Philippians 4:7

Who you are in Christ

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As a Christian, as a believer, when you give your life to Christ and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour, you get many benefits from doing this! How awesome is that! Our Lord is such a loving God, that when you accept Him, He rewards you. How does He do reward you? Stick around and find out.

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For me, in these unprecedented times, we can get so consumed in the busyness of life and the constant bombardment of information available in the news and media that we can lose focus on Jesus.

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Be Still my restless heart

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Laziness Ruins Happiness

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Release Your Regrets

Advertisements Once you have recognised your regret for what it is, you are then ready for the next step: release your regrets. Ask yourself these five questions: Do you regret committing a sin? Your regret may have been something you did that put distance between you and God. Letting go of that regret will requireContinue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 0 comments

Why God Allows a Crisis!

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I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question – Where are you God, I’m in a crisis? I know I have! The truth, He hasn’t gone anywhere. God can do great work in the darkness, even though you think He isn’t doing anything at all. Your response to God can turn a crisis into calm and pain into power!

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

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In a Crisis God is a way-maker

It’s a easy thing to say that God is a healer when you are not sick. It’s a different box of toys when you or a loved one are sick. To know that He is a way-maker when you are not lost is a different kind of knowing for those times when you are lost. It’s one thing to say that God is a provider when your fridge is full and your bank account is sufficient. It’s a whole other type of knowing when your fridge is empty and you’re flat broke.

Discovering God in a crisis

God allows crisis situations in our lives because in them we discover God in a way we have never known Him before. When He wants to move you to a new level of intimacy with Him, He will typically use a crisis. For example, when the Israelites fled Egypt on their way to the Promised Land, God allowed them to run into what seemed an impossible situation in their path—He allowed them to get caught between the pursuant Egyptians and the Red Sea. But in allowing them to reach the end of themselves, He also allowed them to witness what He could do when there seemed to be no more options available.

He can do the same for you. He will, if you trust Him. God does some of His best work when your back is up against the wall. Let Him use the crisis you are in to show you His power, His presence, and His ability to turn your situation around.

Knowing God

The purpose of trials and crisis in your life is to get you to cry out to God and then see Him come to your deliverance. When this happens, you get to know His power, His presence, His purpose at a higher level than ever before. You come to know God in ways you could never know Him when life is simply comfortable. 

While most of us assume all blessings include favour and things going well, God tells us and shows us that He can also bless us through pain. A downturn in your situation can actually be a blessing that puts you on the path to an upturn. It was in the added stress on the Israelites’ work,  as slaves in Egypt, that caused them to cry out to God. This  caused Him to respond to their cry and ushered in their eventual freedom and establishment as their own nation.

Hebrews 12 tells us that God will often shake things up in order to usher in something new – The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 12:27-29

Never look at your crisis as merely a negative thing that you must endure. Many crises are positive things disguised as pain. They are God—reaching in and placing you on a pathway to your purpose. 

What could you change to be thankful to God for putting you in times of crisis?

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Recognise Your Regrets

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Loving Your Regrets

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Smite me, oh Mighty Smiter

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 1 comment

Come into His Presence

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About the author

A wave of provoking thoughts, challenging and difficult questions, and trying to visualise a reality beyond his understanding almost crippled the psalmist, Asaph. (Asaph is the author of Psalm 50 and Psalms 73-80). It nearly ended his ministry, his theology, and even his faith. He could not explain or justify what he was seeing; it was difficult to make sense of or comprehend. He was jealous, filled with anger, and he was in great anguish. Being filled with pain, a pain so deep and unbearable, he felt like an animal before God. The confusion seemed to build up and escalate until it came to make a choice…

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2020!!!

The year 2020 has the world around us in a state of frensied and total chaos. Worldwide headlines have been filled with tragic and fearful news; the U.S was hit with the deadliest seasonal flu that cost more than ten thousand lives, the deadly bushfire in Australia, followed by an invasion of thousands of bats. Then there was the unprecedented locust invasion in Eastern Africa, a land that is already stricken with poverty and famine. The tragic news didn’t stop there; a volcano erupts in the Philippines, an earthquake shook Puerto Rico and extreme snow swept through Canada. And now the world faces COVID-19. How do we, with our finite minds, make sense out of all this? How can we experience all this and at the same time experience real peace and rest in our souls?

Reset

It feels like there should be a big reset button for 2020. But, that cannot happen. Unless someone has invented time travel that we’re not aware of.

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Sanctity of God

The Sanctuary of God is: a place of prayer, worship, listening to God’s word and for His voice, a place for fellowship; a place of repentance and forgiveness of sin through the blood of Christ Jesus and most importantly, where the Holy Presence of God dwells.

17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Psalm 73:17

Choose God

Asaph made his choice; God over himself. Asaph chose to go to God for counsel instead of indulging in his own presumptions and speculations. He chose faith over fear. There, he chose to trust in the heart of the Lord; that God is good even when Asaph could not see the hands of God moving in his circumstances. He chose to listen to God and not to go on wallowing in his own self-pity. He made the most important and wisest decision of his life when he chose to go into the presence of God.

Our response

We must do the same. There, in the presence of God, in the sanctuary of God, His light will stream up on us, we will see the light. We will gain more than just entrance into this place of worship but also entrance into the presence of the Person whom we are worshiping. We will experience a heavenly communion so tangible, so powerful, but also so personal that we will realise our foolishness and also God’s loving-kindness and goodness on us. When we come to God for counsel, God gives us wisdom and also comfort; true peace and rest will abide in us, because Christ abides in us and with us.

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23 Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds
 Psalm 73:23-28

The Triumphs of Faith

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

In times like this, where and how will you choose to live your life? What will you choose to base it on? I hope you will choose to seek His Presence because He is there waiting for you. He has everything that you need and He longs to meet you face to face. He not only loves you, but He likes to spend quality time with you. Will you go to the secret place and seek His face?

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7

Prayer for today: 

Heavenly Father, thank you, it’s so good to be reminded that you are waiting for me to come to your sanctuary, into your presence. I want to spend time in your presence and desire to know you intimately. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in COVID-19, 5 comments