We are soldiers

I wonder if we realize how much God loves us and how much good He wants for us.

Jeremiah 29:11-13, or I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Here’s a question. We all know this verse and if you look on Pinterest you will find pages and pages of Jeremiah 29:11 paintings, drawings, calligraphy and tattoos. In fact I only typed in J-E-R-E and I got Jeremiah 29:11. I didn’t even have to search. I think I can assume that we all know this verse and this passage. It’s nice and comforting. It’s safe and it doesn’t confront us and we can look at it when we’re not really prospering and say, “It’s okay, God has a plan, I’m just going to believe that.”

What part do we have to play in that plan? I think that a lot of people assume (or wish) that God will just reach down and make the plan a reality without much effort on our part.

But do we really believe what God is saying here. Do we put it into our minds and write it on our hearts. It’s all good and well to write things on walls (physical or virtual) but to write them on our hearts is another story altogether. When we are sick and tired and struggling financially what do we do? Do we embrace this verse and cry out to God or do we curl up in a ball and just cry? Obviously the easy thing to do is to just cry, get depressed and tell everyone (and ourselves) how unfair life is. That’s the normal thing to do isn’t it? We get together with our friends and complain and compare unfairness. Nobody stands up and says, “What do you think you’re saying?” Nobody reminds us that God is really on our side and that we are, in fact, speaking death over our situation.

Proverbs 18:21, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Whenever we speak we are putting words out there into the universe. Words that we can’t put back where they came from. We speak all kinds of negative things over ourselves and then we can’t understand why all these terrible things are happening to us. I realize that is becomes a habit and I fully realize that when bad things happen and when we’re feeling miserable or sick, it’s not easy to be positive. But that is exactly what we must do. We have to force ourselves to become positive. We must praise God because God does not bring the bad things over us. That is the work of the enemy. God allows us to go through trials to strengthen us.

Romans 5:3-5,  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

We need to remember this when we are despondent and when it feels like the whole world is resting on our shoulders. We are becoming better people. We are getting spiritually strong.

John 10:10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

If the enemy’s mission is to kill, steal from, and destroy God’s children and he is not going to stop, how can we survive? We can survive by taking a few practical steps. Ephesians 6 tells us to put of the full armour of God. Only soldiers wear armour, therefore we are soldiers and we are in a battle. If we weren’t in a battle we wouldn’t need armour and if we think we aren’t in a battle we are living under an illusion. Then we can change the way we think according to Romans 12:2. The way we do that is to filter our thoughts as is stated in 2 Corinthians 10:15 and think positive thoughts (Philippians 4:8)

It isn’t easy and the Word never tells us that is will be but we are soldiers and we have to make sure that we are well trained in the skills that our manual prescribes. We are soldiers and our commander in chief has a plan that is going to prosper us.

Fountain of Life

My husband and I drove to another town to deliver pies. The scenery was so beautiful after the rain we had. Everything was green. Grass was growing. There were signs of life everywhere. Places which had looked like semi desert just a month ago were vibrant and alive. I was thinking that this is often the case with our spiritual lives as well. When there is a lot of spiritual input, like a preacher who is on fire for the Lord, or like revival meetings, we are alive and we grow and everything around us looks and feels better. We smile and laugh and life doesn’t seem to be so hard after all. Then we get the times when it feels like we’re in the desert. The messages we hear on a Sunday aren’t all that inspiring. We miss a few services and even our cell group seems to be half asleep. Our lives begin to show signs of being in the desert. We become despondent and depressed and we blame everyone except ourselves. We might go as far as to say we’re like Moses and the Israelites who were walking in circles for forty years.

But what does the Bible say:

Psalm 1:1-3,  Blessed is the man

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Nor stands in the path of sinners,

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

Jeremaih 17:8, For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,

Which spreads out its roots by the river,

And will not fear when heat comes;

But its leaf will be green,

And will not be anxious in the year of drought,

Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

The Bible says that if we do what we’re supposed to be doing and trust God, then we are going to be like a tree that stays green. Look at the next 2 verses in Jeremiah:

The heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately wicked;

Who can know it?

I, the Lord, search the heart,

I test the mind,

Even to give every man according to his ways,

According to the fruit of his doings.

We cannot afford to go on feelings, especially when we are tired or in a difficult situation. That is the time that we have to go back to scripture and be reminded of God’s promises. Because God knows exactly how we think He has written the Bible so that we can understand it and so that we can appropriate the promises He put there for us.

Psalm 139:1-3, O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

You know my sitting down and my rising up;

You understand my thought afar off.

You comprehend my path and my lying down,

And are acquainted with all my ways.

God knows every little detail about our lives. What is past, what is happening know and what we are going to do in the future. He did not decide what we are going to do because He gave us free will. He does have a plan for our lives, but we can decide to follow that plan or we can decide to go the way we feel like going. We are also not like the soil which is dependent on seasons to be able to thrive. Unlike the physical rain, God, who is the fountain of life, is always available to us and we can call on Him whenever we need Him. If we have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb we have no excuses to be wandering around the wilderness.

Psalm 36:7-9, How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!

Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.

They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,

And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

For with You is the fountain of life;

In Your light we see light.

Therefore we need to open the Word and stay on our knees so that we will always have green leaves and be fruitful.

A stranger in Heaven

I saw an old friend yesterday and it was such a surprise. You know the feeling where you suddenly see a face you recognise but you didn’t expect to see that person. It’s really a special feeling. I wonder what it’s going to feel like when we get to heaven and meet Jesus face to face. Are we going to be surprised at His appearance or are we going to know His face. Is it going to feel like we’re meeting someone we know intimately or are we going to feel like we’re meeting a stranger for the first time? Have you ever thought about it? Let’s look at some character traits of Jesus and see if they are familiar? Some of these verses are out of the Old Testament and were spoken prophetically while other are from the New Testament either being the words of Jesus himself, the witness of His disciples or  words spoken by people to whom Jesus revealed His character. Jesus still reveals His character today to his followers so that we can get to know Him.

Matthew 9:36, But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

Luke 19:41, Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,

Luke 23:34, Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.

John 15:13, Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Isaiah 11:5, Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.

John 1:14, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 7:18, He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

Zechariah 9:9, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!

Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your King is coming to you;

He is just and having salvation,

Lowly and riding on a donkey,

A colt, the foal of a donkey.

Isaiah 40:11, He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm,

And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.

2 Corintians 5:21,  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Hebrews 7:26-27, For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Isaiah 53:7, He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

Yet He opened not His mouth;

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,

And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,

So He opened not His mouth.

Isaiah 53:9, And they made His grave with the wicked—

But with the rich at His death,

Because He had done no violence,

Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

1 Peter 2:22, Who committed no sin,

Nor was deceit found in His mouth

1 Timothy 1:16, However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

Philippians 2:8-11, And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Would we recognise Jesus from these verses? There are many, many more such references and we could be busy for days just finding them. We need to spend time in the Word to get to know our Saviour so well that we won’t be meeting a stranger in Heaven.

I don’t deserve

Have you ever thought or said to yourself, “I Don’t deserve?”

I don’t deserve to have new shoes because I don’t make enough money.

I don’t deserve to take a holiday because I owe someone money.

I don’t deserve to enjoy my life because my business is not doing well.

I don’t deserve to have nice things because I’m not good enough.




Have you bought the shoes and the clothes and gone on the holiday and had fun, and it didn’t change your mindset at all. You’re asking yourself what’s wrong? This is what I wanted, this is what I needed but it hasn’t changed a single thing! It hasn’t because the only way you can start looking at yourself differently is through God’s glasses. How does God see you? Have you ever wondered?

Does God see you the way you see yourself or does God see you the way your family sees you? Maybe God sees you the way the people in the church see you, or the people you work with?

All these people probably see you differently anyway.

God sees you the way He sees Jesus.


2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.


2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.


Ephesians 4:24

and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.


Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast.

God saves us because He wants to. Not because of anything we do. He doesn’t look down from Heaven and say, “Mmmmm, Frikkie is a really good person, let me save him.” Not at all!

He looks at Frikkie and says, “Frikkie, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it doesn’t matter that you’ve made a proper mess of your life, it doesn’t matter that you’re on the wrong road. It doesn’t even matter that you’re trying to fool people into thinking that you’re okay. I love you. I love you so much that I sent my Son to die for you and all you have to do is accept that. I want to save you so that you will be in eternity with Me. I want to make you whole and I want to see you the way I see my Son, Jesus.”

That’s just the thing. We have preconceived ideas about just about everything. Even about God. We think way too much about what things are supposed to be like according to whoever is the flavour of the month. I think we need to seriously embrace our new life in Christ. Even if we’ve been Christians for years and years we forget and we get stuck in a rut. We need to shake off all the excess baggage and live a life of liberty. If we need to get rid of things that are weighing us down then we must make up our minds and just do it. If we need to forgive, we need to do it. If we need to ask for forgiveness, we know what to do. There is no time to put it off till later. Even if Jesus doesn’t come back in the next month or two, none of us know when our time here on earth is going to run out.

No time like the present. Embrace the freedom that Jesus gave you. Your father is the King and you are of royal birth. Step out in freedom and don’t look back

Empowered by grace

There’s a passage in the Old Testament that really inspires me.

Exodus 31:1-6, Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.

“And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:

God gaveBezalel and Aholiab the skills to be able to make the furnishings and ornamentation for the Tabernacle. God did not tell Moses that these men were born with the talent to do it, He said he put it in them. He filled them with the Spirit of God. To me this speaks of grace, even though the word Grace isn’t specifically used here. I see how they were taken out of the realm of the ordinary and mundane and given special gifts with which they could do what God needed to be done. I am reading the book, Relentless, by John Bevere and he tells how God has enabled him to be able to write books even though he previously had no ability to write.

That is what God does when we are willing. He can take someone who is quite ordinary and use them to do the extraordinary.

2 Timothy 1:9, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

Ephesians 2:10, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Now I’m going to ask a question. Is ‘good works’ only doing charitable deeds? Does ‘good works’ only pertain to spiritual things? Or is it anything that we do? We live in the world and everything good that we do can be used to bring glory to God. If God gives you the ability to be a plumber, you could become the best plumber and in that way bring glory to God by your excellence.

Acts 18:1-3,  After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.

Paul was a tentmaker. He used his hands, as did Aquila and Priscilla. They worked with their hands to earn their living. There are many examples in the Bible of people who worked and brought glory to God by their work. I believe we have to stop seeing our jobs as a necessary evil and start seeing it as something we can use to honour God. If we do our jobs to the best of our ability and acknowledge God we are going to stand out above unbelievers. That’s what we need to do. We cannot be mediocre at what we do while professing to belong to Jesus. In Deuteronomy 28 from verse 1 – 14 there is a list of all the blessings which we are entitled to. Will we be able to claim to be blessed if we are doing a really bad job of whatever it is we do? We have to call on the grace of God so that we can perform better than anyone else. If you are a salesman you should be the salesman of the year. If you are an artist you should be a celebrated artist. Do I make sense? If you have a hobby, it should bring you joy and you should do it well. We are not to stand down to unbelievers and believe that we are less because we are Christians. We are the children of the Most High God. We are anointed and blessed and we are headed for Heaven. How can we not prosper?

Do it your way

I recently put a challenge out to read through the Bible in a year. One of my friends had already started and it is so inspiring to hear that. A while ago I was speaking to a minister who said that it wasn’t a good idea to read through the Bible in a year because then you don’t have the time for in-depth study. It made me think about all the times I have started something very enthusiastically and someone came along and threw cold water over it. A remark made by a person, no matter how well-meaning it was, has the capability of causing your plans to die a sudden death. It literally feels like you’ve been told that you are on the wrong track and that you should rather follow the road everyone else is taking. On the topic of reading the Bible and how to read the Bible, I have found the following:
2 Timothy 3:16-17, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
It says ALL scripture is breathed out by God and profitable. It doesn’t say that Scripture is profitable when it is studied in small sections, or only when it it memorised.
Don’t allow people to put you off of anything that you want to do; that thing that’s in your heart that you believe God put there and that is your passion. I was speaking to a lady yesterday who said that her brother was so artistic and his dream was to study art. Their mother refused to allow him to do it because she said all artists struggle, and that he had to study for an academic degree. The result is that he studied, found a job, and years later he still does not practise art at all. My daughter told me yesterday that a woman who was due to retire at the end of next month had a heart attack and died. She was very stressed in her job. I couldn’t help thinking that she possibly had some kind of passion which had been suppressed and it made me so sad to think about all the lost potential. Maybe she should have been a ballet dancer or an astronaut. Who knows? And its too late for her now. We have to realize that what people think, their opinions, have to be weighed carefully. We cannot just accept every word spoken by people. Remember that just like us, they also sometimes say things that they haven’t thought about carefully. Also, things that work for me, may not work for you. We cannot generalize, especially when it comes to personal preferences. Each person is unique, no two are the same and we need to respect that. Just because a lawyer or a doctor earn a lot of money, doesn’t mean we should all try to become, or encourage our children to become doctors or lawyers. Each person has worth, and is worthy of their own destiny that was ordained by God before the beginning of time. Who are we to decide for others how they should do things.
Isaiah 51:12, I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass…
We are not allowed to be afraid of the opinions of people. We can take them into consideration, and in prayer ask God if He has a hand in what they are saying, but we are not to allow them to keep us from what God has for us.

Isaiah 40:8, The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Getting back to the way we read the Bible, yes, we are to teach each other what the Word says, and definitely share scripture and what God is saying to us, but we cannot tell someone that they aren’t reading the Bible correctly when they are really making a concerted effort. Some people will not read through the whole Bible in a year just because it isn’t their way of doing it. Others will read vast amounts daily and eat the words like sweets. That’s just the way it is.


In the Afrikaans language there’s an idiom that says, “ek is niemand se vloerlap nie”. The word, vloerlap, literally translated is floor cloth. I remember as a child growing up on a farm that my mother would relegate dishcloths and old clothes and any fabric that had become worn, to become a vloerlap. A cloth to clean the floor. And the idiom means, “I am nobody’s floor cloth,” or “I won’t allow anyone to abuse me.”
How often do people allow others to dominate them and control them and make them a vloerlap. They become that one who has clean up all the spills and who, out of fear apologises for the behaviour of the abuser. They allow people to emotionally abuse them so that they virtually become their slaves. They pander to their every whim and put their own wants and needs, their dreams and their desires, on the back burner and eventually forget that they ever had them. So many women marry men who decide that they can own someone and expect the woman to do everything they say because if they don’t they will accuse them of upsetting them and of not being a good wife. They tell them that they are a bad person and so on. I expect that these accusations would be more subtle than I have listed them. It works the other way around too and some women dominate the men they marry. Parents dominate and control adult children and there are children who abuse their parents. Obviously it is not just emotional abuse but physical abuse as well. People all over the world, regardless of race, colour or religion allow themselves to be made into a vloerlap. Their worth and their dignity is stripped away and they are only good to clean the spills on the floor.
If you are in this situation you need to get out of it as quickly as possible. Yes, I know that your abuser is going to be upset. Aren’t you upset as being used in this way? Why don’t you have the right to be upset?
Let’s start with a verse everyone knows.
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We know that God has a plan for each of us and it is a good plan. If you are in an abusive relationship you are not living in God’s plan. Why are you in that relationship? Maybe you were born into an abusive family? As soon as you are old enough you can leave and make a living for yourself. If you are in an abusive marriage you probably made a bad decision when you chose a spouse. You need to leave that marriage because when your spouse started abusing you he broke every rule that God made concerning marriage.
Ephesians 5:25, Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
1 Peter 3:7, Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1 Peter 3:1, Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over by the behaviour of their wives.
Just note that submission does not mean you are to be a vloerlap.
But even worse than being dominated by someone, is believing the enemy when he tells you that you need to be a vloerlap. That you are no good and have no abilities beyond the mediocre and that you will have to stay in this position for ever. If you are a child of God you owe it to yourself to do something about the situation you are in.
If you read Deuteronomy 28:1-14 you will see all the blessings that God promises for being obedient. God wants you to rise up and embrace the plans He has for you. He wants you to walk in His ways so that He can bless you. While you are living in fear you are not pleasing God.
2 Timothy 1:7, For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
If you are living in an abusive relationship you are living in fear and you have no power.
Child of God, make a move and start taking the future God has for you because you are not a vloerlap!


One of the things I want to do this year is have more fun. So I started to wonder if the bible speaks about people having fun? I suppose we have to look at exactly what is meant by fun?

One dictionary definition of fun is, ‘What provides amusement or enjoyment’. There can be many activities which fall into this category. For example, I enjoy doing crafts, therefore, for me crafts are fun. I find it amusing to listen to children chatter among themselves, therefore it is fun.

Proverbs 17:22,  A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.

The word merry means, ‘full of gaiety or high spirits’. The

Proverbs 15:13, A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

It looks like the bible is telling us that we need to lighten up a bit. It also says that being morbid or depressed is going to make us sick. We cannot be weighed down by burdens and walk around with a long face all day either.

I was waiting in the queue at the ATM today when I noticed two swallows flying into a tree. One of them had something white in its beak and I assumed they were busy building a nest. I’ll never know though, because I didn’t have, or take the time to watch them any longer. I thought about how people must have taken the time to observe birds, and animals and all kinds of living creatures to know how they exist. There is so much information available, but it wouldn’t be if people hadn’t taken the time to observe. Would they have been able to sit and watch the animals if it wasn’t fun? I don’t think so. There’s much more to life than making money, but that’s what the world is focused on. Work and be serious until you are about 60, then you can retire and try to have some fun with the money you have gathered. It just doesn’t seem right. There are so many birds to watch building nests that you are going to miss out on if you are focused on making money all the time.

What about sport? Even in the bible it speaks about running the good race.

2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Then there was Elijah who picked up his skirts and ran faster than a chariot.

1 Kings 18:45-46, Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

I believe that sport should be fun for the participant, but there should be a measure of excellence in it because the goal of most sports is to win.

Jesus had a sense of humour.

Matthew 15:21-26, Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”

But He answered her not a word.

And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”

But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

Here Jesus is having a bit of fun with words but the woman is ready for him.

Verse 27 -28, And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

And just think about Jonah who was sent by God on a very important mission. First he ran in the opposite direction and God sent a fish to swallow him. Seriously? If that isn’t a sense of humour, I don’t know what is, and then, once the people of Nineveh repented, Jonah threw a tantrum. What did God do? He made a vine grow to give Jonah shade and then sent a worm to eat the vine. That could have come out of any comedy movie.

There’s a children’s song that says, ‘smile a while and give your face a rest, lift your hands to the one you love the best’. We need to be praising with jubilation and joy. We need to show the world a smile because we should be really happy that we have been saved!


How do you know there’s been an elephant in your fridge? Remember that one? The answer is: “There are footprints in the butter.” All they’re really saying is, “There is evidence.” How do police solve crimes? Evidence. How do I know if someone is a South African citizen? He has his SA ID document as evidence. How do I know if someone is a Christian? He says so? That seems to be the common consensus. If I say anything about someone not acting like he’s a Christian I hear, “but you can’t say he’s not a Christian. He says he is so he must be.” It seems like evidence is need for just about anything except for your faith. I just don’t understand how there is apparently no criteria to measure whether someone is a follower of Jesus or not. Or is there?


Matthew 7:15-20, “Constantly be on your guard against phony prophets. They come disguised as lambs, appearing to be genuine, but on the inside they are like wild, ravenous wolves! You can spot them by their actions, for the fruits of their character will be obvious. You won’t find sweet grapes hanging on a thorn bush, and you’ll never pick good fruit from a tumbleweed. So if the tree is good, it will produce good fruit; but if the tree is bad, it will bear only rotten fruit and it deserves to be cut down and burned. Look at the obvious fruit of their lives and ministries, and then you’ll know whether they are true or false.”


This is quite clear. Look for the fruit. It speaks here of false prophets, but I don’t think it just applies to prophets or the five-fold ministry for that matter. It certainly applies to each and every person who calls himself a Christian. What are the fruit?

Galatians 5:19-23, The cravings of the self-life are obvious: Sexual immorality, lustful thoughts, pornography, chasing after things instead of God, manipulating others, hatred of those who get in your way, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums, angry quarrels, only thinking of yourself, being in love with your own opinions, being envious of the blessings of others, murder, uncontrolled addictions, wild parties, and all other similar behavior.

Haven’t I already warned you that those who use their “freedom” for these things will not inherit the kingdom realm of God!

But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:

joy that overflows,

peace that subdues,

patience that endures,

kindness in action,

a life full of virtue,

faith that prevails,

gentleness of heart, and

strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.

That is the fruit. If you look at my life and there is no love, joy or peace can I call myself a Christian? Will I have any credibility? What about patience and self-control, or gentleness? As far as I’m concerned gentleness is a fruit that is overlooked most of the time. It is also often mistaken for weakness. What is more heart-warming than being with a person who is gentle of spirit? It makes you feel safe and accepted.

Matthew 11:29, Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.

Jesus is gentle and humble. But people in today’s society think that the way to get ahead in life is by being controlling and harsh. By looking out for their own interests above all else. Being gentle does not mean you have to let people walk all over you and it definitely doesn’t mean you are weak. Gentleness is like dew on dry grass, like a butterfly touching down on a flower, like a bird slowly gliding on an air current. Gentle has power.

We don’t need to judge others, but we do need to ask ourselves daily whether we live up to these criteria. Does the Spirit of God dwell inside of us and are we bearing appropriate fruit? If we are doubtful of the answer we need to ask ourselves some very serious questions and decide what to do about it. Remember, God is waiting for us to start speaking to Him. It’s easy and He is gentle and He loves us.