Taking responsibility and risks (1)

Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV

One missionary evangelist writes: “There are times and seasons in God’s will. And we can easily become frustrated if we don’t understand that just as there are times and seasons in nature, there are also times and seasons in the process of fulfilling God’s will for our lives. Years ago a group of senior missionaries came together to discuss life principles they’d discovered…their purpose was to share this wealth of experience with succeeding generations…They’d all encountered common stages of transition in their ministries, and collectively they identified a five-step cyclical process God had taken them through.” Bottom line: Timing is all-important! When executives at Decca Records told the Beatles, “Groups with guitars are on the way out,” they signed up with EMI – and the rest is history! Don’t miss the lesson here. Each of us has been placed on earth as a caretaker of God’s business. And that’s true whether you are a judge or a janitor. You’ve been given an allotment of life and charged with the responsibility of taking care of it, investing it, increasing it, and presenting it back to God. Simply saying, “I was afraid of failing,” or “I was worried about being criticized,” or “I didn’t think I was good enough,” won’t work. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Excuses always replace progress.” God will accept your trials and errors, but He won’t accept your excuses for not having tried. So pray, accept responsibility, and step out in faith. You may fail many times on your way to success, but if you keep trying and trusting God, you’ll eventually succeed.

Soul food: Josh 8:30-10:43; John 14:26-15:4; Ps 146; Prov 28:9-12

Neem verantwoordelikheid en risiko’s (1)

Habakuk 2:3 NLV

Een sendeling evangelis skryf: ‘Daar is tye en seisoene in God se wil. Ons kan maklik gefrustreerd raak as ons nie verstaan dat daar, net soos wat daar in die natuur tye en seisoene is, ook tye en seisoene in die proses om God se wil vir ons lewens te vervul, is nie. Jare gelede het ‘n groep senior sendelinge bymekaar gekom om die lewensbeginsels wat hulle ontdek het te bespreek. Hulle doelwit was om hierdie rykdom van ervarings met die nageslagte wat hulle sou opvolg, te deel. Hulle het almal ooreenstemmende oorgangsvlakke in hulle bedieninge gevind en saam het hulle ‘n vyf-stap sikliese proses geïdentifiseer waardeur God hulle geneem het.’ Tydsberekening is belangrik! Toe die grootkoppe by Decca Records vir die Beatles gesê het: ‘Groepe met kitare is op pad uit,’ het hulle ‘n kontrak met EMI geteken – en die res is geskiedenis! Moenie die les hierin misloop nie. Elkeen van ons is op aarde as opsigter van God se besigheid geplaas. Dis waar, of jy nou ‘n skoonmaker of ‘n regter is. Jy het ‘n taak in die lewe gekry en is verantwoordelik om dit te versorg, te belê, te vermeerder en dit terug aan God te besorg. Deur eenvoudig te sê: ‘Ek was bang om te misluk,’ of ‘Ek was bang om gekritiseer te word,’ of ‘Ek het nie gedink dat ek goed genoeg is nie,’ sal nie werk nie. Soos Ralph Waldo Emerson gesê het: ‘Verskonings vervang altyd vooruitgang.’ God sal jou pogings en foute aanvaar, maar Hy sal nie jou verskonings hoekom jy nie probeer het nie, aanvaar nie. Bid dus, aanvaar verantwoordelikheid en tree in geloof op. Jy mag dalk talle kere op jou pad na sukses misluk, maar as jy aanhou probeer en God vertrou, sal jy uiteindelik sukses behaal.

Sielskos: Jos 8:30-10:43; Joh 14:26-15:4; Ps 146; Spr 28:9-12

Gifted (1)

Romans 12:6 NCV

The Bible tells us that God has given each of us gifts. Sometimes we can think that we are not good at anything, that we have nothing to offer. But if God’s given each of us gifts then that can’t be true. These gifts give us a purpose and a role in God’s kingdom. We don’t all have the same gifts. For example, some people are gifted musically, others are gifted at speaking and teaching. Some people are gifted in hospitality, others are gifted in art. 1 Corinthians 12 uses the analogy of a human body to explain this. ‘A person’s body is one thing, but it has many parts. Though there are many parts to a body, all those parts make only one body. Christ is like that also’ (v.12 NCV). If we are being honest, we can probably all admit to times when we have been jealous of other people’s gifting. Maybe they can do something better than we can, or maybe their gift gets them more public attention than ours. When we are feeling like that, it’s important to remember that all our gifts are from God and for God. It’s not about us. Using our gifts is all about glorifying Him, not ourselves. Paul goes on to say: ‘If each part of the body were the same part, there would be no body. But truly God put all the parts, each one of them, in the body as he wanted them’ (vv.18-19 NCV). We can’t compare ourselves to other people because we have all been made to be unique and have different purposes to fulfil. We need to focus on discovering the gifts He has given us. Let’s celebrate how He has made us, and the fact that He has a unique purpose for us.

Josh 8:30-10:43; John 14:26-15:4; Ps 146; Prov 28:9-12

It’s a necessary part of the process

Psalm 32:8 NKJV

Why are you still here? When Jesus saved you, why didn’t He simply take you to heaven to be with Him? Because He’s not only interested in your final destination; He wants to do a work in you and through you on the way to it. We get impatient when it comes to God’s will for our lives. We just want to get there! But a great deal of time usually elapses between when God calls us and when we’ve fulfilled His will for our lives. And until we accept that, we’re not ready to go anywhere! We need to understand that the journey is an important process. It matters to God what you become on the way to where you’re going. And following Him in obedience through many unknowns, trials, and difficulties is an integral and indispensable part of your preparation. God uses the journey to teach you faith, refine your character, and equip you for greater challenges that lie ahead. In fact, if you’re in the process of seeking God’s will right now, you’re already fulfilling part of it in your life. God said, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you don’t know all you’d like to, you’re not making progress. Something is happening right now. Your faith is being stretched, your patience is being developed, your doubts are being confronted and conquered, and your relationship with God is growing deeper. He always prepares us in advance for what He has planned ahead for us. Yes, the struggle is uncomfortable – but it’s a necessary part of the process.

Soul food: Josh 5:1-8:29; John 14:15-25; Ps 118:19-29; Prov 28:5-8


2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV

God wants to work in us and through us. He is taking us on a journey to transform us, equip us, and use us for growing and developing His kingdom. But when we are walking through this journey, we can become impatient with the process. We think we should be further along than we are. We want seasons to end so we can move on to the next thing. We get frustrated at ourselves when we are still struggling with the same things. But God doesn’t get impatient or frustrated with us. He is gentle, and leads us through things in His perfect timing. When seasons aren’t coming to an end it’s because God’s still got more to do in and through us. What we are becoming matters just as much to God as what we are doing. He is interested in relationship and character, and everything He brings us through is a way to help transform us to be more like Christ. The Bible says: ‘And we all…are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory.’ The words ‘being transformed’ are important. They show that it’s a continual process for us all. We don’t have to worry about being perfect because God’s still working in us. When we became a Christian, we were made a ‘new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). But at that point we weren’t transformed to be like Christ, that’s a process we have to walk through. Philippians 1:6 says: ‘He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (NIV). Even in our worst times, our faith is being stretched, our patience is being developed, our doubts are being confronted and conquered, and our relationship with God is growing deeper. The struggle is uncomfortable, but it’s a necessary part of the process.

Josh 5:1-8:29; John 14:15-25; Ps 118:19-29; Prov 28:5-8