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Monday, March 2, 2015

Power loaded scripture

One of the most potent and power loaded versus in scripture reads as follows:

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

So let's take it slow and unpack this this verse step by step by first asking the question, what is substance?

One dictionary defines it as follows:  the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence.
I have my own definition:  The true essence of being, in its purest form.

 In our world today we get anything and everything in concentrated form: Coffee; fruit juice; laundry detergents; medications; you name it and I'm sure you'll find a concentrate for it.  A concentrate is the strongest form in which the substance can be produced that can later be converted into useable form by adding water.  Let me repeat that, in the concentrate you get the strongest possible form for the substance. 

Well isn't faith about just that?  About us having pure and powerful faith to believe that God can do what he says he will do in our lives.  Faith is all about the best that God has designed for us to have.  In order for us to develop our faith we must understand what the substance of our faith is...i.e. what are you believing for?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Little by little

A while back I went through a phase where I just wasn't in the mood for gardening.  I know, nothing like me right?  Well it happened and at that stage the weeds took over and some plants just attracted all the bugs I didn't want and it really was a mess. 

Well I eventually had enough and got stuck in, but there was going to be no quick solution to this problem, it was going to take slow and consistent work.  Well little by little I've been getting there.  The weeds are almost all under control, I got rid of the bad plants and then moved any herbs that I could from the back garden and planted them where the other bad plants were and now things are starting to get back to normal.  It has taken a lot of work though but I'm proud of the current progress. 

Our faith walk with God will be exactly the same, we will have to plug at it a little at a time to learn the principles of faith and how to apply them to our daily lives.  It won't always be pretty, we will encounter problems and we will make mistakes but if we keep at it progressively we will eventually arrive at a beautiful garden of strength and tranquility that can only come from being grounded in Christ. 

If your faith walk has been challenging and you feel as though the weeds of discouragement have won, start little by little to focus on God and His strength and wisdom will pull you through. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Trees make all the difference

I've been living in my town house now for just over 10 years.  I had forgotten how stark and raw the area looked like as a newly developed suburb when I first moved in, until the developers started with the new zone last year. 

Now as I drive past the new area and look up the hill to ours, what a difference and it is all because of a few trees.  It sure took them a long time to grow but now as they rise above the buildings they soften the appearance of the landscape and the area feels like any other suburb that is well established. 

Our faith should do the same thing for us, soften our appearance to the rest of the world.  Now personality plays a big part in this, but I don't mean character.  Faith should soften our beliefs so that we do not feel we have to push them on others but rather the maturity that faith produces in us, should draw others to us to gain knowledge and wisdom. 

What does the suburb of your heart look like now?  Is it all bricks and mortar or do the trees welcome visitors to your zone? 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Catch me daddy!

My heart literally skips a beat each time I see it, but it always brings a smile to my face!  A kid diving off any object and straight into their father's arms.  They have no fear, no inhibitions and have absolute faith that dad will catch them.  And why do they have this totally staggering faith in you?  Simply because you are bigger than they are and the thought simply doesn't cross their mind that you would ever drop them. 

Well how about that?  Our faith in God should be just the same!  For our God surely is way bigger than we could ever imagine and His power and might are greater than any other living being.  That is why, when required to do so, we should have absolute faith that God will keep His promises towards us and that He will do what He says in His word he will do!

We should however guard our hearts on this matter as there are times when restraint is important.  A well known preacher once preached on Faith, Foolishness and Presumption.  We must be careful that we do not use our faith to be reckless and negligent. 

One thing is sure though, when we leap in faith with a pure heart and good motives, God sees our courage and honours our faith with the rewards that only faith can bring.  So if you are being led in your heart to make a big change, pray about it and once you have peace.....Go for it!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hitch a ride on your shoulders

Our local primary school in Nelspruit used to have an annual school 10 kilometer mini walk through the orange orchards of HL Hall and Sons.  My sister is 4 years older than I am so she was obviously in school before I was.  In my toddler years I could not walk the distance, although I'm sure I ran along side them whenever I could, but when I got tired my dad would pick me up over his head and pop me on his shoulders.  There I would ride along sky high while everyone else walked. 

In the toddler years of our faith God does exactly the same thing.  He allows us to walk and run ahead in our faith as often as we can, but when we are tired He picks us up and carries us until we are refreshed enough to continue on by ourselves again. 

God desires for us to walk the path of our faith on our own two feet as much as we can but He sure understands when we can't.  At those times there is nothing wrong with calling out to God for Him to carry you on His shoulders.  All you have to say is "Up daddy, up!"

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Peek-a-boo

We all know the game.  You prop baby up and either cover babies eyes or cover your face.  The big reveal and what do you get?  Giggles and smiles and a whole lot of laughter and fun!  And so baby starts to learn about identity, that we have a face and we can recognize each other by it.

Our faith walk with God is very similar.  In our early days we are very aware of God's presence and most importantly it seems as if every prayer is answered and our love affair with God grows stronger by the day. 

Then a time comes when things change.  It seems as if God has disappeared all of a sudden.  We pray with no answer and when we look for His presence it is not found.  No, God has not moved and has not withdraw His presence from us, He has simply covered His face of glory with the veil of His word. 

Now we must seek His face in scripture and when we do, we are drawn to God and His presence is once again tangible.  As we learn about who God is through His word, our walk with Him grows deeper as now we are living and walking not only in the sense of His presence but by the knowledge of the Word. 

Have you felt as though God has withdrawn His face from you?  Probably not!  It's probably just a game of peek-a-boo and time to seek Him in His Word. 



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Love struck

We all know that moment when your eyes meet and for the first time you feel that connection!  Your eyes dance and your heart skips a beat and then races and all of a sudden you realize.....you're madly in love!

Well that's what the Holy Spirit does with us when we first come to salvation, He helps us to fall in love with Jesus.  There is no way that we can fully grasp the true depth of Christ's love for us, but in that moment, we see His sacrifice, we see His death and something in our spirit recognizes that we need Him in our lives and we ask for forgiveness and receive Him as Lord for the very first time.  And this is all done, by faith!  We don't understand it all but we believe.  

This will be our first encounter with faith.  In the months after that God woes us with His love and faithfulness, He shows us His might and we learn to trust in Him.  This is the start of our journey of faith and as we grow in God our faith develops and we grow stronger in our relationship with our living God. 

Are you thinking, "What have I missed, why have I not felt love struck by God?"  Well friend then I encourage you today to surrender your heart to Jesus and His love will certainly sweep you away afresh and in a new and living way.