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Tenacious Living

An absolute must for each Christian to have, is a tenacious spirit. It’s what builds up reserves when things are going well. And it’s what needs to be plugged into, when life gets tough. Without a tenacious spirit, we are bound to allow our circumstances to control our effectiveness as Christians!

One of the most amazing creatures in nature, is the honey badger. Even when the deadliest of snakes tries to invade its territory, it doesn’t back down. It fights back without compromise. We need to be Christian Honey Badgers, tenaciously standing our ground against the attacks we face every day – attacks on the family; attacks on the church; attacks on our identity; and attacks through the lies from Satan!

Jesus himself said that in this world we will face troubles. But in order to be able to tenaciously deal with those troubles, we need the One who gives us peace that surpasses all understanding. We need a living relationship with Jesus Christ! We need to allow the Holy Spirit to fill every aspect of our lives. Only then, will we be able to rejoice in the face of adversity. And that’s what it means to have a tenacious spirit!  When we, like Paul and Silas, can praise God when being treated unjustly, then we know we are on the right track.

Having a tenacious spirit means that we don’t allow our circumstances to rob our joy. Instead, we allow the Holy Spirit to point us back to the Cross. Because that’s where all our battles have already been won. That’s where all our sins have already been paid for.  And that, my friends, is why we can have a tenacious attitude towards every trial that we face.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”    (1 Corinthians 15:58)

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Truly Blessed

When we remind ourselves that God is enough, only then do we live a truly thankful life.

There are times when we feel sorry for ourselves because we believe that our lives are undeservedly tough and that we have been dealt an unfair hand. We even feel that God ‘owes’ us more. But here’s something we need to remember: God owes us nothing! He is God and we are the ones who owe Him everything.

Please understand that I am not downplaying anything about anyone who is going through a difficult time.  Nobody wants to struggle. Nobody wants to go through life struggling to survive. And God is certainly not wishing those heartaches on us. But sometimes, it takes darkness for us to appreciate the light. It takes pain to appreciate the good times. It takes hard times to look up and recognise God.

And the best thing we can do when we are desperate, is to praise God. It might not be what we feel like doing. In fact, we might rather feel like cursing Him. But, by thanking God for the gift life during those times when we can’t see how we are going to take one more step, something shifts. We then begin to see what we have, instead of what we don’t.

Even if we have lost every single thing we own, and every single person we love, we can never lose God. He is always there waiting with open arms for us to come to Him. And when we do, we will begin to realise that the only thing that really matters, and the only thing of real value in this life, is knowing Him. Our life here on Earth is but a smidgen of eternity. Why then, are we so focused on our comfort here, when there’s an eternity to consider.

And by the way, when we are struggling, there are always people out there struggling more. God has called us to be part of the solution. He has called us to reach out and lessen their pain. By doing that, we also see less of what we are going through and develop more of God’s heart. So, for those who are going through a painful time, I am praying for you. I pray that you look up and know that God is enough. And by simply knowing Him, we are truly blessed.

Have an amazing day.


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Show Up

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deut. 31:6

One of the reasons we choose not to step into the “Promised Land” that God has for us, is the fear of uncertainty. You see, when we take new ground, we willingly walk into unknown territory. It seems far easier to hold on to what’s familiar, than having to relinquish the control of what we know.  But it’s time to show up.

Firstly, by showing up and taking that first step, we are stepping out of where the Enemy wants us to stay. If he could have his way, everyone would crawl back into the comfortable spaces and never venture anywhere else. It is there where no new ground is taken. In fact, it is there where we begin to lose ground, especially as Christians. So, it’s time to step out of that dangerous zone!

In addition to that, by showing up and moving in the direction God is calling us to, we are trusting Him to make a way.  God sees our faith when we step out. He sees our attitude when we step up. And He sees our heart when we step into what He has for us.  Even when the Enemy tries to drag us back, we must allow God to pull us forward. It’s time to step into God’s purpose for our lives.

I would rather walk with God in the unknown, than be without Him in any comfort zone.

Have an amazing day!


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God is Good and that’s Enough!

At times, we may feel lost and alone, but God always knows where we are, and He’s always with us.

I know! When we go through a wilderness in our lives, we don’t want to hear pep-talks about how good God is! All we can think is, “If God is so good, why doesn’t He do something about my situation?” Nobody wants to have a verse quoted to them when God doesn’t seem to care. But picture this.

Jesus is begging His Father to stop His murder from happening. But God does nothing. The human side of Jesus must have been thinking, “God, where are you? If You really care, and if You really love me, why don’t you do something?” But God is silent. And then it happens. He is beaten. He is spat upon. He is mocked. And The Father never steps in. And then, Jesus is murdered for nothing that He had done wrong! His words were even, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”

God was always there. The fact that He never changed the circumstances didn’t mean that He didn’t care. There are things that happen in our lives that we can never grasp in that moment. But, like Jesus, we have to trust that God sees the bigger picture. Whatever may be happening in your life, God is there. However bad things may seem, God is still good.

God’s goodness isn’t compromised by the ‘badness’ of our situation we might be in. God’s goodness doesn’t disappear when the darkness of this world seems to envelop us. The fact that we are given the opportunity to accept Christ, so that we may have eternal life, is absolute proof of God’s goodness and His love for us. So, let’s stop allowing our circumstances to determine our idea of God’s goodness. Let’s cast our eyes to the cross. That’s where God’s goodness becomes clear.

Have an amazing weekend.

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Inside Out

I often find myself wondering how the world has gone so crazy, so quickly. Things that make absolute no moral sense, are being sold to us as being kind, loving and accepting. And the scariest thing about it all, is that we are allowing ourselves to think the way the world does.

There’s something we need to understand. It is in our nature to be selfish. Human beings desire to be accepted and we seem to be willing to do anything, for people to like us. Even when that means we let go of what is right, and we grab on to what is popular. When we allow what’s happening outside of us, to change our moral compass, we are changing from the outside, in.

Clearly, that doesn’t mean we need to condemn people in the world who are simply acting on their need for acceptance. What we as Christians need to do, is to lead by example. We need to be the ones who don’t allow the water around our hulls, to leak into our boats, letting us sink into an ocean of immorality. We need to sail firmly, without leaks, and show the world that there is another way.

When we experience the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we begin to understand that He is the only One who can save us from that dark ocean. With Him in our lives, there is no more need for acceptance from others. The desire might be there to please the world, but the need to do so is gone. Because Jesus’s acceptance is the only acceptance that counts.

When we realise that, we allow His Spirit to change us from the inside out. Our ‘life’ boat begins to span its beautiful sails in an otherwise, dark ocean. We then make it possible for the ‘dark waters’ around us, to see the beauty of a life impacted by Christ. Our minds and our hearts start focusing on eternal things. In so doing, we ‘sail’ with purpose, and there is no more ‘sailing’ blindly in life’s ocean. Our eyes have been opened to the things that really matter and we are directed by our ‘Lighthouse’ – Jesus Christ.

Have a wonderful day.

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Simple, not Easy

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)

Yesterday we spoke about being ‘homesick’. And that’s how we will feel until the day we close our eyes here on Earth and open them in Heaven.  Because, until that day, we are not yet home. Until that day we can never truly settle and feel completely at home. When we look at what’s happening around us, it is clear that the ‘wrong thing’ has become the ‘right thing’ in the eyes of the world.

But, as citizens of Heaven, we have been given ‘Heavenly eyes’ to look around. There is no need to look at things the way the world views it. We need to look at things through God’s eyes. Through His eyes, there are broken people. Through God’s eyes, there is eternal hope despite the temporary chaos. The choice to live for God in a world that despises Him, is not easy, but it’s simple. Just do it!

It’s easy to lose hope in a hopeless world. But it’s simple to be filled with hope because we serve the One who is Hope! It’s easy to become despondent because of our circumstances, but it’s simple to know that God loves us despite what’s happening in our lives. All we need to do in order to confirm that, is to look at the cross. We may be living in difficult times, but it is a simple choice to put our trust in Him. It’s the best thing we can ever do!

Have an amazing day!

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For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!  I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Wow, what a wonderful part of Scripture. I’m not sure about you but living in this world is getting more and more uncomfortable. But let me say this… That’s a good thing. We know that this world is not our home. Our home is in the presence of God, who longs for us to come home. But while He chooses for us to still be here, we have a purpose.

I want you to put your hand on your chest. That heart that is still pumping means that we still have some work to do here. It’s not work in order to earn God’s love. Because that’s impossible. It’s work He is calling us to do because He longs for everyone to come Home to Him one day. So, He is calling us to be His hands and feet in a broken world. That is what Paul is talking about.

The day will come when we will be called home! To tell you the truth, I can’t wait for that day. A day when I will stand face to face with my Saviour, and worship God the Father, for eternity. A day when the only scars in heaven, will not be on us, but on the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. But until that day, let’s continue to run the race.

Be encouraged, that whatever pain you may be experiencing, whatever hurt you may be going through, it’s temporary. This journey we are on might be hard, but the race has already been won by Christ, for us. The cross brought heaven to Earth, but there’s still more to come – an eternity with God in our eternal home. The question isn’t ‘if’ it will happen, but ‘when’ it will happen.

Have a blessed day.

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Look Beyond

The answer to the age-old question, “What’s the purpose of life?” begins to reveal itself when we look at the cross. What millions of people have been trying to figure out since the beginning of time, was planted on Golgotha. Two beams of wood that was meant to destroy one man, brought life to all of mankind.

Trying to find purpose in earthly things, will only lead to earthly disappointments. All material things are temporary. What’s the point in placing our identity in them? When we do, it simply means that we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Stock markets can crash, and the housing market can plummet. Our health can fail us, and our popularity can dwindle. Yet, those are exactly the places where society is telling us to find our security.

On the other hand, finding our purpose in Christ, will always lead to heavenly joy. When we look at the cross, we see the vertical beam reaching to the heavens. The horizontal beam is reaching out to all of mankind – every tongue and every nation. But it would be two meaningless pieces of wood without our Saviour. Because of Him, we can reach out to heaven and have a relationship with God the Father. Because of Him we can reach out to our neighbour and share God’s love. And that, my friends, is the purpose of our existence.

So, let’s be bold and live a life that looks beyond our own selfish desires. Let’s take our eyes off the mediocrity and safety of the shore. Our purpose is found outside our comfort zone. It’s found when we swim towards the horizon, knowing that we can’t do it on our own. Only when we look beyond what we are capable of doing, and we start trusting God to use us out of our depth, do we truly begin to live a life of purpose.

Have a wonderful day!

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In the End

There are so many motivational quotes out there about what would matter at the end. Even though they’re all great quotes, they mean nothing when standing alone.

Listening to the ‘gurus’ of our time may motivate us, but it will soon dissipate because it’s based on nothing of substance. They may help us to take our focus off our circumstances and weaknesses for a while, telling us that we can do anything we put our minds to. But soon enough, the cracks reappear. And it will continue to happen, because by nature, humans cannot sustain themselves in a broken world.

I remember running the Two Oceans. It’s 56km of exhilaration, pain and perseverance. You run the first 20km or so, loving the scenery and feeling strong. Then you hit Chapman’s Peak, and what had been feeling like total control, evaporates into utter insecurity. “Will I make it up this mountain?” doesn’t only echo in your mind, it echoes through every muscle in your body. Once you reach the top, hope begins to well up when you see Hout Bay come into view.

But by the time you’ve run the equivalent of a marathon, you reach Constantia Neck. It’s a crazy steep hill that ‘tells’ you to give up. And you begin to seriously consider it. But then you remind yourself – “Only 12 more km’s!” And you keep going, because you can ‘smell’ the finish line. Everything in you, is telling you that you won’t make it, but the will to finish softens the voices of doubt, and the cheering on the side of the road lifts you to a new level.

I’ve chosen a long way around to share my point today, but I think it makes it more practical. At the end of the day, we all need something steadfast and eternal to focus on. If we live our lives believing that there is no God, then we will never have anything steadfast to hold on to. In the end, God is the One who has created me. He’s the One who longs to walk with me. And He’s the One who is cheering me on every step of the race.

If I trust on my own strength through life, I will continuously fall and become despondent. But if I put my faith and trust in God Almighty, I become strong when I am weak. Satan can come with all his attempts to make me give up, but when he does, l choose to listen to my God, cheering me on to finish strong. In the end, knowing God by accepting Christ Jesus as our personal Saviour, is the only way to keep our eyes on the finish line.

I’m not sure of you, but I want to finish this race strongly. And when I do, I long to hear God say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”

Have a wonderful day knowing who you are in Christ.