Saturday, September 2, 2017

Marlon Lawrence Painting

Marlon Lawrence Painting up for auction. 

Please support us, the funds raised will go to our church 
the Immanuel Church of the Nazarene,  to help us to pay our district budgets.  

Starting price from R3 500. 

Please email for more information. 

Marlon Lawrence Painting 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Excel in the grace of giving

2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Text verse 7

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.
— Winston Churchill
Stand out in… faith
Stand out in….speech
Stand out in… knowledge
Stand out in…earnestness
Stand out in…love
Stand out on giving

Reasons to give –MONEY-to the work of the Lord:
1. Partnership
Because it’s a Partnership with believers to advance the Kingdom of God ie you have a “share” in the Church –become a shareholder.

2. Turnover
If your investment is high, your turnover will be high too ie your harvest/end-result will be impacted by how much you put in

3. Generosity Pays
God loves generous givers
HE is the most GENEROUS GIVER.

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” 
― Amy Carmichael

By Faith the what ifs of your life can become a reality

Hebrews 11: 1 -2

What if -Noah NEVER built the Ark?

What if -Abraham decided to stay in his hometown when God told him to pack up and go?;or 
Doubted that God would bless them with a child of their own? Or
He was unwilling to sacrifice Isaac?
Through who would God have blessed the human race?

What if- Joseph was not a man of integrity and forgiveness?

What if-Moses’ mom did not hide Moses from the king? 
What if-Moses decided to stay in the luxurious life of royalty he grew up in and he adopted the attitude that everyone should fight for themselves?

What if your desire/dream to do….or to be…..or to have….CAN become a reality?

Faith defined
It is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see (Bible)
It is calling that which is in another dimension to the reality of the senses.

A) Practical steps to follow to make a dream a reality
Must have a vision of it-i.e see it in the minds-eye
Keep it alive in your thoughts
Often meditate on the Promises God has given you
Prepare your mind to take hold of the dream
Speak the Word over your dream or situation
The Word should never depart from your mouth
Proverbs 10: 31a; 21 or 32

Be bold
Follow the action that will lead to the end product
Remain self-controlled

B) Why should you have faith in God?
Proverbs 10:24(B)  & Psalm 145
He is faithful
He is able to fulfil the desires of those who fear Him
He hears us when we call on Him
He is near you
He watches over you
1 John 5:14-15

What if  Jesus was not born?
What if he never died?
The human race would have been eternally separated from God
What if Jesus did not rise up from the grave?
We would have been hopeless ,powerless and total failures during trials and difficulties
We would Not have any reason to have faith in Him.
We would not have had any one to understand our suffering and pain
Without Jesus our dreams and hopes would have been impossible to achieve.
 Your dream/desire to do ……
Your dream/desire to be……
Your dream /desire to have……
Can become a reality by faith


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Prepare for an emergency

Luke 21:5-19; 34-36 

It sounds impossible to prepare for an emergency.
No one knows when an emergency will strike on them, so how can anyone be prepared for it?
An emergency = an unexpected/sudden traumatic event/situation eg 
an accident tornado –as experienced in Joburg on Wednesday
a sudden  illness  that results in death eg SA racer who died whilst climbing Kilimandjaro.
An emergency is something that happens beyond our control or fore-knowledge.
We can only prepare ourselves in part in life through the following:
Medical Aid plans/schemes
Life Policies & Wills
Insurance covers
CPR, life-saving rescue equipment
Self-defense classes etc.
However, there still is an element of surprise to it in spite of all our “so-called preparedness”.
Jesus warned us-humanity- to prepare for an emergency that will have a great impact on our eternal destination: His Second Coming / Return.

1.   One way of preparing ourselves is to take note of the events that will introduce this event:
Anti-Christ (people confessing to be Christ)-will cause spiritual deception
Cold/distant faith –those who confess Christ to be their Lord will become indifferent and intolerant toward others
The church/Body of Christ can be likened to a measuring-line/stick. The love of many believers will disappear or grow cold.
Faith of believers will be greatly tested.

Relations between people
Wars & Revolutions-nations against nations
Family conflicts & betrayals
Senseless killings 
Immorality & Corruption

Great earthquakes,
Tossing of the sea (Tsunami’s ???)
Signs in the sun, moon & stars

2. Second way to prepare yourself 
Protect your heart against the anxieties of life. This is a distracting tactic to take your eyes off Christ.
Do not let your heart be troubled; give it to Jesus. Problems weigh the heart down.
It is a barrier between you and the Holy Spirit 

3. Thirdly-
be always on the lookout for His return.
watch & pray.

Luke 18 :8
When the Son of man comes will He find faith on the earth?
Jesus warned us of His coming, but will there be people who are waiting for Him with excitement-in a way that we look forward to seeing a loved one again after a long separation?
Will the deception be so great that even those who were waiting for Him, would have given up by then?  
Prepare yourself for His return.
It will be un-expectantly, therefore always ensure that you are in His will.
Make sure that your actions, attitude or thoughts bring Him glory.

Jesus will keep you from stumbling

Jude 1:24

In May 1954, Roger Bannister, a British athlete became the first person to run the mile in less than 4 minutes.
However, John Landy of Australia broke his record a month later by 1.4 seconds.
The two athletes met for a historic race on the 7th of August that same year.
All eyes were on the two runners to the dismay of the others.
John was ahead as they neared the finish line.
He looked over his shoulder to see where Roger was and stumbled….
Unfortunately, he missed the first prize.

All of us are in a race. Jesus will be waiting for each and every person at the finish line with a Reward in His hands.
However there is a huge possibility that we can miss the prize, just like John Landy did.
A fall/stumble cost him a gold medal. It can cost us eternity.
Don’t look around you or behind you. Look straight ahead of you, then you will live in eternity.
So what must you do when or if you do stumble? The reality is that you will stumble/ fall at times, but don’t remain in that position. Get up again and try again. Ask the Lord to strengthen you and to keep you from falling. Men of faith stumbled too, but in the end they were victorious.

Peter (See Matthew 14: 22-33)
He began to drown when he took his eye off Jesus and looked at the waves around him
Jesus was displeased with him, because he doubted.
“A negative focus can result in our entirely missing the possibilities placed in our path”
(Anne Wilson Schaef)

David ( see 2 Samuel  Chapter 11;)
He stumbled when he became idle. He sent the men to the battle ground whilst he was lazing around. 
God was displeased with David because he committed adultery and murder.
“Idleness is to the human mind like rust to iron” Ezra Cornell

Samson ( See Judges Chapter 13-16)
He stumbled because of his moral weakness/lust of the flesh.
All the women he got involved with, brought him into trouble.
The last one, Delilah cost him his eyesight and life eventually.
Samson started relying in his own powers instead of God
“Anything cracked, will shatter at a touch”(Ovid)

Obvious causes that will cause you to stumble in your spiritual walk:
Taking your eyes off Jesus/the Word

Causes that are difficult to recognise
Sin committed in secret (envy, unforgiveness, strife, critical spirits, resentment)

Galatian 5 :16-17
How can you be kept from stumbling?
Keep your eyes on Jesus through His Word NOT people
Fellowship with believers
Commitment/Surrender to Jesus
Look ahead (forget the past)

Look & Live Hymn 372

Attitude of the Heart

Mark 15 :24-39 - Text v 39

The difference between the people who accepts Christ and those who reject Him is the attitude of
their hearts.
Some saw the miracles Christ performed, but remained bystanders
While others saw it too and they became His disciples.
Some heard His words of wisdom and enlightenment, but they refused to accept it as truth
While others heard it too and they were transformed by every Word as they accepted it as life.
Some experienced the touch of Jesus, but they showed no gratitude
While others experienced it too and they were devoted to Him unto death as a sign of their

The Centurion at the foot of the cross was someone whose attitude of the heart was pure and incorruptible.
He was touched and transformed by what he saw, heard and experienced during the crucifixion.
While many turned back in the same state of mind of sinfulness.
He became a disciple, while others remained bystanders.
Reason for the difference????

He heard…
Jesus’ cry when He asked the Father why He had forsaken Him
Jesus’ prayer when He asked the Father to forgive the people
Jesus’ reassurance to the criminal that he will be with Him in paradise
Jesus instructed John to care for Mary, who was a widow at the time
Jesus’ committed His spirit to the Father before he breathed out His last breath
Jesus said it is finished
The deep brokenness within His soul!!

He saw…
How Jesus died without anger and bitterness
How Jesus did not retaliate against those who mocked and insulted Him.
How Jesus still had love and mercy in His heart toward those who betrayed Him.
When one of the soldiers pierced His side a spear and there was a sudden flow of water and blood.
The expression of love, peace and achievement on Jesus face

He experienced….
The 3hr darkness when the sun stopped shining
The earthquake, the tombs that broke open
A life-changing encounter/moment with Jesus

Why did the other people who surrounded Jesus not realize who He was too???

Hebrews 4 :12
Jesus has the power to search every heart and to renew it through His Holy Spirit.
He has the power to reveal the hidden secrets and to lay it bare-ie to expose sinfulness.
However, He it is not in His nature to name and shame or condemn any person. He wants every
person to confess their sins .This reveals that we take responsibility our actions.
If you are willing to see, you will see His miracles all around you…..
If you are willing to hear, you will hear when He speaks to you….
If you are willing to experience His greatness, you will experience it.
The centurion was not influenced by Theology since he was a Gentile, but he nailed Jesus’ identity spot-on!!  

The days of the blameless are known to the Lord

Psalm 37 
Text verse 34

Who are the blameless?
Those who trust in God
Who do good
Who find pleasure in God
Who commit their plans/future/lives to Him
Who do not become anxious in time of trouble
Who do not sin when they become angry
Who are generous givers

What is their reward?
Will enjoy great peace
Their inheritance will endure forever
Will be strong in the time of disaster
Will enjoy plenty in the time of famine
Will not fall even though they may stumble
Their children are blessed
Will NEVER be forsaken by God
Will be protected forever
Will not be left in the power of the wicked
Will be exalted/lifted up
Will inherit the land
Which “land”? Does it refer to a geographical one?

What does “days” refer to?

God blesses and gives honor to all who trust in Him
Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and vice versa.
In leadership-blameless-ness/ righteousness leads to the exaltation of  a nation.
Jesus was exalted to the right hand of the Father through His death & resurrection.

Kings who tried to exalt themselves were humbled:
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
Sennacherib of Assyria

God’s exaltation in regard to a nation was demonstrated by:
Mighty acts on behalf of the Hebrew people (Ex 15 : 1,6)
Prosperity, spiritual and material blessing (Genesis 24; 35)
The legacy left by those whom God uplifted 

Psalm 39 :4
Show me, oh Lord, my life’s end and
The number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Impressive qualities

Luke 8: 4-15

“The Noble man makes noble plans and by noble deeds he stands” 
The word “noble” is associated with someone of upper-class like aristocrats/royalty because it describes a person who possesses impressive/admirable/superior/dignified/fine qualities.
Such a person is even admired and respected by his/her opponents, enemies or adversaries.
Queen Elizabeth of England demands respect by her very presence.
 She would no doubt stand out in a crowd even if people did not know who she really is, whether she wears a crown or not or is surrounded by bodyguards or not.

The person on the inside reflects on the outward.
People were attracted to Jesus by the thousands not only because of the miracles He performed, but because of His inner qualities and what proceeded from His mouth.
The Queen herself had the following to say about Jesus:”Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves-from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique Person-neither a philosopher nor a general (important though they are)-but a Saviour, with the power to forgive” (2011)

King Jesus gave the following Parable of the sower and the soil:
A. Natural Seed
With regard to the seed scattered-
Some were trampled on
Some were eaten up by birds
Some withered once it came up
Some were choked by weeds and thorns
Some grew and produced a good crop

With regard to the place where it was sown:
The pathway
The rocks
The unprepared soil (where thorns & weed grow too)
The prepared soil (cleaned up; broken up & fertilised)

B. The seed as the Word of God
Factors that stifles the growth of the seed 
The devil who sows doubt
No rootedness in the Word
Life’s worries, riches and pleasures 

Factors that lead to growth (How noble qualities are developed)
Hearing the Word
Reflecting/Meditating on the Word
Discussing the Word

Effects of spiritual growth 
Possesses an Impressive character
Lives for an honourable purpose
Fulfils a dignified function
Impacts those associated with

Ruth was a woman who possessed impressive qualities. 
It developed when she received and accepted the Only Living God (that her mother-in-law, Naomi served) as her own. 
Life’s worries did not choke her new-found belief when her husband died.
Her heart remained uncorrupted /undefiled even during famine and poverty.
She was known by her townsmen as a noble woman.
She was rewarded by becoming the great-grandmother of King David and part of the lineage of Jesus.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Perfecting holiness out of reverence for God

Matthew 19:16-22

“The more holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him”
(Charles Spurgeon.
Point of sanctification is experienced when as believers realize that we cannot progress in our relationship with God because of His holiness and our unholiness.
A Certain young man experienced this and so asked Jesus what he should do about it.
Jesus conveyed that he needs to assess the treasure of his heart.  

His Desire
This young man had a desire to obtain eternal life, because he experienced the presence and power of God as he faithfully observed the commandments. The crisis point: he was unwilling to let go of his earthly treasure.
He was caught in between.
Jesus knew his heart and therefore prompted him to make a decision.
2 kingdoms cannot coincide- God’s and the world’s.

He determined his own destiny
By the choices he made. He chose a destination that had no lasting value.
He chose to hold onto the world’s treasures & pleasures
The treasures of the heart reveal the inner-man.
The desire to please God may be existent in the heart, but the crisis point choice will reveal how deep that desire really is.

His Dream
He accumulated wealth so that he will not need to experience a shortage/lack- to be independent and self-sufficient. No problem with that in itself.
God wants us to prosper and enjoy life, but it should never make us independent of Him.
Even though we may build up riches; we still have to trust in God.
Our loyalty will be tested at some point.
He experienced a sense of discontentment/unhappiness in his life in the midst of his riches.
Why?? His dream was in conflict with God’s original plan for his life.
God’s dream was to build a relationship with the young man, but he built a relationship with his treasures.
He grew to a certain level in his spiritual journey therefore his adherence to the commandments.
This young man lost his first love.
God treasures the relationship with humanity more than everything else he has created. This is why Jesus came to earth to reconcile us to the Father.

The young man experienced the need for a deeper experience with God.
His question: “What do I still lack?” to Jesus reveals this: he reached the Point of Sanctification.
Testing Time: Will the Desire and the Choice measure up?
Will the intent of the heart and the action connect/unite? (they are 2 totally different issues)

The young man also had the wrong perception that good deeds and observance of the Law will lead
to eternal life.

What do you lack/have a need of in your spiritual life?

“To KNOW the will of God
Is the greatest KNOWLEDGE”

To FIND the will of God
Is the greatest DISCOVERY”

To DO the will of God
Is the greatest ACHIEVEMENT”   (Author unknown)

Let us therefore strive towards perfection of holiness out of reverence for a holy God!

Pentecostal holiness

A personal Pentecost

Some Christians seem to think that holiness is unnatural and therefore unnecessary.

Holiness actually makes us what God originally intended in mankind.
Adam was a perfect person before he fell into sin.
The first Adam passed his sinful nature onto the entire human race. Jesus came to restore us to the original state of dignity and honour and moral goodness.
God’s love for the world, which is you and me, is so much that He planned to restore us through the Second Adam.

The Pentecostal baptism with the Holy Spirit is the only solution to reach the impossible ethical standard that God requires for us.
Such a life-changing experience of the work of God’s Holy Spirit entering into our hearts is an exciting, wonderful experience that FAITH alone can bring.

Because of His own holiness, the Holy Spirit cleanses the believer’s heart; of the filth of sin. He starts the perfecting process of developing his own character into the born-again believer, thereby empowering him for effective Christian witness.

Our salvation is free, yet it has an enormous price. It is a great disappointment that many have not paid the full price for such a genuinely Pentecostal experience. Too often we are inclined to settle for a loveless, passionless profession of holiness that has no effect on others who are supposed to be won over to want what is a notable change in the life of the person who claims to be sanctified.
What you are speaks louder than your words.

Acts 2:38-40
38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-- for all whom the Lord our God will call."
 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."

The original Pentecost can never be repeated. The mighty rushing of the wind,
The tongues of fire; and the ability to communicate the Gospel, in an unlearned language.
But the gift of the indwelling Spirit of God is universally available to God’s people; to every generation, after generation until Jesus comes to fetch His people. There are only two types of people living in this world:  Holy and unholy people.
"Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."

Why do we preach holiness? Because. . .  
 . . .It is God’s purpose to have a holy relationship with the greatest object of His creation.
God loves the world, which is you and me, so much that He wants to restore us to have fellowship with Him through the Second Adam.

Matt 7: 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Matt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart . . . .for they will see God.

. . . Jesus came and lived and died to cleanse the sinful world of their sins and to be made holy.

Matt 1:12 Call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

. . . It is the essential prerequisite of salvation allowing entrance into God’s holy kingdom (heaven).
Heb 12:14  without holiness, no one will see the Lord.

The work of the Holy Spirit can be seen in the impact of the Spirit's moving in our times. Many of us who understand our Wesleyan doctrine, are coming to see clearly that the heart of holiness is to be filled, cleansed, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and, further, that the baptism with the Spirit is a baptism of love.

acquainted with the teaching about righteousness
Who is the Holy Spirit? By His glorification "the last Adam became a life-giving spirit (I Corinthians 15:45).
45 So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; {45 Gen. 2:7} the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.
 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.
 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.

49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

Christ will finally change our lowly existence to be like His glorious heavenly existence,
(Phil 3:20, NIV).
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

We are programmed to be conformed to the image of the Son,

Rom 8:29. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

(2 Cor 3:18, NASB)
 And so we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit".

The Holy Spirit is the sanctifying Spirit of Christ.
It was the spiritual genius of John Wesley that he saw with penetrating clarity that this sanctifying ministry of the Spirit lies at the very heart of Christ's redemptive activity.
In his classic interpretation of John Wesley, George Croft Cell says:
"Wesley's theocentric doctrine of Christian experience is first, last, always a doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Holiness is the primary attribute of the Christian Church. Holiness is the essential quality of Christian experience. Holiness is the third term of the Trinitarian revelation of God. This is the highest conceivable position for the doctrine of holiness in the Christian faith and interpretation.

Don’t depend only on your initial Pentecost experience, you can enjoy many refreshing renewals of your spiritual growth when you ask for the Holy Spirit to cleanse you afresh at any time.
Holiness allows us to have intimate relationship with God
Holiness is made possible though the life and death of Jesus Christ, our Saviour
Holiness is essentially the prerequisite component of our salvation to enter the Holy Zion of God.

Motherhood is NOT defined by the physical aspects of giving birth only

Psalm 113:9 

In tribal society a woman’s “status” was defined by the number of children/sons she brought into the world.
A Mother displays the glory of God through her every being-ie , Character,  competencies, dedication, selflessness, patience and the raising of her children . 
Barrenness is not an impossibility to God.
Sarah was one of the many women who experienced a miracle.  
God promised Abram that Sarah will be the Mother of all nations, but it was only realized through the third generation-Jacob and Rachel.
Rachel was a woman who overcame the challenge of barrenness through the birth of Joseph and Benjamin. Unfortunately she died while giving birth to Benjamin.
Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh received a double blessing from Jacob.
Read Genesis from Chapter 29 to Chapter 49

Her success as a mother is evident through the life of Joseph, who became a powerful, influential ruler in Egypt.
Joseph was able to resist the sexual temptations that Potiphar’s wife made towards him. 
He had the Spirit of God in him and was therefore wise and discerning in governance and the interpretation of dreams. 
He prospered during adversity because of a good attitude and God’s favour on him
Do whatever your hands find to do, with excellence.
Do it as unto the Lord, not for praises from people/children/family. 

She was not exempted from pain and problems in her life, but she handled her situations and challenges in a dignified and graceful manner at times and sometimes not.
She experienced great emotional turmoil at times 
Laban, her dad, married her sister (Leah) off to Jacob; before she could marry him
This led to insecurities; envy toward Leah.
She got angry and sad at times
She protected her family ‘s financial well-being  and future
What is extraordinary about Rachel’s story is that her son, Joseph came to the Hebrew nation’s rescue during the famine. 
She prepared him for this role as leader during his childhood. Mothers have the privilege to lay 
the foundation in a child’s life like a value system. 
She is highly regarded by the Jewish nation, even though Leah was Jacob’s first wife. 

Rachel must have raised Joseph by setting the example this is why he made such a remarkable impact wherever he found himself.
He in return, influenced and raised his 2 oldest sons-Manassah and Ephraim to be leaders of great nations.
When Jacob met them, he adopted them as his own; and blessed them with a double blessing.
She did not only have a beautiful appearance, but was beautiful from within too.
She was willing to risk her life to make Jacob a happy and proud father-.

There are numerous children, without parents/mothers .Likewise, there are numerous parents who cannot have children. 
Child-headed households in South Africa are becoming a norm in some communities.
Some children may have biological mothers, but they are failing in their roles as caregivers, nurturers, teachers, mentors and Intercessors. 

God can make any woman a happy mother; even if she is barren.
He can do so by giving her a baby of her own or he can give her adopted children to care for.
Ways in which a Mother can represent Christ through :
Setting the example when raising her children (her own or as a Surrogate Mother) to be caring, well-balanced, God-fearing individuals.
Whatever she puts her time and energy to, is done in excellence
By being  extraordinary through her personality and diligence in following His Commands
Motherhood is not defined by the physical aspect of giving birth only, but by a woman’s 
emotional, spiritual and mental input in someone else’s life.


It prepares us for the Second Coming of Christ
2 Peter 3 :2-18

Seasons are both temporary & permanent.
 temporary –bound within a specific period. 
permanent –linked to earth’s existence. 
Genesis 8:22
“As long as the earth endures,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Summer and winter,
Day and night
will never cease” 

Seasons on earth
 Season defined:” Periods marked by specific weather conditions; temperatures and length of days”

Good harvest prerequisites 
Quality seedlings
Sowing, nurturing & reaping done within timeframe

Seasons in heaven
Did time/ seasons exist in heaven? 
period when Lucifer and his followers  worshipped God.
time when they became rebellious and were removed from heaven.
a season to restore creation and to deal with rebellion.
Waiting Period-prophesies 
the season to restore creation with its Creator arrived .
season to punish/rebuke rebellion still awaiting.
Seasons will cease to be, because Eternity is timeless.

Seasons in human life
Life Seasons defined: Different stages of growth or development and function within living organisms.
Every living thing experience seasonal changes-it’s a prerequisite for maturity and completeness.
Seasons in human life are both within and beyond our control.
Success & Prosperity is within our control because it’s impacted by our choices and actions.
Accept whatever is beyond our control 
Glorify God with what is within our control .
Seasons  have different effects on individuals-
become strong in faith. 
become distant from God.
The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials (2 Peter 2: 9)
We also experience seasons in which to sow and to reap (Galations 6:7). 
Each one of us will go through bad and good seasons.
What should you do during waiting season? 
Wait it out. Stand firm in the faith
Take courage and be strong
Continue to uplift the Name of the Lord.

A well-balanced and fruitful disciple of Jesus Christ must develop in all facets of their being and endure a variety of seasons.
Life’s difficult seasons prepares us for the season of Christ’s second coming.
The Holy Spirit purifies us during difficulties.
A new heaven and earth will be established when Jesus returns.
“If God can move you from January to December,
He can surely move you from
Shame to fame;
Sorry to glory;
Disgrace to grace;
Labour to favour;
Mockery to victory
And raise you from glory to glory”(author unknown)
Which season of life do you find yourself in? 
Assess the factors within and beyond your control during this specific season
How does it impact your character and walk with the Lord?

Nothing to prove; nothing to lose

Nothing to prove; nothing to lose.
2 Corinthians 1:1-12
Text V 12
Believers will be much more effective if we can adopt a
nothing to prove; nothing to lose (except our salvation) mentality.
This will eradicate unhealthy competitiveness 
It will create a genuine bond of love and camaraderie
It will cause people to feel safe to share their struggles and weaknesses
Believers do not need to prove our salvation or holiness to any person. 
This causes rigidness
It hinders the Spirit’s working through us
It places a huge burden on believers shoulders
Believers do not need to fear losing anything because what we treasure most cannot be taken away by any human being.

1 .Suffering
(Chapter 10-12)
Paul had to complete a huge task - to implement the doctrine of the newly established church.
His background as a Pharisee and his studies under one of the greatest scholars of the time has prepared him well for the task.
Purpose of suffering: Reliance on God and not on skills, qualifications or giftedness
His suffering was beyond his ability to bear, but God strengthened him
His suffering was in mind, heart, spirit and body
He had to deal with heresies in the Church; conflict amongst believers; Misconduct amongst believers;
Discipline; Correction of heresies and conflict are complex issues to deal with, but he succeeded.
He was able to influence policy makers and people in power (governers, religious leaders) as a 

2. Sincerity
Sincerity requires openness and honesty of opinion and feeling.
It may be misinterpreted and misunderstood, but do that which will appease conscience.
Sometimes it is very difficult to address certain issues, when you are sincere with others,
you must move pass that uncomfortable feeling.
When you need to speak candidly it is to be done in God’s timing, with His grace and in wisdom.

3. Sanctification
It starts with a relationship with Christ - salvation.
Paul had to meet Jesus on the Road to Damascus to experience the point of salvation.
Every true believer has a point of connection with Jesus 
As you grow in relation to Him, then you become more like Christ. Old habits and ways are slowly
chopped away through suffering because it teaches reliance on God.
Our Lord will even take you to the most awkward/unusual places to teach you a lesson if need be.

Believers will impact lives if we know who has assigned/called/mandated us
In Paul’s opening statement said that he was an apostle by God’s will ,not the church’s nor the remaining  disciples 
We will stand by our convictions if we know what we believe in
Paul stood by his convictions of morality (1 Corinthians Chapter 5)
We will endure suffering because it is intertwined with achievement and growth
Paul suffered greatly in mind, spirit, heart and body, but he achieved his unique mission to implement doctrine in the church for generations to come.(Chapter 10-12)
Paul had every right to prove his standing with Christ because of his persecution of the church at 
every opportunity he got ,but he only did so when distrust grew with regard to his authority and 
His life is a portrayal of someone who had nothing to prove and nothing to lose because what he
treasured most no man could take away from him!!
Can you testify like Paul that you have conducted yourself in the world and ESPECIALLY in your relations with fellow believers in holiness and sincerity?? 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Bread of Life is the key to…

Luke 24:1-3; 13-43
Text Verse:31

Cleopas and his companion had the privilege of hearing the incarnate Word, Christ the risen Word, explain the written Word.
However, they did not recognize Him until Jesus broke the bread and gave it to them.
Their “spiritual eyes” only opened at that time. 
They did not recognize Jesus as He walked with them nor as He talked to them.
Why were they kept from recognizing Jesus?

1.       Emancipation
·         Real freedom originates in the inner man and is not dependent on external circumstances.
·         The people of Israel (including the disciples) expected Jesus to bring them freedom from a worldly system.
·         Their wrong expectation prevented them from recognising Jesus as the true Emancipator/Liberator.
Romans 6:5-7,14

2.       Enlightenment
·         Jesus is the main subject of Scripture because He is the Triune God’s plan of salvation.
·         This plan was in place long before Adam and Eve’s sin because God is omniscient/all-knowing.
·         The Plan was revealed through Scripture but humanity did not understand it.
·         The plan then came in human form through Jesus but humanity still did not recognize Him.
·         The only way to gain insight /understanding into spiritual mysteries is through salvation and revelation through the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2 :14
3.       Eternity
·         There is only one way to eternal life-Jesus Christ.
·         He has power over death as witnessed through His resurrection
·         He has the power over sin that separated humanity from a Holy God.
·         He also has power to reconcile humanity to the Father as Mediator.
John 3:35-36

The entire Bible finds its unity in Jesus.
He is the fulfilment of Scripture
Jesus is the Messiah Who brought redemption to Israel.
He is the only One Who can give freedom and deliverance.
Worldly systems do not have the power to give lasting and true freedom.
The mystery of the spirit world is wrapped up in Jesus and the understanding thereof is

brought about by the Holy Spirit living inside of His followers/disciples.

Keep the fire burning because the hour is near…

                                                Keep the fire burning because the hour is near…
                                                            Matthew 27 :27 -54

The Crucifixion’s commemoration spans over 20000 years.
The Intensity & passion of the Narrative can be lost if it’s head knowledge only.
The death & resurrection of Jesus becomes alive and intense as your relationship
with Him develops-heart knowledge.
In the Parable of 10 Virgins/Watchmen, Jesus laid emphasis on remaining watchful & prayerful.
Guard against making the Crucifixion & Resurrection season-Tradition; will lead to complacency.
Jesus died to pay the ultimate price for our redemption.
He is returning again for a spotless Bride…soon

He is the Son of God as attested by the significant events that happened during His crucifixion:
1.       The 3 hour darkness over the land ( Habbakuk 1:13)
·         -God turned His face on Jesus because of the sin that He embodied
·         Change in the pattern of creation
·         Life without God would mean total darkness

2.       The temple curtain tore in 2 from top to bottom (Hebrews 6:19-20)
·         Free access
·         Curtain was a barrier 60 feet in height;30 feet in width;4 inches thick
·         It served for humanity’s protection (so that people do not enter it carelessly or without reverence)

3.       The earth shook and the rocks split (Psalm 148:3-5)
·         Creation felt the pain of its Creator
·         Nature recognized Jesus
·         Humanity did not recognize Him and they still don’t

4.       The tombs broke open & many holy people were raised to life (Hebrews 12:1)
·         Great cloud of witnesses watching us

The Centurion and those who guarded Jesus missed an opportunity to commit their lives to Jesus.
They realized too late Who He was.
The 5 foolish virgins/bridal watchmen missed out on the Feast too.
Don’t YOU miss out too

A double-fold act of gratitude

                                                John 12 :1-11

Nard oil is an extraction from the plant Nardostachys Jatamansi, which is from the plant family
Common name: Spikenard oil
The plant only grows in the Himalaya Mountains of India and Nepal.

Uses of nard oil:
·         Fungal infections
·         Remedy for bacterial skin infections
·         Used in fertility drugs/medication
·         Constipation
·         Relief from various types of inflammation
·         Relief from stress, insomnia, anxiety
·         Used in the treatment of varicose veins, blood circulation; allergies, healing of wounds
·         Used as a  fragrance 
·         Mixed with olive oil, it was used for the consecration and dedication of utensils in the Temple
This oil was in all likelihood equivalent to Imperial Majesty-world’s most expensive perfume today
(17 ounces =$215 000  )

1 .Sacrificial Giving       
2 Corinthians 8 :12
A gift or offering becomes acceptable to God when it’s done so with love and willingness of heart.
A R10 is worth far more to God than a Million Rand given grudgingly or for the wrong reasons.
Giving is more than just Money.
 It comprises of your Time, Talents, Treasure (whatever you value close to your heart) 

2. Pay Honour
The washing of feet –sign of hospitality during Jesus’ time.
She paid honour to Him for the miracle of Lazarus’s resurrection from the grave
She also fully understood Jesus’ three times repeated statement of His death and resurrection.
How can you pay honour to Jesus for your deliverance/healing/restoration/salvation?
Not only did she use such an expensive perfume, she used her HAIR to dry Jesus’ feet.
Hair is a woman’s natural crown

3. Shallowness of faith

The disciples did not grasp the importance of Mary’s action.
They did not fully understand what Jesus meant when He spoke about His death and resurrection. Why?
Their minds and hearts were still very short-sighted.
They lived in denial.
They clearly lacked the insight of how His death would impact and benefit humanity in this life and the life to come.

Mary’s gift was a rare imported product in Israel.
She gave a gift fit for the King that Jesus was and still is
She did not regard it as a waste of money because she understood Who Jesus was.
Nothing done for the Kingdom of God is ever wasteful.
No value can be placed on what Christ has done for humanity.
She consecrated and dedicated Him for the BiGGEST task yet that he had to complete-the
repentance of Humanity’s sin.

She consecrated the Lamb of God for the offering.