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…”

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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…”

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With God Nothing is Impossible


The Following article was submitted for publication by Vivi and is a timeous warning on the danger of alcohol abuse.

‘I’m not an alcoholic’! – many alcoholics claim. The good news is, even if you are, you can be cured.

Alcoholics have been heard to comfort one another with the fact that although they are alcoholics at least they do not have cancer.

Someone by the name of Don who died of cancer, had this read at his funeral:

Cancer is so limited – it cannot cripple love – it cannot shatter hope

it cannot corrode faith – it cannot eat away peace

it cannot destroy confidence – it cannot kill friendship

it cannot shut out memories – it cannot silence courage

it cannot invade the soul –

However, unless alcoholism is prevented through abstinence – it can cripple love, shatter hope, corrode faith, destroy healthy diet, drink away peace, cripple confidence, kill friendship, break up marriages, decimate families, kill the body and sometimes (in accidents caused by drunkenness) even kill other, innocent people!

If you had cancer, would you search for some help or treatment?  Perhaps even have an operation to remove it, in the hope that it will not grow again.  Why then, I wonder, do people with a drinking problem take so long to recognize the fact that they might be on the way to becoming an alcoholic and continue drinking when all they need do is get some help?  To abstain means that the alcoholism is arrested – even overcome and the Lord loves overcomers!!

After a few years of marriage, my husband realized that his drinking habit was spoiling our relationship and although he tried to come home after work without stopping for some drinks on the way home, he’d tell himself: ‘I’ll just have ONE beer’ but, after one, his resolve was broken down and he’d come home having had four or five!

I was attending weekly Al-Anon meetings at a local church-hall and after a few narrow escapes while driving, my husband agreed to come to the weekly AA meetings on the same evening.  The meetings were remarkably interesting and educational in that we both learned just how addictive and how poisonous alcohol/ethanol is!

He realized he was actually addicted to alcohol, that is, he accepted he was  an alcoholic and kept trying to shake off the addiction, which some of those attending the meetings had managed to do, though certainly not all of them!

When I say, ‘shake off the addiction’ and in the heading: ‘you can be cured’, I should make it clear that there is no cure, except for abstinence and the addiction is only successfully ‘shaken off’ when it is no longer being fed!  That is only possible it seems, with the help of God.

In AA’s “Twelve Steps” the word ‘God’ is mentioned four times, and ‘asked “Him” to remove our shortcomings’ in the seventh step.  However, now, in order to keep those of differing faiths accepting, they call the Lord a ‘higher power’. For me – He is the Highest Power!be7295ddfb9c2160832b9d09b4855ed8

After a few ‘slips’ my husband asked the men at our Bible study evening to pray for him, because he really wanted to be free of the addiction.  They got up, stood around him and prayed for him.

On only one occasion after that did he drink and the result was he fell down the stairs from the garage to the house!  When I arrived home he tearfully told me it was his fault, because he had had a drink!  But after that, he never looked back!  He had seen his folly, made up his mind, asked the Lord for the strength and received it.  He has not touched alcohol since then; nearly twenty years ago!  We are so grateful to God with whom nothing and no-one is impossible!  (However, He does not force them)!

So the answer to the question of how to deliver your loved one from the clutches of alcoholism is: you cannot, but the Lord can and will.  However, He waits for the person who is addicted to ask Him and commit themselves to His guidance!

When alcoholism/nicotine addiction/any drug addiction has been in our family we need to forewarn our children that they may be susceptible so that they are forearmed.  Although no-one knew anything about DNA when the scriptures were written onto scrolls, God did – and He warned us that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the children to the third and fourth generation.

It sounds like a gong of doom, but it is not a curse, it is a warning!  God inspired the prophets to warn us (because He loves us)!  So if your dad is a heavy smoker, or your granddad was a heavy drinker, not only should you be aware that these habits can become addictions, but also, be aware that the susceptibility can be passed on to the next vulnerable generation!Alcoholism

God does not blame the children or punish them for what their parents did, see Ezekiel Ch. 18, in particular, vs 20, we can inherit traits (strengths and weaknesses) and susceptibilities from our parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents, especially when the traits are on both sides of the family!

Although the advertising of cigarettes has been stopped in this country and a warning of the danger of lung cancer is now printed on the packets, there is no warning on bottles of alcohol, that alcoholism could be the result of consuming the contents!  It is socially acceptable to have a drink and good times are continually advertised on television, interrupting your entertainment and ‘brainwashing’ you to get started or to have another drink!

Scriptures that tell us to guide and teach our children: Deuteronomy Ch. 4 vs 9: ‘Make them known to your children and grandchildren’ (your seed and your seed’s seed).  We are encouraged to keep God’s commandments so that it may go well with us and with our children after us, so that we may ‘prolong our days/live long on the land which the Lord is giving us for all time’.

‘I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes and free those that walk in darkness’.  If people cannot see that they are becoming addicted, they are blind to the disaster that could be lying ahead – and the Lord wants them to be free of that bondage – to whatever substance!

So the answer is to pray for those who suffer from alcoholism or other substance abuse and then encourage them to ask for help! They need to get to the point of acknowledging that they are addicted and the Lord will answer their prayer.

All rights reserved Vivi©2020

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.

 

 

Who’s Boss Around Here?


Some may be blessed enough to have a very kind and compassionate boss. Some on the other hand, may not be so blessed. Which category do you fall into?

Most people today are supposed to submit to one kind of authority or another, whether that be in a country (Government), at work (Manager) or perhaps at school/college (Student leaders/Deans). At the very least, we are all accountable to somebody near to us. Owners of companies are accountable to their employees. Husbands and Wives are accountable to each other. Presidents are accountable to their political party and the citizens of the country. All the way along in our social society, there is authority and accountability.

Scripture tells us that God appointed all who are in positions of authority… “those which exist are established by God”. This is a very interesting scripture. The scripture is followed with a warning….” Therefore, whoever resistsObedience 3 authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:1-7).

Paul goes on to say that the purpose of God appointing authority over us, is to teach obedience. To teach us to follow in His ways. To teach us to become more like God. In another scripture, In Phil.2:12-13, Paul tells us to …. “work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”, showing us that our path to the Lord is a daily process of change. God uses authority around us for the purpose of ‘growing’ us towards Him.

So, let’s look at this in a more practical way.

The boss, who’s my boss, has been appointed into a position of authority over me by God for a season of time, however long or short that may be. When my boss issues an instruction to me, how do I react? Do I:

  • Complete the task to the best of my ability with peace in my heart?
  • Hear what the boss said and then shortcut the task, taking the easiest route for ME and perhaps losing quality of work in the process?
  • Disobey completely because the boss doesn’t know what he/she is talking about?

If the Lord will help us to understand His word, then we will see that there is only one way to complete the task…as unto the Lord. When we rebel against our boss, we are not only rebelling against him/her, we are rebelling against God’s appointed authority over us.

The same goes for the country that we live in. “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:25). Jesus tells us that we should obey the Government which is in authority over us. Worldly wisdom tells us that the crime is in getting caught disobeying. If nobody catches us disobeying, then we have got away with the infringement. However, God sees.

Jesus did not say that we should obey the government only if we agree with them…no – He said obey them. If any authority appointed by God does not obey God e.g. Does not govern the country correctly, or manage a company fairly, then God will judge them, and they will be answerable to HIM. Obviously if the government or other authority issue laws contrary to God’s word, then we cannot obey.

If we are not paying our taxes, obeying traffic laws or unfairly treating people, then we are rebelling against the authority God has placed above us. It may be easy for us to deceive the taxman in our assessments – but God sees. We are not disobeying the Government, but God alone.

If we are taking part in a social club of some sort, sport or recreation, the clubs have rules. It is very easy for us to ‘alter or bend’ the rules to suit us. It is simple to hide from the club management and get away with our wrong – but God sees.

In the book of Philippians, we see that Jesus, when He came to this earth, had to empty himself of His Godly deity obedienceand become a man in every respect (except He was sinless). Hebrews chapter 5:8 tells us that Jesus had to learn obedience – that is astounding!

When Jesus came to the earth, he came as a man in order that we would have an example to follow (1Peter 2:21-22). Therefore, if Jesus had to learn obedience, then so should we. In many previous articles, we have agreed that in our own strength, we cannot obey. We have to allow God, through His Holy Spirit in us, to teach and guide us daily.

Remember: Today when you receive an instruction, it is God who has allowed that instruction to come to you, through a vessel you may or may not see eye to eye with. Obey because God asks you, not because mankind tells you.

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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button).

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).

Our daily Garden


As we travel along our daily road of life, we can find ourselves, broadly speaking, in one of two states of mind – filled with fear and anxiety or abiding in the peace of the Lord.

Let us imagine walking into a neatly laid out vegetable garden. The rows of plants are straight, and access between them and down the rows, is very easy. As we walk between the beds, we see lovely tomato bushes on either side of our path. Looking further ahead, we notice that all the vegetable gardens contain the same vegetables on the left and on the right – all perfect and looking delicious.

Temptation is too great and eventually we decide to pick a lovely bright red tomato from the bed to the left of us. Imagining the taste, we are about to experience, we take a large bite and begin to swallow. Our system is suddenly shocked!! The taste is anything but what we imagined! A bitterness like we have never experienced before. Trying to spit the contents out of our mouths does not really help as the bitter acid settles down into our stomachs – wow! The taste lingers and in fact, everything we think of at that point is affected by the sourness of the flavour in our mouths and stomachs.Vegetable Garden 2.png

A short time passes, and we recover. Looking at the tomato plants in the opposite bed, we are tempted to try again, because they look so beautiful. From the opposite bed, we gently break off another tomato. Cautiously, we venture another taster. What an amazing difference! So juicy and pleasant. We hurry for the next few bites until the tomato is finished! It settles in our stomachs beautifully… and so satisfying!

Why are the two plants so different? Surely it must be to do with the type of food the roots are drawing from the soil.

Our path in life is very similar. Either we will feed from fearful situations or we will feed from peaceful situations. The ‘veggie garden’ of life, from which we will select, has been planted either by God or by the Evil One. The Vegetable Garden 3.pngsituations of life that the evil one would distract us with, are sown in fear (the sour tomato). He offers opportunities based in fear (like the acid soil), which, on the outside appear normal, but finding ourselves in those given situations, we start to feel fear of failure, fear of non-conformance and fear of physical things (phobias). It is whilst we are in fear that we are weak and vulnerable.

Weakness brought on by fear is not a sin but could certainly lead us into sin if not dealt with in the early stages. Anger is a fruit of fear. We become angry as a reaction to something which brings fear to us. Then we may well act differently to our norm, as a result of that fear.

Situations that God would bless us with are grounded in grace and peace. Jesus came to this earth to restore the things that were lost to mankind in the garden of Eden. Our old sinful nature was one of those things. He not only came to take our sins away, but to give us a new heart with rightful desires.

The old sinful nature is a magnet for the evil one’s distractions. He simply sows a fearful thought into our minds and as we accept it, the sourness invades our inner man and then everything we see, every action we perform, becomes tainted with bitterness. Fear requires more fear to feed itself, otherwise it will fade.

As our lifestyle transforms to be more like Jesus, we live more ‘in Christ’. The more we live ‘in Christ’, the more we will eat from the ‘veggies’ of Grace and Peace.

We need to make a conscious decision to daily walk out of our new nature – the ‘Christ’ nature. Why should we remain in our old nature, which is so attracted to fear, when we can daily walk in HIS grace, forgiveness and peace?

Remember, the veggies all look the same. If we choose from the wrong bed, we will very quickly know. Instantly spit out the sourness and replace it with a vegetable of grace and peace. Feed off HIS vegetables and we will experience peace and forgiveness.

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).

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 Year of Fulfillment


Hello to all my family, friends, followers and readers.
I am excited, as I’m sure you are, that today, January 1st 2019 has dawned.

I am convinced that as Paul says, “….there are three things that remain – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love”. (1Cor.13:13).

There is no doubt in my mind, that when we have faith in the accomplishment of our dreams – they will come to pass. If we are blessed with the gift of faith, then we are rich.

However, where our faith is weak, there is always hope. Hope keeps us moving through the suffering, pain, loneliness, loss, fear and the many other human traumas that we experience along life’s long rocky road. Hope gives us the strength to push on.

Yet, it is said in these words of wisdom that faith and hope will pass away in due course and the only one to remain, will be love. Of course, the love that these words of wisdom speak about is not the romantic love that is so exciting when we experience it; it is not the love we have for our Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, but it is the love we have of God, ourselves, our fellow humans; the gratitude we experience for the world in which we live in and also the many different experiences we go through in this life.

The mystery in discovering this Love, that the scriptures speak of, is found in it’s advice to: “…….ask and you will be given what you ask for, seek and you will find, ….” (Matt. 7:7).

Have you ever asked God for His love, to come and live inside you, to become part of you? If love is the only lasting quality, then you are wise to ask for it, wise to search for it.

My hope for you is that this year of 2019 will be the best year of your life, that all your dreams will be fulfilled, that you learn how to negotiate the rocky parts of your journey through life, with peace, joy and contentment in your heart.

Above all, I wish that you will find the great everlasting love of God.

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Please Note:
I will not publish articles on this site until end January, 2019 as I shall be taking a much needed break from all my usual activities, which include my business and writing.

 

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Be still in your busy day…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 “Be still and know that I am God…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 From: “…time with the Master…”

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

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Mission Malawi – Chapter Eight


Mission Malawi – Chapter Eight

Customs in all cultures can bind people and often allow for the word of God to be compromised at one point or another. “This is a hard saying…” and can only be revealed by the Spirit of God Himself. We tend not to receive such words because of trying to hold on to our ‘old ways’. God needs to be seriously sought for confirmation of these deep sayings. On many occasions we saw the Word of God take back seat because customary ceremonies were being fulfilled. Christians were attending these ceremonies not for any other reason than fear of what others would say or do if they did not attend.
A normal Sunday service in a large denominational church was cancelled and visiting missionaries from another country were turned away because a funeral service was being held in the community that day. It is sad that the church should bow to the rules of men.
Generations of witchcraft have allowed dark spirits to invade the church. Those who say they are ‘born again’ believe they are on the way to the Kingdom of God. Jesus said unless you are born of water and of the spirit, you will not enter the Kingdom. This is more than just being born again. Those who are born again only receive ‘sight’ of the Kingdom (awareness of God, the sinful nature and the Devil), not entry to the Kingdom. What we saw was that those who were not totally born of water and of the spirit, brought traditionalism into the church.
Singing and worshipping was very much along traditional lines, only the words having been changed to make them ‘Christian’. Darkness was still present, deep in the hearts of those attending. A person can only truly worship God in the spirit, by the power of God’s Spirit.
We found very little worshipping in spirit, all was done by man’s will and power. Certain (scriptural) phrases and lines were used over and over again at nauseum, to stir the congregation into a frenzy of yodeling, screaming and chanting sheep, using the same format, week in and week out. Few had their hearts and minds on God, but were thinking of other things. Meanwhile those leading the service were enjoying the feeling of power which they held as they manipulated and ‘amused’ the congregation with their ‘antics’ while preaching.
“….One day as Titus and I labored in the garden, he began to share some interesting thoughts and observations with me. He said that he had noticed that most white people were able to look after material things better than the average Malawian. He said that generally, whites were able to manage businesses better as well as other situations and he wondered why it was like that. I marveled at this statement and knew it could only come from one who had been truly born again. It was not said with malice or mockery, neither from a racial point of view.
We began to share much about our races, European and Traditional African – the fact that we were both ‘Africans’ having been born and bred on the continent. Was it in fact possible for the two races to hurdle the culture barrier and live successfully under one roof and what was the answer to his question?

Needless to say our time in the garden was much longer than we had planned. We shared about the curse of Ham in the book of Genesis which spoke of Ham’s descendants being ‘servants of servants’ and the fact that this led to the African continent being born into ancestral worship. “Does this mean all traditional Africans are cursed?” he asked me. I said, “…if you think about it – we are all cursed until we turn to our Lord to be saved!”
I explained that Jesus came to the earth to restore back to us everything that was lost originally in the Garden of Eden. Therefore it doesn’t matter which culture, color, race or country we come from, we all have the same opportunity to know the Lord and be released from our past – whatever that is.
Generally speaking, this would account for the observations Titus had made – some people appeared better adapted to certain functions and other people to other functions. However, this finding in no way entitles one to be superior over the other. God intended all to be equal and He is the judge of men’s hearts, irrespective of which race they come from. The teachings of the New Testament in the Bible continually warn that there must never be discrimination.
So, as for our discussion, we talked on as the African sun got hotter and hotter. “Even your skin is better suited for indoors”, quipped Titus.
The Lord showed us that the only way for two races to live together in ‘harmony’ would be through Christ Jesus. Men have been trying for centuries to create peace and harmony with little success.
In African counties where the war for freedom has been won after many years of struggle and senseless loss of life, there is now a, “shoe is on the other foot” attitude. This type of attitude may rarely been seen in the open and even less rarely admitted, but it nevertheless is present.
It is this way because the heart of man holds onto unforgiveness and cannot be changed by systems of men. It requires deep change from the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ gave each human being a new heart, one that truly desires to do the things of God, not just talk about them.
If we, as humans can come away from our reliance on culture, we are then in a true position to ‘love our neighbor’. Not with a sloppy kind of human love, but the real love that Christ has for us. A love that cares whether or not somebody gets to the kingdom of God. For that purpose, we should be prepared to lay our lives down. Are we really in a position to do this now?
God has done much in our hearts while we have been here, in order that we live the way we do. It hasn’t been easy and there is still much to be done in all our hearts, but now we begin to see that through Jesus, it is definitely possible to live and work together in real peace….”
As human beings, we have a great need to be ‘entertained’. The world would term this ‘escapism’ – to take our mind off the things which burden us. Sadly, this has inadvertently crept into the church today as many dote on the ‘performing’ pastor. Congregations grow in the belief that the word of God is attracting many, but instead the sinister undertone of the flesh is ever increasing. People are drawn in by acting, instead of being pierced by the truth of the Word.

If we find ourselves saying, “What a wonderful personality, what a fascinating person, He has such insight!” then what opportunity has the gospel got through all that? It cannot get through because the attraction is to the messenger and not the message. If a person is attracting others through his personality, that is his appeal. If his life is totally laid down for the Lord, then the appeal becomes what Christ Jesus can do. The danger is to glory in men, but Jesus said that we should serve Him with all our heart and that He only, should be lifted up.
“….The Pastor that worked together with us for eight months, side by side, sharing good and bad times together, we later discovered had reported us for “abusing human rights”.
It turned out that he was disgruntled about not receiving, what he felt, was a fair wage out of the small food business. His true heart was revealed when his brother disappeared with one of our bicycles (in “lieu” of wages). His heart was more intent on gaining worldly things, than the things of God. We are never in a position to judge others. That is the sovereign work of God. The Lord showed us that people’s actions stem out of a trust, or lack of trust in God, something we all suffer from.
In this particular case, the ‘Pastor’ simply could not fully believe that God would supply all the needs of his family and consequently tried to do everything in his own power, becoming afraid when he could not see things ‘coming together’ as he felt they should. However, this was a man who was teaching and preaching the word of God, many times sharing things which were not testimony in his own life. The object of sharing this example is not to judge or ridicule this ‘Pastor’, but to expose the truth of the situation as it currently is…”
It is not the intention of this article to criticize precious brethren in Malawi or anywhere else in the world. God brings us to places, among people, and into certain situations to accomplish His definite purpose through the spirit in us. Our part is to use intercessory prayer in everyday circumstances and to bring people God puts around us, by His grace, before His throne.
“….After own little food business was closed, due to ‘red tape’ formalities, we became a little concerned ourselves. We prayed and God has used faithful and obedient brethren to support us. We firmly believe in working with our hands as Paul did, so that God can bless us with our needs, but now for the first time we are “solo” as it were, still working with our hands each day, but not in a ‘money earning’ job, so to speak. It is now living by trusting in the Lord, for the first time….”
On September 26th 1994, in answer to a word which was given to us while we were still in South Africa in 1993, our faithful brother Jacob Arthur came to join us. What a great blessing to have him with us, we are so grateful to the Lord for allowing him to come and help us; it’s been nearly six months without ‘likeminded’ fellowship.
The Lord has blessed us once again and we have been able to have electricity connected to our home. We realized just how much we had taken for granted the electricity in our houses back in South Africa. To be able to have electricity at the touch of a switch and running water in the house at the turn of a tap….surely a great blessing.

A bi-monthly series brought to you by:

…time with the Master

Next article will appear two weeks from now – watch out for it.

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