Thursday, 23 January 2014

Get Back To Your First Love

Who is our first love? God is our first love. He is the One that we should have as our first priority and He should be first in our thoughts. Whatever we do or say, should please our first love. But is God truly our first love or are there other things that we have placed before Him?

To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, these things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands:  “I know your works, your labour, your patience and that you cannot bear those who are evil and you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars and you have persevered and have patience and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place unless you repent. Revelations 2:1-5 (NKJV)

The Church of Ephesus was one that put a lot of effort into what they did for God. They were hardworking and they did not only speak about God but they also acted in a way that portrayed godliness. This church did all types of activities for God. They did not become weary but then Jesus says that He has something against them. They left their first love.

So many times, we do so many things for God in the church whether it may be singing, dancing or evangelizing. All of these things are good because faith without works is dead (James 2:26) but why are we doing them. Are we doing them to give God glory or are we doing them because it is what we are suppose to do? Everything we do should be unto God and not unto men (Colossians 3:23).

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23 (NJKV)

We don't want to be like the people who heard 'I never knew you'. It is about knowing Jesus, coming to place where we commune with Him and have an intimate relationship with Him. Where we can say that He is our beloved and we are His (Songs of Solomon 2:16). Our desire should be to love God with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our minds.

God is calling us to come away with Him, to come to the place where we talk with Him and where we realize that He is our first love. We were created for Him, for His glory and for His pleasure (Isaiah 43:7).

How do we get back to our first love? We have to ask God to search us and to know us and to lead us in the way everlasting, in the way that we should go (Psalms 139:23-24). We have to surrender our lives to Him continually, saying yes to His will and His plan for our lives. We have to set our minds on things above where Christ is seated and hide His Word in our hearts and live it. Be an epistle of Jesus Christ.

Lord help us to return to You and not to give our hearts to lesser things. I pray that we would give our hearts to You in total surrender and come to a place where we are in a love affair with You. Draw us to Yourself and help us to draw nigh unto You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, 10 January 2014

I'm Dancing With You

The music is on, the movements begin. Turning, twirling, bending, flying. It is not a stable moment. Everything is moving around you. This is the way how we feel sometimes about our lives. Our lives seem unstable, like everything is turning upside down. We are in the dance of life.

Though it may seem to us that we are alone, that we are in this dance by ourselves, that we have no one to depend on. God comes and He says 'I'm dancing with you'. God is with us in these times when the world is going in a way that we cannot understand, when we feel like giving up, when all the pressure seems to be on our shoulders. God is with us. He will never leave us or forsake us.

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there, if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me and Your right hand shall hold me. Psalms 139:7-10 (NKJV)

Where can we go from His Spirit? He is continually with us wherever we would go and in whatever situation we are in. God is faithful to us and He is not slack concerning His promises. If He said that He will be with us, He will be with us. He is not a man that He should lie. He is with us always even to the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).

He is not only dancing with you but He is leading you in this dance. He is giving you guidance in the direction that you should take. His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path (Psalms 119:105). The Holy Spirit has been given to us not only as our comforter but also as our guide. He will guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

You are not alone in this dance, God is with you. You are also not the only one who may be experiencing this dance. There are other people who may have went through the same situation as you. You are not alone.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

Remember in those times when your life is turning upside down that you are not alone, God is with us. 

Father, help us to know that You are here with us because we know that You will never leave us or forsake us. You are the Omnipresent God. Guide and lead us in the direction that we should go, order our steps in Your Word and keep us in this dance of life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Don't Give Up

There are times and seasons where we feel the pressure to give up, where we feel like throwing in the towel and saying that's it or this is enough. All of us go through these times and it is in these times that we must be determined to press on and to never quit. Our God is not a quitter and we are His children therefore, we are not quitters. If God was a quitter, He would have given up on us in those times when we rejected Him and look to others instead of Him but He didn't, He continued to draw us to Himself.
Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1-5 (NKJV)

We glory in tribulations (James 1:2). This is a very hard thing to do but when these tribulations come, we have a peace that passes all understanding that will keep us and sustain us in these times. Tribulation produces perseverance in us, the ability to continue when everything seems to be falling  apart. With this perseverance, we press on like the Apostle Paul who pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ (Philippians 3:14).

Perseverance produces character within us. It produces the character of Jesus Christ. Jesus persevered till the death of the cross. He didn't give up and said that I wouldn't die for these people but He was obedient to His Father even to the death of the cross. Jesus is determined, why shouldn't we be? In these times, we develop the fruit of the Spirit, showing the characteristics of Jesus.

When we have developed this character, we then have hope. We have hope that everything is working for our good (Romans 8:28) and that He who began a good work in us, is faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). We begin to trust in God that everything will work out and that He will give us the grace and the ability to continue without giving up.

In those times when you feel like giving up, think about Jesus and His perseverance and ask God for the strength and the ability to carry on.

Friday, 3 January 2014

A New Thing

This is a new year and it is a time of refreshing and renewing. It is the time where people consider their resolutions and what they should do differently from last year. It is time of being new. What does God say to us as His children in this new year?

Do not remember the former things nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19 (NKJV)

In the verse above, God says that He is going to do a new thing among us and in us. It is where we will see things we have never seen before and experience different situations that would cause us to become stronger in Christ.

First He says, 'Don't remember the former things nor consider the things of old'. Don't stay in a place where you only consider the things that He did before but also the things that He is doing and will do. Don't live in the past. Yes we can look back and think about what God has done for us but there are things in the present and future that He is going to do. Sometimes when we stay in the looking back, we may miss what God is doing in the present. We have to live in present truth. This is not to say not to remember but not to live the past.

As God will do a new thing in us, we are becoming more and more new creatures because we are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). As a result, old things are passed away. All the things that were in us before are wiped away and we have a clean slate, all things have become new. We are new creatures in Christ.

Shall we not know this new thing? There are times when we know that God is doing a work in us whether we may be in situations where we are learning new things about God or areas of our lives that needs a checkup. But then there are other times when we are unaware. We can ask God what He is doing in us in this season and in this year (Matthew 7:7-8).

In this new thing, God will make a way. He will make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. He will give us provisions and the ability and strategy to carry out the task. He will go before us and make every crooked path straight (Isaiah 45:2).

In this year, see what new things God will do in you and through you. How He will shape you and mould you into who He has called you to be.