Category: Purpose

Who Are You Living For?

[Article by Lantz Manomano] —

Some Parallels Between Marriage & Our Relationship With God
Marriage is the best portrait or parallel of the Christian life or our walk with God. For example, the moment a man and a woman exchange vows and submit to each other it means they no longer live for themselves but they also live for each other.
The husband no longer makes decisions for himself alone, but his daily life and decision-making is ultimately done with his wife and children in mind.
Likewise the wife no longer lives for herself alone. Instead every decision she makes is made with her husband and children in mind.
Every marriage relationship requires love, faithfulness and commitment to one another. This love, faithfulness and commitment is not forced on the husband or wife, but it is a freewill choice where both spouses put away any selfish or individualistic desires but instead they create a common vision that will make them accomplish their God ordained purpose in life.
In Genesis 2:24 it says “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
This scripture speaks of a husband and wife becoming united in their life, values and purpose. They no longer act separately but they act as one flesh or a united team with a common purpose in the Lord.
During their marriage it is important for a couple to develop and mature pertaining to how they handle daily activities and challenges including any relationship issues which may arise. This is why learning to tolerate, communicate and forgive each other is also essential in a marriage.

We learn from the Bible that God sometimes uses marriage to illustrate or parallel the relationship between Himself and His people.
In Ephesians 5:21-32 the relationship between Jesus Christ and His Church is likened to a marriage.
Christ is the Groom and the Church is the bride.

Ephesians 5:22-32 says: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

So the moment one trusts in the Lord’s death and resurrection and His Lordship over their lives is the moment we join the Church of Jesus Christ. We become married to Christ. We die to self and we live for Christ alone (Galatians 2:20).
Christ’s death and resurrection reflects His commitment to the world and God’s desire to for all to come to repentance and be reconciled to God. The Christian relationship, just like marriage is not forced on anyone. Instead we willingly choose to experience the love and Lordship of our Saviour. The Christian relationship requires us to renew our thinking and align our minds with that of Christ. In simpler terms we now live for Him and He has become our life (Colossians 3:1-4).

In a marriage when the two parties live for each other they value their relationship because there is a new understanding of how to live life with and for someone else. This is the similar case with one’s relationship with Christ. It can only be valuable when one fully understands that at some point we were walking dead in our trespasses (Ephesians 2:1-3) but because of the commitment of Christ and our response to His proposal to us, we have passed from death to life (John 5:24).
It’s like a person who was on a life support and recovers to full health; they appreciate life more and due to that experience they have a new perspective towards how they live their life.

 

How Can We Live For God?
There are many, many examples that can guide us as to how we can live for God. In this article we will focus on one of those examples which is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 says: We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

The Word of God is our guide on how we can please God and live effectively for Him. So it is wise to use the Word of God to guide us.
(verse 12-13) – God has appointed leaders who labor in the Word of God in order to equip us for the His work. Therefore we are to respect them and remember them always for the work they do. So whenever we serve others, we are also serving the Lord as long as we do it all for the glory of God.
(verse 14-16) – In the Christian walk there are new believers or those who are not mature in the faith. The mature believers should always be available to help those who are young in the faith as well as those who are fainthearted or weak.
(verse 15) – Being patient to all and rendering no evil to anyone is something to be understood. We are being instructed to be patient with all mankind and never to take vengeance whether on anyone. Christ died for all and we are to treat each other with respect. So as Christians we are to exercise God’s will better since we have come to know truth.
We are to pursue what is good. With God, goodness will follow us all the days of our lives because God will not withhold anything good from us. So as we pursue His goodness we also not to withhold anything good from anyone.
(verse 16) – Rejoice always means that we find our joy in the Lord regardless of our circumstances. Therefore even through problems and challenges we must trust in God and find joy and peace in Him just as we would under good circumstances. James 1:2 goes on to say “count it all joy when you face trials”. In a fallen world we will face challenges but we will go through them knowing we have God who works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). So when we rejoice we are rejoicing in the fact that God is with us and He will one day deliver us. We also rejoice that when our faith is tested it produces patience, and when patience has its perfect work it makes one perfect lacking nothing because of the trust in the Lord.
(verse 17-18) – Pray without ceasing means we are not to tire in praying as it is our method of communication with our heavenly Father. Through prayer we are in constant fellowship and make our personal requests known, as well as praying for others and their salvation. As we pray we also give thanksgiving for all things as we know we have a loving God who cares and guides us in all things. As we do this we will be walking in the will of God. In other words this is us living for our risen King.
(verse 19-22) – Living for God also includes being led by the Holy Spirit as He is our teacher who is to guide us into all truth (John 16:12-15). We are not to despise prophecies but we are required to test all things whether they be of the Spirit of God. Testing all things means that we are to determine if Christ is exalted and whether or not there are good fruits. For example the Bible teaches us that we will know false prophets by their fruits and we will know their false teachings according to whether Jesus Christ is accurately and Biblically portrayed (1 John 4:1 and Matthew 7:15-16). We also are to hold fast to what is good based on God’s standards and not by man’s standards. Furthermore we should abstain from all kinds of evil behaviour.

The Importance of Knowing Who You Live For
When you are married you need to know you have started a new thing and that you would have branched out from the family you grew up with. You do not neglect your old family but because of your marriage and your relationship with your spouse, your focus and priority shift to your spouse and your kids (Genesis 2:24).
Same thing with a believer’s life. When you give your life to Christ the old goes away and you have a new direction in life as a result of your marriage to Christ. Your focus shifts from your old life, to your new life in Christ.
In Christ you are a new creation who learns to live according to Christ’s standards by placing Christ first on a daily basis.

 

Conclusion
Ultimately our goal in life is to live for Christ and to seek to please Him alone.

Colossians 3:17 says: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:23-24 says: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

In your personal life, take the time to ponder about these questions and issues below:
• Do you live to please God or to please men?
• How you live determines who or what you put first in your life. Who or what comes first in your life?
• Do you believe in God and do you really understand what it means to be saved or accept Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour?
• How often do you complain in your life? How often are you thankful even during challenges?
• How often do you fellowship with God and put God first in your day to day life?
• Do you believe all kinds of philosophies or do you test every thought and worldy idea through the lens of the Scriptures?

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article and would like to know more about what to do next? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

What is Christian Ministry?

Misconceptions About The Definition of Ministry
One of the most common misconceptions by many people regarding the definition of Christian ministry today is that the word ministry has been defined to mean either a church, a particular department within a local church or a Christian organization.
The other misconception pertaining to the definition of ministry is that anyone who works full-time for a church or Christian institution such as a pastor or missionary is perceived to be “doing ministry” whilst anyone who is not full-time is not perceived to be a minister nor to be “in ministry”.

 

The Correct Definition & Concept of Ministry
Biblically, the word ministry is translated diakonia in Greek which means “service” or “to serve”.
Therefore ministry is an act of service to spread the gospel of Christ, and to serve and edify others to the glory of God.

This act of service to God is not limited to a selected few such as a pastor or to someone who is paid a salary by a Christian organization. Instead ministry can be done by any born again believer who seeks to serve God and glorify His name in any capacity. In other words, every Christian is a minister of God because every Christian has been given a gift/gifts by the Holy Spirit to give one the capacity to serve the Lord.
Romans 12:6-8 says: Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Therefore one’s ministry does not have to be limited to preaching, singing in the choir or ushering in a church. Rather ministry or service to God can be extended through helping the poor, sharing the gospel to a friend or strangers or even using social media or the Internet as a platform to spread the word of God. Methods of ministry or service to the Lord not only include public speaking / preaching, but God uses artists, filmmakers, Christian writers, sculptors and people with many different skills and talents for the benefit of His kingdom and to the glory of His name (Exodus 31:3-6).

One’s ministry does not have to be limited to a central location such as one’s church, but one’s ministry can be extended into the workplace, at home, on the Internet or any venue and in any circumstance where God can be glorified. Christians have been commissioned by Christ to minister to the entire world (Matthew 28:19-20), and the Bible says that whatever we do must be an act of service to the Lord.
Colossians 3:17 says: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. [Emphasis Added]
Colossians 3:23-24 says: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. [Emphasis Added]

The Bible acknowledges that every born again believer has been given a gift by the Holy Spirit to minister or to serve for the edification of others and for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Even though every Christian is a minister of God, the Bible also tells us that we do not all have the same gifts or the same functions. Though Christians are one body in Christ, we have different functions and therefore we serve differently. Therefore not all can pastor, not all can sing, not all have the gift of generosity.
The Bible also tells us that there is no gift that is better than another gift and neither is any member of the body of Christ better or more important than another member, but all people are equal before God.
Romans 12:3-6 says: For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…

1 Corinthians 12:14-26 says: For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

 

What Can We Learn From How Jesus Christ Ministered?
Since ministry means “to serve”, we can take the example of Jesus who took the form of a servant and He said Himself that He came to serve and not to be served (Mark 10:45).
Jesus Christ served or ministered to others with humility and even though He was the Son of God, He became a servant of God and humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2:1-8).
Jesus also taught His disciples that whoever desires to lead must be a servant. Therefore Jesus Christ’s perception of leadership and ministry was different from that of the world.
In Matthew 20:26-27, Jesus says: It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,

The ministry of Jesus Christ and also the ministry of the apostles and the early church, was not an organizational institution – but their ministry was a lifestyle of servanthood to God; their ministry was day-to-day; their ministry extended to every situation and circumstance in their everyday life.
Jesus did not only minister in a synagogue, but He ministered in homes, at a well, on a mountain, on a road or in a conversation. Many times Christ used the least expected methods to minister. Even in the midst of persecution, Christ’s every word and action was a life of ministry or service to God – even unto His death on the cross when He said “It is finished” (John 19:28-30).

Even whilst in jail in the midst of persecution and awaiting execution, people like Paul still ministered to others and he was used by God to write part of the New Testament Bible whilst he was in prison. Paul continued to share God’s word as he called himself “an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:20). Therefore despite Paul’s location and despite his circumstances, Paul was used by God to fulfill one of his most important ministry or service to the Lord which was to write part of the New Testament scriptures that we read today.
As was the case with many Christians in the early church, Christian ministry extended beyond the 4 walls of a building. Instead for the Christian, ministry must be a lifestyle or a way of living.

 

Conclusion / Summary
Therefore, every born again believer is a minister of the Lord. Every born again Christian has been given gift(s) or talents by the Holy Spirit to equip him/her to minister and edify others to the glory of God.
As we faithfully and genuinely minister or serve, we must do it in humility, not thinking that we are better than others. No function, talent or gift in the body of Christ is better than another instead we are equal before God.
Our ministry or service is not unto men or to gain recognition from men, but our ministry it is unto the Lord and for the glory of the Lord alone.
Our service or ministry as believers is not limited to a specific venue or location and neither is ministry limited to a selected few. Your life or lifestyle is a ministry because one’s life can be an epistle / letter that someone reads so that Christ is glorified (2 Corinthians 3:2-3).
Therefore in every place in the world and in whatever circumstance, we have an opportunity as born again believers to minister to others for the glory of God.

 

What is the Meaning of Life?

Many times in this world we have witnessed the life of people who seemingly had everything; we’ve witnessed people who had wealth, possessions, fame and even influence and yet these same people have felt empty, lost and misguided.
When a famous person commits suicide, we sometimes wonder how such a person would take his/her life when they seemed to have adoring fans and wealth that could last a lifetime.
We become perplexed when people who seem to have it all, appear unhappy and fall into the snare of depression, drug addiction and many other different issues.
These type of scenarios prove something very important: It proves that fame, money and possessions do not always give us meaning in life.
Many people have sought things that they thought would help them self-actualize but only to become disappointed and empty after they achieve the goals that they thought would bring them happiness.
Many people have sought that job; that lifestyle; that relationship; or that position and influence in life but only to find themselves unsatisfied, feeling empty or greedy for more.

In Ecclesiastes 1:2, King Solomon writes: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

This statement came from a man who seemed to have everything. He was the richest man on the earth; he had power; he had influence; he had possessions; he was famous; he had many wives and concubines yet he said that everything is meaningless.

So the question becomes the following: What is the meaning of life? Is life really meaningless? How do we find meaning in life?

When we make simple and objective observations we can easily conclude that almost everything on our planet serves a purpose. From natural things such as the clouds, the trees, the soil, the wind, the sun, the bees, the animals and so much more – these things play a part in our ecosystem to bring balance. It is also the same with man-made objects. Our man-made structures and objects were built by man to serve a specific purpose. For example, from a simple invention such as a paperclip to complex creations such as buildings, bridges, computers, vehicles and software programs, it is evident mankind built all these things with a specific purpose and for a specific reason.
Therefore all things that are made and designed by an intelligent being were designed to serve a specific purpose. The designer or creator is therefore the one who gives or assigns purpose to his/her own creation.

Therefore our meaning and our purpose in life come from only one source – God our Creator.
Without God in our life, we cannot truly understand the meaning and purpose of life. Individually we cannot discover who we are and what we are meant to be without the involvement and participation of our Creator.

In Genesis 1:31 we see that God created everything and He saw that it was good. All that He created was designed to serve a purpose on the planet, including mankind.

In Genesis 1:26-28 we see that Adam and Eve were created with meaning and purpose.
1. They were made in God’s image. This means that they had godly qualities and characteristics. Man’s identity in life was in God. They were designed to have a personal relationship with their Creator
2. They were also given the mandate to have dominion over the earth. They were given rulership and were caretakers of the planet
3. They were given the purpose of being fruitful and to multiply in the earth.

Notice in Genesis 1:26-28 that it is God Himself who gives mankind both meaning and purpose in life. It is God who created mankind with a specific objective and purpose.
Therefore God is ultimately the Source of our meaning and purpose in life.

Without God in our life, we cannot find meaning and we cannot truly discover our purpose in life.
Hence, this is why neither wealth, possessions, sex, fame nor influence can truly give us meaning and purpose. We may seek these things, but yet when we have obtained them, we either find ourselves still feeling empty inside or we find ourselves greedily seeking more due to lack of satisfaction.

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 it says that God “has set eternity in the hearts of men…”
This means that within the soul of man, he/she is aware that there is more to life than just living in the present. Therefore there is something eternal and fulfilling that we as human beings profusely desire.
As humans we cannot be satisfied by the material and natural – instead we inwardly yearn and desire for something that is beyond the things that we can touch and see.

Our human void can only be filled in knowing God and in having a genuine relationship with Him.
The human void that all humans have, came as a result of the curse of sin by Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-24).
When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they thought that they could live their life without God’s direction and counsel. They thought that they could find meaning and purpose without God. They thought they could find meaning and purpose by their own strength and knowledge.
Instead their sin created a human void that is found in every human being. Their sin created a human emptiness which can only be filled by God whom they initially disobeyed.

John 6:35 says “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Are you looking for meaning and purpose in your life? Then seek God and seek a relationship with Him.
Understand that you are empty because of sin. Understand that sin is the reason why we are separated from a good and loving God. Believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross to pay for your sins so that you may have eternal life. Through faith, receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.

 

 

The Secret to Happiness

Can money, wealth, fame & material possessions lead to everlasting joy and happiness? Could these things be what every person needs in order to be happy?
Ironically the majority of us seek after these things more than we seek anything else.

You might hear someone say: “if I had a lot of money – then that would make me happy”. Then when that person obtains the wealth and riches that he wanted, you discover some years later that the person got depressed and committed suicide.

You might hear another person say: “if I could just get a good job then I would be happy”. However, years after getting the job, you discover that person is not happy or satisfied with their job or career.

You might know someone who seeks just a bit more of that drug in order to get himself high because he feels that the more he takes drugs the more happy he will become. A few years later, you might discover that person has died from a drug overdose.

The truth is this – happiness isn’t found in possessions or a dependence on things.
Jesus said that our life does not consist in the abundance of things (Luke 12:15).

Neither money nor wealth nor material possessions can be deemed as evil within themselves.
However, when we observe the life of famous & wealthy people it’s easy to realize that the answer to happiness or joy does not lie in riches or fame but it lies in something much greater.
If rich & famous people fall into depression to the point of committing suicide then it means that neither their wealth nor their fame was enough to stop the depression nor prevent them from taking their own life.

If we desire to find the true secret to happiness then we need to look beyond the things that are temporary. If one’s happiness is based upon something temporary – like money – then that person’s happiness will die/end when the money runs out.

There are certain issues in one’s life – such as anxiety, depression and addiction that cannot be dealt with simply by having a lot of money or by being famous. Fame cannot deal with depression because such issues are internal issues.
Depression, anxiety, addiction and even suicidal thoughts are issues that affect the soul and spirit of a person. They affect the inward part of us.

In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus says “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth & rust destroy & where thieves break in & steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys & where thieves do not break in & steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be”.
In the scripture above, Jesus encourages us not to inwardly dedicate ourselves to seeking after the temporary because the temporary will ultimately be destroyed. Happiness does not lie in the temporary.
Instead Jesus urges us to seek after the eternal things in heaven where nothing can be stolen or destroyed.

In John 15:11 Jesus says “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full”.
The kind of joy that Jesus gives us is the joy that remains inside of us despite the external circumstances. Therefore, it’s possible to go through challenges in your life but still have the joy of the Lord inside of you. It’s possible to go through a difficult situation but still remain confident in the Lord and have the peace of God which surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7).
True joy is found when we set our hearts on the eternal things in heaven and when we accept Jesus Christ as being the ultimate source of everlasting joy.
The truth is – without Jesus, we cannot have everlasting happiness.

 

 

 

13 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Suicide

According to the World Health Organization close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and there are many more who attempt suicide. Suicide is also the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally.

If you have suicidal thoughts or if you are being tempted to take your own life – It’s important to know that suicide is not the answer to solving life’s problems.
Life is a gift that comes from God and God would want us to value the life that He has given us.

 

Below are 13 reasons why you should NEVER consider suicide

1. You Are Loved
Even though you’re not perfect; even though you feel guilty; even though you feel like you’ve done bad things in your life – always know that there is someone who loves you unconditionally and that person is God your Creator.
Romans 5:8 says “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ dies for us”
Christ died for the sinners. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes and do things that we regret.
People may fail to love us; your family may fail to love you; your friends may fail to love you – but God NEVER fails and God will ALWAYS love you despite your failures or weaknesses. Therefore it’s important to know that even if you feel like people don’t love you – always remember that God loves you and you can embrace unconditional His love for you.

2. You Are Forgiven
Even if people don’t forgive you – God forgives you. Even when we think that we don’t need forgiveness – God still forgives us. When Jesus Christ was crucified and while He hung on the cross, Jesus forgave the very people who were crucifying Him as He cried “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.
Sometimes you might feel such guilt and remorse for something you have done, to the extent that you might feel that suicide is the only option or escape.
If you have done something wrong and you feel guilt, remorse and anguish over your situation – you can receive the forgiveness of God for whatever you have done.
1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God will forgive whatever wrong thing that you have done. Whatever wrong you have done – Christ paid for it on the cross so that you may be cleansed of all unrighteousness.

3. God Can Carry Your Burdens
You might be carrying a lot of pain; you might be carrying a lot of hurt; you might be carrying a lot of heartache & depression. However, God wants you to cast all your burdens and all your pain onto Him.
1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you”.
Our bodies were not built for worry and depression. This is why depression or anxiety can lead to psychosomatic problems and sicknesses where one gets high blood pressure, heart attacks and the like. We were not designed to carry burdens.
However, God can carry our pain and burdens. All we have to do – is let go of the worry and anxiety and through trusting and praying, we give our issues to God and believe that He will take care of our issues.

4. God Can Give You Peace
Philippians 4:6-7 says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.
Whenever you are going through a problem in your life – it’s important to pray about it. When you have suicidal thoughts it’s important to pray about your thoughts and worries so that God may give you peace. In life we need somewhere to offload our problems and Philippians 4:6-7 encourages us to talk to God about EVERYTHING and to NOT be anxious about ANYTHING.
Therefore as you give your issues to God & let go of the circumstances that you cannot control – then eventually the peace of God will come.
John 14:27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

5. God Has A Purpose for Your Life
In Jeremiah 29:11-12 God says “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord “Plans for peace and not for evil to give you a future and a hope”.
God’s thoughts towards His people are that of peace and not of evil. God’s thoughts towards you is to give you a future and a hope.
When one considers suicide it is a sign that one no longer thinks that he/she has a future and a hope.
However, God offers you hope and He has a future for you. Suicide simply aborts the plans that God has laid for your life

6. God Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You
Even if people forsake you or even if you feel lonely. Know that you’re not alone because God will never leave you nor forsake you. God is with you through both the good and the bad situations in your life.

7. God Will Give You Strength to Overcome & Persevere
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
The thought of suicide is a reflection that one believes that the problem is too much and too hard to be resolved or handled. However, God says that emotionally, spiritually and even practically there is a way of escape for every trial and temptation that we face.
Suicide is NOT a method of escape from one’s problems because it violates God’s principles about life. If God allows trials and temptations in your life, it is only so that you may grow and mature but it is never with the intention for you to take your own life.
Therefore whenever you go through a tough situation and you’re perhaps bombarded with suicidal thoughts – pray to God and allow Him to strengthen you to persevere and overcome.

8. God Can Deliver You
Don’t hold onto the pain. Don’t hold onto the depression, but let God deliver you. Allow God to set you free from suicidal thoughts and suicidal temptations.
In Jeremiah 32:27 God says “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?”.
There is nothing that is too hard for God to handle in your life.

9. God Can Give You Hope
Sometimes you can feel as if you have no hope. Sometimes you can feel as if there is no way out. However with God there is always hope and with Him there is always a way out.
Psalms 43:5Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
When a person attempts or commits suicide, it is a sign that hope has been lost. However, keep hoping in God even when the situation you’re in seems bleak. Keep hoping.

10. God Can Give You Patience & Perseverance
James 1:2-4 says : My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
God uses every trial and temptation to build our character and to make us stronger if we persevere and succeed in overcoming.
According to James 1:2-4 our attitude of in the face of trials should be one of joy because the testing of our faith will build our character.

11. God Can Give You Wisdom
If you lack wisdom to overcome your situation the Bible says that we should ask God for wisdom. James 1:5 says: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Suicide is NEVER a wise choice. Suicide should never be considered as an appropriate choice to escape issues. Rather, when we have issues and problems, we need to ask God to give us the wisdom to overcome our problems.

12. God Can Comfort You So That You Eventually Comfort Others
If you’re considering suicide, do not take your own life but instead find comfort in God. Let God give you the assurance, the security and the comfort that you need in your situation.
Eventually when you are comforted by God – you will one day counsel and comfort those who have been going through the same situation.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

13. God Can Give You Jesus
Ultimately, without Jesus, we do not have eternal life. Jesus came that we may have life and have life more abundantly (John 10:10).
Jesus says that He is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6). Therefore without Jesus we cannot have eternal life.
The Bible says that without Christ in our life we will perish eternally (John 3:16). However if we believe in Christ, we will be destined for eternity with God.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God.

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

How To Find Your Purpose In Life

There are so many motivational books, motivational speakers and material that exist today with the purpose of attempting to teach people how to find their meaning & purpose in life.
Certain books & motivational speakers for example, focus on the idea that the purpose of people is to be rich in this life and that your life cannot have meaning if you do not live according to a particular lifestyle or if you don’t acquire certain possessions.
Others focus on the idea that you cannot find meaning and purpose until you are obtaining & living according to your personal dreams and desires in life?
Another school of thought says that purpose and meaning cannot be found without a good education and without living according to your potential.

However, are all people meant to be rich? Are all people’s personal dreams meant to be achieved? Is education the key to understanding your purpose and meaning in life? How can I find meaning & purpose in life? What does the Bible teach?

Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

God’s thoughts of us are undoubtedly good. He does not and He cannot think evil towards us. God is also ready to listen to us when we pray and if we truly and genuinely seek Him.

 

How To Find Your Purpose In Life
We are able to find our unique purpose and meaning in life through the following

1) You Must Have A Relationship With Your Maker
God created you for a reason. He also created you with a unique purpose. However, for you to understand your purpose in life, you must have a relationship with your Creator. Only your Creator can tell you why He created you. Therefore you cannot know your purpose unless you have a relationship with the One who created you.
Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
Jeremiah 1:4,5 NKJVThen the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Therefore you must first be born again to discover your purpose. You cannot have a relationship with God unless you are born again and you cannot discover your purpose in life unless you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
John 15:5 NKJV“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”.

2) Understand That God’s Plans & Your Plans Are Different
Sometimes we want God to bless our own personal plans and dreams. Sometimes we incorrectly expect God to fulfill our own will rather than His divine will for our lives.
However, it’s not always the case that our personal plans are identical to what God has planned for our individual lives. God does not work according to our plans but He works according to His own divine and perfect will.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says the following: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts”.
Therefore the architect of your purpose in life does not come from you. Your purpose in life comes from God.
Your purpose and meaning in life will be revealed as you willingly desire to submit yourself to God’s plans and not to your own personal plans.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

3) Your Purpose Is Discovered By Faith & Not By Sight
The purpose that God has for you may not make sense to other people. However, if it’s God’s plan for your life, you do not live according to what man sees but according to what God says.
Therefore your true purpose will always be aligned with God’s word & God’s principles.
Romans 10:17 says: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
God may give you the vision, but He might not give you the method by which the vision will be accomplished. Instead God will progressively, step-by-step reveal to you His plan and His method by which you will fulfil your purpose as you walk in faith with Him.
In Genesis 37-50, Joseph had dreams from God that his family would one day bow down to him in respect. Joseph’s dream was misunderstood by his family, especially by Joseph’s brothers. However, even though God revealed the dream to Joseph, God did not reveal to Joseph the horrible events that must take place in his life before the vision is fulfilled.
Therefore sometimes the journey to fulfilling your purpose in life will have challenges but sometimes God will not reveal them to you but instead He will use the challenges you face to help you spiritually grow and equip you to accomplish His purpose for your life.
Habakkuk 2:4 NKJVThen the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry. 4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.

 

You CANNOT Find Your Purpose Without Jesus Christ
Attempting to find meaning and purpose for your life apart from a relationship with God is a mistake. A life lived without Christ is not a life – it is only an existence. Jesus said in John 10:10 “… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”.
Our God-given purpose gives what we do in life an eternal purpose and the rewards are eternal in nature.
Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why not make your eternal decision NOW?

We become born again Christians through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26)

This prayer is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I make You my Lord and Savior – Amen”
Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article. If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

acceptJesus1

 

Qualities of a Good Church Leader

“Pastor Impregnates Girlfriend, Dumps Her”; “Prophet Causes Couple to Divorce”; “Pastor Says He Is Worth Millions”; “Prophet Convinces Congregation to Eat Grass”; “Pastor Supports Homosexuality”; “Prophet Performs Miracle Abortion”; “Pastor Embezzles Church Funds”; “Bishop Marries 9 Wives”;
These are the sort of news headlines and scandals that continue to increase regarding church leaders around the world. It is the sort of news that brings shame and disgrace to true Christians and most importantly, these kind of stories and scandals about church leaders disgrace the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. When church leaders are ruled by a sinful and hypocritical nature, it may also inhibit unbelievers from receiving true knowledge regarding the word of God because of the hypocritical behavior that unbelievers may witness from various so-called church leaders.

FI-B-LEAD

READ Titus 1:6, 7 and 1 Timothy 3:2-7

The Bible specifically mentions the kind of qualities and characteristics that a church leader must have in order to lead people within the church.
Whether that leader is a pastor, a prophet, an elder, a deacon, a teacher etc, God desires that leaders be above reproach and that they lead an exemplary life that glorifies God and reflects the virtues of what it really means to be part of the kingdom of God.

Therefore according to scripture, the qualities of a good church leader are as follows:

1. A Church Leader Must Be Above Reproach. (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)
The word “reproach” is defined as: disgrace or shame eg (he brought reproach upon his family).
Therefore a church leader must not bring disgrace or shame to the church or to God by his/her sinful or hypocritical behavior.

2. A Church Leader Must Be The Husband of One Wife (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)
A church leader must only have one spouse. A church leader cannot be polygamous. He/she must be devoted and faithful to his/her spouse. Therefore adultery or sexual immorality of any kind is forbidden and it is grounds for disqualifying a person from church leadership.

3. A Church Leader Must Be a Good Manager of His Own Household (1 Timothy 3:4,5; Titus 1:6)
A church leader must be able to manage and lead his own home before he/she can lead a church. According to scripture, a church leader’s children must be submissive and not unruly. Paul clearly states “for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:5)”.

4. A Church Leader Must Be Sober-Minded & Self-Controlled (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
To be sober-minded means to be rational; sensible; to have a sound / clean mind. A good church leader should not be prone to irrational thoughts and behavior. A church leader must show good mental and emotional balance. He/she must be disciplined and self-controlled and these qualities are part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

5. A Church Leader Must Not Be Arrogant or Quick Tempered (Titus 1:7)
A good church leader must be humble. Church leaders should not boast about themselves nor should they think themselves to be more important than others. Humility is a fruit and characteristic of the Holy Spirit. Therefore a good church leader is led by the Holy Spirit and as such reflects the nature of God in his/her behavior.

6. A Church Leader Must Be Hospitable & Able to Teach (1 Timothy 3:2)
A good church leader is friendly and welcoming to visitors, guests or strangers. A good church leader is approachable and does not distance him/herself from those whom he/she leads.
A good church leader must also be a good teacher. He should teach not only with words but also by actions.

7. A Church Leader Must Not Be a Drunkard, Nor Violent, Nor Quarrelsome (1 Timothy 3:3)
God does not accept it when a church leader is influenced or intoxicated by alcohol. The Lord does not accept drunkenness from His followers. Church leaders must not be addicted to any type of substance that negatively influences one’s mental, emotional and spiritual state.
God also expects that church leaders promote peace and not violence. The gospel promotes love and not hate. Therefore church leaders through their sermons and teachings should never promote violence or hatred between people.

8. A Church Leader Must Not Be Greedy For Gain Nor A Lover of Money (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
The preaching of the false doctrine that is called the “prosperity gospel” has enriched many church leaders and brought many of them to celebrity status. The wealth of such preachers has been amassed through the monetary contributions and “seeding” of many of their unsuspecting followers who through deception and belief of a false doctrine blindly give their money to leaders who only seek to enrich themselves because of greed.

9. A Church Leader Must Be A Lover of Good, Upright & Holy (Titus 1:8)
A church leader’s morals, virtues and values must originate from God. Such values, morals and virtues must also be founded upon the word of God and it is through God’s word that we can also differentiate between what is good and what is evil. Therefore a church leader must live his/her life according to the sound teaching of God’s word.
It has become a worrying factor for example, when various church leaders are now supporting homosexuality yet God’s word teaches us to hate sin but to love what is good.
Church leaders are expected to walk in integrity and holiness and to promote by example a lifestyle that is pleasing to God and is in obedience to His word.

10. A Church Leader Must Not Be A Recent Convert (1 Timothy 3:6)
Getting a recent convert to become a church leader can be likened to getting a new born child to become a parent. The process of life just doesn’t work that way.
Just like a child must develop from childhood to adulthood, a recent convert is still spiritually immature and therefore needs guidance and teaching until a time when they are spiritually mature.
A recent convert therefore cannot be spiritually equipped or mature to fulfill or deal with leadership challenges. Also, for a recent convert, the taste of power and authority over others may corrupt the mind or influence negatively.

11. A Church Leader Must Teach Sound Doctrine & Rebuke Those Who Contradict It. (Titus 1:9)
A good church leader does not sit on the fence on various life issues. Rather a good church leader must boldly teach the truth and rebuke those who contradict the truth. For example, a growing number of church leaders prefer to sit on the fence on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and sex. They prefer to be popular with people by preaching what people want to hear instead of preaching the truth of God’s word. The truth is sometimes painful to hear and it is not always accepted with open arms – however, according to scripture, the truth will set us free.

12. A Church Leader Must Have a Good Testimony and Well Thought Of (1 Timothy 3:7)
It is obviously impossible for a church leader to be liked / loved by everyone. Any person who lives according to God’s word and seeks to teach His word correctly will ultimately have a good testimony from those who are like-minded and seek the truth and who genuinely desire to live a godly life in Christ.

Conclusion
Therefore in a world were cult leaders, false teachers and false prophets are on the increase, it is very important that we exercise spiritual discernment and understand what the word of God says about the type of leaders that we should follow. The Bible warns us about false teachers and about the rise of false prophets (Matthew 24:24). Therefore we are also warned not to follow hypocritical or deceptive church leaders as such people are dangerous to our relationship with God. Ultimately God is our Leader and what God says in His word is more important than any earthly leader.
(see article: 12 Characteristics of a Cult Leader)

How To Seek God’s Will (Part 4) – Wisdom, Knowledge & Understanding

In the first part of the series of How To Seek God’s Will (Part 1), I summarized that in order to discover God’s will or purpose for your life we need to do the following:

  1. READ, STUDY & MEDIATE GOD’S WORD
  2. SPEND TIME WITH GOD
  3. ASK GOD FOR WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING IN YOUR LIFE
  4. DON’T LEAN ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING
  5. TRUST GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART & HAVE FAITH IN HIM
  6. COMMIT ALL YOUR PLANS TO HIM FIRST AND SEEK HIS GUIDANCE THROUGH HIS WORD AND BY HIS SPIRIT.
  7. LEARN TO LISTEN, RECOGNISE AND OBEY HIS VOICE

Therefore in Part 4 we will focus on (3) ASK GOD FOR WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING IN YOUR LIFE.

Proverbs 24:3-4 ESV
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; 4 by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

If we are to know and practice God’s plan for our lives then there are 3 characteristics which we must have in life. These 3 are Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom.
Having knowledge alone is not enough. We cannot be effective in our life if we only seek knowledge and yet do not seek Understanding and Wisdom.

Colossians 1:9-11 ESV
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

FI-B-KUW
What is Knowledge ?
Knowledge is facts, information, and skills acquired about subjects / issues through learning, experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

Proverbs 18:15 ESV
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

It is important to note that there are 2 kinds of knowledge. There is

  1. Man’s Knowledge. The knowledge of man / or the knowledge that comes from the world
  2. God’s Knowledge. There is the knowledge of God / the knowledge that comes from God

The knowledge that comes from Man can be full of errors and is limited in scope and depth. For example, unbiblical teachings about evolution or the big bang theory are examples of man attempting to have knowledge of issues whilst excluding God from the issues. For as long as God is not part of the thought process, such knowledge will be limited, full of errors and at times conflicting.
However the knowledge that comes from God is without error and is unlimited. God’s knowledge is truth. God is omniscient; He knows everything.

Therefore as we seek to know God’s plan for our lives, we must not seek God’s will through information that comes from the world or from man.
However we must seek God’s will through

  • Information and knowledge that comes from the LORD
  • By seeking to have a better knowledge of who God is and the role He plays in our lives
  • By realizing that all true knowledge comes from God and that God alone is all-knowing
  • By yielding or abiding in the Holy Spirit who will lead us into all truth
  • By remembering that man’s knowledge is limited, therefore the best advice and course of action you can take in relation to your life direction must come from God.

Knowledge is only part of the equation to knowing God’s direction for your life. If knowledge does not come with understanding or wisdom then such knowledge becomes ineffective.

What is Understanding ?
The quality or condition of one who is able to comprehend. It is when one has insight, perception and discernment.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Understanding can come in 2 of the following ways:

  1. Man’s Understanding. The understanding that is humanistic or comes from man
  2. God’s Understanding. The understanding that comes from God and is of God.

True Understanding is the ability to see things through God’s eyes and from God’s perspective.
The understanding / comprehension that is worldly or humanistic will always be flawed and incomplete.
Since God is all-knowing or has unlimited knowledge, this also means that God understands everything and there is nothing that can baffle or bewilder God.

Proverbs 1:5 ESV
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

Therefore as we seek to find out God’s will for our lives

  • We must not lean on our own understanding or comprehension of situations, events or problems in our life. We must however trust in God and lean on God’s understanding.
  • We must remember that God understands all things and God’s perception and perspective of all situations and circumstances is always very clear before Him. Therefore there is nothing that can hide or is hidden before God.
  • We must view our lives and situations through God’s eyes. The Bible is a great place to start.
  • Man’s understanding and perception of issues is flawed, therefore man does not ever see the big picture. God’s understanding and perception however is perfect and He sees everything and every situation with full clarity.
  • When we see our life from God’s perspective, we see our life as it truly is and not by what the world or man may define it.

Knowledge and Understanding alone should not be the goal of our life. We must also seek Wisdom.

What is Wisdom ?
Wisdom is the application of Knowledge and Understanding. Therefore we must be doers; we must walk the talk; we must apply in our lives what we profess to believe; Wisdom is the application of God’s word in our lives. When we apply the word of God in our lives, we become effective and therefore prove that we are indeed wise.

Proverbs 24:14
Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

There are 2 types of Wisdom. These are

  1. The wisdom of man / human wisdom
  2. The wisdom of God / God’s wisdom

Human wisdom very rarely is aligned with God’s word or with God’s values. Human wisdom eliminates God from its decisions or conclusions. Human wisdom whilst appearing good and right to the undiscerning eye is always flawed and will eventually be problematic.
God’s wisdom leads to fulfillment and is without error. According to Proverbs 24:14, if you find wisdom, “there will be a future and your hope will not be cut off”.
Therefore acquiring wisdom is very important for one to have proper direction in life and in order to make good decisions.

If you lack wisdom in your life, simply ask God, believe and you will receive it.
James 1:5-8 ESV
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

 

Overcome Analysis Paralysis

Have you ever had an exciting idea? Perhaps you had an exciting vision to start a business; or you would like to do something charitable. However somewhere between the conception of your idea and its implementation, you begin to doubt whether your vision will work at all. Suddenly you begin to think of all the pros and cons; Suddenly you begin to focus more on the fear of failing to accomplish your vision; You over-think the negatives of your vision so much that you do not end up implementing your idea. You also become discouraged by the economic and the political climate. Therefore, what once started as an exciting vision full of potential and promise, eventually becomes a dead one.
I read somewhere that major corporations like Microsoft, FedEX, General Electric, Revlon, Burger King and HP were started in the middle of a recession. And we would all agree that these successful corporations have a plentiful – and profitable – harvest over many years. Therefore your external environment is never an excuse for one to become paralysed when it comes to positive decision making.

Why then, for some of us, do we allow our visions to die? Could it be a lack of faith due to Analysis Paralysis?

Hebrews 11:1 ESV.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Paralysis of analysis or analysis paralysis is defined as the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, or citing sources, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or “perfect” solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution.

Romans 1:17 NKJV
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

God wants His children to live by faith. Often the enemy of faith is fear. Sometimes a person can be afraid to act in faith because he/she has been overcome by fear of failure. When a person is governed by fear instead of faith, such a person will not make a decision unless the outcome is 100% foreseen and 100% guaranteed.
However, in life, not everything is 100% guaranteed. Only God fully knows the outcome of all things because only God is all-knowing. Which is why our faith should NOT be in ourselves or in our money or in other people, but our faith should be in God alone because only God knows all things and only God can foresee all things before they happen.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

If you are to overcome the problem of analysis paralysis in your life, then it is important to trust and have faith in God. It is also imperative to talk to God about your vision, your ideas and your challenges. You will find that as you entrust the Lord with your ideas and concerns, then God will direct you.

Analysis paralysis may often happen in your life when you rely on your own wisdom and on your own understanding. Rather than overthinking your situation, rely on God to direct your path and to open the right doors and opportunities in your life.

TODAY. Have faith in God.

Commit Your Plans to God

Proverbs 16:3 NKJV
Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.

Have you noticed that whenever we enter into a new year, and most people have made their new year’s resolutions – we are excited; we are motivated; we feel a sense that we have a new beginning; and so we set our goals for the year, and hope that this time we will accomplish them and not abort our goals as the year progresses.

The most important thing when establishing your goals in life, is to commit your plans to the God. Proverbs 16:3 teaches that we should commit our plans to God.

  1. Pray and talk to God about the things that you would like to achieve this year.
  2.  And after you have spoken to God, listen to His voice; hear His answer.
  3.  As you proceed to accomplish your goals, let God lead and direct your path.

Proverbs 16:9 NKJV
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

If you want to succeed in your goals, you need God to direct you. Without God you can at times make the wrong decisions which may lead you on the wrong path.
God is able to direct you concerning the desires of your heart. God may not always give you what you want, but He will give you what is best for you. He will give you better than what you desire in your heart. However you need to trust Him, that He has plans to prosper you.

Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Remember that this year, God will not do anything to destroy you. His plans for you are perfect.
Also you need to involve God in whatever you desire to do this year, because when you involve Him, it means that you know and believe that only He can direct your life and your steps.

TODAY. Let God lead you.