Relationship not sacrifice

Hosea 6:6 (NLT)

“I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me
more than I want burnt offerings.”

Here God is revealing His feelings toward us. He wants relationship with us more than anything we can do for Him or give to Him. He wants our heart above all else.

Loving God must be our highest goal. But how do we get to know Him? The same way we get to know people. By spending time consistently with God (reading His Word, praying, worshipping) we come to realize he is always with us.
Involving Him in everything we do and being aware of His constant presence within us will show Him our love.

Our works alone do not show God we love Him because we can perform them outside of a relationship with Him.

If we are not careful, we can live in idolatry by performing superficial acts when our hearts are far from Him. Whilst in this lukewarm state of compromise, we can be deceived into thinking these outward sacrifices are ticking the boxes to get God’s approval.

There is no benefit in all our giving, praying, serving and attending church if we aren’t giving Him our heart and living in obedience to Him.

God wants you even more than you want Him. He loved us first before we were even born. So make it a priority to get to know Him deeply and intimately.

Your time to arise

Matthew 3:13-17 (NLT)

Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”
But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

This was Jesus’ moment of change; a defining line in His life. He had spent thirty years in preparation for this day and the days that followed.
This was God’s time to begin to show His glory to the world through the ministry of Jesus. As soon as the dove descended and the Holy Spirit anointed Him, He was ready to enter into His ministry.

Likewise, your time has arrived in which God is propelling you into your field of influence. He has been disciplining and preparing you through this past wilderness season where you have come up against giants and powers far too strong for you.

But all this was required in training you for this moment where the work He has shown you is now upon you.

Just like Jesus, you have now been given the go-ahead to carry out the projects and ministry commission He has prepared you for.

Your dove has landed and your time is here to ‘carry out all that God requires’ (v15)

2019: God’s year to act!

Luke 4:16-19 (MSG)

“He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
God’s Spirit is on me;
he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

Jesus was prophesying from the scroll what He was going to accomplish. He was going to reveal himself to the humble, heal the afflicted, bind up broken hearts, set captives free and renew vision and purpose for those covered in darkness.

Not only was He declaring promises that He would fulfil in us, but that God would use us to help Him accomplish these things for others also.

There are some promises for this year that we have no control over. The great thing is that we don’t have to feel pressure or be overwhelmed by Jesus’ declaration, because He is the One who will do these things for us and we will witness the victory. It is His year to act and as we believe, we will watch the marvellous plan of God unfold.

As you enter into this year faith filled, remember that Jesus is going to move divinely, bringing glorious miracles, healings and breakthroughs. He is true to His promises for you.

You may have been waiting a long time for your miracle to become a reality, but this is your year. As Jesus confidently declared, “This is God’s year to act!”

Psalm 37:7a
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.

Your gifting will be revealed

Genesis 40:20-23 (MSG)

And sure enough, on the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he threw a feast for all his servants. He set the head cupbearer and the head baker in places of honor in the presence of all the guests. Then he restored the head cupbearer to his cupbearing post; he handed Pharaoh his cup just as before. And then he impaled the head baker on a post, following Joseph’s interpretations exactly.
But the head cupbearer never gave Joseph another thought; he forgot all about him.

Joseph had just given two interpretations of dreams that came to pass exactly as he had prophesied.
You would think the preciseness of his interpretations would have landed him out of prison there and then, but instead he was completely forgotten about for two whole years.

He didn’t kick and scream and bring attention to himself in the prison, thinking he needed to be seen. No, he continued to serve whilst simply waiting to be recognised for the gift of God upon his life.

At the appointed time God will use your gift to get you out of your prison. So wait for your door to open in God’s timing.

Set aside your privileges

Philippians 2:5-8 (MSG)

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Amazing! Even Jesus who was equal with God did not think highly of Himself despite being the Highest of High!

He was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and if anyone has reason to think highly of Himself it was Jesus.

Scripture says we also should think of ourselves like Jesus thought of Himself. What was that? It says He humbled Himself and through obedience He went to the cross. It was the greatest act of humility ever seen.

It’s time we put aside our positions, blessings and special privileges. We need to humble ourselves enough to associate with the outsiders, give up our seats for the lost and share the blessing we have through Christ.

If we are to be effective fishers of men, we need to come out of the four walls of the church, live a selfless life and be obedient servants for Christ.

The heart of giving

How amazing does it feel to be generous! Generosity is contagious.

I love this time of year when we get to give to those around us and show the love of Jesus in extravagant ways!

But how about the ones who we don’t know or don’t know very well; the single mums, the homeless, the neighbours.

Pray and ask God to put people on your heart, to reveal those He has a special blessing for.

Be a magnet, and be drawn to want to give and bless. Look for opportunities wherever you go. God gave us the greatest gift ever given; His Son Jesus. So the least we can do is pour blessings and love upon others.

Go out of your way for someone and make them feel loved. Speak words of encouragement, offer to pray, open the door, help someone with their shopping and let that impatient car go in front of you.

Together let’s cultivate an atmosphere of giving and watch the love spread.

Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
Proverbs 21:26 (NLT)

Time to celebrate!

Nehemiah 8:11-12 NLT

And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, “Hush! Don’t weep! For this is a sacred day.” So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them.
Read full story here

The people were saddened as they read the words from God’s law because they became aware of their sins.

The law exposed their short comings. The word of God penetrates the heart and brings our dark areas into the light.

But both Nehemiah and the Levites encourage them to celebrate and be joyful. Why? Because they have discovered a wonderful thing. Their creator is having relationship and communicating with them.

When God teaches us and reveals things to us we should be full of festivities and gratitude. If we really value His Word and understand the power in it, we will move from weeping over our failures to being quickly affirmed by His love.

There is nothing more reassuring than receiving instruction and correction from the Most High. He wants to shape us, teach us and show us His ways. And if we want Him to continue to give us counsel and wisdom, then we need to reverently celebrate Him.

So eat and drink and encourage others to feast and find delight in Him.

The wind is changing! Hooray!

Mark 6:48-52 NIV

He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed.

Here the disciples are straining and striving because the wind is against them. They are really doing it tough until Jesus comes to them. He doesn’t come to them in a way that they were expecting but is walking on the water.

The timing was not how they pictured it either. It was the middle of the night, so they assumed He was as a ghost. They got such a fright that they cried out in fear. But Jesus, being the comforter reassures them.

Is the wind against you right now, pulling you in the wrong direction? Maybe you feel like you are out of control and getting dragged out to sea. Are you struggling to stay afloat?

Rest assured Jesus is on the way to assist you. He may not come in the way you think or even the timing that you had expected but He is walking towards you.

He is climbing into your unstable boat and taking control of it for you. Look and be amazed at how the wind is dying down and bringing your tumultuous situation to an end.

Motherhood: A different form of worship (video 4)

Do you often find yourself wondering if you are doing enough for God? You want to make a difference, have an impact on society, you want to change the world but you are “stuck” at home.

So many mums I speak to feel insignificant during motherhood, often having finished up jobs where they are highly respected, energised by accomplishments and motivated toward achieving goals. Then they feel unrewarded, tired and lack any sense of purpose. Guilt creeps in with feelings of not doing enough “ministry” work or letting others down.

You long for the freedom and time you once had to get caught up in worship with your heavenly Father but the daily grind is unrelenting.

If this is you…check out the message below and discover that You ARE making a difference. You ARE changing the world. One little life at a time.

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