We are naturally self-centred and therefore it’s not easy for us to accept what other people say about us. We have a built in instinct to defend ourselves and criticise situations or others, if we do not approve.
I was unable to download original pictures from the Malawi collection, for technical reasons and hope to have this sorted as soon as God allows. Thank you for bearing with us in this challenge.
This is Chapter Seven of a series. For previous chapters see …time with the Master.
In part one of this series, we saw that we are all involved in community somewhere in our lives. There can be great benefit in community situations as we discover the wealth of sharing our lives with fellow members. The flow of wealth in these groups greatly depends on the bridges of relationship……
“Why is this happening to me; how does a loving God allow this to happen”?
Today more than ever there seems to be a widespread feeling that the Spirit of the Lord is showing us that our walk with Him needs to be more practical. Gone are the days where believers hear the word of God and are unable to practically see it outworking in their lives, as fruit of what they have heard. One of the reasons for this is….’My people perish for a lack of knowledge…”
In the world today communication is very important. In worldly terms – success is borne out of effective communication.
We learn communication from teaching institutions but primarily from our upbringing. This would not only be the spoken word but body language as well. We sometimes take these skills for granted – spare a thought for the visually and hearing impaired – how would our lives change if suddenly we could no longer see or hear?
Whenever there is success in a sports team, a business or a marriage, we will find effective communication.
If we communicate better, this results in improved relationships and improved relationships mean unity. Where there is unity there is strength.
Stop to look at ourselves for a moment – how are we communicating in our present circumstances? (In our work and personal relationships). Remember communication is not only the spoken word but body language as well!
We use communication for many different purposes. One such use is to find out information. In other words when we meet people for the first time we try to find out more about them – we ask questions. To those we already know, we ask deeper questions to find out more about them and we will also share some of our opinions with them – this, so they will know more about us and we them. In this way we form meaningful relationships. Lastly, where we have emotional feelings for someone we tell them as much (“I love you”) and we get to know them more intimately as we learn to trust them with our emotions.
Looking at the spiritual world, God wants us to work in a similar manner. (Psa 105:4; Pro 8:17; Psa 46:10 and Jer 24:7). He gives us the tool of prayer to effectively communicate with Him. This truly is a gift from Him. Just as salvation is a gift from Him (we did nothing to earn it!) so prayer is also a gift from him.
Prayer is really nothing more than speaking to God. It is a tool which we can use to strengthen our relationship with Him.
We need to spend time with God in order to know Him better. This means reading His word and also fellowshipping with other believers. In our private times with the Lord, and during our day-to-day living , we must feel free to ask God questions in order to find out more about Him. We should also tell God how we feel about things – intimately. Jesus said, “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He (the Holy Spirit) will take of mine and will announce it to you.
Some would say…. “Why would such an almighty God want to hear these things from me? He has many more important things to work on…..” Also the scripture says that God knows all our needs before we even pray them, so why ask Him? The answer is simple…. God loves to hear from us and loves to communicate with us. His love for us is so great that He wants to be in constant communion with us. We know from our own experience, when you love someone you want to be with them – all the time!
Find time to commune with God and ask Him about the things that perplex you. Tell Him how you feel about some of the current situations in your life and tell Him about the things in the deepest part of your heart. It’s good to tell Him you love Him.
All these things will draw us into a deeper place with God and help us to better communicate with Him. Be like the Psalmist David, when he said, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Better communication with God means we come to know Him better and therefore we are able to hear His Spirit within us. The more effectively we hear His Spirit, the more useful we can be in His service.
From: “time with the Master…”
Living a Life in the Kingdom of God – Continued
As an example of how one, who is living in the kingdom here on this earth, becomes visible – we turn to what Jesus reveals in the Sermon on the Mount.
Before we continue I would like to raise a point here; you might find it a little confusing that Jesus uses expressions like: “The Kingdom of God” and “The Kingdom of Heaven”
Some say that the kingdom of God is the here and now and the Kingdom of Heaven in the eternal realm.
The expression ‘Kingdom of God” is used one way and another by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Gospels.
The expression, “Kingdom of Heaven” is only ever used by Matthew.
My own opinion is that both expressions refer to the continued process from the time of Jesus’ ministry on earth until we dwell in the eternal realm and both expressions are applicable to: here on earth and in the eternal realm as well.
Chapter Twelve: Living a Life in the Kingdom of God – Continued
“As a man Thinketh in his heart, so is he”. Prov. 23:7 KJV
In the previous chapter, we discussed the fact that, management of the thoughts in our mind is what will determine what we become in this life and where we will be in the eternal world when our present earthly body dies.
Once we cross the bridge from being unbelievers to followers of God, it becomes obvious to us that in order to grow in our relationship with Him, we need to change the way we previously used to think.