God – A Man?


“Jesus came to die for my sins” – we have heard the expression many times – so many times, that I think it has begun to sound a bit like a ‘stuck record’. After hearing these words so many times, they seem to have lost their power. They don’t seem to cut as deeply into our hearts as they perhaps once did. Do the words still pierce deep into our souls and do we really appreciate what an amazing gift we have been given?

Before the foundation of time, a very serious board meeting was convened. The board consisted of the triune Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At this meeting God’s plan for mankind was discussed. God wanted to bring His Peace and Joy into all the world and the heavens. However, the Godhead saw that rebellion against God would set in. The heavenly beings – Angels – would rebel against God’s authority and the earthly beings – Mankind – would disobey God’s instructions.

What a relief that the Godhead not only had a solution to the situation, but they knew before the foundation of time, that rebellion was going to occur! There was a time in my life when I thought that God was sitting on His throne in the heavens dealing with problems on the earth daily as they occurred. Can you imagine God looking at a certain situation in a country and saying, “Oops…? I didn’t see that coming!”. That would be a pretty scary situation for us to be in. No – God knew before the foundation of time, ALL that HAS occurred on the earth – ALL that IS occurring on the earth – and ALL that WILL occur on the earth. This applies to our personal lives as well.

It was decided at the meeting that Jesus’ death on the cross would be the restitution or sacrifice for this rebellion. Those who wanted to be restored back to God, would have a way back through the Son. For this to happen, Jesus would have to come to the earth as a man. Let’s just think about this statement for a while…Jesus had to become a man.God a Man

The Godhead’s plan began to unfold. Satan rebelled against God in the heavenlies, and Adam disobeyed God in the garden of Eden. Jesus, the Son of God, in order to enter the world as a man, had to empty himself of his deity and everything associated with His power in God. It is relatively easy for mankind to be humbled and begin to be obedient to God, because as mankind, we have much less to lose. How much greater for Jesus to remove all the Godly power within Himself?

Jesus became a man in every respect, except that He never sinned. Not only did He become a man, but He became the lowest of all men. A servant to those around Him – a target to those who hated Him – a sacrifice for those he didn’t even know. The lowliest of all, and never once did He complain or react badly in the situations, He found Himself in.

At any point during His life on earth, Jesus could have succumbed to the temptations around Him. He could have fallen into sin, being a man in all respects. Even if He had fallen into sin, He could have gone back to heaven as part of the Godhead because He is inherently the Son of God. However, He would not have received Glory and Lordship from God on His return. This would mean that at His second coming, He could not be honoured and glorified by all.

As a man, Jesus resisted all temptation. Through Him, God gave us an example to follow. Never could it be said that Jesus did not sin because He is the Son of God. No – He was a man – emptied of God and humbled as a human. Therefore, ALL the world has an opportunity to be reconciled back to God through Jesus – not only rich or poor, educated or uneducated, culture or no culture, but ALL who seek Him. At the second coming of Jesus, the scripture tells us that EVERY KNEE will bow, and EVERY TONGUE will confess “Jesus is Lord”, also the “Kingdoms of this world will be the Kingdoms of our Lord”. God bestowed Lordship upon Jesus because He resisted temptation and sin.Jesus as God

It would be good for us to dwell on this truth and allow God, through the power of His Spirit, to reveal to us the totality of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Emptying Himself of His Father’s deity to become the lowest of all humankind. This is surely a good reason to honor and worship Him all through our day. Hallelujah!

Hopefully when we next hear the phrase, “Jesus came to die for my sins”, we will recall the depth of its meaning and really appreciate how much love the Father has for us.

From: “…time with the Master…”

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

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God’s Cinderella


 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From: “…time with the Master…”

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

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).

 

 

Mission Malawi – Chapter 23


September 1996
We now find ourselves preparing to go back to Joburg to see what the Lord will have for us. In the natural, we have nothing to go back to. No place to live, no work and once we arrive back in Johannesburg, we will have no money. Well, one thing we have learnt is that we can now trust the Lord to take care of all these concerns. Perhaps in a couple of years’ time we will be writing another diary of what happened after this!

Kathy, I and our youngsters, are very sorry to have left the little mission base, as we know a part of each of our lives is there. We witnessed the hand of God, first hand in our lives many, many times. There were plenty of days that were very difficult and a few times we wanted to run away, but now that the Lord has brought it to an end, we are very blessed and mightily encouraged. We truly saw everything that we had learned, being outworked in real life.

I asked Kathy if there was anything she would have changed were we given the time over again and she said, “No, every detail happened because God allowed it and our lives wouldn’t be the same today if He had not planned it that way”.

Titus will continue to run the mission base and the little business to support the work, so they may not be a burden to anyone. Andy and Sue will go back to England to share with others all they have learned in Africa over the past two and a half years.Young disciples at the mission

During our two years and seven months there, the gospel was preached, to many. Many heard the word. A large number committed their lives to the Lord. Others came and were taught for a short time – but only two (in the end), were willing to be discipled and lay their lives down totally for the Lord, so that they might go out and do the same thing.

“Behold, the sower went out to sow and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. And others fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil and immediately, they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched and because they had no root, they withered away. And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil, and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Jesus was right when He said, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Establishing that mission base, called “Church at Lilongwe”, has taken so many wonderful people and Kathy and I don’t know how to thank you all. For those who have prayed for us and the work, your faithfulness has been Building on the mission base in Area 49, Lilongwerewarded, as we conclude our purpose for being there. For those who have written, your contributions have helped to encourage us through the not so good times. For those who contributed materially so that our physical needs were met, the Lord will bless you, ten-fold as that work now multiplies.

On the fourth of January 1994, the Lord said to Hein and me ….
“…And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with Me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus…”

By His grace and power alone, we can say this command has been fulfilled for now, and we look forward to that which He has planned for us in the future.

We thank the Lord for keeping us safe during this time and for the many lovely people we have met from all over the world, not to mention the great amount He has taught us. We thought we were going to Malawi to teach others, which we did, but we were the ones that were really being taught, and for that, we will be eternally grateful.

Thank you, FatherSharing the Gospel with young men

Epilogue
It is really our hearts desire that something in these chapters has somehow brought you closer to God. We thank God each and every day for the few experiences He has allowed us to go through so far in our walk – only the tip of the iceberg has been scratched. God is real and He really does provide. The question is: Are we able to allow Him to provide for us?

Paul says that we should work out our salvation in fear and trembling.

Each day we draw a little closer to God if we listen to that which He is teaching us, if we are not too busy with ‘things’ which block out our Holy Spirit ‘frequency’. If we follow the path of seeking and speaking to Him daily, we will come to trust Him more and more. As we show faith in the small things, so He will grant us favor in the larger things, not only in this world, but in the Kingdom to come.

Bless You All.

Characters

Raymond and Kathy – Children: Theresa-Anne, Wayne, Simon, Bethany and Daniel
Worked in Johannesburg, South Africa and decided to sell all and live a season of time being led by the Lord. Their last son, Daniel was born during the time of this journey.

Today they are living in Vereeniging in South Africa where they now have three lovely grandchildren. They own their own business, which is used to generate funds for the furthering of the Gospel. They share the Gospel and disciple others in small home groups.

Hein and Erica – Children: Joshua
Worked in Cape Town, South Africa and decided to forsake their jobs as medical Nurses and live a season of time being led by the Lord.

Today they live in Alberton, South Africa and have three children. Hein works in a company where he is able to share the Lord and disciple others. Erica is teaching at a Christian School.

David and Zelifa
Lived in Malawi and were the hosts for the beginning of this work. They had five children.
They remained in Malawi where sadly David passed away and there is no updated news of Zelifa.

Frank
A Pastor with a Charismatic Church in Malawi. He was married with five children.
They remained in Malawi but there is no updated news of them.

Timothy and Joseph
Malawian brothers who had gone to South Africa to find employment and a better future. They were based at the Mission in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. There is no updated news of either of them.

Chris and Sally – Children: Heath, Matthew and Leigh-Megan
Worked in Durban, South Africa for a large corporate food company and decided to sell all and live a season of time being led by the Lord.

Today they live in the Nottingham/Derby area in England. Chris is self-employed and shares Jesus wherever his work takes him. Sally is teaching at a Christian School. They have two lovely grandchildren.

Arthur
Worked in Johannesburg, South Africa for a large corporate company in the field of Electrical Engineering. He decided to sell all and live a season of time being led by the Lord.

Today he is married with 3 children and one fostered child. They live in Thohoyandou, South Africa where they are actively involved on an outreach Mission base serving the community.

Titus
Was found at the African Market in Area 49, Lilongwe, Malawi where his small business had come to an end. Wayne brought him home to meet us and his discipling season began.

Today he is married with 5 children and works at the headquarters of an international aid organization. He continues to share the Gospel in Malawi wherever he goes.

This is the last in the series of Mission Malawi, if you have not participated in the richness of the story of young missionaries in the warm heart of Africa – Malawi go to the beginning and read about an amazing experience.

“…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

A Timeless Tale – Chapter two


Why not start at the beginning of the series?

In the times of the first five books of Moses, at the beginning of the Old Testament, God made an arrangement with His people.

Instead of the severity of the punishment, suffered by Adam and Eve, for their disobedience, God arranged for people to come to His temple in Jerusalem, once a year, bringing along with them a pair of spotless (free of any blemishes) lambs, or if they could not afford these, then two pigeons would be in order. [1]

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter two”

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.

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

 

Is there space for God in my life?


Imagine an Elephant and a Rhino living in a small room. It would be very difficult for the either to move around. In order to ease the situation, it would be good if the Elephant lost weight and ‘shrunk’ – as it were. As the Elephant loses weight and becomes smaller, it is easier for the Rhino to move around.

Continue reading “Is there space for God in my life?”

A Timeless Tale – Chapter Twenty Two


Living a Life in the Kingdom of God – Continued

We continue this week, discussing the third part of our three-part human make up – the spirit.

As we read through the Bible, we may not realize that references to ‘the spirit’ or just ‘spirit’ are different to references (particularly in the New Testament) of ‘The Spirit’. The ‘spirit’ is our human spirit and ‘The Spirit’ is the Holy Spirit.

Our human spirit is a channel or connection to the atmosphere world and could be easily be compared to a modem in our computer that connects us to the internet.

The Holy Spirit is the third part of God. He is the one who enlightens us about God the Father.

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter Twenty Two”

I’ll encourage you…stay with Me


 

On the 22 April 2017 all South Africans were invited to meet on a farm near Bloemfontein in the Free State. The purpose of this meeting was to worship the Lord and pray for our country, South Africa.

It was amazing to be part of such a gathering. As far as our eyes could see there were people of all cultures assembled for one purpose…to petition the Lord our God and intercede for the country. Each one of the one million people that attended worshipped the Lord in the warm Free State sun. There was a call for repentance and many gave their lives to the LordPrayer Picture Group for the first time. It was important to ask for forgiveness before asking God to hear the prayers of His people.

The Lord encouraged His children to become ‘prayers’. Once leaving the gathering, we should all become intercessors for the areas in which we live. We left the meeting excited at the prospect of being used by the Lord in our area to intercede for our country.

 

Continue reading “I’ll encourage you…stay with Me”

A New Hope


 

As we look around today there are many things which do not give us any hope…. the economy, our work situation, debt that we find ourselves in, to name but a few. If we focus on these negative situations we will eventually become very disheartened.

Continue reading “A New Hope”