the challenge

Are you challenged; encouraged or increase in your faith by what you read here ?
Let me know

Saturday, July 11, 2020

God loves me


God loves me  -  Not because of who I am  -   Or what I do  -    Or how pleasing I am to Him
He loves me   ……   Because of who He is
So His love is strong, dependable and faithful   -   Dependent only on His nature
Not on any of me   -    How reassuring is that !!!
So ……  do we view all our situations in the light of the fact that ……..God loves me
Do we say in tough times ……  How is God’s love for me seen in this situation?
Or ……When things go wrong is our first response to question God ?
What we should really question is ……our mis-understanding
Mis-understanding means …..We’ve missed the understanding ……  from His perspective
We so easily forget that our understanding  is flawed   -   by the flesh or our minds
and that God’s understanding is powered   -  by faith
The disciples were mis-understanding on many occasions  - like the death of Lazarus
But …… it’s like looking at a message in code
It doesn’t make sense, it has no message
But …… if we can decipher the code it is often very simple
although sometimes there may be several layers to the code
Faith is what deciphers the code in the situations we go through

When we look at things from the mind & not the spirit
things so easily seem tough, threatening overwhelming etc
and rather than seek to understand or decode with the spirit
we mis-understand
We’ve missed the understanding ……  from His perspective
we might shout at the One who we believe sent the situation
What are You doing to me?
This makes no sense at all !!
When all that He wants us to do is to draw close and see the situation from His perspective
Consider  -  o kuti xua  -  it makes no sense at all
but with a simple code
 replacing each vowel with the previous vowel
so an ‘e’ becomes ‘a’ and an 'i' becomes an 'e' etc
 replacing each consonant with the consonant following … so  ‘b’  becomes  ‘c’
then the message is simple – it says  I love you
What looked like nonsense just needed a different perspective 
of knowing the code
And that is God’s heart in everything we go through
He loves us and we should look at every challenge from that perspective
So …… don’t get angry at Him………Ask the question
How is God’s love for me seen in this trial ?
That’s what we really need to know

Friday, July 10, 2020

Translations

Brian Simmons -translator of The Passion Bible says -
It is not possible to do a word-to-word translation of the Greek and Hebrew of the Bible
You have to get a feeling and a sense of what the phrase is saying and then translate it
So ..... every translation is influenced by the mindset of the translator
Therefore - if we take one small phrase from a translation that we prefer
And then seek to make a doctrine out of it it's not necessarily "truth" from God's perspective we need to be careful.
And yet ....... many of the doctrines that have caused division between Christians and Church groups over the years are often of that nature.
If our hearts are set for unity and for building community and connections for the Kingdom then we need to hold things loosely, not be dogmatic and be receiving of people not rejecting.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Know your season

A cold shower can be quite welcome in warm weather but in winter hot springs are better!
It is important for us to know what season we are in with our walk with the Lord.
Are we in a dry desert season where we need to dig deeply in order to find water?
Are we in a period of abundant blessing
where everywhere we look, everything we do, provides fruit?
Are we in an autumn season where we need to rest and wait on Him?
If we are not aware of the season we are in then we might become frustrated and angry that we are not seeing the things that we expect come to fruition.


All seasons are good and necessary for growth.
There is a season for hard pruning and a season for flowering and a season for gathering fruit, there is also a season for dormancy.
Enjoy your season.

(written by a friend - shared with permission)

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Psalm 139:5 in The PassionTranslation says -

You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
and in kindness you follow behind me
to spare me from the harm of my past.

With your hand of love upon my life,
you impart a blessing to me.
This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!

Two encouraging thoughts here -
1) He goes into the future and prepares our onward journey
Reassuring if we are truly walking with Him
Or do we have our own plans and projects for the future?
Do we encourage young people to plan a career based solely on their academic achievements?  Or do we encourage them to seek God for His plan?
I wanted to be a hairdresser and that was a gift I could have used throughout life
Especially to bless people with a cheap or free haircut when their finances were limited
But ...... academics sent me to do a degree in computing and cybernetics!!
Which I abandoned after one term and have never had the need for.
So ........ don't depend on the values of the world who are looking for the "best" opportunities that give the most money.
God has His plan for you and that pathway carries His favour and blessing
At every stage of life - inquire of God.

2) He follows behind and spares you from the harms of the past  -  if you will let Him
If you will let Him!
Some of us want to hold onto our pain for reasons of unforgiving, self pity, wanting revenge, wanting recompense and other reasons that hold us in bondage to the situation.
But Jesus came to bring us freedom in all areas of life and He will be a shield between us and the harms of the past if we allow Him

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Believe for more

Sometimes when we receive some fresh truth or revelation from God
We think - "Yes, got it"  -  And yet there is often so much more
God will extend and expand these truths over time if we hold them freely so they can expand and grow and bring forth more
We often limit things by containment
But God is without measure and all that He gives and all that He has is so much more than we can imagine
A truth or revelation from God is like a piece of fruit
We can eat it and enjoy it and think that is all
Or ......  we can keep the stone or seeds from inside and plant them out and over time they will become so much more!!
So - if we embrace the truth that God has given us, hold it in our spirit
Over time it will evolve and expand into a greater level of truth on that matter increasing our revelation on that initial thought
It may also be planted out or scattered into the lives of others and bear fruit there as well as we live it and share it
So ...... believe for more - don't be satisifed with crumbs but seek God's feast


Monday, July 06, 2020

Faith - 2

Faith ......... is seeing light with your heart
.............. when all your eyes see is darkness

Isaiah 50:10 says  - 
Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the word of his servant?Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
    and provide yourselves with flaming torches,


go, walk in the light of your fires
    and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
    You will lie down in torment.


And for me this is saying that .......
when you feel you are walking in darkness
when you can't seethe way ahead
when you can't see the answers to today's problems
You need to trust in the Lord, hold His hand
He knows the way through any dark situation for He says to His disciples
I am the way, I am the truth, I am the light

He is the way,  He is the light  -  and our way forward is found in Him

For He warns us in Isaiah 50  thatif we try to make our own light,
Try to find our own way forward it will become a place of torment for us

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Faith

We say that we live  "by faith" but what does that really mean?
If money or cash is the currency of the world
Then faith is the currency of the Kingdom
It is not some nebulous thing with no substance or meaning
But it is the foundation of our being in God

Faith ...... is the bridge that takes us from where we are now 
..... to where God wants us to be next

Faith ....... is seeing things from God's perspective

Faith ......... is seeing light with your heart
.............. when all your eyes see is darkness

Faith is taking the first step ....... when you can't see the whole journey

Faith in God includes faith in His timing

Faith moves mountains .......... doubt or fear creates them

Faith is trusting God even when you don't understand His plan


Saturday, July 04, 2020

Commission

When Jesus came to earth He knew what He had come for and He fulfilled His commission
In the same way each of us is here for a purpose within God's eternal plan and we need to know what it is so that we can live it
And for myself I have this printed on a small card that I keep with me so that I don't forget -

I have been sent from heaven to do a work here…..
before eventually returning to heaven
So ….
I need to keep in regular contact with home base
I need to refer back to the Head for …..
mission; assignments; on-going instructions
for wisdom & knowledge in situations
for relationship with Father & spiritual sustenance
I’m on a mission from elsewhere & I need to keep in touch

and for myself I feel that my personal assignment is ........
To know this is a season where God is outworking His final purposes
It's no longer a season for "man" but a season of God
We are a people preparing the way for the return of Jesus
We are knowing Jerusalem not Babylon
Living Kingdom not Church
Searching out the mysteries and secrets of God 

We each need to know our purpose and our reason for living
Otherwise we are just treading water and going nowhere



Friday, July 03, 2020

Be mature


Allow trials or difficult people to enlarge you  -
not to make you small-minded, resentful or offended


He brings all challenges, trial and disturbances into our life to bring us into greater freedom – if we yield to it.


When you are struggling with or are challenged by someone you never know what future or destiny is locked up in them and your interaction with them may be the key to unlocking that purpose and destiny.   Your stepping back from them might leave their destiny and future locked up by their issues.

Build bridges not walls




Tuesday, June 30, 2020

How we speak

James 3:2 tells us - 
We all fail in many areas, but especially with our words. 
Yet if we’re able to bridle the words we say 
we are powerful enough to control ourselves in every way, 
and that means our character is mature and fully developed.

And Ephesians 4:29 says
Never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, 
but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; 
do this by speaking words of grace to help them.

So let us consider and be more thoughtful about how we speak
Not with careless or hurtful words
But like it says in Ephesians 
With words that are like a beautiful gift that encourage the one that hears them

Commandment to Love

Many preachers speak about "the great commission" in Matthew 28
Great Commission sounds very important. But who called it "the great commission"?   Jesus never did! Man put in that heading for that chapter just because he wanted to.
Jesus never called it a great commission.  Jesus just gave a message to His disciples saying  -  So I'm leaving you now and it would be good if you went far and wide sharing the message you have received from Me and making disciples. 
A simple message from Jesus.  And valuable.
But might I suggest that it is not as valuable as His Word in John 13 and John 15 where in both cases He says to His disciples -
"I command you"   That sounds quite important!!  I command you!!  I command you -   what?
Let's see 
John 13 v 33
Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. 
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

He commands us to love each other  -  and not only once but twice - 

if you look at John 15 v 12
 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 

So - Church leaders like to emphasise what they call  "the great commission" 
But Jesus gave us a NEW COMMANDMENT  -  and He gave it twice because it was and is very important
LOVE one another   -   and then people will see something about you that is good and then you can tell them God's message of salvation and make disciples of them.
When they see love they will want to know more 
But when they see a Church that is corrupt, and full of divisions and seeking to take your money  -  that is not a message that they want to hear.
So ....... let us pay attention to the words of Jesus and let us show love to each and every person and see God's heart reflected to the world.

Empower others

Some of us aren't always sure what we should be doing in life
But Romans 1:2 in The Passion Translation says
 Our goal must be to empower others to do what is right and good for them,
 and to bring them into spiritual maturity. 

So - if we do nothing else day-by-day we can at least have this as our focus

But notice how it says - to encourage them  o do what is right and good for them
Not what is right and good for us or by our standards
But what is right and good for them in their walk with God
We all have a different purpose in God's eternal plan 
And that involves different things for each of us
Don't try and make others a copy of yourself or your journey
But empower them in their journey

Buy the Book

So have you bought the book yet
Or recommended it to others
It brings together a lot of these posts in one place
It's available from Amazon and the title is
Taste the Colour Smell the Number

Enjoy

Live from faith

Living by faith is seeing things from God's perspective
And Ephesians 3:17 in The Passion Translation says
By constantly using your faith, 
the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, 
and the resting place of his love 
will become the very source and root of your life.

Don't you just want that
Well constantly live from faith 
And that is His word and His promise

Lock down

So .... the world says - Lock Down
The Government says - Lock Down
But God says in Galatians 5
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free
So don't be burdened again by a yoke of slavery!!
Not in any context - not by lock down
So - what is "lock down" for those who are walking with God?
It is a time to find Him in new and different ways.
For some lock down is quiet and empty of busyness and noise
And we can spend quality time seeking God and receiving fresh revelation
For others it is extra stress, pressure and busyness
But that gives us the opportunity to know how to find God's peace and calm
Even in the midst of busyness
God has an individual purpose for each of us in this time
Don't miss what He is saying to you
Don't miss what He wants to do in you
It is a time of blessing and freedom from God's perspective