Category: Relationship with God

Hindrances to Spiritual Growth

Are you growing spiritually or are you stagnant? How can a person mature in the Christian faith? What are the hindrances to spiritual growth?
There are many things in life that can hinder or prevent spiritual growth in the life of a Christian.

HINDRANCES TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH

(1) Lack of Prayer
Lack of an effective prayer life can lead to lack of direction and discernment in one’s life. Prayer is not one-way. Prayer is two way communication with God. Therefore prayer is not only an opportunity for us to talk to God but prayer is also an opportunity for God to speak to us. God hears us and we hear God.
We draw spiritually close to the Lord by spending more time with Him.
Jeremiah 33:3‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
1 Thessalonians 5:17Pray without ceasing.
James 5:16Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

(2) Lack of Bible Study & Meditation
Another hindrance to spiritual growth is when a person does not study and meditate on the word of God. Through the studying of the Scriptures we learn
a) The divine nature of God
b) The plans and precepts of God
c) The sinful nature of man & God’s redemption for man through Jesus Christ
d) The nature of mankind’s enemy and how the enemy is defeated through Christ
e) God’s spiritual guidelines for godly living.
2 Timothy 2:15Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Joshua 1:8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

(3) Lack of Fellowship With Other Believers
Without fellowship with the right people, it can be difficult to grow spiritually. When you have the right people around you, such people edify, build and encourage you in the Lord.
Fellowship with unbelievers can lead to backsliding and spiritual corruption. It’s therefore important to guard yourself against the wrong kind of influences as you grow in your Christian faith.
1 Corinthians 15:33Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits”.
2 Corinthians 6:14,15Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?

(4) Listening to Bad / False Doctrine
False doctrine can hinder spiritual growth. When a person spiritually feeds himself with the wrong information, such doctrine will corrupt the person. God warns us through his word against obeying false doctrine and also He warns us to avoid following false prophets. A person who follows false doctrine and false teachers is a person who is not only deceived – but that person also deceives himself.
Matthew 24:11Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
1 Timothy 4:1Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons
1 Timothy 4:16Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

(5) Living in Sin
A life of unconfessed sin is a hindrance to spiritual growth. When a person does not feel conviction when he sins or when he/she is not repentant of a sinful habit that sin can stagnate that person’s growth in the Lord.
It’s therefore important to always confess our sins. We must also forgive our neighbor if our neighbor has offended us. We must walk in love and humility. Pride is the root cause of many sins.
Isaiah 59:1,2Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Are you growing? If not, seek the Lord; read His word; spend time in prayer; remove the obstacles in your life that prevent or stagnate your walk with the Lord. Surrender all to God.

 

 

How Do I Fix My Life?

 

 

 

 

Does your life feel like it’s falling to pieces? Have you ever wondered how you can fix your life? Perhaps you have been trying to figure out how you can sort out the various issues and problems in your life.

Many people in the world have sought to attempt to fix their life and problems through the help of therapists, horoscopes, witchdoctors, motivational literature, the internet, yoga or various kinds of religions. Yet for some reason, none of these kinds of methods have helped to fix those people’s lives.

So how do I fix my life? Here are a few questions: Can a vehicle repair itself? Can a laptop repair itself?
If a vehicle is under warranty and if it is faulty, is it not sent back to the manufacturer for repair? Yes, a mechanic might be able to also repair the vehicle, but nobody knows the make-up of that particular vehicle than the manufacturer of that vehicle. Even a mechanic requires training and instructions from the vehicle manufacturer on how to repair that particular vehicle.

The truth is this: We cannot fix our own lives. We need to go to our Manufacturer. We need to go to the correct source in order to have our lives fixed. That correct source is God.
Despite the existence of many inspirational speakers and philosophies it’s only God who can fix our lives.

Psalm 139:13-16 NKJV
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

God should be the first Person we think of whenever we have challenges and problems. Whenever we think with God, we will have God-given solutions to our problems.
If we try to solve our problems our own way and without God, we will certainly fail and we will always be dissatisfied with our life.
It’s only through a relationship with God by the reading of His word can we be able to find solutions regarding how our life can be fixed.

 

How Do I Fix My Life?
Below are 4 things that we need to know & understand in order to begin the journey of getting our life fixed.

(1) You Must Be Born Again / You Must Be A New Creation / You Must Have A New Life
For your life to be fixed, your old life must go and it must be exchanged for a new one (2 Corinthians 5:17). To do this you must become a born again Christian (John 3:3-6). True life begins from the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord & Saviour. Eternal life begins at the moment of our salvation here on earth. Without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Therefore our journey to fixing our lives begins when we give our life to Jesus Christ and live for Him.
2 Corinthians 5:15 NKJVAnd He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

(2) You Must Understand That Only God Can Ultimately Fix Your Life
We are made in the image of God. Therefore nobody knows us better than God who made us in His own image. Our life can therefore be fixed when we give our life to Christ and we can be “confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Therefore we must understand that our life is like a sculpture or a painting and God is the artist. Our life on this earth is not yet complete and therefore the picture we have of our life is not complete. God therefore is still working on us and God will complete the work that He has started in us.
Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJVFor by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

(3) You Must Understand That In This World We Will Have Tribulation
Jesus spoke these words in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
It’s only in Christ that we can have peace. Our peace cannot come from anyone or anything else apart from Jesus Christ. Therefore our life must rest in Christ through whom “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Therefore in relation to having your life fixed, you must understand that our lives are not exempt from facing challenges, problems and tribulation. However, when we rest in Christ and rest in His peace, we allow Christ Himself to overcome the world and challenges that come our way.
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJVBe anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

(4) Your Life Will Ultimately & Completely Be Fixed When God Gives You A Glorified New Body
Our lives are not perfect right now because the world we live in is not perfect. Furthermore, we do not have perfect bodies.
However, the scriptures tell us that in Christ we will one day have perfect glorified bodies that are immortal and incorruptible. This means that neither sin nor death will have any dominion on our bodies. We will have perfect bodies unaffected by sin, death, sickness, problems and the like and it is God who will clothe us with a glorified body.
1 Corinthians 15:52-55 NKJVIn a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

So how do I fix my life? I must approach God my Maker and I must allow God Himself to fix my life.

 

Do You Have A Relationship With Jesus? Are You Trying To Fix Your Life?
Are you trying to fix your life with your own strength and effort? Have you been using many methods and techniques that have not worked? The answer is not in a technique or method. The answer is in a relationship. Our lives cannot be fixed unless we have a relationship with God who is our Maker.
To have such a relationship with God we must accept and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour who died and paid for our sins.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN / 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” (John 3:16). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16)
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 & Saviour 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 / TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Saviour (Galatians 3:26)

This prayer is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus otherwise you are free to pray in your own words.

“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 Saviour – 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

 

 

 

Why Did God Create Man?

Why did God create man? What is the purpose of mankind?
Most of the answers to the question of why did God create man can be found right at the beginning of creation in Genesis before Man’s fall in the Garden of Eden.

God’s Original Purpose For Man Before The Fall
God’s original purpose for Mankind before Man’s fall in the Garden of Eden can be seen as follows

(1) To Fellowship With God – Genesis 1:26,27 reveals that God created man in His own image and likeness. Genesis 2:7 also reveals that God breathed into the nostrils of man. This indicates that God imparted characteristics of Himself into humans. God did not perform this creation process on any animal. God would not have created us in His image and likeness if He did not intend to have personal fellowship with us.

(2) To Create & Maintain Good Relationships With One Another (Genesis 2:18-25) – God for example instituted marriage. Without a marriage, you cannot have a family; without a family you cannot have a community. In Genesis 1:28 God tells Adam & Eve to “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it”.
All of mankind came Adam & Eve and God created us so that we may have good and sound relationships with one another.

(3) To Be Good Stewards of The Earth – Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:15,19 reveal that man’s purpose was subdue the earth, have dominion over all creatures and to tend and keep over all that God has made. A steward by definition is somebody who manages property or other affairs for someone else. The earth and all that is in the earth belong to the Lord (Psalms 24:1). However, humans were given stewardship by God to manage God’s earth.
Man’s dominion did not include dominion over each other because God sees all humans as being equal, but dominion was limited to subduing the earth and dominion “over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26).

(4) To Serve & Glorify God – Colossians 3:17 says “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” and Colossians 3:23 says “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”.
Man was created by God so that the purpose of everything that he/she does is to serve and glorify God.
When Adam & Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), they had forgotten who they were serving. They listened to the devil instead of listening to God.

 

The Effects of the Fall On Mankind’s Purpose
The fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden affected every aspect of mankind’s purpose and mankind’s relationship with God. Instead of serving God and living according to God’s will and purpose, man purpose fails in practically every area of his/her life in the following ways:

(1) Fallen man fails to glorify God as originally intended, but instead he seeks to glorify himself and to glorify other people.
Colossians 3:23-25 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

(2) Fallen man’s fellowship with God as originally intended is broken. Instead man seeks to create and fellowship with different “gods” and has created detrimental religions & philosophies for himself in an effort to understand his purpose of life in general.
Exodus 20:3,4 – “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”;

(3) Fallen man’s relationship with himself and others is skewed & distorted. When we look at the following issues: wars, strife, abuse, homosexuality, gay marriage, hatred, divorces, abortions, murders and the like; all these things are just a few examples of the negative effects of the fall in regards to our relationships with each other. God originally intended that we love one another. However, if our relationship with God is poor, then our relationship with other people will be affected.
Mark 12:30-31 – And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

(4) Fallen man is no longer a good steward of what God has given him. Fallen man cannot walk in obedience as God originally intended. Instead man misuses the things that God has given him; man serves money (mammon) instead of God; man works according to his own rules instead of working according to God’s statutes; man exploits people and resources for his own selfish benefit;
Man therefore also no longer has the original dominion that God intended for him through Adam in the Garden of Eden. Part of this dominion has been given to the devil when Adam & Eve sinned. Therefore the systems of the world are under the control of the devil and therefore such worldly systems are against God.
Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
James 4:4 – Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

 

How Can Man Conform To God’s Purpose For Creating Him?
Only by restoring our fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ can man rediscover & experience God’s purpose for creating him.
Without Jesus Christ a person cannot know why he was created, neither can he fulfill God’s purpose for creating him.
Jesus said “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. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:5-6).

salvationcall1

Have You Accepted Jesus Christ? Are You Born Again Christian?
If you are reading this article and have never given your life to Jesus Christ, it’s important to know that Jesus died for your sins. He took your punishment on the cross so that whoever accepts Him in faith will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
As mentioned above, salvation is a FREE GIFT and salvation is not received by works but it is received by FAITH in Jesus Christ. It is that simple. A person must repent & by faith accept Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour because Jesus is the only way, the truth & the life and the only Mediator between God & man.

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHIRSTIAN / 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” (John 3:16). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16)
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.

5. RECEIVE: “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 & Saviour 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 and pray the following prayer?

You can say this prayer below. This prayer is only an expression of your trust & belief in Jesus.

PRAY THIS PRAYER TO RECEIVE JESUS AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOUR RIGHT NOW:

“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 Saviour
Amen”

acceptJesus1

6 Ways People Show Unbelief Towards God


THIS BIBLE STUDY ARTICLE IS MOSTLY BASED ON THE EVENTS IN NUMBERS CHAPTER 13 & 14

Numbers 14:11 NKJV
Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?”

The story of how the Israelites initially failed to enter the Promised Land but were instead cursed for 40 years by God in the wilderness is a tragic one. The fact that an entire generation were so close to the promise but because of their rebellion, rejection & unbelief of God’s word, the Lord prohibited & cursed an entire generation of people from obtaining the promise.

As Christians, when we walk with God, do we sometimes behave like the ungrateful & unbelieving Israelites? Do we sometimes complain & walk in unbelief before God who has given us His promises or do we walk by faith in Him and not according to sight?

Through studying the Israelites until the point when God sent them into the wilderness for 40 years, this article is about revealing some of the ways in which we as individuals can sometimes behave as these Israelites did towards God. Instead of walking by faith, they walked in unbelief & rebellion towards the plans and promises of God.

 

Background & Summary of Numbers 13 & Numbers 14

  • God promises the children of Israel that He is going to give to them the land of Canaan which is the Promised Land. (Numbers 1:1).
  • God however wants them to spy out the land & discover for themselves the nature & quality of the land before they all enter into the land and possess it as promised (Numbers 13:2-21).
  • People from each of the 12 tribes are assigned & sent out to spy out the land including Caleb & Joshua. Then 40 days later they return from spying the land & the spies give a report to Moses, Aaron & all the congregation of the Israelites (Numbers 13:22-26).
  • The majority of the spies (more than 98% of them) give a very bad report & reasons about why it would be impossible for them to possess the land. The negative & unbelieving spies spoke of giants who resided in the land who were too large and too strong in stature to defeat (Numbers 13:31-33)
  • Out of all the spies who went to spy on the land, only Caleb & Joshua believed in the promises of God and that despite the giants that lived in the land, Caleb & Joshua believed that God will give the Israelites victory to overcome the giants so that they may possess the Promised Land (Numbers 13:30; Numbers 14:6-8)
  • However the children of Israel complain & reflect their unbelief not only towards Moses, Aaron, Caleb & Joshua – but they also reflected their lack of belief towards God Himself who on many occasions had shown them His presence & power (Numbers 14:1-4,9,10)
  • God eventually decides to punish the Israelites for 40 years into the wilderness & by not allowing the older generation to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14:21-45)

 

So How Are We Like The Israelites In Our Personal Lives?

It’s easy as a reader to judge the children of Israel for failing to trust God even after the many miracles & signs that God showed them like parting the Red Sea & the fact that they constantly had a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Therefore the presence & power of the Lord was always with them, yet the Israelites still had unbelief in their hearts.

Why did they have unbelief? Why were they rebellious? Why did they reject the promise of God? Do we as individuals sometimes behave like the children of Israel?

 

6 WAYS PEOPLE SHOW UNBELIEF TOWARDS GOD

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Allowing Our Circumstances & Challenges to Negatively Affect Our Faith in God & in His Promises.

The Israelites Complained & Focused More on their External Circumstances

The Israelites had a habitual characteristic of sulking, murmuring & complaining. They always wrongly believed their external circumstances & problems were bigger than God who had brought them out of Egypt.

Numbers 11:1 NKJV – Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.

In Your Personal Life: – Do you only focus on your problems & circumstances instead of putting all your attention and meditation on God who is bigger than your problems & is able to deal with your situation? Do you mediate on your problems instead of meditating on God’s promises?

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Leaning On Our Own Logic & Reasoning Instead of Thinking According to God’s Word & Promises.

The Israelites Leaned On Their Own Understanding

Numbers 13:30-33 NKJV – Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

The negative spies used their own limited understanding and convinced themselves & the Israelites that they would not be able to defeat the giants who currently occupied the land. By leaning on their own understanding, the Israelites focused more on their own personal & limited abilities and not on the limitless abilities and almighty power of God to defeat the giants.

The negative spies clearly forgot that God was on their side & that God was able to defeat the giants in Canaan just as He had defeated the Egyptians.

In Your Personal Life: – Do you lean on your own logic & understanding instead of having the mind of Christ. Do you trust your own reasoning & knowledge rather than trusting in the infallible word of God? Do you think with God or do you think outside God’s plans.

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Not Trusting in God’s Motives. God’s Motives Are Always Good.

The Israelites Didn’t Trust God’s Motives

Numbers 14:3,4 NKJVWhy has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

The Israelites presumed that after escaping Egypt that their life would become smooth-sailing and somehow free from problems and challenges.

Therefore whenever they faced various trials they assumed God delighted in their suffering or that He didn’t care that they were suffering. However, facing problems in life does not indicate that God has forsaken us or that God is delighting in our suffering.

God sometimes uses trials to test our faith and if we respond correctly tests or trials can produce a good character within us.

In Your Personal Life : – Do you question God’s motives whenever you face challenges in your life?

James 1:2-5 NKJVMy brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Romans 8:28 NKJV – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Being Rebellious Towards God’s Word & Teachings

The Israelites Were Rebellious & Unteachable

Numbers 14:6-10 NKJVBut Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’   9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” 10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.

Have you ever found yourself rebelling against somebody who was actually trying to help you, correct you and encourage you?

Or have you ever tried to help somebody & tried to correct them & encourage them in the Lord only to receive a rebellious reaction from the person you’re trying to help? This is what Joshua & Caleb encountered when they attempted to correct & encourage the Israelite congregation. Joshua & Caleb were almost stoned.

In Your Personal Life: – How good are you at listening to godly or Biblical advice? Do you delight in obeying the word of God? Are you a teachable person or are you rebellious towards anyone who tries to correct you?

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Rejecting The Goodness & Perfect Nature of God

The Israelites Rejected God’s Perfect Nature

Numbers 23:19 NKJV“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

It seems that no matter what good things God did for the Israelites, they were never satisfied. At every sign of a problem, they would murmur, complain & rebel against Moses & God.

God had administered the 10 plagues in Egypt as a sign to the Egyptians that He was more powerful than the Egyptian gods. God gave them manna daily to prove that they need to trust Him daily and that He will supply their daily needs. God used the pillar of cloud by day & the pillar of fire by night to remind them of His direction and presence in their life and that He would never leave them or forsake them.

Yet despite these many signs, the children of Israel did not learn or appreciate God’s blessings and goodness in their lives. Instead the Israelites only focused on what they did not have rather than on what God was currently doing & the promises He had planned in their lives.

Numbers 14:11 NKJVThen the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?

In Your Personal Life:– Do you doubt the faithfulness & goodness of God?

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Allowing Fear to Control Our Choices & Decisions

The Israelites Were Fearful; They Seemed Fear Man More Than God

Numbers 14:9 NKJV“Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

In Numbers 13:32-33 most of the spies gave a bad report that the giants in the Promised Land were so huge that they made the spies look like mere grasshoppers. When they heard the bad report, the Israelites responded with fear and weeping (Numbers 14:1). Their fear & weeping eventually turned into complaining & bitterness against Moses & God to the point that they wished they could digress and go back to Egypt – the very nation that enslaved them (Numbers 14:2-4).

Fear can cause people to make bad decisions.

In Your Personal Life:- Do you make decisions based on fear or based on faith in God’s word?

 

 

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

As we walk with God, let us be reminded that God is not a man according to Numbers 23:19.
Unlike man, God is good, God is faithful; God will never leave us or forsake us; God has our best interests at heart; God is to be fully trusted for without faith it is impossible to please God.

 

Does God Help Those Who Help Themselves?

 

“God helps those who help themselves!”

You may have heard this proverb before or perhaps you may have quoted this proverb yourself.
However is this proverb Biblical? Is this proverb true? Does God help those who help themselves or is this proverb a lie?

Despite being quoted often – this particular proverb does not appear anywhere in the Bible and neither does it accurately reflect the truth of God’s word. The proverb is misleading.

According to thefreedictionary.com the proverb “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” means the following: You cannot solely depend on divine help, but must work yourself to get what you want.

 

In contrast the Bible actually instructs us to rely FULLY / SOLELY on the Lord and NOT on ourselves or in our own abilities. We therefore MUST SOLELY DEPEND ON GOD – ONLY.

The Bible also teaches that God is the helper of the helpless; the distressed; the weak; the lowly; the hurt. The life of Jesus and His attitude towards people reflected this. Furthermore the healings Jesus performed on people reflected that God is a helper of the helpless.

In Luke 7:22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them”.

All of the people that Jesus helped were helpless to help themselves. They could not heal themselves & neither did Jesus help them on the basis of their own righteousness or works. They needed to solely rely on God in faith.

Isaiah 25:4 says “For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall”

Below are Bible scriptures which reflect the several ways in which the proverb “God helps those who help themselves” contradicts the Scriptures:

 

  1. It Contradicts The Attitude We Should Have Towards God

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV – 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.
Jeremiah 17:5 NKJV – Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.”
Proverbs 28:26 NKJV – He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

We cannot trust in ourselves neither can we trust in man. The reason being that man is sinful and is capable of making mistakes, breaking promises & is therefore not perfect. Only God is perfect; only God is totally faithful; only God keeps His promises; only God is trustworthy.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s Nature & Love Towards Us

Romans 5:8 NKJV – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:10 NKJV – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:19 NKJV – We love Him because He first loved us.

Whilst we were sinners God loved us first before we knew Him. God sought us first before we even knew that we needed God in our lives. God drew us to Himself before we did. Therefore God ALWAYS takes the FIRST initiative to reconcile and bless us.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s Grace For Our Salvation

Ephesians 2:8 NKJV – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Titus 3:5-7 NKJV – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When a person becomes a Christian, that Christian is saved not because of his own merit or personal righteousness, but he is saved because of the work & righteousness of Jesus Christ. A Christian cannot earn his salvation and therefore cannot help himself if God is not part of the plan.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s View of Man’s Sinful Nature & Depravity

John 15:5-6 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.
Isaiah 64:6 NKJV – But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Without Jesus we can do nothing. Therefore we cannot help ourselves. Indeed there are many things that unbelievers do and achieve without Christ in their lives, but ultimately all their earthly work will amount to nothing on judgment day before the Lord.

 

  1. God Must Get All The Credit & Glory

James 1:16-17 NKJV – Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV – In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

God must get the glory for every good thing that happens in our lives. Even the unbeliever though he might not be religious or believe in God – the unbeliever still benefits from the things & resources that God has created. The planet and everything we need from the earth belong to God. (Psalms 24:1 NKJV – The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein).
Whether Christian or not, we all cannot survive without the grace and earthly provision of God and for that alone we should give thanks to God.
Therefore there is no situation where a person is totally independent of God or God’s provisions so that an individual can take glory in his own works or ability.

 

 

Does This Mean That We Should Be Inactive & Not Apply Works to Our Faith?

For example, if you need a job and you’ve prayed to God about it, does it mean you shouldn’t practically go out looking and applying for a job?
Of course not. A person should not be lazy and inactive. James 2:17 says “Faith without works is dead”. But why is FAITH dead? It is dead because FAITH is not grounded in God alone. Therefore – FIRST you put your faith & trust in God to supply your needs, THEN God will practically in your actions lead and guide you to the job that He wants you to have. The key thing is to fully TRUST in GOD to supply your needs – not to trust in your OWN works to supply.

Proverbs 16:3 says Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.
Proverbs 3:6 says In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Our full faith and trust in God will automatically lead us to perform godly action/works according to God’s directed will. Therefore be fully dependent on God and trust Him to lead and direct your actions.

 

So does God help those who help themselves? The Scriptures disagree.

How Does God Speak To Us?

Does God still speak today – and how does God speak?

If you expect God to speak to you, how do you expect Him to speak? Should He speak to you through visions, dreams or in an audible voice? Perhaps you are going through a challenge or a problem in your life and you’re looking for answers. Perhaps you have difficulties in making the right choices in life and you seem to be failing to hear God’s voice.

Below is an outline of various different ways in which God speaks to us today

 

HOW DOES GOD SPEAK TO US?

1.       God Speaks Through The Bible (His Word)
The Bible is one of God’s effective methods of communication. God speaks to His people through His word which was written by the inspiration of His Spirit. The Bible contains answers and solutions for every social, spiritual, political, economic and life situation. In the scriptures we find the mind and thoughts of God. We also discover the nature and character of God and the love that He has for you and for mankind.
Therefore if you seek answers and if you seek to hear from God, then you need to take the time to read His infallible word and without a doubt, you will find godly solutions.
2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

2.       God Speaks Through Christ
There was a time, especially in the Old Testament period, before Jesus came to the world, when God spoke to people through prophets or priests. The prophet or priest would stand as a mediator between God and the people.
However, because of the finished work of Christ Jesus, God does not need to speak to us through a prophet or priest. God speaks directly to us through His begotten Son Jesus, who is the only Mediator between God and man.
Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV – Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.

 John 14:23-24 NKJV – Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”

 1 Timothy 2:5 NKJV – For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus

 

3.       God Speaks Through The Holy Spirit
One of the main purposes of the Holy Spirit is to GUIDE you into all truth. Therefore through the Holy Spirit, God will guide you so that you are not led astray and so that you walk in God’s will and plan for your life.

John 16:13-14 NKJV – However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

Romans 8:15-17 NKJV – For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,”Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

 

4.       God Speaks Through His Creation
There are skeptics and atheists who do not believe in God. They claim that there is no physical evidence of God. Yet everything in life has a creator / inventor / builder.
God’s word says that even atheists are without excuse in relation to God’s existence because the very nature and attributes of God are communicated through the things God has made.
Even atheists agree with Christians that the universe had a beginning. However, skeptics & atheists will not acknowledge that God is the cause of the universe.
However, if we study creation itself, we will discover that the universe exists as a result of the hand and work of Someone far greater and more intelligent than we can ever imagine.

Romans 1:20 NKJV – For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse

 

5.       God Speaks Through Other Believers
At times, God can use a friend, a pastor, a believer or even a total stranger to speak to you. The person God uses will speak directly into your situation. Perhaps you happened to attend church one Sunday and on that day the pastor preaches on the very issue that you are facing in your life.  Or perhaps even this particular blog article itself could be an instrument that God is using to speak to you about specific issues in relation to how God communicates.
Therefore God is able to use other people to communicate with you His message for a specific situation or issue in your life.
The key thing about this type of communication is that it must always be tested and verified against the Bible. Because of the rise of false teachers and false prophets, whatever is communicated to you as advice or counsel by a pastor, friend, believer etc must be verified and aligned with scripture and properly interpreted. We should therefore take the example of the Bereans who after hearing the word from Paul and Silas, examined & verified the scriptures themselves to understand if what they were hearing was really true or not.

Acts 17:10-12 NKJV – Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

 

6.       God Speaks In Prayer
As you are praying God can speak to your mind and your spirit. The Holy Spirit may give you specific guidance on your issue and lead you. Your ability to know if it is God truly speaking to your mind and spirit depends on how deep your relationship with God is. However, whatever communication you believe to have received in prayer must again be verified and tested with scripture in order to avoid walking in deception. God will never tell you to do anything that is contrary to His word (the Bible). Even our personal feelings, opinions & perceptions must not be mistaken as being from God because feelings and opinions cannot always be trusted. We must take captive every thought & feeling and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians  10:5).

Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV – ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NKJV – Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

 

So does God still speak to us today? Yes He does.

Why Does God Seem Distant?

Do you struggle with habitual sin and feel as if God is distant whenever you have sinned?
Do you struggle with the thought that perhaps God doesn’t accept you or approve you – especially after you have backslidden?
Do you struggle with guilt and condemnation and the thought that God doesn’t love you because you sin too often?

If you are struggling with any or all of the above issues it might be due to a very simple reason. The reason can be summed up in one word: FEELINGS.

Psalms 34:18 NKJV
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalms 51:17 NKJV
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart — These, O God, You will not despise.

The word “contrite” is defined as feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offences; penitent; repentant.

Both Psalms 34:18 & Psalms 51:17 tell us that God saves and He is near to those who have a contrite heart. Therefore, God DOES NOT distance Himself from people who feel contrite, repentant or sorrowful for their sins. God is close to the broken-hearted and He does not despise broken people because He wants to save and mend them.

 

Should You Trust Your Feelings?
You cannot always trust your feelings. But you can ALWAYS trust God’s word.
The wrong feelings will give us the wrong perceptions of our situation.
If we live according to our feelings and not by faith in God’s word, we will create the wrong perception of God’s character and the mercy and grace that He offers us whenever we have sinned.

 

Why Do We Feel God Is Distant When We Sin or Backslide?
So why does God seem distant? Below is what internally happens to us whenever we feel as if God is distant, especially when we have sinned or backslidden:

  1. We Have Not Confessed Our Sin
    Whenever we sin, it’s very important for us to confess our sins to God. A sign that we are sorrowful or willing to repent of our sins is through the confession of our sins to the Lord.
    1 John 1:9 ESV – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

  1. We Feel Condemned
    Feelings of condemnation can make us feel as if God is distant. However, scripture tells us that those people who are born again Christians are not condemned. Therefore a Christian should never walk in condemnation.
    Romans 8:1 ESV – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
    John 3:18 ESV – Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

 

  1. We Are Listening to the Accuser of the Brethren
    The devil will try to make you believe that your sin is too big for God to forgive you. Sometimes the devil may even make you believe that you have sinned too often that your confessions and your remorse mean nothing to God. First the devil tempts you. When you fall for the temptation, he then accuses you of your sin as if he himself was not involved in your temptation.
    Any thought pattern concerning your sin that does not bring to light God’s saving grace, God’s mercy and God’s willingness to forgive your sins through Christ will actually be the voice of the devil trying to tell you that there is no way out for your sin.
    However, there is a way out. His name is Jesus and He died for our sins on the cross.
    John 3:16-18 ESV – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
    Revelation 12:10-11 ESV – And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

 

  1. We Have Failed to Understand that God is Not a Man
    Unlike man, God promises to forget our sins and to forgive us of our sins when we confess them.
    God chooses not to remember our sins when He forgives us. People may hold grudges and people may choose not to forgive, however God unlike a human is always faithful to forgive and forget when we sincerely confess our sins.
    Isaiah 43:25 ESV – I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

 

  1. We Falsely Believe That We Are Saved by our Works and not by Grace
    When we consciously or sub-consciously believe that we are saved by our personal works or personal effort, we will create the false impression in our minds that God distances Himself from us whenever we miss the mark.
    While God hates sin, it’s important for us to realize that God does not hate the sinner. It’s the very reason why Christ came; because God loves us despite our flaws (John 3:16)
    God does not judge us according to our personal works because our own effort can never give us salvation. It’s work of Christ on the cross that brings salvation.
    Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 

Conclusion

I would like to encourage you by saying that there is hope and we can always rely on the love, grace and mercy of God in our daily walk with the Lord. God is near to those with a contrite heart (Psalms 51:17).

The Bible also clearly says that the “just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). Therefore we cannot live by our feelings, because our feelings can mislead us. Our feelings are dictated by external circumstances, but our faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith is therefore dependent on hearing and believing God’s word and God’s promises irrespective of the external factors.

So where is God when we have sinned? God is very close to you (Psalms 34:18). He will never leave you nor forsake you.

 

6 Reasons Why We Neglect Our Bible

How often do you read your Bible? When was the last time you actually studied a specific topic from the Bible on your own?
Do you faithfully mediate on God’s word on a daily basis – or do you struggle to read even a single chapter?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

The word of God is basically food for your spirit. Your spirit cannot be healthy without a consistent intake of God’s word. It is through God’s word that you can be effective, edified and equipped for righteousness. This is why the Bible says that we should meditate on God’s word “day and night”.

If you are struggling to read the Bible, there are many different reasons why you may be struggling to read God’s word – and these struggles are very common among many people.

Below are a few reasons why we neglect to read our Bible:-

  1. We Are Lazy To Read The Bible
  2. We Claim That We Don’t Have Time
  3. We Think Bible Reading During Church Is Adequate
  4. We Have Replaced Bible Reading For The Pastor’s Sermons
  5. We Find It Irrelevant To Our Life & Situation
  6. We Are Succumbing To Spiritual Warfare

 

  1. We Are Lazy To Read The Bible

Let’s be honest. Some of us cannot reading the Bible for more than 10 minutes. We could probably read our Facebook newsfeed for hours or read an entire celebrity story on the internet, but yet we just become lazy when it comes to reading at least one chapter in the Bible. We need to cultivate a culture of self discipline & motivation if we are to overcome laziness and faithfully study God’s word.
Joshua 1:8 ESV – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

 

  1. We Claim That We Don’t Have Time

We all know that there are 24 hours in a day. Yet in those 24 hours, we will probably find time to engage in sometimes unproductive activities like watch the television, gossip with friends, visit the social media apps on our cellphones and still fail to find at least 15 minutes within that day to read & meditate on God’s word. The truth is, we can always have time to read the Bible. The question is whether we have chosen God’s word to become a priority in our daily life. Within 24 hours, try to find at least 30 minutes a day to read, study & meditate on God’s word.
Psalms 1:1-2 ESV – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.

 

  1. We Have Replaced Bible Reading For The Pastor’s Sermons

Do you prefer to be “spoon-fed” by a preacher’s sermons instead of actually studying the scriptures for yourself? Is the temptation of listening to DVD sermons & tele-evangelists greater than the idea of doing a personal study of the word of God? Is listening to a Pastor’s sermon and reading the Bible one in the same thing? NO it’s not!
People who do not regularly study the Bible for themselves are more susceptible to false indoctrination and to follow false preachers. It’s therefore important to always verify for yourself through the Bible everything you hear from a preacher’s sermon.
Acts 17:11 ESV -Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
A person should not live according to the standard of a preacher’s sermon, but he/she should live according to the standard of God’s word (the Bible).
But He (Jesus) answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4 ESV
According to Jesus, a person must live on EVERY WORD that proceeds FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.
Therefore, you cannot live on the word that proceeds from your Pastor’s mouth alone. You cannot live on the word that proceeds from the mouths of politicians alone. You cannot live from the things that fill your physical desires alone.
You must live “by EVERY word that comes FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD”
Psalms 119:105 ESV – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

 

  1. We Find The Bible Irrelevant To Our Life Situations

If we find the Bible to be irrelevant to our lives or a specific issue in our life it could be because of 1 or more of the following reasons:

  1. We do not adequately know or understand what the scriptures exactly say about our life or our specific situation.
  2. There is a specific sin in our lives which we do not want to repent of, and we do not want God’s word to rebuke us or correct us.
  3. We would rather find unbiblical solutions for the issues in our life.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Psalms 119:10,11 ESV – With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

 

  1. We Think Bible Reading During Church Is Adequate

Do you eat food once a week? Would it be adequate for your physical body if you only ate once a week? Perhaps you attend church every Sunday, and the only time you actually open your Bible is on Sunday during the sermon. God’s word is actually spiritual food for our spirit and therefore we need to edify ourselves with His word on a daily basis. Our motivation & desire for reading God’s word must always come from within our own heart and not because of a religious meeting. God’s word is meant to be meditated on a daily basis and not only during a church meeting.
1 Peter 2:2-3 ESV – Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation—  if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Job 23:12 ESV – I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food.

 

  1. We Are Succumbing To The Enemy’s Spiritual Warfare Tactics

Ultimately, the devil does not want Christians to have knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. It’s through the Bible that we learn about God nature, God’s values, Man’s sinful nature & his need for God, and God’s redemption plan through Christ.
Matthew 13:18-19 ESV – “Hear then the parable of the sower:  19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
The Bible is also the only offensive weapon in the Armour of God. God’s word is the sword of the Holy Spirit. The scriptures are therefore what every Christian uses in order to discern and overcome the temptations of enemy through Christ. You will discover that when Jesus was tempted by the devil, Jesus always used the Scriptures to overcome every temptation from the enemy.
The devil will therefore do what he can to ensure that you do not have knowledge or understanding of what God says in His word. At times, the devil will also distort the meaning or interpretation of the scriptures through the sermons of false preachers and the like.
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Ephesians 6:17 ESV – And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Ephesians 6:11-12 ESV – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Conclusion
Just as we cannot be physically healthy without eating the proper food and having the proper nutrition, our spirit man cannot be healthy and spiritually equipped if we do not feed daily on the word of God. God’s word edifies us and equips us for every good work in Christ.
If you haven’t been reading your Bible and mediating on God’s word on a daily basis – start TODAY.

 

9 Myths About Christianity

When we look at ourselves, other people, societies or even God, we all sometimes form our own perceptions and views. However our personal perceptions are never always correct / accurate especially when our perception is compared with the real truth. Myths or false perceptions can sometimes be very dangerous. For example, for centuries there have been many myths about Christianity which have existed, to the extent that these myths or false perceptions have caused people to take extreme measures against Christians through acts of persecuting & killing of many Christians. Below is an attempt to look at a few of the myths about Christians & Christianity and to address what the Bible actually says about such myths.

MYTH 1: A Person Becomes A Christian Due To Certain Affiliations

A person does not automatically become a Christian just because he was born in a church-going family. Neither is being baptized as a baby or being born in a Christian country or having a Christian name automatically make one a Biblical born again Christian. Being part of a particular church denomination or church affiliation does not automatically make a person a Christian.
John 1:12-13 ESVBut to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 3:3-7 ESVJesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.   7  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

MYTH 2: A Christian Is Saved By His Personal Ability & Effort. If Our Personal Good Works Outweigh Our Bad Works We Will Go To Heaven
Every person is a sinner in God’s eyes. According to God there is nobody who is righteous before Him (Romans 3:10As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one) and (Romans 3:23For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) Therefore because of our sins and because we are sinners we cannot save ourselves from God’s punishment. We instead need a Saviour to save us from God’s eternal punishment. That Saviour is Jesus Christ. Therefore Christians are not saved by personal effort or by intelligent ability, but Christians are saved because of the what Jesus did for the world on the cross through God’s love and grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESVFor by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
John 3:16-17 ESVFor God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

MYTH 3: The Christian Life Is About Health, Wealth & Luxuries
The continued rise of the false teachings of the prosperity gospel and word of faith movement have attempted to distort the real meaning and essence of true Biblical Christianity and what is means to be a Biblical born again Christian. Many times Jesus spoke against the pursuit of monetary riches and instead encouraged His followers to seek God’s kingdom first and to seek after the things in Heaven which do not perish. Jesus also told His followers that they should be prepared to forsake every worldly pleasure or desire and take up their cross and follow Him. Therefore having money or various forms of assets and luxuries is not an indication of whether a person is a Christian or of their spiritual faith and maturity.
Luke 12:15-21 NKJV – And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Matthew 6:24 ESV – No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:19-21 ESVDo 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

MYTH 4: The Christian Life Is Easy, Happy-Clappy & Free From Serious Problems & Challenges
A person’s problems do not end when he/she becomes a Christian. However, through Christ these problems can be overcome and Christ is able to still give you strength, peace and joy even in the midst of a bad situation. (John 16:33 ESVI have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world).
It’s important to note that God’s people throughout scripture, throughout history and even in this present day continue to face problems, challenges and persecutions because of their Christian faith and belief in God. Therefore Christians are not exempt from tribulation and the Christian walk is challenging but it is nevertheless worthwhile because of its eternal benefits in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 7:13-14 ESVEnter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
John 15:18-21 ESVIf the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  19  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours.  21 But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
James 1:2-4 ESVCount it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

MYTH 5: Christianity Is About Following A Set Of Rules or Do’s & Don’ts
Christianity is a lifestyle. It is a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is a loving relationship between God and man. Christianity is more than following a rule book. The Bible is not just a rule book. It is God’s word; God’s story; God’s message to anyone who is willing to listen, learn and obey (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESVAll Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work).
John 14:6-7 ESVJesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  7  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
John 14:23-24 ESVJesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.  24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
John 15:13-17 ESVGreater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.  14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.  15  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant  does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

MYTH 6: Christianity Is Out of Touch & Out of Date With The Modern World
The argument is that Christians cling to a set of values that date back more than 2000 years ago and that such old values do not apply to modern 21st century thinking and culture. The rise of liberal thinking and gay rights for example are a few examples which are used to demonstrate that while the world is changing and tolerant, the Christian faith remains out of touch and intolerant on many moral issues. The truth is – God does not change and God’s moral values do not change. God’s word and values apply to any year; any century and any lifetime.
Romans 12:2 ESVDo not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Hebrews 13:8-9 ESVJesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. FI-B-myth
MYTH 7: The Christian Faith Is Oppressive To People’s Freedoms
God’s word and values are never meant to bring about oppression and bondage. In fact, it is a life of sin that will eventually bring bondage and condemnation to one’s life. The truth of God’s word is however meant to set you free from sin through Christ Jesus. God is able to set people free from the bondages of depression, drug addiction, porn addiction, hatred, jealousy and all sorts of sins that we have difficulty overcoming. When you have a relationship with God, you will find fulfillment, direction and meaning to your life.
John 8:31-32 ESVSo Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:36 ESVSo if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 10:10 ESVThe thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

MYTH 8: Christianity Is A Kill-Joy
The perception is that if a person becomes a Christian, he/she will no longer have to enjoy life because Christianity is perceived as having a set of rules which will kill the joy and fun out of life. So is Christianity a killjoy? Well the answer depends with what kind of things or activities you perceive as fun and joy. If your idea of a good time is getting drunk; taking drugs; fornicating; watching pornography and the like, then such activities do not agree with the Christian lifestyle. However, non of these activities can be considered to bring about true lasting and meaningful happiness and joy. Such activities are a temporary high which only feed the flesh but never constructively build you as a person. Such activities are what the Bible calls “the pleasures of sin”. Sin indeed is pleasurable but only for a short while and with very devastating consequences in the long term. While Christianity teaches us to subdue our fleshly desires, Christianity however offers true joy found through Christ and it offers a meaningful life when you have a relationship with God your Creator.
Romans 8:5-8 ESVFor those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Galatians 5:16-24 ESVBut I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  

MYTH 9: Christians Dislike Anybody Who Disagrees With Them
Christians have been accused of being homophobic, anti-abortion and the like. The truth is real Christians are not taught to hate anybody. Christians are commanded to love their neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40 ESVAnd he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  38 This is the great and first commandment.  39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself). However, this does not mean that a Christian must be tolerant of a person’s sin or sinful lifestyle. In fact, it is out of love that a Christian speaks against homosexuality or abortion for example. Christians are taught to love the sinner but hate the sin.
Romans 12:9 ESV Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good
2 Timothy 4:2-5 ESVPreach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  

 

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.

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

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Wrong Reasons For Following Jesus

John 6:26-27
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

Have you ever had a “friend” or colleague who only wanted your companionship or friendship for as long as you had something to give them like money etc – but as soon as you no longer have the very thing that they want from you, then you hardly hear from them. Some people behave the same way towards God. They seek God for what He can do for them and not for who He is. These people don’t really want God – but they want what God can give them. These people don’t really seek to have a genuine & obedient relationship with God – but they seek a way to get God to “unlock” the “keys” to material wealth. They are really seeking the gift but not the Giver of the gift.
Just like the 5000 followers, it is possible today, that people follow a church or appear to follow Jesus not because they seek to become like Jesus and to serve God – but because, for example, they want various temporary material and monetary possessions that they believe God will give them. Like the 5000 who followed Jesus for food, there some who follow God for presumed money and wealth.
Just like the 5000 followers, the motive of some people is not to learn from God but their primary motivation is to feed their fleshly desires. To them Jesus is a means by which they can attempt to achieve their carnal desires.

In our own life, our motives for being followers of Christ must be CORRECT and GENUINE. We must not be like some of the 5000 who followed Jesus because they were only interested in satisfying their fleshly and temporary desires. God knows our minds and hearts and He is able to clearly see and read the motives or the reasons for why we do the things that we do. (John 2:23-25 – Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.)

 

Below are some of the WRONG reasons why people follow Jesus or go to church

WRONG REASONS FOR FOLLOWING A CHURCH OR FOLLOWING JESUS

(1) FOLLOWING GOD FOR MATERIAL THINGS(Luke 12:15 – And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”)
Some people view God as being a type of Santa Claus / Father Christmas. To certain people, the primary motive for following God is because they believe that He will give them what their flesh and carnal minds desire. The motivation to acquire riches and possessions blinds them from genuinely following God for the right reasons because they have been deceived into believing that God MUST grant them whatever they desire. However Jesus teaches that life is more than about what possessions we have or the amount of money we have and that if we seek after material things only then we are short-sighted and do not understand God’s eternal plan. Jesus also taught that our primary focus should be to seek God’s kingdom & righteousness FIRST. (John 6:27 – Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal). It is also important to realize that while God is Jehovah our Provider, it is God’s prerogative to either give us or to withhold giving us the material desires that we want. Therefore God is not obligated to give us what we want because He is not Santa Clause / Father Christmas. He is God.

(2) SEEKING AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE – (John 4:23-24 – But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.)
Some people go to church or follow Jesus because they are seeking an emotional experience. They seek an emotional “high” or they seek to be entertained. They judge their spiritual condition by their emotional feelings. Some people believe that if they have an emotional experience at church then it means that God has visited them or that they are growing spiritually. However, is following Jesus really about seeking an emotional experience? And is having an emotional experience no matter how temporary that emotional “high” might be – can such experiences be equivalent to true spiritual growth in a person’s life?
(Matthew 13:20-21 – As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with JOY, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away).
When Jesus spoke about the Parable of the Sower, he spoke of a type of people who hear God’s word and receive God’s word with JOY and with a lot of excitement and energy. However, the fact that they were joyful or excited at receiving God’s word was not enough to sustain their spiritual growth because the problem is that they were not firmly rooted in God’s word through meditation and OBEDIENCE to God’s word. An emotional experience or feelings do not automatically guarantee that one will obey God’s word. Therefore when trials, tests and challenges come, they backslide or become defeated.
The problem with going to church or seeking God because you want an emotional experience is that you will find yourself going through a cycle of unpredictability and inconsistency in regards to obedience to God’s word. Therefore your relationship with the Lord is based on feelings.

(3) FOR POSITION, POWER & RECOGNITION – (Mark 10:43-45 – But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many).
I have often seen, experienced and heard about situations where people may appear to be interested in following God and in doing the work of God, but yet their ulterior motive is to gain various positions of power and influence within the church so that they may fulfill their own personal agenda and not God’s work. The Pharisees sought the adoration and admiration of men. The Pharisees sought power and influence, and therefore when they discovered that the power and influence that they once had over the people was now shifting to Jesus, the Pharisees connived to kill Jesus (read Matthew 23-26:1-3)
Jesus Himself did not come be served, but He came to serve and fulfill the plan of the Father.
Therefore when we go to church or when we decide to follow Jesus, we must be prepared to give ALL the glory to God. We cannot claim to follow God but yet seek our own glory in the process because God does not share His glory with anybody. (Isaiah 42:8 – I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols).
Even if you do not have a position or recognition in church, you are still a vessel of God whose function is to glorify God all the time (Colossians 3:17 – 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.)
Our duty as Christians is not to seek self-glory or the admiration of others, but whatever we do must give glory and praise to God whom we serve and live for.

(4) FOR BUSINESS, MONEY & PROFIT – (Matthew 21:12-13 – And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.)
For some people, going to church is an opportunity to make business contacts; make money and to make a profitable business out of the church setting & environment. For some people, church has become a business market – and for these people, they may appear to follow Jesus – but they are actually following and serving mammon (money).
When Jesus entered the temple, He realized that people had lost the true meaning & purpose of the existence of the temple. The temple had not been built so that people could run their businesses and make money. The temple had not been built so that it could be a marketplace for people to sell and buy. The temple was supposed to be “a house of prayer”. The temple was supposed to be a place for man to communicate with God. The temple was supposed to be for the service and glorification of God and not for the advancement of people’s monetary or material wealth. (Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.)

(5) FOR SIGNS & WONDERS – (Matthew 12:38-39 – Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah)
If God does not perform a miracle or a healing in one’s life – it does not mean that He is not God. God is still God even if He does not heal. God is still God even if He does not perform any physical sign or wonder. God is still God even if He does not give us the things that we want and desire in life.
There is no doubt that Jesus performed miracles that nobody had ever witnessed. After all, Jesus is God and through Him all things were created. Jesus would heal the sick, open the eyes of the blind and even bring back to life those who were dead. However, not even miracles could sway the hearts of many including the Pharisees to believe and genuinely follow Jesus. The Pharisees, the Sadducees and many other people who would follow Jesus would witness the miracles He did but in the end some of them would still not genuinely seek Christ’s salvation or devote themselves to become His disciples. This example of the hardening of the heart by the Pharisees even after seeing miracles by Jesus clearly shows that signs and wonders alone do not guarantee one’s salvation nor can they be a primary reason for following a church.
(Matthew 24:24 – For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect). In Matthew 24:24 Jesus warns that false christs & false prophets will perform false miracles or signs & wonders in order to deceive people and lure people to follow after them.
Therefore if people go to church or attempt to seek Jesus because they seek miracles only, they must be careful that they don’t fall into the trap of false prophets and false christs because according to Jesus, it is by false signs & wonders that many people would be led astray.
God is not a magician. He is not an entertainer. God can choose to perform miracles or not to. Jesus did not perform a sign when the scribes & Pharisees asked Him to. Jesus did not have to prove Himself to them even though they sought Jesus for a sign.

 

God wants us to seek Him genuinely. He wants us to worship Him truthfully. Below are  GOOD Reasons or GOOD Motives of Why We Should Follow Jesus.

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10 GOOD REASONS WHY WE SHOULD FOLLOW JESUS

1. Because we love Him. If you love somebody you will want to do the things that please them – (John 14:15 – If you love Me, you will keep my commandments).

2. Because we want to serve Him above all things – (Matthew 16:24-26 – Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?)

3. Because we desire to learn from Him – Of the 5000 followers, many of them decided to no longer follow Jesus. However, disciples such as Peter remained with Christ because they knew that only Jesus could really teach them the truth about life. (John 6:66-69 – After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”)

4. Because we desire to obey Him – (Luke 6:46-49 – “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”)

5. Because we want to glorify and praise Him above everything – (1 Peter 4:11 – Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.)

6. Because He is our Lord & Saviour – (Acts 4:12 – And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.)

7. Because He is the Way the Truth & the Life – (John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.)

8. Because only He can satisfy our every need – Contrary to the teachings of various “prosperity” teachers, God’s mandate is not to supply us with every material need, but however He does supply us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places) and (John 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst)

9. Because we would rather have Jesus and follow the Lord rather than to have what the world offers – (Romans 12:1-2 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect). (Matthew 16:26-27 – For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.)

10. Because we desire to yield to the teaching & direction of the Holy Spirit so that we follow and genuinely obey God in our lives – (John 16:8-15 – And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.)

 

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.
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”

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