Saturday, July 26, 2008

Testing What You Preach

This week has been real tough for me, as well as an eye opener. It all started on Sunday, where I preached on perhaps one of the toughest verses in the Bible. Perhaps not the toughest to understand or interpret. But the toughest to live. Romans 5:3-5. Speaking about Glorying in tribulation.

Romans 5:

“3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

This verse is easy to understand, but takes great courage to live. How many of us can glory when times are rough. How many are thankful to God for the increase in the petrol price? How many are joyful when the interest rates go up? How many can have a smile on their face when they have no job and a hungry family to feed, debts to pay? How many of us can shout out "HALLELUJAH" when we are at rock bottom and the times are rough? Not many. In fact it takes a special breed to do that. Our natural tendency is to panic, to cry, to run and hide and perhaps even to blame others, of which one might even be God.

Yes its tough to be happy, don't worry everything will be alright. What Romans teaches us, is that this toughness, this special power, can only come from the Holy Spirit. It is not Natural for us to be in a state of joy when the world around us is falling apart. But the commandment from God, is to have faith in Christ, that He will never leave us nor forsake us. That He will not tempt you above what you are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape.

I Cor.10:13 “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

This reminded me so much of that poster entitled "Footprints in the sand". How God is with us all the way, even when we believe or feel He isn't. This was the crux of my message on Sunday. The problem is that God was going to put me to the test, to see if I can live up to what I preached.

If you have read my other post. You will know that I am without a permanent job, or at least a permanent job in the normal sense. I am trying to work from home, with my new Internet business. My wife, Beverley, has hurt her back in a really bad way, and is probably in need of surgery.

Here is what happened this week. We found out that we have no more medical aid funds. After three months without work, no money has been coming in from the new business side. In fact no new business has come in. Debts are building up, and the overdraft is exhausted. What am I to do. What kept coming to my head was that I need to put my faith and trust in the God whom I serve. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows our needs. I kept praying day in and day out. Lord, help me through this, I am at a loss.

You know what, the Bible tells us that Gods strength is made perfect in our weakness. 2Co 12:9 “And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me.”
This was my case, I did not know where to turn. I needed money, I needed business. I needed people who wanted web sites, so that I could work and get money. Life is not fair you know. I am willing and wanting to work, to build web sites. But I could not get anybody to bite.

Well just as God is true to His word, He came through. On Wednesday, an old colleague phoned me up, wanting my help in a programming job that he was doing for a client. Great that's worth R5000-R8000. Then another Pastor friend of mine, phoned me up to say that a security firm that he deals with, needed a web site. Another R1500. I then went to a presentation, where I was able to network with people. They were so impressed with my presentation, that three expressed a willingness for me to do something for them with regards to web sites. More work, Great!!!. Then I got a call that a bunch of attorneys, also needed a web site. I have a telecom meeting with them for next week.

What came out of all this was that God was able to bring all things together for me, just to show me that He can bless, if we trust him and Glory in our tribulations.

My encouragement to you. Is keep the faith. Don't forget that God is all powerful, He is able. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will be with you till the ends of the earth.

Do you have an encouraging story to tell? Do you have a situation to share where God was able to work wonders in supplying your very needs? Share your experiences with us, leave a comment. I'd love to, as I am sure others are to, to hear from you.

Heb 3:13 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Remember "Glory in tribulation".

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why start a blog?

Why did I start this blog?

Well simple really, I have strong views and sometimes controversial views about Christianity. I believe that I am called to share the word of God with as many people as I can. Leading those who do not know Christ to a saving knowledge of Him. Uplifting other Christians and speaking, or blogging in this case, the truth.

The internet is a wonderful medium to achieve just this. There are so many people to reach, its amazing. I think more Christians should take hold of this opportunity.

I've been a Christian since 1983 when in my matric (12th grade) I heard a message entitled "Hell and how to get there". Coming from a broken home of alcoholism, fighting and just outright ungodly behaviour, I was keen to get away from this environment. I was interested in death. What was it? Where did we go after life? Could we come back? I was interested in outer-body experiences. Keen on time travel. The only thing I hated about death, was the pain. If I had to die, it would have had to be quick. I always said that if I ever went sky-diving and my parachute never opened I would go into a head dive. I did not want to have the pain and suffering. Obviously the chances of surviving such a fall were near impossible, but you understand my state of mind.

Well, when I heard this message, it scared the living daylights out of me. I was not one to scare easily. I loved watching horror movies, but this was a horror movie for real. I mean imagine going to a place like Hell, and never having the ability to get out or be redeemed. That's scary.

Anyway after that message I trusted Christ. Ever since then I dedicated my life to the spread of the Gospel. I went to bible college for many years. Went fulltime into the ministry. Got married. Got a full time job. But still remained true to my conviction.

I started to help out at a church near by me. Soon the pastor left and the church was left without a leader. I decided to step in. So now I was pastoring a church and holding down a full time job.

Well years went by. This year I left my full time job and started working from home. I wanted to finish my theology schooling and dedicate more time to my family. Why is this significant. Well I think its a brave thing to step out in faith and trust God for your income. Many will find that strange, and perhaps even hard to believe. But as you continue to read this blog, you will find some amazing stories as to how a living God can and will take care of you.

As of now, my new home job, developing web sites and Search Engine Optimisation has not made much money for me. But it is still in the infancy stage. I believe that God will help me make a success of this.

Anyway, having the ability to work from home has given me the opportunity to create a blog like this. To be able to share my views. Help others. Answer questions. Post controversial ideas. share what the Bible has to say. Correct misinterpretations , and in general give God the Glory.

So here is the question. Are you a Christian? Do you believe in God? I would love to hear from you. Drop me a comment. Do you think I am mad, off my head, lost a few screws? I don't mind.

Why not share some of your experiences with me. Let others know how God has worked in your life. Perhaps you have a burden to share. Maybe you have a prayer request. Imagine having millions of people around the world, those reading this blog, praying for your situation. How powerful is that? Maybe you have a wonderful testimony to share that will help and encourage others. What ever it might be, join me and others in sharing the truth of the Gospel.

Even if you let me know where you are from, I would greatly appreciate it.