Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Yes, undoubtedly we all detest any noise that disturbs our serene tranquil state of being. The irony of the situation is that many a time we are the greatest source of noise ourselves, not literally, but in our actions. The bible says that if "... we have not love we have become a clanging gong or sounding brass.." 1 Cor 13:1 NKJV Oucchh!
Now I dont know about you but I dont want to be no gong or even sound like one and I encourage us to pray and ask God to fill us with love for those around us. Let's purpose and determine within our hearts to walk in the love of Christ. Now its not going to happen overnight, neither will we ever arrive at the point where we'll be perfect on this earth but its a decision we'll have to make daily to do the best we can.
There are so many people out there hurting emotionally and physically. People going through enormous challenges and sometimes all it takes on our part is to pick up the phone and say "hey how are you? I was thinking of you, praying for you..." Who knows...That small gesture could make such a tremendous difference to that person.
I remember a few years ago I met someone in church who I wasnt close to but I just greeted them enthusiatically and gave them a great big hug. The person later told me that they had been going through a very rough patch and that hug had meant so much to them than I could ever imagine. I was utterly amazed, what had merely been a friendly hug on my part had actually been a comforting gesture to them. Prayerfully ask God to lead you on how to minister to different people. Each situation is different, you might need to help in other practical ways. You might have to give of your time, money, talent or whatever but it will always cost to walk in love.
Jesus loved us and it cost Him His life. He has therefore set a high standard for us to emulate. Sometimes the temptation is there to wallow in self pity and concentrate on whats wrong in our lives but lets reach out to others and chuck that "its all about me attitude" in the bin.
Recently I read the story of how a man was preaching salvation to some starving people in a third world country and one of the women said to him "Your words are nice but they aren't gonna feed my stomach." It might sound bitter but to be honest I dont blame her. Its alright to talk the talk but there comes a time when you have to walk the walk as well. I know we all have our own "issues" to deal with but lets take a minute to forget ourselves and consider how we can be a blessing to others outside the four corners of our church. If your church is not involved in outreach or community projects and you want to be involved in something "holla". It's not just about what we can get from God but more importantly what we can do for others on God's behalf. We are His ambassadors, lets be creative and go out there and make a difference.
Thought I'd share this video....
The video's entitled "God's passion Part 1" and it aired on 21/09/09. I believe it's an excellent example of love in action. Please consider sowing your seed in this ministry which is making a difference in the lives of others.
Friday, 18 September 2009
As we all know life can be tough and from time to time challenges are thrown our way. For many this can be a very rough and dark patch in our lives. These dark periods come in all sorts of forms. For some it could be a terminal disease, a divorce, a major financial crisis, losing a loved one, parenting a troublesome teenager, losing a job or your home. You may feel discouraged, hurt or anxious because you don’t know what the future holds. You may even find yourself asking why? There’s no simple answer to that but the following insights have helped me and might encourage and help you to get through the difficult and painful times.
James 1:2 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God wants us to develop perseverance and he will allow trials so that we can grow in our faith. Take for example a guy trying to build his upper body and biceps. He has to spend hours lifting heavy weights over a period of time. It’s not an easy process and he has to endure some pain but in the end he develops his muscles and becomes stronger. I believe that in every situation in our life God will always take the pain and use it for our gain. I know it’s not that easy to count it all joy when you are facing a crisis. I know how hard it can be, I have faced some difficult situations in my life. I lost my father after a short illness at a very young age and I have also faced periods of long term unemployment in my life. During those times I felt helpless and frustrated and a part of me wanted to give up on life but I hung in there and continued to look to God to strengthen me and as a result I became closer to him and my faith was stretched and grew.
I’ve realised that things that cause great pain and frustration to us can be turned around by God to become a blessing to us and/or other people. Although at the time it may not make sense to us, God sees the bigger picture and in all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28a) We should walk by faith and trust in God even though we can’t see what lies ahead. I always like to tell people about oysters. Now before your mouth starts watering let me tell you, it’s got nothing to do with food. What I find fascinating about oysters is that when a foreign substance such as sand or seaweed enters its shell it causes painful irritation to the oyster and in response the oyster begins to secrete a substance called nacre onto the foreign substance. Over time this irritant covered in nacre develops into one of the finest gemstones, a pearl. We should therefore look to God to give us strength to endure the trial knowing that, “... weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b)I sincerely hope and pray that as we continue to believe God and trust Him no matter the odds, He will turn our frustrating situations to pearls.
There are things that haven’t come to pass yet in my life and I continue to pray and trust God that as I serve him, love him and walk in obedience to him, he will give me the desires of my heart according to His will and may He do the same in your life IJN.