Someone gave me a beautiful bunch of roses a week or so ago. Yesterday I took the last rose out of the vase. It was the only one that hadn’t wilted altogether yet and I had dried all the other rose petals as they started to wilt. I clipped the stem short and placed this rose inside a toilet roll that was standing on my desk. I looked at it and it really just seemed so out of place. A toilet roll is not the proper receptacle for a beautiful rose. Yet it doesn’t seem to worry the rose too much. It is still the same pink with darker red around the edges and it isn’t complaining at all.What if you are displaced? What if you land up somewhere, by whatever circumstances, that you never thought you would be? What if you became homeless, or had to go and live in an informal settlement without amenities? What if you didn’t know where your next meal would come from? What if everyone you know turned against you and abandoned you? It might sound far-fetched but strange things happen all the time. Nothing is impossible. I think of people in war torn countries who, through no fault of their own get put into refugee camps or whatever these camps are called. Sometimes situations become so bad during wars that people are willing to go anywhere in order to escape terror and persecution.Saul of Tarsus was born in approximately AD 5 in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia (in modern-day Turkey). He was born to Jewish parents who possessed Roman citizenship, a coveted privilege that their son would also possess. In about AD 10, Saul’s family moved to Jerusalem. Sometime between AD 15—20 Saul began his studies of the Hebrew Scriptures in the city of Jerusalem under Rabbi Gamaliel. It was under Gamaliel that Saul would begin an in-depth study of the Law with the famous rabbi.From Acts 9 to Acts 19 we find the times that Paul was persecuted. These are some of the cases that were documented:Jews plot to kill PaulPaul and Barnabas being driven out of Antioch of Pisidia.Jews and Gentiles attempt unsuccessfully to stone Paul and BarnabasJews stone Paul nearly to deathPaul and Silas are flogged and imprisoned by Gentiles in Philippi.Paul and others are chased out of successive towns by JewsPaul is made to appear before the Roman proconsul Gallop in Achaia, who dismisses the case as an internal dispute.Worshippers of Artemis in Ephesus riot against Paul and his companions, but they are not harmed.In his final journey to Rome, Paul is taken by Jews in Jerusalem to be killed, but is rescued by Roman soldiers who imprison him. He testifies before the Sanhedrin (22:30-23:11), and the governor Felix at Caesarea (24:1-27) before using his status as a Roman citizen (22:29) to have his case heard by the emperor.Even historians debate the exact date or manner in which Paul died, but it is almost universally accepted that he was martyred. Based on historical events of the day, it is likely that Paul was beheaded, possibly around the same time that Peter was crucified. All the disciples of Jesus died violent deaths, except John, who had been exiled to the island of Patmos for many years. This is where he had a vision of Jesus and wrote the book of Revelation. He was released and died as an old man.These good men were treated very badly. They were humiliated, tortured and imprisoned and even murdered for their faith. They landed up in places and circumstances they had never envisioned. Even though they went through hard times (and Paul is a shining example of this) they never complained or gave up on Jesus. They were like roses in toilet paper vases. They were the cream of the crop. The fathers of the faith and they were treated like dirt.Can we follow their example?
Month: November 2019
Richest woman in the world
Today I am the richest woman alive. There are a lot of reasons for me to say that and not one of them has to do with money or possessions. Let me tell you about it. I am a child of God.
1 John 3:1, Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
God love me. What an absolutely excellent thing. Now, I know that God loves every person who ever lived, but I know it and I feel it and I accept it. I can hear God’s voice, or the voice of the Holy Spirit, however you want to put it.
John 10:27, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
I have the fruit of the Spirit and I work very hard on developing them.
Galatians 5:22-25, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
I have Jesus who is in heaven on the right hand of God and he is my advocate for when I may do something wrong.
1 John 2:1-2, My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
When I die I will go to heaven because I am born again, I have been redeemed from everlasting death and consequently have everlasting life. I have the armour of God as defence against the enemy, but also to stand up to the enemy.
Ephesians 6:14-18, Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
Okay so far I have everything that every other Christian has. It is really incredibly special but not that unique. The thing that I am really excited about is that yesterday I had the opportunity to encourage a fellow believer. I saw someone who I know to be a faithful follower of Christ who was just so despondent and in such a low place in his life. I was able to let the Holy Spirit lead me and use the right words that he needed so that he could feel better about himself. Do you know how awesome that feels? It’s so good! And do you know what? I was feeling about 10 times better than I felt before I had spoken to him. But how often do we not fall into the trap of agreeing with someone who is down and out and commiserating with them? It is the natural thing to do. It is the easy, comfortable thing to do. But today I didn’t do it. Today I overcame my flesh and reached out to a fellow believer in faith and that makes me the richest woman in the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:11, Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
This is what we should be doing daily and I am going to aspire to do much more of it, how about you?
Living in darkness
I have been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. I forgive easily and I’ve set myself a goal to at least try to forgive anyone who has wronged me, before I go to sleep at night. It might not always be possible, but that is my goal. I believe that forgiving is for me and not for the other person. When I forgive I am cutting off any spiritual connection between myself and the other person. I am getting rid of whatever is dragging me down and I am not carrying around a burden that is quickly going to get heavier than I can handle. I forgive to set myself free. Then there is this passage:
Matthew 6:14-15, For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
This by itself is more than enough to convince me that I need to forgive because I really, really need to be forgiven by God. I will not make it in life if I do not get forgiven and if there isn’t even a possibility of me being forgiven. Just like every other human being, I have sinned and I most likely will sin again, and again. If I won’t be forgiven that is going to be bad news for me.
Then I read a verse in that stopped me in my tracks and made me think.
1 John 2:11, But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
What does this verse have to do with forgiveness? Everything! If I can’t find it in my heart to forgive someone it means I must hate them. I think it truly is as simple as that. I cannot call it by a nice name if I tried. So, if I don’t forgive someone it means I hate them, and if I hate them the consequence is that I am walking in darkness. If I walk in darkness it means that I cannot see the light and that means I cannot see the truth.
John 8:31-32, Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
The truth will set me free, but I cannot see the truth because I have been blinded by hate and unforgiveness. This is truly a very sad state of affairs.
Isaiah 42:6-7, 6“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
This is what Jesus died for and we need to embrace it because if we don’t we are going to be blind and in bondage. We cannot continue in darkness, especially if we profess to be followers of Jesus. We cannot possibly believe that we are going to bear good fruit while we walk in unforgiveness and while our eyes are blinded. We have to lay bare our hearts before Jesus and allow Him to cut out the bad parts. We have to allow Him to do open heart surgery so that all the unforgiveness can be cut out and we can become whole again. Is it going to hurt? Yes, of course it will hurt, but not as much as Jesus hurt when He hung on the cross and died for us. It will hurt for a little while but the freedom and the sight we are going to receive will be worth much more than the pain.
I want to encourage you to forgive and to forget. Sort out your past and put it behind you where it belongs. Start fresh, start out new, cast off the old, embrace freedom that God is offering you and walk the way Jesus walked.
Every person has his or her own issues and problems. That is normal and anyone would be naïve to think that there are people without problems. A perfect life does not exist. You have your baggage that you’ve been carrying around for decades, all your childhood issues that haven’t been resolved, your failed relationships that still haunt you, financial struggles, health issues and then top it all up with generational curses that hound your family. What kind of a chance do you have in life? I would guess that 90% of problems people have are invisible, unable to be seen by the human eye. Bank balances and health issues can mostly been seen and we can call them physical. But childhood trauma, relationship problems and generational curses cannot be seen.
I can’t meet you for the first time and immediately know what kind of life you have behind you, or even what kind of life you are living at the moment. Unless the Holy Spirit gives me a word of knowledge, but let us suppose that He doesn’t. I don’t know what your issues are. For goodness sake, you don’t even know what all your issues are. Let’s look at it this way: If I were to innocently say something that you are sensitive about because of all the luggage your carting around you might throw a fit and I’ll react by calling you irrational and that is just going to make you more angry… see what I mean. Now were are good and upset with each other but no one really knows what it’s all about. Except God. God knows. And the devil. The devil is rejoicing because he’s agenda is working. He doesn’t like unity, therefore the more issues we have with each other, the happier he is.
1 John 3:10-11, In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another
On the other hand, God loves unity among believers.
1 Corinthians 1:10, Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
So what can we do about it? We all know people who are easily offended and depending on their standing in society, the amount of pandering to their moods differs. If this offendable individual is in a position of power people are usually very careful around him, but if he is just another blue collar worker he won’t have much influence. Both will be discussed behind their backs and their characters will often be dissected. No life raft will be thrown to them though. No rescue team will be deployed. These people are people who are hurting and they do not know how to handle all the hurt that has been dealt to them. They are carrying all the bags that they have collected along the road of life and the load is getting heavier and heavier. This weight is influencing every thought they think and every word they say. Unfortunately, when people do reach out to help it is mostly misconstrued as an attack on their person and they do not accept help. The only way they can be helped is to ask for it themselves. They have to realise that they need Jesus and throw themselves on His mercy. But what can you and I do if we know someone like this? Pray. We can pray for them because prayer is the only weapon that can make a hard heart soft.
A young lady’s daughter has just completed primary school and I remarked on how quickly the time had gone by. She agreed. I started thinking about how much time was behind me and how much I still had to come. Obviously I don’t know how much time I have left on earth. I can just speculate. Thinking about how many things I would still like to accomplish makes me hope I still have many productive years ahead of me. But looking back on my life I realized that so much time was spent simply surviving. I wonder, if we could isolate the hours, days or weeks utilized surviving, how many they would be? By survival I mean those times we worried about a sick child, finances, work-related issues, family crises, etc etc. Those things that we should ideally be putting into God’s hands and allowing Him to handle. But so often we don’t do that, even when we are born again, Spirit filled believers. We forget everything when a situation surprises us and we go into survival mode. Calm flies out of the window and panic grips us in its icy jaws. The earth stops for a while and we start walking in circles and making all kinds of plans that aren’t going to work anyway. Before we know it we’ve lost a day or a week or even a month of time that we could have spent on much more productive and positive things.
Psalm 90:12, So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
That is the answer. We need to have a heart of wisdom. We need to remember that the wise thing to do would be to reach out to God immediately.
Psalm 46:1-43, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
Can we do that? Because that is what we are supposed to do. Even in the worst crisis we should not experience fear. We should immediately call out to our Saviour and cast all our cares on Him. I think we don’t always remember because we spend too much time on the solutions that the world is giving us. We are bombarded by things like medical science, psychology, New Age beliefs and self-help, which are everywhere. I recall someone saying to me once, “Don’t look for the devil behind every bush,” well, all these scientific things are virtually behind every bush and they are so easy to access. I am not saying that you should disregard doctors and psychologists altogether, but they aren’t always the answer, or the first place to go. Anyway, if you have a medical issue and need an operation, the logical thing to do would be to go to a hospital, but if you have given your cares to God, you aren’t going to be seeing it as a crisis and you will have peace in your heart. If you have a loved-one on life support and you have placed them in God’s hands, you will have peace in your heart. If you’ve lost your job and you don’t know how you’re going to care for your family, put your trust in God and He will give you peace in your heart. The Word of God is a treasure trove of wisdom. Find scriptures that are appropriate for the situation you are in and quote them out loud.
Proverbs 18:10, The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and he is safe.
Nehemiah 8:10, Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Isaiah 41:10, fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I find a lot of peace in these verses. Instead of going into survival mode, live life to the full though the problems. Hold onto the Word of God and onto His everlasting love and He will carry you through the storms and you won’t have to figure out how to survive.
If the Wise Men who brought gifts to the new born King
Had lived in the times of now
They might have needed visas and passports
And enough money for fuel
They would have had to rely on Google Maps
And a very good GPS
But all they had was a star.
If the shepherds who went to worship the new born King
Had lived in the times of now
They might have had to stop off at a drive through
To buy some burgers and chips
Because everyone knows that a man needs to eat
Even if he just goes a little way
But they had heard the angels sing.
If the innkeeper had known that the couple
He turned away from his door
Would be the parents of the Saviour of the world
He might have changed his mind
About letting them in and found a room
Maybe a room with a view
But all he gave was a shack.
If Herod had known that Jesus was not a threat
If just he had known
He could have embraced the salvation that was free for all
And been loved by his people
Instead of being hated and dying a hideous painful death
Before his appointed time
If only he had known.
It doesn’t matter who says the prayer
Or lays on the hands
It doesn’t matter who the anointing belongs to
Or who the visiting prophet is
It doesn’t matter how big the venue is
Or how many people attend
Because it’s God who does the healing.
If we were to open the doors of our hearts
And allow the love to God
To saturate every little corner, even the dark ones
The change in us would be visible
Brighter than the sun and moon and all the stars
That bring light to a broken world
Because its Jesus who does the saving.
Pass on the left
My husband and I were standing on the parking lot of our shop when I saw a minibus pass a car on the left. In South Africa we drive on the left of the road and pass on the right. It is illegal and very dangerous to pass on the left. If the car that is being passed swerves for any reason there can be a serious accident.
How often don’t things happen in our lives and we try to pass on the left? Sometimes we are surprised by unexpected incidents that we have no idea how to handle. What do we do? We pass on the left. We don’t wait on the Lord because that’s too inconvenient or we think that God isn’t going to handle it. We might think that whatever has happened doesn’t have anything to do with God and we take matters into our own hands. We look for the easy way out. We look for the path of least resistance.
What about when people are doing things that aren’t totally above board and we know that we should be doing something about it. Maybe speaking to them if it’s a moral issue, or reporting them to authorities if it’s a legal issue. But we think that they will be offended and then we are going to feel bad. What does the Word say?
Ephesians 5:11, And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Matthew 18:15-17, “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
The Word really has clear guidelines on how to handle situations and we don’t need to wonder about what to do. We also do not need to fear people. That is one of the greatest problems we have. The enemy comes and tells us that people are going to take offence and we believe it. I know it doesn’t feel good to have people upset with you but you cannot please all of the people all of the time. In fact, if our motivation is to please people we are way off the track. We are not even part of the race.
Isaiah 51:12-13, I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?
And you forget the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;
You have feared continually every day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he has prepared to destroy.
And where is the fury of the oppressor?
The enemy wants us to think that the only choice we have is to pass on the left, but we have a loving Father and we have Jesus, our advocate, who stands up for us. We seriously do not have anything to fear by doing the right thing.
James 4:7, Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
There you are! The answer is to never pass on the left. Keep left and pass right and you will be safe.
Who shouts the loudest
Today I had a conversation with a lady about the pros and cons of palm oil. The palm oil industry is under fire a lot because of certain parts of the world where the palm trees are planted and in the process the orangutan population is threatened. There is such an outcry about this and there is a misconception that palm oil is actually harmful. I have done a lot of research about this and found that if people were to stop using palm oil the problem would be even greater. There is a huge demand for vegetable oils and palm oil gives the biggest yield per area. If palm oil were to be banned, for instance, then crops like soy beans, canola and sunflowers would be greatly increased and they take up a lot more space, which means that a lot more habitats would be threatened. The lady was surprised at my explanation as she didn’t know all this. She asked what was so bad about palm oil. I explained that palm oil is healthier than most other vegetable oils, and that the problem was that the people who shout the loudest get the most attention.
What does this have to do with spiritual matters?
Let’s think about churches. Which churches or pastors get the most attention? The one’s with TV ministries of course. They are out there in everybody’s face. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with a TV ministry, and many churches who feature of TV have amazing ministries and lots of people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to a church can join in their services.
What about social media? Now that is a good way to reach lots of people. Unfortunately many people aren’t discerning at all and are very easily influenced by things that they see. If they are confronted often enough with truths which have been slanted ever so slightly, they can be totally misled.
2 Timothy 4:1-5, I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Interestingly in this passage it says, “they will heap up for themselves teachers.” People aren’t going to be satisfied with just one person who is preaching. They will have a whole range of preachers to choose from or to move between, choosing who to follow or levitating between doctrines. Social media is the ideal medium to make this possible. Watch a video here and a listen to a podcast there. Making up their own version of the Gospel as they go. This is the problem with everyone who is trying to shout louder than everyone else because they want more likes and comments and they also make money out of advertising on YouTube and other platforms.
We have to be very careful and very discerning when we watch or listen to a teaching. The only way we are going to know what is good and what isn’t is if we are actually in the Word. This might sound radical but every believer should be a scholar of the bible. How else are we going to know what the truth is. I read that in the times before the birth of Jesus there were Rabbis who travelled from town to town and taught people the scriptures in exchange for room and board. People were so eager to discuss the Word that they would even interrupt a wedding feast to sit at the feet of a Rabbi and get some good teaching. Are we serious enough about the Word that we would interrupt our leisure time to study the bible? I hope we are because then we will be safe from the shouting.
The devil’s birthday party
The following passage has been recurring for the last 3 weeks. I sit up and take notice when this happens because I believe God is trying to draw my attention to something.
Luke 15:4-7, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
Then, I had this dream: An acquaintance told me that she was going to arrange a birthday party for me. She would arrange everything and invite the guests. She created an expectation. In the dream I was excited that someone would care enough to do something like that. When the day of my birthday came along I arrived at the venue with great excitement. People were arriving and my acquaintance asked me to help carry the platters of food into the dining room. I gladly helped especially because of all the trouble she had gone to. I was mingling with the other guests and I started to feel uncomfortable because nobody was congratulating me on my birthday. Nobody even acknowledged that they knew it was my birthday and there weren’t any gifts. Someone mentioned that this was a very nice pre-Christmas party (whatever that may be). I suddenly realized that although this party was supposed to have been my birthday party, it wasn’t about me at all. My acquaintance had deceived me into believing that it was. I felt totally humiliated and couldn’t do anything about it without making myself look pathetic.
When I woke up I remembered the dream in detail and I asked God what it was all about. He showed me that the verse about the 99 sheep and the dream were connected.
Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd, is genuinely concerned about my well-being. And the well-being of every other person on earth. He died for all, regardless of who you are. If we accept Him as our saviour, we will be saved. He cares so much, that if I were to stray away from Him, He will leave everything to come and find me and bring me back into the fold. He loves me and cares for me and, as the verse says, there will be joy in heaven about one sinner that is saved. On the other hand, the devil will trick and deceive me at every chance he has.
2 Corinthians 11:14, And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
1 Peter 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
The devil is going to make things look good. He is going to tell you that the drugs of alcohol you are being offered are going to make you feel so good and you are going to forget all your problems. He will tell you that if you get into a relationship with someone who is married isn’t going to be a problem because it’s true love. He is going to tell you that it’s okay to cheat on your taxes because the government is actually busy cheating you. He is going to tell you that gossip is really just showing compassion. The list is endless and the outcome is always the same. The things you do have consequences and you are going to have to face the consequences. When the consequences come, the devil who incited you to doing the deeds is going to be laughing at you. The party he promises you is not for you. It is for him to humiliate you and show you that he is boss. Don’t fall for his tricks, and if you have please turn away immediately and all the Good Shepherd to retrieve you from the mud that you have become stuck in. He is going to throw the biggest, most sincere party for you and all of heaven will be rejoicing.
Be ready for these times
We need to be ready for the times that are coming. What times are coming? End times? I don’t know, but I do feel that something is about to happen.
Hosea 10:12, Sow for yourselves righteousness;
Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
Colossians 4:2, Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving
1 Thessalonians 5:6-10, Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
These verses are warning us and instructing us to be vigilant and to be prepared. But these verses were written 2000 years ago. Are they still relevant for the times we are living in? I believe they more relevant than ever. We are living in perilous times.
The weather is out of sorts and unpredictable. The economy is unstable. Politics is generally a mess. People mostly can’t be taken at their word and churches are emptying at an alarming rate. We have been conditioned be society and by educational institutions to act like the world. Christians are being made fun and ridiculed at universities for their views. In countries where freedom of speech is propagated Christians are being persecuted for daring to propagate and stand up for their beliefs. The bible and prayer have been taken out of many schools and children are being taught unbiblical values.
What are Christians supposed to do? How are we supposed to act?
Let us look at Hosea 10:12. Sow for yourself righteousness. In other words, do the biblical thing. What would Jesus do? Break up fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord. We have to turn and face God. We have to earnestly seek His face and His will. There’s no time to waste or procrastinate. Now is the time to take action and firstly get right with God. Getting right with God shouldn’t take you longer than about 5 minutes. Repent, ask forgiveness and make a commitment to spend more time with Him daily. Then you can start your new journey of getting intimate with God and going to the secret place. There’s no point in doing ministry if you don’t spend one-on-one time with your Father. He is the only one who can give you what you need so that you can break the fallow ground. So that you can go out into the world (your world) and be a fisher of men.
Colossians 4:2 says we have to persevere in prayer and be thankful. Being thankful is such a great game changer. It is the way we change our mindset and overcome all kinds of hardship. Being thankful for what we have allows us to forgive. It allows us to show mercy. And of course as long as we are praying we are communicating with the Lord. Something to remember about prayer is that we don’t just put our side of the story before God and then switch off. We have to take time to listen to what He is telling us too. People often say that they don’t hear God, but the answer is being silent and taking time to listen. His there and He wants to communicate with us.
1 Thessalonians 5:6-10. This passage says that we are in the day. We must not get entangled in things that are done in the dark and that are of the dark. If we have the Holy Spirit living in us it is not hard to discern which things are light and which are dark. We have a warning system that comes with being a believer. We need to pay attention to the times we don’t feel at peace with things. That means that something isn’t right and we can’t be part of it.
No matter what is on the horizon, we need to be ready for it. We have to be clothed in the armour of God at all times and our lamps need to be full of oil. If Jesus comes tomorrow we need to be ready, but if our lives on earth are cut short we also need to be ready. Jesus is the flame and we need to be like moths that are trying to get closer and closer to Him all the time.