Tag Archives: Christ

We are in the world but not of the world

We all know about the Exodus and how God delivered his people out of the hands of the Egyptians. How God set his people apart and made a clear distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians; “But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. (Exodus 11:7). Now the question is would people today be able to tell the difference between the holy and the common as mentioned in Leviticus? In other words can people perceive who is of God and who isn’t? “so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean,” (Leviticus 10:10).

As Children of God we have automatically been set apart which means that our course of life and experiences will always be for the glory of God. This also means that here on earth we have a job to do that has been predetermined before we ever existed (Ephesians 2:10). Now this may be contrary to popular belief but this does not exempt us from problems, heartache and pain. However it does ensure that we don’t not walk through these problems alone, and guarantees our victory over every situation. To strengthen this argument I bring to your attention the time when Jesus had informed Simon that Satan had requested to “sift him as wheat”. Now we may not know how or to what degree Simon was sifted but we know that Jesus had assured him that he had already prayed for him to retain his faith and furthermore to strengthen his brothers once he has turned back. If Simon was meant to be overcome by this “sifting” Jesus wouldn’t have commissioned him to strengthen his brothers once he had overcome the issue (Luke 22:31-32) this shows us that we are overcomers.

“As Children of God we have automatically been set apart which means that our course of life and experiences will always be for the glory of God.”

God is Love

At one point Jesus was questioned as to what was the most important commandment for us to follow this was his answer; “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:29 -30) this was then followed by; “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31). Here Jesus is explaining to us that we need to replicate the very nature of God which is Love, this is how people will be able to perceive that we are indeed from God. Now please note that this type of love is not our perception of love as we know it. We live in a broken world and this perception may have been manipulated. It is however the love of God within us that we are sharing to those that are so desperately hungry for it.

You will know them by their fruit

It is important that we have a sober judgement when dealing with people, God knows the heart of all people and thus knows how to demonstrate this love to everyone of his children through you. As Christians we are constantly being watched and judged by our works, therefore we need to be aware that everywhere we go we are demonstrating Christ. If you need to feel the love of God ask him to show you his love so that you can then transfer this love unto others as we have been commissioned.

Blessings,

Nathalie

Who’s report do you trust in?

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1

We are living in a time today where information can be found and obtained from almost anywhere, with everyone having the right to publish their reports/information to the world without giving the receiver the opportunity to fact check. The main question is how do we know whether this information is indeed correct? The answer is we do not. This is because for all we can vouch for this could be tale concocted to influence our reactions.

Anxiety

I am almost certain that at some point in our lives we have experienced some time of anxiety. According to the Oxford dictionary the word anxiety means “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.” The first question you should ask yourself is; what has caused the anxiety in the first place? hasn’t it been generated by an acceptance of information from a ‘trusted’ source? Maybe this could also be a good time to note whether the anxiety ever paid off as a benefit to your life.

“Maybe this could also be a good time to note whether the anxiety ever paid off as a benefit to your life.”

The Truth

I bring this to your attention simply because at times we believe certain things without actually considering the only book that actually states that it contains The Truth. Yes ladies and gentlemen I am talking about the Holy Bible. In Philippians 4:6 it says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God“. Here is clearly says we shouldn’t be anxious about anything but in every situation we should approach and submit it to God. This was what drove my main point as to what benefit you had received for being anxious.

Trust

This is not to disprove the fact that we go through situations that may pose a threat. However at times such as these we have two options 1) to believe the stories we hear about people in similar situations or 2) To believe the word of God when it says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. This clearly tells us to submit our fears, uncertainties and worries to God and He will make our paths straight. Notice how it mentions that we have an understanding, which means that the way we may see a situation may not actually be correct, and thus we shouldn’t be quick to trust it. My final question would be; have you ever submitted your worries to God? if not then who else do you trust them with?

Blessings,

Nathalie

When nobody understands

Growing up I always felt misunderstood, mistreated and misinterpreted. So I would regularly find myself enjoying my own solitude. I would think inwardly “at least I wont argue with myself” or hear the words “you are not good enough”. It says in the bible that Jesus regularly withdrew to solitary places; Luke 5:16. However when Jesus withdrew it was to seek the face of God in prayer. But when I withdrew myself it was because I felt that every time I was around people I would get hurt, so I became a loner to avoid pretending to be something I wasn’t. Looking back I wished that I would have shown myself more grace, as a teen you are still developing finding yourself, discovering what you actually like, carving your opinions and finding God for yourself to develop a solid relationship.

Peer Pressure

My first question is; how are you supposed to find yourself when society is constantly being directive in telling you how you’re supposed to dress and how much you should pay for a pair of shoes? And these are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to societal demands. If you are feeling like you are going against the tide I would like to encourage you with the fact that God chose people that saw themselves as ‘too young’ or unskilled to be in the ministry. For Example I marvel at the words God utilised whilst calling Jeremiah; “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5. What an immense calling for such a young person yet God declared to Jeremiah that he had already made plans for him whilst he was still in the womb. The response of Jeremiah was classic saying he was too young. Just note that in your supposed humble beginnings God desires to use you and has already defined a purpose for your life.

You are not alone, you have a Lord that both loves you and understands you.

Run your race

At some point we have compared ourselves to someone or perhaps asked God “why weren’t we blessed with the same things?” This robs your uniqueness and tries to place you on a type of product line with no distinguishing factor between you and your peers. When God calls us to be eagles, not only do we have the privilege of being called the children of God but we have a responsibility of being an effective follower of Christ. just like Paul did in the new testament, he had a clear goal which was maintaining his faith through all difficulties; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7.

A final note I want you to know is that people may not fully understand you, but know that there is one that does, his name is Jesus and any insecurities you are going through he can help walk you through them “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.

Blessings,

Nathalie

Shaken but not overcome

It is being made apparent more now than ever that everything that was once under the surface is beginning to be revealed. Just look around; no one wants to stand close to anybody, we are more distrusting of our surroundings, anger issues are being exacerbated and televised, all this yet it seems that no one is discussing the spiritual effects the year 2020 is having on people and the church. In Haggai 2:6 its says “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.” This was a prophecy that came through the prophet Haggai. Prior to this in verse 4, the Lord gives his people this encouragement; “But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the LORD. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

Warning and encouragement

In these two verses you get both a warning and an encouragement. For God to inform his people to be strong indicates some sort of turmoil ahead. For example when Moses died and Joshua took over leadership, the Lord commanded Joshua the following, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. All this was before the Israelites were to take ownership by force of the Land the Lord had promised them, i.e. before a battle. This was the same case in Haggai with a difference in that the Lord promised that he will shake the Heavens, Earth, Sea AND the Dry land! Notice also that the Lord reassures his people that they should not be afraid of the events that will soon unfold that The Lord himself will be with them. This encourages me that whatever is going on in the world today, even if it comes unexpectedly I am assured that as I remain in Christ his blood covers me and thus casts out all fear. This is your case also, if you haven’t already; ask Jesus to come into your life, take control and help you, he will do it.

…even if it comes unexpectedly I am assured that as I remain in Christ his blood covers me and thus casts out all fear.

Jesus our confidence

In John 14:1 Jesus was encouraging his disciples with this verse “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” In this scripture I noticed the word “let” meaning when we feel low or disturbed it is a sentiment we are allowing our hearts to manifest. Which also means that Jesus has given us the authority to not “let” our hearts become troubled! Now this doesn’t say that we won’t experience situations that will try to persuade our hearts to let troubles in, however it does say that we have a way out and an authority to resist only if we have Christ in our lives.

Separating the chaff from the wheat

In these last days we have plethora of people walking in fear of not only what is to come but of the present situation. For example one thing I learnt this year is that no one is certain of anything. In Luke 22:32 Jesus says; “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” This was an indication that Peter was to undergo a shaking, similar to when someone is trying is trying to separate wheat from other unwanted contaminants. I am sure that a lot of us have been going through a sifting of some sort including myself, however Jesus also mentions that he already prayed so that our faith will not be compromised. What a wonderful thing to know that Jesus has already given us the ability to overcome and to also strengthen our brothers and sisters!

I believe that the church is yet to see the glory of God if we do not waver, stay strong and know that you are not alone.

Blessings,

Nathalie

This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it

Lately the Lord has been laying on my heart to rejoice and be grateful in whatever situation I am in. This was further impressed on my heart by the book of Jeremiah of which I am currently reading. In Jeremiah 32:41 the Lord says “ I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul”. If you have read the prophecies that preceded this message from the Lord it could almost be described as a light in a very dark tunnel. The Israelites had sinned against the Lord and therefore incurred punishment, a very serious one at that. However in midst of the prophecy of recompense, God is instilling hope upon his people, that even though they are about to enter into turmoil, God is already speaking of his plans to bless and restore them.

How do we respond to a word from God

Now what did the Israelites do with this information? Well they ignored the prophecies. They were only interested in the false prophets that prophesied against Jeremiah and told them how the Lord will not bring judgement through the Babylonians, but will bless them instead. This brought to mind the scripture of 2 Timothy 4:3; “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear”. Is this not happening today? Do we really go church to hear both positive AND negative reports? Or do we actually just want to hear that God will bless us with a house, marriage and a great paying job. As believers we need to be able to accept the good as well as the bad, thus remaining in humility. Think of it this way if we were perfect we would have joined God in heaven by now. However the fact we are still here means that God is still working in us through his grace.

Faith = Endurance

How you respond to trouble determines your endurance. A mind governed by fear and anxiety will not last very long as this is a detriment to your own body. However a mind filled with hope no matter the situation not only demonstrates faith but also encourages God to act on your behalf. In Matthew 6:25-27 it says;  Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Here the Lord himself is not only telling us not to worry but telling us that “life” which is Christ, is more important in other words this world and everything in it will pass away but the word of God (which is Christ) will never pass away,(Matthew 24:25) (Isaiah 51:6) therefore focus on this. A question to ponder; why do we still struggle with this, could it be a trust issue?

“How you respond to trouble determines your endurance..”

Summary

In this post I have touched on a few points on our take as believers to situations that are constantly changing around us. And something to make us ponder on what we are actually anchoring ourselves to. I do this often to myself in questioning thoughts and feeling’s that may pass through my mind thus constantly pulling down strongholds and making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Blessings

Nathalie

“My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me..”

As we progress past the half year point and well into seventh month (which is also my birthday month), I started seeing the current situation in the world as something that could actually last longer than first anticipated. It clearly demonstrated my disconnection with the current times we are living in, and how these things were foretold in the bible. The title above is an excerpt taken from Matthew 27:46; where Jesus at the cross during his final hour called out to his Father. I proceeded to collect my thoughts; did the Father really forsake Jesus? or was this for us to hear so that we could acknowledge how sin can separate us from the Father, and also how we were spared because Jesus bore our sins. It says in Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from God”. This shows us whilst we are living in our sin we separate ourselves from God and thus open doors to trouble and fear amongst other things.

Repent and be saved

In Acts 3:19 (KJV) it says “Repent ye therefore, and be converted , that your sins may be blotted out , when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord..” This was the part when the disciples had finished preaching and people around them noticed that they had been living in sin and wanted to know how to rectify this broken relationship with God. Notice the eagerness to live a righteous lifestyle, what they had demonstrated was the verb of the word repentance. Understandably we live in fallen world, however we are commanded to separate ourselves and be representatives of Christ. Please also note that the Lord will never ask you to do something and not help you in doing so “I can do all this through him who gives me strength”. Phil 4:13. He is looking for the willingness and he will take over form there.

…The Lord will never ask you to do something and not help you in doing so

Immanuel – God with us

This week I have been delving into the book of Isaiah and a certain scripture caught my attention. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15. What a comforting and eye opening scripture! God not only relates his love to a mother but also subtracts her shortcoming’s, reminding us of his perfection. You may be reading this today with a recollection of the times you have been abandoned by the people closest to you. As I am writing this today I am living proof that God is more than your past hurts or anyone who walked out on you!

Blessings

A few blessings to note, you have been saved by grace, the Lord Jesus is calling you higher, God has kept you to this point and God is not finished with you yet! (very cliche but also very real)

Blessings,

Nathalie

Loneliness and your calling

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

Loneliness is in the mind not the physical

Loneliness is in many cases interpreted as being in your lonesome or not having any friends or company. What if I told you that you can still feel lonely within a large group of friends. I would like to open up this series with the moment the Lord God, approached the prophet Jeremiah.

The Call of Jeremiah

To give some context Jeremiah at this point was young and had no idea that he had a calling upon his life. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV. Then Jeremiah preceded to mention to God his age “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” Jeremiah 1:6. I can sympathise with Jeremiah because there he is probably thinking about what he is going to have for lunch or dinner, and the Almighty God approaches him with such powerful words that automatically caused anxiety. Have you ever felt anxious about the future? or whether you were going to live up to the expectations of your parents? Your confidence should be this; it is not in your own strength, God has already equipped you and given you the ability to be everything he has called you to be!

God has already equipped you and given you the ability to be everything he has called you to be!

Called out of Loneliness

Notice in the scripture nothing was mentioned that Jeremiah was out with a group of friends having fun when God called him. The Bible gives us the impression that he was alone and that was when God approached him. At this point pose yourself this question; do I have moments alone with God? Let me tell you, the day I decided to have alone time with God sometimes just to talk I no longer felt alone nor did I seek approval from outsiders. It was like every time I went to him he became everything to me; my mother, father, sister and brother. The satisfaction came without being surrounded by a crowd.

You are more than what you think

To close out I would like to mention that God quickly corrected Jeremiah in telling him not to speak about himself in such as way (Jeremiah 1:7). This demonstrates not only the love God has for his children but how valuable He sees us! If you understood how much he loves you would specifically seek to have alone times with the Lord.

Stay blessed

Nathalie

Righteousness..What’s Love got to do with it

How to Love

“If you love me, keep my commands” John 14:15. Such a powerful message Jesus gave his followers yet so simple. If it is simple then why aren’t we doing it? In today’s world if you ask the average christian “do you love Christ?” we would answer “yes” in an almost offensive tone. But do we actually understand what it means to love the Lord or how the Lord perceives love?

In today’s society we have a system called ‘Love Languages’. This now allows us to categorise people and put them in boxes so that we know how to keep them “happy”. This blog is not to bash any method but I believe that when its says in the Bible to love my neighbour as myself it should be as straight forward as that. As it says in the book of Mark 12:31;”The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” So every time we believe that we are portraying love we need to ask ourselves; are we loving this person (our neighbour) as ourselves.

Love Types

The word ‘Love’ has been categorised into 4 different areas; Storge – Empathy, Philia – Friendship, Eros – Romantic and Agape – unconditional ‘God’ Love. Do we know that God loves us unconditionally? This is re-enforced by the infamous scripture of John 3:16; For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. I believe that the type of love we are commanded to show our ‘neighbour would be the Agape type of love, where we are not asking for some type of exchange before we show love.

Hurting Heart

Unfortunately due to sin in the world, people including members of the church may struggle to demonstrate this type of love due to past experiences that taints our perception of love and how we give it. Personally I know this feeling and its restraints, however when I surrendered to Christ I was assured that this was not something that would come from my own strength but from God himself so that he can reach his desired result for my life. This is so clearly demonstrated in Proverbs 3:6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight“. Let’s remember this is not to walk in condemnation but to acknowledge, repent and submit to God to help us.

…however when I surrendered to Christ I was assured that this was not something that would come from my own strength but from God himself..

Isn’t it great that if we walk in his ways and love like him along with our faith, we are ultimately walking in righteousness! whatever situation you are walking in today, let us all remember that it is not in our own strength, but we need to ask God to help us love. This could be our family members, husband, wife, ex-friend even our boss. A willing heart is pleasing to God. “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.” 2 Corinthians 8:12.

Blessed week to all!

Nathalie