Saturday, 29 April 2017

Live Like the King (Part 2)

We are discussing how to live like the King based on Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” If you haven’t read the first part, you may want to read it first.

Think about whatever is pure.

Throughout His Word Jesus has spelled out His standards for purity by defining various kinds of impurity. He told His disciples in John 15:3: “You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you.”  Hebrews 4:12 states: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart,” and 2 Corinthians 7:1 states: “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

It appears that purity in thought and action is important to God, which is why Satan does everything within his ability to tempt us to get involved with impure activities and thoughts. “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God,” (Ephesians 5:5). Oops!

Therefore you need to examine yourself to see whether there is any impurity in you (Psalm 139:23-24). You need “to offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will,” (Romans 12:1-2). And do not forget Hebrews 12:1-2.

Think about whatever is lovely.

I don’t need to tell you that the majority of news we receive through the media is negative, destructive, and disturbing. The general tendency these days in the entertainment media is to portray the vile areas of life – violence, lust, gruesomeness, weirdness, and so on. To me these are not lovely. How about you – what do you think? So what are lovely things we can think about?

The lovely things in life bring us joy, fulfilment, laughter, and peace. They do not disturb the spirit, are soothing to the eye and ear, and produce good and long-lasting memories. They make the heart beat faster.

What are the lovely things in your life? To each person they will be different. To start with, the fruit of the Spirit is lovely – love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). But ordinary things in life such as sounds of nature, music, images, relationships, good works, and so on are also meant to be lovely. Satan uses people and media to pervert everything. It’s your choice as to what will fill your mind.

Think about whatever is commendable (admirable).

If you reflect on your behaviour in general; your actions and habits, are they something to be proud of, or do you feel ashamed of them? Satan, in cooperation with your sinful nature is an expert in getting you to justify despicable behaviour as being right. You do this because your sinful nature enjoys it. Since it is unacceptable by society and especially by Christian society, you usually do it in secret, don’t you.

At the time of doing it, it does not feel wrong because it is so enjoyable, but afterwards you don’t feel good about it. You actually feel quite bad and repent frantically. What people will think of you, should they know about it, bothers you. In the meantime the Lord knew of it all along.

Living like the King always has peace and self-respect as a result. If you test your anticipated action as to whether it will be admirable or commendable by God and people of God, it will be easier to resist behaviour unacceptable to God.

Act with excellence, which is worthy of praise.


In the first part of our message we discussed the requirement that a king should actually be an example to his subjects. Jesus was such a King. Everything He did was done with excellence. Living like Him would mean no second grade work or behaviour. You should always give your best in everything you do and be proud of your effort. Plan it properly, research it thoroughly, execute it excellently, and do it with pride. Do not compare your excellence with those of others. We all have our abilities. As long as you have done your best, it is considered as excellent. At all times be aware that the Lord is looking on. “Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,” (Colossians 3:23 AMPC).


Lord, help me to develop habits that would have me live like you, the King.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A NATION ARISES FROM THE DUST. 22 April 2017 - A TESTIMONY

On 24th April I posted an article about the It's Time event that took place in Bloemfontein, South Africa on 22nd April. Have a look at the previous post.

Following is a testimony of Elizabeth, one of the attendees.

A NATION ARISES FROM THE DUST. 22 April 2017.  

The question is asked? Can a nation be born in a day? Isaiah 66:8.

The early morning light reflects in the haze of dusts as motors and busses crawl along the gravel farmroad, carrying families, friends, groups, entire churches - all of them hoping and praying for one thing - for God to meet with us! 

As we near the cleared fields we see the 3 crosses on the hill, then the speaker towers, and the stage where a few thousand early risers already gathered together. Some drove through the night. From the far corners of our nation they came. 

The hearts of people, like these bare grasslands, are prepared to receive some seed of hope from the Lord. 

Then people started walking. We walked and walked through the dust, at first a bit uncertain, then with steady tred, our eyes fixed on that stage in the distance, about 3 km away! We felt like the Israelites staggering out of Egypt, on our way to meet with God. People were laden with chairs, blankets and even coolers with food on trolleys! They stumbled over grass tufts and ploughed ditches, past red 'king's hire' chemical toilets, to places near the speaker towers with their big tv screens. The sound of worship music was thundering over the grasslands from these massive speakers. I wondered for a moment what kind of speakers Moses and Aaron had? 

And still the people came, like ants. They kept coming for the next 7 hours! Families and groups huddled together on their chairs like at a picnic, expectancy like static electricity in the air. Jovial greetings when they re-unite with friends or family. Almost like gathering for 'nagmaal' in the olden days of the church in South Africa. As the crowds grew, the expectancy grew. 

People sat in the dust. They sun beat down on us. We sat. Determined to meet with God. Not knowing what to expect. But our hearts were ready to pick up the faintest move of the Spirit of God, or the slightest whisper of His voice. During the pre-worship there suddenly came a few holy moments when the music and worship created a cathedral for the entrance of His Majesty. People spontaneously knelt in the dust or threw their hands in the air. 

Still we waited,and still the people came. 12 o'clock came and went. We waited. We waited for a father that God had given our nation. Uncle Angus who, like a mid-wife, over-saw the spiritual births of thousands of men and women in this nation. A father, with a weather-beaten face, cowboy hat and a vouce like thunder: AMEN! 

He guided us like an anointed evangelist should, to the moment of public confession of faith. Then 1 million expectant believers knelt in the dust, bare-headed in the sun. We clutched at each other, knowing that this was a holy moment. Young and old, sick and healthy. We knelt before our holy God. We acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord, we surrendered ourselves to Him as our Supreme God. We confessed our sins. We proclaimed with one voice: we will have no other gods! We bowed and humbled ourselves. THAT MOMENT A NATION WAS BORN. When we stood to pray ourselves, for South Africa, for healing and deliverance, we were filled with a NEW HOPE. A NEW NATION stood up out of that dust, tears were streaming down our faces, some shoulders were shaking. People embraced one another. 

We were rooted in that dusty fields as a whirlwind danced in front of the stage. A single small sign of God's presence. We waited for the fatherly blessing coming from the shepherd that Gid had given us for this IT'S TIME gathering. With faces lifted up, hands stretched out to heaven we received God's blessing. 

Then, reluctantly people gathered their chairs, food-coolers and began walking through the dust clouds to their vehicles and busses. It took another 5 hours for people to exit the farm. 

The question in everyone's heart: Did God hear our prayers? But I felt it. I heard it all around as we walked back. People's eyes were bright. There was a joy inside of them. There was something new. A seed of hope. God called a meeting by saying: IT'S TIME! We came. We met with Him. He placed something holy inside of us. It will grow and time will show what God can do with a nation whose hearts are undividedly fixed on Him. 

Let us believe and take hold of God. He will not let us go. A NATION WAS BORN OUT OF THE DUST TODAY. A new nation that God can use to establish and advance His Kingdom in South Africa.

Father, not our will, but let Your will be done! 

AMEN! 

Elizabeth J.

Monday, 24 April 2017

It’s Time - The Ultimate Prayer Meeting

Good day, I will continue with the topic 'Live like a King' later this week. Today I have a special treat for you.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land,” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

I want to tell you of an amazing event that we attended on Saturday 22 April
2017.

As many of you know South Africa has her problems, but South Africans across all races are not scared to believe in the Almighty God. Regularly South Africans will get together in their thousands to pray for particular needs in the country. One of the most recent needs was rain for the desperately dry country, but the people prayed and God supplied rain in abundance.

One more pressing need of most South Africans is a well governed country where we can live in peace and free of violence. Communities suffer under the oppression of gangsterism, farmers are being murdered, women are being raped, children are being trafficked, and continuously reported corruption and other government irregularities disrupt the inner peace of the people of the nation and impoverish the country.

I know that in many of your nations you experience similar issues, since Satan rules this world and Jesus did call him a thief, a murderer, a destroyer, and the father of lies. But the good news is that we don’t have to tolerate his activities and allow him to have free reign. Jesus has defeated him at Calvary and if we can get to a point where Jesus is acknowledged by the government and His values applied, His power of love and joy will reign, and peace will be the result.

In February 2017 a farmer, called Johan, distributed a little video on WhatsApp where he suggested that the same great God, who answered our prayers when we needed rain, can answer our prayers for peace and stability for the country. He, however, felt the Lord called us together as a nation to pray. He did not feel the Lord wants each church and individual to pray at home, but to rather get together. He also felt that Angus Buchan, a well known preacher and teacher in South Africa, should call the nation together.

Angus said that when he prayed about this call, the Lord laid it upon his heart that at least a million people, representing the entire nation, should get together at our most central city, called Bloemfontein. Local radio stations and churches got sniff of this and within six weeks everything was organised. People travelled from all over the country to attend, as far as 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away. Around 350 000 cars needed place to park and a friend of ours, who works for a coach company, said their company alone sent 35 coaches filled with people from Cape Town, not accounting for the countless other coaches that arrived. It was reported that 400 helicopters brought people to the event and that the
airports lacked parking space for all the aeroplanes.

The area where we sat stretched over 1.4 kilometres (nearly one mile) in length
and around 800 metres wide and was divided in 28 sections; each serviced with a set of powerful speakers and a big screen television. This was organised by faith and God provided. He prompted a number of farmers who made their farms available and had the grass cut. The Lord provided from outside sources without cost the diesel required for the job as well as for the generators. He provided through a company 1,000 external toilets with their service teams and vehicles as a gift. The Lord sent someone to drill for water for free, as well as a specialist to help them roll up the fences. The organisers gave all the glory to God, for they reckoned an event of such a scale in such a short time was impossible to man alone.

The organisers felt it should not be broadcasted because they believed God
wanted the nation to get together in one place to pray. However, all over South Africa Christian communities joined in prayer at the same time for those unable to attend. It will soon be broadcasted by TBN though (see link below). Below are a few links to video clips of the event.

At the event we certainly experienced a powerful visitation by the Lord Almighty.
The worship was mightily anointed and personally I was on my face before the Lord, receiving his cleansing and whatever He had available for me. The Lord’s presence was overpowering and well over a million people literally prayed together, led by Angus Buchan who definitely was led by the Holy Spirit in his approach (see links below). The rulers, the authorities, the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12) definitely shuddered and fled in fear on Saturday 22nd April 2017.

From an outside perspective I saw how the Lord called the farmer Johan, who called on Angus Buchan, who called the nation together. Then the Lord provided everything needed for the occasion. Why has the Lord worked in this way? Why has He not just responded to individual prayers offered to Him from wherever people found themselves?  As per many occasions in the Bible the Lord called the people together. He wanted to see faith and sacrifice. He wanted to hear confession of sins. He wanted to move in power. He arranged everything required for His people to get together in obedience, to humble themselves and pray, so He could heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Now it was only necessary for His people to sacrifice time, resources and effort to get to the event to pray together as one man on behalf of the nation. And even this the Lord provided. Many people made a great effort and travelled very far to get there. It was even a greater sacrifice for the thousands of cars to get out of the premises. It took us six hours to get out, and after we had left there were still many cars waiting their turn. The patience displayed by the individuals was definitely by the power of the Holy Spirit, for everybody was incredibly peaceful about this delay.

This was not an Angus Buchan initiative. This was a God initiative for He wants
to redeem South Africa. On this occasion He wanted to see faith supported by sacrifice, so He can have the mandate to do what He desires. He wanted the nation to prove to Him how desperately they needed His help.

The basis of the message on Saturday 22nd April 2017 was repentance, confession of sins, bondages and weaknesses, and supplication (intercession). As one person the entire gathering of over one million people committed/re-committed their lives to Jesus. Then we had five minutes to confess our individual impurities to the Lord, after which we prayed as one person for the country as led by Angus (see link to prayer).

In South Africa we look forward to see what the Lord is going to do! He wants to heal your land/city/community as well. Why not join us in returning to Him this way and see what He will do.

Thank you, Father God, for what you have done and begun on Saturday at Bloemfontein in South Africa. We look forward to seeing the results and wish for you to do it for the entire world as they call on you.

video


video
Details about when this event will be broadcasted on TBN TV, as well as continual updates can be found on www.tbninafrica.org.

Here are some video clips from You Tube:



Saturday, 15 April 2017

Live Like the King (Part 1)

I don’t know about you, but when I was still young and naive a king to me was an honourable person. He had to be educated and be an example to his subjects. To me the king had to be morally sound.

But as I matured and got to know life, I discovered that this was certainly not the case. A king was just a human being in whom the inborn lust for power and wealth was often very prevalent and within easy reach. The record of kings of Israel in the books of Kings and Chronicles in the Bible portrayed this fact vividly. We see the same tendency in the modern history of kings and presidents of countries.

One King, however, did the job perfectly. Sadly His crown was not made of gold, but of thorns, and his palace were the dusty streets among the poor. He was truly honourable and impeccable in the area of morality. This He lived and taught while He was on earth and had it recorded in the Handbook of life, the Bible.

Look with me at one teeny weenie part of the Bible; one verse out of 31,173 verses – a verse that, if you live it, will make you a person living like the King.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things,” (Philippians 4:8).

This is the thought pattern of the King of kings and He revealed it to us so we can share in it, in order to live like Him.

Think about whatever is true.

Filter the truth out from the information you receive and live by it. Challenge lies from others and determine to resist lies from your own mouth at all cost. Reveal the truth. Stand for the truth. The Holy Spirit has given the gift called the ‘Word of Knowledge’ to help you distinguish the truth. If you desire it, you will get this Word of Knowledge when you need it. You will just know when something is not true. Use it with wisdom.

You are the salt of the earth. You need to be instrumental in purifying your world from the lie, as salt purifies meat and prevents decay. Think and pray about truth at all times. The ultimate truth is the Word of God -meditate on it and proclaim it.

Think about whatever is honourable.

Another translation uses the word ‘noble’. Are you proud of your behaviour and conduct? One hundred years plus ago honour was important to some societies. A nobleman was a person to be respected and honoured. To be honourable means to be honoured by others and by God because of your behaviour and not due to your social position.

As a believer you serve an honourable or noble King and, as His image bearer and representation, we need to be equally honourable. Is it not exciting to think of yourself as honourable or noble? So let’s live up to it?

Think about whatever is just.

You only need to see the news to be aware of all the injustice in the world. Inherently people are selfish and as a result act unjustly. We should monitor ourselves to see whether our conduct is always just. You may feel that you are always fair, but need to be aware that injustice comes in many forms. Do you think, for example, it is just to gossip? The moment one gossips, the listener has an impression of the person one spoke about. This is unfair to both the listener and the victim, since the listener will now probably regard the person based on what the gossiper told them. Their first impression of the person was not formed through interaction with him/her, but through what the gossiper said. It is also unfair to the person one spoke about for the same reasons. Can you see the subtle ways in which injustice puts out its ugly head?

We also need to be the salt of the earth where it comes to injustice. We need to address it wherever we have the opportunity. You may be in a position to address major injustices, or you may simply reprimand a gossiper and refuse to listen to gossip to prevent you from forming inaccurate opinions.

Father, please guide my thoughts and behaviour to meet your standards.


To be continued.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Return to Me

Jeremiah complained to the Lord God in Jeremiah 15:15-18: “O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance take me not away; know that for your sake I bear reproach.  Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts. I did not sit in the company of revellers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation. Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?

We immediately have sympathy with Jeremiah, don’t we? He seemed to have done everything right. Don’t you often feel the same? You do the best you can. You read your Bible, go to church and live a life that cannot be faulted. Yet the Lord feels so distant. You don’t seem blessed; you get a lot of flak from life and don’t feel the prosperity you’re supposed to have. ‘What is wrong,’ you ask just as Jeremiah asked. Let us see what the Lord answered Jeremiah.

“Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.  And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the Lord. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless,’ (Jeremiah 15:19-21).”

From Jeremiah’s words above he seemed to have been in a good relationship with the Lord. Yet the Lord found it necessary to urge Jeremiah to return to Him, or repent as other translations put it. The Lord wanted him not to waste time on being self-focused, but to make every word he spoke count for His sake. In other words Jeremiah seemed to have used the available time to mull over his own feelings, and therefore ‘uttered what is worthless’, instead of encouraging and reinforcing others by ‘uttering what is precious’.

The Lord is always there for you. He reminded Jeremiah a little further on that He made him to be a fortified wall of bronze. In other words, Jeremiah was safe in the Lord’s hands regardless of how he felt. He therefore had no excuse not to focus solely on God’s interests. Satan loves to distract you. If he can get you to waste time by focusing on yourself, your feelings and your problems, he has managed to render you useless to God’s purposes during that time.

The Lord is patient with immature baby Believers, but from mature son Believers He expects results. Sons have learnt to trust Him to care for them. Sons know who their source, their protection and their guide are. They need not spend time to look after themselves (Matthew 6:33).

This is why God had to be firm with Jeremiah.

You will be tempted with distractions and feelings of self pity. You will be ridiculed, ignored and made to feel worthless by those self-centred enemies of God. This is why you have received the fruit of the Spirit called self-control. Life in Christ is not founded on feelings, but on faith. In other words, what you feel like does not determine your actions, but what you know and believe about the Lord from His Word.

You may for example not feel safe or you may feel unsure where your money will come from, but Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:4-6). Therefore you are safe and provided for, based on what you know about Him and not on what you feel or hear. Self-control reprimands your negative feelings and thoughts, and consciously turns your focus onto faith in the Lord. It is something only you can do in collaboration with the Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah was a great prophet of the Lord, yet he was only a man. He did feel worthless at times and was certainly tempted to muse too much about his circumstances. In order to keep him on track and useful to His purposes, the Lord had to deal with those things that distracted Jeremiah from his calling.

You are also great in whatever you are called and gifted for. In Christ you already have everything you need to live the life in Christ (2 Peter 1:3). You simply need to know it from the Bible and apply it. Pleasing the Lord means keeping faith in God’s abilities and act accordingly (Hebrews 11:6). King David trusted in the Lord unwaveringly and as a result did everything the way the Lord wanted it done. Through the centuries God has used David as His model by which He judged kings.

How about becoming a person after God’s own heart (like David) and trust Him steadfastly (Proverbs 3:3-8). One day you will find out how He actually boasted about you doing everything the way He wanted it done.

Lord, please show me when my focus is wrong.



Sunday, 26 March 2017

Help! Save me Out!

Recently I picked up a hiker on my way to work. My drive to work takes me forty-five minutes, which leaves ample time for conversation.

Among the light conversation we made, I asked him whether he knows Jesus, which he confirmed as most South Africans would. I left it at that for a while, making other conversation.

Then I returned to the topic asking him whether he is sure he would go to heaven should he die, which he denied.

Now you should know this was not planned - this was a divine appointment. Therefore when I asked whether he knows that he can be certain, the Holy Spirit led me to follow my question up with the passage from 1 John 5:13: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

As I explained this to him an interesting revelation started unfolding in my heart. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:15-16 that whoever believes in Him will be saved.

We are led to think that if we believe in Jesus' existence we shall be saved and inherited eternal life. But consider this for a moment.

·         Why do you trust your doctor with your health?
·         Why do you trust your financial consultant with your money?
·         Why do you trust the restaurant to provide you with safe and tasty food?
·         Why do you trust your spouse to support you in various ways?
·         Why do you trust the shop you purchase from?

Is it not because you believe in them?

There are various reasons why you believe in them.

·         They have given you excellent service.
·         They have proven themselves.
·         They have shown they care.
·         They have displayed love towards you.

So believing in a person means you are going to trust them to look after you in whatever you need from them, does it not?

What did Jesus mean when He said that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life?

James 2:19 states: “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”

Believing in Jesus’ existence is not sufficient, even the demons do that. Declaring you are a believer and going through the religious motions of Bible reading, church going, weekly home group meetings, and so on are not sufficient. Jesus spells out the terrible reality in Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 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 in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

In James 2:17 we read: “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Believing in the existence of God and of Jesus’ sacrifice is not enough. Your life needs to demonstrate by means of your actions and your relationship with Him that you believe in His ability to control your life. Also that His commands and Word are true and the only way by which you’re prepared to live. That is where holiness comes in – being set aside for the Lord.

Believing in Jesus is therefore an active trust in Jesus and his abilities and a proof of your love and devotion. “‘Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.’ Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me, (John 14:21-24).”

This is what will reserve your place in His presence – loving Jesus actively through a relationship of obedience.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:12-13: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Note He said ‘most’.

Are you just religious, having added Christianity to your portfolio of success, or do you have an active love relationship with Jesus and His Father?


Father God, I seek an active relationship with you in Jesus. Please guide me.