Jesus said that His Disciples would be known by their love for each other (John 13:35). Are you Christ's disciple? Is your love for other disciples evident to all? Could you be convicted for being a Christian from your love for other Christians?
We live in a selfish world, where I, Me and My take precedence over you, him, her, she, they and them. "I must take care of myself because no one else will". I must succeed at all cost not counting the ruined friendships or lives used to pave the path to my success.
Sadly Christ's Church is not immune to this behaviour. We rival the biggest tyrant in our pursuit of success on our terms. God is only remembered when we have a problem in moving forward. Our Christian siblings become pawns in the way to achieving success.
When was the last time you took the time to call a Christian sibling when the Holy Spirit placed him in your thoughts? Did you know that Mary's constant fasting is because of her inability to find food on a regular basis? Was it necessary to tell the whole church of your second SUV? Why did you refuse to help the young man because you are not talking to his parents? Didn't you feel the twinge of conscience when you passed the beggar on the roadside? What are you hiding when you insist on having that young lady placed on backbench for naming and shaming sins in the Church?
"Love your neighbour as yourself" (Matthew 22:39). Jesus expects us to be just as loving now as He did when He said it about 2 000 years ago. We love ourselves unconditionally and He expects us to love ALL persons unconditionally. Loving and forgiving others only because they are lovable, personable or possess gifts we are allowed to use for our personal gain are not unconditional love. Those individuals who need help with their personality or other areas of their lives are shunned, especially if we cannot use them for our personal success. Pushing persons into oblivion because we do not agree with their views. Aren't these conditions?
Christ is calling His Church, the members of His Body, to stop ripping His Heart out of His Chest. We are tearing His body apart in more ways than one by our refusal to follow one of His last commands to us; love God and love each other, (Matthew :37-39). He has placed no condition on His love and is asking us to do the same. "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those that hate you" (Matthew 5:44). How can you say you love God whom you cannot see and hate or is indifferent to your siblings who you can see (1 John 4:20)?
Has God spoken to your heart about your love or lack of love towards your Christian siblings? Share your response or your thoughts in comments below.
Why do we strive for success on our terms when God has already written the blueprint? Why do we crave the world's success when God's way is far superior to anything the world can give us? We kill our neighbours, ignore our children, sacrifice our health, spend basically all our waking hours striving for the almighty dollar, the house, the car, the status, the education; just to say with pride "I have arrived".
But where is God in all of this? When do we find time for God? A few minutes before we close our eyes or after we open our eyes? God wants more! He is a jealous God. He has given us so much. He deserves more than a cursory thank you God for sparing my life or thank you God for waking me up, guide my day.
God wants our time, our undivided attention. He wants to have a conversation with us. He wants to soothe our wounded souls. He wants to stroke our chins, look us in the eyes and say well done my child, I am well pleased. But we rush along each day falling over our own feet. God is saying to us: "Slow down. It is all in vain. This mad rush is getting you nowhere."
Look up! He is waiting patiently to hold your hand and guide you through His path of righteousness which has all the answers for authentic or true success. He still offers the spring of living water which leads to unexplainable peace that is above all human understanding.
Stop! Look! Listen!
Stop what you are doing.
Look in your Bibles.
Listen to what God is saying to you.
Do that for a tithe of your time each day, that is about 2½ hours. You don't have to do it all at once. You can divide the 2½ hours over the time you are awake. What is important is that you give God one-tenth of your time each day.
Tell us in comments below the difference it makes to your life.
God bless and keep you.
You have made the decision to follow Christ. (If you have not done so and would like to, see “Your Life for Christ” below.) You are wondering:
You have just begun an exciting journey that will take you on a course of gratifying and challenging experiences. This is not a journey that you will take by yourself. The Holy Spirit of God became your guide and constant companion the moment you invited Christ into your life. Every day is an adventure on this journey; you learn something new about yourself, other individuals and God.
Having started this journey with God you can be assured that Satan will not readily give up on you. He will be pulling out all the stops to get you back in line with his lifestyle. To remain in tune with God you will need to develop some new habits called spiritual disciplines. Each day you do the following:
1.Quiet Time: Personal intimate time spent talking with God and listening to Him for direction. This usually includes reading the Scriptures.
2.Bible Study: Learning about God through the prophets and stories of His chosen people.
You are not alone on this adventure that is the Christian life. You have the Holy Spirit and your siblings in Christ. Stay close to them and you will succeed. Walk alone and you will fail miserably. I am willing to be a partner on this journey with you. Let me know how I can in the comments section below.
Your Life for Christ
You were meant to have peace in your heart. You can only achieve this by giving your heart to God. If you have not done so before, I invite you to do so now by saying the following prayer:
God, I have been living my life my way, depending on my own strength. Forgive me for all I have done that was not of You. I believe that Jesus is Your Son and that He died to save my soul. I will be obedient to Your will from this day forward. Amen.
If you have given your heart to God for the first time; complete the following form so I can pray for you and support you in your decision.
How can we partner together in our walk with Christ? Indicate in comments below.
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6: 31-33 NKJV)
The Son of God Himself told us we ought to put God first. Once we seek after God we will have all our needs provided for. He said ALL not some. The key to having it all is making it all available for use in God's Kingdom.
Seek first God's Kingdom. What is God's Kingdom? A key comes to us in the Lord's Prayer: "Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven." It is fair then to assume that God's Kingdom is anywhere His will is done. How do we know God's will? Look at His commands in the Bible. There are two in particular that Jesus pointed out as being the two most important of all. According to Jesus if we follow these two commands we will be keeping all the laws and commands given by God to His people. What are these two commands?
We should love God with our whole being and if we do we will want to do right by Him:
What does loving ourselves look like?
We must actively seek to recruit members for the expansion of God's Kingdom here on earth. By making ourselves and our resources available to do so; we will find that God multiplies them so we can have that which we need to do so plus an overflow.
Are you actively seeking to expand God's Kingdom here on earth? If no, what is preventing you from doing so? If yes, in what ways are you rewarded? Place your response in comments below.
What was the most precious gift you ever received? I can imagine you must have been over the moon with joy when you received it. My most precious gift was given to me by my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross for me. That one act transformed my life.
Jesus came to earth so that you and I would have life and have it more abundantly. What does abundant life look like for you? It varies for persons based on their experiences, culture, values, situation, etc. Abundant life includes:
This covenant ushers God's Holy Spirit into our hearts who begins to guard and guide our lives into the fullness of life that only He can offer. If we spend the time to talk with Him, and trust Him to provide for our every need, we will experience abundant life.
God the provider provides the resources we need to experience wellness.
Physical Wellness is achieved by :
Our living, while more enjoyable when all elements of wellness are operating in peak condition, is facilitated by our economic health. In the era in which we live we are for the most part dependent on our finances to provide the necessary resources for life. Our free will gifts to God return to us in immeasurable amounts. We cannot out give God.
As communal beings comfort and peace with ourselves are never enough for us. There is always the longing to share our lives with others. We crave person to person sharing, touching, approval and communicating and are therefore constantly involved in some social encounter with others.
Our God loves us so much He was willing to send His Son to earth and a humiliating death on the cross so that we could live life beyond our wildest dream. Jesus gave His life. What are you willing to commit to Jesus as you share in this abundant life He assures us?
Share your commitment in comments below.
Imagine standing at the cross on the the first Good Friday. All your life you have been anticipating God sending a person who will rescue you from your oppressors and set your spirit free. You were sure this person was Jesus Christ but here he is hanging on a cross, just a few breaths away from his last one. You are asking yourself all these questions that you wish you had definitive answers to. Is He the Messiah? If He is why doesn't He do something? Show these tyrants who is really in charge. If he is not, how could I have been so gullible? Who is he? Why did he pretend to be the Messiah? How do I face the Scribes and Pharisees? What will they do when I admit they were right and I was wrong? How do I face my neighbour, Saul, who was sure he was a fake. How could I have been so stupid? But then again I could be right. What did Isaiah say? He will be "wounded for our transgressions". Could this be how He will be wounded? How could God choose such a painful degrading manner? He did say He will come back to life in three days. I'll just have to wait and see. In the mean time I'll just have to avoid Saul, the scribes and pharisees.
Fast forward to Sunday morning. After the longest Friday and Saturday of your life you are in a room with the other disciples. Some women had gone to the tomb to embalm Jesus' body but the tomb was empty. They saw Him nearby and spoke with Him. He is ALIVE. What is your reaction? Relief? Joy unspeakable? Peace of mind and Spirit? What?
Christ is still alive today over 2000 years since that first Resurrection Day. He is the only person to have risen from the dead and not die a second time. For many persons that first Resurrection Day was the beginning of the Church, a new dawn for believers in God. What is your reaction today as you celebrate another Resurrection Day? Happy your Saviour is alive? At peace with God and your siblings in Christ? Enjoying a deep connection with God? Does He have your undivided attention or is He sharing 'His time' with all your other loves? He is a jealous God and requires that His time be His alone. Let today's Resurrection Day be a day of beginnings for you. That thing God has been speaking to you about for years, yes that same project or situation you keep telling Him yes Lord I am going to do it. As soon as my current situation resolves itself or as soon as I finish this activity I am currently working on. The situation resolved itself sometime ago and you have completed the activity. What is your excuse now? Remember He died that you may live. Whatever He asks of us pales in comparison to His experiencing an agonizing degrading death on a cross.
Today is a new dawn. Take the first step towards obedience to Christ. Don't be found wanting when we meet Him face to face on that final Resurrection Morn. I am committing to encourage persons faith each day by posting in my blog or Facebook group.
Share in the comments below the step you will be taking today to begin a new commitment to God.