Monthly Archives: February 2015

God Empowers

All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. Psalm 25:10

Surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.Jeremiah 29:11

In moments of weakness, we are tempted to let our insecurities and limitations grow. Suffering generates anxiety, and we end up hiding our potential and withdrawing from the opportunities God has in store for us.

What a relief to know that God has plans for us, plans for our welfare and not for evil and distress! Knowing that God trusts us gives us the strength and courage to face our challenges and to realize our potential and our gifts. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37).

Thought for the Day: We are all capable because God empowers us.

Prayer: Thank you, God. Even when we doubt our abilities, you hold us in your loving arms and show us how capable we are.

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Be Careful How You Walk

Ephesians 5:15-17
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

If you want your life to count, live it in the centre of God’s will for you!

You rarely worry about learning what to do in a fire until you are in one. Then it suddenly becomes very important. When things are bad it is especially important to know what to do. Well, “the days are evil”. We live in a world that desperately needs us to know what God wants us to do. We need to “make the most of the time”. And to do that, we need to “understand what the will of the Lord is”.

God does not want you to be content to just drift through the demands of life, meeting expectations, paying bills, working, eating, sleeping. God wants you to live with purpose, His purpose. He wants you to pray and get godly counsel and test your gifts and ask for His leading. He knows what He designed you for and He wants you doing that. Let Him be the Lord of your to-do list today.

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Helping Others

Galatians 6:1-2

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2
 
So much of the sin in our life is due to our emotions. We get upset, worried, stressed and the emotional pain starts to build up. This leads us to sin. The solution is found in relationships. Relationships with God and other close friends gives us the love, support and comfort that is able to tame our sinful behaviour. It is in these deep relationships that Paul encourages you to gently and humbly help a person return to sanity and stop their negative behaviour.
 
How? By sharing their burdens and pain. In using a kind word, a listening ear and a prayerful heart, your sincere help will keep a person from acting out on their negative emotions. Your empathy and love will help keep them from committing deep relational sins. Today ask God to help you share in someone else’s burden and restore them to a place of peace and joy.

Father, help me be there for other people. Help me share their burdens and gently bring them back to You. Thank You for Your grace and mercy extended to me. Help me do the same to others. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

NB: You would have noticed that I shared on the same scripture yesterday. However,  the Lord keep taking me back to there. As believers, let us endeavor to be our brothers keeper as we strive to be citizens of heaven.

Do enjoy the blessings and favor of God today.

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Stay In The Yoke With Jesus

Reference Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

Has life worn you out? Tired of trying to get it all done? Tired of trying to please God, feed your family, help a friend and take care of the million little demanding details that life can be full of? Go to Jesus! He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you and learn from Him.

Yokes are usually for a pair of oxen. Younger oxen would often plow with the older experienced ones. Imagine yoking up with Jesus. Talk about experience! He went through it all without sin. He can teach you how to plow through life. Yoked to Him, you will learn from Him. He is gentle and humble in heart. No better qualities could you find in a teacher. He won’t get on your case because you didn’t get it right the first time. He gently instructs and directs. Learning from Him is a place of rest for your soul. That means your thoughts, emotions, and impending decisions can all rest in His perfect instruction.

Yoked together with Jesus you will see that God has it all under control. He teaches us to trust in the Father and act at His leading. When we do that, everything comes out best in the long run. We can trust in His wonderful knowledge about all things and His power to do anything. That makes the yoke feel light and the load we pull easy. He plowed this path before us and broke up the soil we could never have pulled the plow through. Now we pull the plow through the furrow that He already plowed for us. Just stay in the yoke with Him. Don’t go trying to plow another field in another yoke. You’ll find that without Him, you can do nothing. The yoke will be unbearably heavy and the burden unmovable. Which yoke are you under? Which burden are you pulling?

Consider: If the yoke is unbearably heavy, it must not be Jesus’ yoke.

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Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me

Scripture Ref: Matthew 10:37-39

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:37-39

The word of God tells us to love one another. It also tells us to honor our father and mother. What is Jesus saying here? Our mother and father and children and even our very life are all gifts from God. Our primary love and allegiance is to be to the Giver of all good things. If we love what He has given us, more than the One who gave it, we have entered into the realm of idolatry. This all surpassing love can only come through a revelation of His great love for us. Love produces love.

Jesus goes on to say that if we do not take up our cross and follow, we are not worthy of Him. When a criminal was sentenced to crucifixion, the judge ordered the cross beam to be secured to the victims arms and back. He had to carry it to his place of execution. Once that beam was on your back, you were as good as dead. They then followed the soldiers to the place of execution. Do you see the implications when Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me”? We must ask ourselves whether or not we have that mind set. Is your life over and His life in you begun, or do you still go where you please?

If you find your life you will lose it. If we go where we please and find satisfaction in things of the world, our life will be lost. That is Jesus explanation of reality. The only way to really find life is to lose it for Jesus’ sake. The listeners had not yet seen the final display of His love for them. Perhaps it was His compassion and the miracles that helped them look beyond themselves. We can look at His display of love on the cross and see that He was literally willing to do that for us.

Consider: Should we respond with any less willingness to do so for Him?

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Prayer Is The Answer

Matthew 9:36-38 (NIV) 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

When you look at a crowd, what do you see? Jesus’ heart breaks for them, because they are so helpless. That image of sheep without a shepherd is full of implications. They don’t know where to go for food or water. There is no one to tend to wounds. The wolves come in whenever they please and devour as many as they like. We are harassed by our flesh from within, and the carnality of others from without. Then there is the Devourer. He is ready to give us what ever we lust after that will destroy us. Harassed and helpless!

Jesus used the analogy of a harvest loaded and ripe. If no one gets out there and picks it, the harvest is wasted. I have seen it happen when there is a bumper crop. The fruit is just waiting to be picked. But when you can’t find enough help, and in our world today it is hard to find laborers that will work at a wage that makes it profitable, the fruit starts to drop to the ground. Those that will work give it their all every day and go home exhausted. The Fall winds come and shake the fruit off the tree. Finally the freeze comes and destroys what is left.

If you are willing to share the heart of Jesus, what should you do? Our first thought is practical. Run out and join them. But that is not what Jesus asked us to do. He requested that we ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His harvest field. You have to know how to pick without damaging and wasting the fruit. Running out and trying to help is not the solution. Prayer is the answer! God is training the harvesters. Pray that He will send them. God wants you to participate through prayer, by praying His will into the earth.

Consider: Next time you see a crowd, what will you do?

Fay-Ann Swearing
fayannswearing.wordpress.com

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Be Fervent In Prayer

…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

The value of a mirror is not in itself, but in its potential to let something else be seen. And the value of prayer is not in itself, but in its potential to let the power and beauty of God be seen.

A mirror is utterly dependent on the source of light from outside itself, and prayer is the posture of the childlike, utterly dependent on the resources and kindness of the heavenly Father.So praying is the way we mirror God. And if I am right that each of you, in the image of God, has a deep desire to be a mirror of God, then it is also true that, even if you don’t feel like it now, there is buried somewhere in your subconscious the longing to be a man or a woman of fervent and effective prayer.

Do have a relaxing and restful weekend. Much love!!!

Fay-Ann Swearing
fayannswearing.wordpress.com

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