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?

Burning Coals

What does it mean to heap burning coals on someone’s head?

Proverbs 25:21-22, If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;

And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;

For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,

And the Lord will reward you.

I interpret this to mean that when someone is really mean to you and shows animosity towards you, that you must not return those feelings or actions. As it says here, “If he is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.” Don’t do to him what he has done to you. Just imagine this, a colleague was dishonest and stole a lot of money from the firm you both worked for. The dishonesty was detected and there was an investigation. All the evidence pointed to you. This colleague had planted evidence to make you look guilty and you had no means of disproving it or of defending yourself. There is a long, stressful court case and you end up going to prison. After seven long years behind bars you are released and have to start building a life for yourself. Your family shunned you and you obviously don’t have a job to go back to. You find odd jobs to do and eventually start your own garden services business. You do really well. One day as you are on your way home you see a man lying face down in the gutter next to the road. It looks like he’s been injured so you stop your vehicle, and get out to try and help. You turn the man face up and you see that it’s the colleague who framed you. He is bleeding profusely from a chest wound. What do you do? Do you leave him there and pretend you know nothing about it? Do you call it blind justice and walk away, or do you call on your first aid experience and phone an ambulance?

Most of us will never face such a serious decision, but is it any different from the decision of greeting someone who has been gossiping about you? People who have wronged you, expect you to react the same way they treated you. If you show them compassion it will result in their embarrassment. Burning coals will be heaped on his head.

Look what the good Samaritan did.  The Jews, hated Samaritans to such a degree that they destroyed the Samaritans’ temple on Mount Gerizim. Therefore the injured man, being a Jew, was very definitely the Samaritan’s enemy. The Samaritan would have been justified in passing by the injured Jew because of their history of enmity. But instead of passing by, like the religious Jews had, he stopped, helped him, took him to an inn where he could recover and even paid his expenses. This is in Luke 10:25-29.

What do you have to have inside of you to be able to do this? What kind of love and kindness must reside inside of you to be able to look past the faults of others and past the offences you have taken, to step out and do what we have been commanded to do? You have to have the love of Jesus in your heart. 150%. You have to be so secure in the knowledge of who you are and who your Father is, that you don’t let the actions of people confuse or condemn you. You have to know that you are a child of the most high God and that nothing in heaven or on earth can ever change that. That’s who you have to be. Your identity must be rooted in Jesus and nothing and nobody must be able to shake that. The burning coals will be on your enemies head, but the overcomers crown will be on yours.

God is my source

I met a lovely lady today who told me that she works for God. I asked her what she did expecting her to say that she is a missionary or something like that. She said that she represents a certain company who sells retail goods, but that that is only her job as she works for God. I got what she meant. God is her source. He is the one who cares for her and provides for her. I remember hearing a teaching about that some years ago.

So if God is my source and not my job, my boss or my business, it will mean that I would live my life differently to what I would if He wasn’t. Or rather, if I didn’t see Him as my source.

How would my life look if I saw God as my only source?

First of all I want to establish that I believe every word in the Bible. Because of this I believe that God made the earth and all that is in it. Everything I have access to has been made by God.

1 Corinthians 8:6, Yet for us there is [only] one God, the Father, Who is the Source of all things and for Whom we [have life], and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through and by Whom are all things and through and by Whom we [ourselves exist].

Philippians 4:19, And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

James 1:17, Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].

I have used the Amplified version of the Bible today. These verses illustrate how everything comes from God. He is the originator of everything that we have and that we receive.

Psalm 121:2, My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 91:2, I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!

Psalm 23:1, THE Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

God is the one who helps me when I am in trouble and who looks after me like a shepherd looks after sheep.

Psalm 27:10,  Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].

Psalm 22:10, I was cast upon You from my very birth; from my mother’s womb You have been my God.

Psalm 139:13-16, For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.

 My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].

 Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.

God has known me from before I was conceived and as hard as that is to understand practically, that is what He says. Where there is a danger that my parents will forsake me, He says He will always take care of me. He also knows everything that will take place in my life.

I am going to say that the first thing that should change is that I should put way more trust in God and not worry. There are lots and lots of references in the Bible about not worrying. I should change my mindset to trust God instead of trusting people. I should operate in faith at all times. I should not look to my employment as my source. God can and will provide beyond what we can ask or even think. If I see God as my source, I will also be less selfish about my needs, realising that the things I need are the things that God wants to give me, and that those will be things that are good for me. If God does give me things that seem to be materialistic, like a nice car for instance, then it’s up to Him, I will not manipulate Him to give me my selfish needs. I will also live a much more grateful lifestyle, and complain a lot less. I think 5 minutes is not enough for this subject so I may continue. Thank you for listening. Blessings to you.


Yesterday I mentioned Jeremiah and how he had asked God why it looked like there was no justice because it was going well with evil people. This is in Jeremiah chapter 12. The beautiful part of this chapter is where God answers Jeremiah and spells out how He is going to cause justice to be delivered.
In the Book of Job there are a lot of questions posed to God and in Job chapters 38 to 41 God gives Job some very complicated answers to his questions. In Daniel 9:22 the angel Gabriel comes to Daniel and gives him the answer to his prayer. And in Daniel 10:12 – 13 Gabriel explains to Daniel that he was held up for 21 days in delivering the answer by The prince of Persia and that the angel Michael had to come and help him.
Moses speaks directly to God through the whole of Exodus and God answers him. Abraham negotiates with God about Lot’s rescue from Sodom and Jacob wrestles with God all night and demands a blessing.
I can go on and on and on about how God speaks to people and about how He answers their prayers. A two way communication with God was a very common occurrence in the Old Testament. There were prophets and priests and kings who were anointed and on who the Holy Spirit rested who had access to God’s ear. Special people. Then Jesus is born and He speaks to His Father all the time. He makes it seem as natural as if He is speaking to a natural person here on earth. When Jesus is taken up to Heaven after his resurrection, the Holy Spirit is given to all believers.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 12: 12-14 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
These verses are saying that God sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper and He will teach us all things and He will also allow us to remember things which Jesus said, or in our case it would be to remember things we have heard, and read in the Word. In order to be taught we have to be able to hear. And in this case it is hearing spiritually because He isn’t going to be speaking with audible words. Also Jesus says that whoever believes in Him will be doing greater things than He did. And whatever we ask in His name He will do. Now, if we ask and He does it, it means He hears us, and if He is hearing us, why shouldn’t we be hearing Him?
How come there are so few people who claim to be hearing from God. Even some ordained ministers say that they are sceptical when people say they’ve heard from the Lord. Why should it be such an unusual thing for someone to have heard from God?
I’m speculating that people are often like the Israelites in the desert when they said God should speak to Moses and not directly to them because they were afraid. Are people afraid that God will be showing them where they are going wrong? Maybe they don’t make the effort to spend quality time with God, tuning in to hear His voice. Perhaps they are afraid to say anything when they think they do hear from God because they might embarrass themselves if people ridicule them so they just keep quiet? Have they been hurt by people who didn’t believe them?
I know that God wants to have a relationship with each and every one of us. We cannot have a relationship with anyone if there isn’t communication, and the essence of communication is speech that goes two ways. I know that there is a lot that God wants to share personally with every believer and He isn’t going to tell everything to the prophets to come and tell people. He’s waiting patiently for a dialogue with you and with me. We need to take every opportunity we have to practice hearing God’s voice. Maybe we should ask less and listen more.

Are we slaves?

Someone mentioned that their son is out of work because his boss wasn’t being fair to him and she agreed that it wasn’t right to work for someone like that. I have always thought that every person should follow their passion in life. It sounds so right and it would be amazing if it could really work that way. Unfortunately some people are forced into jobs that don’t suit their personalities and even worse, that don’t suit their skills. We have lots of square pegs in round holes all over the place. But what should you do about it if you are one of those square pegs and the hole you’ve been shoved into is round or even oval?


1 Peter 2:18 – 21, “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience  toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us and example, that you should follow His steps:” Ehpesians 6:5-8, “Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is slave or free.”


Yes, I realize you aren’t a slave and you have free will, but unfortunately we aren’t always able to choose the job of our dreams. We have to live, pay the rent, feed ourselves and our children. Most of the time it’s not okay to just dump your job because you don’t like what you’re doing, or because you don’t like your boss. We all have responsibilities and even though not everyone has a family to support, living off your parents because you think life isn’t fair, isn’t right either. I have worked in jobs where I didn’t exactly like the job and I have worked for bossed who weren’t fair or nice! I persevered with the job until the right time came to leave. These verses say that you should do what you do for the Lord and not for men.


Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the thoughts 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” Philippians4:11, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.” Paul wrote this while he was in prison!  I’m looking at these verses and I think God is saying that it doesn’t matter where we find ourselves, we should be satisfied to be at that place doing the thing we are doing. That doesn’t mean that if I am a dish washer right now, I must decide to remain a dish washer all my life. It means that if I seek the Lord, truly seek His face and His plan, then He is going to guide me and lead me and He is going to promote me in due time. He is going to tell me when I should make a move. Job offers might even come my way without me looking for them. He will show me the right time to sell my business. He is even going to send the right buyer to my doorstep. We often see things like this happening and we say, “Some people have all the luck. They don’t have to put in an effort, things just come to them.” Nobody knows how much effort they put in on their knees though. Matthew 6:6, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father  who sees in secret will reward you openly.”