Sunday, 28 December 2014

A Living Bible

Lets get real! As Christians, people expect us to be perfect. I've never had this said to me but people may possibly think, 'Where is Your God?' when you are going through a lot of things. Even King David, who went through a lot, faced this and a lot of us can relate to what he went through. He was taunted by his enemies and friends, those who didn't believe in God.

In Psalm 42:10, King David cries out to God, saying, "'...those who hate me speak sharp words to me. All day long, they say to me, 'Where is your God?'"

As Christians, we should strive to be perfect, just like God is perfect. We are Children of God, right? So, why not imitate God? 
In Ephesians 5:1-6, the Word of God tells us to, 'Imitate God, in everything you do because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice to us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people. Obscene stories, foolish talk and coarse jokes - these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshipping the things of this world. Do not be fooled by those who try to excuse these sings, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey Him.'

Hebrews and the history
I was listening to a sermon this morning (as I should) by David Wilkerson (as usual) and he was teaching on the Book of Hebrews. Before reading a Book, I now try to familiarise myself with who wrote the Book and to whom it was addressed to as well as the setting/theme of the Book. 
The Author of the Book of Hebrews is unknown but the Hebrew writer is addressing the Hebrew Christians in those days. The Jewish Christians in those days were being persecuted by Jews and Romans. 

By this time, the Jewish Christians had heard the messages we hear today. They had heard about the priesthood of Christ, they had known that we must come boldly before God to obtain His grace. They had heard about the ministry of Angels. They were taught about the salvation of God and to hold fast to Him. They had been warned about the dangers of unbelief (Hebrews 3:7 - 19). At this stage, they had heard so much of the Word of God that they, themselves, could TEACH others. They knew that they should not murmur nor complain. This is relevant to Christians today.

The Writer of this Book wrote this letter to the Hebrews, telling them in Hebrews 5:12, ' now you should be teachers. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the things you need to know from God's Word. You still need milk instead of solid food. Anyone who lives on milk cannot understand the teaching about being right with God. He is a baby. Solid food is for full-grown men. They have learned to use their minds to tell the difference between good and bad.

The Writer is telling them that, yes, as a baby, you lived off milk. It was all you needed. But now, you are fully grown. You have been praying, you have been reading the Word of God and it is important to have more solid food, such as fruits and vegetables, meats, cheese and breads. When someone first becomes a Christian, they live off 'just milk' spiritually. But, there comes a time when we have to grow up and move on to more solid food as a FOLLOWER of Christ - to learn deeply and use your spiritual gifts. 

He is saying, we should be teaching by our LIFESTYLE. We say we believe in God, we love God, then we should show it by the way we live and believe in God by standing firm. This does not mean you will not get tested but the fact that you've been tested before means you KNOW that God is there. 

Deuteronomy 11 talks about the Children of Israel and how they are about to get into the Promised Land. All those who had lived in unbelief are gone at this point. God gathers all the Children of Israel who had seen some of the miracles of God. Remember, they had been in the desert for forty years so they had children who were younger who were not there to see the miracles of God but they had heard their parents talk about it. I am guessing they were about 50 years old at this point. Moses, in Deuteronomy 11 is speaking to those who had seen the miracles of God, not their children. 
'I am not speaking to your children. They have not see how the Lord worked and how great He is. They have not seen the special things you have seen, what He did in Egypt to Pharaoh, the King of Egypt and to all his land. They have not seen what He did to Egypt's army, the horses and war-wagons. He made the water of the Red Sea flow over them while they were coming after you. He destroyed every one of them. They have not seen what He did to you in the desert until you came to this place...but your own eyes have seen all the great work the Lord has done.'

These people had seen the miracles of God, so they could be an example to their children, their family and/or colleagues. That they had to have unwavering faith.

Deuteronomy 11:18 - 'Keep these words of mine in your heart and in your soul. Tie them as special something to see upon your hand and on your forehead between your eyes. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. Write them beside the door of your house and on your gates. And your days and the days of your children will become many in the land of the Lord promised to give to your fathers, as long as the heavens are above the earth.'

God tells these people to be an example by the way they live their life. They should keep the Word of God in their heart, their soul. To teach their children and to talk about them to people to uplift them if you have to. Be a WALKING Bible. 

There are three things that those who live by faith have:

  • They don't just have faith in one area of their life. They have faith in all areas in their life. They believe in Him. They know they are not suffering because of a past sin. We may have failures in our life but go to the throne of God and BOLDLY accept Him. 
  • They do not doubt Him. The Blood of Jesus has washed away their sins. God yearned and still yearns for communion with you, since you were in your mother's womb.
  • Never limit God - in HOW and WHEN He will answer your prayers. Be a walking Bible
Meditate on these verses:
  • Titus 2:7 - ' yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.
  • 1 Timothy 4:12 - '...let no one show little respect for you because you are young. Show other Christians how to live by your life. They should be able to follow you in the way you talk and in what you do. Show them how to live in faith and in love and in holy living
Be a living example! Xo

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Wedding Feast

I think when you understand the Jewish Wedding Customs of the Bible and compare that to the salvation in Christ and our 'marriage' to Christ can you begin to appreciate the beauty of it all. I did my research (hey, I was a law student, research is important). So, there are the three 'C's' of Biblical Weddings: Contract, Consummation and Celebration. Ancient Jewish Weddings surprisingly never involved a wedding ceremony like we see today with the bride walking down the aisle to be married.

If we want to learn and understand the figures of speech used by Jesus when he talks about 'The Wedding Feast' and the Church as the 'Bride of Christ', it's important to learn the ancient culture and forget everything we know about the modern wedding ceremonies.

In those days, biblical times, there were three stages.

Stage 1: Signing The Contract
The Bride had to choose her husband and the FATHER would sign the legal contract in order to have that marriage come into being. Once the Father signed this contract, the couple were MARRIED. BUT, they did not have sex.

Stage 2: The Consummation
I learned this in Family Law. Even though we have the Wedding and signed the Marital Contract, you were not married until you consummated that marriage. So, in Biblical Times, the groom had to raise the money set out in the Contract and notify the Father of the Bride, who sets a date to consummate the marriage at the Bride's Home. The Bride would wait with her Bridesmaids for the groom and his companions.
The Groom would then have the bloodied 'proof of virginity cloth' to the witnesses chosen by the Bride's parents, who then give it to the Bride for safekeeping.

Stage 3: The Wedding Feast
So, after consummation, the entire wedding party walks to the house of the Groom in a procession for a wedding feast. At the conclusion of the wedding feast, the couple has completed the ancient ritual of marriage.

So, in telling this Parable, the Lord, Jesus, was referring it back to Jewish Custom so that the people in those days would understand the love God has for us.

So, here's the Parable:

The Wedding Feast

Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, "The Kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come
Then he sent some more servants and said, 'tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.' 

But they paid no attention and went off - one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

Then he said to his servants, 'the wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' So, the servant went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

But, when the King came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, 'How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?' The man was speechless. 

Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside and into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are invited but few are chosen."

Phew! So, one thing that really bothers me about this passage is the fact that people were invited to a WEDDING but nobody paid any attention. For me, a wedding would mean free food, free to dance and free to interact with people as well as rejoice when two people who are getting married invite you there. Another thing I've learned is that...well, everybody who is invited to a wedding banquet will not be saved. Anyway, it's deeper than that.

Let's begin with the basics...

The King in this parable obviously represents God; the Son is Jesus Christ and the Servants being sent out to invite these people are probably preachers in the World...or those who are already saved.

The FEAST represents SALVATION through faith (the fattened cattle) - the WORD of God. God invited people in the world for dinner, a feast, salvation...but people paid no attention, they went off and did their own business. Basically, they rejected Him. In fact, they mistreated the servants and killed them. So basically, God is invited the Church, because we know the World has already rejected Him. He is talking about walking with Him in FULLNESS and being obedient to HIM. The Apostles were invited, God was telling them, everything was ready - but no...they rejected Him. Stephen was stoned, James was killed...a lot of the Disciples were killed because people rejected God.

Because they rejected Him the first time, God still invited them. He says, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come...' So, instead, he sent more servants to invite people to salvation, the Word of God, the Body of Christ. God even turned to the gentiles - all types of people, the good and the bad were invited. A mixture of the guests came, good and bad. Basically, inviting people to come to Church. In most cases, the rich reject this invitation.

1 Corinthians 1:26-27 - "Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of the this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him."

But when the King came in to see the guests - there was a man who was not wearing wedding clothes. At this Banquet, everybody was wearing a robe that was provided for by the King, but the King saw that this man was not wearing what was provided for him. The Wedding Gown is given but this man ignores and turns down the white robe. He refuses to walk into this place with the white robe. He mingles with people, he talks to people, he is invited. He is sitting there, everybody has a robe on but HIM. Maybe his hands were dirty and he didn't want to stain it this pure white robe.
The robe signifies HOLINESS, it is walking in the holiness of the Lord. It is given to the saints according to the revelation. To walk in white does not mean you wait for the banquet, the Blood washes everything...when you have salvation, You get that white robe. Anyway, when the King realises that this man is not wearing the robe provided, he throws this man out. Because this man stands out, he doesn't look like everyone else in that feast.

We have people like that nowadays...and I could be one of them (you never know). We are invited to the banquet (Church) to feast and eat (Read, Fellowship and Worship God), but some of us don't have this garment ON. The Robe of Salvation. We continue to live in sin, to mingle with the Saints of God. This person who continues to watch pornography, who continues to live in adultery and tries to say...well, God understands. When we continue to hold on to that sin...

In this passage, the Lord was angered and told the attendants to tie this man hand and foot, throw him outside into the darkness. Do you GET that? If we continue to live in sin, continue to refuse that robe of righteousness, we will die in our sin. The Lord will reject us. Let us walk in practical holiness, let's not walk like the world, let us not speak unholy speech (swearing, slandering, gossiping), let's not live in fornication. That doesn't mean you will be PERFECT but aren't we made perfect in Him? We have to be pure, we have to be holy.

Revelation 19:6-10

"Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people)"
Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb." And he added, "These are the true words of God." 

At this, I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Don't do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus."

Happy Sunday. Xo

Friday, 31 October 2014

Staying Pure In A Wicked World

Since it's Halloween, I thought it was fitting to post this today. We see Christians celebrating it. For some people, it's just a day, a fun day. Then they encourage their children to dress up in different outfits, witches, wizards etc. They entertain it. Should Christians entertain it? It made me question, is it possible for we, as Christians, to stay holy and pure in a world that's turning more and more wicked? A world that's accepting to practices that were considered immoral a long time ago? Is it possible? In a world that has become filled with murder, immorality and corruption?

When I ask those questions, I am reminded of Sodom and Gomorrah. In case you don't know...maybe you do, but for those who don't...Sodom and Gomorrah were two Cities that God destroyed due to the sin that was very grievous. So, you may be thinking, 'I thought God was a merciful God, why would He do that?'. Well, it seems to me that these two Cities were so grievous, so evil, that the people's hearts grew cold. It was filled with...well, probably what we see in the world today. Nobody in the City was righteous...except Lot and his family. It was SO bad that...when the Angels of the Lord came to get Lot and spent the night at his house, ALL the men from EVERY PART OF THE CITY OF SODOM, both YOUNG AND OLD surrounded Lot's house, demanding to have sex with the Angels. Do you see how wicked it was? Sodom was filled with drunkards, adultery, sex and murder. Do you ever wonder what made their hearts grow cold against God? I can imagine they did not even want to hear the Word of God. They did not want to be corrected for their wrongdoings. They had no fear of God in them. So, people KNOW the truth behind Halloween? A holiday that promotes FEAR. Didn't GOD Himself tell us that He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound MIND? So, if Halloween promotes fear...then why do we indulge in it? We shouldn't be afraid of the devil...we have power over him.

In this day and age, do you ever wonder if you're the same? If you're accepting the practices of the world. I can imagine if Lot and his family had accepted those practices, they would not have been saved. How did they stay away from those practices? How did their hearts stay pure, their thoughts and actions? Isn't that hard to do when everything around you encourages you to do JUST the opposite? Nonetheless, in Phillipians 4:8, the Apostle Paul tells us that we should focus on 'whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God is peace will be with you.' 
Again, is Halloween right, is it pure, is it lovely, is it admirable? Does God praise Halloween? Did you see the Prophets celebrating Halloween? People need to read on things before partaking in them.

So, from this story, the one of Sodom and Gomorrah, I can see that it IS possible to stay pure in a wicked world, a wicked generation. It must be if Jesus commanded us to do so. It sounds easy, doesn't it? I remember when reading this story of Sodom and Gomorrah, thinking...I would not follow the crowd, I would be saved like Lot. I was so confident. But now...I'm thinking, oh, it's so easy to fall. It's easy to fall when you're surrounded by things such as magazines, promoting sex, fornication and discontentment. Magazines promoting greed and pride. TV shows that promote lust, profanity, nudity and violence. Adultery, which just makes it hard to trust your spouse. Gossip, which is glorified (...I watch The Wendy Williams Show, so I know), sexual promiscuity among other things. I've just recently started watching this Talk Show called 'The Real' with Adrienne Bailon, Tamar Braxon, Tamera Mowry, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai. Loni, who I love and I think she's hilarious, constantly talks about her affairs with men, her love for sex and how she loves alcohol. I find myself laughing and clapping then end up stopping myself thinking, 'Wow, did I just laugh at that? What would Jesus do?'. Not just that, she constantly berates and makes fun of Tamera for her faith. If not, it sure looks like it. So, TV is just junk nowadays, hence why I do not watch it as often.

So, listening to this sermon (which I will post down below) made me think and ask myself, 'Am I compromising my moral values for this world? Am I developing a thirst for the world? I remember watching 'The Truth Behind Hip Hop' by G Craige Lewis and his ministry called 'EX Ministries'. I was so convicted after that, I threw away all my Hip Hop CDs, all my music of Beyonce, Jay Z, Rihanna (that's not to say I have fallen a few times and listened to them again), but the whole point is, I did it. I learnt that music has drastically changed over the years. You do not have to be a Christian to know that. It has become more sexual, sensual, dark and demonic. I feel so guilty for listening to it sometimes that at some point, I stopped completely. Nonetheless, I think we have grown lukewarm and just blind to our spiritual condition. People say 'It's just music, there's nothing there.' Or, 'They are just words and I like the beat...there's nothing to it'.
With regards to Halloween, what makes Christians compromise their beliefs to celebrate it? When it has a history of sorcery, witchcraft, evil, demons...why are we okay with it? The Bible sets a foundation as to what we should NOT do. In Deuteronomy 18:10-12 - 'Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive our these names before you.'

So, what corrupts us? Why are we spiritually dry and empty? Why do we all say it's so hard to be a Christian, it's hard to stay pure? How did Noah stay pure when he lived in such an evil generation? Noah's generation was so bad that the Bible says that EVERY INCLINATION OF THE THOUGHT OF THEIR HUMAN HEART WAS EVIL...ALL the TIME. All they did was think about evil. Do you ever feel surrounded by opportunities to do the wrong thing? For example, having friends that want you to join in their gossip? Or teachers tell you that you should live in reality and the Bible is just a bunch of stories? Noah was surrounded by evil but the Bible says he walked righteously and faithfully with God.

It seems like a wicked generation has always been there. Even in Hosea's generation and you can read about it here (Hosea). But, in Hosea 7-9, Hosea tells his generation, 'You have forgotten God. You claim to know Him yet you fail to consult Him. You are so busy pursuing things of this life but you have become empty. You do not bear any fruit...'

Even the Prophet Isaiah cried out against his generation - Isaiah 1:4, Isaiah cried out, 'Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.'

In the New Testament, Peter cried out against HIS generation soon after Jesus was crucified. 2 Peter 2:14-15, "With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning, they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed - an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.'

So, THEN and even more so, NOW, people had forsaken God and rebelled. I talked about the consequences of that in 'A Hard Heart' post. All these sins - drunkenness, harlots, murders, divorce, fornication...yet God always had people that stayed pure, who stayed on the path of purity. They continued in God's presence with pure hearts. They rejected the world and all it's pleasures.

What about OUR generation? We have become vile and wicked because we have lost the fear of GOD. There is no fear of God in US. In Proverbs 16:6, it says that 'By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.' We have lost the fear of God.

In Psalm 36, David says, 'I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked. There is no fear of God before their eyes.' The fear of God comes by making a CONSCIOUS decision to follow God. It begins by reading the Word of God and hearing it. If this is how we get faith, and the Word is neglected,  then we have no faith.

We cannot blame the devil, movies, alcohol, computers, pornography, we can only blame ourselves and our lack of prayer and bible study. We are ignorant of how God works. We all know we should pray but we just don't. We have time for a lot of things, time to watch TV, time to hang out with friends, time to chill, time to be lazy...but we do not find time to pray.

The Word of God cannot change you if you are not praying. The World can change you if your Spirit is cold or lukewarm and your soul is dry and empty. If you heart is fixed on the Lord, on prayer and praise, nothing can touch you. No demons from HELL can influence you. No ungodly CROWD can draw you from Him.

God wants us to become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation...and we do that by holding FIRMLY to the Word of Life. Phillipians 2:14.

1 Peter 2:11 - 22 gives us some guidance on how to live godly lives in a pagan society - we should abstain from sinful desires, and live good lives among the pagans. We should submit ourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority. We should do good to others.

Here is the message 'Purity In A Wicked Age' by David Wilkerson

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

What Seed Are You Planting?

Hey people - another post...and so soon. I don't start work until early November, so I'm spending more time with God. I'm spending more time in His Word. It also makes me happy. I feel closer to Him, sometimes I feel further away from Him but nowadays, I have time on Him, I love doing it. I read the Parable of the Sower and then listened to a Sermon on it - just to get an idea and study on it. Because, honestly, when I read it, yes, the Lord explained it himself (it's meaning). But, a Sermon also helped because some of the things I learnt, I didn't even THINK about.

Here is a preview of the Parable.

Luke 8:4-15 - The Parable of the Sower
Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him. 'A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on and the birds ate it. Other seeds fell among the rocks. It began to grow but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still, other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted'. When Jesus said all this, he told them, "Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand."

Clearly - they did not understand, because his disciples asked him what this parable meant and he told them. "You are allowed to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: 'When they look, they won't really see. When they hear, they won't understand'. This is the meaning of the parable. The Seed is the Word of God (Bible). The seeds falling on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message  and receive it with great joy. But, since they do not have deep roots, they only believe for a while but fall away when faced with temptation.  The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly, the message is crowded out by cares and riches and the pleasures of this life, so they do not mature. The seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it and are patient.

When I was younger, my parents gave me a bible. I remember reading this Parable and I did not get it. I was like 'what?'. But, since getting saved, listening to sermons, praying for understanding, I get it. As David Wilkerson said himself, this Parable is about patience as well as the condition of a believer's heart. I will explain why and you will be like 'ohhhh'...because that's what I did too.

So, we know that the seed represents the Word of God, which is the Holy Book...the Bible if you haven't gotten it yet. The farmer (it doesn't say this in the Bible) to ME represents God Himself or the Shepherds on earth that teach you the Words of the Bible.

The Footpath

So, Jesus already explained the meaning. But, let's delve deeper into it. The first kind of seed fell on the footpath. Jesus describes this person as someone who hears the Word of God, they didn't mock it or anything. In fact, this person is very interested in the Word of God. They nod in agreement with everything that is written in the Word. The Word of God is planted in their heart.
BUT...and it's a big but...
The devil (Satan) takes it away from their hearts...well, unless they believe and are saved. I'm just trying to imagine what sort of person would be like this. I think it would be someone with a hard heart. They must be hardened with sin, because they hear the Word but they do not understand it and Satan plucks that message away from them, so the Word of God cannot make an impression on them. They reject the message they hear and by doing that, they are refusing to be saved. They are probably corrected for what they are doing but they continue to ignore the gospel.

This is probably the most impatient person because, on hearing the Word, they don't want to deal with their sin. They would rather indulge themselves in pleasure (sex, drugs etc.). They do not want to be tested or tried. They do not want to wait on God. They hate preaching on disobedience, holiness or repentance. They want entertainment, to go to church and come back feeling happy. They do not want the Holy Spirit to prod them and correct them. For this person, maybe going to church is enough, they feel satisfied. They do not have that personal relationship with God. Maybe...just maybe, they want to go straight to heaven without having that test here on earth. I mean, isn't that what faith is all about?

Remember the Tower of (Genesis 11) - at that point, the whole world had one language and the people wanted to build a tower so they could reach Heave. For me, I took that to mean, they wanted to be like God. They wanted to reach Heaven and go straight there without being tested and tried. Because of that, God confused them and made them speak different languages, so they couldn't communicate.

The Rocky Path

Jesus described this person as someone who is happy and full of joy. They are vibrant, they go around testifying God's work. They are repentant and they live in the joy of who God is. They receive His Word with joy and gladness. They worship and praise Him but in the hour of temptation, they fall.

They have a sin that is controlling their life. This person is impatient with God. They want to be free from that sin and old desires, yet when temptation comes, they are impatient. You have to have time to grow your roots. Simply, go back, pray, dig in and ask the Lord for the roots. Ask God for patience until they come. God tests us to see if we are patiently waiting for Him to deliver us. God knows our impatience is destructive. I mean, look what happened with Israel.

    • Memory Tour - remember when Moses went up to the mountain and God delayed him up there. After FORTY days, the people lost patience. They started dancing, carousing in drunken orgies and even made a golden calf to worship.
Then think about Saul.
  • Samuel told Saul to wait for him at Gilgal before fighting with the Philistines. Samuel, let's call him Sam, told Saul, 'you know what, this journey may be long. I may take 6 to 8 days but do not worry, I will BE there.' But, as Saul waited, the Israelites grew impatient and began leaving. On the 7th day, Saul became impatient. But, I think God just wanted to know what was on Saul's heart, if he would have more faith, whilst everything looked bad. Saul, instead, took everything in his own hands. 1 Samuel 13:10.
The Thorny Path

This is a person who does not fall or go back to the world. They have stopped all communication and flirtation with sin, they just do not bear the fruit. I can imagine this person as someone who attends church regularly, listens to sermons, reads their bible, hangs out with God's people BUT they just do not have that fruit. He may make promises to God but he does not fulfil them. He hears God's Word but does on with his life. He prays a little bit, witnesses to people but he is preoccupied and busy. He cannot FULLY embrace that self-denial. They desire wealth and riches. They want to be rich and in the end, that richness and pleasure chokes out the love for Jesus. Remember, the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Even in 1 Timothy 6:9, Paul tells us that those who want to get rich will fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.

The Good Soiled Path

The Lord describes this person as the ideal saved person. This person has a good and honest heart. They have their heart set on loving God and they are convinced that God will always deliver. This produces long lasting fruit. 
They endure a lot of difficulties, trials and tests, sometimes seduced by the flesh and unholy thoughts, but this person's heart is in God and he patiently waits on Him. I cannot help but think of Psalms 15 (which by the way, I'm trying to vicariously live by).

Psalm 15 describes a person who can dwell and live in God's Holy Mountain. This is a person whose walk is blameless, they are sincere in their walk, they are righteous, they speak the truth from their heart, they do not lie, they hate sin, they honour God, they keep PROMISES even when it hurts. When these people do that, their faith will not be shaken and they will stand firm.

So, what seed are you planting and on what path? I hope its on the good soil...

Have a good month. x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

When You're Losing Your Faith

I haven't read my Bible in so long (ashamed) and I haven't listened to a sermon lately either. So today I decided to listen to one. It's been a busy month. I listened to a sermon by David Wilkerson (you can see how much I love that man) on Asa, King of Judah and how he lost his faith.

I always think there is a reason for the stories in the Bible. There was a story to tell and a moral to learn from it. So, there must be a reason why there is a story about King Asa.

King Asa of Judah  - A Man of Faith

2 Chronicles 14 describes King Asa - "Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord, his God."

So, what does it mean to be 'good and right' - obviously this means he was a man of faith. He was a righteous man, a truly Godly man. He did not flirt with sin, he knew he had no place to hide because he knew God watched him. He knew even in darkness, he could not hide from sin so his life was basically an open book. He had constant knowledge that God watched him. God saw everything he did.

One thing I've learnt from this sermon is that King Asa was King Solomon's Great Grandchild. I'm sure you all know the story of King Solomon, he was the wisest man (apart from Jesus) in the Bible. So, I'm sure King Asa read about his great grandfather's teachings, about his life, his wisdom and how he fell in his wisdom. He must have studied about Solomon and read his proverbs in those days, about adultery etc. So, it must have taught him a lesson, probably not to repeat what his great grandfather had done. The fact that his great grandfather preached a great message against adultery yet that is the very sin that cost him everything. But King Asa sought after God. He must have wondered, surely, how such a wise man, with such an anointing, blew it all off? He must have said to himself that he did not want to be like that man.

Nonetheless, he had a great father. His father, Abijah, was a praying man. In 2 Chronicles 13:10, even during the war - Abijah encouraged everybody and preached to them, saying, 'As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the Lord are the sons of Aaron, the Levites assist them...God is with us, He is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. People of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.'

So, King Asa knew that Men of God, caught up in adultery end up ruined and fail in their faith. He KNEW that men who did not set their hearts to PRAY end up with no peace and no order in their homes. He KNEW that the secret to God's favour is available to those who SEEK Him with all their hearts. 2 Chronicles 14:4 - 'He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey His laws and commands.'

Because Judah sought after the Lord, they prospered. But this does not mean they were immune to the enemy's attacks. We seem to think that just because we are Christians, we won't have trouble. But think about Job, think about all that happened to him. Think about Paul, who was continuously belittled for his faith. Jesus Christ, Himself, as God on earth faced many troubles I'm sure, but he was a man of faith. (What am I saying, He is God, so surely, He had faith).

Anyway, Asa faced a MILLION man army against his 3,000 man army. But guess what he did? He prayed. It made me think, when I'm faced with calamity, I should surely pray. Not just that, Asa and the people of Judah had PEACE. This means they had no FEAR, they feared nothing. I don't know HOW I would feel but it wouldn't be peace at this point. I am trying to imagine facing a million man army with 3000 people on my team.

But, he PRAYED. He remained faithful. He remained calm when he faced calamities - 2 Chronicles 14:11 - ''Asa called to the Lord his God and said, 'Lord, there is no one like You to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, You are our God; d not let mere mortals prevail against You.'''

King Asa had no other strategy. He went and rested it all before the Lord. Imagine! I mean, he only had an army of 3000 men yet the enemy had millions. He had no plan but instead, he sought the Lord and he prayed. They prospered in the end and they were still at peace. A praying person who prays in faith will not be overcome.

That's one thing I've learned - You should always seek God. Even when you are prospering, not just in hard times. In GOOD times, thank Him. Be grateful for where You are. Pray for your families, your friends, your loved ones, pray!

The Warning

Clearly, he was going down the same route as his grandfather (Solomon) because God saw fit to send a prophet to warn Asa. In Chronicles 15 - God sent Azariah, the Son of Oded who went out to meet Asa and said to him, 'Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you but if you forsake Him, He will forsake strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded...'

The warning here is important. We can actually apply it to our life. You know when you pray, pray, pray and then get the thing you were praying for, do you ever get spiritually lazy? Do you get prideful? That's what God foresaw happening to Asa. He  foresaw that Asa would have pride and be confident in his own flesh. He would lose his anointing. God knew so he sent Asa a warning. I can't help but remember how God sent the Prophet Nathan to warn King David about his sin too. The good thing is that King David took it on.

Nonetheless, King Asa took on the words of Azariah and he took courage. In fact, he removed all idols and abolish idol worship. He repaired the altar of the Lord and even offered sacrifices to God - obviously a way of giving thanks to God for the favours received. (Nowadays, we pray and praise God, which is a spiritual sacrifice).

They entered into covenant with God and repented for what they had done, hoping for a better future. They diligently sought after God themselves with ALL THEIR HEART and with ALL their SOUL. Asa even took down the image of Asherah, this image that his own grandmother would worship. An idol, in his palace - he did this whilst destroying all the idols in his kingdom. She must have sought after God took and sought after him because, remember, all who did not do this were put to death, men and women.

Because of this, there was NO war in the land!

The Fall

So, how did King Asa come to his fall. How did this happen? Well, something was happening. The King of Israel wanted to wage war against Judah, so King Asa decided to take the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord's temple and his own palace and he sent it to Ben-Hadad, King of Aram, who was ruling Damascus. This seems different. This time, he seems to be forsaking God. Instead of praying and trusting God, like before, he tries to make this other King his friend. If he didn't have to do this, he would have had to pray to God. He trusted in himself. He felt comfortable and God was not pleased.

So, guess what God did? He sent another prophet to Asa. 2 Chronicles 16:7, the prophet sent a message to him, saying, Because you relied on the King of Aram, and not on the Lord, your God, the army of the King of Aram has escaped from your hand...' Basically, God was trying to tell him, to remind him that he was the one who delivered them out of the battle against the million man army. He even told him, 'the eyes of the Lord are only on those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.'

He would have nothing but pain and suffering from then on, only because he trusted in himself. His pride got to him. What was his response? He was enraged. He was angry. Why? Because of what this prophet was saying. He knew he used to be like this prophet. He was a man of prayer, he sought after God, he was a righteous man. He walked and spoke just like this Prophet.

God inflicted him with a disease in his feet. It was a severe disease, I have no idea what kind of disease it would be but it was bad. But, even then, Asa did not seek the Lord. He did not get help from the Lord. He went after doctors! He sought after them but not after God.

So, there's a lot I've learnt from King Asa. Well, not a lot but quite a bit.

1. Even when we have strayed away from Him, or really...never even KNEW Him, somehow He is still there, waiting for us to come back. To welcome us back into His loving arms.

2. Prayer is important - we have to SEEK God and He will be found by US. It's really a choice. The Prophet Azariah, teaches me a lot actually. If we seek Him, He will be found by us. He is there. If we forsake Him and ignore Him, He will ignore us. God isn't a God that forces us to worship Him, even if He does desire it, it's a choice on our part. When we are distressed, we should seek after Him. We should be strong and take courage, because at a point, we will be rewarded (2 Chronicles 15:7). This reminds me of that scripture, where God tells us to not grow weary for at the appropriate time we will reap a HARVEST if we do not give up.

3. Judah's desire to please and worship God actually resulted in them getting more blessings from Him. 2 Chronicles 15:15 - the Lord actually gave them rest on every side. They had peace.

4. Instead of acknowledging his own guilt, Asa was upset and angry. He even imprisoned the prophet that the Lord had sent to him. He refused to seek God even when he was in pain, in suffering, in his illness. He did not repent for what he did. He was angry and even oppressed a few other people, apparently. He was bitter!

The Lord warns us a lot about enduring and staying committed to Him and His way of life until the very end. In Matthew 24:12, Jesus said, '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.' But, look at King Asa, he was righteous for most of his life but he failed to remain faithful to God and serve Him until his death.

In Hebrews (one of my favourite Books), we are encouraged to have faith. We are told to have confidence in God, that the JUST must live by faith.

But just like King Asa, God gives us a CHOICE. Remember the story of Cain and Abel. How Cain got SO angry at his brother, Abel, because Abel received more favour from God. He was angry and in his anger, he killed his brother. God even warned Cain, telling him that sin is crouching at his door, and tells him to RULE over that sin.

So, endure the race, guys and girls. x

Monday, 15 September 2014

Getting To Know The Holy Spirit

This is not about spirits or getting involved in the spirit world and dealing with secret societies or whatever; this is about Christians who are told in Galatians 5:13 and onwards to 'walk in the Spirit'. The full scripture says; 'Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But, if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law'

We hear so much about manifestations (speaking in tongues, prophesying etc.), the power of the Holy Spirit but some of us don't talk about WALKING in the Spirit or the guidance of the Spirit of God. How He has come to take FULL control of what we DO or SAY and how we ACT. Just because YOU speak in tongues, or have GIFTS of the Spirit doesn't mean you WALK in the Spirit of God. Jesus sent the Spirit to take HIS place. He fellowshiped with His disciples but left the Spirit of God, His MIND, the ESSENCE of God. How amazing is that? We have been made in God's image, we have His Spirit and we can choose to just let go and walk according to His will. 

Works of the Flesh

'Now, the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness and the like of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

This itself TELLS you what it is NOT to be in the Spirit of God. If you commit ADULTERY (voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse), you are living according to your OWN desires. I know it's become such a norm now...I mean, look at Kim Kardashian (I don't mean to bash her but she's the one I can think of now), she was still married to Kris Humphries at the time she got in a relationship with Kanye West and was even impregnated by him. This alone shows that adultery was committed. In the olden days, this used to be a sin punishable by STONING because of the act itself. In family law, I learnt that consummation is the act that actually solidifies the marriage. So, the wedding does not necessarily make you married, but having sex with your husband MAKES THAT BOND. When you go out of that bond, that's adultery. 

Another one is FORNICATION - these are sexual relations committed by an UNMARRIED person. Pornography, masturbation, sexual immorality...all things done by somebody who is not married...that is fornication.

UNCLEANNESS - This covers a wide range of all sorts. Uncleanness, in my opinion, is a spiritual uncleanness. So, all filthy talk must be GONE - 2 Timothy 2:16 tells us to 'avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.'

For me, godless chatter includes those who share what they do with their boyfriends. I don't want to know the details of what you've been doing. That's for your privacy. First of all, I don't want to imagine that and second of all, whenever I look at that boyfriend of yours, I probably won't see him in the same way because of what you have told me. 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us that 'bad character corrupts good manners...' So, imagine if you are such a good girl but because your friends are all filled with filthy speech, you are obviously going to take that ON and may change. (Not always the case, but it happens.)
Proverbs 18:21 is something I also try to live by; 'the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruits'. careful what you say!

Be clean...what does being clean involve? This means stop listening to the voices in your LIFE and learn the voice of God and be OBEDIENT to that voice. His Words (the Bible) will build your faith and  that faith comes by HEARING His Words. In order to hear His voice and His Words, you must be in a position to hear them. So, if you are living by the flesh, then you will only hear the voice of your flesh. If you listen to music that is obviously...explicit, watch movies full of sex, violence and nudity, then that's what you will hear. Remember, you sow what you reap. 

LEWDNESS/LASCIVIOUSNESS- Well, to be honest, I didn't know what this word meant until I look up it's meaning. So, apparently it means to be ignorant, wicked, unlearned. Basically, it means lacking moral values. This is for those people who gather in God's house to worship, hear His word, enjoy fellowship yet those who appear to be holy lead a lust-filled life. They fornicate, carry on affairs, feed their own addictions to pornography. Jude 4 tells us that 'for there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.' Jude is telling us that there are people out there...possibly those on pulpits, who are up there, preaching but living a life full of lust, full of filth.

IDOLATRY - This is easy because idolatry is everywhere and has been since biblical times. In those days, they had Babylon - which (I actually went as far as watching The Truth Behind Hip Hop 7, just to find this out), historically, had gods made by hands, so people clearly had no faith, priests were worshipped by people (Dagon was a priest - Dagon is just another name for Nimrod who was came from Canaan and Cush - all this through the bloodline of Noah). Other things they did at Babylonian times was have people enslaved, homosexuality was common in place, bisexuality was worshipped with the sun and moon gods, newborns were scarified to idols, paedophilia was seen as 'reincarnation', marriage was not sacred. 

What is idolatry nowadays? Well, pretty much the same thing. We hold celebrities (hence they name, they are celebrated) up to a high level. We see them as gods, we want to know what they are wearing, what they are doing so we follow them on social media, we email them, we go to their concerts, follow them worldwide (that's for those die hard fans). We do SO much for people who do not even acknowledge YOU. Do you know they have a Church of BEYONCE now? The religion is called Beyzus. They call it the Church of Beyzus. How crazy is that?

Paul tells us in Romans 1:21-25 that 'for although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts became darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles...they exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen.'

I'll post a video down below so you can see the effect of idolatry - especially with celebrities.

WRATH - Wrath is defined as extreme anger. You can see this spirit in those who are fatherless because their father was never there during their childhood. For example, Tyler the Creator, Chris Brown - I feel for them because if you do listen to their music, some of the lyrics are just sad. For example, Tyler The Creator's song 'Bastard'. Man, I felt bad for him. 

When we hold on to unforgiveness, we only hurt ourselves. We cannot hold on to these things. What we are doing is simply changing how we think, how we act, based on what they did to us. Proverbs 27:3, 'A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty, but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.' Holding on to unforgiveness will simply weigh you down. 

Proverbs 22:10, 'Drive out the mocker and out goes strife (wrath); quarrels and insults are ended.' So, forgive those who hurt you, and anger will be gone. True forgiveness. 

SELFISH AMBITION - This is self-explanatory. This is simply YOU seeking your own ambitions. Selfishness. Pride. It's not wrong to be ambitious. In fact, I've been praying for an ambitious brother, I have an ambitious father, my grandfather was an ambitious man. BUT, having that strong desire to achieve something for YOURSELF. Colossians 3:23 - '...and whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly, for the Lord, and not for men...'

Whenever we do things according to our own accord, this produces pride. We become pride and God doesn't like pride. He loves humble.

ENVY: Envy is simply jealousy. You envy those around you when nothing is going according to YOUR way. Godly contentment cannot be achieved until you get ride of all that. Surround yourself with people that will encourage God's plan in your life and not their own plan for YOUR life. People who are not happy and satisfied with their own life will try and stop your contentment. Guard your life and your children. Especially during your waiting period, you must be content. 

Anyway, I won't go through the whole sin list but you get the point - you cannot be an instrument of God's vessel if you, yourself, are unclean, if you are involved in sorcery, if you a re committing adultery continuously,envy others, you are selfish and seek to feed your OWN desires. Jesus was a servant...He came down as a KING, the father of all fathers...yet He served US. He died for us. Let's try and be that way.

BUT the good news is that we CAN live according to God's Will. The way JESUS lived on earth. By having and WALKING in the SPIRIT of GOD. When you have His SPIRIT you are a NEW CREATION. This means no more envy, no more selfishness, no more arrogance, no more filthy talk. This doesn't mean it will come just like that. It will be challenging but to HIM who is able to keep you from FALLING and present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. 

Fruits of the Spirit

LOVE - Ah, that word that seems to be thrown around like it means nothing. Well, the Bible defines it in 1 Corinthians 13 - love is patient, love is kind, love is not self-seeking, not selfish, it makes no records of wrongs but seeks to find the good in others. Now, can you say that you love that person? Oh, and to lay down your life for's safe to say that the love that God gives us cannot be compared to the love we give to others. The love that God gives US is incomparable to the love of others. When we lose our way, He is always ready to embrace us. So, try and walk in love. We should realise that all humans make mistakes, try and have the heart that the Lord had. When people make mistakes, have the heart to forgive them. 

JOY - This is hard to do because when we are led by own will and way, then our joy depends on our circumstances and we struggle with depression. I think joy is very much a personal thing. We have to realise that people in the bible actually endured much more suffering that we probably ever will but they had joy in the midst of it because they knew that God was in control. This does not mean pretending to be happy just because the bible tells you to have joy. But we have to exercise this. The Lord tells us that we should consider it PURE JOY whenever we face trials and tribulations of many KINDS because we know that perseverance simply builds up our faith. (James 1:2-4) 

PEACE - This is a word used by a lot of the disciples in the bible. Peace be with you, may God grant you peace..Well, the only way to understand this is by defining maybe what the opposite of peace is...FEAR. Remember that story in Luke 8:24? Well, let me remind you...

One day, Jesus said to his disciples, 'let us go over to the other side of the lake'. So they got into the boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down the lake, so that the boat was swamped and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him saying 'Master, Master, we are going to drown!'

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm. 

'Where is your faith?' he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, 'who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.'

What does this teach us? We all somehow that inherent fearful spirit in us. No matter how much God continues to bless us and answer our prayers, we still fear the next time we face another crises. Didn't Jesus tell them they'd get in the boat? In fact, they were with Jesus in that boat and they still had fear.

I don't know about you but sometimes I get scared too. I pray for jobs, I get through to the interviews but I still have that FEAR no matter what. It's just weird...then I tell myself, 'Chansa, God has not given you the Spirit of fear...calm down...'

So, continue living according to the Spirit of God. No matter what happens in life, ensure that you have love, you have joy, you have peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another and envying one another.

Paul told us that we are ALL victims of sin in some way of another. But, these are things that our FLESH were subject to and still desire. So, it is important to put away the works of the FLESH and live through the Spirit of God. Use all the Fruits of the Spirit to overcome the works of the flesh.

Psalm 119:101 - I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word...Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path, I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow Your righteous laws.

Have a good week!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Are You Developing A Hard Heart?

A hardened heart. What does that mean? Let's see, Ephesians 4:18 says, "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart."

Isaiah 6:9-10, "You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I will heal them."

Proverbs 29:1, "He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his heck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing."

Reprove means 'correction'. Proverbs 29:1 tells us that hardening our hearts is a result of rejecting repeated warnings - pushing aside all truth. As a result of our constant rejection, our hearts become hard and then they become impossible to cure. Obviously, this is to the Church and it's people. It cannot be to the world because the world has not accepted Him. Christians are the ones who sit in the Church each WEEK or possibly everyday listening to sermons of reproof but continue to ignore it. Such people, this verse says, refuse to allow God to correct them and as a result, the hardness begins to set in and in the end, they cannot be cured.

So, a hard heart is one that resists the word of God or resists obeying the Word of God. Then it becomes impossible to convict them against the warns of the Holy Spirit.

Are YOU developing a hard heart?

1. How many times have you heard and read messages about the neglection of daily prayer and bible reading?
I am so guilty of this because life gets so busy but you listen to a message on the importance of daily prayer and bible study BUT you find it so hard to pick up the bible and spend 5 minutes speaking to God. If you neglect the closet at home, if you think praying once a week will take care of your needs, then you will never survive the troubled days ahead. If you have ignored the call of the Holy Spirit to draw  you to the secret closet for intimacy, then you have taken the first step towards the hardness of heart. You should be able to have a personal relationship with Him - that's the only way to prepare for what is coming.

Prayer is important! I think I need to take this on too. Gah!

2. How many times have you been warned about gossip?
Sometimes, we listen to a message on gossiping, then we go out into the world and continue gossiping again. Remember how the gossiping and murmuring cost Israel everything. They were continuously warned about the dangers of gossip but they continuously disobeyed the Lord. Continuing to gossip despite the messages you have heard leads to a hard heart.

3. How many warnings have you heard against harbouring a secret sin?
What about that secret sin you battle with. When a preacher preaches against a certain sin such as cursing, lust, sexual immorality, but continue to live in such...isn't that a hard heart? When you do not allow the conviction to sink IN. That leads to a hard heart. The Lord both endues us with overcoming power through His Spirit, and puts a will in our hearts to do right.

Hebrews 3:7, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, 'their hearts are always going astray and they have not known my ways'. So I declared on oath in my anger 'they shall never enter my rest'."

So, the hardness of hearts comes from those who HEAR God's voice but ignore it. Everyone is in danger of becoming hard hearted. Because we go on to worship God, praise Him but we do not mature. We gossip, we sin but we love to listen to God's word, we just do not obey it. We are hard hearted.

Israel listened to the Prophet Isaiah, BUT they continuously justified their sin. That's why God said in Isaiah 6:9-10, "You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I will heal them."
God KNEW the Israelites were not willing to lay down their sin. They loved their fleshly pleasures too much. In the end, the Lord just told Isaiah that, 'You know what, these people are not going to change their hearts. I won't speak a word to them.'

In Psalm 15, which I just read and it convicted me, David asks the Lord, "Lord, who can reside in Your presence? Who can come to before You? Who can come to Heaven?"
He lists down a few things about how we should act, how we should speak. He says, we should be sincere in our ways, righteous in our walk, we should do the right thing. We should speak the truth, not gossip about others, our friends, we must stay faithful to them. If we make a promise, we should be able to keep that promise. We should hate and despise sin, not hate sinners, but pity them. We should not look with approval on anything that is vile before God. If we do all this, we will stand firm in Him. 

For those who are Christians, do you remember what first brought you to God? What first brought you to repentance? When your heart gets cold...hard, you have no feeling. You cannot be moved, you cannot be broken. Remember when Pharaoh's heart grew hard, even with the afflictions he faced, death was on his door, sickness had befallen Egypt, but all he said was, "Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice? I will not bow my neck, neither will I do his will. I am my own master and I will have my own pleasure and my own way. I will not yield to God."

May the Lord melt your heart and mine. 

I hope this message blessed someone...I know it blessed me.

When The Holy Spirit Depart - Pastor David Wilkerson

Monday, 1 September 2014

Work Experience: Coventry City Council

Heyyyy, possible law students/graduates reading this. You're probably here because you want advice. Well, I'm here to give it. It's so easy to plan how your life should go BUT hard to see it come to plan sometimes. Hmm! I mean, they say University helps you prepare for your career. The exams we had, the coursework, the dissertation, this does NOT help you figure out what you want to do, where you want to be after you finish. I mean, seriously. Life's HARD out there. The world is become so competitive making me so much more difficult for us to find jobs and we have to be so meticulous about the sort of law firm you want because your personality will suit a certain type of law firm.

I cannot STRESS how much work experience is important to have. If you KNOW you want to study law...if you're in college, make sure you try and get experience. Ask Law Firms if they have any work placements, make friends, go to law fairs and interact with people, network! It helps. Believe me!

I was sort of thinking and made my own list of the benefits of gaining work experience in the legal field. They may help...or not but check them out. Don't judge!

1. Research
You're a law student...or graduate and you've been doing nothing but researching throughout your years at University. Well, it's not have to research the FIRM you want to work at. The type of law you truly want to be involved in. Does that firm interest you? This will help you conclude and may help you make an informed decision on your career choice. So, work experience is important...believe me. The more experience you gain, the more opportunities you will have in the future. Firms will be impressed due to your hard work and commitment to wanting to gain experience. As for me, Child LAW and Family Law are the areas I love. I managed to get a 1st for my Child Law module during my LPC. That's how much I enjoyed it. I loved and still love Child Law. In fact, I still read the Child Law book (that's how much I love Child Law). I loved learning about Children in Need, the Child Protection Conference, Contact with Children in Need. That's one of the reasons I undertook my week long work experience at Coventry City Council. The cases were mostly Child Law related. I worked with a Senior Legal Officer and members of the legal team, attended legal meetings on Child Protection, carried out research and also did some minimal work such as filing. That was a great experience. That's one of the reasons why I chose to pursue a career in Child Law.

As a result of this, I went on to study the LPC...and actually chose Child Law as one of my electives as I studied the LPC. I wanted to gain more experience so when the opportunity showed up to volunteer as a Legal Assistant for this Family Pro Bono Scheme at Leicester Family Court, I jumped straight to it. Although its once a month, I had the experience of meeting and registering clients, assisting parties by explaining court procedures, observing interviews and attending court hearings from the duty solicitor. So, I love experiencing new things, especially if it has to do with Child Law.

2. Ask Questions
When you work at that place...ensure that you ask as many questions as you can. Do not just go there, do the work, get the experience then leave. Ask a lot of questions! Also the questions they ask you at Job Interviews can be shaped from your research and experience with other firms. You want to give a great impression, so ask intelligent questions. If you know little to nothing about the law that that firm specialises in, then simply show that you are willing to learn and be enthusiastic about your eagerness to learn and grow.

When I worked at Coventry City Council, I was so scared to ask questions. I was quite nervous because I didn't want to be bothersome but they were very accommodating and would even ask me if I had any questions. I think asking questions not only shows your interest but also shows your eagerness to learn too. The best person I remember speaking to was a Law Graduate and an LPC Graduate who was working there as a Paralegal but was going on to pursue a Training Contract the following month. I had the opportunity to learn what he did, his goals, his career plans, how he went on to obtain a Training Contract. So, I think it's important to obtain experience...definitely.

Do not be SHY. They chose you for a reason. That's what I say to make myself feel worthy. Anyway, the whole point is, you're worth something, that's why they chose you. Remember, you are there to learn. So the best way of doing that is to get involved. My week was so awesome. I was given responsibilities such as research, attending meetings along with the Senior Solicitor - this was amazing because it gave me great confidence in what i would like to do in future and a an insight into what I would be doing as a Trainee Solicitor.

Ask for work if you feel like you are not contributing enough.

4. Do not COMPLAIN, just DO IT, as volunteers and students on work experience, we may be given tasks that we absolutely HATE. For example...FILING and PHOTOCOPYING. This is the opportunity for you to fake it. Yes...I said fake it. BUT think about it. It's beneficial too because you get experience of legal research and proofreading. It's not exciting BUT it plays an important role in legal work experience. I was fortunate enough to actually be given tasks such as filing and proofreading during my week at Coventry City Council. I would get so emotional being told 'thank you' because I knew everybody else had so much to do but I was of some use whilst I was there. In fact, it made me feel appreciated and that I wasn't wasting my time whilst I was there.

So, everything you DO and the experience you GET will help you in life.

Trusting God With ALL Your Tomorrows

I cannot believe it's SEPTEMBER! Happy September everyone.

I have been learning the 'art' of trusting God. I guess when you think about it too we aren't where we want to be yet, we get so anxious, so sad, so down in the damps because we cannot see the future. Then we begin to ask God, 'Lord, why? Why did I not get this job? Why did this person get married when I have been so good and faithful to You?'

If you have never questioned yourself, you're lying to yourself. As humans, we ALL get anxious. We pray and ask God to bless us with good friends...then we complain about our friends. We pray and ask God for a husband, then we complain about our husbands not being good enough. We pray and ask God for a good job, then we complain about our jobs not being good enough either or it's too far or the people are too mean. We ALL complain, we all grumble. But what you do today will shape you for tomorrow.

Whenever I worry, grumble or complain, the Lord directs me to this scripture; Matthew 6:25, "Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?"

Although it's easier said than done, let's look at the one man who DID trust God with all his 'tomorrows'. Abraham. In Hebrews 11:8, "By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going."
Abraham was quite old when he got that call. He probably had a lot of plans for his family, his nephew, Lot and his wife, for the children, BUT, the Bible (Genesis 15:6), "Abraham believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness"

It's easier said than done though because we always ask 'what if'? This can bring us down, it weighs us down, we fret, we worry but God tells us Himself, "Why do you worry about clothes? The flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin...if this is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you - YOU of little faith?"

Let me tell you something. I am a graduate. I have no job...well, I do but it's not a graduate job...not the ideal job. I have had a number of interviews and I have faced rejection. BUT I know it's not the end of the world. Yes, I face sadness and complain for a while, BUT when I look at others, they stress, they mourn and complain continuously. I know that as God's Child, I shouldn't WORRY. God Himself TOLD me. He has taken care of me up to this point. He has been faithful. He has supplied. I have faced failure and He has put me through. It's easy to say you trust God, you have faith in God but the real test is when you're going through something bad and you HAVE to trust God. I recently read a story of a young woman who killed herself because of the number of rejections she'd gotten after graduating from University. ----> <---- can complain and say, "Why, oh, why do bad things happen to good people? Does God hate me? Did I hurt you, Lord?" BUT the Lord always has an answer (That's why He's amazing, LOL). He tells us in Psalm 34:19 - "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."
If you know you trust God, if you KNOW He has always been there for you and you are faithful to Him...surely then You know He can bring you out of whatever you are going through. Suffering comes to ALL of us. 

LISTEN, this life will not be easy. Some of us go through so much worse than Job went through. But you have a choice. You can either complain...stating 'why did God allow this to happen to me?' and forget what everyone else is going through, being self-centred. This makes you confused, you will have no joy, you will be depressed, depressing everyone else around you. The question is not WHY but HOW you will react to it. God has allowed it BUT always remember you are in God's will. You will be a testimony by the way you react. 

King David took it positively when he said in Psalm 119:71-72, "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold."


Look at how Paul took his suffering. He could have thought about it and been depressed but instead he said, "I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel..."
God is not a mean God. He surely does not want you to lose faith in Him. God is faithful. When we are suffering, HE looks at how we react. How long do we sulk? How long do we question His faithfulness? Paul is a great example because he even wrote to the Phillipians during his time of suffering in Phillipians 4:10-13, "I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me but you had no opportunity. Not than I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to be abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things from Him who gives me strength."

If you're a Christian, is CHRIST being preached through your reaction? Is it panic? Is it complaining? Is it faith? Is HE being preached? If people know you're Christian, do they see someone who trusts God? not WORRY. Well...try not to worry. Let your AFFLICTION be the message of God's faithfulness.

I will leave you with Phillipians 2:14, "Do all things without grumbling or disputing that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation..."


Heavenly Father, thank You for Your continued faithfulness. I know You, Lord, and and I will rejoice because You care, You keep Your word, all things will work for my GOOD, Your eyes are on me, Your promises never fail. I will not be afraid. Help me to trust in You completely. I know You will see me through and guide me.


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