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Unravelled

When we don’t know what we are doing, but we think we do, we tend to get entangled. And isn’t that something that we all seem to struggle with? None of us like to think that we are wrong. We want to live life on our terms, singing like the late, great, Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way!”

But do we stop for a moment and have a look at the world? Just look at it! Anyone who can tell me that we are doing a good job at “Doing it our way,” certainly isn’t looking very well. The world is in shambles. Society can’t even seem to define what a man or a woman is anymore.  As Christians, we are becoming silent to the evils around us because we are afraid that we might offend someone. Here’s the thing – God isn’t politically correct, He is Truth. And He expects His followers not to avoid the truth because we are too concerned about hurting someone’s feelings.

We need to ask God to untangle us from the web of lies that Satan has been binding us with. Lies that have subtly crept into society, and have been presented as loving and caring. We are so tied up in it all, that the very fibre of our Christian morals are beginning to unravel. You see, it’s the wrong fibre that’s being unravelled, and we are allowing that to happen. The rope that needs to be snapped, is not the one that is connecting us to Christ, but the one that isn’t.

For us to be used by God, we need to ask for clear discernment. My prayer needs to be, “God, please reveal to me how far from You, the things of this world are! Please make me very aware of those subtle lies, that might be blinding me! Please unravel and snap those chords that are holding me back from being all that you are calling me to be. And God, bind me with your love, so that I can share your glory in love, but also in truth!”

We need to know today, that God wants to use us for His glory. Let’s allow Him to unravel the lies that are holding us back, and strengthen the rope that anchors us to Him.

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Fight the Flesh

In a world saturated with temptation and persuasive mumbo jumbo, people struggle to stay focused. I’m one of those people!

It’s not always about giving in to ‘unethical’ things that can be bad for us. In fact, it’s those subtle little things that often cause the most damage. Slowly but surely, we get drawn away from what really matters, only to be sucked in by what doesn’t.

We fail to admit it, but the things we occupy our lives with the most, are the things that are the most important to us. To put it simply: If we choose to spend more time at work, than with our family, work is more important to us. We can argue it from any angle – it’s true. We soothe our conscience by persuading ourselves differently. And soon we start believing the lie that we need to work those long hours, because we need to be able to provide the best for our family.

Maybe its time that we start realizing something. The best thing for my family, is my time. And the best thing for your family, is yours. Why is it that whenever I travel to 3rd world countries, the people there seem to be happier? They might not have much, but they spend their time wisely – with family and friends. And the amazing thing is that we don’t need the best things to be able to do that.

But the most important aspect we allow ourselves to be drawn away from, is God. How is it that we choose to rather watch more TV, do more work – in fact do more of the most random things, than to spend time with Him? Everything we are, and everything we have, is a gift from Him. Yet, we choose stuff, over Him. If we say we love God above everything else, we will put God first above everything else. If not, it’s time to reprioritize.

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Confidence

As children of God, we must know that we have been formed by God’s hands, dreamed up in His heart, and placed in the world for His glory. When we believe that, we will begin to realise that we can confidently step into each day knowing who we are. Knowing that our identity is not found in the opinions of others or the likes we get on Facebook, will change the way we view ourselves. When we know that our identity is found in the Saviour of the world, then we will approach each obstacle in life  with boldness instead of apprehension.

The realisation that the creator of the universe chose to create me in His image, is a mind-blowing thought. The fact that God Almighty wants to have a personal relationship with little old me, is something that befuddles me, but something that also makes me realise that I am not worthless. The very idea that I have been created for His glory, makes me determined never to be complacent in my relationship with God. If Jesus Christ chose to die for my sins, then I choose to live for His glory.

No matter what the world chooses to believe, let us never fade away in the background because we don’t want to offend anyone who believes differently.  We are no longer slaves to fear, for we are children of God.  Let’s never cower away from what we believe in the name of acceptance. Let’s stand up for the truth, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Have an amazing morning, afternoon, or evening, wherever you may be. May God bless and keep you. And may He make His face shine upon you.

God’s thoughts about us

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What now?

“What are we going to do now?” is something that James, our younger son, often asks us. I’m glad he does, because that shows me that he doesn’t simply want to live his life and fade into oblivion.

As Christians, we need to be asking ourselves that question every single minute of the day. I often hear Christians saying we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. The idea that going to church on a Sunday, and going on a missions trip every now and then is what Christianity is all about, is so flawed. Being a Christian means to become more like Christ every day!

And when I look at the life of Jesus here on Earth, He never spent his week days being so busy with making money that He didn’t have time for His Father. He never spent the Sabbath, going to “church” and connecting with other followers of His. He never spent one holiday a year going on a mission trip to preach to the poor. He spent most of His time, sharing with sinners and simply loving them.

Now don’t get me wrong. It is great to meet with other Christians so that we may encourage one another. It is great to go and minister to the poor during a missions trip. It is important to make a living. But if we base our Christian actions only on these things, then it’s time for a “reboot”. How many of us are willing to actually get our hands dirty and spend our time being more like Christ, rather than wanting to be more like the Jones’s?

So let’s continually ask ourselves, “What am I going to do now for Christ?” instead of being content with our cushy Christian lifestyle. When our lives become too comfortable, we are in trouble. Because you see, Satan doesn’t need to worry about the idle Christian who isn’t building the Kingdom. Satan is worried about those who are, and will do everything in his power to stop it.

So, isn’t is time to get out of our comfortable church chairs, and stop turning our backs on the world that desperately needs God? You and I have been called to share the Good News. Will we go, or are we too comfortable and content being cushy Christians?

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We Win in the End

People often ask me, “If God is so loving and kind, why am I suffering so much?” And that’s a really good question. But it all depends on how we look at it.

If we think that God is only there to make our lives easy, we are really missing the point.  God never created you and I so that we can have a life of comfort. God created us to live a full and rewarding life. Society has managed to, cunningly, obscure this whole concept. We are bombarded with media messaging that suggests how money, status, possessions, good health and comfort are what we need, to give our lives meaning. The crazy thing is, that when we have all of that, we have no time for God.

How do you and I, as parents feel, when our children would rather spend more time on their devices, than with us? How do we feel when we know that what they may be doing, is harmful for them, yet they choose to ignore our advice? It would break our hearts! Because we know what’s best for them. And we want to protect them from the lies and deceit that will erode their relationship with us.

When life is smooth and we have everything our heart desires, we tend not to need anyone. But when we have health issues, we tend to see a doctor. When we have financial issues, we call a financial adviser. When we have no food, we look for a charity organisation. It is only during difficult times, that we seem to think we need help.

Sometimes, God allows us to experience struggles because He knows that if we don’t, we will never turn to Him. Sometimes He allows us to go through difficult times, because that’s the only way to get our attention. Because, you see, the only way to eternal life, is through Jesus Christ. And God would rather get our attention with a short time of hardship here on Earth, than leave us to a life without Him, that will lead to eternal pain and suffering.

So if you don’t know Jesus, turn away from the lies and comfort of this world, and turn to Him. He loves you so much that He was willing to exchange His crown, for a dirty stable and a bloody cross, so that we can exchange our condemned eternity, for an eternity in His very presence. And if you do know Him, remember, that no matter how messed up this world looks, He is still in control. Whatever you and I might be going through – We win in the end!

Have a wonderful day.

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Please don’t lose it!

Focus is about having the discipline, when there are so many competing things.

I’m not sure about you, but I think the world is going completely crazy. Things that, 10 years ago, would have been perceived as being ludicrous, is now accepted as normal. Never before, has society been  so distracted, as what it is today.   And because we have completely lost focus, we end up standing for nothing, and therefore, falling for everything.

The secret to living a true life of purpose is centred around one single word – FOCUS! When we allow our attention to be divided, we stifle our potential to grow. We then become like a lawn, that covers a large area, but gets tramped on in the process. There’s no upward growth happening – it’s all sideways. But when we choose to focus our lives on the very One who desires our focus, then we start to truly live.

When we place our eagle-eyed focus on Jesus Christ, nothing the world tries to throw at us  will cause us to stumble. When our focus is on the One who is truth, we identify lies without a problem. When we place our focus on the One who is love, then we can immediately spot that, which is presented as love, but is not. When we place our focus on the One who is the Way, we will never get lost in the confusion of this world.

I just want to encourage every Christian who is reading this. Despite the chaos in the world, our God has never relinquished His authority. He has, and always will be the Creator and the Ruler of the universe. To those who are reading this who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, there is still time. He loves you so much and following Him is the only thing that will make sense amidst all the confusion.

So please don’t take your eyes off the King. Please don’t allow distractions to steal your attention away from the One who gave all His attention to you and me, when He hung on the cross.

Have an awesome day!

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Time for Change

Our past experiences may have made us the way we are, but we don’t have to stay that way.

It’s been more than a month since I’ve written anything here, and boy, has it been a month of complete change for me and my family. We have been feeling God’s prompting that it was time for a change. But with change always comes the agony of choice. It is never easy to make a big change in our lives, but if we know it’s what we need to do, then we will need to work through the fact that it will require sacrifice – and that my friends, is never easy!

So we sold the bit of furniture we had, and the car we had just paid of, and left for a time away in Mexico. In the back of our minds we knew that we had no house, no furniture, no car – in fact, no earthly possessions. But, to tell you the truth, it was the most liberating feeling ever. The blessing in this all is that I have a great online job, so we were able to make that move. After clearing our heads in the beautiful town of Puerto Escondido, we decided to come back to our birth country, South Africa.

So many people asked us why we would want to leave the safety of Australia, and return to a country riddled with crime. Firstly, we realised that we needed to spend more time with our aging parents. We also just missed the amazing culture that will always be in our blood. We absolutely love being back in a place that has the friendliest people in the world and are so excited about what God has for us here.

It has been said that we can create the most magnificent environment, but unless we change the heart, it’s a waste of time. I want to flip that around and say: ” When we allow God to change our hearts, the environment around us doesn’t need to be the most magnificent, or the safest, or the most comfortable. God changing us, allows us to live in any circumstances, with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts.”

To be a Christian, we have to be open to change. The whole basis of Christianity is to accept that we are sinners and that we need help. So many people want change in their circumstances, without realising that it is a change of heart, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that we need. I have visited a great friend of mine in India, Williams Revu, and preached with him there. Some of the Christians in those little villages, live in the most appalling circumstances, yet they are some of the happiest people I have ever met. Why? Because they have allowed Christ into their lives. Where we are now, doesn’t matter that much when we know where we are going.

So many Christians want change in their lives, but aren’t willing to make sacrifices that it requires. It asks of us to let go of everything that is standing in the way of our relationship with Jesus Christ, no matter how tough it is. Because in the end, it doesn’t matter how challenging things are now, when we know that we have an eternal life in the presence of our Saviour, where all pain and suffering will be something of the past .

And when we allow that change to happen in our lives, we need to go out, and be the change in the world around us

Have an amazing day!

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Regret

Don’t let people hold you back. You are not going to have to give account to them one day; only to God.

The world is so filled with fear at the moment; and that includes Christians. Why? Why do we allow fear to dictate our lives if we are called to be bold? Why do we give in to fear if we have the king of the world on our side? Maybe it’s time to read about the lives of those in scripture who dared to trust God.

I’m sure that when David stood in front of Goliath, for a moment he must of thought, “What the heck am I doing?” But it didn’t last long. I can’t imagine Gideon not having any fear at all when he faced a mighty army, with a few untrained soldiers. But you see, their human fear didn’t dictate to their Godly faith. And they lived lives of tremendous purpose.

Imagine living our lives, never doing anything because we allow that moment of fear to overshadow what faith could lead to.  If we make fear the master of our existence, we will end up regretting so many things.  And I’m not sure about you, but that’s not the life for me. Stepping out in faith is not always easy, but it is always worth it.

Right here and right now, we need to live every moment with no regret. Right here and right now, we need to love like we’re on borrowed time. Go on! Go and do those things that you have always felt incapable of doing. Go and live that life that God is calling you to live. But to be able to do so, you need to put your trust in Him completely.

Have an amazing day!

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Keep Burning

The world needs Christians who don’t tolerate the complacency of their own lives.

The reason why we have technology, is to make things as easy and as comfortable as possible. Instead of walking, we’ll drive. Instead of cooking, we’ll go through a drive through… and so it goes on. But in doing so, we have become a lazy society, so obsessed with comfort, that we are very quickly losing any resilience we might still have.

You see, the only time we ever grow, is when we face obstacles. And no comfort in the world can help us overcome those hurdles in our lives. The only thing that helps with getting over those mountains is perseverance. And the thing is, perseverance can never be acquired in a place of comfort and ease.

We grow in the wilderness. We become stronger in the midst of the storm. So why is it that we sit in our comfortable church auditoriums, sipping our hip latte’s and listening to our rock star preachers, yet never dare to leave that “religious place of comfort” to grow in our spiritual walk?

It’s time to take that head knowledge we have of being a Christian, and allow it to become heart knowledge. Only when that happens, will we realise that we can never be complacent because, as Christians, we will never be everything we have been created to be on this side of eternity. So we must continue to strive to be more like Jesus, every moment of every day!

It’s time let go of those worldly things that are making life so comfortable; those things that are snuffing out the flame of passion and purpose in our lives.

Have an amazing day!