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A place of Safety…. – Word of the Day

Place-of-Safety

As most of you know, on Saturday the  4th of June London was subject to yet another terrorist attack. Within the aftermath, people ran for their life whilst some went into fear and confronted fear. As I was pondering on this, a thought came into mind – In the times of danger and terror, do you have a place of safety?

Whenever someone starts a new job or there’s an event, the first thing is to sort an emergency procedure and that will include having a place of safety in case of danger. This reminds me of Psalms 91 –

Psalms 91: 1-8 He who [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.

So, we can conclude that those who dwell in God’s presence will be safe from terror and evil plots from the enemy. Each and every time I look at this passage, I feel rest assured that I will feel safe.

The key to being safe is having a place of safety and the key to safety is being in God’s presence.

In this time of terror, trials, tribulations and danger it’s so important to have a place of safety. Do you have one?

 

The Weekly Word – ‘Acknowledge the way’

the-way

‘Those in the light don’t acknowledge it but those who are in darkness will acknowledge the light, – Unified Ministries

This statement is quite a shocking one but yet it is very true. If you’ve ever been without electric or had to walk down a dark alley, the absence of light will cause anyone to be very weary of their surroundings. Whenever there is a hint of light, it is always warmly welcomed. When the light is on all the time, you can sometimes take it for granted but the moment you are plunged into darkness, it’s a different story.

John 14:8-9 is a passage that will no doubt resonate with most of us because at some point we asked the question that Phillip asked  – ‘Lord, show us the father’. Jesus then said to him that for all the time he spent with them but they somehow didn’t know the father. Jesus then said that those that have seen him, have also seen the father.

With most of us, we are always seeking a way out of a situation or we seeking the truth and seeking an answer to a question but what we fail to recognise is that Jesus is the answer. How is it that we can spend so much time with someone but we fail to acknowledge their presence? How is it that we can spend so much time with someone but we fail to recognise that they are the answer to our question?

Jesus then further stated that he is “the way, the truth and the life” and that no one can go to the father except they go through him.

Light brings clarity, Light helps you to see, Light helps you to be free in your surroundings. Let’s take time to acknowledge that light in our lives today. If you find yourself in darkness, seek the light and treasure it. I pray that as you go through this week, you will acknowledge and walk in the path that has shown you.

Have a gracious week

#freedomfriday – It is finished

John 19:30 – Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

As Jesus uttered those words, his assignment here on earth had come to an end. He had offered up his body as a ransom so that his people can be set free. He had defeated the power of the enemy, the rulers had no more control, all of their power was gone.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve both sinned and as a consequence sin entered the world. The enemy had a free reign over the earth, he had an open door to do as he pleased which really grieved God. As a result, in order to banish sin forever and return the people of the earth back to their natural state, a man who was blameless in sight had to be introduced and that man was Jesus.

Colossians 1:22 – But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-

Jesus was questioned, he was interrogated but they couldn’t find any fault in him. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice so that sin could be eradicated once and for all.

Romans 8: 1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:3-4 So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

Today, as you celebrate the start of the easter weekend, remember that Sin has no control over you anymore. You are free, you are a new creation. Go forward with the knowledge that you have a new life.

It is Finished!!!!!!!!!!! Sin has no control over you anymore.

Be blessed and highly favoured

 

 

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Love – What is Love

heart-muscle

Growing up in life, it’s been said to us that we must love another as we love ourselves. This reality can be quite foreign to us for many reasons. We have also been told to love each other unconditionally but in reality we always find this hard. We find it hard to love unconditionally because in our lifetimes there have been times where our love has been abused or taken for granted. We then have this concept of love that society throws at us which can often confuse us.

So, what is Unconditional Love?

Ephesians 3:17-19 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Unconditional Love is a type of love that is not based on conditions so when God decided to send his son down to earth, it’s not because of how much someone prayed, fasted or begged, it is simply that God had so much love for you.

Mark 12:32 – The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these

So looking at this passage, the real question is How do we love our neighbour?

Let’s see what love is first.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

We could also say that Love is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

As we ponder on these passages, one thing stands out to us. It is the fact that whenever Jesus wanted to show the disciples how much he loved them, he would show them which takes us back to John 15. Jesus laid down his life so he could set us free, he gave up his life so he can give us life. The reality of it will always move someone to tears which is something John alluded to in 1 John 3.

1 John 3:1-2 See what [[a]an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.

2 Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is

Let’s revisit what Love in 1 Corinthians and then we can have a glimpse into how we are to love our neighbours. Are we patient? Are we kind? Do we get angry quickly? Can we forget things that others do to us? Is it all about you? Do you seek things for you and you only? Can we trust people? Can we be happy for others and not be envious of them? The list is quite exhaustive in itself.

When the topic of love was floating around, I asked this – Can I love others if I don’t love myself so do I get angry at myself for every little thing, do I protect myself, am I patient with myself and so on. I believe that you can grow in love everyday and that only comes when your foundation is God because of the fact that God is Love.

1 John 4:7-9 Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.…

When you love God and know God, only then will you know how to love others.

I pray that this blesses you today. Be safe and secure in the knowledge that God loves you. You can’t earn it and you can lose it. Be free and start loving yourself and others today.

#freedomfriday Guard Your Heart

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Proverbs 4:23 – Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life

The above passage is a passage that we have all heard of and it’s one that we are told to remember as well but do we really take hold it. When we hear the guard we instantly think of shutting everyone off and guarding from the front but in essence that is not what it is detailing here.

So, Guard your heart, let’s break it down. As a security officer, one of our main duties is to guard the premises so that means controlling who comes in and out 24/7. If anyone in the building is unaccounted for we would go and secure the building and make sure that nobody is on site. We would also check access points such as doors, windows and exit gates and make sure they also manned too. So when we look at guarding our heart, we can say that we should pay close attention to who or what we allow access to us. Letting in the wrong people can be very toxic and very dangerous.

On a daily basis we go and check various points throughout the day, we patrol and actively do our rounds. It’s a very important aspect of the job so we can secure it. When we look at guarding our heart, we can say that we should pay close attention to who or what we allow access to us. Letting in the wrong people can be very toxic and very dangerous.

Your heart is the main point where everything from and when it’s attacked it is very dangerous. The heart can pick up different diseases and infections and if we don’t check the heart regular it can be very costly. When the heart stops, the body then dies

Ephesians 4:31–32 instructs, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” When we fill our heart with these things, our hearts can be really poisonous and evil.

Guarding your heart also protecting the inner core of your person so this includes your thoughts, feelings, desires and the choices that we make. All these determine who he/she is and who they really are. The mind of a man reflects who he really is, not simply his actions or words. That is why God examines the heart of a man, not simply his outward appearance and what he appears to be.

So, how do you guard your heart?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). Dwelling on these things will help to build a guard and fence around our hearts.

Now, notice that Proverbs 4 doesn’t say to lock your heart or to barricade your heart, it says it to guard your heart. Be observant, be alert 24/7. The reason we say this is because the enemy is always prowling on the outside and is looking for a way in. He is looking for a pathway so it’s of high importance that we are observant to what happens on a daily basis.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[a]in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same ([b]identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.

Guarding your heart is so important, our whole life depends on it.

Be blessed always. We pray that God will give you the wisdom and discernment to guard your heart all times.

Fear v Faith

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Get out of the boat or stay in the boat? Walk or stand still?

Within the parameters of life, there is one question that is one every mind. Do I step out in faith or do I stand still? No matter what arena you are in or what you do, the fear v faith argument will no doubt rear its head.

Let’s look at a well-known passage in the bible

Mark 4:35-41

On that same day [when] evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the lake].
36 And leaving the throng, they took Him with them, [just] as He was, in the boat [in which He was sitting]. And other boats were with Him.
37 And a furious storm of wind [[a]of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled.
38 But He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing?
39 And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased ([b]sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm ([c]a perfect peacefulness).
40 He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no [d]firmly relying trust)?
41 And they were filled with great awe and [e]feared exceedingly and said one to another, Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him?

There are two standpoints we should look at. First from the disciple’s standpoint. It was a stormy night, the boat was rocking. Now for them to get to the other side, they had to go through and then get to the other side. It sure was an experience which terrified them. There are times in life where we face the storms of life but our response to them is very crucial, do we respond in fear or do we it command them to cease?

Now, let’s see it from God’s viewpoint. Jesus was asleep in the boat, but when the disciples he rose up, commanded the storm to calm and then told the disciples why were they so timid and faith and also what happened to their faith. Jesus was with them in the boat, he was at rest even though the storm was heavy and overwhelming. We need to adopt this attitude. We need to understand that we have to trust God and also stand on his word that will never leave nor forsake us.

What we need to understand, is that when Jesus is with us, we can be strong and courageous. Psalms 23 says – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. This passage alone lets me know that I shouldn’t be afraid or have any fear because God is with me always.

Fear can do a lot to a man. It can cause a man to sink just like Peter did when he walked on water. It can cause us to doubt and trust God and also doubt others around us. The enemy then starts placing seeds of doubt inside us and causes to stand still however if you move in faith, God will move with you too. Faith moves God. In Hebrews 11, we saw all the famous men and woman of God who moved in faith. Abraham, Noah, Joshua, Hannah, they all moved in faith. God loves a faithful person

Fear comes from a place of worry and when we worry about certain things, Fear takes control. It may stem from unresolved issues in our life or from anxiety or when you go into panic mode. Fear cripples many men from becoming from what God wants them to be. Fear cripples many men from realising who they are. If I have learnt anything, it is this – when I step away from God, that’s when fear steps in. When Peter took his eyes away from God, he started to sink and panic.

In this season, don’t let fear suffocate you and hold you down. Step out in faith.

Daniel 11:32 But the people who do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

This passage has the elements of trust and faith all over it. Walking on water is a supernatural exploit but you can only walk on water when you put all your trust and faith in God. When God calls you, he will ensure that you reach the other side. It also tells us that when we step into our identity as Sons of God, we will do exploits.

Don’t allow fear to cause you to be stagnant in this season. God is calling you forth, step out in faith. Experience the supernatural. Make the impossible become possible.

I pray that as you seek God and step out in faith, God will strengthen you and empower you to be who God has called you to be.

Ryan Osborne

 

Take a Break

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“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
http://bible.com/1/1co.3.16.kjv

Sometimes, you need to disconnect with yourself in order to reconnect with yourself. I know that sounds funny right? But just think about it….

Life can get so busy in the overwhelming hustle and bustle; so much to do… go there… do this…  do that. We can get so caught up in the notion of ‘in order to get this, I must do that,’ that we can tire ourselves silly, sometimes leading to a minor breakdown… which is not so conducive to our everyday way of life.

Have you ever wondered that ‘ there is only one of me, so in actual fact, I must do the best I can do, to take care of myself; then I can also be a blessing to others.’ If your health fails or you can no longer mentally take up the day to day tasks given to you, how is that of any help to anyone or yourself?….. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.

A break allows you to mentally recharge, and it gives you a whole new perspective on life. You begin to appreciate the smaller and lesser things,.. (another way of saying it is you begin to count your blessings one by one) that you could not see before because you were always on the go.

A break also helps you to reconnect with people, believe it or not! (Gasp!… I know) It helps you to reconnect with people physically, mentally and spiritually. Your relationships with your family and friends become more inspiring and encouraging, to both you and them. You will also notice that your conversations become more vibrant, refreshing and uplifting …  It’s a win-win people.

I can’t emphasise enough the importance of mental health. It’s something our society fails to take seriously because of the ‘business’ of life, but it’s probably one of the most important things we need to consider regularly and put into action. In the long run, you will see the benefits of it.

So go on guys…..GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!

Stay blessed

Sophia

Is Competition healthy?

competitors

In the world of sports, it’s very acceptable that you will need to compete to win the winning prize. You will do whatever it takes to beat all opponents and even when you win the crown, it is the same.

For so long, the world has taken to the idea that competition is healthy. You may have heard in some circles that competition brings out the best in everyone. Now, within the body of Christ, this is not what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to build one another and love one another.

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others

Galatians 5:19-20 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions.

So we can see from the above scriptures that if we do things from a place of rivalry or conceit, we are doing it from the wrong mindset. When we do things from a place of rivalry it can cause us to become envious of other people.

Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

James 3:14-15 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.

Ecclesiastes 4:4-6 “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbours. But this, too, is meaningless–like chasing the wind. “Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin.” And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”

When you compete with people, from that it can birth hatred, jealousy, rivalry and envy. It will even cause you to detest them. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to really pull myself back and really ask whether or not it was something I was called to do or was it out of envy. What I took is that it’s very possible to be envious of someone when there is no love or unity.

There have been times when people in close quarters have released something or started something and I’ve decided to start something similar but then God stops me and asks me whether or not it’s part of my calling or part of my destiny.

Competition within the body of christ is very rife these days. It’s a very unhealthy to want to compete with each other. Now, it’s not wrong to have ambitions but when you trample on others and bring people down just to get there, it will not please God.

Psalms 139:23 – Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

Jeremiah 17:10 – “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

This competitive mindset is linked to people’s hearts. Whatever is in a person’s heart will show by their actions. Before a person does anything, God will search the heart. Whenever you see yourself becoming envious or jealous, check your heart and your motive.

When the focus shifts from God to personal gain, it can open your heart to all sorts of things such as Strife, Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Conceit. Let your focus be on God at all times, be in your own lane and focus on reaching God.

The kingdom is not a dog eat dog world out there. There is room for everyone. Unity must be the goal, not division. Love must be the goal, not hatred. Let’s build one another, support one another and love one another.

Competition is not healthy, it causes division, it causes hatred, it causes jealousy.

Commit yourself to building God’s kingdom. Love one another, build one another.

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Time – Use it or Lose it

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It only feels like we had just entered January and skipped to February. That literally is how fast the year has gone already, it’s just ticked away right before our own eyes. Do you feel like you need more time? Do you wish you had more time?

Think of it this way – You are sitting in an exam, on the paper, it says that you have 2 hours. Everybody has the same 2 hours, no more and no less. One person uses time well and answers all the questions but the other person just sits there figuring out what to do. All of a sudden the invigilator says “Time up”. Both of you had the same 2 hours but one used time and one wasted time. On exam results day, it was evident to see. Do you want to be the person who uses the time to their advantage or do you want to be the person who sees time tick by?

When I was young, I had this precept that I could wait and do things the next day. It was like that for a while until I met one of my associates who said this to me – “Time waits for no man, Time doesn’t respect anyone, it just goes tic toc. What you do with it is down to you”
I will admit, they were some wise words indeed, they have been lodged in my memory up until now.

All of us can’t complain that we don’t have enough time, in fact, we have 24 hours in a day every day of the week. The only thing is what do we do with it? If you asked someone what they do with their time, this will indicate why they say ‘If I only had another hour or if the day could be extended’.
How do you view time? Can you manage your time well?

I want to introduce a time management tool which will help greatly

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Above is the Eisenhower matrix. It helps us identify and structure our time a lot better. When I was first introduced to this concept I found out that there are things that I do which were time-consuming, they weren’t beneficial for me so I cut them out and I found that I had more time than I thought. Try it out for yourself. You will be amazed at the results.

There are some things in life that we have to do and there are some things that we don’t have to do. In between that, some balance is needed. Ask yourself this question – Do I really need to do it? I did this once and it changed my life

Time is one of our greatest investments. When you invest in yourself and spend time investing in you, you will reap the benefits. Let’s start investing time into something worthwhile.

Let’s stop regretting the time we have wasted. We can’t get it back
Time is precious, Time is our greatest resource.

Time…………………..

‘Do Today what others won’t do tomorrow’

time-management

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