Thank YOU

26th August

All my heart will give thanks to You, Eternal One. I will tell others about Your amazing works”

Psalm 9:1

(The Voice)

More than powerful intercessions for others, more than daily supplications for our needs, thankfulness is what really has the power to transform your prayer life. Throughout the Bible there are countless times through many of the prophets and believers lives where they are going through or about to face hardships and their prayer is this…’Even if…. I praise you and thank you’. It is something so simple yet so often overlooked in our prayer lives. We can list all of our needs, and prayer until we can’t pray anymore, yet forget to thank God for the simple things in our lives; For family and friendships, for our own salvation, for Jesus’ gracious work on the cross, for food on our table, for clothing on our back, for a roof over our head and many more things.

Thankfulness should be the key to our prayer lives. Moreover, we can in faith, thank God already for the requests we do have. Thankfulness can be prophetic too. We can boldly declare, through faith, that what we are praying for will come to pass by thanking God for the answered prayer already.

This morning challenge yourself to spend the first few moments of your day thanking God for your life. You will be surprised how many things God brings to your mind to be thankful for and how many things we can look forward to being thankful for. Thankfulness; an attitude of gratitude for our past, present and future.

Kind Words

25th August

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Proverbs 16:24

Have you ever been in a situation where you are feeling down, discouraged or lonely and someone comes over to you and says something nice to you that completely transforms your day. This is the power of kind words said in love and truth. They are, as the writer of proverbs says, ‘sweet to the soul and healthy for the body’. In fact it has been proven that encouraging and kind words are beneficial for health, for children’s learning and for longer life. Moreover, there are proven cases were a kind word has stopped someone in the very act of suicide. Of course the opposite can be said of un-kind and slanderous words. They can cause more damage than physical violence sometimes.

Friends, as children of God, it is imperative, as Paul says to make sure our conversation are ‘seasoned’ with Godly salt (God-like vocabulary), kind and uplifting words and encouraging statements. Even if you yourself are feeling down, encourage someone else and see the change it makes in your own being. Kind words are truly like honey; They can stop depression, stop negative emotion and stop hateful thoughts. Kind words move in the opposite spirit of negativity, hate and sorrow. Let us challenge ourselves this week to, daily, give a kind word to someone and see the change it makes in them and in you.

He Lives In YOU

24th August

Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

Ephesians 3:17

The 1994 Disney Film ‘The Lion King’, is famous for its many emotional and powerful ballads. Yet there are only a certain few that made it onto the musical theatre production, one of which is the song ‘He Lives In You’1. The song states that Mufasa (Simba’s father), will always live on in Simba to support and guide him leading the pride. Although this song probably has roots in Animism (as in the gods and ancestors live in everything) there is also a Christian truth to it too. God lives in us, He watches over us and guides our lives.

In fact, it is Christ living in us, according to Paul’s letters to the Colossians, that is the hope of glory. Christ living in us shows the world that salvation is for all. It gives us, who believe, the assurance to boldly share the Good News with others. It is through faith that we believe and accept the message of salvation and it is through our roots in God’s love that we keep strong. Christ, the creator and ruler of the world, live in US. Christ living in us, gives us the comfort to know that He is for us and not against us, that He is willing us on, and that He is always watching and guiding over us. He will never die. He is eternal. And He live in Us.

1He lives in you
He lives in me

He watches over
Everything we see
Into the water
Into the truth
In your reflection
He lives in you
Music and Lyrics by Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, and Lebo M, 1994; Lion King

Our Mighty God Living Among Us

23rd August

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Zephaniah 3:17

The book of Zephaniah is not an easy read. It contains a lot of ‘judgement’ for the nations who have rebelled against the one true God, Yahweh. It shows that our God is not a God to be mocked. With sin comes judgement. With rebellion comes punishment. Yet as in every book of the Bible, there is always a remedy. The God who lives among His people, Jesus Christ. Although Jesus’ Name is not specifically mentioned, all of Zephaniah’s prophetic words point to Jesus’ coming. Whose name means ‘the Lord saves’? Jesus’, our Mighty Saviour. Whose perfect love casts out all fear? Jesus’ love. Who came to live among us? Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ coming was not just a fulfilment of prophecy for ancient times, but a promise for all of eternity, to save us from our sins, redeem us from the righteous wrath of Almighty God, and set us free from fear of being condemned for our wrong doings. Just as it was with Israel, so it is with us; God never leaves us without a way out of our sins. God is faithful and just, righteous and holy, kind and loving. That same God lives among us, He lives in us. His home is in our hearts. His temple is our bodies.

For I Believe In God!

22nd August

 

..and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in His goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you. So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as He said.”

Acts 27:24-25

Paul, upon appealing to stand trial before Caesar, journeyed to Rome via a prisoner ship to stand before the great Emperor and face Roman judgement for his ‘so called crimes’. His journey proved to be dangerous and very testing due to the tempestuous storms they faced. The storms were so violent that eventually it shipwrecked Paul and all the other 276 crew members who were with him. Yet God had promised Paul, that not one of the people he was with would perish.

Paul, in the midst of the storm, received a word of encouragement and hope from God. Yes it looked like a perilous situation and yes it seemed like a hopeless situation, but God had clearly spoken to Paul about his and the others survivals, even though the ship they were on would be completely destroyed. So he encouraged everyone with the words found in today’s key verse.

What gave Paul the confidence that he would survive? What gave him hope in a hopeless and perilous situation? The answer, the word of the Lord. Friends, we too live in a perilous and hopeless world. We are surrounded by insecurities. We are surrounded by fear and anxiety. Yet just as in Paul’s situation, we are the spokesmen and women of God to bring hope where there is none, and life where there is certain death. We go against the road to destruction and become beacons to show the path to eternal life. If God says, that in Jesus is eternal life, joy, hope and peace, then we need to join with Paul and declare it to all who will hear, ‘don’t jump ship, there is hope! Take courage! For I believe God! I believe there is a way out!’

Only Jesus – Our Comfort

19th – 21st August

Weekend Edition

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Jesus is the source of our comfort. The Holy Spirit is given the title ‘comforter’ but His role is leading us into the very presence of Jesus Christ. Comfort is found in Jesus. Peace is found Jesus. Strength and security are all found in Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation. It is because He suffered that we can be comforted because He can understand our pain. Moreover, it is because we are comforted, that we can comfort others who are troubled too.

May we share each others burdens in Holy and righteous living. May we share our troubles together through the power and strength found in our relationship with Jesus. We are loved, we are blessed and we are God’s vessels to share His love with others. Only Jesus can provide the comfort we long for. Only Jesus can empower to strengthen and encourage others. Only Jesus…..!!

Jesus Lived As One Of Us

18th August

You must have the same attitude as Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not think of equality with as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.

Philippians 2:5-7

It is comforting to know that Jesus Christ lived as one of us. He felt our pains, lived through our temptations (although did not sin), experienced our struggles and yet still do all this without sinning and without compromising. As Paul writes, “He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being”. Even more incredible is that the sentence “He gave up His divine privileges” in the original Greek, literally means that ‘He emptied Himself’ for our sakes and made Himself of no reputation taking the form of a slave/servant. The God who is above all, became the least of all to show us His love by giving Himself as our substitution for the debt of our sins.

He walked as one of us, and was treated as one of us. He was beaten for our sakes, and hung on the cross for our sins. The God of the universe, there at the beginning of time, put to death by the hands of those He has created. Why? He did it for us. Isn’t incredible to know that Jesus Christ lived as one of us, for our sakes? If He didn’t, we would not know God’s love and His incredible plan for our lives.