Let’s Look at Prayer -4


Let’s look at Prayer Video

Session 4

Welcome to session 4 of Let’s look at Prayer

How about a quick recap on what we said in last week’s session on Warfare prayers?

  1. Pray God’s Will – Warfare prayers are a matter of seeking God’s will. It is never man’s place to make a decision on behalf of God.
  2. What is warfare prayer? – Warfare prayer is asking God to come up against powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness, that we may witness in our day
  3. What are spiritual weapons? – Spiritual weapons are the unseen weapons of the spiritual world – through God
  4. When to pray ‘forbid or Permit’ prayers – The more we are one with God, the more we hear Him directing us when to pray
  5. How to pray ‘forbid and permit’ prayers – God will give us the wording for each burden that he gives us to pray for
  6. How not to pray ‘forbid and permit’ prayers – ‘Binding and Loosing’ prayers should never be prayed in our own strength or out of an emotional frenzy
  7. Where is our Authority? – The only authority that we have on this earth is “…through God…”

And lastly

  • How do we lay hold of this authority? – Our authority lies ‘In Christ’ only. The more our old nature is laid down, the deeper ‘in Christ’ we move and the more His authority is released through us

In this week’s session we’ll look at some important questions about prayer.

WHAT SHOULD MY ATTITUDE BE WHEN I PRAY?

In Luke 18, Jesus explains to us what our attitude should be when we pray.  He is saying that it is persistent prayer, inspired by faith and intensity, from a heart that is humble and repentant, that receives a response from the throne of God .

It’s not that God gets some kind of pleasure at seeing us begging and grovelling before Him day after day, but rather that the persistent prayer of a righteous believer will break down the evil forces that try to prevent the answers to our prayers reaching us as confirmed by these scriptures (Eph. 6:12; Jas. 5:16; 1Thess.5:17). Later, we’ll look more closely at the example of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter 9.

Believing and trusting God (in other words Faith) when we pray, puts the emphasis on God Himself. It is all about Him and His faithfulness. Jesus did not teach us to rely on prayer alone – He taught us to rely on, and trust Him. Only when we can fully trust Him, can we fully pray believing. We are to believe Him first, and then express that belief in prayer. Trust must be in the heart before prayer comes out of the mouth. In Luke 18, we see how strong the beggar’s faith was. He trusted God to heal him.

Another example of prayer attitude is once again seen in Luke 18 where Jesus says that the Tax gatherer’s seeking God, was one of humility. We also see in Daniel chapter 9 how Daniel prayed from a heart that was humble and repentant, longing to understand God’s will. Please, if you have time this week, read through this chapter and let the Lord show you the state of Daniel’s heart.

CAN WE PRAY LIKE THE GREAT MEN OF GOD?

Let’s have a look at two examples of how great men of God prayed. In 1 Kings 18, we enter the story at the point where Elijah tells King Ahab that it is going to rain (and that’s after three and a half years of drought!).  Although he tells Ahab, what he is really doing is prophesying.

Elijah immediately then got onto his knees and prayed until what he had prophesied had come to pass.

Daniel, in chapter 9, said this: “So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes…” (Dan.9:3).

Daniel’s seeking the Lord was very serious – not a light hearted approach.

We must desire to pray the way Elijah and Daniel prayed because these types of prayers produce results.  Not only this, but they are within the reach of every believer.

We need however to take note of a very important factor here:-

Both these men prayed in God’s will. 

Elijah heard from God before he prophesied to Ahab that there would be no rain.

And

Daniel read about the prophecies of Jeremiah before he began to pray .

PRAY IN GOD’S WILL, PRAY BELIEVING

The next important issue is that they both firmly believed that their prayers would be heard by God.  This was visible by their behaviour.  Elijah went to Ahab and told him what was going to happen, then prayed without moving from his place until his servant reported a cloud.

Daniel never moved from his place for three whole weeks, neither eating, drinking nor bathing!!

HUMILITY AND BROKENESS IS WHAT WE NEED IN PRAYER

If we go back to Luke 18, Jesus describes two attitudes in prayer:

Firstly, the scribe who is proud of his achievements and legalistic in his manner of praying. 

Secondly, and very different, is the attitude of the tax-gatherer.  He goes to God with a heart that is looking for mercy.

Let’s try and remember these prayer attitudes, as we next seek God.

CAN I ONLY PRAY THE WILL OF GOD?

Praying in the will of God is really a way of life. In other words, people who have utterly surrendered their lives to God, don’t have much difficulty praying God’s will, because they KNOW Him – not just know ABOUT Him. Let’s just repeat that… they KNOW him – not just know ABOUT Him.

But for those of us still growing to that place, we need firstly to desire to pray in God’s will, and then ask Him to cause our prayers to be prayed in His will.  But we are certainly free to ask God for the things that we want, then ask Him to make it subject to His will.

WHY DOES GOD WANT US TO DO THE PRAYING?

God’s ways are unique to Him and they work in spite of what we do or don’t do. He does require us to pray and preach to fulfill His purpose on earth, but even where we are disobedient, He will find others that are willing, so He always accomplishes His will. The scripture of Romans 10 shows us this.

In Luke 18, Jesus gives us some idea as to why God wants us to pray:

In this instance, the judge can be likened to the position God holds over the earth.  He is in total charge.

The widow (who is a symbol of defencelessness and a particular focus of God’s deep compassion), is likened to a person who cries out for deliverance from their adversary.

The adversary is Satan who constantly seeks to bind people in slavery to his will.

The widow remained persistent, and it was because of this that the judge agreed to deliver her, “…lest by her continuous requesting, she wear me out…” (vs. 5).  Jesus says that God too, will deliver, when His children pray to Him, “…crying to Him day and night…” (vs. 7).

Jesus guarantees, in fact, that God will deliver speedily (vs. 8)!

WHY PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER?

Why would God insist that we persist in prayer, is He like a judge waiting to be wearied?  Never!  God is just and has a very good reason for us persisting in prayer. 

We see in Daniel 9, how and what Daniel prayed.  The answer to his prayer comes in chapter 10 when a messenger from God tells Daniel that his prayer was answered the first time he prayed, but it took twenty-one days for the answer to reach him.  Why?  Because it was hindered by the Prince of Persia (which we can understand to be a demonic strong-hold over the area – vs. 13).

Daniel fasted and never gave up on his praying.  His prayers were persistent and in deep sincerity.

In 1 John 3, we read that Jesus defeated Satan, yet Satan is still the god of this world as we see in 2 Cor.2.  How?  By illegal means, he does this.  He tempts man to sin and those that do not have the power to overcome, become slaves to him.  Therefore, he rules!

However, as the saints persist in prayer, many shall be freed from his evil clutches. In Heb.10, we see that through perseverance and the will of God, we will receive what He promises us (Heb.10:36).

SOME LAST POINTS TO CONSIDER…

In essence then, this is what Jesus is teaching us:

When we pray, first look for what GOD wants.

Ask God to empty us as we begin to pray and show us what’s on His heart.

Pray according to the will of God.

BELIEVE that God will not only hear our prayer, but will answer them as well.

Persist in prayer – don’t give up!

Lastly, when all this has been done, ask God to give you peace about that which you have prayed.

OK… let’s quickly recap what have we seen this week:

  1. What should my attitude be when I pray? – It is persistent prayer, inspired by faith and intensity, from a heart that is humble and repentant, that receives a response from the throne of God
  2. Can we pray like the great men of God? – Praying is well within the reach of everybody and is encouraged by God – there are many biblical examples of praying people.
  3. Pray in God’s Will, pray believing – All great praying people totally believed God would answer their requests
  4. Humility and Brokenness in prayer – God looks for humble hearts seeking mercy rather than arrogant prideful attitudes in prayer
  5. Can I only pray the will of God? – God’s will in our prayers will come naturally as we get to know Him – but we are free to ask for the things we want according to His will
  6. Why does God want us to do the praying? – God uses us to further His Kingdom here on earth – through prayer and His will
  7. Why persistence in prayer? – We need to persevere in prayer because answers are sometimes delayed in the heavenlies and through perseverance and the will of God, we will receive answers.

And lastly, when we pray:

  • Look for what God wants – ask God to empty our hearts as we begin to pray – pray the will of God – believe God will hear our prayer and trust Him for the answer – persist and don’t give up – and then ask Him to give us peace about what we have prayed.

Let’s end off this last session by praying together in your group. Hopefully by now we are all used to praying with each other and we’ve begun to hear God sharing His heart with us in the prayer time.

Remember – we hold a very powerful tool in our hands when we pray, not by our power – but by His. Talk to God all day long – get to know Him intimately and tell Him you love Him. Marvel as we see situations around us change by the power of our prayers, subject to God’s will.

Thanks so much for joining me as we’ve had a look together at the topic prayer over the last few weeks. I pray the Lord has used these sessions in some way, to bring us all that bit closer to Him.

May our Father in Heaven Bless you all.

“…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).

The Holy Spirit – Part Six.


Join Our Pastor Ray as he shares on the power of The Holy Spirit

“…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).

The Holy Spirit – Part Four


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

The Holy Spirit Video

Session 4

Welcome to number 4 of The Holy Spirit sessions

Last week, we had a closer look at some of the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings with Him as He resides in us.

Let’s quickly recap what we discussed:

1. A Gift from God – The Holy Spirit is a gift (singular) from God and He brings along with Him gifts of the Spirit (plural)

2. The Holy Spirit Comes to Live in Us – When the Holy Spirit resides in us, we display the Fruit of the Spirit and receive gifts.

3. God’s Nature – The Holy Spirit is the nature of God abiding in us.

4. God’s Tool Box – The Fruit of the Spirit is only part of the equipment we need; the gifts of the Spirit make up the balance.

5. God the Source – The spirit of God (NOT MAN), is the source of the gifts – the gifts glorify God (NOT MAN).

6. Nine Personal Gifts – The language gifts, Knowing or Revelation Gifts and Doing or Power Gifts, make up the group of personal Gifts.

7. Heavenly Language – Tongues is a heavenly language by the power of Holy Spirit, spoken to God – not Man.

8. Interpretation – Paul commands us to pray for interpretation of the heavenly language, so that all may be edified.

9. Prophecy – Words brought by the power of the Holy Spirit from God to man is called prophecy.

10. Given Freely by God – The gifts are given freely by God to all those who desire them.

In session 3, we said that there were nine gifts, which could be split into three groups of three; the first three we discussed were the ‘Language gifts’.  These consisted of:

1) Diverse tongues,     

2) Interpretation and      

3) Prophecy.

The next group of gifts we are going to look at are the gifts of ‘knowing or revelation’.

WORD OF WISDOM (HOW TO)

Word of wisdom is a gift which involves the imparting of divine inspiration to see, understand and respond to life situations from Gods viewpoint.  In other words, receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables one to deal with a specific situation or circumstance.

A good example of this gift is found in Matt. 22, where the scripture says,“…But Jesus, perceiving their malice, said, “Why are you testing me?…”  By divine revelation, Jesus knew that they sought to trap him, but this divine revelation showed him how to answer them in a way that would not allow them to trap him.  It was also a sign of the spirit abiding in him.

WORD OF KNOWLEDGE (ABOUT)

The Word of knowledge is a supernatural revelation of some detail of the knowledge of God.  It is God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know.  It is receiving a portion of the mind of God, about a given life situation, at any one given moment.

A good example of this gift is Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, where He says “ You have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband, this you have said truly” (Vs.18).  Her response was, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet”.  In other words, “God, not man, has revealed this thing to you”.

The gift would be used to reveal a vital piece of information that could help deal with certain life situations.  It could also be used as a testimony of the indwelling Sprit in the life of the one having it, to cause others to turn to the truth (as in the case of Jesus at the Well).

DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.

An example of this gift, which operates in the lives of all spirit filled believers at various times, in Acts, where the Spirit revealed to Peter that Simon was trying to buy the gifts of God with Money. Significantly, Peter also had a word of knowledge here as well, when he said to Simon, “…. for I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and bondage of iniquity…”

Finally, we look at the last group of gifts of ‘Doing or Power’.

HEALINGS

The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.  By virtue of the expression ‘gifts of healing’ (plural) in 1 Cor. 12:9, the implication could cover all areas of healing, namely: spiritual, emotional, mental and psychological.

It must be born in mind that this gift is firstly to glorify the name of God as we can see in the scriptures of John, and then for the benefit of the one that has been healed.

WORKING OF MIRACLES

A miracle is a phenomenon that is supernatural – an act contrary to the physical laws of nature.  Miracles defy reason and transcend natural laws. This gift requires God working through individuals to perform the impossible.  An example of miracle working is seen in Acts 13, where Paul is used by God to bring blindness to Elymas in order that Sergius Paulus would come to know the Lord.

FAITH

The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith.  It is the faith to accomplish specific tasks, face potentially overwhelming circumstances, or to persevere in the face of dangerous situations.  We should read Acts 27 sometime this coming week, to see Paul working in the gift of faith.

To try and give us better understanding of what we have been sharing over the last two weeks, let’s have a look at this diagram:

– The fruit of the Spirit can be seen all together (as one unit) in the green section – showing that all parts of the fruit of the Spirit are within us at the same time.

– The Holy Spirit brings ‘gifts’ (plural) with Him.

– The 9 personal gifts as we have been discussing this week and last week, can be seen in three groups.

– Language gifts – made up of Diverse tongues, Interpretation and Prophecy.

– Knowing or Revelation gifts – made up of word of wisdom, word of knowledge and discerning of spirits

– Doing or Power gifts – made up of Healings, Miracles and Faith.

Let’s recap then on what gifts we’ve heard about this week:

  1. Word of Wisdom (How to act or speak) – receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables us to deal with a specific situation or circumstance, is a word of Wisdom.
  2. Word of Knowledge (Know about a situation) – God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know in any circumstance we may face, is a word of Knowledge.
  3. Discerning of Spirits – Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a spoken word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.
  4. Healings – The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.
  5. Working of Miracles – God working through individuals to perform the impossible or an act contrary to the physical laws of nature, is the working of miracles.
  6. Faith – The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith

LET’S PRACTICE….

To close the session, once again, take a few minutes to go around your group, practicing the gifts that we’ve learned about over the last two weeks, as was done before in the previous sessions.

VERY IMOPORTANTLY though – The purpose of this exercise is to help us overcome the ‘fear of man’ (or shyness) – by practicing together. PLEASE – IT IS NOT AN EXERCISE TO FORCE GOD TO ACT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH. Rather simply, the more we practice in front of others, the more confident we will become.

As you pray now – remember:

With the language gifts, we must Firstly, Believe and

Secondly, open our mouths and move our tongues – otherwise absolutely nothing is going to happen!

Thirdly, we must get rid of any unforgiveness or anger in us by praying quietly for the Lord’s help. (remember we said forgiveness is a decision not a feeling!). 

Also, please be sensitive to those who are not comfortable praying out aloud. Don’t force them to pray, but rather allow them to be still and let the Spirit of the Lord, wash over them during this time.

The Lord be with you as you discover new things – In Him!

Thanks so much for spending this time with me – next week in session 5, we’ll look at some more gifts the Holy Spirit brings to us which we’ve grouped as ‘the gifts of Function’.  Until then, Bless you all.

“…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).

Prayerfully for Others


“…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).

The Apostle Paul tells us that, as believers – born of water and the spirit, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Normally a citizen of a certain country will display characteristics of the country from which they come. For instance, as South Africans, if we were to visit Japan we would immediately be seen as different. We would tend to live the lifestyle that we are accustomed to. So, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, should we not then display the characteristics of the Kingdom of heaven while we are here on the earth?

Part of our mission on earth is to represent our real (and permanent) home – the Kingdom of God. We are like small agents, if you like, of the Kingdom. Our ‘head office’ would desire us to represent the Kingdom as best we can all through our day. It really means that we should ‘be about our Father’s business. Yes – we do need to make sure that certain needs are met for our life here, but those efforts should not consume us to the point where we are not able to perform our Kingdom duties.

Continue reading “Prayerfully for Others”

The Holy Spirit – Part Two


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

Welcome to Number 2 of The Holy Spirit sessions

Last week we were introduced to the Holy Spirit and we saw the following:

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

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

Continue reading “The Holy Spirit – Part Two”

Rushing God’s Season


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

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

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

A Basket Of Fruit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…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).

Howdy Neighbour


Join Our Pastor Ray in his sharing .

Howdy Neighbour

Jesus told us the two most import commandments are: “…YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ and then He said, the second most important one is, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ He continued…”There is no other commandment greater than these.” . No command greater than these – said Jesus!

We shared in previous sessions the difference between God’s Love and Human Love. In essence we said that our human love is ‘self-centred’ and Gods Love is ‘selfless’. We said that the two kinds of love cannot mix, and that as humans, operating out of our old sinful natures, we are not capable of loving someone as God would love us.

The answer to this challenge is that our old sinful nature needs to die – as Paul shared in Romans – and then we need to start the process of living out of our new resurrected life, which displays Gods love. We need to remember that this renewal is a daily process, as our thinking becomes renewed by the power of God’s word, revealed to us through the power of His Spirit.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke, the lawyer asked Jesus a question that I have heard many times in my own life: “And who is my neighbour?”

Just prior to that question, the scripture says – “But wishing to justify himself”. So the lawyer actually asked the question in an effort to justify his own actions towards others. Are we like the lawyer, asking the Lord questions wishing to justify our actions? 

How many times have we asked the Lord, “Who is my neighbour?” and how many times have we heard this question being asked in our country currently?

I had a closer look at the parable to find my answer. However, to make the parable more meaningful to present time in this country, I replaced some characters:

So starting at Luke 10:30-37

Luk 10:30  Jesus replied and said, “A European man was going down from Johannesburg to Durban, and fell among hijackers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.

Luk 10:31  “And by chance an Ndebele pastor was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:32  “Likewise a Sotho person also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:33  “But a Zulu man, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,

Luk 10:34  and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him into his own pickup, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

Luk 10:35  “On the next day he took out two Rands and gave them to the innkeeper and said, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’

Luk 10:36  “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hijackers’ hands?”

Luk 10:37  And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

The key to the parable lies in verses 36 and 37. In verse 36, Jesus asked the lawyer, “…who proved to be a neighbour to the victim?” The lawyer replied, “The one who showed mercy toward him… “

In our South African version of the parable, it was the Zulu man who showed mercy – the Zulu man was being a neighbour to the victim. When we show mercy to anyone, we become a neighbour to them. – it’s not about WHO is MY neighbour – as much as it is about BEING a neighbour to others. I really pray the Lord will show us this truth.

Jesus said “love your neighbour as yourself…” We find it relatively easy to show mercy towards ourselves, but what about those around us. Do we show the same mercy to others as we show ourselves?

In the Lord’s eyes, and through HIS nature, showing mercy to others is unconditional – irrespective of who the person is. Showing mercy from the human perspective (in other words from our old sinful nature) is conditional. In other words, I will have mercy if the person is of a certain culture…or…I’ll show mercy if the person is the same religion as me….or… I’ll have mercy if I perceive them to be a ‘good person’. The character of God shows mercy irrespective…anywhere, anytime, any person.

When next it comes time for us to have mercy on others, lets first think how much mercy we would have for ourselves in that situation, and then apply that same mercy to others, irrespective of who they are.

So…. Let’s spend less time worrying and arguing about WHO our neighbour is and more time focussing on BEING a good neighbour.

Thank you for sharing this time with me – may the Master share much of His heart with you this coming week. Until next time…bless you all.

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).

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…”

“…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).

Insurance or Assurance?


Insurance and Assurance… Psa.139

There are times in all our lives when things are very difficult. The more we focus on these things, it seems the worse they get – know what I mean? If we could take our focus off those situations and dwell on something positive, it would really help. I find looking in God’s word for a few minutes really helps to bring peace to an unsettling time. I had a look at Psalm 139 the other day and was led to personalize the words and then just let them flow over me for a few minutes. Join me as we see together, the depth of what the Lord showed me:

“Lord, You know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every moment of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it enters my mind.

You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I’ll take, before my journey even begins.

You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me, to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me.

This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me, brings me wonder and strength. Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face?

If I go up to heaven, you’re there! If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too! If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there! If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting!

Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength will empower me. It’s impossible to disappear from you or to ask the darkness to hide me, for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.

There is no such thing as darkness with you. The night, to you, is as bright as the day; there’s no difference between the two.

You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!

Everything you do is marvellously breath taking. It simply amazes me to think about it!

How thoroughly you know me, Lord! You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skilfully shaping me from nothing into something.

You saw who you created me to be, before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me, were already recorded in your book.

Every single moment, you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!

O God, your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When I awake each morning, you’re still with me”.

The Lord’s Word encourages us. Let’s spend more time in the positive place of His word and allow His Spirit to open wonderful pearls for us. In a quiet place – pick the words of a psalm and personalize them – say them aloud to God and you’ll be amazed what He will share with you!

The great I AM, is the great I AM, but yet He is not too great to share His heart with you and I on a personal level. There never has been, nor ever will be, a Father who knows His children, as He knows each one of us. Be encouraged – our Father never leaves our side.

I pray that the Master will share His heart with you this week, as He never has before – be blessed – until next time.

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).

Let’s Look at Prayer – 3


“…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).