Your Past Doesn’t Define Your Future

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So you’re glued in the past like a recurring nightmare. Every single day, every single hour, every single minute. Feeling wrapped up by your past, starting to wonder what people would think if they knew. Has it become a part of who you are? Well has it?

See the more we think about it, the more we allow the past to consume who we can become. The past is that person at the other end of the rope, tugging us towards them. It knows it can’t survive unless we are willing to let it. we need to learn to let go of the shame we have of the past and start fresh with the future.

“I smile because I know my past doesn’t define my future, God does and he is on my side.” – Stylishly Inspired

A little encouragement that God is the one who shapes our future we just have to let him. He is a God who doesn’t use force but lets us willingly give our lives to Him to mould and shape it to what He has planned. When we learn to trust and work with God we bear much greater fruit, ““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.” (John 15:5). We begin to grow better, influence people better and live better. All sadness is replaced with joy, all hardship is replaced with peace and all doubt is replaced with faith. As He can turn our bronze to gold and our iron into silver (Isaiah 60:17), so can He turn our lives from the dead to life. He’s just waiting for us to abide in Him and receive SALVATION. (This is something I will touch on in detail in a later post).

Let’s give our lives to Him for without God we surely cannot do anything. We cannot progress, we can’t move on from our past, we cannot find peace and joy.

So trust in the lord for His plans for you are not of evil but of peace to give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Stay blessed!

When you give it all to him, the rest of your life will be smoother 🙂

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Are You STUDYING or MEMORISING?

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Now that you know the purpose of the bible it’s important to know how to read and study the bible. Many people believe the bible is like reading a novel, but a matter of fact this just lowers the value of the content in the bible. It’s more than just memorising verses and knowing what happens in it. To really benefit from reading the word of God you need to know what to do before the reading, during the reading and afterwards.

Before
There are a few things you need a BIBLE, pen and paper/notepad and most importantly prayer. It’s essential to pray before you read the bible to allow God to open up your eyes and reveal to you his word. There are 3 critical points to pray about:

1. The Holy spirit – The Holy spirit is the helper who is sent to teach you “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”(John 14:26). The holy spirit has the ability to guide you and teach you of God’s word, revealing to you the deeper things of God. “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”(1 Corinthians 2:10)

2. Revelation- you need to pray for a personal revelation of what you are about to read because the way we understand the verse is always different to another person. With a personal revelation, it makes it easier for you to keep that word in your heart and act according to it.

3. Ability to apply the verse in your everyday life – This is important to do every time you sit down to study the word of God. This is the key because at times we just read and understand but never act on the word. But God wants us to act on it. To BE like the people he wants us to be, not to just KNOW what type of people he wants us to be. So, always pray that what you learn you may also apply it in your everyday life.

During
DOT IT DOWN: When you find a link between the verse/chapter you are reading to another verse or chapter in the bible, dot it down. If you have a new understanding of that chapter/verse then you need to dot that down too. I suggest also writing the date, that way when you read that chapter/verse again and you get a clearer understanding then you can dot down your processes. This is something that really helped me and I found myself remembering more of the bible than I did when I wasn’t writing down ideas and thoughts everytime I read the bible.

After
Always thank God for what you have read and ask for more understanding as you meditate on it during the day/week. Make sure after a long reading to go over your notes so you remember better the key points you learnt and might want to pray about during that week.

I hope this has really spoken to someone and touched them and helped them on how to go about reading, studying and understanding the bible. Stay blessed!

“In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God.” (John 1:1)

Knowing Yourself, Knowing Your God

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The bible is known to be the word of God, yes? But you’ll be surprised how many people don’t know the PURPOSE of the bible. The bible is not only for us to know the word of god, it is more than that, it’s not just about showing us the way we should live, it’s more than that. The bible reveals to us about ourselves and makes us know God and the way he works. It’s the foundation of our connection and communication with God. That’s why it’s essential to know the bible

As mentioned above there are 2 key things you understand from the bible are:
1. YOU and who you are
2. GOD, who he is and who he is to YOU

Let’s focus on the YOU first.
When we receive christ as our personal saviour we are no longer the person that we were before christ, we are made new. We are no longer of the world but have become part of the children of God. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). With this, we need to be able to understand how the new us works and functions. Just like when you get a new technology device you read the manual to understand all the functions. That is what the bible is to Christians, it is a manual for ourselves. You get!

Okay, 2nd part, God and who he is to You.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). It is critical to understand this because when we know God we begin to understand the purpose he has for our lives, and we can get to know God by reading his word (the bible). God is like the tools used to make us, he is the one who assembles us, makes us to perfection and fixes up all the loose knobs in us. However, how can we allow God to fix and build us if we don’t trust and understand how he functions? Like a mechanic, if he doesn’t understand his tools how will he know which one to use to be able to fix a problem. Just like us if we don’t understand God and who he is to us then how can we know how to pray to him to ALLOW him to work on us.

Understanding this will enable us to study the word of God more efficiently and benefit from what God says more. Stay blessed!

If you don’t know yourself then how can you know God

Love’s Sacrificial MindSet

By Carol Hind 

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I am honoured to have been asked to write this guest post. It’s been a long-held desire of mine that God use my writing to speak into the lives of His people, particularly women in the Body of Christ, so when the invitation was given, I immediately asked the Lord what he wanted me to say. Out of the blue, a story came to mind. I’d not read it for a while and hadn’t really considered it to be particularly inspiring, so God’s prompting took me by surprise.

I therefore trust this post will provoke you and speak to you wherever you are at in your relationship with the Lord. I pray it will not just be another post that you read (hopefully enjoy) and then forget—but that it will challenge, even change you.

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A Disturbing Narrative

There’s a story in the Bible, which grabs at my heartstrings whenever I read it.  I’m troubled by the tragedy that unfolds, by the unnecessary waste of a young life, by the foolishness of a man’s vow, by the fact that our sovereign God did not intervene to save this young woman.

I’m referring to the story of Jephthah’s daughter.  Have you read it? If not, or should you need to refresh your memory, it can be found at Judges 11:29-40.  In order for you to fully appreciate the message of this post, you will need to be familiar with this disturbing tale.

A Devoted Daughter

Now I’ve often heard about the special bond between a father and his daughter. It is not something to which I can relate, since I didn’t have that kind of relationship with my biological father. However, having walked with God for some years now, I believe I’m beginning to enjoy a similar bond with my Heavenly Father.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jephthah’s daughter loved her father very much. She was obviously watching and waiting for this mighty man of valour to return home from war.  As soon as she sees him, she runs out to meet him. She’s overjoyed at his safe return. She celebrates his triumph in customary fashion, with tambourines and dancing.  Alas, her love and devotion for Jephthah becomes her undoing. Her love for her father costs her life.

Now let’s apply this scenario to ourselves on a spiritual level. Do we love our Father God to the extent that it costs us our lives? I’m not referring to a literal death here. I’m referring to the demise of our old way of thinking and living, which runs counter to God’s commands, his word and his will. I’m referring to our constant challenge as believers. Do we identify with Jesus and learn obedience by the things that we suffer, or do we choose to follow our own path, do our own thing? Do we pick up our cross as dutiful disciples, or do we deliberately dodge the path of personal pain and sacrifice? Can we identify with Paul’s following statement?

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Do we love God with ALL of our heart, soul and strength as He requires? Have we crucified our flesh with its affections, appetites and desires, as His word demands? (Deuteronomy 6:5; Galatians 5:24).

Whilst I reflected on the various elements of this story, I wondered: where was Jephthah’s wife? I imagined her busy at home, tidying up, or preparing a special home-coming meal. And then I remembered Martha. Martha, who hadn’t chosen the ‘better part’. Martha, who became preoccupied with serving food instead of sitting at Jesus’ feet. Are we like this? Too busy with our personal business, or too busy ‘serving the Lord’ to sit at his feet, to make him a priority in our lives?

If this is the case, may I remind you of Jesus’s words in Matthew 10:38-39? (See Amplified Bible). May I remind you that to be his disciples, we are required to lose our lower life (the life focused only on earthly quests and concerns) and pursue the higher (God-quality and spiritually focused) life?

God’s Measure of True Love

Now, with regards to our relationship with the Lord, we learn from Revelation 3:16, that He prefers we are cold, rather than lukewarm. Fellow Christian bloggers and readers, let us not be deceived into thinking we are ok because we go to church, participate in Christian activities and believe in God. Don’t forget, the devils also believe! So let me ask you—are you guilty of loving God with your lips, whilst your lifestyle declares otherwise?

Jesus revealed in no uncertain terms that there will be those who are convinced they are in the right place with God, working his works etc., but the Lord will turn to them and say: I never knew you; depart from me. And let’s not forget the five foolish virgins who found themselves shut out from the marriage feast, to whom the same damning words were spoken: I do not know you!

Are we paying heed to these stark warnings? Do we take them seriously?

The ‘S’ Factor!

God requires an intimate knowledge of him. Relationship. Not words. Not unfulfilled intentions.

It can be easy in this age of grace to become careless. To be like the prodigal son, to avail ourselves of the rich resources of God’s Kingdom (his love, forgiveness, grace) and squander them selfishly, without care or consideration for the high price paid for us to enjoy our inheritance.

Wake up daughters of Zion! Wake up to the fact that the only life worth living is in our Father’s house, under his protection, submitted to his rules and regulations.

Wake up to the fact that we have an enemy, who hates us, and seeks to deceive and destroy us 24/7. Those suggestions that we can take God’s resources and use them for our own ends, where do you think they emanate from? Satan of course! Embraced and endorsed by our selfish inclinations, by our own carnal appetites and agendas.  We don’t even have to commit terrible sins.  Just not be fruitful.  Just not be concerned about the issues on God’s heart. Just be too busy with our personal dreams and desires to care about the needs of our neighbour, to participate meaningfully in the work of God’s kingdom, to fall on our knees and pray.

Daughters of Zion, I speak to myself and I speak to you all – wake up!

Love’s Mature Outlook

Moving on, I’d like to focus on another admirable quality of Jephthah’s loving daughter.  She is not bitter with her father, or about her fate.  How about you?  Have your experiences of life caused you to become angry with God, resentful about your experiences and negative about your future?

Dear reader, I suffered many years of spiritual malaise because of wrong attitudes. I carried around in my heart an ever increasing record of offenses and was both inwardly and outwardly hostile towards those who hurt me. Yes, life can be unfair. However, spiritual maturity, faith and trust in our Father God, enables us to overcome and carry on with the right attitude.

Cultivate A Friendship Circle

Jephthah’s daughter called upon her friends and shared her sorrow. They mourned with her.  Do you have good, genuine, spiritual friends whom you can call and depend upon when needed? Who will pray for, and support you if, or when things fall apart?

Now don’t be discouraged if you don’t have such supportive friendships. There’s always the help and counsel of the three Godhead members to fall back on. In fact you should be pursuing close fellowship with them anyway. I believe your relationship with each (Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit), is vital to your spiritual health and strength. Your relationship with them should not be superficial.  But deep. Strong. Like Paul’s—so that you are convinced in your heart that NOTHING can separate you from God’s love.

The Heroine’s Finale

As mentioned at the beginning, the story of Jephthah’s daughter always tugs at my heart.  I usually take issue with God about it. Why did he allow her to die?  It seems so harsh and unfair. I’ve never really gotten an answer. However, I do acknowledge that God’s ways are higher than my thoughts and ways.  We are not qualified to judge.  Yet isn’t this how we can feel about the things we face in our own lives sometimes—about that false accusation, that persecution, that sudden catastrophe? Unfair!

Jephthah’s daughter may have lost her life but she made history. God saw to it that she was inscribed within the pages of the Book of books. There are those seeking to make history, to make a name for themselves, to make it according to worldly standards but in doing so, lose their own lives—whether literally, mentally, or spiritually.

Dear readers, let’s make sure we aren’t so foolish as to gain the whole world, yet lose our own soul.

Let’s remember we are not our own, we’ve been bought with a price. Let’s ensure that when all is done and dusted, our names appear in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

© Carol Hind – March 2017

To see more of Carol and seek further advice please go check out her blogs and communicate with her 

Blogs:

https://womenofwarfare.wordpress.com

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

 

 

CHILL! And Take A Step Back

You want to do this, you want to do that. You wish you could have this, you wish you could have that. You plan to have this, you plan to have that. However, have you ever considered what God has wanted, wished and planned for you?

I know I KNOW, it’s easy to get caught up in our own minds and start creating dreams and goals that we want to achieve that we sometimes end up forgetting to talk to God about them. Although, come on, let’s be real for a minute, at times it’s truly hard to consult God because we are afraid of the answer. We want to achieve our set goals so badly that deep inside we don’t want to hear God denying them. Oh how quickly we are to forget that God has better plans for us not of evil but to give us a future and a hope. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

We all know how much we can get caught up in the thought that we know what’s best for us. Although, it is God who knows us better than we know ourselves. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Let’s understand this right here in a more simple sense. Our thoughts small, God’s thoughts BIG! you see the difference. What we think is good for us is actually a tiny bit good, what God thinks is good for us is BEYOND good, even exceeds our own understanding.

Now, this brings us, yes, to the song I have decided to include in this post and finally mentioning its purpose now. I love this song “background” by Lecrae because it talks exactly about what I have mentioned, it’s an inspiration for this post. We need to play the background in order to do Gods work in us, not to do our own will but Gods will. If we do it on our own we will think we have achieved all we can, when actually we have achieved nothing. So, let’s take a step back…chill down a little and let God be the superstar. Stay blessed!

The joy from God will give you a happy peace 🙂 a lovable peace ❤

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