zimbabwe and Zambia, they had a 28 hour ‘African’ bus trip from Lusaka to Lilongwe. They arrived somewhat shaken, but truly blessed having witnessed the Lords hand. It took them 6 days. Normally the trip would be done in about 2African Bus days!

 October 13 1995

Getting meat for us to cook is not very easy. Most of the cuts available in the city centre butcheries are too expensive for us to buy – apart from the cheaper cuts such as ‘shin’.

 However we’ve discovered the village butcher is much better suited for us. At certain designated places in the rural areas, cattle and sheep are slaughtered and then hung up by the back legs in a tree. This allows the blood to be drained. After the blood has been drained the animal is skinned and cut up as customers require.

A great discovery today was that most Malawians don’t like the fillet meat of the cow as it is too soft for their liking. We have been able to buy fillet meat at a very cheap price!!

“…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.

 

 

Give Us Our Daily Faith


In my life, I try to find simple practical solutions in my walk with the Lord. When I was young in the Lord, I found myself praying, asking for things and situations to be resolved according to how I thought they should be sorted out:, as if God needed a helping hand!

When I found that my prayers were not being answered the way I would like them to be, I began to get a little disheartened and wondered why the Lord was apparently not listening to me. I did a bit of reading up on the topic and sought counsel from various quarters. The majority of the answers seemed to point to the fact that my faith wasn’t strong enough….I had to believe more….the more my faith strengthened, the more answers I would get from the Lord and the more ‘successful’ healings I would be able to perform. Somehow, this counsel didn’t sit well with me.Faith 2

As I do, I asked the Lord to please teach me and show me more about this situation. Time went by and the Lord opened my eyes to some interesting things.

First, there is a faith which we receive by hearing the Gospel. This is believing that Jesus died on the cross, where He took take away our old sinful nature and released us from our wrong doings. This is a saving Faith. When we read the scriptures  it is difficult for us to understand in our minds, that our old natures died with Jesus some 2,000 years ago! However – by believing, in our hearts, the word of God, we will accept this truth.

Second, there is a faith which comes as part of the personal gifts we receive when we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us. This is what I call a supernatural imparting of belief or trust and is experienced when the Lord wishes to exalt himself or encourage the body of Christ in a given circumstance. Peter and John’s example in Acts 3:2-13,16 is a wonderful testimony of how the Lord imparts the gift of faith for His glory. In that instant, they believed that healing would take place (imparted by the Holy Spirit). In verse 16, Peter acknowledged that it was faith in the name of Jesus that healed the man. Once again, it is for the exaltation of God or the encouragement of His body – never for our own glory!

Third, there is a faith or TRUST in the Lord, which grows in us on a daily basis. This is how we learn to trust the Lord more and more on a day to day basis. Often we will have no doubt believing that God has the power to do something (heal, bless or change a situation), but we do not trust Him to do it at that particular time for us. Faith 3The only way we can grow in this faith (trust), is to get to know God. The more we know God (not just know about Him) and the way he does things, the more we are able to trust Him. Think about your own life – the people you trust the most are the ones you are closest to, the ones you know well. The scripture is a nice illustration of a lesson in learning to trust the Lord in a given circumstance.

We should remember when praying in a given circumstance that Jesus taught us how to pray. He requested us to say “let your will be done…” If we learn to pray like this, we have no need to be discouraged if God doesn’t answer according to our desires. It is because He is answering according to HIS will. We need to believe in  Him for the outcome and our trust in Him will grow.  After all, He is not wiser in all things?  Sometimes God allows suffering so that His will can be made complete.

So…. let’s not be condemned because our ‘faith is weak’. Let’s realise that we do believe with all our heart that God can do anything He wants to do at any time He wants to, and lets allow the Lord to use our daily circumstances to build up our trust in Him. As we do this, the Lord will give us our daily faith (trust)!

From: “time with the Master…”

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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button).

 

Mission Malawi – Chapter Nine


 

Field Trip

14th – 21st November 1994

The following is a report of a field trip completed by two disciples of the Lord. The purpose of the trip was mostly a teaching experience to see how the Lord can bless those who are willing to give of themselves completely to His will.

It should be carefully noted here that we would be foolish to try and test God.

A trip of this nature should never be undertaken without careful and prayerful consideration. Everything which we do must be born out of the seed of prayer. God will speak to those who are willing to listen and will teach those who are willing to be manageable in His hands. Often, our hearts desires and strong wills, prevent us from hearing the gentle voice of the Spirit.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Nine”

Kingdom Business or Business in the Kingdom?


Today’s business market is extremely competitive. I don’t think there has ever been a time in our history when all aspects of business need to be so well honed in order to merely stay ‘afloat’.

 We believe, by faith, that God can do anything. Can we trust Him to help us take our businesses to a level where He can freely bless us?

Continue reading “Kingdom Business or Business in the Kingdom?”