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Having a relationship with God – Series 18

Having a relationship with God – Series 18

Intro: Rev 3:4 – The ultimate goal as a christian is to be dressed in white. This is symbolic of true purity and being without blame. Jesus will only acknowledge those that have not soiled their clothes. Those that have overcome the world. Those that have held on to the truth of the gospel and walked in the ways of Christ. Be a christian of purpose and principle. The bigger picture above all else is to be found acceptable before God. Therefore we need to prepare, be watchful and focused on the second coming of Christ.

Psalms 23 – David makes a declaration of who God is. It reflects his level of spiritual maturity. Note, he has not started this psalm with a request, but rather a confident assurance of who God is to him. It is sad to see that some christians of today make bold declarations that do not come to pass. Why? Because they are not mature enough. They do not understand scripture and lack a true conviction of the fundamental principles that are the essence of Psalms 23. Let us break this scripture down.

• Psalms 23:1 – 3. Is God your “be all and end all?” Do you truly believe that in Him you have no lack. It is vital to know that in Him you have full provision physically, spiritually and mentally. This is the peace and assurance we have as His own.
• Psalm 23:3 – 4. Nothing should distract us from the opportunity that is inheriting the Kingdom of God. Therefore, even in the deepest darkness you must understand that God is still there. You don’t need to question where God is because you are confident He is always with you. Remember going through a challenge doesn’t mean God isnt there.
• Psalm 23:5 -6. Are you one of those people that pray for God to remove situations and enemies? A mature child of God understands that sometimes God does not remove the adversaries that surround us and place us in a little bubble with people that love and support us, contrary, the lesson in this is knowing that in the midst of all adversity God is there. God remains God and He will equip you with all you need to overcome and grow in such situations. Offen we fall in pursuit of goodness and love, but the scripture clearly states that these WILL FOLLOW US through every situation and every moment in our lives. This is achievable only if we truly apply the whole of Psalms 23.
This palms is profound because it really challenges us to understand that God is God. The Ultimate and only! In your daily walk as a christian, always know that there is a place past this world that our spirits will go. A place prepared for us through Christ by our Father in Heaven. Strive to be those that will endure and overcome difficulties and come out on the other side dressed in White. Even through the deepest darkness we may find ourselves in, God is our shepherd and understanding Psalms 23 is the key and weapon to having victory over this world.

Remember the bible is historic because it is evidence of past events that actually happened. It is current because within it are lessons that are applicable in our lives today and prophetic because it gives insight of events to come. Take time to meditate and pray about Psalms 23 and understand the purpose and power it holds.

Having a relationship with God – Series 17

God is the creator of all. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. By His word all things were created and have their being. In His superiority, God has regulations we must adhere to. A code of conduct that will determine the type of walk we have in Him.

Isaiah 1:1-6. This scripture is an aid in understanding God’s terms and conditions. It shows us the view of God over sin, living in sin and how to make amends. God had seen that His people were living in sin and even referenced that even animals know their master, yet His people didnt know Him. If you look back, the reason the Israelites were set free from bondage in Egypt was to worship God, yet in this scriptures they were not fulfilling their purpose. God’s ways and approach has and will always be the same. Our purpose is to worship.Him and we cannot do so if we are sinful. The Israelites violated God’s commands and their gatherings became a disgust to Him. Therefore, when you sin, you severely compromise your relationship with God. There is no doubt that God loves His people, but once we succumb to a life of sin, we become detestable before Him. You may continue to go to church and perform your ministerial duties but the sin covering you will render your works null and void. It is those who do the will of God that will inherit the kingdom. If we look at the story of Nehemiah, we see that he started by pleading his sin and that of the people in an attempt to restore an image of purity before God. If we live in sin, God cannot bare the sight of us. Even when we raise our hands to Him, He does not pay attention. It doesn’t matter how much we fast and pray, give to the needy, preach and sing, as long as we do not acknowledge our sin, God will continue to be disgusted by the sight of us.

Isaiah 1:16 – 17. Despite all this, God is a God of mercy. Let us go back before our Father. A second chance is ours for the taking. The love of God is such that even if we find ourselves in sin you can still go back to God. God cannot condone sinful behaviour but He has given us the opportunity to go and settle any matters held against us. It is up to you to come to Him whole heartedly.

Isaiah 1:18. An invitation has been presented to us, to open our hearts, rid ourselves of malice so that the Holy Spirit can live and work within us. No matter how wild you have become, how far you have gone, it is not too late to repent. Seek the Lord while He is still near. God is waiting for you to take that step today. He has promised that although your stains are deep red, He will make them as white as wool and He will wash you as clean as snow.

Having a relationship with God – Series 17
Having a relationship with God – Series 14

Having a relationship with God – Series 14

Intro: Historically, the children of God always faced difficulties, not because God’s hand wasn’t there, but rather because of their own actions. Sometimes we do not learn or develop in life because we do not attach any importance to what we hear. As the children of God we must learn to attach importance to the written and spoken word of God. We need to step away from the world’s teaching that primarily focuses on what we can gain from God and blessings, not focussing on truly understanding who God is and living as he commands. Remember, it is Isaac’s obedience to the command of God, that protected him and he was even blessed in abundance over and above that. What we seek can be granted by God as and when we need it if we are obedient to Him.

Genesis 1:3 & 11. This scripture demonstrates the power of God. He COMMANDED, and it BECAME! God commanded the desolate land and it obeyed Him. When God speaks even nature will obey. It is important to know that God’s power has not changed and it never will. He is the same God as he was in the beginning. The difference in the manifestation of his power is that we have learnt to resist what God says.

Genesis 1:26. The difference between nature and a human being is that nature is just as it was created, but a human resembles God. Man was made in God’s likeness. God gave us the ability to reason, decide and gave us power over certain things. If nature does not resist God’s command, how is it human beings resist what God has commanded? If you look at the meaning of the word “command”, it does not give room for negotiation. Let’s look at Lucifer for a minute. He was created, and just like us, had the ability or freedom to reason, question, and decide. His downfall was allowing this ability to challenge God. He saw himself as superior to God. In our lives today, we too must not allow the favour God has bestowed upon us to hinder our relationship with him. There is a time where we are not supposed to reason with God but simply obey. Humans have a tendency to reason out of God’s will. However if God has favoured us by giving us dominion over all things let us use it to glorify God.

The bible teaches us about the principle of the sheep and the shepherd. We are the sheep and God our shepherd. When you start to resist the voice of God, you are slowly moving away from the flock. God has given us authority and power, let us not use our authority to oppose God or resist His commands. If you look at the story of the Israelites exodus from Egypt, they sinned against God the moment they began to reason and deliberate on their situation. They reasoned to the point they even built an idol to worship. Even in a difficult situation, know and understand that God is in Control. Believe in His purpose in your life and the assurance that He knows the plans he has for you. You have a purpose you must fulfil. You cannot negotiate out of your calling.

In conclusion, what will make you to be the person God intended you to be is found through obedience of the command. The opportunity is now. Your ability to reason should not become your hindrance.

Having a relationship with God – Series 13

Intro: How many times have you heard the word of God. How many years have you spent as a “christian”. Have you ever wondered why your life, both physical and spiritual remains the same? What stops you from doing what God wants? We need to start implementing the word of God in our lives so that we can impact the world. Your relationship with God is what will determine your obedience to Him. An intimate relationship with God, allows God to be the authority in your life which will unlock your obedience to him. Just like in the case of our regular employment. Our employers have become authorities in our lives, so we are never late to work. We work hard to fulfil our roles in that organisation, being diligent to follow all processes and procedures. So, likewise, unless God becomes an authority in your life you will never be able to be obedient to him.

Matthew 10: 4 & 27. – This chapter speaks of the intricate relationship between a shepherd and his flock. It is an intense relationship of familiarity built over time. The sheep know and trust the shepherd and follow him. They are completely dependent on him. God is our shepherd. He goes ahead of us and we must follow him. The essence of God is to feed and protect His own. It is unfortunate that we tend to ignore God because we are not close to Him. We do not lose anything when we have an intimate relationship with God, but we stand to gain everything. Supernatural things begin to happen because we start to believe in Him. We have not been given a spirit of bondage, (Romans 8:15). But rather we have been given the spirit of sonship where we have the authority to call ABBA Father. Declarations have already been made in the bible and we have been given that right to be called the children of the most high God. As God’s children, His power resides in us. It is therefore your responsibility to make those declarations applicable in your life. We will still remain in bondage if we do not have a relationship with God. In the story of Moses and the Israelites, when Moses went up Mt Sinai and was away for sometime, in their impatience, the Israelites built an alter and god’s to worship. It was their lack of a direct relationship with God that led to their little faith and ultimate sin.

Psalm 23. – This psalms only becomes relevant to you if you have the heart to believe. Whatever God has declared will stand always regardless of what you may currently be going through. An immature christian in times of struggles prays a prayer of questioning God for their troubles, but the prayer of a mature christian who has an intimate relationship with the Father, waits patiently in full knowledge that God remains God through all circumstances. Both the good and the bad. (Psalms 23:4) shows that there will be times of deep darkness. These times are inevitable, but you will not fear for you understand the principles of God. You understand that even in those times when God is silent, He is still present in our lives. Although Job, lost everything he held dear, he still did not lose his love for God. His relationship was never questioned or compromised. Such an intense relation is that which leads to the true obedience as witnessed in the story of Abraham when asked to sacrifice his son. Therefore your relationship with God will determine your strength and continuity in running this race called life! The value you place in it is what determines your actions.

Matthew 26:39. Jesus made a very deep plea to God in the time of suffering prior His crucifixion but even through His anguish His prayer was for God to still have His way. In the same way, we too must be able to allow God to do as He wills in our lives. Even though Jesus had the authority and power to defeat all His enemies, He still chose to humble himself out of obedience to His Father. Today, God is looking for that same level of maturity and intimacy with Him in us.

The deeper the relationship, the higher your obedience. You must understand the power balance. God is above and we are low. God speaks and we follow. Obedience there

Having a relationship with God – Series 13
Having a relationship with God – Series 16

Having a relationship with God – Series 16

Intro: Recently we have been learning about having and maintaining a relationship with God. How a deep connection with your Father in heaven is the key to a fulfilling life. It is a matter of the heart. When you have the heart for something, you are inspired by it and completely engage yourself in it. This lesson focuses on the state of your heart in maintaining a good relationship with Christ.

Nehemiah 1: 1-10 & Nehemiah 2: 1-6. This is a profound scripture of how a movement in the heart inspires great and might feats! Nehemiah was touched by the condition of Jerusalem. The extent of his anguish towards Jerusalem was such that he mourned and wept for a considerable time and even caught the attention of the king whom he served. What is fascinating is that he did not mourn over a personal matter, but rather, his concern was in the state of a significant city of great importance to the worship of the children of God. Note that Nehemiah’s relationship with God was so deep, he understood who God was. He understood the expectations of God. In his prayer to God he even started by acknowledging his iniquity and that of the children of God. Nehemiah was able to make history because his heart was moved and he started by returning to God in passionate prayer before he acted on what was placed on his heart. It was his heart that drove him to start to rectify the situation in Jerusalem.

When our hearts are moved we can do the supernatural. Begin by asking yourself this, what is in your heart? Remember it was what was in Nehemiah’s heart that determined his actions. As Nehemiah started by correcting his relationship with God, we too should take that as a starting point. Then take time to reflect and pray. The more you grow closer to God, the more your concern grows over His work. You become aware of the needs of others above your own. Are you taking part to ensure the work of God is going forward?

It is important to note that Nehemiah didnt have the resources he needed to rebuild and take on the task at hand. But, as it is said, where there is a will, there is a way. When you have the heart to do something you are moved to create a way. You may have the resources, but if you have no heart, then nothing will be accomplished. Once your heart is in the right place, offen God will inspire others to assist you as did the king in Nehemiahs case. What is touching your heart today? Are you going to church time and time again but fail to be concerned about the work of God? The time has come to start having an impact on others and the community at large.

Matthew 28:18. We as Christian’s need to be selfless and be used by God for the benefit of others not ourselves. Nehemiahs journey started with his heart and he went on to do greater things. With the heart, what’s impossible becomes a world of possibility and opportunity. Let your heart be inspired today!

Having a relationship with God – Series 15

As we are living in an unprecedented time, a time of uncertainty and great change, it is vital that we are focused and persistent in prayer. Now more than ever, we need to stand alert. If Jesus went through challenging situations, what more us. There are undoubtedly times you may feel like giving up, but remember that those challenges are intended to be opportunity to build you up. Before Christ was crucified, He cried unto God, but even through His great turmoil, He still implored of God to do His will. He knew that His Father was in control.

Through this we know and have assurance that sometimes God will allow challenges in our lives. These are intended for us to grow in strength and ultimately for His glory to be witnessed. This is why, spiritual maturity is important. In maturity you’re able to face the devil and overcome him.

Daniel 1:6-9 & 11- 21. Daniel and the 3 young men were under captivity. Being in exile did not change the fact that they were Israelites. Even their name change did not change their identity. They continued to live according to the commands of God. They maintained their focus. The lesson in this for us, is no matter what situation you find yourself, like Daniel and the young men, do not compromise yourself. God was so pleased with Daniel and his companions unfaltering devotion to Him, He gave them extra ability and skill. As a christian, how are you maintaining the principles of God? If at times it takes a difficult situation for God to be seen in your life, are you practising unwavering focus on Him? Are you someone who is pushed around in their faith by situations? Ultimately, it is vital that you do not let your current environment rob you of your identity. God is looking for people who will stand, be focused and watchful. People that will inspire whole communities. Do not let your situation cause you to abandon the work of God. Always remember that God is a jealous God so be watchful and alert!

In conclusion, Colossians 1:9 speaks of knowledge and understanding. Looking at the story of Daniel and his companions, it is clear that they all understood their God. It is knowledge and understanding of the ways of God that allowed them to know how to conduct themselves and walk as required of them. Although they were in exile and in captivity their hearts remained free and uncaptured. As christian’s we must not let outside forces capture our hearts and minds. Be free to remain focused and alert!

Having a relationship with God – Series 15
Having a relationship with God – Series 12

Having a relationship with God – Series 12

Recap:
1. Building a relationship with God – We need to understand God wants us to worship him as his children. Problems arise in our lives when we forget who we are, our role and who God is. Always put yourself in a position to learn, just as Jesus was a learner (Hebrews 5:8). So that in turn you can be a teacher.
2. Unforgiving Heart – Reconcile with brethren. “Forgive our sins as we forgive those who trespass against us”. As we recite the Lords prayer, let us be sincere. How can we expect God to forgive us, if we are not in a position to forgive others.

Intro: Our continued goal and aim should be to build a relationship with God until we are so close and intimate that our relationship isn’t dependent on what God can do for us, but rather because He is God.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3) refused to bow down and forsake God regardless of the consequences. Regardless of whether God would save then or not, they refused to compromise their love for Him. Likewise, we need to develop spiritual muscles so that no matter what we encounter, it does not change our faith. God remains God in all manner of situations. “The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need.” (Psalm 23). That scripture is about acknowledging God is greater than anything else. Though the devil have wealth which he can give you if you sell yourself, God’s wealth surpasses all. In the story of the prodigal son, the lost son was given because he came back. The elder son questioned this and the explanation to him was he did not need to be given a portion, for the wealth was his already. Apostle Paul whilst in prison wrote to uplift those outside. Though his body was imprisoned, his spirit was free. That is the level of maturity in Christ we need to aspire to attain. Another example is Job, even if negativity was upon him, his perception of God did not change.

Ephesians 1:3-4. God has already given us the blessing from the moment we are in union with Christ. When the scriptures take about blessings, we automatically think of worldly possessions, but the true blessing is becoming a child of God. Even in hardship you still have the blessing. Whatever God has proclaimed belongs to us if we remain in union with Him.

As a child of God you need to understand that God spoke and by the spoken word all things became. By the word, all who believe will heal the sick. By the word, God has proclaimed blessing beyond measure. There is power in the spoke word. The manner in which we pray, is a reflection of our level of maturity. The people of God perish because they lack knowledge.

Ephesians 4:1-4. God has called us to a certain standard. Most of the time we are living below par because we do not understand the power of the spoken word. Live according to your calling. If God gives you a task he knows you are equipped to deal with it. The power is there but you have to satisfy certain conditions to be able to use it. If you are still battling minor things then you have not yet reached the level you ought to be.

Romans 8:15. Realise you are not ordinary. We are children of the Most High God. Recognise who God is. He is your father and whatever he has proclaimed belongs to you. Refuse to be impacted by negative situations because God is in control. We are the heirs of the Kingdom.
Once we live in union with God, we gain the spirit of Adoption, of sonship. You are no longer in bondage of anything. As a son, you cannot be excluded in the things of God. You work on behalf of your Father. No one follows you up because you are concerned over your Fathers business.

In conclusion, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, it was a test to see to what lengths Abraham loved Him. And as a result Abraham is known as a friend of God. Abraham’s maturity and relationship with God was such that nothing would come between his love for his Father. Likewise, track your spiritual journey. What level are you at. Be encouraged to work hard to create a deeper intimacy with God.

Having a relationship with God – Series 11

The importance of Growth.

We continue to learn and go through lessons that equip us to be prepared for the coming of Christ. That should be our primary goal knowing that we are going somewhere. Our focus today is on the importance of growth.

Matthew 28 : 18-20. Many christian’s are at that level where their christianity is primarily based on themselves. Their prayers and drive are solely concentrated on their own needs? In this scripture, God has commissioned us to go out and make disciples of all nations. We have assurance that in this quest, we are not alone, but have Christ to lead and guide us. However, in order to be able to fulfil this task, one must become mature in the things of God. You must posses the ability to overcome all challenges and barriers whilst standing firm and in full confidence in Christ. Spiritual maturity, allows you to grow in this ability. If you are teachable, and can also impart your knowledge on others then you can fulfil the task commissioned to us. Jesus does not want us to be passive with what we have learnt in our christian walk, but rather share it to the nations.

Hebrews 5 : 8 & 12. Even Jesus Christ learnt from and through His experiences and it is that knowledge and authority He left His disciples. In vs 12, there was an expectation that the people at that time to have progressed in spiritual maturity, yet they seemed to have remained at the same level. This bares the question, Do you behave in the same way as you did when you first gave your life to Christ? Are you still in the same position? It is imperative to feed your spirit, otherwise you will not be able to overcome bigger challenges. When you are mature, you know and truly believe in the authority of Jesus. You know that God has given you the Spirit of power and not timidity. When you are mature, nothing can move you from your faith. You have a solid foundation in Christ. Sometimes, we are not waiting enough to give God the chance in our lives. We are quick to be discouraged. How much time has God given you in your life, and in that time, ask yourself, how much you have grown. Remember, if a tree stops growing, it starts dying. So you must continue to grow daily in the things of God. Going to church for 20 years, does not qualify you to spiritual maturity, but rather how you deal with certain situations and your ability to look beyond yourself and become selfless in order to achieve the great commission.

Therefore , take time for self reflection. Are you growing in Christ? If you find yourself solely praying for your own needs, then you are not yet mature. You are not yet acquainted with righteousness. Challenge yourself, introspect and measure your growth and make steps towards maturity.

Having a relationship with God – Series 11
Having a relationship with God – Series 10

Having a relationship with God – Series 10

Intro: There is a reason why God has kept you alive to this day. Acts 1:8-11. We have a final destination. A place where we are going. Our primary goal should be to refocus our minds to the second coming of Christ. Refocusing will help you to understand why we do what we do. All teaching therefore should be taken in the context of the coming of Christ.

Acts 28: 1-10. There are some keys points that you ought to keep in mind in these verses. Firstly, the bible says that the snake “fastened” itself to Paul’s hand, it is not written if it bit him or not. Secondly, the people of Malta had a preconception about Paul. Regardless of these key aspects, Paul did not waver from his mission. He was focused on what he was doing despite their perception of him and their presumptions. Regardless of the fact that they prematurely concluded judgement against his life and an inevitable death. Paul understood the concept of relationships, focus and purpose.

There are three main types of relationships a person has within their life and environment.
1. There are people who have a negative perspective on your life. They are prejudice towards you even without knowing you.
2. There are those that positively relate towards you and are there to strengthen and encourage you. These are the ones we naturally gravitate towards and hold dear in our hearts.
3. There are those that are seasonal and seem to be dominate in times of your success and stand to celebrate with you.

Understanding these group dynamics will make you better equipped to deal with situations. You need to understand why certain groups of people are in your life. For example, even though you may experience people with a negative perspective on your life, you need to understand that God put these people in your life to bring you an opportunity to improve yourself. Do not rule them out because through the difficult interaction with them, you have the chance to practise the word of God. The bible speaks of loving your enemies and praying for them. How then would you fulfil this, if every relationship you had was positive? To overcome something, you need to practise it, so view this group as that, a practise ground! Detremental to spiritual growth, most Christian’s do not see this in this light. They waste precious time and energy wishing these people to change and thus lose focus of Christ. In the scripture, people expected Paul to die. They stood watch and did not offer to help him even when they witnessed a venomous snake fastened to him. But Paul continued with his mission and proceeded to heal the sick. The name of God was glorified because Paul did not concentrate on the negativity. He held no grudge but rather demonstrated the power of God. You see the power of God can only be seen within a difficult situation. God does not put you in a situation to break you, but rather build you.

Take time to understand relationships in order to deal with them. Learn to categorise the people in your life, both positive and negative. Do not spend unnecessary time trying to change them. But use it as a chance for the Glory of God to be witnessed in mankind with “all the wisdom and understanding that His Spirit gives.”(Colossians 1:9).

Having a relationship with God – Series 9

We need to take time to consider what kind of people we are, so that we can yield the goodness of God. The media today gives a certain perception, it magnifies this perception which then appears to be the truth. It then becomes the norm and as the viewer we become dependant on the way in which that perception is portrayed. In all this, we forget who we are, we forget our own story, our own identity, our own relationship with God. If you value yourself, you are able to value the things of God. If you let the word of God have authority in your life, then you can be the master of your own story. Remember, the farmer sows the same seed, the variable is the soil. You are the variable. You are the difference between the absorption of the word and learning from it, or hearing the word and nothing changing in your life.

Season of Pentecost
Acts 1: 8, 11-12 – As it is the time for Pentecost, though we may not meet as normal, we still need to remain in prayer to receive strength through the Holy Spirit. People needed the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work assigned to them by Jesus. Only after following instruction and receiving the Holy Spirit, did they have the ability and authority to fulfil their calling. They were propelled onto a higher level.

Main Word
Matthew 6:12- Understanding the power of forgiveness will help us grow in our relationship with God. It free’s us from a certain emotional bondage. Have you ever stopped to think that if you say this prayer without having the heart of forgiveness, you are not only deceiving yourself, but you are a liar in the eyes of God. Failure to forgive results in a loss of energy and hinders spiritual growth and development because your heart is burdened with unresolved feelings. In the book of Acts during the time of pentecost, had they had unforgiving hearts, they would not have received the Holy Spirit. You therefore cannot have a meaningful relationship with God if you lack the ability to forgive. You need to realise that FORGETTING, and situation does not mean you have forgiven. We know this to be true because everytime you experience a similar situation, the same hurt arises again. SILENCE, or keeping quiet, is not forgiveness either, but rather a form of avoidance. Pretending something does not exist does not nullify it. True FORGIVENESS, is being able to go back, confront the situation, deal with it then completely let it go. If a similar situation arises, there are no hurt feelings attached to it, but rather you simply move forward and progress. In life, there are two main things that are extremely valuable. You must learn to be 1, a learner, and 2, a teacher. Allow other people to speak in your life. There is always a lesson in every situation you are confronted with. And once you overcome a situation, you can therefore impart your knowledge to other people, that they too do not face the struggle in the same way as you have done. Did you know that lack of forgiveness can manifest in the form of passive aggression and can be seen in the manner in which you speak to or relate towards an individual? Holding a grudge means you are holding on to negative emotions inside your heart. How then can you love God with all your heart, when it is consumed with unresolved feelings. God hears the prayer of a forgiving heart and it is free and ready to receive Him. Many Christian’s of today, despite coming to Christ, still hold on to past behaviours. Challenge yourself? Is there a behaviour you still posses today despite repentence? Are you carrying unforgiveness in your heart? Write down all those people you have not forgiven. Pray about it and even contact them and let go of negative feelings you have harboured towards them. Remember we are ambassadors of Christ and our conduct should therefore reflect this. Be challenged to forgive!

Having a relationship with God – Series 9
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