Warnings are a bitter kind of pill to swallow. I don’t hand out warnings to employees like sweets, I only give them when I really have to. I was obliged to give an employee two warnings in the space of a week and she didn’t take it well. I think she viewed it as victimisation instead of corrective action. It should be seen as an opportunity to improve one’s performance. My view is that if I work for someone I should try to deliver the best service I possibly can, both to maintain my integrity and not to disappoint the person who is providing my means of living.

As human beings we are often given warnings. Sometimes our life goes off the rails and something devastating happens and we see that we need to change our lives. I think God gives us warnings if we stray off the way. How often don’t we hear about someone who has an incurable disease and then gets miraculously healed, but they still carry on doing the same old things that they always did. I just wonder…

During 1995 we were involved in a motor accident as a result of which my son spent a month in traction. At the end of that same year I contracted a serious illness and had to spend a month in bed. Both those incidents made me take stock of my priorities. They acted as a warning to me. A reminder that life is extremely fleeting and that in the blink of an eye I could lose my family and my own life. A reminder that if my life didn’t belong to Jesus, I would be going to hell when if I died. It wasn’t a sudden, lightbulb moment, it was more of a gradual realisation. Out of those experiences I could clearly see how God takes bad things and uses them to the good of those that love Him, because I grew closer to the Lord because of these incidents.

Hebrews 6:7-8, For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

I see this verse as a very clear warning. God is there, calling us, knocking on the door, and if we respond to His call and accept Jesus and bear fruit, we will be blessed. But if we reject the offer the outcome won’t be good at all. It says here, it’s end is to be burned. In other words, if we don’t accept the salvation that is so freely available we will end up burning in hell just like those thorns and briers.

Galatians 6:7-8, Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

That is a clear warning. We should be very much aware of our actions and our motives. Why do we do the things we do? Do we do them out of malice and spite? Do we try to get even with people who hurt us? Are we able to forgive and forget?

In Deuteronomy chapter 11 and also chapter 30:19-20 God sets a choice before Israel, I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

We stand before choices every single day. We are free to make choices, Galatians 5:13, For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

We have such a great privilege. God trusts us to make the right decisions and to take heed of the warnings He gives us. He will never force us to do anything, we have free will but we have the responsibility to be responsible and if we want to call ourselves children of God we have to make good choices and heed the warnings carefully.

Choices – Living purposefully

I was driving and listening to a gospel CD. There’s a song called Outrageous Grace, by Robin Mark and the first verse is:

There’s a lot of pain but a lot more healings

There’s a lot of trouble but a lot more peace

There’s a lot of hate but a lot more loving

There’s a lot of sin but a lot more grace.

The chorus says: Oh outrageous grace, Love unfurled by heaven’s hand,

Oh outrageous grace, Through my Jesus I can stand.


These words are so touching and so comforting. They are also about choices. We can choose how we want to live. Life is about choices. We choose daily between getting up or staying in bed, having cereal or eggs for breakfast, driving to work or taking a bus. The last one is wishful thinking on my part. Our town is so small, I would choose between driving or walking. But you get where this is going. We have to choose all the time. We should be more aware that we are making choices and not just being swept by the tide of life. We have to think clearly and positively. Philippians 4;8 truly has become my favorite verse. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” And next to it, Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

We have to be so aware of what enters our minds all the time. How do we handle stress? Do we sit and worry about it or do we give it to Jesus like we should? Have you realized that sometimes you’re in a stressful situation and you pray and carry on with your life. One day you realize that the situation has been resolved but not at all in the way you thought it would be. Looking back you sometimes can’t even figure out how it all worked out. it seems like some situations can be solved without your intervention. We love to think that things can only be solved the way we want them to be solved. We manipulate and struggle and stress but we forget that we are not God.

The song says ‘there’s a lot of pain but a lot more healings.” The main thing that has to be healed is our minds and the way we think. We need to pay more attention to our thoughts. If we do that we aren’t going to hurt those we love. We aren’t going to drive away well-meaning friends by putting up walls around our hearts. We are going to have to learn to trust God with our problems while we can sit back and think good thoughts. Just imagine this, you have a big problem. It’s been weighing you down and you have no peace of mind. You can’t sleep at night and you can’t imagine that this problem will ever be solved. You’ve considered going to a psychiatrist but you don’t actually have the cash. Spending money you don’t have is only going to make your problem worse anyway. You are at the end of your wits so you decide to take God at His word and try to apply what the bible says. You see that you can be transformed by the renewing of your mind. So you cast all your burdens on Jesus. Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat of what you will drink; not about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Now you’ve given all your worries to God and you sit down in your armchair, relax and start thinking good thoughts. You find that you can relax totally and soon get sleepy. You go to bed and fall fast asleep. You sleep for a solid 8 hours and awake the next morning feeling like a brand new person. You can’t believe how good you feel. You see everything through new eyes even though nothing has changed. You keep this up for a few days and suddenly, because you have changed the way you think, you see what the solution to your problems is. I know this sounds very simplistic, but I urge you to try it. Try taking God at His word. Try savoring His outrageous grace and start living your life purposefully.