Be like a child

What if Jesus came down to earth physically and stood right before you? Right now. Would you be able to look him in the eye with a clear conscience? Would you fall down and worship Him? Would you run and try to hide? I don’t think any one of us knows exactly what our reaction will be if it should happen. What is the point of my asking this question? The point is that a lot of the time we act as if God can’t see us and doesn’t know what we’re thinking. We do and say and even think things that are so totally not what we profess to believe in that it’s a bit scary. I don’t think that we should be looking over our shoulders all the time in fear of what God will think of us though. I think we need to get to a place where everything we do will reflect Jesus in our lives. We should be praising our way into heaven when we die.

But now we live on earth and we live with all kinds of people who don’t share our faith or our point of view. We are being constantly accused by the devil in the courtroom of Heaven. I try to remember that it’s only Christians who are going to be accused. The devil is definitely not going to be accusing his followers. And his followers aren’t only Satanists, anyone who isn’t a Christian is a follower of the devil.

John 8:44-47, You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Here Jesus is speaking to the Jews who wanted to kill Him. Not to Gentiles or Heathens. As far as I am concerned there are two kinds of spirits on earth that can influence us. There is the Holy Spirit who comes from God and there are the demon spirits who assist the devil in his mission to draw us as far away from God as he can. Therefore if we aren’t under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we will be influenced by the devil.

John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

There aren’t any other ways to God. No other religion serves the living God. If they think they do then they have been deceived by the enemy.

Revelation 12:10-12, Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

At least there is light at the end of this tunnel. We will one day live in Heaven with Jesus, and God and the angels and it’s going to be really, really wonderful. But first we must overcome the world. We can do it if we are aware of the challenges and if we are willing to give our whole heart and our whole life to Jesus. Every teeny weeny little bit of it. Even the bad and embarrassing bits, especially those bits. We must become like children. A child loves unconditionally and trusts unconditionally. That is how we have to be.

Matthew 18:3-4,  “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Our faith must be pure and simple and we mustn’t try to complicate things. If Jesus comes and stands before us we must be able to do what any child would do to the one he loves and give him a huge hug.

Yesterday, today and forever

Yesterday a supplier delivered some soft drinks to our shop which had already reached their sell-by date. It’s a major inconvenience because now we have to wait until next week before there’s another delivery and we can’t get replacements before then. Food and drink expires all the time. Every now and again there’s a modern remake of a movie which had effectively reached its sell-be date. People are forced to retire from their jobs at the age of 60, regardless of their physical and mental ability. Clothing and furniture goes out of fashion and are updated all the time. I won’t even start on technology. Computers, cell phones and the like are constantly being upgraded. Getting ‘an upgrade’ has become part of our language.

The one thing that never changes is the Word of God. The Bible never needs to be updated or upgraded. There are various translations but the original meaning is still there.

Revelation 22:19,  and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Psalm 89:34, My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips

1 Peter 1:24-25, Because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.

The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

According to tradition Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible. Moses lived about 3500 years ago.  Nobody is allowed to change the Bible so that it suits them. It doesn’t matter if someone thinks they have had a visitation from an angel or from God Himself – whatever he learns from that is good, but it cannot be added to the Bible and the writings cannot be altered.  It has been the same since it was first written. There aren’t any updates and changes that come out periodically.

God is also always the same.

Malachi 3:6, For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

James 1:17,  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

If we look around us at the changing sceneries, even nature changes daily. We have been observing strange weather patterns. Seasons that don’t feel like the seasons they’re supposed to be. People who decided that they don’t need to believe in God anymore because they’re modern and they don’t need God. School syllabuses that change all the time to suit changing needs. All these things are happening daily but we don’t need to worry or stress about them because we are children of the God who never changes and whose Rule Book never changes. We have the comfort of knowing that tomorrow morning when we wake up we aren’t going to be confronted by a bunch of rules which have suddenly changed. He won’t decide during the night that He doesn’t love some of us anymore and reject us because we have done something He doesn’t like, or because He simply doesn’t feel like putting up with us anymore.

Not at all! We have the promises He put in the Bible that we can rely on and that always have, and always will be the same. We have the assurance, that because Jesus died for us, we never have to stress about anything. All we have to do is give it to Him and He will take care of it. He is so big and mighty and awesome and powerful and we are His children and He loves us. What more could we ask for?

Wise as serpents

My husband coaches some children at golf. He has to do with different personalities and mentioned that of the boys is very street wise and is always looking to take a shortcut. If he can find a way to avoid work, he will. I was reminded of a Bible verse.

Matthew 10:16, Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

It’s always been a bit puzzling to me so I decided to think about it. Jesus was telling His disciples that He was sending them out as sheep among wolves. If a sheep is sent into a field where there are wolves and there’s no one to defend it, the wolves are going to tear it to pieces. That is a fact. Sheep are docile and have no means whatsoever of protecting themselves. Wolves are predators and very dangerous. The serpent in the Garden of Eden was very crafty and set out to mislead and deceive Adam and Eve. Even though Jesus says be as wise as a serpent He didn’t mean for us to deceive people. We have to be wide awake against deception and manipulation. When we go out into the world among people who are not Christians, but also hostile towards Christians. If you just see how Christian principles are being put under fire it is clear. There are people who are out to undermine Christian beliefs and laws. Bible reading and prayer are taken out of schools. People get upset when the name of Jesus is used or crosses are displayed. Christian holy days are removed as public holidays. Christians are actively persecuted. People are led to believe that things which were sins just a few years ago, are not only tolerated, but said to be totally acceptable. If Christians say anything against these things, they are made out to be intolerant and bigoted.

So when we go out into the world we have to be prudent and wise. We cannot be naïve and just accept things that people say. We have to be so aware and knowledgeable regarding the Word that we cannot be misled. We also have to be able to speak the language of the world so that people will understand us. If we are speaking ‘amens’ and ‘hallelujahs’ people aren’t going to understand us properly. I don’t mean that we must use foul language if that is what the people we associate with are using. But they must be able to identify with us.

Romans 16:19-20, For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

We must be able to live scrupulously clean lives. Lives that shine with the glory of God. We have to stand out as being honest, but we must not be unaware of the pitfalls and traps of this world. We have to pray and ask God to give us the strategies whereby we have to run our lives and our businesses. We aren’t destined to be poor because we are Christians.

Proverbs 13:22, A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,

But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

Deuteronomy 15:6, For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.

Deuteronomy 28:12, The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

I really don’t think God would have put those verses into the Bible if he didn’t mean them to be for us. Why aren’t all Christians millionaires? I don’t know but I’ll definitely put it out there when I find out. Whether we run a business or work for a salary, we are to be innocent of evil, in other words, we have to conduct our finances honestly. We have to pray for wisdom to make good business deals and to make money so that we can finance the Kingdom. We also have to pray for the Holy Spirit to show us how to spread the Gospel in our everyday life and in our business dealings. We might be in the world but we definitely aren’t of the world. We are children of the King and as such we are royalty. Even if we are rich, life isn’t going to be without its challenges, but we are going to have the peace that passes all understanding.

 

 

Do the right thing

There’s been so much talk of corruption in the government over the last few years, and yesterday someone was talking about a local non-governmental organization where things were being done which were not according to the rules. Decisions were being made just to please people so that they wouldn’t take offense and leave the organization. The fact that these decisions did not comply with the constitution did not seem to bother most people. It doesn’t matter how small or informal a group is; if there are rules they have to be followed. I do understand that as people with feelings we sometimes can’t see the necessity of some rules, but unless we are going to challenge those rules officially with good motivation or alternative options, we need to follow them.

In the Old Testament God gave the Israelites the Law, which included the Ten Commandments. In that time people were expected to keep the commandments in their own strength using their will power. After the death of Jesus we received the Holy Spirit who gives us grace and the ability to be able to follow them more effectively. We are exceptionally privileged although we do not always see it that way.

What are we supposed to do when we see rules being broken and it affects us?

Ephesians 5:8-14, For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

First of all, we cannot be part of anything that is being done in the dark and in secret. These verses make it quite clear. They also say that we need to expose things that are being done that aren’t right. I think this is one of the most difficult things to do. If you know the people who are busy with corruption, what do you do? If they know it is you who exposed their deed they might shun you. Yes, they might, and I would advise you to pray about what you are going to do before you do it. Paul suffered persecution all through his ministry. He was the one who persecuted the Christians and when he became a Christian, he was persecuted. We can expect to be persecuted if we are followers of Jesus.

James 4:17,  Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Matthew 24:9, Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Matthew 10:22, And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

All the apostles suffered persecution. Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome about 66AD during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded and Peter was crucified upside down at his own request. He did not feel worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus. Andrew went to the Soviet Union (land of the man-eaters) and also Asia Minor, Turkey and Greece, where he is said to have been crucified. Thomas was most active in the area east of Syria and possibly as far east as India where ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder. They claim he died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers. Philip is said to have had a powerful ministry in Carthage in North Africa where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul cruelly put him to death. Matthew ministered in Persia and Ethiopia and was stabbed to death. Bartholomew’s travels took him to India with Thomas, back to Armenia and, and also to Ethiopia and Southern Arabia. There are various accounts of how he met his death as a martyr for the Gospel. James, the son of Alpheus, is reckoned to have ministered in Syria. The Jewish historian, Josephus reported that he was stoned and then clubbed to death. Simon ministered in Persia and was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god. Matthias replaced Judas and tradition says he went to Syria with Andrew and was burned to death. John was the lonely one to die a natural death of old age. An early Latin tradition has  him escaping unhurt after being cast into boiling oil at Rome. He was exiled to the island of Patmos when he is credited with having written the Book of Revelation. None of these apostles were called from the priesthood or the official clergy of Jesus’ day. They were ordinary people like you and me who loved Jesus. If they did the right thing without fearing human opinion, surely we can be expected to do the same.

Life is not fair

Something upsetting happened today and I had a fleeting feeling of ‘life is not fair’. I say fleeting because I have learned the hard way that life definitely isn’t fair and that when things happen that we don’t like we have to go forward and make the best of it. It’s like when someone goes on a trip around the world and your holiday consists of a long weekend visiting family. Not that there’s anything wrong with visiting family, but you get what I mean. There’s a great contrast. Everything in life is relative. If I have a car that gets me from A to B and you have a Porsche and a Range Rover I will think you are rich. But the guy who only has a bicycle feels like I am privileged. Someone who walks wherever they have to be and lives in a shack might envy the man with the bicycle.

I was speaking to a missionary and she said that even though finances are really tight, she reminds her children that they are building a mansion in heaven.

Matthew 6:19-20,  Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

How do we teach our hearts not to be attached to earthly things and earthly treasures when that is what we can see and what we are dependent on to survive daily. It’s a hard thing because it is so acutely real. The Bible says if you don’t work you won’t eat, but what if you can’t find a job? I live in a place where the unemployment figures are really high. If I drive through one township I at any given time there are many, many people who are doing nothing because there isn’t employment available for them. We live in a country with an unemployment rate of 27.6% which means more than six million people don’t have jobs. Yesterday’s newspaper said that the figure is 37%! It is a very serious matter. When people are employed and can take care of their families, they feel useful and worthy. When you have children to feed but you don’t have money to buy food you can easily fall into depression or even resort to crime. Where unemployment is high so is alcohol abuse, drug abuse and domestic violence. It sounds so depressing, and if that’s what we concentrate on it will cause us to become depressed.

The only answer to this problem is Jesus. If people can realize that there is hope, they can live differently.

In Luke 16 Jesus tells the parable of the unjust steward. The steward cheated his way back into his master’s favour.

Verse 8, So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

Look what the Message says, Verse 8-9, “Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”

To me this means that there is a different way of living that we might me missing. This takes me back to Matthew 6:33, (once again in the Message), People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Are we serious enough about our relationship with our Father or are we just playing games? Are we radical Jesus followers, or are we sitting on the fence between the Kingdom and the world? Let us all stand up and raise up our hands and raise our standards and raise our faith. Let us be salt and light and let us never become one with this world or conform to its thinking. We are God’s children and as such we are to straighten our crowns and claim the victory over evil.

Idolatry

I have been reading so much about idolatry in the Bible lately that I don’t think it can be by accident. If God wants us to sit up and take notice He will make sure we get the message loud and clear. Idolatry in Bible times was very easy to identify. People physically worshiped idols and mostly didn’t make a secret of it. In Genesis 31 Rachel had taken the household idols and her father, Laban, pursued Jacob and his whole family to find them. Rachel hid the idols and Laban went back home empty handed. Just look at the golden calf that Aaron sculpted in the desert when Moses took too long to come down from the mountain.

Exodus 32:19, So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.

It didn’t matter what the reason was that Aaron had made the calf, the fact remains that the people worshipped it.

Exodus 20:1-6, And God spoke all these words, saying:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

In Ezekiel 8, God gives Ezekiel a vision of the secret idolatry that was going on in the temple in Jerusalem. He saw women mourning for the God Tammuz, men worshiping the sun at the door of the temple and seventy elders worshiping idols in a secret chamber. I don’t know whether this was symbolic or real. Either way it was and still is not acceptable to God to have any other Gods before Him. If we profess to love God we cannot have anything or anyone which is more important to us than Him. What can become more important than God if we aren’t physically worshiping idols? Our children, our spouse, our job or business? What about the church? We can become so involved in the church and different programs in the church that it actually becomes more important than God. What about our leisure time? I know if you work hard you feel that you deserve to have time to relax, but what if God asks you to do something for Him in that time? Would you be willing to do it? I’m not doing a guilt trip here, I’m just asking you to think about it.

Romans 2:3-4 (The Message), You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

We must not be deceived into thinking that just because God isn’t consuming people with lightning bolts when they sin against Him that it’s okay to do whatever we like. God loves us so much that He was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be saved. Are we willing to put Him first in our lives too?

Blood Sacrifice

I attended a ladies camp in2014 and it was a wonderful experience. I knew all the ladies who attended; they were all from our church. It was comfortable and anointed. Then in 2014 a friend of mine decided the two of us would attend a camp hosted by ladies from a church in Port Elizabeth. We didn’t know any of them. I did not think it was a good idea, but my friend wouldn’t take no for an answer and almost dragged me to the camp. I arrived feeling way out of my depth but I tried very hard to pretend to be at ease. I don’t think I was successful at all. This first evening, during praise and worship, one of the ladies came to me and asked if I needed prayer. She prayed for me and we are still friends. I met other ladies at that camp who have become very important role players in my life. Beautiful, sincere, caring and Godly people.

God also showed me at that camp that I was wearing a mask and He made it clear that I was to get rid of that mask. It was a very liberating camp and I am able to look back and see how a lot of things in my life at present stem from attending that camp. He did it with dignity and with compassion and didn’t make me feel uncomfortable once I yielded to Him. The other important thing I learned at that camp was that nothing happens by accident and that I should never look at seemingly random incidents as such. I learned to join the dots. Just like one of those pictures that teach children to follow number sequences and a picture emerges once all the dots are connected.

If we look at all the prophecies in the Old Testament we see a pattern emerging and by the time the New Testament we are ready for the Messiah to save the Jewish nation. There is also a trail of blood which flows through the Bible.

Genesis 3:21, Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Was this the first blood sacrifice? Did God slaughter the animal the skins originated from and did it’s blood atone for their sin?

When Cain murdered Abel, the Lord said to Cain in Genesis 4:10-11, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.”

After the great flood when Noah and his family were allowed out of the ark, Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings to the Lord. With that offering came the sign of the rainbow.

Moses was given all the laws and commandments concerning blood sacrifice and the correct ways of making offerings. The Holy of Holies in the temple was covered with a veil and only the High Priest was allowed to enter into it once a year, on the day of atonement, to offer the blood of sacrifice and incense. The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant. On this day the sins of the people were atoned for. There is a tradition that says when the High Priest entered he had a rope tied to his foot and bells attached to his waist. If he was unworthy of entering and God struck him dead, the sound of the bells would indicate him falling to the floor and he could be pulled out using the rope, as nobody else was allowed to enter. I don’t know if any priests actually died in the process.

When Jesus came to earth and was crucified, He became the last and ultimate sacrifice.

Matthew 27:51, And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

The Holy of Holies was now made accessible by the blood of Jesus so that every person who believes in Jesus has the honour of being able to appear before God personally. We have been redeemed by the blood that Jesus shed for us. We don’t have to go through a priest, we can go directly to God in Jesus name. We have been made free because all the dots have been joined. No more blood sacrifices, no condemnation and no guilt. Jesus died once for all. Amen

A lack of knowledge

Every day I hear people speculate about the future of our country. I hear them complain about lawlessness and about the general lack of discipline and how criminals are literally getting away with murder. There are also daily reports about the decline of the environment. In the book of Hosea the same conditions that prevail now were also prevalent at that time. Hosea was a contemporary of Isaiah.
Hosea 4:1-2, Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgement of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
The result of this sin is very interesting.
Hosea 4:3, Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying.
I find this absolutely fascinating. Because people are committing all kinds of crimes and living in sin, the environment is suffering.
Verse 6, My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.
Look at what the countries look that turn away from serving God. Some of the African countries which should be fertile and productive, are shadows of what they could be. Look at a country like Zimbabwe. The majority of the people of Zimbabwe have been evangelized and know who God is, yet they turned away from him and see what has been caused by all the violence. The land mourns. There are other countries like Ethiopia where the same thing happened. Even the earth is crying our for God.
Romans 8:19-21, The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Isaiah 24:1-6, See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants- it will be the same for priest as for people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for creditor. The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The Lord has spoken this word. The earth dries us and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore the earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.
Isaiah and Hosea are saying the same thing. Because of sin, the earth will suffer, and that’s what we are seeing on a global scale. It is just called by different names. Global warming, ozone depletion, and phenomenons like el nino, which influence the weather patterns. There is only one who is in charge of weather patterns and that is God, the one who created weather.
Isaiah says that people have broken the everlasting covenant, and Hosea says that people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. We are going to have to dig deeper in the Word of God so that we can get closer to Jesus and live righteous lives. If we want to call ourselves children of God then we are going to have to start acting like princes and princesses. We are going to have to know what we believe in, and be willing to live out the things we believe in so that the world can see we look different. Once we do that the earth will have be able to start recovering. We can’t be satisfied with the scraps that are falling under the table anymore. Psalm 23 says that God will prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies. We are supposed to be sitting at that table and taking part in the feast, not cowering under it and being satisfied with morsels that come our way. I invite you to take your seat at the table and start making a difference to your environment.

Exhausted?

What happens when we get tired? I don’t mean tired as in, It’s been a long day and I’m tired, I mean, totally exhausted, tired. Tired beyond a good night’s sleep is going to sort it out, tired. I don’t know what happens when you get tired, but I know what happens to me. First, I don’t always realize that I’m exhausted. I think I’m fine because I expect myself to be fine. Then, when I want to burst out in tears when I see a Facebook post of someone who is on holiday, it suddenly hits me that I really am tired. I like doing things, I don’t really like resting. I’m also not particularly good at sleeping. I don’t know if sleeping is a skill you have to learn, but if it was I would have failed miserably. I cannot sleep during the day and it takes me ages to fall asleep at night.
Obviously all the normal ‘tired’ symptoms manifest. Getting upset about small things, wanting to accomplish tasks but not having enough energy to do things properly. Treating people with less respect that normally. And I even have thoughts of hopelessness, wondering if anything I’m doing is really worth it. I can’t even spell simple words correctly!
Isaiah 40:30-31, Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Amos 8:11-13, “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land – not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. In that day “the lovely young women and the strong young men will faint because of thirst.”
Whereas physical exhaustion can be cured by having a good rest, normally a few days in a different environment is all it takes to recharge me. But spiritual exhaustion and weariness is a different story altogether. If we aren’t feeding our souls with the Word of God we are in danger of becoming spiritually apathetic. That’s not a very good place to be at all. We have to be careful about what we see as spiritual truth, especially in these days of social media. There are so many inspirational messages that sound so good. They sound like the truth, and some of them, despite being from other religions, really give excellent advice. The danger is, however, that once we think that a certain speaker is worth listening to, we are going to start believing his or her other messages that aren’t compatible with Christianity. If we do not recognize that, we are going to start watering down the Gospel that Jesus brought. And it is happening all the time. There are so many motivational speakers who have podcasts and some of them are really easy to listen to and can boost your self esteem time after time. The problem is, you have to keep listening to them to stay in that positive place. And it’s easier to listen to one of them than to go searching for the truth in the Bible yourself.
2 Timothy 4:3, For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
What is the solution?
Hosea 12:6, But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.
As simple as that. And find a bible believing, bible preaching church. Somewhere that the Gospel isn’t compromised. A church that believes in missions and in making disciples. A church that is going to be able to equip you to live out the great commission in whatever way it is that God is calling you to do it.

World Changers

A friend and I were talking about how, when we were young we did not have the luxury of being idle. There was always something that we were expected to be doing. And we did what was expected of us. She said, and I reiterated, that if she tries to relax and just do nothing, she tends to feel guilty. When you are in the position of having to employ people there will always be issues with expectations that aren’t met. Some people just aren’t as willing to work as others. You get people who are really so self motivated and enthusiastic that they continually surprise you with their willingness to work and learn. Then you get others who just do the bare minimum, usually just enough not to get dismissed. They don’t really want to be where they are but they do want their salary at the end of the week. I seriously pity them because life must be so bad. I speculate that their mindset is that they don’t have a choice and that maybe one day something or someone will come along and rescue them out of the hole of self pity that they are wallowing in. I might be wrong, but that in my observation. It seems to me that this tendency is becoming more and more common. The Bible tells us that we shouldn’t be lazy.
Proverbs 23:25-26, The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.
I see this bottomless pit of craving that can just never be filled up because the lazy person just wants to get without ever giving. Not giving effort, not giving time, not giving money, not even giving mercy.
2 Thessalonians 3:10, For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
Proverbs 10:26, As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is a sluggard to those who send him.
These are rules which ought to be enforced in society today. If they were I think there would be way more entrepreneurs because people would be forced to seek employment, and if they don’t find any they would have to find a way to earn a living. With the poor moral standards in our society today it seems that becoming a criminal is quite acceptable in some areas. A lot of the time I see that people feel there is nothing they can do about unemployment, crime and the decay of society in general. But look what Proverbs 21:30 says, There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.
Acts 5:39, But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourself fighting against God.
2 Corinthians 13:8, For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
I just love what is being said in these verses. They are so strong and positive. If we pray for the right things to happen; if we pray scripture over businesses, towns and cities, then things are going to happen for the good. God says over and over that He has good plans for us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. We cannot expect, however, that things should be going well with us if we aren’t reaching out to others and spreading the gospel. The only way people are going to change is if they discover God’s love. The only way they are going to discover God’s love is when we show it to them by living it, and by telling them. We have to become Kingdom orientated; we have to start propagating a Kingdom mindset. When people don’t know Jesus and the Holy Spirit doesn’t live inside of them, they are much more easily deceived by the devil and that is why society looks the way it looks. It is our responsibility to start changing our environment. We need to start by asking Jesus to show us who we have to pray for and who we need to speak to so that we can start to change the world.