2 timothy 1:5-7

DBcBheYWsAAgnHNI remember your genuine faith for you share the faith that once filled your grandmother lois and your mother Eunice.

and I know that same faith continues strong in you.

this is why  I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.

for God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power love and self discipline.

🙂

it is a wonderful thing to think that timothy is a first generation Christian for God doesn’t have grandchildren only sons and daughters but it is amazing to think how the faith of his grandma was passed down to his mother and then to him.

we can only assume this faith continued for many generations afterwards.

we must pass on our faith to our children and the young people God has placed in our lives both by the words of our mouth and the example of our Christian living.

we must like david make sure the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts are acceptable in Gods sight.

He delights in and inhabits the praises of His people.

the more we praise Him the less we will become bogged down by our circumstances.

in His presence is fullness of joy.

let us display it exceedingly and abundantly in the way we treat one another.

in Him we are all family and one.

in Him we live and move and have our being.

we must be active in expressing our faith and not allow the flame of enthusiasm for the things of God to die out within us.

this is cultivated by surrounding ourselves with other like minded Christians who nurture the growth of the seeds of faith Jesus has planted within our hearts on the day we decided to repent and believe.

it is not enough just to believe that Jesus is God even the demons do that though they don’t call Him Lord or master cos they have surrendered their souls to satans kingdom.

it is too late for them but its never too late for us until our last breath to live our lives on fire for Jesus 100%, to be fully devoted to Him in every waking moment.

the fear mentioned in this passage is unholy fear not the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom and essentially means respect honour or reverence.

we need not be intimidated by the works and plans of the enemy for Jesus has more angels on His team and our souls are safeguarded in the hands of the maker of heaven and earth.

it is a constant challenge to actualize the power God has placed within the minds of all who are reborn from the inside out and transformed into an external reflection of His image.

we love like Christ loves when we love with no strings attached without imposing terms and conditions on whether we will love and accept people saying we will love you if you do this for us but otherwise forget about it jill or joe or mbali go hit the road jack and pack your bag- that is not the attitude we should adopt but one that embraces all cultures with open arms one that sees the expression of Christ in every living being who has that same sacrificial attitude being willing to lay down our lives for the sake of the love of Christ which compels us to love humanity in reaction of gratitude to His desire to value our salvation more than His own precious soul redeeming blood pumping through His veins.

another translation swaps self discipline for sound mind.

the way our mind remains pure and blameless as well as our heart is achieved by a combination of Christ working in us to renew us on a daily basis and crucify our selfish desires morphing them into selfless ones and our willingness to cooperate with HIs world altering spirit.

keep walking in love even if it doesn’t get shown to you.

keep finding His joy even when everything seems to be falling apart around you.

sometimes its a struggle I know cos people get sick and some of us are broke as a joke or we have people yelling in our faces all the time but remember that Christ died for you to give you a hope beyond the grave.

in clinging to this hope you can take your eyes off your surroundings and focus them on Him.

that is why you are able to smile in the middle of the storms of life cos this life this mortal coil this physical realm is not all there is.

it is but a drop in the ocean of eternity, a small fraction of the whole totality of our existence.

remember God is with you so you don’t have to walk the road of life alone 😉

we were made to worship Him in spirit and truth.

be a cup of kindness today that is poured out by the hands of God on all around you ❤

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james 4:7-10

DBctDoJUwAA1g5Wso humble yourselves before God resist the devil and he will flee from you.

come close to God and God will come close to you.

wash your hands you sinners purify your hearts for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

let there be tears for what you have done.

let there be sorrow and deep grief.

let there be sadness instead of laughter and gloom instead of joy.

humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up in honour.

🙂

we used to sing the first verse in this passage when we used to listen on the regular to cassette tapes featuring jenny flack.

it was followed by the line Gods power is ours if we obey in His name we take the devil away then stomping boots with the warcry left left left right left 🙂

the songs translation said submit not humble but it means the same thing.

we bring ourselves lower so God can lift us higher.

pride often prevents us from seeing the foolishness of the ways in which we are behaving.

some of us gain wisdom in hindsight.

far better that we should walk in humility before we make a mistake than afterwards when we are forced to live in regret.

this is not the end of the story however cos our past doesn’t have to cast an ugly shadow over our present or affect our future inheritance with Christ if we walk in a state of purity .

we must take God’s feelings into consideration before every decision we make.

we come close to God by reading His word spending time with those who love Him and doing what the bible says by praying for people and being bold advocates for His truth.

when james advocates that sinners wash their hands he is speaking metaphorically of our need to be cleaned by the blood of Jesus from the inside out.

although I’m sure james cared about personal hygiene it would have been of far less importance to him than making sure that peoples lives were right in the sight of God.

we should not have divided hearts.

a double minded man or lady is unstable in all of their ways.

as Jesus said a man cannot serve two masters he will love one and despise the other.

when Jesus spoke of not serving both God and mammon He means that we should not become enslaved with material possessions or so obsessed with accumulating more stuff that we will compromise our beliefs to be the girl or boy with the most toys yet we won’t truly ever win the game of life unless we finish the race with Jesus in our hearts.

without Him all is empty and meaningless and grasping for the wind as Solomon once noted.

God told us to be in the world not of the world.

we must walk in morally upright ways everywhere we go.

we cannot allow ourselves to fall into temptation or be imitators of the enemy but we must always be following in the footsteps of Christ our guiding light and saviour of our souls.

we don’t have to cut ourselves off from everyone living in the world but we do have to sever all connections with those habits and( when God dictates) people that drag us down to hell.

like He says bad company corrupts good morals.

we must  be peculiar people distinctive in our love for Jesus.

we can display this as much by what we do as by what we don’t do.

for example we don’t laugh at dirty jokes or use our mouths to put people down but rather we use them to encourage and point out the godliness in others as well as by pointing out when they are walking in error while making sure we speak the truth in love and sandwich our statements both with compliments and equalizing language of how we as humans are all engaged in the same struggle but with Christ in our lives we have more than a lucky shot at success- its not a gamble but an absolute certainty!

unless we recognize our need for repentance God is unable to bring us to a place of freedom.

this is called godly sorrow.

ungodly sorrow just leads to depression and the illusion there is no hope.

when we turn our eyes to Christ we will always find a reason for living in every season of our souls.

there are times when we need to laugh and others when we need to cry.

this passage is not saying laughter is a bad thing but rather that we must take seriously our need to give our hearts to Jesus before its too late.

He turns our mourning into dancing and our sorrow into joy.

He gives us garments of praise for our spirits of heaviness.

He replaces ashes with beauty and mourning with the oil of joy.

we cannot expect God to exalt us and lift us up to a position of favour and prosperity unless we walk in a spirit of humility and trust His judgement above our own.

we should never be so foolish as to delude ourselves that we do not require His discipline.

remember how the prodigal son was rewarded with a fattened calf when he recognized how he had caused embarrassment to the name of his father.

when Jesus lives in our hearts that means we are ambassadors and representatives of Christ.

we overcome the world by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.

let it always be said that your life was a bold witness for the spiritual and physical fitness that only God can provide when we trust in His word to deliver us from evil and redeem us from the grave .

though we may dabble in darkness we are never completely beyond His reach and He is always able to return us back into His loving hands if we desire for Him to reignite the fire of HIs Holy Spirit in us and daily crucify our flesh choosing to do what makes us happy because the cravings of our transformed mind reflect His own .

1 thessalonians 1:2-7

20229564_10154881215866295_3827238113704406625_owe always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.

as we pray to our God and father about you we think about your faithful work your loving deeds and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.

we know dear brothers and sisters that God loves you and has chosen you to be His own people.

for when we brought you the good news it was not only with words but also with power for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true.

and you know our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.

so you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you.

in this way you imitated both us and the Lord.

as a result you have become an example to all the believers in Greece throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.

🙂

although paul addresses this letter to the believers in Thessaloniki which is in the greek owned part of Macedonia it is relevant to all those who believe in Jesus and even those seeking a higher dimension of truth than that which is obtainable within their own selves.

I am challenged by paul and his companions to pray with greater effort for my friends and family.

often I have found the best way to pray is over meals.

even though my food often gets cold as a result I find I have more strength and energy to give meaningful unslurred prayers when I am not drifting off to sleep or trying to shake the fogginess out of my early morning brain.

its clear I have to make time out of my day just for prayer but I am yet to initiate this much helpful thinking and action pattern.

the hope we have in Christ should be the ultimate motivation for our persistence in living out our faith and deeds of love.

when we do kind things for others we are doing them for Jesus.

we may find ourselves inadvertently assisting angels in disguise.

it is amazing to think that God calls us family and loves us despite the fact our souls look like mucky puppies more often than not and regardless of the truth that we are fighting a continual battle to keep our heads about water and maintain our status as His sons and daughters which is revokable based upon whether we choose to accept His forgiveness admit our weakness and rely completely on His strength to lengthen our days and bring us into His glorious celestial inheritance.

the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is confirmation of the truth of Gods existence and the certainty that we have the possibility of redemption through the blood of His precious son.

our care for others is proved in the way we live out our lives.

as james says if we declare I love you brother or sister yet don’t show it in our actions then the truth of God is not in us and we are just playing games with God.

it is huge to think that we have the ability to receive the message of Christ with smiles on our faces even if it brings us humiliation degradation and isolation because we know the reward waiting for us is far more incredible than anything our minds can manufacture outside of His creative input.

though paul mentions that the thessalonians imitated him and the Lord I am sure he would much prefer them to be followers of Christ than followers of paul.

we are identified by our love for Jesus.

we must be completely surrendered to Him in our decision making.

we can only be a shining example for the world to follow if we don’t let the pearls of our morality be trampled by peer pressure or permit our witness to be blown by the inconsistency of our actions.

keep pressing into Gods face for guidance.

fight boldly on your knees.

always aim to please your creator in the days of your youth and do not lose your boldness with the increasing of age.

God is with you. so take courage !

colossians 2:11-15

20247563_10155518517956112_1793204103384732649_owhen you came to Christ you were circumcised but not by a physical procedure.

Christ performed a spiritual circumcision – the cutting away of your sinful nature.

for you were buried with Christ when you were baptized.

and with Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God who raised Christ from the dead.

you were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature wasn’t yet cut away.

then God made you alive with Christ for He forgave all our sins.

He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

in this way He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities.

He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross.

😉

this cutting away of the sinful nature is referred to by paul as a circumcision of the heart which is not the same as a circumcision of the flesh in  the physical sense though in a spiritual sense it is a circumcision of the flesh also because God is  cutting away the fleshly carnal or sinful nature from our lives and reorientating our thinking patterns so we hate what we used to love and love instead what He loves.

this is the result of His transforming of our nature by the power of His blood shed on the cross.

we literally underwent spiritual surgery in our psychic realm operated on by the greatest physician to ever walk amongst the heavens or the earth.

for who could know the cure to every disease be it spiritual or physical other than our creator who is not the author of sickness or confusion but always  the solution to it?

it is funny to think of ourselves as being buried while we are still breathing but the burial this passage speaks of is not a physical one but a spiritual burying of the old man or old lady or the old self our old way of thinking the patterns of behaviour that must necessarily die in order for Christ to reign over and live in us.

you would not want your house to be full of muck if the queen came to visit.

how much more should we prepare our hearts for the arrival of the king of kings for His indwelling presence within us?

trusting in God’s power causes us to be spiritually resurrected just as death for Jesus had no sting for He conquered hell and the grave.

He didn’t need invisible wings to fly all He needed was His all sufficient self El Shaddai.

it is in our daily decisions we undergo the continual process of cutting away or shutting off the influence of the enemy.

we must be vigilant and continually prepared for warfare.

we do not have to be scared of our nemesis but we must recognise the battle is real and it belongs to the Lord.

no weapon fashioned against us shall stand in conquering might over the glory of His presence.

our sins are forgiven past present and future.

we do not grasp how incredible this is until we recognize all the evil that Christ has saved and is continually saving us from by the simple act of planting our trust in the nurturing field of His heart where we grow more intimate and more imitative of Him.

on youth with a mission we did an activity where we nailed the sins that had a hold over our lives to the cross in the hope that we would not continue to repeat those patterns of behaviour, that we would not be locked in those evil lifestyles for all eternity, that we might be redeemed from righteousness and walk no longer in wickedness which only leads to a guilty conscience and eternal misery torture and separation from God.

the devil cant remind us of our sins anymore cos God has destroyed their power over us by breaking their contractual obligation that we should reap what we sow for He has paid the price for us becoming the sacrifice that we need in order to be clean and have our debt wiped clear.

if Jesus has nailed our sins to the cross we shouldn’t be foolish and keep on taking them back again.

we should let Him deal with them and go and sin no more.

He gives us the ability to walk free from habits and lifestyles that enslave us and drag us down to the snakepit.

the devil has been made publicly embarrassed by Christ’s victory gained over him in His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave.

let us remain resurrected in our spirits and not return to our dead stinky wrecked selves which existed before we knew Him as saviour Lord greatest lover and friend all rolled into one amazing phenomenal mind blowing package !

<3:)

live long and prosper staying centred in His will

Isaiah 53:4-6

yet it was our weaknesses He carried, it was our sorrows that weighed Him down.

and we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins!

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.

all of us like sheep have strayed away.

we have left God’s path to follow our own.

yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all.

🙂

one version which I like better which adds a different perhaps deeper meaning says He carried our sicknesses and our disease weighed Him down.

it is also helpful to remember in those times when we are grieving and we have healthy bodies that Jesus took our pain and mournful attitude on the cross.

He endured an agony worse than any we could ever possibly imagine for the sake of claiming our hearts for His keeping.

we know that we are not perfect .

He told us be you perfect  as I am perfect.

He would not have told us to do it if it were not possible.

He is constantly in the process of working out that state of perfection in us.

He knows we are weak flawed vessels but in our flawed state He is still able to use us if we are willing to submit our lives to Him .

we must submerge our disobedient desires and choose instead to do what pleases Him until the experience becomes pleasurable and habitual .

in recognition of His undeserved sacrifice His free gift of eternal life for us we should respond in  gratitude by aiming continually to do what brings Him joy.

just like they looked upon Jesus and called Him sinner or demon possessed cos He was working miracles on the Sabbath and eating with prostitutes and tax collectors and not turning away little children women or romans from embracing His message they will look upon us and think that we are incorrigible that we must have done something sinful with our lives in order for us to experience suffering but like they say in porgy and bess it aint necessarily so joe 🙂

in fact it definitely isn’t cos we are the ones who were born into  rebelliousness and sin thanks to the traps that adam and eve sprung  for themselves by giving into temptation.

there but  for the grace of God go we- William Bradford- uk martyr

we do not always feel wholeness but if we focus our energy and attention on Jesus He will bring us  to a place of peace , satisfaction and fullness like we have never known before.

it is hard to wrap our heads around the torture He endured or the gravity of His sacrifice cos we can never possibly experience it for ourselves.

we could never be perfect enough to die for the sins of the whole world and we would never be able to release the captives or those who were waiting around in Abrahams bosom for their time to be transported to paradise.

Abrahams bosom is the good place now empty in hell reserved for those who were pure of heart and believers in God who died before Jesus’ death on the cross.

every strip of flesh that was ripped from His bloodied back brought us closer to our cleansing so we can stand blameless in His sight thanks to His redeeming act of greatest love and grace.

you know how stubborn sheep are.

they are prone to fall over and injure themselves and when they drop on their side they can’t get up on their own.

that’s just like us – we have no ability to overcome the obstacles and mountains in our lives without the assistance of Jesus.

we stupidly think if we follow our own path apart from the track laid out for us by the blood of Jesus (which is the only key to redemption) that it will lead to a better brighter future but in fact it only yields us death and destruction.

yet in Him we were able to receive abundant life and joy in fullest measure.

our cup of selfless happiness is filled up to overflowing because of His living sacrifice.

imagine every mistake you have ever made in your life even the things you thought you had gotten away with no one noticing cos no human eyes saw being covered and paid for by His blood.

we are forever indebted (whether or not we acknowledge it) to Jehovah Jireh the Lord our provider for laying down His life for us.

let us daily crucify our selfish desires and choose to walk holy and blameless in His sight and choose to honour God and others in our actions.

may God have mercy on our souls ❤

20604360_1393616530734291_7717152798489259351_n

matthew 5:13-16

20638219_1393615750734369_5959950439105824083_nyou are the salt of the earth.

but what good is salt if it has lost its flavour?

can you make it salty again?

it will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

you are the light of the world like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

no one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.

instead a lamp is placed on a stand where it gives light to everyone in the house.

in the same way let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly father.

😉

we cannot make ourselves salty again but Christ can return us to the state of being where we are of some good or usefulness to the world by living lives committed to holiness and making Christ attractive by  being a loving representation of what it means to follow Him wholeheartedly.

no one wants to be seen as worthless therefore we can persuade others not to feel this way about themselves by urging them to see the worth that God gives them and to find their self worth in who He is and the ways in which He can use their gifts and talents for His glory, also by pointing out how His nature is being revealed in the positive attributes of their character and personality.

imagine if you were glowing so brightly that you couldn’t go anywhere in the world to hide from that brightness.

that’s how great a luminosity the Jesus in you creates 🙂

we do not hide lights where nobody including ourselves can see them yet the light of the love of Jesus is often something we keep tucked up away inside ourselves to our own detriment when it is the very key that people need to avoid suicide and wasteful living and giving up on themselves by shooting their dreams in the foot permanently shelving them cos they cant see any way to make them grow arms and legs and be breathed into life.

its true that a bulb can get light to everyone in the house.

may all the members of our households be reflections of the light of Christ’s enduring love for us that cannot be destroyed by fire flood famine or any other pestilence the devil hurls in our direction.

many of us remember the part about doing good deeds for others but often we forget to give the credit back to Jesus as the motivating factor  behind our acts of kindness.

the last verse in this passage may appear to be contradicted by Jesus urging of us to do our good deeds in secret then our father who sees what we do in secret will reward us openly but we have to consider that the motivating factor of those who He was warning against imitating the actions of was for selfish gain or to draw attention to themselves.

so it is not that He doesn’t want us to be obvious in our generosity just that in doing so we must keep the focus on HIm and not put on airs like this world cant live without us when it obviously keeps on spinning round the sun and only is allowed to continue by the power of God’s son flowing through us and working despite us.

the aim of our lives should be to bring glory to the Lord in everything we say and do.

it has been scientifically proven that being benevolent makes you feel good about yourself and alleviates depression.

I think Jesus is reminding us not to worry if we don’t get rewards on earth because we have a better reward waiting for us in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy and where thieves  cannot break in and steal.

I will return again to the familiar theme of matthew 25 as a motivating factor.

we do not want to miss an opportunity to help out Jesus for when we are showing kindness to others we are showing love to Jesus Himself.

it is said in Gods word that we often entertain angels unaware.

imagine you could be helping out one of Gods holy messengers who are helping to fight our battles on our behalf without even knowing it!

it is in the simple things as well as the more complicated and complex ones that we shine our light brightly for Jesus.

it is in being the one who doesn’t honk our horns and swear at the other commuters in the traffic jam .

it is in being the one who gives up our place in the queue so a little old lady can get ahead of us .

it is in the selfish act where we give up that last slice of meatloaf to our kid or sibling or bae that we demonstrate Christs love at its best 😉

it is not one individual that saves the world unless your name is Jesus

this world is redeemed through the tiny acts of kindness we do that display the essence of our creator in every passing moment

Deuteronomy 28:9-14

Philippians-4.8if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways the Lord will establish you as His holy people as He swore He will do.

then all the nations will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord and they will stand in awe of you.

the Lord will give you prosperity in the land He swore to your ancestors to give you blessing you with many children numerous livestock and abundant crops.

the Lord will send rain at the proper time from His rich  treasury in the heavens and will bless all that you do.

you will lend to many nations but you will never need to borrow from them.

if you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that i am giving you today and if you carefully obey them the Lord will make you the head and not the tail and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.

you must not turn away from any of the commands i am giving you today nor follow after other gods and worship them.

🙂

God has promised us to establish us as His people if we walk in obedience to Him.

for people to stand in awe of us who believe in Jesus He would have to manifest His miracles amongst us which He is constantly in the  business of doing round the clock.

when we believe in Jesus we have been grafted into Him who is the vine and all the promises that have previously been fulfilled or made to Abraham also ring true for us who are goyim or gentiles.

it is every prospective parent and most couples dream to be fertile and have healthy children if not a vast amount of them when harsh economic times force us to be more frugal in the productivity levels of our personal baby making factories.

not all of us are cattle or fruit and vegetable farmers but we would all desire to have enough food to fill our bellies so we never starve from hunger and enough to bless others so we can be useful to the kingdom of God here on earth by practically demonstrating His love.

it could be implied that if God doesn’t send rain at the proper time we are walking in disobedience to His will but this isn’t necessarily so because scripture tells us that rain falls on the just and unjust alike.

God blesses everything we do to advance His kingdom.

He will not bless or call pure the actions we take that are operating outside of the desires of His heart.

Jesus tells us to neither be borrowers or lenders so I wrestle with God in His father nature seemingly contradicting Himself by telling His chosen people that they will be lenders.

I believe this is clarified by Jesus saying to give without expecting in return so when God says to lend He doesn’t mean to give and  charge interest because He openly speaks against the practice of usury which is doing exactly this.

it is true when you give to the poor you lend to the Lord and God stores up the wealth of the wicked to bless the righteous.

we shouldn’t fear taking money for Gods kingdom that’s obtained by ill gotten gains but neither should we actively participate in activities which result in such funds being obtained as our personal wages.

may God  bring us all to a place where we never need to be in debt to anyone.

I know how my friends have struggled needing to deprive themselves of luxury items or even sometimes to scrimp on the bare essentials and stretch whats available as thinly as possible because they are either in debt up to their eyeballs or they have a long queue of relatives lined up outside their front door with begging bowls continually in hand to demand their right as being linked by blood to squeeze dry and drain their bank accounts of all available cash.

if we completely and totally obey God in all our thoughts actions and those times when He calls us to hold our tongue or freeze our toes in our tracks then we are promised that we will be exalted and not brought down.

we must however in Christs elevation of our position remain humble for those who exalt themselves shall be humbled and those who humble themselves shall be exalted.

it is crucial that we remember the poignant truth of the last verse in this passage.

God doesn’t tell us not to worship false gods for no good reason.

a false god can be any religion other than Christianity or to broaden and extend the definition of idols it is anything that is worship or given worth above Jesus in your life.

God wants us to worship Him alone because He knows that if we do we will be sure to end up in heaven and if we don’t we will find ourselves one day waking up in hell and being subjected to everlasting torture.

i’m pretty sure none of you want to experience that.

the best way to avoid idolatry is to surround ourselves with like minded  Christians who are buzzing with excitement about the love of Jesus.

you will find their enthusiasm will rub off on you.

sure we also need that time of being alone with Jesus and soaking up the beauty and nutrients of His spirit- like flowers we need time in the sun and moments in the shade.

remember to pray without ceasing and to thank God for everything He has done in your life and everything He is about to do.

if you keep Christ at the centre of your consciousness at all times you surely cannot fail to flourish in this world and that which is to come beyond the gates of death.