Help Comes First From the WORD Not the World

Happy Music Monday friends ❤

A few days ago I was contact by an ex-friend, someone I thought would be in my life for a while. Before responding to this former friend, I took a moment and asked the Lord why it hadn’t worked in the first place. Instead of responding, a went to the Lord in prayer and he met me in my dreams.

Last night as I closed my eyes preparing for a night of rest I tossed and turned and while I dozed off at 4 in the morning, a sweet slumber did not meet me. The dream, a nightmare at most, I had was a weird one that honed in on one of my real life friendships. In this nightmare I was able to see many real life situations where I compromised my faith, my relationship with God, and my wellbeing for the good of this particular relationship. Throughout this dream I was met with a version of myself and this friend, I was an outsider looking in. I saw the two of us dining, dancing, and laughing, our time consumed with each other like it had been for all my other friendships. It looked as though myself and this friend were having a good time, but as I looked closer I saw something didn’t seem to fit. It was a snake. This friend transformed before my eyes from a human into a serpent. The serpent turned to me, as I observed, and said “you’ve allowed your worldly relationships to replace God. You’ve replaced the Word with the world.” Then, I woke up. I gasped and thanked God it was all just a horrible dream, but I still felt uneasy. It occurred to me that maybe this was a sign. Did God put this dream on me to allow me to see that the reason our relationship ended before was because I used this particular friend as a way of replacing him? Did he use the serpent to reveal that like the enemy, I’ve allowed this friend to stop me from seeing, both literally and spiritually what God was trying to do in my life? So, I received my answer… no , this is a relationship not worth mending. It was a rather dramatic answer, but necessary nonetheless.

Friends, don’t allow the enemy to use you nor should you give him the key to use any of those around you to craft his plan of separation from you and God. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy and sometimes we make his job easier when we hold on to the world and not the Word. Anything that you are holding onto right now, or idolizing over God, the enemy is there. May you learn to open your eyes to the areas God is calling on you to return to, like he did me. My prayer is that you call on God and rebuke the enemy’s plans to separate you from God. Don’t make the mistake I did and look to your worldly relationship as your help and strength, when all of your help comes first from God. Put God at the centre of your life, your job, your school, and your friendships. While I ended the friendship with this person several years ago, I almost lost my footing and started what was proven to be a bad relationship – I almost gave the enemy the keys to separate me from the Lord like I had done before.

All of our help comes from God, whether it’s conscious or subconscious! Allow Him FULL access to your life, your situation, to YOU.

Father, we believe you are granting us your perfect peace as we keep our mind stayed on you and put you first. We will not allow the enemy in or allow him to believe our help comes for the world instead of the WORD.

This week’s song is All Of My Help by Geoffrey Golden

Lyrics:
All of my help, all of my help
All of my help comes from you
My saviour
All of my help, all of my help
All of my help comes from you
It comes from you
All of my help comes from you
You are the one that my heart is drawn to
In time of weaknes, my strength is renewed
My help, all of my help
All of my help comes from you

So father, we believe that you are
Renewing our strength as we wait on you
Father, we believe that you are granting us
Your perfect peace as we keep our minds stayed on you
You are our hope, you are our strength
You are our life, father. And so we are gonna lift this together

You are my refuge and strength
My present help in times of trouble
I look to the hills from whence cometh my help
My help comes from you

It comes from you (it comes from you)
It comes from you (it comes from you)
All of my peace (yes)
It comes from you (it comes from you)
And all of my joy, (yes)
It comes from you (it comes from you)

You are my life (yes)
You are my light (it comes from you)
Can’t make it without you (yes)
Don’t wanna do it without you (it comes from you)
Father, we need you (yes)
Father, we need you (it comes from you)
Father, we need you (yes)
Father, we need you (it comes from you)

All of my help (it comes from you)
All of my peace (yes)
It comes from you (it comes from you)
For you are (yes)
The source of my strength (it comes from you)
And you are (yes)
You’re the strength of my life (it comes from you)

I love you, lord (yes)
You paid my price (it comes from you)
And pitied (yes)
Pitied every throne (it comes from you)
Long as I live, (yes)
As troubles rise, (it comes from you)
I’m gonna race, (yes)
To your throne (it comes from you)
You are my refuge and strength

You’re Going To Be OK

**I want to apologize for my absence. To say I needed some time of reflection would be an understatement. I had all but given up, desperate for a sign from God. Something good, something kind, bringing peace to every corner of my mind – then a friend suggested Psalms 20 and here I am. I’m back and I’m ready to tell my story until my Saviour returns.

The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;
Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.
Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.
We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil all thy petitions.
Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.” 

I understand today is Family Day, a day set aside for a time with your family members and loved ones, but not all of us are fortunate with that opportunity. There are some reading who don’t have a blood-related family or don’t get that feeling of peace, comfort, and love usually associated with the family. But, there’s a truth your heart needs to hear and that is, “you’re going to be okay” – whether surrounded with family or in a room all alone (with God).

Have you ever watched a dream die or felt angry because life isn’t going the way you expected? Or maybe it’s a fight just to keep it together. Sometimes it feels like life’s falling apart. Sometimes you’re completely worn out by stresses that never seems to end.

Whether times are good or bad, the Lord says you can be joyful, resilient, and strong! Let’s discover how to guard our hearts against despair together, how to look to the future with confidence, and trust that God will accomplish his plan for you. This begins when you learn to love even when you don’t feel loved. Today’s heartfelt message is about hope–you really are going to be okay.

I know many of the reasons our relationships with our families and I’ll extend this to friends and intimate relationships suffer is because of the lack of love. The problem we have is if we don’t feel it, we believe it isn’t authentic, and thus not real. We begin to question love. This is usually where we leave the relationship(s). This, combined with the definition that love is almost exclusively a warm feeling found deep within us, makes the notion that we aren’t loved. As a result of not feeling loved, we forget to display love.

We live in a “wait until you feel love” world. The main problem with a wait until you feel it love is that it comes more from the world than the Word. It fundamentally undermines the two greatest commandments Jesus gave. The command to love God with everything, and others as ourselves, often assaults this kind of love, oppresses our natural cravings, and inconveniences our self-actualization but it is the Biblical way to love.

If you find yourself alone and loveless because you never really felt loved from those around I have good news. God IS love. God is the supreme example of love. If you want to know what love looks like, look to God. From His sacrifice to his Word we are given a template of how to love. And yes, God loves even those he doesn’t feel love from. So, remember, you are going to be okay if you recognize that while you don’t feel loved by some you are loved by the Most High and that’s all the love you need for a lifetime.

When you don’t feel loved, God still loves. You are not alone, with God you are going to be okay.

This week’s song is You’re Gonna Be Ok by Bethel Music ft. Brian and Jenn Johnson

Lyrics:
[Verse 1]
I know it’s all you’ve got to just, be strong
And it’s a fight just to keep it together, together
I know you think, that you are too far gone
But hope is never lost
Hope is never lost

[Pre-Chorus]
Hold on, don’t let go
Hold on, don’t let go

[Chorus]
Just take, one step, closer
Put one foot in front of the other
You’ll, get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness
You’re gonna be ok

[Verse 2]
I know your heart is heavy from those nights
Just remember that you’re a fighter, a fighter
You never know just what tomorrow holds
And you’re stronger than you know
Stronger than you know

[Pre-Chorus]
Hold on, don’t let go
Hold on, don’t let go

[Chorus]
Just take, one step, closer
Put one foot in front of the other
You’ll, get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness

One step, closer
Put one foot in front of the other
You’ll, get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness
You’re gonna be ok

[Bridge]
And when the night, is closing in
Don’t give up, and don’t give in
This won’t last, it’s not the end, it’s not the end
You’re gonna be ok

When the night, is closing in
Don’t give up, and don’t give in
This won’t last, it’s not the end, it’s not the end
You’re gonna be ok

Brokenness Aside

I want to warn you all from sitting at the table of brokenness.

By brokenness I am not talking about being shattered because there’s a differences between being shattered and being broken. Divorce will shatter you but you can get married again. Loosing your job can shatter you but you can be employed again. Being shattered means you can be fixed but to be broken means God’s got to humble you.

I got on my knees last night and asked God for strength. Strength over the complicated living situations I am in. I asked God to keep my body strong and to give me what I need in this effort. I asked God to put his hands on me that I might lead his people without distractions. Instead, God put more on me today. I didn’t ask for that. I asked for grace. I asked for strength. I asked God to give me more power than he had last year. Instead, he gave me pain.

Through the abundance of things God has already done for me to keep my feet on the ground, to draw me closer to him he gave me something that I’ve got to depend on him more than I ever had. He says “If I let you do all that you planned to do without me you are going to take glory that does not belong to you. So to keep you humble, to break you, to mold you, to shape you I’ve got to make you dependant on me. Because Mother’s not there, Dad’s not there, sister’s are not there. Late in the midnight hour you need somebody who’s grace is sufficient.”

Paul shares the depth of the dilemma he’s in because he uses the word ‘thorn.’ It’s not a light prick but it is a wooden stick that impales you.

I want to speak to someone who has every had a thorn, or you’re currently feeling this throne. Sweet little church sayings or antidotes won’t get rid of that thorn.

Your pain may have been carried to you by Satan, but it was conceived by God. God won’t let anything happen to his child that catches him off guard. If you haven’t been through anything skip this post. But, if you’ve been through your own storm. If you’ve had a thorn jug you every time you thought you were about to turn the corner or every time you thought you were feeling better it jugs you again then there’s help. Whatever your thorn is there’s good news. Paul said “I went to the Lord and asked him to remove it.”

I went to the Lord and I asked him to remove my thorn, but like Paul I heard him say “my grace is sufficient.”

His grace is sufficient friends. Believe it.

His grace woke you up this morning. His grace started you on your way. His grace is standing you up right now. His grace will keep you all the year long.

So, when brokenness gives you an invite to sit at its table, decline. For brokenness allows God to mold you and change you but if you are content with dwelling in a state of brokenness a change won’t ever come. Set brokenness aside and keep God in mind.

This week’s song is Brokenness Aside by All Sons and Daughters

Lyrics:
Will your grace run out
If I let you down
‘Cause all I know
Is how to run

‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing it’s another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
But You are a Savior
And You take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
Beautiful

Will You call me child
When I tell you lies
‘Cause all I know
Is how to cry

‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing it’s another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
But You are a Savior
And You take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
Beautiful

You make it beautiful
You make it beautiful
[x2]

The Amazing God That We Serve

 

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

  • God’s amazing grace is sufficient to save us from our sins

Paul is a prime example of God’s amazing grace. He was gloriously saved by God’s grace and he did not wish to keep it to himself. Paul wrote more about grace than any other person in the Bible.

The Free Gift of Grace
Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Paul spreads the good news that we serve an amazing God who gives the gift of grace, freely to all who call on him.

We Don’t Earn Grace
Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight…”

Paul had to learn that he couldn’t earn his way to heaven. It was only by God’s amazing grace could he be justified and declared righteous in the sight of God.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

All of us have sinned. All of us have had things in our lives that were sinful and displeasing to God. Yet through God’s amazing grace, there is a way for us to be forgiven.

Steps to Receiving God’s Amazing Grace
Romans 10:13 “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13)

Receiving Jesus Christ as your saviour today or for his grace is as easy as ABC
(A) – Admit that you are sinful and in need of forgiveness
(B) – Believe that Jesus died for your sins
(C) – Call upon His name and ask Him for His forgiveness

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

This week’s song is Amazing Grace by John Newton

 

Lyrics:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I’m found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’twas Grace that taught,
my heart to fear.
And grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear,
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come.
’tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
as long as life endures.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
than when we first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Love God with Your Everything

There are few things so universal and yet so challenging. Love. Most importantly, love for God. Jesus says in Mark 12:29–30, that to love is the most important commandment as it is necessary to enjoy God’s sustained favour.

There are many substantial examples of God’s sustained favour in the face of great love. Moses asserted, “[Yahweh] keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” but he “repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them”(Deuteronomy 7:9–10). Similarly, Paul declared that “All things work together for good” only for “those who love God” (Romans 8:28).

There is no room here for divided affections or allegiance. As Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). God demands total loyalty from you. A loyalty that starts with the heart.

Being loyal is defined as “Being faithful to one’s oath, engagements or obligations. Being faithful to one’s allegiance to a government or state or to a person conceived as imposing obligation”. Loyalty comes out of love, devotion, dedication and commitment to the well being of another. As lovers of Christ we are to prove ourselves loyal in regular devotionals, dedicated time and a commitment to stay faithful through the course of the relationship, choosing God over the world.

We are not to simply reserve God to the weekend or worse, a single day of the week – often Sunday’s and occupy the rest of our time with the pleasure of the world. As important as loyalty is in this day and age in our relationships it serves the same importance to our Maker who reminds us not to let “steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you” but to “bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).

Loving God with all our Heart
From the heart “flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23), and without one’s will, desires, passions, affections, perceptions, and thoughts rightly aligned, the life of love is impossible. As a result disloyalty beings and God no longer becomes the source of our love as we go out giving out our love to others.

Loving God with all our Soul
Along with our hearts, we are called to love God with all our soul. In the first five books of the Old Testament the “soul” refers to one’s whole being as a living person, which while it includes one’s heart, it includes so much more. It is not only the heart that we live and have our being but also our souls that has a closer meaning to “living being”. For example,   in Genesis 2:7 we are told that “Yahweh God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living [soul] creature.

So we are to love God with our everything, beyond our heart. We are to love him with how we talk, and what we do with our hands, and how we utilize our talents, and how we react to trials. Our entire being is to display that we love God.

Loving God with all our Might
What it means to love God with all our might not only points towards the strength a person has, but also what he has at his disposal. This means that the call to love God is not only with our physical muscle or the strength we have in the moment, but with everything we have available for honouring God. Our might is not reserved to what we possess but all that we have around us – which includes our house, our jobs, our time, our family.

Therefore, we must love God with our everything because He is our everything. To love God with our everything includes our heart, soul and might. We are to let the love we feel expand to the love we show. Whether we’re eating or singing, jogging or blogging, texting or drawing – our love for God is to be in felt and seen.

Let us not reserve God to a “side thing” in a time of disloyalty, instead let us remain faithful to God.

This week’s song is You are Everything by Todd Dulaney

Lyrics:
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)

You are alpha and omega
You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything
(You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything)

You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything
(You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything)

You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)

Set Me Ablaze

My prayer for everyone is that we will be on fire for the Lord. That we will continuously burn, that we will continuously be in love and pursue the presence of God and all that He has for us. That we will never grow cold, our hearts will never harden nor will we get tired of the things of God and His Kingdom.

There is a constant reminder in Scripture to stay alert, stay awake, and stay on fire for God. He tell us us to stay prayed up, fasted up, filled up, read up, and lit up. Not only must we stay in His written Word, we must always stay close to Him, we must keep our lamps filled with oil.

 

Have you ever cooked a dish and used old oil? Notice with the old and spare oil the item your cooking takes a little longer to cook. Often, the quality of the food is less than. When believers let their lamps go out it is because they are living today on yesterday’s oil. Doing things the way we did it yesterday does not necessarily work in the here and now. It never lasts in the future. It is always sad to see so many Christians living in the past and refusing to allow themselves the refreshing renewing and change for the better that comes with truly following God, instead they choose to reuse their oil over a fresh supply. As a result, they have little life. Their oil has long since run out. Their life serves no purpose. They give off no light.

Does the journey of the ten virgins mean anything at all?

  “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 

   Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 

  And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13)

The oil represents the presence of God in our life. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s the oil that keeps the fire burning. It is mentioned in the parable that the oil is to be purchased. Which means that a price is to be paid to obtain the oil. To have a continual presence of God in our life, we are to pay a price, by spending time at the feet of Jesus. Only the presence of God in our life can keep the fire burning through the dark knights. It was the lack of an adequate supply of oil which caused these foolish maidens to be met with the words, “I do not know you”. They did, of course, have some oil when they began but it was not enough. Oil, in the Old Testament, is frequently used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The oil symbolizes the Spirit of God by which light of testimony could be maintained in the hour of darkness.

Sincere Christians are the wise virgins, and hypocrites the foolish ones. Many have a lamp in their hands, but no oil to keep the fire for the lamp. They were all virgins, meaning they were all “acceptable” for the Lord’s Return, and initially all lamps were lit. But the Lord delayed His return – over 2000 years. And they all fell asleep. The point the Lord was making wasn’t “don’t fall asleep,” but “be ready for my return”. When the shout came, they all awoke. But then came the separation; 5 virgins thought it ‘wise’ to keep a measure of oil-the Holy Spirit, for His Return, and 5 virgins didn’t. While the 5 foolish virgins went looking for ‘oil sellers’, the Master came and closed the doors – leaving them outside. The sad truth came when they reminded Him of their invitation, He says, “I knew you not” (Matt. 25:12).

Are you equip with the Holy Spirit and ready to meet the Lord?Are you still on fire for Him? After all, God likes the fire: it heats you up, makes you move, burns sin, burns sickness, burns diseases, and purifications takes place in the fire. It’s the Holy Spirit and Fire that keeps us alive.

This week’s song is Set Me Ablaze by Jesus Culture ft. Katie Torwalt

Lyrics:
Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
Till it’s all that I know
Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
So I’ll never grow cold [x2]

[Chorus:]
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart,
May Your fire start
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart
Keep me burning
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart,
May Your fire start
Come and breathe
On the coals of my heart oh

Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
With a single obsession
Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
With an endless passion [x2]

[Chorus x2:]
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart,
May Your fire start
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart
Keep me burning
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart,
May Your fire start
Come and breathe
On the coals of my heart oh

Your fire, burn brighter
Deep inside my heart
Consume me, reach through me
I want all You are
Your fire, burn brighter
Deep inside my heart
Consume me, reach through me [x2]

Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
Till it’s all that I know
Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
So I’ll never grow cold

 

Resolutions Into Realities

As we end one year and look to a new one, we pause to take inventory. In a rare moment of reflection and honest self-assessment, we admit our failures. We pledge to learn from them and move toward a better future.  We all want to be better, to live our lives fully and to love one another more selflessly. So, we make resolutions.

As we repent for the failures of the past year we resolve to do better in the coming year. We face the reality of sin and make attempts to correct them. We know that our resolutions to change often end in failure. We are prone to making wrong choices in daily life. But the difference between resolutions and reality is Christ.

In and through Jesus Christ, there is a path to being made new. He walked that path up the mountain of Golgotha, and through the tomb to the Resurrection. That promise of being made new, being born again, is at the heart of the Gospel, the Good News! St. Paul reminded the Christians in the City of Corinth – and reminds every one of us – “whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17)

New Year’s resolutions can be an important first step to change, but they are a far cry from real, lasting change when we rely wholly on ourselves and forget the One who makes all things new. On many occasions we hear people’s promises that this year will be different, “New Year, New Me”; they’ll own that new car, get that promotion, etc. yet we see no change. It’s not our circumstances that need to change, but our mindset, our way of thinking – we need not to walk another year outside of the path of righteousness.  If we really are resolved to see our hopes and resolutions for 2017 become a reality, we will do well to keep several basic truths in mind at the outset of a new year.

1. The Fewer the Better
The excitement of a new year, and desire for change often leads us to bite off much more than we can chew for one year. If you have too much on your plate chances are you’ll be left with leftovers of unresolved resolutions.

Consider one focus (or maybe a couple or three items) for the new year, or just the first three months of 2017, or even just January. A year is a long period of time in terms of habit-forming; typically we would do much better to just make one resolution at a time than to attempt many things and for so long a period as twelve months. Commitment to several things for a long period of time scares many and with that fear comes the breaking of resolutions.

2. Be Specific
Bible-reading, devotionals, and prayer are likely too broad. Give your resolution a more specific focus like reading the whole Bible this year, or not just devotionals but daily devotionals, or not just prayer but a prayer journal that you spend time writing in each morning, or before bedtime.

3. Craft a Realistic Plan
On many occasions our biggest let down for the new year is ourselves. We often devise unrealistic plans and end the year with disappointment because it didn’t come to fruition. I’ll be honest, last year I told myself I’d read the entire bible in a year. I tried to commit to reading 5 books of the bible a month for 12 months. As I’m sure you could already tell that did not happen. It was an unrealistic plan. While it worked all the way until September when I had more time, with the start of school came the end of my resolution. Map out clearly and concretely what it would take for a full month to cultivate your desired habit. Think long term and make sure it’s realistic given the things in your life. Part of being realistic is accepting a measure of modesty and patience to your goals.

4. Flexibility
If not now then eventually. Your resolutions don’t need to start in January and end in December. Some resolutions don’t need to take all year while others require more than a given year. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Like life your resolutions need to be flexible.

5. Cover Your Efforts in Prayer
In prayer, we re-consecrate ourselves again and again to pursue our resolves “by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). We would be fooling ourselves if we made regular efforts into new habits without explicitly asking God to make it truly fruitful.

And so we pray – not just act, but ask – “that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

Happy New Year! May the Lord bless you all in the Year of 2017

**I want to thank EVERYONE for tuning in, reading, encouraging, commenting, sharing, liking and following my blog. I am entering this new year with so much peace, love and happiness thanks to you all**

xo

The Christmas Story

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE 🙂

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people” (Luke 2:10).

In Luke’s account of the Christmas story, an angel announced the birth of Jesus to a group of shepherds (notice that it’s a group of shepherds and not merely three wise men).

The joy was not for a few people, but for all. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son” (John 3:16).

In order to share this good news we must correct ourselves from some of the most common misconceptions about Jesus Christ’s birth. The problem is, the Christmas story may be entirely wrong. The events surrounding the birth have been retold so many times and in so many ways- in plays, poetry, books, songs and movies – that mot people have a distorted view of the true events. The only accurate record is found in the Holy Bible, God’s Word.

Firstly, there were not three wise men as movies or plays would suggest, rather, many wise men or shepherds as Luke noted. scripture does report wise men (“magi”) came, but it does not say how many. Also, the wise men did not visit Jesus when he was still lying in the manger, as commonly shown on greeting cards  and in plays. The “magi”did not arrive until sometime after Christ’s presentation in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-39).

Secondly, Jesus was not born in a manger as the songs would suggest, rather, he was placed in a manger after birth. Scripture simply reports that they laid Jesus in a manger because there was no room for him in the guest room.

Thirdly, there was no little drummer boy. Th drummer of is, of course, not in the biblical story, but his presence has become legendary in our modern Christmas imagination.

As we share the life changing message of Jesus with others, like God intended, we join the worldwide chorus proclaiming “the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.” We must share the Christmas story, free from myths or tales with only what the Word of the Lord tells us an account given by Luke who saw no little drummer boy, witnessed not three but many shepherds who came to see Jesus after his birth. We must share why Jesus came – to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), save people from sin (Matthew 1:21), and tone the saviour of the world (1 John 4:14).

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”

Xoxo

For the Cause of Christ

Hello lovely subscribers, bloggers, friends, family, and passers-by let me preface my blog post with an apology. I have been, as the teens say MIA – missing in action. The last two weeks have been, busy to say the least. I am in my final years of my undergraduate studies and with the end being so near so is the pressure, the assignments and the tests. But, this week serves as my last week of exams – can I get an amen? So, here I am. Back to my love of leisure, unbiased, unstructured and God focused writing!

This morning I want to tell you why I feel hopeful and optimistic in the midst of exams within what appears to be a world that seems to be collapsing under the weight of its unprincipled and God-ignoring ways of thought and life.

Being submerged within a world that devalues God and all he stands for is difficult to say the least. We all face it in our workplaces, secular relationships or school. I have been taught in almost all my university courses that “God is dead” or the Bible serves as the worst piece of literature out there. In spite of all the critiques, and criticism I am the first and sometimes the only voice against the odds and superiority. Professors, and Teaching Assistants are more concerned about how one writes or even speaks on the institutions beliefs as opposed to a person’s individual truths. Doing this was not easy as on many occasions my grades took a beating along with my hope.

Now why am I optimistic and hopeful in the midst of all this? It’s because there are signs that even here on this earth God has a saving and reforming work to do. His work is not only restricted to a few scattered individual lives or the education system, but in the larger social fabric of this world.

What I know is that God has taken decadent, self-destroying societies and remade them by the power of his Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel of the grace God, and through the social impact of thousands of remade men and women, but he needs us.

God is calling us. All the things we experience in life and the questions we have of God pails in comparison to the reason we are on this earth. We are going to go through difficult things, but the cause of Christ is what it’s about. The Lord says to go out into all the world and preach the Gospel of the good news of the Cross. This means taking up our cross although we might not fully understand what we’re going through. We might not fully understand the pain we experience, but we should want Jesus more than we want to understand. For this cause we’ll live, for this cause we’ll die. We surrender everything for this cause, there’s joy found in Christ.

My favourite verse of this weeks song says:
“It is not fame that I desire
Nor stature in my brother’s eye
I pray it’s said about my life
That I lived more to build Your name than mine”

If we all take this stance in our life we realize it’s all about God, it’s about worshipping and bringing fame to the Glory and the name of Jesus. Whether you’re leading worship, or in the pews the real challenge is to say “God no matter what it’s for your Glory and not myself”. At the end of the day it is for the cause of Christ that we live – even if our grades, our relationships, or our reputation takes a beating.

This week’s song is The Cause of Christ by Kari Jobe ❤

Lyrics:
The only thing I want in life is to be known for loving Christ to build His church, to love His bride
And make His name known far and wide

For this cause I live
For this cause I’d die
I surrender all
For the cause of Christ
All I once held dear
I will leave behind
For my joy is this
Oh the cause of Christ

He is all my soul will prize
Regardless of the joy or trial
When agonizing questions rise
In Jesus all my hope abides

For this cause I live
For this cause I’d die
I surrender all
For the cause of Christ
All I once held dear
I will leave behind
For my joy is this
Oh the cause of Christ

Jesus my Jesus
For Your glory for Your name
Jesus my Jesus
I will only sing Your praise

For this cause I live
For this cause I’d die
I surrender all
For the cause of Christ
All I once held dear
I will leave behind
For my joy is this
Oh the cause of Christ

It is not fame that I desire
Nor stature in my brother’s eye
I pray it’s said about my life
That I lived more to build Your name than mine

 

“Without Me, You Can Do Nothing!”

Happy Music Monday ❤

Most of us don’t like to admit it when we can’t accomplish something on our own. We have a hard time humbling ourselves and recognizing that some things are out of our control.

Without Christ, you can do nothing … just what does this mean exactly? Isn’t it true that there are non-Christians that have done great things, and if so, then what does this verse really mean?

What is meant in this verse is that without Jesus we can do nothing of eternal significance (Matthew 5:3).  We are without life, love and legacy without the power of Christ!

The Bible teaches us that only by dwelling in Christ we have eternal significance and can reap eternal rewards.  Without Christ, we can do nothing of eternal significance!

1. Without Me – No Life!
John 15:1-4

Here, Jesus begins to paint a picture to teach us some spiritual truths, He states that “He is the vine,” and that “His Father is the gardener!” 

Jesus is speaking to His disciples, showing them and us that we must abide in Him to have life, and not just a life like every non-believer, but a life that will matter not just now but in eternity

2. Without Me – No Love!
John 15:5-8

Now, Jesus turns from the negative – no life, to the positive – “much fruit” for those who depend on him.

Those who abide in Christ will not only have life, they will have “much fruit,” and since we know that the fruit of the Spirit is “love” this is what He means!

Jesus made a similar statement in John 13:35 like this: “by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, that you love one another.”

3. Without Me – No Legacy!
John 15:16-17

Jesus says here, in depending on him we will produce “fruit that will last.” He means that if we recognize that by ourselves we fail and recognize our need for Him we can give something to the world besides momentary existence. In gettign rid of the “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” attitude we can serve the world and show it love much like Christ.

Without Christ, there is no legacy, no privilege, no eternal dimensions to our life!

Therefore, what Jesus means when He said, “Without me, you can do nothing!” is that while we might live for the moment, with Him we live forever, our actions have everlasting consequences when we abide in Christ! Nothing like this is done without Him!

This weeks song is By Myself by Deon Kipping

Lyrics:
By Myself,
It won’t work,
Lord I need,

I need your help (2x)
By Myself,
It won’t work,
Lord I need,
I need your help

Can’t make it without you, Oh God (4x)

Trust me, trust me, trust me when I say
By Myself,
It won’t work,
Lord I need, I need, I need, I need
I need your help (2x)
By Myself,
It won’t work,
Lord I need,
I need your help (2x)

Can’t make it without you, Oh God (4x)