I have so often heard Christians say that they rather live their lives in a way that illustrates their faith than actually speak about it. People say that it is very hard to speak to others about God or to witness because people might take offense. Some people just say that they can’t do it and that it isn’t their gifting. I was thinking about this when it struck me that our words are the only weapon we have. The enemy is doing everything in his power to keep us quiet because he wins when we keep quiet about Jesus.

Ephesians 6:10 – 20 tells about the armour of God. The different pieces are the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the feet shod in preparation to carry out the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. Now mostly we don’t have a problem with these. They aren’t that hard to attain and we don’t really have to step out of our comfort zone or make waves if we follow them. The last one however, is the sword of the Spirit.

Ephesians 6:17 – 19, 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 – and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.

Even Paul is asking for prayer so that he will be able to speak boldly. If speaking wasn’t a problem then Paul, of all people, wouldn’t ask for prayer to speak.

Mark 16:15, And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

It doesn’t say you have to show the world how you live, although you really do have to, but you have to preach the Gospel. You have to speak it out loud.

Have you seen what happens in a church when the pastor suggests that people go out and do door to door soul winning? People become really awkward and look at their watches and hide their faces. When confronted they use excuses like they have prior appointments, or the time simply doesn’t suit them. They also say that this isn’t for them. They haven’t been called to do this kind of thing or they just feel really uncomfortable with it. I’ve even heard people say that it shouldn’t be done in this way. Now I’m not going to argue the effectiveness of this method of soul winning but I can say that I have been involved with ministries that use this method and it is probably the act which is the most satisfying. You meet people you normally never would. You see circumstances you never knew existed, and you will be surprised at how many people are willing to say they need prayer and that they need Jesus in their lives. If we aren’t willing to speak we are never going to see this first hand.

Why do you think so many countries around the world are restricting people from speaking about Jesus? It is the plan of the enemy because it is the most effective way of reaching the world with the Gospel. What is more powerful than hearing a testimony of healing or salvation straight from the horse’s mouth? I love reading and I love reading testimonies, but hearing them first-hand is just so much better.

Romans 10:9, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Revelation 12:11, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

We have to start standing up for what we believe and we have to start saying what we believe because that is what the bible says. If we were fighting in a physical battle we would be using the weapons available to us because if we don’t we would be defeated. It is the same with the Gospel; if we don’t use the only weapon we have, our words, we are going to be defeated. We need to take out our swords and start practicing to use them so that we can become proficient swordsmen and we can defeat our enemy.


The onslaught

I have a few friends who are really tired of struggling. They are asking what more they can do to get some favour. What can they do to get a break. The economy is tough, the political situation isn’t ideal and it looks like the devil has launched a full on assault against believers.

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

Jesus is the Word, and the Word as we know it is the Bible. And a word is something that is spoken or written. When God created the world he spoke and the things He spoke come into being. Jesus was the form that God took when He manifested on earth. The Word in human form.

Ephesians 6:17, And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

We need to put on the armour so that we are protected against the onslaught. It also says that we have to use the sword of the Spirit. That is the Word of God. The Scriptures. But the scriptures don’t help us one bit if we don’t have a relationship with Jesus, the Word. The Word of God only has power when we are walking in a relationship with Jesus.

Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.

We need to be guided by God’s Word, by the things that are written in the Bible. I realise that everything in the Bible is old. Very old. Thousands of years old. But in all these thousands of years human nature has not changed. The issues, challenges and the questions that people have are still the same. Cain was jealous of Abel; People were so lawless that God got Noah to build an ark and destroyed everyone in a flood; Abram lied about Sarah being his sister and had a child by someone other than his wife; Jacob cheated Esau; Joseph’s brothers sold him to slave traders. That’s just the first 37 chapters of the Bible. Doesn’t it sound a lot like every other soapie on TV? Believe me, the bible really does have all the answers.

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 have it more abundantly.

The devil is our enemy. There is no midway when it comes to good and evil. The devil is bad and he wants us dead. He isn’t going to be nice to us when we get into his territory. We cannot afford to be Sunday Christians and then run our lives and our businesses like the world on the other six days. If we aren’t totally sold out to Jesus, we are going to be easy prey to the lies that the enemy is whispering into our ears. He wants to steal our families, our money and our integrity. When he has all those things he is going to try his level best to kill us. We simply have to turn away from everything that is evil and cling to Jesus because that is the only way we are going to have eternal life.

Proverbs 18:10, The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and they are safe.


Jesus is the name above all names and when we are in any trouble we need to call out to Him. If we have questions about how to live He is the one to ask. If we have trouble we can expect Him to give us the best advice.

I would like to sum it up as follows. The way we can fight the devil is by using the Word. We have to confess Scriptures over our situations. We can expect victory. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11) He overcame the enemy with words from scripture. We have to follow His example and find verses in the Bible that are relevant for the situations that we are in and we have to speak them. Spoken words have so much power and the spoken word is the power that we have been given over our enemy.

Find your verses today and start speaking them!



Pray for each other

Last week in our cell group we were given an assignment. Each one had to choose a piece of folded paper which had the name of one of the members of the group. We would pray for the person whose name we chose and find a scripture for that person. It was a very simple sounding exercise, but it had far reaching effects.

What does it mean to pray for someone?

James 5:16, The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

James 5:16, for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer! (The Passion Translation)

This verse says so much. Tremendous power is released. What a statement. When we pray for someone we are representing that person before the throne of God. We are saying to God, “please bless Mary; please give her wisdom; give her the ability to do the things which are difficult for her; give her the grace to be able to put behind her the things that are holding her back; let the power of the Holy Spirit manifest in her life; put ministering angels around her and protect her from harm.” We have been given the power to represent someone else before God.

Romans 1:9,  For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,

Ephesians 1:15-16, Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

Ephesians 3:14-19, For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

If we are constantly praying for our fellow believers in this way and they are praying for us, we won’t even need to pray for ourselves! It is such a blessed state to be in, knowing that someone is carrying you in prayer. There’s a war going on and we have to cover our fellow believers.

John 17:20-26, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

This is such a profound prayer that Jesus prayed for every one of us.  He poured out His heart before God on our behalf. And because you cannot take words back once they have been spoken, these words that Jesus uttered are still resounding in the universe. Just think about it. Jesus prayed for you and me before He died. Why would we want to resist the call to follow Him if that is how much He loves us? And if Jesus prayed for us who are we not to pray for each other?

We have been granted an open invitation to have an audience with the King whenever we wish. Let us use our time wisely by praying for each other.

Words destroy

Yesterday as I was chatting with a friend in the supermarket a resident of our little town approached us and started telling us how corrupt the owner of the supermarket was. I just turned my back and walked away, but my friend came up for the business owner and kept it up until the man stopped speaking and left. I was so disgusted that someone could have so little respect that he could pull someone apart in his own shop. I wondered why he actually shopped there is that was his opinion. I guess I’ll really never understand people and their motives. And by the way his argument actually meant nothing. There’s really nothing shady going on.

Proverbs has a lot of wisdom and here are a few verses I found that I can apply to this situation:

Proverbs 10:8 The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall.

Verse 9 He who walks integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.

Verse 10 He who winks with the eye causes trouble, but a prating fool will fall.

Verse 12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.

It’s easy to gossip and it’s easy to stir up people’s emotions. It costs nothing to make up lies about people. Or so it seems. But there are always consequences. Unfortunately spreading rumours about people and about businesses, especially in a small place can cause repercussions that aren’t always pleasant.

I have heard so many times that when teenagers and even children spread malicious rumours about their peers that the one whom they gossip about feels so bad and is so ostracized that they commit suicide. There is so much sadness and grief in the world is it really worth using your words to break down people?

James 3:8 But no man can bridle the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

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

They say talk is cheap, but idle talk can be so destructive. One word in the wrong context, or in the wrong place can lead to endless trouble. That is why we need the armour of God at all times. We have to be so careful to guard our minds with the helmet of salvation. Guard what goes into our minds and guard what we allow our minds to ponder on. We have to have the belt of truth firmly buckled around our waists so that we don’t speak anything that isn’t absolutely true. We can so easily react to the accusing words if we don’t keep the shield of faith in it’s place. Of course without the breastplate of righteousness the rest of the armour doesn’t work at all. We need to have the shoes and the sword ready at all times so that when we speak it will be truth according to the word and not just whatever comes into our heads. It is important to remember that as children of a loving and holy God we cannot react out of anger or indignation. We cannot answer someone who is accusing or gossiping in the same tone or manner that he speaks.

If we are known to be believers, and If we are believers, we shouldn’t be hiding the fact, then we must remember that the world is watching us and if we slip up we will be judged. That might not sound nice but it’s true. Jesus bought us at a great price, the price was His blood, we cannot let Him down by sounding like an unbeliever.

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.

God sees us all the time. He knows our thoughts and our motives and every little thing about us. We need to be aware of this and we really need to watch what we say. I got upset by what the man in the supermarket said, and I chose to remain silent. My friend chose to defend the shop owner and she did it is a good way. Neither of us was wrong. I think we need to consciously consult God at that moment as so what our reaction should be so that we can always keep the name of Jesus high.

Fear or Fiction

Yesterday I received a broadcast mesage warning me against HIV infected blood that has been injected into bananas.  The people who supposedly injected this infected blood into the bananas are out to kill millions of people. The report goes says that “if your fruit has a red weird colour in it” you must know that it has been infected by HIV blood. Its concludes by making the statement “That is satanism.” I totally agree that it is satanism. Wait! Hear me out, don’t stop reading, I’m going to make a point. 

How many of these messages have you received?  How many prayer requests have you received on behalf of missionaries who are about to be beheaded by extremist Buddhists in India? Seriously?  I’ve always thought that Buddhists were peaceful people. And what about the messages about the poor little girl/boy who has cancer and will receive 1 dollar for every time the message is shared?  I normally go to the internet and rsearch these messages and 99% of hem are recorded as being hoaxes. What is the purpose of these messages? I would say mainly to spread fear.  When I think that I could be eating infected fruit I’m going to be fearful of buying fruit that could harm me or my family.  Maybe I shouldn’t buy fruit from street vendors or maybe I should stop eating fruit altogether.  What if they also do it to other fruit and not just bananas?  What if I’ve already inadvertently eaten fruit which is contaminated? People have all these fearful ideas racing through their heads, and fear paralyzes. Now they can’t do their work properly and their reltionships are eventually affected because of the fear. 

Just consider this; Fear is very seldom the spine chilling, nail biting thing that you see in horror movies. Everyday “innocent” fear is way more subtle than that. Fear is that little niggling thought or seed that has been planted in the back of your mind that keeps eating away at you. Let me bare my soul and tell you a story that will illustrate what I mean.

In 1970 I was in second grade at school. In those days in South Africa it was called Sub B. I was a very good reader. My mom had made sure of that and she spent long hours making sure we knew how to read. Its a wonderful legacy as I still love reading. I was in Mrs le Roux’s class. We had a dual medium school and I was in the English class. There were 4 grades in our class – Sub A to Standard 2 – with about 20 children in the whole class. I think there were 7 children in our grade.  We were standing around Mrs le Roux’s table with our reading books and taking turns to read a piece. I was probably bored because I used to red through the whole reading book on the day I received it. Suddenly she shouted, “Alex, look in your book! Stop looking at your big, fat, tummy!”  From that day I concentrated on pulling in my tummy so that nobody would know that I had a “big, fat, tummy”. For the next 40 years the words that she said on that day eat away at my self esteem and eroded my confidence. I had long forgotten the incident but the consequences were still there. I often felt that I wasn’t good enough but I couldn’t understand why I felt that way. 

One morning at about 3 o’clock, I woke up and went to my sitting room.  I sat on the sofa and wrapped in a blanket cried out to God and asked Him what the matter was. Why did I feel this way? There was no logical reason. I was educated and capable yet I was feeling like I lacked something. The Holy Spirit gently guided me back to that classroom where I had been standing 40 years before and replayed everything that had happened. At once I understood that I had accepted the words that had been spoken. I had accepted that I had a big, fat, tummy – even though it had been a lie. As I sat on that sofa with tears streaming down my face, Jesus assured me that I was worthy because He had made me. I felt warm and loved and good enough. It was something I will never forget and it was real and so very personal. I have forgiven Mrs le Roux, she was just doing the best she could in that sitution. Nobody is perfect.

This weed is dying after being treated with a mixture of vinegar and salt. Thats what should happen to the fearful ideas before they can take root in our minds.

Do you see how a small grain of fear, even if it isn’t meant seriously or maliciously can damage someone? That is why I say that these messages are satanism. The devil wants you to be fearful and have all kinds of hang-ups that are going to keep you from being a whole person. 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Let us use our sound minds to spread love, and let us use the power God has given us to touch thos around us in a positive way and not use words that will hurt.

This apple seed has become a little apple tree – good seeds like good thoughts should be allowed to thrive