Your Spiritual Growth was Designed by God

In the beginning God said:

Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation–every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened.

Genesis 1:11 New Living Translation

God designed plants and trees to produce seeds which would produce other plants and trees. As human beings we expect an apple seed which is planted in the ground to grow into an apple tree. We expect the same result with other seeds. God also expects the same result because that is the way He designed it.

God designed human beings to produce human beings which would produce other human beings. As human beings we expect children to grow into adults. God also expects the same result because that is the way He designed it.

God also designed human beings to produce spiritual fruit which would cause them to grow spiritually. God designed human beings to receive the Word of God in their hearts to produce spiritual fruit. God designed human beings to receive the Word of God in their hearts to produce faith. Faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Word of Salvation) produces salvation.  

God expects the gospel of Jesus Christ to produce persons who believe in Christ. God expects the gospel of Jesus Christ to produce persons who grow into the image of Christ. God expects that result because that is the way He designed it. The Apostle Paul told the Church at Rome:

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Romans 8:29 New Living Translation

Are you a Christian? Then your spiritual growth was designed by God. Your spiritual growth was designed by God from the beginning of the world. A stove is designed to produce a flame or heat which can cook food. A fridge is designed to keep things cold. God expects you to grow spiritually. God expects you to grow and grow until you become like Christ. This is the expected end that God has designed for all Christians. 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jeremiah 29:11 King James Version
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What is your Motivation? (Part 1)

For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.

John 6:38 New Living Translation

What motivates you as a Christian? What motivates you to stay devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ? What motivates you to continue to follow God even in the midst of adversity?

We all need motivation at some point in time. We all need a desire to move forward; a desire to move forward which is present in the absence of strength; a desire to move forward which is present in the absence of encouragement. Motivation enables us to accomplish a task in spite of obstacles. Therefore, motivation is essential to living an overcoming life.

Motivation is essential to living an overcoming life!

Motivation was essential to the work of Christ in the earth. Jesus always had a reason for doing what He did:

  • At 12 years old, He had a reason for being in the Temple even though His parents had left Jerusalem.
  • At 30 years old he had a reason for going to John the Baptist to be baptised in water even though He had no sin. 

What was Jesus’ Motivation?

Jesus was motivated by the Will of God. Jesus always wanted to do the will of God in every situation and in every season. When His parents asked Him why He had caused them to be searching all over Jerusalem for Him Jesus said:

“But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

Luke 2:49 New Living Translation

When John the Baptist asked Him why He was coming to him for baptism Jesus said:

“It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.”

Matthew 3:15 New Living Translation

Jesus always focused on doing the will of God. Jesus always wanted the will of God to be done in His life. Doing the will of God was always His reason for living. Motivation caused Jesus to live an overcoming life. God wants us to live an overcoming life but we need motivation. We need a reason to live an overcoming life. We need a reason to overcome obstacles. We need a reason to resist temptation. Jesus knew His motivation. As followers of Jesus we need to answer the question:

What is my Motivation?

Thanksgiving Day: Are You in the Ten Percent?

One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 

Luke 17:15-17 New Living Translation

Today is Thanksgiving Day. This is the day where the United States of America focuses on giving thanks. This is the day where families and friends will sit down together and share a meal and give thanks for many things. The Bible records a ‘Thanksgiving Day’. On this day ten men who were suffering from the disease of leprosy went to Jesus and cried out:


“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

Luke 17:13 New Living Translation

All ten of those men wanted Jesus to have mercy on them. All ten of those men wanted Jesus to heal them of their affliction. Jesus indeed had mercy on them and told them to “go show yourselves to the priests”. All ten of those men obeyed Jesus and while they were on their way to the priests they were healed of their leprosy. Jesus healed all ten of those men. When the men saw that they were healed nine of them continued on their way. When one man saw that he was healed he did something very interesting:


One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. 

Luke 17:15-16 New Living Translation

Ten lepers were healed but only one returned to Jesus to say “Thanks”. That day was the day for those ten lepers to give thanks. That day was their ‘Thanksgiving Day’ but only ten percent of them recognized it. Many of us live busy lives but let us not be like the 90% who received a blessing from God but did not return to bless God. While we are traveling the road of life let us always remember that God is looking for us to be in the ten percent. The ten percent are those who stop and return to give God thanks for what He has done for them. The ten percent are those who appreciate the goodness and the mercy of God enough to give God thanks. Are You in the Ten Percent?


It is Thanksgiving Day but let every day be a day of thanksgiving to the One Who is good and Whose mercy endures forever.


For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Psalm 100:5 New Living Translation

The Overcoming Power of Love (Part 1)

We usually talk about love in the month of February or on Valentine’s Day. That kind of love motivates persons to buy gifts for their loved ones. It motivates husbands (who have been romantically lazy for the last 11 months) to do something special for their wives. The season of love motivates persons to give love. However, when that season of love is over, the motivation to love seems to fade. The energy that persons had to show their love towards another seems to gradually deplete.

There is another season where human beings are motivated to love others:

Christmas 

It is the beginning of November but the Christmas bells have already begun to ring and the decorations are already out of their boxes. The Christmas menus are already being prepared and many persons are ready to spread Christmas Cheer. We know what motivates us in the Christmas Season but I am also thinking about this question:

What motivated God to send Jesus Christ to the earth?

The Bible says:

“No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless…” (Romans 3:10-12 NLT)

What motivated God to send His Son to an earth filled with evil and violence? What motivated God to send His Son to an earth filled with persons who would kill His Son? What motivated God  to send His Son to an earth filled with persons who did not want to hear the Word of God? What motivated God to send His Son to an earth where persons would murder innocent people?

The Bible gives the answer:

LOVE

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)

Love caused God to look past our failures and the evil in this world and open the way of salvation for everyone on earth. Love overcame the evil of this world. Love overcame the evil in our hearts. This kind of love is powerful. This kind of love is more powerful than any earthly medicine. This kind of love is God’s love.

Let us remember this kind of love in every Season!

 

Are You Living Your Best Life? (Part 1)

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4 NLT)

Are you living your best life? I am not referring to a good life. I am not referring to a life which is better than others. I am referring to a life which is the best. The best life is the highest standard of living that any human being could ever achieve. Many persons would declare that they have lived a ‘good’ life. Some would compare their lives to others and say that they are living a ‘better’ life but few would say that they have the ‘best’ life.

In the eyes of human beings the best life is a perfect life; a life where no mistakes were made, no difficulties were encountered and no persons were hurt. However, in the eyes of God the best life is the one which is centered around obedience to His Word. In the eyes of God the best life is the one where God’s plans and purposes are placed first. Let us look at the life of David. Those who have read about David in the Bible know that he did not live a perfect life. However, this is what God said about David:

…’I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 13:22 NLT)

David was not a perfect man. He was not a perfect King. He was not a perfect father but his heart was perfect in the eyes of God. In other words, his heart desired God and His Word. David desired to please God at all times. Here is a secret of the overcoming life:

We please God when we obey His Word and when we obey God’s Word His blessings will come upon us.

The best life that anyone can live on earth is a life of living by “every word that comes from the mouth of God”. Before David died he told his son Solomon:

Observe the requirements of the LORD your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go. (1 Kings 2:3 NLT)

David taught his son how to live the best life in the eyes of God. Jesus taught us the same thing:

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. (Matthew 7:24-25 NLT)

The best life in the eyes of God is not the life where there are no obstacles, difficulties and failures. The best life in the eyes of God is the life which overcomes those obstacles, difficulties and failures by following the Word of God. It is God’s will for us to live our best life. It is God’s will for us to live an overcoming life. That is why He sent His Son Jesus to the earth:

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10 NLT)

IT IS TIME FOR US TO LIVE OUR BEST LIFE

 

 

The Word of Life

In the beginning there was no life on earth. Then God spoke the Word of Life:

“Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. (Genesis 1:11 NLT)

On another day God said:

“Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.”  So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:20-21 NLT)

God continued to speak the Word of Life until He was satisfied that everything He made was “very good”. It is now the 21st Century and certainly we can not say that everything is “very good”. There are famines, drought, and economic troubles in many countries. There is also sickness, pain and death. Many families are filled with broken relationships. Many people are depressed and oppressed. The earth does not look “good” but through the grace of God there is a great light in the midst of the darkness:

THE WORD OF LIFE

God is still speaking and He is speaking the Word of Life. When the nation of Israel was sick and dying:

He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. (Psalm 107:20 NLT)

God looked down at the earth and saw that the entire world was sick and dying and He sent His Word, Jesus Christ, to snatch us from the door of spiritual death:

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (John 1:14 NLT)

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17 NLT)

When Jesus, the Word of Life, dwelt among men, the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled:

“the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.” (Matt.4:16 NLT)

 The Word of Life came to deliver the people from the shadow of death. The Word of Life is the Light that overcame the darkness. The Word of Life is the healing that overcomes sickness. The Word of Life is the joy that overcomes sadness. The Word of Life is the presence that overcomes loneliness. The Word of Life is the hope that overcomes despair and discouragement. In times of darkness remember what our Heavenly Father did in the beginning. He spoke the word of life. He said “Let there be light” and there was light:

THERE IS LIFE IN THE WORD OF GOD

The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:63 NLT)