Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Unhealthy Comparisons

UCB Word for Today devotional recently focused on Unhealthy Comparisons and the series blessed me.  Here are the main points:

1.      Paul didn't measure his progress by the pace of the runner in the lane next to him. He said, in essence, 'I'm running according to the drumbeat I hear on the inside, not the outside. I will support and encourage you, but I will never compete with you. My goal is to recognise and maximise what God has put within me. I'm not chasing you, I'm chasing me”.

2.      There will always be somebody who has more education than you, preaches better than you, or makes more money than you. So shake it off and be yourself! The Bible says, 'He who walks with wise men will be wise”...

3.      The only course you can run and win is the course God has given you.

4.      Others may inspire and instruct you, but you must go to God in order to find out what He’s called you to be and then align yourself with it. God told the prophet Habakkuk, ‘…Write the vision and make it plain…that he may run who reads it’ (Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV).

5.     It is okay to admire somebody else’s vision and be inspired by them, but you must receive your own vision from God and run with it. Only when you do that, can you live to the fullest. God wants you to run according to what He has shown you, not what somebody else says. Stop taking your cues from people. Go to God!

6.       You are the question, God is the answer. And as long as you know who is who, you’ll always make progress in the journey of life.
Have a fantastic Christmas break and may your 2013 be far better than this year. 
Every blessing,
Have a fantastic Christmas break and may your 2013 be far better than this year.  Enjoy the Turkey and the rest.
Every blessing,

Have a fantastic Christmas break and may your 2013 be far better than this year.  Enjoy the Turkey and the rest.
Every blessing,


Have a fantastic Christmas break and may your 2013 be far better than this year.  Enjoy the Turkey and the rest.


Every blessing,



Have a fantastic Christmas break and may your 2013 be far better than this year.  Enjoy the Turkey and the rest.


Every blessing,



Tuesday, 24 July 2012

...Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.'

Summary of UCB Word for Today:

1.  If you are wise, when God talks you'll listen. And He will talk to you through the Bible.

2.  Your faith grows when you hear God speak, and it works when you do what He says.

3.  If you struggle to lead a victorious Christian life, read these words carefully: 'How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word' (Ps119v. 9 NKJV).

4.  The solution to every problem you face is contained in Scripture.

5.  To be wise you must study it.

6.  To be strong in faith you must believe it.

7.  To be successful in life you must practice it.

Have a fantastic day.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Be devoted to prayer (2)

Be devoted to prayer (2)
Like I said in my previous post, when I was in Hong Kong in June; I had the opportunity to attend the Ambassador International Church on Sunday, 3rd of June.  The speaker was Henry Craig who spoke on “People at Prayer”.  I was really blessed by the message because I believed it was a balanced message on prayer.  This is the second part of the summary of the message.

A child praying to a Father
When we have needs, we should turn in prayer to our heavenly Father. Sometimes it is our last resort rather than our first.   It should be our natural instincts to pray about our needs, concerns and blessings.  We bring the matter to the Lord and it helps us in our understanding.  Remember that you worship a powerful God when you feel powerless.  No matter what we face, we should always come to your heavenly father in prayer as a child comes to a Father. An example was when Jehoshaphat was in danger in 2 Chronicles chapter 20, he prayed to God saying “We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you” 2 Chronicles 20:12. 

When we sin against God - A prayer of repentance, confession, guilt and repentance 
This is when we bring to God the things we haven’t done and we ask him to forgive us.  A good example is in Psalm 51.  David started off with these words “have mercy on me according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion and wash away my iniquity”.  Don’t run away from God when you sin.  Go to Him and ask him to cleanse you.  David took responsibilities for his actions, let’s do the same.  He claims God’s compassion and abandoned himself to God’s mercies.  He shows even deeper insights when he said, “against you alone have I sinned’.  His sin was a rebellion against God as all sins are; repentance is taking sides with God against ourselves. 

We do not need to appease God or seek his approval.  Biblical Christianity is about acknowledging our helplessness and the sacrifices God requires is a broken and contrite heart.  We cannot save ourselves.  1 John 2:1-2 says that:

“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.  He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world”

Persistence in prayer
Paul’s practice was to pray for new Christians.  In Colossians1:9, he said that “We have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you”.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 asks us to pray continually or without ceasing; that is we should not stop praying.  The book of Acts shows us that the early Christians prayed daily in one accord, devoted themselves in prayer and they prayed for deliverance and safety

Call to action
Since prayer is keeping company with God and it is fellowship with the Almighty. I urge you to be devoted in prayer, remain persistence in prayer, and remember to put God at the centre of your prayers.  In conclusion, we ought to live in a way that we believe that praying makes a difference.  I leave you with these verses in Revelation 8: 3-4

“Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.”

Be devoted to prayer.



Tuesday, 3 July 2012

People at Prayer (1)

I was recently in Hong Kong and I had the opportunity to attend the Ambassador International Church on Sunday, 3rd of June.  The speaker was Henry Craig who spoke on “People at Prayer”.  I was really blessed by the message because I believe it is a balanced message on prayer.  The summary of the message was:

The necessity of a daily prayer live
Jesus is our example, he knew what to pray about, how to pray and he prayed daily.  He taught this valuable principle by example - ‘Prayer is keeping company with God; it is fellowship with the Almighty.  He told his disciples to always pray and never give up.  He prayed constantly, setting time aside to pray.

Every true prayer is a variation of the theme - ‘Your will be done, Thy kingdom come”
The purpose of every prayer should be to pray for the establishment of God’s will to be done on earth whether it is in our lives or in our community or nation.  When God is glorified, the emphasis is on Him, the spotlight is on Him.  Bringing Him glory and having His will is the benchmark for every prayer.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we can see a pattern for prayer.  It shows that we need to pray about God’s concern before we pray for our own concerns.  As we can see in Matthew 6: 9-13 below:

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”.

 God centred petition

·         God’s name –hallowed by your name
·         His Kingdom – your kingdom come
·         His Will – your will be done

 Man centred petition
·         Provision - Daily bread
·         Pardon - Forgiveness 
·         Grace not to sin
·         Protection

Fellowship in prayer
An example is the story of Daniel; when he had to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams to save lives (Daniel chapter 2).  He went to his mates to pray with them.  He got his friends together and urged them to plead for mercies from God.  He knew the importance of fellowship in prayer.   In Matthew 18:19-20; our Lord Jesus mentioned the power of agreement in prayer:

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them”

To be continued…..



Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Faith in the Promise Keeping God

What is faith?  It is the confidence assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.  It is the evidence of things we cannot see.  God gave his approval to people in days of old because of their faith.  Hebrews 11:1-2 NLT

It is important that we build our faith on a regular basis to see the manifestation of God’s promises in our lives. In describing faith, let’s use the illustration of a pregnant woman.  The moment a woman conceives and tests confirms that she is pregnant, we say she is expecting.   Having faith is similar to being pregnant, you conceive when you believe and you then start to expect those promises to come to pass. 

You have to spend time or intercourse with the Word of God so you can be pregnant with His promises because faith cometh by hearing and hearing of the word of God.  Faith comes from listening to this message of good news – the Good news about Christ.  Romans 10:17 NLT.

Recently, I told God that ‘I needed more faith’ because of some things that I want to see happen in my life.  God asked me ‘how much time am I spending with His word.  He made me realize that the more of someone’s words I hear, the more faith I will have in them.  So if I want to increase my faith in Him, I need to spend more time with His word so that I can conceive His promises in me by the Holy Ghost.

Faith is activated by speaking God’s word.  ‘For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved’. Rom 10:10 NLT.  Jesus demonstrated this principle in Mark chapter 11: 20-23 when he cursed a fig tree and the tree withered from the roots.  The disciples were surprised when the fig tree dried up to the root just as Jesus commanded but Jesus was not surprised because he was expecting the fig tree to wither from its roots.

Your expectation is a sign of your faith so check your expectation.  A pregnant woman will not be surprised when she gives birth because she will be expecting to deliver a baby after nine months.

Some of us will say that I read my bible everyday but I don’t seem to have faith.   We need to realise that our heart is the soil for the seed of God’s word and we are responsible for making our heart a good ground.  Here are some of the things we need to do to make our hearts good grounds:

Ø  Stay close to the living water so that your heart can receive the nutrients it needs to bear fruit. Psalm 1:1-3
Ø  Keep negative thoughts and doubts from your mind.
Ø  Pray instead of worrying because the cares of this life will crowd out God’s word from your heart.
Ø  Study until you understand what God is saying, you can’t believe if you don’t understand the word.
Ø  Believe and hold unto God’s word because persecutions will arise for the word’s sake.

Have faith in God's faithfulness.



Sunday, 8 January 2012

God's Passion for Children

“Beware that you don’t despise a single one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father. If a shepherd has one hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? And if he finds it, he will surely rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish”. [1]

As I reflect on this verse, I can see that God is passionate about children. Passion means fervour, delight, excitement, enthusiasm, commitment, dedication and devotion. He wants children and young people to be saved and have abundant life, He wants them to experience and know Him personally. He wants them to come to Him so He can touch their lives and bless them. A teacher friend of mine was telling me about her conversation with God concerning the students in her class. She was thinking of leaving the school because of the behaviour of some of her pupils but God was saying it was not yet time to leave. God told her how much He cared about those young people in her class. According to her, those words changed her perception, she now relates with her pupils with an understanding of God’s love for them. She rebukes them when they misbehave but she doesn’t hold it against them. Isn’t that the same way with God? He rebukes us when we sin but he doesn’t hold our sins against us.

A role to play

We all have a role to play in making sure our children have a personal encounter with God, we need to make sure that they know God for themselves. This is important because they need to be touched by God. The spiritual child is the child who knows God personally, a child who has received Jesus as his or her personal saviour.

“One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch them and bless them, but the disciples told them not to bother him. But when Jesus saw what was happening, he was very displeased with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God. Then he took the children into his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them”. [2]

In order to ensure that children and young people’s lives are touched by God, we need to introduce them to Jesus by presenting the gospel in the language they understand. “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”. [3] We need to get the attention of our young people; they are looking for security in things or people to fill a void that can only be filled by God. Many of our teenagers are confused, they are dealing with issues that are greater than them. Some of our girls are dealing with low self esteem which makes them vulnerable to all sorts of abuse and unhealthy relationships. Our boys are joining gangs everyday because of insecurity and the need to feel important. They need to know that God is the true source of self-esteem, security and significance.

We need the Holy Spirit As we prepare to reach out to them, we need to seek God’s face consistently in prayer in order to release His power into the lives of our children and young people. Let us adequately prepare in prayer before our activities, classes or events. We need the Holy Spirit to transform their lives because we cannot do anything of lasting value by ourselves but our sufficiency is of God. We also need to pray for more workers in the children and youth ministry. He said to His disciples, “the harvest is so great but the workers are so few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields”. [4]

Children are not to be despised or looked down on. To us they might seem insignificant, like the lost sheep, but to God they are precious. He cares about every single child and wants to reach them with His love because only the power of God that can truly transform lives.

[1] Matthew 18:10 -14 NLT, [2] Mark 10:13 -16 NLT, [3] Romans 10:14, [4] Matthew 9:37-38 NLT

Best regards,

Dupe Makinde