If God’s word is true and His promises come to pass. Then the only way for you to fail is to quit. Don’t let truth bounce off your heart, meditate in His word day and night it will be life to your spirit, soul and body. Those rooted and grounded in Love and in God’s word will not be shaken.
I woke up this morning to an email with the subject line “What do you want to do today?” It was just a junk email but it made me think about Proverbs 29:18 where it says without vision the people perish. Other translations say without divine guidance or without prophetic vision, the people are wild or through off restraint.
We know that it is important for a church or ministry to have a vision of why they do what they do and where God is taking them. But what about our own lives? Not just a ten year plan but a practical plan of every day what God made you for. Why He gave you life today.
I think as a concept we kind of understand this. We know we were made to love God, to minister to Him, to get to know Him and to “diffuse His knowledge in every place” (2 Cor 2:14-15). Put simply we were made to have relationship with Jesus every day to enjoy Him ad be enjoyed by Him and from that place to tell the world who He is, to demonstrate the power of God by loving the broken hearted, praying for and seeing the sick healed and fighting for those who are oppressed in prayer and acts of justice: to bring His kingdom and fight the enemy who seeks to stop us. The point in both our personal relationship with Jesus and our witness to the world, is Jesus; to bless Him, to give Him the reward of what He died for (us!) and to tell the world that He loves them.
We know this as a concept but when I wake up in the morning do I have this sense of purpose? Do I see that every day I have a chance to bless God and be blessed by Him in the secret place where it’s just me and Him? Do I feel like witnessing is a burden and is something I ‘should’ do or do I see that I am an ambassador from heaven, I get to tell others that the God that I love, loves them, died for them and is the solution to their problems.
Alot of the time its not that we need to hear something new but that we need to do what we know. To actually apply and to walk in what we have as head knowledge, would radically transform our lives and renew our sense of purpose.
Never forget you are pursuing a God who loves to reveal Himself to you, a love that loved you before you were born, and fighting a fight that Jesus already won for you - you still have to fight but you can rest assured that it will be worth it, if you love God you will like the end of the story!
Only God can take a weak man like Simon and make him a rock, a leader that would lead many in loving Jesus. Only God can take an unknown Hebrew orphan like Hadassah and make her Queen Esther of Persia and her people’s deliverer. Only God could take a young man like Joseph from the lowest place in prison to the second most powerful position in the kingdom. Only God can take weak broken lives and make them beautiful, it’s what He loves to do. #HedeliversusbecauseHedelightsinus #Hemakesallthingsnew
“I see what you will be in time but even now, in my eyes, you are beautiful.” #Helovesthejourney #Helovesyouintheprocess
Someone asked me recently how we discover the knowledge of God. That question got me thinking. If Jesus gave us the bible so that we could know Him, who He is, what He’a like and what we wants then why do we study it for intellectual facts like a textbook.
When you go on a first date with someone you don’t spend the night inquiring about the ‘facts’ of their life so you can understand the sequence of events in their life. When your friends ask you “How was your date?” You don’t reply it was great I now underdstand his life and know all that happened to him.
You spend the evening getting to know your date as a person, what he’s like, what his character is and what he’s looking for in your relationship. Sure you will probably ask about his life but you’re looking, probably subconsciously, for what he’s like. When you’re asked how your date went you tell your friends about the guy you went out with ” He only talked about himself, he was really arrogant etc.” How do you know He’s arrogant ?Presumably He didn’t say “I’m arrogant” you picked it up from his mannerisms, the way he talked to you and probably the way he talked about himself.
Well what if you approached your quiet time as a ‘date’ with Jesus, now I’m not talking about some weird sexual ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ rubbish. I’m saying what if you sat down with Jesus and said “Tell me about yourself” ask Him questions and let Him answer them. If you don’t hear His still small voice then take the bible, maybe you want to specifically read the gospels, take them as if Jesus was telling you these stories. Imagine Him in front of you telling you what happened. Don’t just take what’s written in red but take time to just look at the words written in black - they describe what he was doing, His mannerisms, not what He said but how He said it! Look at this text and ask the Holy Spirit how Jesus is feeling when He is telling this story, what is He doing, what is the expression on His face or the tone in His voice? Jesus is a real man and He wants a real relationship with you.
Also imagine that Jesus is speaking directly you: when He washes the disciples feet and tells them they are clean imagine He’s washing your feet, looking you in the face and saying “You’re clean”! How do you feel? What do you feel about this Man that has just washed your feet? Putting yourself in the story, reading the dialogue as if Jesus is speaking straight to you, as if you were there can change everything!
Sometimes it can seem difficult to get to know an invisible God but the truth it is simple, humans make it complicated. Jesus laid out in sermon in the mount the way to live a christian life, if you look for Him, take Him for face value as you see Him in the bible and honestly tell God how your feeling and what you’re struggling with in your quiet time you will find Him! He wants YOU not ‘holy, reverent, pretending everything’s ok you’ but the real you if you’re finding it hard to believe He lives you tell Him, if you’re finding it hard to trust Him tell Him exactly how you’re feeling and let Him meet you there. Remember that He wants you to know Him, Holy Spirit is the Teacher let Him reveal to you who Jesus is. Also remember that life is a journey of discovery, a process, guard your heart from disappointment, duty or condemnation God wants to show you who He is but also remember He knows what He’s doing. He know exactly how to get you to where He wants you to be. It’s God’s job to lead and your job to follow if you’re following Him you can be sure you’re going to be ok, Psalm 23 says “you shall not want”!
Today I’ve been thinking about my answer to this question.
There are thousands of ‘Spiritualits’ and ‘mediums’ and ‘gods’ but something in my spirit says no to all of them. Just like the people who are serving those things, I know there’s more to life than the mundane. I know that life is more than what we see right now and I know that there must be a creator. I do not buy the argument that ”all ways lead to God”, because each way is so different - one of them must be true. Also each ‘god’ is different, some people believe He’s a task master who we must serve, some people believe He’s angry, some people believe He’s tolerant, some people believe He’s not a person but a ‘force’ or energy. In the midst of all this confusion all my heart wants is truth. I don’t believe in being offensive for the sake of it, or setting out to trample on other people; we need to respect and love people. But surely if you genuinelly believe you have found truth then love is not to ‘tolerate’ but to honestly share this truth with others so they can find the peace and satisfaction that you have.
Ok so I’ve set the scene of the kind of confusion that has been swirling around me but maybe I should tell you where this began. I was in a class and the bible teacher asked us a question that stopped me in my tracks; ”If you were talking to a Muslim friend and they asked, ”Why do I need Jesus as my God when I have Allah?” What would you say?”
As Christians we are guilty of becoming too familiar with Christian language, we hear something that sounds good and we accept it. The problem with this is that truth you have wrestled with, mulled over and found to be true, is truth that will rise up in you when people ask you these questions. I was talking to a friend who loves Jesus about witnessing to her brother, she was nervous because he was very intelligent and she felt like she didn’t have answers to his questions. I found myself asking her what it was that grabbed her heart about Jesus. What had made her leave her old life, all she had believed, enjoyed, loved and give it to an invisible God? I heard my lips saying,”That’s your message. Don’t argue intelluctual issues that don’t have your heart, tell him why YOU love Jesus.”
So often we can feel like telling people about Jesus is a burden because 1.) We get made fun of for it, 2.) We are constantly told people don’t want to hear it 3.) WE get accused of being too harsh, haughty, intolerant etc.
All I know is that people took time to pray for me, to tell me about Jesus, to show me His love and to tell me that my life could have meaning. More than that Jesus took the time to chase me down, when I turned away from Him, He spoke to me like a still small voice in my heart telling me exactly what I needed to hear. When I ignored Him He put me in situations where I couldn’t deny that He was talking to me. When He was on the earth He endured people mocking Him, hating Him, making fun of Him but He didn’t give up because He was hoping one day I’d hear what He was saying and believe it.
So what is my answer to ”Why Jesus?”’ : Because I have never met anyone who loves me like He does. When I hated and laughed at Him He kept putting me in situations where people would tell me how much He loved me. When I was struggling with suicidal thoughts He told me not to give up on life, that He loved me and made me for more. When I was at my lowest point He was there, no-one else could have been that patient, that kind, or known me that well. Yes I’ve seen God’s power, I’ve seen miraculous healings like people I’ve known who were in wheel chairs get healed, I’ve been healed myself, I’ve seen some amazing things happen but none of that is my answer to ”Why Jesus”. Yes He is my answer to the point of life, I do believe that when I die I will be with Him forever but even that isn’t my answer to ”Why Jesus.”
My personal answer to ”Why Jesus?” Is that I didn’t exist, He thought me up, made me put me on earth and I messed up. I fell short of everything He told me to do and in that moment He didn’t ‘smite me’ or say ”Must try harder”, He came to earth. God who made everything became a Man and came to earth so He could take my punishment in my place. Jesus chose to die, He wasn’t guilty, He didn’t need to die, He chose to die the most painful death imaginable in my place. Think of a time when you were accused of something you didn’t do, it feels horrible, unjust, you feel so misunderstood. Well Jesus chose to walk through that and be kicked, spat at, hated, for me. But the story doesn’t stop there after He died, He went to hell took the key of hell that would have held me there forever, and came back to earth. Now for some of you you’re thinking this is crazy but please just let your mind wonder for a second ”what if this is true”.
What if there is a God who loves you? What if there’s a God that loves you so much He gave up everything He had to come to earth and pay your debt? What if He loved you enough to die for you? What if that image you’ve seen a thousand times of ‘Jesus’ with His arms stretched wide on that cross is a picture of God, arms open to you, revealing a heart that loves and accepts you? What if He wants to forgive you and take all the regret, shame, guilt you’ve ever felt wash it away and say ”you’re clean”? What if when people speaks lies about you He’s waiting there to defend you, to say ”No, I love this one, I made this one.” What if I told you that when He died He left it up to you to decide to accept Him or not? He isn’t forcing Himself on you, or standing with a bullhorn shouting love me or I’ll destroy you. He loves you so much He won’t force Himself on you, He’s done all He can to show you He loves you. What more can God do than to give His own life!?! But now it’s up to you at the end of the day He will give you what you want, if you want Him all you have to do is say yes, choose Him and ask Him to help you follow Him. If you don’t want Him, He will give you what you want. I can’t imagine knowing that there is a Man that loves me like this and not loving Him in return. I can’t imagine looking Him in the face, knowing that He is longing to forgive me, to set me free, to talk to me and telling Hm ”No, I don’t want You.”
So that’s my answer to ”Why Jesus” in a nutshell. What’s yours?
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” —Ephesians 3:15-21 (via wearetheremnant)
Amen! Praying this for the church this evening.
We have a fortnightly prayer meeting on a Friday night. In one of these meetings Pastor Sarah was praying and she began to talk about the struggle a butterfly has when it comes out of it’s chrysalis.
This got me thinking about the process of transformation. A few years ago I had a couple of prophetic words about “transformation” and how He was going to make me like a butterfly. So when Pastor Sarah prayed this it grabbed my attention.
I did some research on this process and found that there are four stages to a butterfly’s life:
1.)It starts life as an egg 2.)It grows into a caterpillar, it’s primary job is to eat and to grow. 3.) It forms a chrysalis, in this process it is hidden away, the cells of the caterpillar are broken down and the structure of the butterfly is formed on the inside. 4.) When the process is complete it emerges as a beautiful butterfly.
A couple of thing struck my heart about this process. Firstly it lives a whole life as a caterpillar, it is restricted to the ground for this period of time. Sometimes I feel like that, the Lord will speak over me that I was made to do something that right now I am just not capable of. It feels like I am that caterpillar, like is there really more for me? Can I be more than this?
But if you were talking to a caterpillar with that attitude, knowing the full process, you’d tell him “hey don’t be down on yourself, you were made for much more than this. Give yourself to eating so you can grow strong and be ready for the next stage of the process.” Just like that caterpillar in that season we need to be ‘eating the word’, what does that look like? MEDITATION! Not sitting cross-legged chanting “hmmm” but contemplating His word, day and night thinking about it, asking Holy Spirit for revelation, speaking back to God, praying it over yourself.
The next season is one where old thought processes are broken down. 1 Cor 13:11 says that when we become adults we put away childish things. Romans 12:2 says that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Sometimes we might not see the full result of feasting on the word in the caterpillar season. In the chrysalis season often it feels like you’re hidden away, like it’s just you and God. In this season He breaks down your thought processes and gives you a new identity , it is a focused season of transformation and change. When you’re in this process you will often be reminded of scriptures and revelation God gave you when you were focussing on feasting on the word. This season is uncomfortable, confronting and difficult, often it feels long and can seem unending. But when you look at the result, that process is taking that caterpillar and making it beautiful, giving it new heights, new perspective, new strength the process is so much more than worth it.
I find myself being reminded at least ten times a day that it’s worth it! God is so kind, He takes our ashes and in the process works in us an ETERNAL weight of glory. Next time your flesh wants to complain, doubt or accuse God think about the fact that this process is working in you an eternal reward. He is taking you from that egg to a beautiful butterfly, He is creating beauty and strength you never dreamed you could be.
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Cor 2:9
You are a work in process, only God knows who you will be in the light of eternity when the true you is revealed.
Prov 19:21 says “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless, The Lord’s counsel- that will stand.” We’ve all made our plans for the year. Perhaps some of us call them desires. But in all of that, did we ask The Lord what His plan was or is?
Life is like a poem
Where a Man is in love,
He asks if His fiancee would write Him a poem.
She begins in a dark room and pours out love - but where
Showing it to her Husband to be, all He sees is the mess.
Presenting her a new page and now a light,
She creates a masterpiece, at least in His sight.
It shows scribbles and problems and spelling mistakes,
But He’s always loved the risks that she takes.
Because what she wrote on that paper she’s leaving behind,
It was a moment, a whisper, she’s becoming His Bride.
By Joseph Bonfield
When has God ever asked you to be anything you are not? He wants YOU, He died for YOU. Not who you will be, not just the ‘heavenly you’ but right now He calls YOU lovely. Why? Because He created you, He knows who you are better than you do. Beloved His word is true and His word says that you are the one He wants. We don’t get to tell God, ”I’m not worth it, I don’t deserve it.” God isn’t interested in flattering you if He says something it is truth and all we have to do is believe, receive His word and respond.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are loved by God, right where you are fully accepted, fully enjoyed, He calls you fully beautiful, fully washed, you are clean because of Jesus’ blood.
Don’t let accusation put burdens or weights on you, you are the one God wants right now. Just let go of those things that so easily make our hearts heavy and receive His love where you are, it will set you free.
Just like Peter did, it’s time to get out of the boat. Maybe that boat is belief patterns about who you are, or what God says about you, or what you can do. Make the choice to set your eyes on Jesus and to leave those things behind, choose step by step to walk towards the One who believes you can make it. Just like Peter if you take your eyes of Jesus you will fall, but if you set your eyes on Him you will find your doing what felt so impossible before, keep walking the walk of faith. It’s time to get out of the boat.
Come, listen, hear the sound of the heartbeats
How can three hearts beat as one
How can one be the heartbeat of three
Each beating, with none out of sync
It is the heart of the Blessed One
It is the hearts of the Blessed Ones
The most holy, the greatest and the fairest
Father, Son and Spirit…
Come, listen, it is a melody for eternity.
By Kehinde Fadahunsi
The glory of the Lord, more beautiful it is than the galaxy
Who can stand its radiance, it surpasses the light of the sun
Glorious indeed is this glory to which none other can compare
Though He dwells in majestic light, He reaches through the darkness to bring His children to Him
A glorious Father, full of compassion, love, mercy and truth
In His anger, He lays waste nations and render desolate the once inhabited places
Also yet in His mercy, He gathers together the ones He had once dispersed abroad
Who can compare to this awesome and great Father who dwells in glory forever
He alone laid the foundations of the earth, created His people to inhabit it and blessed them
He has marked all those that are His, sealed His authority over them with the blood of His Son
When the destroyer goes forth, He dares not touch the ones marked for His glory
What a precious privilege to be named after such a glorious Father
Indeed, ‘The foundation of God stands sure, having this seal..
The Lord knows those that are His.’
To Him who dwells in this glorious and majestic light, to Him be glory, adoration and praise forever.
By Kehinde Fadahunsi