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Posts Tagged ‘Daily Bread’

There are many evils in the world, as we all know. I’ve mentioned it many times over the past few months and need not remind you….just have a look at the news.

The evils I want to discuss, however, may not be seen as ”real” evils, but still, in my opinion, when you do or say something that has the power to hurt another AND you are doing it, knowing very well that it is wrong, THAT is indeed an evil act.

How many times have we been worried, confused, even scared, because of something someone else did to us. It can be a small thing, like a lie spread at the office or something told in confidence shared by someone with no tact. These thoughtless acts by others have the power to cause disruption in our lives, it hurts us deeply and fracture relationships. Sometimes the culprits were actually totally unaware of doing wrong, or they simply didn’t know any better, but at other times, you will find that these people knew all too well what they were up to and dragging your name through the mud is exactly what they had in mind….. Isn’t it also true that the people who hurts us most are those closest to us, those we trust?

I recently heard this quote: ‘Be careful who you vent to. A listening ear is also a running mouth’. True, yes? I’m sure I’m  not alone when I tell you that I’ve trusted people with sensitive information myself over the years and, not surprising, OF COURSE, they couldn’t WAIT to share it, despite my request that they keep it between us. In my life I’ve been misled over and over by so-called kindness and trustworthiness of others and, being an optimist, I always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt. I need not tell you that my naivety blew up in my face every time. It seems such a little thing, doesn’t it? Sharing confidences…but it has been known to cause serious damage, damage that destroyed lives.

These days I’ve learned to distance myself from others completely and I rarely share my innermost feelings with anyone but my husband. I’ve learned, the hard way, that people are mostly NOT honest and trustworthy and rather than getting hurt and disappointed, I now keep my mouth shut and deal with my issues on my own. If someone else shares a little secret word with me, I keep it to myself, like I always have.

Why is it that people find it so hard to honor another person’s trust? Why must be go around, sharing another person’s misery, twisting stories in so many ways that the end result turns out to be a total fabrication? So many people make it their business to talk about others, as if they are superior; as if they are, themselves, without fault. Isn’t the world a bad enough place with all the wars and crime going on? Shouldn’t we, each and every person, look into ourselves and try to change our evil habits?

And gossip and backstabbing your ”friends” are only the beginning…these people cheat, steal, dishonor others, lash out in anger, point fingers, hate, nurture jealous hearts, cultivate their ever-expanding egos….all this without a shred of remorse or guilt. They do not kill with swords and guns, they don’t need to….the words of their mouths and the works of their hands have power enough to destroy.

I’ve said this so many times, but change begins with oneself…look into your own heart and be honest with yourself. Do you enjoy it to embarrass others by sharing their secrets with the world? Do you enjoy to see another falter and fall, because you couldn’t keep your mouth shut? Innocent gossip, you say? Did you see your ‘victim’s’ tears? They didn’t think it was innocent OR funny…..it’s THEIR LIFE! You can ruin it with your wagging, evil tongue! Do your congratulations to another’s success really come from the heart, or are you green with envy? Do you smile in your friend’s face, just to turn around and spread some delicious lie about him?

And, do you know the WORST of this….the people guilty of these evils are loudly proclaiming their love for Christ! How is this possible? How can a person be so blind to his or her own sinful behavior? Do they think God will not notice? It has always baffled me that, when you sit in church and look over the congregation, especially if you know them really well, to see those whose lives outside of the church are totally the opposite of the innocence they dress themselves with when facing the altar. It is always interesting that they are the most prominent members, with the loudest and longest prayers, the ones always rising to give testimony, or speak in tongues even. I’m sorry if I sound judgmental, I don’t  mean to…it is NOT my place to judge, but sometimes I wish someone will just get up and grab those people by the shoulders and tell them that they need to change…you CANNOT fool God! He KNOWS the real person behind the ”Sunday-mask”. I’m really the last person to get so worked up about these kind of people, but I’m very upset about this, simply because I believe that their type is the main reason why people don’t want to go to church anymore.

You see, the world judges Christians by the way they live OUTSIDE the church, because the world does not go to church! The only way you can hope to save the world for Jesus Christ is by living a godly life ALWAYS. It is almost as if they are shape-shifters….demons by day and angels by night (or on church occasions, in this case).

It is only by our example that we can ever hope to bring change to the world. Be an unashamed messenger of God, because we have to forgive these people that trespass against us, that hurt us, those we know are only play-acting their religion….it is our job to bring them home, back to the loving arms of God, NOT to hate them, or judge them.

Romans 12:20-21: “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” [BibleHub]

2 Corinthians 4:6: ”For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [BibleGateway]

Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor andpraise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.”[BibleGateway]

Now, I’ve been going on about the evil ways of man, but do you realize that we are all guilty of these things. We’ve all done something hurtful to another at one point or another in our lives. The difference should be that we acknowledge our mistake…we can’t take it back, but we can say we are sorry and we can ask forgiveness from our Lord. We are all sinful creatures, none of us is perfect, but thanks to the good grace of God, we can repent, and we can ask God to be the Master of our lives so that we do not fall into the same trap again.

In the end, life is a test of resilience. When you’ve accepted Jesus Christ in your heart, you will be guided by Him constantly and then even the ones that hurt us do so because it fulfills God’s purpose in our lives. The beautiful thing is, that we, as Christians, will understand this and we will NOT give in to the temptation to get angry and lash out.  We will accept the challenge with a sense of peace and certainty that God will lead the way. By dealing with the evil in others in such a manner, we shall, by example, show others the wonder and grace of our Lord. By living in kindness, with a forgiving heart, though it may be difficult at times, will eventually lead us into God’s wonderful light…and, who knows, those who tormented us may follow.

Are you up for the challenge to forgive those that trespass against you? Are you ready to minister to them, instead of judging them and getting mad at them? There is hope for them too (there was hope for you, remember?); they too are creations of God, worthy of saving…..will you share this scripture with them?

I pray that this is YOUR life already and that you are prepared to forgive others and help them find the way back into the wonderful light of God.

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I am re-reading an old favourite…Rebecca Brown’s controversial book ‘’He came to set the Captives free” [Whitaker House, 1986: ISBN: 0-88368-323-7]. I’ve heard many comments, some not very kind, about this book. I’ve wondered about this….why are people so reluctant to believe that what she is writing is, in fact, the truth. Has Hollywood managed to sensationalize Satan so much that we see it all through a veil of special effects?

I do SO have shocking news for you…..the devil is REAL and he is quite busy these days. We have all been lulled into thinking that he exists only in the dream world created by directors and producers of blockbusters. Why do you think movies like ‘’The Passion of Christ’’ and just recently the Nicolas Cage-movie ‘’Left Behind’’ got such bad reviews….people do not believe anymore. Not in the devil, nor in God. We laugh and giggle at the ‘’crazies’’ that obsess about the end-time prophecies, and instead of taking it all serious, we just get on with business as usual; cheating, fighting, professing our commitment to Mammon.

A friend of mine once said that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to have people NOT believe in his existence. That way he can secretly enter your life, without you suspecting a single thing and, if you don’t believe in God, you will not be able to open your mind to the signs or read the warnings in the Bible.

It has become my mission in life to openly declare the name of the Lord and to see that people read about what He has done, not only for me, but for many other people. I want you, friends, to share your testimony with me, so that I, in turn, can spread the word and bring change to the people of this earth. For me, this is the only way to live, the only way that we, as human beings, can save ourselves and this planet from certain death. It is NOT impossible. Yes, the devil is doing his work, why do you think the world is constantly at war? Why do you think the economy is failing? But God can still step in and change things for us. All is NOT lost.

Here is what you should do: Matthew 11:15 and 25:15Whoever has ears let them hear… 25At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children…’’ [BibleGateway]

Open your eyes and ears, see, listen….look at your own life. Be honest with yourself for a change. Be the child you once was, pure, honest, direct, even if the words hurt, say it, notice the flaws. Do you see the work of the devil in your life? Have you sold your soul to him? If you are well-to-do and you reach out to the poor, for instance, do you do it so that others can think you are a good person? Or do you do it so that the poor can share in your abundance without even considering the fact that you may or may not impress others? Are you honest and truthful or are you stabbing your ‘’friends’’ in the back? Do you speak evil of others? And then turn around and kiss them on the cheek, like a typical Pharisee? Is your conscience clear? Do you care at all about where you will be going once you die? Do you realise you have a choice?

In Brown’s book, she talks about Elaine, a girl who became a high priestess in a Satanic Cult and eventually found her way back to God. If she could do it, friend, so can you…no one is ever too lost. And yes, you may think I’m a silly woman, believing a tall tale told by a person, intent upon scaring people and making loads of money with her book sales to boot. Some of the things in her book sound a bit far-fetched, I agree….but then, we let our kids watch animated movies about fairytale princesses and goblins and ghouls, we get lost in a world where we believe that money and power are the answer to everything. You even believe that driving a fancy car will secure your social standing and living in an upmarket area will ensure that people think you are ‘’rich’’.  The world we have managed to create for ourselves is a fantasy! Living in a mansion doesn’t make one happy or give peace to your soul, does it?

The time has come for us to be harsh on ourselves, to inspect our own hearts carefully and honestly. God already knows your intentions, He knows your heart, but He wants you to see it for yourself, He wants you to admit that you lived your life in sin, in vain, making your deals with the devil. Please give Him the opportunity to save you and give you that one thing that money cannot buy, eternal peace. Job 22:21: ‘Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.’’ [BibleGateway]

You are NOT too lost, to be found; you are not too sinful to be saved….make the choice now, while you still can, because, friends, I do have a feeling that time is short. This world is unravelling as we speak and soon, much sooner than we can imagine, I suspect we are going to witness the end of it all. Psalm 85:8: ‘I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants..’ [BibleGateway]

Over the past few weeks you’ve read many stories about my own personal struggles with faith. You’ve seen how hopeless and desperate I got and you’ve also read my admittance that I was wandering, like John, in the wilderness. Things were (and still continue to) be bad for me, for our family. It seems that EVERYTHING is going wrong. I’ve not been well for a long time, physically, and I’m so tired of struggling, not only with my health, but with all the challenges of day to day life. Every day is worse than the one before and I cannot remember the last time I’ve been really happy. The face I put on for others are not the real me, it is simply a mask I hide behind, so that others cannot see my worries and cares. But, yes there is always a BUT, even so, even with life being what it is at the moment, I’ve found my peace. Since I’ve made the decision to hand over all my problems and worries to God, to have Jesus deal with it, I’ve been feeling better about my life. It’s still not perfect, but at least now I’ve found my purpose again, I’ve found my way….and I’m NOT depressed about what happens to me anymore. I’m going through this so that  I can now stand before the world and tell them that God is real, that He saved me from falling down into the well of deep, dark depression (where I’ve found myself so often in the past). He is the solution and, no matter what happens, He will carry me through. He will reach down and draw me ‘out of deep waters’: Psalm 18:19: ‘He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.’ [AliveToGod]

I cannot put in words the peace in my soul, the wondrous calm that has overtaken me….I still know life is challenging, I understand that things may still go wrong, but with God in charge of my life, I need not worry so much, because all will be well and through my perseverance, His name will be praised. James 1:2-4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” [GotQuestions]

 In reading about the deliverance of Elaine and how caught she was in the cult, how desperate she was in the end to be set free and how she was, eventually, saved from bondage, and I believe that there is hope for all mankind. You may be lost, you may not even know it…you may think that all is well and that you are living your dream life….yet, you may feel something is missing. The thing is, friend, we are all living in captivity and only God can set us free. Galatians 5:1: ‘’It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery…’’ [BibleHub] John 8:32 and 36: ‘’32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’’ [BibleHub]

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#DailyBread: Psalm 107:14

 

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Psalm 18:1-3

As we beg the Lord for mercy, for help when we are feeling low….we shouldn’t delay saying thanks. We should sing praises to the Lord, for we are blessed and His peace fills our souls.

These days we get so pre-occupied with the sadness and sorrow of the world. Statistics show that depression, suicide, stress and anxiety have risen at an alarming rate over the past few years. We are all, young children, teenagers and adults under enormous pressure from the world, our families and friends, schools, work and even ourselves. We want to be peak performers on every level of our lives and this is slowly starting to take its toll.

Perhaps we should all take some time out and take stock of our lives. You A-type personalities out there will love this! Make a list! Make a list of the things in your life that you are truly thankful for……..remember, all that we have, all that we’ve become, it is God’s doing in our lives. I tried this yesterday…..

Here is the ”short version” of my list:

I’m thankful for –

  • life
  • love
  • family
  • food on our table
  • a roof over our heads
  • clothes on our backs
  • freedom to pray to the God of my choice
  • the ability to help others
  • ………..the list was VERY long……

I was surprised to see that even the little things DO matter….things like having a pet to cuddle or electric light (yes, in South Africa that is a luxury)…it seems so small, so insignificant, but when I imagine my life without any of those things it would be unbearable.

Why don’t you try it, maybe you’ll see that your worries don’t measure up to all the blessings received.

And be thankful….

If you still worry about things, if life still seems too hard to bear…..consider the scripture below:

Psalm 18:6

Stay blessed, friends.

Read Psalm 18 on BibleGateway. Click here.

 

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