Monthly Archives: March 2013

Set your heart on Him!

“Do not talk Jesus Christ and set your heart on the world.” Ignatius of Antioch

I read this quote on my sister-in-law status update on Facebook today. I felt very challenged by it. How wonderful would it be that I could live a life that reflects all the things I know and say about Jesus. How wonderful would it be if I be more preoccupied in pleasing Him than other people. How amazing would it feel to let go of my control freak self and give everything to Him every single day of my life! How fantastic would it be if every time I thought of a verse from the Bible challenging me I would bow my knees and confess to God I am sorry I have tried to do things my way.

I love Jesus and I am so grateful that He loved me first and gave His life for me so I could be part of His family. What a price He paid for me!

I want to talk Jesus Christ and always set my heart on Him.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30

Sharing our lives!

Tuesdays is a really busy day for us. Apart from the normal school run in the mornings, housework, shopping there is also mum’s Bible study in the morning, some baking for youth group in the afternoon and the group meeting at our house. Playing with the kids and cooking meals are also included in the routine. It is busy, but it is also one of my favorite days of the week. I get to spend time with some amazing women being encouraged to walk closer to God and to live for Him.

This morning was no different. The study was based on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12:

You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed – God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

We started off making a list of things we do during our waking hours.  We then moved on to talk about Paul’s, Silas’ and Timothy’s attitude towards the Thessalonians and we realized that they cared deeply for them. They weren’t putting on a mask to attract them and trick them (v3, 5) nor were they trying to please people (v4). They loved them as a mother loves their children and dealt with them like a father deals with their children (v7, 11).

The main point of the study was talking about v8 “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well”. We discussed the fact that they go hand in hand and if we shared the Gospel and did not share our lives, it would not be genuine or attractive to other people. If we shared our lives but did not share the Gospel then our lives would have no purpose and we would not be obeying God’s commands. So sharing the Gospel and sharing our lives are linked and are essential.

Reading v7 to 12 we had to answer what kind of meeting and/or event, Paul and his friends strategically used to attract people and share the Gospel with them. They didn’t use any meetings really. we get so worried about organizing church meetings and events to attract people and here we see the great apostle Paul living his life normally. That is not to say that church meetings and events are not important, they are and have a purpose and place. The verses list things that were normal day-to-day. It was most encouraging to see that we do not have to add 20 more hours to our days to organise big gatherings so we can share our lives with people who need to know about Jesus. It is all about using my whole day, all the normal activities we do to share both Gospel and lives with others.

The apostle Paul and his fellow Christian workers were living their lives normally,  but the difference was that the Gospel was in the centre of everything they did.

What a challenge that is! To keep all the things listed on our piece of paper happening but have the Gospel as our focus!

May our Lord help us share the Gospel and our lives with others for His honour and glory!

How big is our God?

How big is our God? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Has anybody ever asked you? I read on Facebook this week a little post that was something like this:

A little boy asked his daddy: ‘daddy how big is God?’. His daddy pointed to an aeroplane flying in the sky and asked the boy: ‘how big is that plane?’. The boy replied: ‘very small’. Then the daddy took the little boy to the airport and as they walked to a big glass window, he said to the boy: ‘how big is the plane now?’. The boy smiled and said: ‘very big daddy’. See, with God it is the same: the closer you are to Him the bigger He is!

I love it! So simple and yet so profound!

There are times in our lives when we wonder how big God is. These are the times when we are not very close to Him. So, we find it difficult to see Him and trust in Him. It is almost like the plane flying high up in the sky: it is there but so small and so far. God is there, but because we are not in perfect communion with Him we see Him far away and small. Are we worrying too much about things that are not important? Are we going through a difficult situation and lost sight of His love? Are we filling up our time with to do things and not leaving any time to feed our souls and get to know our Maker? Are we falling in love with the world and moving away from Him?

Perhaps we should remind ourselves of some of the amazing things that God has done throughout history: He created the world, He sent a big flood to judge the whole world that was rebelling against him, but saved Noah and his family. He rescued his people from Egypt and parted the sea so they could escape pharaoh’s army. He guided his people through the desert day and night and provided food for them. He sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. These are only some of the things that God did. You might think: that is fine, but those things happened a long time ago in a very far away land.

Look closer: He also loved us so much that He gave his own son to die for us on the cross. He adopted us into his family! He offered us eternal live and a relationship with Him through His Son. WOW! How enormous is that love? How big is that? The more we get to know God the more we will see his love for us.

May He help us to do just that: get ever so close to Him so we can see Him as He is: Our Father, our Saviour, the King – our King. Our rescuer and our friend.

“Glorify your Son”

A few weeks ago in our church we had a sermon that was really good. We are going through the book of John in the New Testament. I had read the passage many times during my Christian life, but it was the first time I actually looked at it attentively. The truths about Jesus in this passage are amazing! We read the whole of chapter 17 but focused on the first 5 verses:

“After Jesus said this, he looked towards heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

John 17:1-5

We are so used to watching celebrities on TV seeking glory for themselves. They spend an obscene amount of money on dresses and make up in the hope that a photograph will appear in the front page of a paper or magazine. More so, they hope that everyone would be talking about what they wore at that night at the Oscar’s.

Jesus is not seeking that kind of glory here. In fact, it is almost the opposite.

Here are some of my notes:

Jesus was going to be glorified on the cross and ultimately the glory He was seeking was for the Father. Jesus knew that only God can make people see Him glorified on the cross.

Jesus wants people to rejoice in God because of His immense love that gave His Son to die for our sake. He died the death that we deserve to give us the life we need.

Eternal life is not just about going on forever. Eternal life is about knowing God and Jesus. Jesus brought God glory by doing the work He was sent to do.

Jesus is now returning to His Father and He was asking for the glory that was rightfully His to be restored to Him.

This last point made me think of the aspect of the cross that we don’t normally think about. Jesus, the King, the One who was there from the beginning of times with God in His full glory, He gave that glory up to come down to earth and live like a man, and die for man to give man life with God. It is so much easier to think of Jesus as the baby, the man who walked the earth and preached sermons, and did many miraculous signs and suffered. But it is harder to picture Him before the cross in glory with the Father. Jesus was not asking for something as a recognition for His work. No. The glory was His by right. I guess this made me appreciate even more what He did for me on the cross. He left all his splendor and Majesty for a time to suffer for me.

Jesus’s prayer was answered on the cross and his resurrection. through history He has been made known to people who recognised Him as the King and saw Him glorified. Do we all know Him as the Sovereign over the whole world? Do we recognize what He has done for us? If the answer is no, maybe this is a good time to consider these things. If we answered yes, are we still delighting in giving Jesus all the glory that He deserves? Are we filling our hearts with things that are pushing Him to a little corner of our lives?

May He always give us the desire and the strength to give Him everything for His glory.

God bless.

And I thought my hearing was bad!

This made me laugh because I thought my hearing was bad! I guess I am ok, actually! 🙂

Have a blessed weekend!

Acts 2:38

A woman had just returned to her home from an evening of church services, when she was startled by an intruder. She caught the man in the act of robbing her home of its valuables and yelled, “Stop! Acts 2:38! (repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven).”

The burglar stopped in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done.

As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar, “Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture to you.”

‘Scripture?’ replied the burglar. ‘She said she had an axe and two 38s!’