“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”James 2:14-17 NKJV
There is a good and glorious work that Christ has begun in our hearts and promises to complete until he is fully unveiled.
Philippians 1:6 Passion Translation
Good and glorious work.
Good and glorious work.
We are almost at the end of January and the year is quickly flying by.
Do you still have the momentum that you had on 1st January? If not, what’s made you lose your mojo?
Be encouraged today that the good and glorious work that The Lord has begun in your heart, He will bring it to completion.
Our spiritual hearts are the well-springs of our lives and house our desires, thoughts and will.
In your mind, you may believe that God hasn’t or will not fulfil your desires
but ask yourself, do your desires align with His Word and His ways of being and doing?
Are you being impatient, stubborn or unwilling to submit your desires to God and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading about that particular desire?
On the other side of the coin, if you have handed your desires over to The Lord and you’re waiting for what’s in your heart to manifest into your day-to-day life, don’t get weary and don’t give up
keep feeding on God’s faithfulness
don’t fret and don’t get angry because the promise is that God will complete all that He has begun.
Take heart that if you haven’t yet seen the full unveiling of what’s in your heart, that it’s only because all shall be unveiled and completed in sequence with the unveiling of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is the awe inspiring third person in the God head. He is not an It or Thing but a Person.
The first time we hear of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is when the Angel appears to Zechariah to announce that his wife Elizabeth will conceive a child, John who will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from the womb (Luke 1:15)
John the Baptist would be the forerunner of Jesus Christ, baptising people and encouraging them to repent from their sins.
In Matthew 4, Jesus is led into the wilderness for 40days by the Holy Spirit and then tempted by Satan.
Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well that those who will worship Him shall do so in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23)
And before Jesus Christ is crucified He encourages the disciples at the last supper,
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever– The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 AMP
When Jesus rose from the dead, defeated sin, death and the grave, after appearing to Mary in the garden by the empty tomb, He appears to His disciples.
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:19-22 ESV
Fear will keep us from walking by the leading of the Holy Spirit because His ways are not our own ways and often time our logic, emotions and sense of how things should be, get in the way.
But the Holy Spirit gives us peace and reassures us that we are not alone.
Jesus will always prove Himself worthy not for the sake of our belief but because He is true to Himself and to bring glory to the Father.
God will always give us His peace before sending us out into new terrain.
The only way that we are able to walk out this life of faith is by receiving His Holy Spirit.
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 ESV
The disciples were the first to receive the Holy Spirit before Jesus’ resurrection and when they gathered with other believers, God’s Spirit invaded the room and gave them all the ability to utter words that glorify the Lord in order for His praises to be known to other nations.
When we believe in the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we automatically receive the Holy Spirit and for that reason, we have hope in an imperishable inheritance.
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV
However, the indwelling presence of God comes with a responsibility as the apostle Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and in 1 Corinthians 13.
We must embrace our new identity in Christ and leaving behind old ways of thinking with regards to who we are and how we live.
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Romans 8:9 ESV
As we let the Holy Spirit lead and guide us moment by moment, day by day we will begin to see more of God’s character and nature become more evident within us.
We can be bold and confident in our relationship with the Lord God because the Holy Spirit reaffirms our position before God. That we are no longer slaves to sin or our own weaknesses but we are sons and daughters of God.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” Romans 8:15-16 ESV
The Holy Spirit helps us during our moments and seasons of weakness, struggle, failure, depression, anger and confusion.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27 ESV
Frustration is probably present within us because we refuse to pray in line with God’s Word, His truth, His commandments and we are seeking things first instead of His Kingdom.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 ESV
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
This verse says “love God” and not “those who are loved by God”. The difference is, sometimes we can get arrogant to think that God shall bless everything that we ask for, but He knows our heart and He sees the end from the beginning. However, when we love Him, our heart’s desires will naturally become aligned with His.
Jesus told us that if we love Him we would obey His commands.
“If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.” John 14:15 AMP
“Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:7, 9-10 ESV
King David knew the importance of repentance and the importance of the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life and fulfilling his God given purpose
“Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” Psalms 51:11 ESV
All in all, the Holy Spirit; reminds us who we are in Christ Jesus, gives us undeserved, unearned gifts from the Father for His glorification and the building up of the Body of Christ and the evangelisation of the nations and enables us to walk through the highs and lows of life.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”1 John 3:1 ESV
Let’s remember and be encouraged
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV
“At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, and Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go, disguise yourself, so you won’t be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there—the one who told me I would be king over this people.
But the Lord had told Ahijah, “Jeroboam’s wife is coming to ask you about her son, for he is ill, and you are to give her such and such an answer. When she arrives, she will pretend to be someone else.” So when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretense? I have been sent to you with bad news.” 1 Kings 14:1-2, 5-6 NIV
There’s so much that can learnt from the kings of Israel and Judah. Their disobedience, worship of idols, the presence of male prostitutes and not consulting The Lord God, Yahweh is a topic for another Wednesday Word.
But for when I read this chapter and the following one, what jumped out to me was the fact that Jeroboam’s wife was convinced that if she disguised herself the prophet wouldn’t recognise her because his natural sight was very bad.
Sorry Laugh Out Loud.
It’s sad because we try to play the same game with God and we forget that God can’t bless an imitation.
Let me repeat that.
God can’t bless an imitation.
Remember the drama that Jacob had to go through for decades when he went to receive the blessing from his dying father. And let’s talk about the family drama between Leah, Rachel and Jacob when Laban deceived Jacob.
Sometimes it may seem that it’s easier to pretend to be someone who you are not. It’s possible to create a whole different identity through the clothes that you wear, the words you say, the places you hang out …but how exhausting is that?! Keeping up with two identities in order to please people or because we think that God is disappointed in us. In this instance Jeroboam thought that if his wife disguised herself the prophet would give her a different prophecy.
Unlike Jeroboam, we don’t stand before a prophet who will proclaim the consequences for our sins but we can boldly come into the Throne of God through the finished work of Jesus Christ, clothed in His righteousness. We are called to persevere in our faith because of Jesus’ complete sacrifice. We come to our Father Who will declare words of love, hope and faith over us.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:19-23 NIV
If you struggle the believe or understand this, I encourage you to read Hebrews 8 & 10 and I pray that you let the Holy Spirit unveil this beautiful mystery to you.
We must accept that because God knows us, fearfully and wonderfully made in His image – what He has said will always stand.
You can try and pull a Jonah with the calling on your life because it will require you to sacrifice your time, talent, talk and treasure. Yes the call on your life maybe slightly maverick, awkward and unconventional but soon enough there will be an unbearable unease within us- there’s only so long we can pretend.
No matter how much we try to deny or fight this truth, God is jealous for His Spirit in us.
There’s only so long that we can pretend to be sinners when The Lord calls us saints everyday. There’s only so long we can live by the dictates of our flesh when the Holy Spirit is groaning within us, praying on our behalf.
We are saints that are prone to sin. We are pilgrims and ambassadors passing through a dying, decaying, distracting and dark world. Like Adam and Eve, the serpent has always got something to say to make us doubt, to tempt us or feeding us lies that make our frustration and discouragement grow but we’ve got the ability to overcome.
In hard times, we’ve got to remind ourselves of The Truth. We have to fight to tune out of the distractions of our everyday lives in order to be in tune with the whispers of our Father. When Elijah ran away from Jezebel, he heard God in the still, quiet voice. Maybe we should shift our focus from seeking God in the grande but asking the Holy Spirit to make us more aware of the small, incremental displays of God’s grace, favour, truth, justice, love and mercy.
“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to. But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.” 1 John 3:1-3 MSG
Let’s grab a hold of our new identity. The process will be messy but God has already declared that we are His masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)
“Don’t live under an alias name…take on the name that The Lord has given you” – Kris Vallaton
The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.
Maybe you’re not where you thought you would be, or maybe you’re fighting to get out of the season that you’re currently in- begging God to “hurry up”. But the question is, when the tempter comes to feed you lies, encourage you to take shortcuts and waters your insecurities; what is your rebuttal, what do you stand upon, what keeps you unshaken?
It can be very hard to cultivate contentment; as some may confuse contentment with complacency, laziness, lack of “ambition” or not “believing God for more”. But contentment is a position of the heart, in which you are grateful for what God has done for you, first and foremost giving you salvation and for Who He is. Knowing that God cares for you and isn’t holding out on you will change your petitions into thanksgiving and gives you confidence to know that your Good Father knows what you need before you ask, but He’s more interested in your heart and being conformed to His image- than giving you a Go Pass Go and pick up $200 card.
Contentment is the tension between empathy and expectancy.
What are you saying about where you currently find yourself emotionally, spiritually, financially and relationally? Do you confess that God’s guiding boundary lines are to protect and keep you, to lead you alongside still waters and give you peace that surpasses all understanding or are you speaking words of accusation, doubt, confusion and fear?
Are you satisfied in who God is? Is He enough for you? If not, then why? Do you delight that you get to have a relationship with The Lord of the universe?
Write a list of ten things you’re grateful for each day.
Remind yourself of the times when you experienced God’s love tangibly and when He got you out of sticky situations. If you’re hungry and thirsty for more of Him, He will satisfy you.
If you don’t deal with discontentment, it will eat you alive and you will not be satisfied when you get to that Place, have that Thing or become or marry that Person.
There’s the rub! Jesus is the Only One who can satisfy and promises to satisfy. Let’s believe in Him, cleave to, trust in and rely on Him.
If you are in any form of need today, confess the scripture when thoughts of doubt, worry, anxiety, envy or discontentment creep in.
1 Timothy 6:6-8
Know that contentment shall accompany your godliness. As the Holy Spirit continues to produce fruit in you, your external and mental disposition shall also change.
Remember that whenever we crave the things of this world, we either come up feeling discontent or fall into sin by trying to fill the void or move ahead of God’s timing.
Lean on His promise today that He will never leave and never forsake you. He is your helper. Don’t be afraid.
“The source of Christianity’s strength and durability lies in the willingness and ability of Jesus’ followers to retain confidence and trust in its redemptive message. As I have lived my life, I have wondered at the inability of so many to stay the course. It seems that the simple truth of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and perhaps the even simpler one of maintaining confidence in the gospel narrative, becomes increasingly difficult to sustain as year gives way to year.
It is wonderful that in spite of her disappointments, Elizabeth is able to receive God’s word and recognise God’s work. We need those who have proven God’s faithfulness over the years, carry wounds from that walk, yet retain a testimony of confidence in the truth of God to act as witnesses to those following in their footsteps.” Premier, Be still & know
True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”
Psalm 23:3 MSG
“When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, ”
Psalm 42:6 MSG
“Faith unlocks the promises of God and it shows us the power of God and it turns dreams into reality and it gives us the power to hold on in tough times.
But faith doesn’t always take you out of the problem. Faith often takes you through the problem. Faith doesn’t always take away the pain. Faith gives you the ability to handle the pain. Faith doesn’t take you out of the storm. Faith calms you in the midst of the storm…Where do you get the resilience to keep going? Faith. It’s believing God could do something any moment that could change the direction of your life, and you don’t want to miss it, so you keep moving forward. It’s believing that God will give you exactly what you need when you need it as you learn to rely on him to accomplish his purpose in you.
This is the testimony of Paul, a great man of faith: “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT, second edition).” Rick Warren, Daily Hope