Faith Key#3: Remember you are a child of Faith (Part 2)

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1 New Living Translation

I am not a mother and it is not Mother’s Day. It is Good Friday but I want to salute all women because the experience of giving birth to a child is nothing to be taken lightly. Child birth is usually an experience of excruciating pain and trouble for the woman. When Judah was beseiged and taunted by the King of Assyria, King Hezekiah of Judah sent this message to the Prophet Isaiah:

This is what King Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby.

Isaiah 37:3 New Living Translation

It was a day of trouble for Judah. The King of Assyria sent men to insult and disgrace Hezekiah and the entire nation of Judah. After experiencing trouble, insults and disgrace Hezekiah remembered child birth. he remembered the great trouble a woman experiences to give birth to a child, especially when that woman does not have the strength to push when it is time to push.

How is this relevant to Good Friday? Good Friday is the day we remember the suffering, the pain and the ultimate death of Jesus Christ on a wooden cross. Today is the day we remember how Jesus was insulted and disgraced. Today is the day we remember how the Son of God was treated like a criminal even though he was as innocent as a newborn baby.

However, Good Friday was not only a day of death. In the same way a woman has to experience pain to give birth to a child Jesus had to experience pain to give birth to something special.

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

Isaiah 53:5 New Living Translation

On Good Friday salvation for all mankind was born

On Good Friday a new way into God’s presence was born

Without Good Friday there would be no Christians. Jesus experienced the trouble, insults and disgrace so that mankind could be healed. Jesus experienced the excruciating pain and suffering so that human beings could become children of God through faith.

The world is experiencing a time of trouble. To some this trouble seems to be never ending. Today I want to encourage us to remember what Jesus experienced at the hands of the Roman soldiers. It was the sacrifice of Jesus that enabled us to become who we are. It was the sacrifice of Jesus that made the way possible for us to become children of faith.

Jesus overcame that time of trouble. As a child of faith you can overcome this time of trouble also.

HAVE A BLESSED GOOD FRIDAY!

Faith Key#3: Remember you are a child of Faith (Part 1)

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

Ephesians 2:8 New Living Translation

Do you know who you are? Every person born into this world was born under a certain set of circumstances. Some were born in times of war. Some were born in times of peace. Some were born in a palace. Some were born in the humblest of places.

If you heard the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ and you believed what you heard then you are a child of God. Your physical birth may not have occurred under the best of circumstances but your spiritual birth occurred through the greatest of circumstances; through faith in Jesus Christ.

After we are born and we start to live in this world, our experiences start to shape you we become. Even when we are adults, we still live according to what people said about us when we were young. When we have only experienced negativity in our lives we start to have a negative outlook of life. We start to have a negative outlook on those around us. Then we find ourselves in a never-ending storm.

It is the same in our spiritual walk with God. Our negative experiences before we became Christians can shape how we relate to God as Christians. When trouble comes while we are Christians we start to remember the negative experiences of the past. We start to believe that God is not with us. We start to think that we are not worthy to follow Christ. However, it is in these moments that we must remember that we are children of faith.

The grace of God gave us the opportunity to be saved. The grace of God opened the door of salvation. Faith caused us to walk through that door. The Apostle Paul reminded us:

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 5:8 New Living Translation

While the storms of sin were raging in and around us God opened the door of salvation. While we were haunted and running from the storms of our past God made a way of escape.

We became new persons when we walked through the door of salvation. We became children of faith. When the storms of life come before us we must remember who we are in Christ. The storm of the coronavirus is raging all around us and affecting us in many different ways but even in these moments you must remember:

You are a child of faith!

Faith Key#2: Remember the Perfect Corona Storm God

Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Psalm 107:28-29 King James Version

What causes the perfect storm? Conditions and circumstances must be perfectly aligned to cause the perfect storm. The perfect storm is a rare event. It does not happen everyday. The perfect storm happens unexpectedly. What can human beings do in the face of such a perfect event?

In October 1991 three storms converged in the Atlantic causing 40-80 foot waves. The Andrea Gail, a fishing vessel with a six-member crew, was caught in this unusual event. Tragically, the fishing vessel and her crew were lost.

The perfect storm occurred at the height of the Atlantic hurricane season but no one could have predicted that it would occur. No one could have predicted that the Andrea Gail and her crew would encounter such a horrific event in the middle of the sea. A book was written about the events surrounding the Perfect Storm. A movie was made to bring the account to life.

In the Bible, the Psalmist tells us about the terrifying experiences of those who work on the seas:

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.

Psalm 107:23-27 King James Version

The Psalmist paints a very distressing picture. Those who work on the seas can encounter such great storms that the force of the winds and the height of the waves cause their souls to “melt” and their mental state to be shaken to the point where they are at “their wits’ end”.

The Psalmist tells us that while these men and women are being tossed to and fro, surrounded by a force over which they have no control, their focus starts to change. They see the high waves, they feel the strong winds but even in their great distress they start to remember God and they cry to Him:

Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

Psalm 107:28 King James Version

The Lord God can match and out match any storm. The greatest obstacle must give way to the Great God. The highest wave must bow to the Most high God. The perfect storm must obey the Perfect God. Adversity can cast a dark shadow over our perception of the character of God or whether God is present with us but it is in the times of adversity that we must remember the Perfect God.

In the face of the Perfect Storm Jesus remembered the Perfect God. In times of trouble let us remember the Perfect God.

Fair-weather Faith (Part 1)

Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

Luke 8:25 New Living Translation

You have heard of fair-weather friends; friends which are only around when everything is going well. In spiritual matters there is a fair-weather faith; faith which is only around when everything is going well. Fair-weather faith is the worst kind of faith to have because it leaves you at the first sign of trouble. Fair-weather faith leaves you at the first sign of distress. Fair weather faith leaves you at the first sign of pain.

The children of Israel had fair-weather faith in the wilderness. When they did not see any water they complained to Moses about dying of thirst. When they did not see any food they complained to Moses about dying of hunger. When they heard of the high walls and the giants in the Promised Land they complained to Moses about bringing them out of Egypt to die.

God does not want our faith to change when the weather changes. God does not want our faith to change when our home environment changes. God does not want our faith to change when our work environment changes. God wants our faith to be steadfast and unmovable no matter what is happening around us.

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

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