Christ

Stronger – part 4

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God desires for you and me to become stronger. Stronger emotionally, in faith, in love and stronger in the sense that we rest on His sufficient grace.

Stronger, Stronger – part 2, Stronger – part 3

Today, I will continue to talk about how to become stronger, for His Glory and to help fulfill His purposes in our lives.

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Process

As a Potter moulds his pot, so too, should we trust the process as God moulds us.

You might be wondering regularly, how do I move from my “now” to my “future”. The key to is to embrace the process. Very few people like It’s a process! They do not want to go step for step to what God made them to be, they want it NOW!

As individuals, I believe we all aspire to grow, see good changes in our lives and accomplish great things in our lifetime. (I pray that you embrace growth and change).

However, it is the commitment to the unglamorous things, the difficult things, the trials and tribulations in our lives that will inevitably make us stronger and help us get to where we want to be.

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Joy in the wait

Finding joy in the waiting and gratitude in the process is never an easy thing, but it is something we should all strive for. I try really hard to learn this on a daily basis, for instance, when my laptop freezes or needs to do an update, it takes time to boot back up. For someone who is not known for patience, this is a big deal to me (even though I’m sure you must be thinking “that a dumb example). But often, it is the smaller frustrating things throughout your day that steal your joy and brings about the imbalance in your mood.

No one likes waiting for things, especially when it comes to waiting on God. Yet in reality some of the greatest things I have been able to receive, are things I have had to wait for. In order to strengthen us along the journey I believe we need two things –

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1. Daily Devotion 

Our daily devotion to God is one of the most underrated things in our lives. 

For it is in our daily devotion where we can forgive others, repent, be filled afresh, listen to Him, be humbled, be renewed – it’s how we grow to become more Christ-like. Without devoting ourselves daily we become like a plant in the desert in need of water.

Daily Devotion is the key to unlocking your Spiritual Strength

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2. Divine Power

As well as the need for our own daily devotion, we can unlock God’s divine power.

I say this because reading your Bible every day isn’t always enough when you receive the devastating phone call that you never expected. Going to church every week isn’t enough, when you have been threatened to be evicted from your house because you can’t afford to pay the bills. Posting good Christian quotes with hashtags isn’t enough when you are fed up of waiting for God to bring you your blessings.

Your daily devotion will make you stronger, but it won’t always make you strong enough. We need his divine power.

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14

Divine power starts when we stop!

There will be moments when you cannot do anything but to stop, pray and trust God.

I’ll give you another example. I have a physical condition where sometimes my food gets lodged in my throat. Thankfully it gets stuck below my windpipe so I can still breathe (Hey, look at that, just by writing about it and I found thankfulness in a panicked situation). It can take anything from 2 min to 30 min, and a bit of coca-cola or enos to be dislodged. Throughout that time, all I can do is pause, pray and trust God has got me covered – His divine power has helped me more time than I can count or remember.

Your daily devotion will sustain you, but sometimes the only thing that will be able to carry us through is His divine power.

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When miracles occur

The greatest miracles I have seen are not when we do all the work, but when God does the work for us.

If we desire to become stronger we need to trust in His divine power.

Where in your life do you need to trust in God’s divine power?

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Gospel of John, 0 comments

Magnify Proverbs 12 – It’s just a game

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The internet is full of quick resources and self-help advice amidst times of calm and times of crisis. You can find help on literally anything on the go anytime, anywhere. But how much of it is true and actually helpful and how much of it is just click-bait and sensationalism. Thankfully, we have a book that has stood the test of time. King Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived (excluding Jesus fully-man of course). Solomon, Son of David, when asked by God he can have anything he wants, Solomon responded  “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10). It is through this godly wisdom that we have the book of Proverbs today! Today we focus on Proverbs 12 – It’s just a game.

My family!

Amazing!

Let’s journey through Proverbs!

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It’s just a game

Proverbs 12

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but whoever hates correction is stupid.

2 Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
    but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.

3 No one can be established through wickedness,
    but the righteous cannot be uprooted.

4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
    but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

5 The plans of the righteous are just,
    but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
    but the speech of the upright rescues them.

7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
    but the house of the righteous stands firm.

8 A person is praised according to their prudence,
    and one with a warped mind is despised.

9 Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
    than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
    but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

11 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
    but those who chase fantasies have no sense.

12 The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous endures.

13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk,
    and so the innocent escape trouble.

14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
    and the work of their hands brings them reward.

15 The way of fools seems right to them,
    but the wise listen to advice.

16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
    but the prudent overlook an insult.

17 An honest witness tells the truth,
    but a false witness tells lies.

18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19 Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
    but those who promote peace have joy.

21 No harm overtakes the righteous,
    but the wicked have their fill of trouble.

22 The Lord detests lying lips,
    but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves,
    but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.

24 Diligent hands will rule,
    but laziness ends in forced labor.

25 Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up.

26 The righteous choose their friends carefully,
    but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

27 The lazy do not roast any game,
    but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

28 In the way of righteousness there is life;
    along that path is immortality.

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Be the light

Lately, God has been showing me that I need to be a light in this dark world, and it has happened within my own life…I have been through a very dark place in my life and it took some drastic measures and decisions to find the light. I have learned that I have to step back and simply enjoy my life. I’ve learned to adopt “It’s not my monkey, it’s not my circus”, but rather enjoy my life, my wife, and my two dads living with us. Instead of focusing on what’s happening around me that is dark, I focus purely on the joy they each bring me.

The first line in Proverbs 12 says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:1)

That is a hard one to swallow, isn’t it? Who likes to be disciplined? And look at the last part – if you don’t like to be corrected, you are stupid. Yikes!

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Think about it

My question for you today is, “How is God trying to discipline you so you gain some knowledge about who you are and who God is to you?

What is it that makes you simply lose your mind about? Is it traffic, long queues, people been late to a function annoying neighbours…what is it?

Then step back. Pray about it and let God guide you through what He may need you to correct. There are so many things in our lives that get us all worked up, but sometimes we simply have to tell ourselves, “it’s just a game.” Enjoy life! Enjoy your family, your marriage, and God!

My correction now is that I just love and live life – no more focusing on the negativity, but focusing on where I can correct myself to be positive. It’s just a game.

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Magnify Proverbs 11

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The internet is full of quick resources and self-help advice amidst times of calm and times of crisis. You can find help on literally anything on the go anytime, anywhere. But how much of it is true and actually helpful and how much of it is just click-bait and sensationalism. Thankfully, we have a book that has stood the test of time. King Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived (excluding Jesus fully-man of course). Solomon, Son of David, when asked by God he can have anything he wants, Solomon responded  “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10). It is through this godly wisdom that we have the book of Proverbs today! Today we focus on Proverbs 11 – Integrity.

Amazing!

Let’s journey through Proverbs!

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Proverbs 11

The Lord detests dishonest scales,
    but accurate weights find favor with him.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom.

The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.

The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
    but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
    but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
    all the promise of their power comes to nothing.

The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
    and it falls on the wicked instead.

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
    but through knowledge the righteous escape.

10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
    when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

13 A gossip betrays a confidence,
    but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,
    but victory is won through many advisers.

15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
    but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.

Scripture continued…

16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,
    but ruthless men gain only wealth.

17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,
    but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
    but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

19 Truly the righteous attain life,
    but whoever pursues evil finds death.

20 The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
    but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
    but those who are righteous will go free.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
    but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
    another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

25 A generous person will prosper;
    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

26 People curse the one who hoards grain,
    but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.

27 Whoever seeks good finds favor,
    but evil comes to one who searches for it.

28 Those who trust in their riches will fall,
    but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and the one who is wise saves lives.

31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,
    how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

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The Patriot

Synopsis

“The Patriot” is a movie based in 1776 South Carolina, a widower and legendary war hero Benjamin Martin finds himself thrust into the midst of the American Revolutionary War as he helplessly watches his family torn apart by the savage forces of the British Redcoats. Unable to remain silent, he recruits a band of reluctant volunteers, including his idealistic patriot son, Gabriel, to take up arms against the British. Fighting to protect his family’s freedom and his country’s independence, Martin discovers the pain of betrayal, the redemption of revenge and the passion of love.” This is the synopsis of one of the greatest movies of all. There is a scene when Benjamin Martin is challenged by his son to “stay the course” – to not let revenge or the past get in the way of freedom.

There will come a time, or it may have already happened to you when your integrity will be on the line. It will be up to you to “stay the course” God has laid out for us in His word. Today is about staying the course of integrity because it has truly lost its value in today’s world. Take up your cross today and live out integrity in your marriage, your family, your business, and your relationships. No matter what the past has brought you, stay the course of Jesus in your life.

Allow the reading of Proverbs 11 to challenge your way of thinking and help you stay the course in your life.

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Prayer

Dear God, My prayer for all today is that they stay the course no matter what, and that they follow You with everything they have and stay true to Your cause. In Jesus Name, Amen

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 0 comments