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A Renewed Desire to Serve the Lord

By Tinika Rock

“So, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, “- Haggai 1:14

In this passage there was a call to rebuild God’s temple. The Lord gave a message through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel.

One of the challenges we may face in life is putting our own desires first. The prophet Haggai paints a picture of this challenge. The people became more concerned about their own desires and were working hard to rebuild their own houses whilst the temple of God was in ruins.

 In verse 5 – 8 we see that their ways were not beneficial, they were keeping a lot for themselves and even though they had sown much they didn’t realise that their bags had holes in them and whatever they had wasn’t enough. However, when they came to understand Gods command to get the wood and build the temple. God saw that they understood what he was saying and stirred their spirit up to start building the house.

We see that at the beginning our ways may be selfish but its only when we obey God, change our ways and seek him to renew our minds, he will stir up a new desire in us to serve him.

We must recognise that it is only by the holy spirit that gives us the ability and desire to do all what God asks of us. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 – ‘But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So, all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.’

As we read on to verse 13 – 14 God spoke to Haggai to encourage the people saying “I am with you” even though the people had turned away from God he was still there for them and encouraged them. God stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel and all the people that they would have the strength to be renewed and build Gods temple. Although we see that this message was for the people of Israel, we can relate this message to our lives.

What do we learn from this message?

  1. We learn that God requires our service and calls us to serve him
  2. God helps and encourages us to serve him
  3. The spirit of obedience and seeking God to stir up a renewed desire to serve him and build his temple

Today I choose to remember to put the Fathers desires first and not my own and to pray and ask the Lord to stir up a renewed desire to serve him

Prayer

Dear heavenly father I Thank you for always being with me and loving me even when I turn away from you. I thank you for forgiving me even when I turn away from you and put my own desires before yours.  Lord help me to be build your temple and not rely on my own power but by the strength of the holy spirit.

In Jesus name

Amen

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God is our Strength

By Tinika Rock

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. (For the choir director: This prayer is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.)”
 – Habakkuk 3:17-19

In our journey of living, we can sometimes find ourselves worrying about current situations. As we look at this passage, we are reminded that even though the situation around us may be difficult it is still possible to be faithful and trust God. We sometimes go through things and worry about our situations or feel trapped in the darkness, but God is saying he is our strength, and he is confident that we will overcome. Even when we face trials and tribulations, even when we get a promotion at work, even when things don’t seem to be changing or seem too hard like this current pandemic. We can still see a faithful God and give thanks for the small and big victories we achieve.

In this time let’s dedicate our focus on a God who does not change and who will never leave us nor forsake us. He is our strength in everything we go through. He is always there for us whether good or bad.

He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all things we could ever think or imagine. 

Romans 5:5 tells us that 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.

So, let’s count it all joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience. Let us also come boldly to the throne of grace and let our requests be known to God. Pray and ask him for strength and guidance in situations. Nothing is too much or too hard for God. He cares for us and wants us to cast all our anxieties onto him.

So today I choose to remember even though the situation around us may be difficult, let us focus our attention on God who does not change and is our strength

II Corinthians 1:4 NKJV – “who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Deuteronomy 31 NJKV – “And the LORD, he is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

 Prayer

God thank you for loving me and showing your grace and mercy in every area of my life. Thank you for accepting me for who I am and guiding me along the right path.

Lord, I pray that even when things are difficult, help me to focus my attention on you and rejoice always.

In Jesus name, I pray,  Amen.

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God defends

By Belina Sithole

But Jerusalem will become a refuge for those who escape; it will be a holy place. And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance.
Obadiah 1:17

The book of Obadiah tells us about God’s judgement against the nation of Edom, Edom is a family that descended from Esau, Jacob’s twin brother. The Israelites are a descended of Jacob. Genesis 25 – 27.

To provide you with a quick overview, Esau and Jacob had a long and tense sibling rivalry which started when they were still in their mother’s womb.

God had already chosen Jacob over Esau before they were even born. We also see how God defends Jacob against Esau If we look at Obadiah 1: 18

Jacob will be a fire and Joseph a flame; Esau will be stubble, and they will set him on fire and destroy him. There will be no survivors from Esau.” The Lord has spoken.

Why would God choose one brother over the other? Why would he choose the Israelites over Edom?

I am not able to comprehend how God works, but I understand that God works through people to show how amazing, powerful and loving he is.

God used his relationship with the Israelites to show that if you trust him, obey him and worship him only, he will protect, provide and defend his chosen people. We should ask ourselves as Christians, as God’s people is; is my life representative of a life of someone that has a relationship with God? When people see me, do they see a difference from someone who is not a Christian? 

Today I choose to remember that God chose me as his people and he defends and fights for me.

Prayer: Thank you God for choosing me as your favoured people and for working through me to bring light into the lives of those around me. Amen.

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God of grace, love and Mercy

By Belina Sithole

“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness: He relents from doing harm.” Joel 2:13

In the verse we just read, Joel 2:13, it says ‘rend your heart and not your garments.’  and verse 12 says ‘return to me with all your heart’.

My understanding from these verses is that for us to repent, we must do so whole heartedly and not try to do it for show or under false pretence. Sometimes when you offend someone, or do something wrong, it’s easy to apologise and not really mean it and if you’re good at it the other person might believe that you’re truly sorry. But we know that we cannot fool God.

God knows our hearts; he knows when we are really trying to live a life that is pleasing to him and when we are genuine about it.

The verse then goes on to say, ‘for he is a gracious and merciful God’. So, if we are genuine about changing our lifestyle, even when we fail, God willingly forgives us. Why, because we do not earn God’s forgiveness, no matter how good of a person you might be or how much work you put in, God forgives us because he is a gracious and merciful God who is slow to anger and of great kindness.

So today I choose to remember that I’m saved by God’s grace, his love and mercy are much greater than my sins.

Prayer: God I thank you for your grace and mercy, I pray that I continue to seek you with all my heart and remain faithful to you. Amen!

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God will not Forget

Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken.” So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!”
Esther 6:10‭-‬11 NKJV

How does it feel when you are have done your best and don’t get noticed by your boss, or your children, or even your parents I’m sure it’s frustrating. Mordecai also did something awesome, but it was as if it was not even noticed as if the king didn’t care that he saved his life.

The good news is that even though the king had forgotten, God did not forget. His reward came. That is the same for us, God never forgets, He can work on our behalf and cause men to bless us, including men who have forgotten about us or men who want to shame us.

Do not give up going to church, do not give up your ministry, do not give up on your children.

Do not give up on your marriage, do not give up on helping people.

Do not Give up on God.

God is watching you and He sees your good works; He sees the love you are showing.

There is a law of seedtime and harvest, every good thing you do God will reward you. There is a book with all your service written in it, and God will surprise you in this life and in the life to come. God will not forget your labour of love (Hebrew 6:10)

May this be an encouragement to you

Today I choose to remember that the Lord will not forget acts of service. I believe that He can bring them to light in His perfect time to bless me and further His plans and purposes.

Prayer.

Father God

I thank You that You are God who knows everything I have done. All the good I do. I thank You that You will not forget and that You have it all recorded and that You will bless me at the right time.

Help me to be patient instead of feeling discouraged. You said You will not forget our labour of love and that every worker gets paid. I know my payment is coming.

Thank You that You will bless me beyond measure for my service to You, so I will not give up.

In Jesus name

Amen

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The Joy of the Lord

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV

The excited feeling you have when you pass your exam, is that happiness or joy? You have the baby you have been waiting for, for so many years, is that happiness or joy?

These two words are sometimes confused for the other.  Happiness is as a result of what is happening around us.   The above are examples of happiness.

Joy is being excited when you fail your exam or singing and smiling when you have been waiting for a baby for 90 years and no baby is coming.

Joy is different from happiness. Joy is spiritual, it is not a feeling, it is not what is happening around us but what is happening within us. Real Joy only comes from God.

Only God can give us joy that never runs out – (Isaiah 61:7 – unending joy shall be your portion) You might say to me how can I smile when things are going wrong, I have lost my parent, I have failed the most important exam of my life, nothing is working why should I smile?

But that is why it is Joy. It does not make sense to us but in the long run we end up getting energised, our character is built making us complete and we lack nothing (James 1:2-4)

The everlasting joy of our Lord is our strength because there is hope at the end, even though we suffer for a short time God will rescue us and answer our prayer.

Do not let the devil steal your joy or because he wants to make you see things as hopeless (John 10:10)

One way to be joyful is to continuously saturate our self with the word of God and get rid of anything that can steal our joy and mainly negative thoughts the Bible says we pull down every thought that is not of God, thoughts that are toxic thoughts that make us depressed and look down on ourselves, thoughts that say God is not with us and replace them with the word of God (2 Corinthians 10:5)

The only way to experience this is to have Jesus in your life as your Lord and saviour

Today I choose to remember that the joy of the Lord is my strength therefore I will not sorrow.

Prayer

Dear God

Thank You for Jesus. Thank You that You have given me Joy.  May I choose joy regardless of what is happening around me.

Help me not to let anything steal my joy

Jesus be my Lord and saviour thank You for saving me, thank You that only In You can I really have everything that I need, that in You that is where I can be satisfied.

Thank You for saving me , In Jesus name

Amen

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The Lord is faithful

By Hannah Ng’uni

Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!” -1 Samuel 17:37

When David stepped up and put himself forward to fight Goliath, he was confident he would defeat him even though he was looked down upon because of his age. He was told being he was young and inexperienced; he would not be able to come up against a man who has been fighting since his youth. He was not even in the army or dressed to fight. There was a reason the army of Israel were afraid of this giant. I imagine some might have laughed at David’s proposal.

What is so encouraging about David’s stance in this story that I believe we can learn from, is that fact that he refused to allow the words of the naysayers to dishearten him and instead stood on his confidence in God who delivered him in the past knowing that He is faithful. It is the same God after all therefore this victory was a given, no doubt. Wow! Now that is the level of boldness I desire.

There comes a time in life when we just need to shut out the voices of the naysayers, sceptics, critics and all enemies of progress, take a bold stand in faith and trust in the Lord’s faithfulness.

“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for reminding us that You are faithful, You do not change. No obstacle is too big for You to handle, we choose to shut out the voices of the naysayers and choose to stand on your promises. We declare boldness! In Jesus name, amen

Thank you for joining us, to listen to this blog check out our podcast on anchor and Spotify

Remember to follow and share this blog with your friends. Let us know how you are finding this series, we’d love to hear from you. God bless

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Serve Me

by Hannah Ng’uni

“Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! – Joshua 24:14

In this chapter, we read of how Joshua prophetically spoke to the tribe of Israel reminding them of how the Lord kept them, delivered and provided for them and yet they also served other foreign gods or idols. He challenges them to worship and respect God, to affirm their loyalty to Him and put away those things that were distracting them from being fully devoted to God. The people reflected on what God had done for them and choose to serve Him alone and obey Him (Joshua 24:16-18, 24).

As I reflected on the passage, I thought about how our actions can speak louder than words. For example, if I proclaim love my parents but I dishonour, disrespect or disobey them in any way even after how loving and supportive they have been, someone would struggle to believe me. The love I am proclaiming would come across insincere. Similarly, Joshua is saying to the Israelites and to us that you cannot choose to serve the Lord and still do what displeases Him or place your priorities above Him. When you choose to serve the Lord, those other things must be done away with.

Divided loyalty leads to instability. James 1:8 says “their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do”.

Prayer:

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your love. Reveal to me those things that are distracting me from serving you wholeheartedly. Today I choose to put you first and serve you in sincerity and truth. I boldly declare ‘as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord’. Amen

Thank you for joining us, to listen to this post check out our podcast – She is Authentic on Anchor and Spotify

Remember to follow and share this blog with your friends. Let us know how you are finding this series, we’d love to hear from you. God bless

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Faith Over the Familiar

by Hannah Ng’uni

But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God – Ruth 1:16 (NLT)


At a time were going back to her own family and staying in her homeland, a place that was familiar might have seemed like a safe and sensible option for Ruth, she chose to have faith in God and remain committed to Naomi even when it meant moving to a foreign land. If she stayed, perhaps we may not be reading about her today, a woman in the lineage of Jesus.


It is often easy to stay in a place familiarity when you don’t know what lies ahead, it may be comfortable and after all not everyone likes change. But what if your breakthrough is tied to your faith and commitment to God even in the midst of loss and uncertainty? Will you take the bold step to continue trusting in Him and obeying His instructions? In the last chapter, we see the change in Ruth’s story, God redeemed and restored her. So, let us remain steadfast in the Lord, our breakthrough shall surely come.


Prayer:
Father God, help me to remain steadfast in my walk with that even when life seems to be taking a different turn. I choose to put my trust in your plans and obey your direction for my life. I receive my breakthrough. In Jesus name, amen.

Thank you for joining us, to listen to this post check out our podcast – She is Authentic on Anchor and Spotify


Remember to follow and share this blog with your friends. Let us know how you are finding this series, we’d love to hear from you. God bless

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God wants my love

Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. – Deuteronomy 6:5

We can fall prey of wanting to believe that God wants the bare minimum from us. We can fear commitment, not wanting to give God our absolute best. In this generation God is still calling us to Love him, to serve him.

He is calling us to Love him with:

Our Heart – our emotions

Our Soul – our identity, our personality, our thoughts

Our Strength to love him with everything in our being.

To love and to serve God is to choose him above our priorities in the new testament when Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment, he pointed to love the Lord God. Mt 22: 34- 40. He is not calling us to neglect our lives and to be bad stewards of the life he has given us but rather he is calling to prioritise him and in doing so we find alignment in everything else that we do.

Today I choose to remember to love the Lord with All my heart, soul, and strength. To Walk in his was ways and to serve him

Prayer

Father God when other things are calling for my commitment and priorities may I remember you as the top priority.

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Pause and Enjoy

Take the Next days to catch up on your reading. Reflect on the Lords goodness during the weekend. Pause, hear what new word God is speaking to you! Enjoy, take time to stand in awe at an amazing God

Happy Weekend, Much love.