Category Archives: Pursuing holiness

God’s unfailing love!

I was reading Psalm 36 and had to share it with you! What a wonderful description of God’s character! What a contrast with the wicked!

“Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are.Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good. They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil.Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.    How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts. 11 Don’t let the proud trample me or the wicked push me around. 12 Look! Those who do evil have fallen! They are thrown down, never to rise again.”

These are the notes I wrote on my Bible the last time I read this Psalm and I am grateful to God I went back to it today.

Verses 1-4 – the wicked sin because they have no fear of God at all. They refuse Him as king and because of that they can’t see their corrupt and evil hearts. These verses remind us that people who don’t know God will act in ways that will be against His desires.

Verses 5-9 – this is a beautiful description of God’s character and His love. Oh the magnitude of His righteousness and justice! What a contrast! God is always ready to show His love to those that love and fear Him.

Verses 10-11 – a prayer for protection from those wicked in heart.

Verse 12 – the certainty of the wicked man’s fate: they will be defeated. They will never rise again.

It was so nice to read these notes and be reminded that God’s love is greater than the wicked! His righteousness and justice are perfect! He will never fail!  In fact, verse 12 tells is that the wicked will be destroyed.

God bless!

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.

The broken lamp!

My son had a lamp in his room that was constantly breaking. No matter how many new bulbs I bought it blew each one up in a matter of days. It was really interesting because it would flicker as well. Sometimes it would go off and then a few hours later go back on again. My son was very upset about it, because he does not like the dark and the lamp was not doing its job properly. Eventually I just bought a new one. And this one works just fine and illuminates the whole room.

Have a look at Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

We are to shine the light of Jesus in the dark and lost world we live in. We have been given he message of Salvation to the world and we therefore have been given a task. People are dying every day and they are heading to an eternity of separation from God. The way we live needs to impact those people around us.

We are like broken lamps when we take our eyes off the goal. Our light flickers when we let God’s truths be pushed away from our hearts. We let the light go out when we question and doubt the power God has over us and the whole universe He has created. When we do that, those around us remain in the dark.

As with the broken lamp, sometimes just changing the bulb won’t fix the problem. If our hearts are not right all the bulbs will blow up! It could just be that we are enjoying this world too much. If that is the case, we need a new lamp. We need a renewed commitment to live for God and Him alone so the light shines all the time.

May we be working lamps for His glory!

All I have is Christ!

I came across an animation and a song that has really touched me. It has made me think about the way I live and how I will stand on the day, and this day will come, I will be faced with that choice: will you deny Christ and live or will you follow Him and die?! I may not have a gun pointed at me, but the way our culture and society is going, we will certainly face more persecution for being Christians.

I pray that I will stand firm whatever the cost! I pray that I will always choose to say that “All I have is Christ”  and “Alleluia! Jesus is my life!”

God bless.

3 points!

We visited Scotland for the autumn half-term in 2011. It was very beautiful there and I would love to return one day. We visited a castle and went up a mountain. We stayed in a fantastic resort and built many fond memories while we were there for the week. One thing I regret about that trip: 3 point on my driving license! Unfortunately, I was caught speeding. I was not aware of the change in the speed limit in a stretch of road and the camera saw me. I was ashamed, still am, and thought it so unfair because I did not know, or did not notice the sign, which I am sure, was placed somewhere to let motorists know the speed changed. Still my ignorance cost me 3 points on my license!

I was embarrassed but also I felt I was not being given any chance to explain myself, after all, I did not know the speed limit had changed in that part of the road. I did not see the sign! How dare they send me a letter and fine me, AND give me 3 points on my license!

I am afraid, when it comes to the law, ignorance is not a good defence. I did not know, or did not notice the change, but it was my job to do so. I should have been more careful. So, I had to swallow my pride, pay the fine and get the points, which will disappear from my license in due course.

This made me think about our Christian lives. If we don’t know the “laws” given by our God about how we should live our lives, we, will suffer the consequences of our mistakes. The Bible tells us in Matthew 22:29

“Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

If we don’t know the Scriptures and what it teaches, and if we do not practice it, we will certainly have problems in our lives. Problems in our marriages, problems with bring up our children, problems with our boss, problems with our relationships, problems with our finances. We would have problems in all areas of our lives. The Bible teaches us about all areas of our lives. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read:

” All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”  (New Living Translation)

That is why it is important that we try to be at church on Sundays, so we can  hear the Bible explained and we can learn what God teaches us about life. It is also important we try to attend our house group meetings, or youth group, or the weekend away the church has organized. As a matter of fact, any other activity where we have the opportunity to learn from the Bible. You see, when we choose to do other things instead of getting to know the Bible better we can’t use the excuse we didn’t know when something goes wrong in our lives. Ignorance is also a sin.

With my driving license points episode, I will be cleared of the consequences of my mistake soon, but when something goes terribly wrong in our lives because we did not know the Scriptures, the consequences will live with us for the rest of our lives. May God grant us the desire to learn more about His ways and His decrees so we can put it into practice in our lives.

“Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:33-34”

Knitting a scarf!

It has been a very cold winter and we have just returned from a lovely week of holiday! Lots of gloves, scarves and hats everywhere in our house at the moment! This made me think of how fortunate I was to have learnt to knit when I was a child. My grandma taught me. We used to visit her on a Sunday and after lunch she would get her needles out and very patiently she would show us what to do. Those were fun days. Unfortunately, she can’t knit anymore because of arthritis but she still helps me when I get stuck reading a pattern!

Recently I decided to make a ruffled scarf. My husband was away on a business trip and I sat down every evening to work on it. It occurred to me that knitting a scarf is very much like living our Christian lives. First you cast on the stitches. That is your foundation. Then you work on each row, making sure to keep the right side of the wool facing the right way (for the ruffled scarf). You carry on until you reach the length you desired and finally you cast the stitches off. During the process, if you are not being careful, you might lose a stitch or add one. When that happens you need to undo the stitches or rows above it in order to correct it. So, focus is important. As you practice you improve your rhythm and soon you are knitting very quickly! I really enjoyed the process and the scarf turned out so pretty that I went out and bought some more wool and knitted another one!

When we are living our Christian lives we cast on the stitches as well, i.e., we give all of our heart to Jesus and put our trust completely in Him. That is our foundation. Then we work each row – we let God take control of each area of our lives and we seek to do what He teaches us in the Bible. We make sure we are looking at the cross of Jesus to keep the right way. We carry on until we reach the end of the race and finally we present our lives before the throne of the King. During the process if we are not careful, we might lose our way or add something to the foundation of our faith. When that happens we need to go back, repent, confess it to Jesus and depend on Him above all things. So, focus on Him is important. As we live our lives seeking to please our King we become more aware of His love for us and we desire to keep loving Him back!

Happy knitting!

A letter from hell

Yesterday I saw a post from one of my friends on Facebook that left me thinking a lot about my witness to those around me that are lost and heading for destruction.

The post was a video and it was called “A letter from hell” about two best friends. One was a Christian and the other was not. The friend that was not saved died in a car crash and was heading for the place of eternal separation from God and he wrote a letter back to his friend to ask him why he had never told him about Jesus. He was his best friend and they shared lots of things but the one thing that could have kept him away from that terrible place was kept from him.

There is an urgency in this matter. We do not know how long each one of us will live. Only God knows that. While we are here lots of people are crossing our paths. Some stay and are dear to us, some go on their way and we might only have one chance. Are we more concerned about small talk or are we telling them that Jesus love them and that He IS the ONLY way to heaven?

Have I forgotten that when the end comes, those that don’t have their names written in the book of life will be in torment for ever and ever?  Telling people about Jesus ought to be my priority even if it costs friendships and my comfort zone. I cannot change people’s hearts, that is the work of God in them, but I can tell them about Him and point them to the cross.

As I am here writing this post I am also saying a prayer in my heart, asking God to forgive me for letting so many opportunities pass me by. Most of the time because I am afraid of what people will think of me. It is not about me anyway. It is about JESUS and the salvation that only He can offer people.

In His mercy, may He help me be bold and strong to share to each and every one of my friends about Him.

 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15