Day 40 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ What is God’s purpose with You?

Day 40 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Living with Purpose

Which type of verse in the Bible speaks to you?

 

Don, my brother in Christ likes to quote “We are spiritual beings having a temporary earth experience.” The question in Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life” is what is our purpose? Over these 40 days that have gone by as if in a dream I will come away with some realities and revelations about God rather than having found some unique identity of what I am.

My identity, and your identity can only be fully realised and lived out in the full and complete identification with Christ’s indwelling Holy Spirit.

Possibly, answering the question of what I am built for is somewhat easier, than God’s question “What is God’s purpose with me?

With all the problems that mankind creates and his ineffectiveness, inability, to live according to God’s will it really begs the question as to why does God bother at all?

A question that has dogged me for ages was “How is man created in the image of God?” (Genesis 1:27) The revelation which sticks in my mind, which I only discovered during this period, was that God’s ability to create not only in singular fashion but in absolute diverse design, always exploring extremes within those designs is a reflection of mankind’s godly nature. Just look at the number of models of cars that we have. (See also Day 22)

You would think that if you designed a beetle, 10 or 20 designs of the beetle would be sufficient to serve the natural world of mother Earth. Wikipedia* talks about approximately 400,000 species.

God shouts out at man through creation in such abundant diversity that it can only be by intelligent design. How can we look at this abundant diverse earth with all its species and not see God’s hand paint a tabloid far greater than the wildest dreams of man. ****  (Job 12:7-10)

Creation was God’s first missionary.

“For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:19-20 (BSB) **

God has empowered Us the “Human race”

He created us in His image and gave us some of His attributes. The ability to create, not only that but in abundant diversity. Our creative powers are such a natural ability of the human kind that we do not even realise when we are using them.

In Deuteronomy 8:17-20 we are reminded of our obligation to God’s graceful impartation of His abilities on us. With it follows a stark warning that we should never take lightly.

“Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’

“But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

“It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish.

“Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 8:17-19 (NASB)

From Genesis to Revelations this warning is echoed for man to fathom. There are only two types of verses in the Bible, those echoed in resonance by the Heart of the converted and those to be faced by the deniers of God’s supremacy. Jesus in his ministry talked more about Hell than about heaven is not true by most accounts. Do not let that deter you from the fact that he mentioned the Judgment and it’s result without any shadow of a doubt. (5*)

The evidence speaks for itself, God is the creator of you and I.

We have been imparted with limited and confined God’ly abilities.

We have free will to choose our expression of life now and afterwards.

So if you asked me “What do you think is God’s purpose with our existence on this earth?”. My reaction would be “It is to find out what spirit I display now in this life to determine my place and possible existence in the afterlife.”

“What does this afterlife that you talk about look like?”

Jesus says, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3 (BSB)

“I really do not care, it does not matter one iota to me. I think our minds are too small to comprehend the full extent of what will happen when we have passed through this crucible of life. I trust God in the fullest sense that he knows better than I, and his intentions are nothing but good towards me. I know I’m going to enjoy it, and I will stop at nothing to have my name written in bold in the book of life. I throw myself fully on Christ.” (Revelations 3:5) (Revelations 20:15) (Revelations 21:27) (Revelations 5:9-13)

My purpose is to seek the will of God.

My purpose is to be sensitive to what he wants me to do.

And that is my purpose!

From what I see, we have a really short time to choose our alliances. I would not bet my future on anything, or anyone, other than the one and only man in History that defied death through His own resurrection. Let alone the countless miracles he performed in front of witness upon witness. What I witnessed daily in the presence of God and his children leaves me no doubt as to who He really is. That is the secret I want everybody to know.

 

Further reading; http://www.purposedriven.com/day40/

 

Reference

 

Full exposition of how we are created in the Image of God; http://www.pfojc.org/day-22-we-his-offspring-live-our-being-in-him/

“*” – Beetle – Wikipedia – ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beetle

“**” Experiencing God through His creation. ; http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/activistfaith/2012/06/6-bible-verses-on-experiencing-god-through-his-creation-2.html

“****” – God’s diverse creation outstrips the Universe by the simple bacteria a Million Times;

“An Inordinate Fondness for Bacteria? Where is most DNA found, and what does it code for? The human intestinal tract contains more than ten times as many bacterial cells than the total number of human cells in the whole body. The total number of bacteria on earth is more than a billion times as large as the number of stars in our universe. According to data in a wonderful table in a recent review article (Kyrpides 2009), if one were to take all the bacterial viruses on the earth, and stretch them out end-to-end, they would be about a hundred million light years in length — a thousand times the length of the Milky Way galaxy. And there is perhaps a thousand times as much bacterial DNA on the planet as viral DNA, meaning that the total length of bacterial DNA on earth is a million times the length of the Milky Way galaxy. So if a theologian were to ask me what I could say about the Creator, based on my knowledge of how DNA is distributed, I would likely paraphrase of the response JBS Haldane and reply, “God must have an inordinate fondness for bacteria.” (http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/CBS/courses/genomics_course/Meyer_review_NCSE2010.pdf)

“5*” –   Jesus speaks more about Hell than about Heaven – Good article on this – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2015/01/did-jesus-speak-more-about-hell-than-about-heaven/

Is your name written in the book of life? – ; http://www.allaboutgod.com/book-of-life.htm

Day 39 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Miracles are Really Easy.

Day 39 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Balancing Your Life

Miracles are Easy if you know and use the Formula.

 

Yesterday’s conversation with God went like this.

Me, “God should I not enrol in a course about you so that I can get a degree in theology? Because on Sunday when I was speaking to a pastor, I had never met, this pastor was qualifying and enhancing his authority to speak to me on your behalf by the fact that he had a degree in theology.”

God, “You have My word and the Holy Spirit. Let me educate you. All theological studies are tainted by human objectives and influenced by the backgrounds of those delivering the education. Studying my word must be a search for the pure truth. Trust me I will reveal myself to you.”

And God reminded me. In October 2010 God changed my life at a conference where the Spirit was released and my prayer to know his word was imparted onto me. Sure, I had been studying His word all my life and been part of His church since a previous encounter with Christ at the age of 7, God had always featured and been doing His miracles around and through me, to which my whole life is testimony. In fact, my very life is a miraculous testimony.

I knew when I walked out of that conference in City Temple London on the Thursday night God had turned my world upside down and I would never be the same again. I had always wanted to know the forensic truth about Him. God had imparted on me the absolute knowledge that His word was Truth. He had also instilled in me an insatiable hunger to know His word and search for the source knowledge of His word. This insatiable hunger has not abated or waned. If anything, it grows with every discovery.

Suddenly I could read His word in endless sessions. Study anything and everything written with a new vision and understanding which I had never had before. Recognise patterns in the Bible which I had never seen or heard of. Being in His presence is an indescribable Joy.  As Paul Washer puts it, I continually want to slip away and go and spend time with Him. I wonder sometimes how balanced this is? The natural flesh world out there will probably be psychoanalysing me and be coming up with all sorts of theories.

Do I know why this has to be? No, not really. I trust He knows and all I want is to be with Him and know His will. My joy lies in doing even the smallest thing that will bring a smile to His face. During these past years God has often sent me with a specific word or passage to people. Sometimes I know the outcome of that word but more than not I simply deliver it and leave the consequences to Him. That in my human state is sometimes the most difficult thing to do. The difficulty is that I want to be part of it or embellish or add to it. Whenever I fail in keeping to the rules that God gave me in those situations, I know that I have overstepped the objective and added nothing but weakened the result in some small way.  I must continually curtail my enthusiasm and guard against my egotistical requirement for recognition.

The Glory belongs to God.

So, how does this all fit into Rick Warrens Day 39 of his “The Purpose Driven Life”? Rick at the end of listing his five Pillars of a balanced life says, “A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will make you a great Christian.” You have a lot of work and religion to get on with if you are going to try to make yourself a great Christian. This is just the Temple model all over again. The subterfuge that you are going to even get half way up this ladder without the rebirth is just a waste of time. You may think that you can tithe your way out or into this by donating to the missionaries going overseas, but that is also a waste of time.

First, seek the rebirth. Cry out to the Lord and get reborn. All these objectives and pillars cannot become a reality without it being internalised by God Himself. Not Rick nor any other person on this earth can save you except Christ.

You have to know from inside you, witnessed by your changed being that you have been changed by the indwelling of the Spirit of God. You belonging to a church is a way to get there. But belonging and being told by humans is not the same as the rebirth. It can only be internalised by the Holy Spirit of our Triune God.

The Five Pillars all stand on a single foundation. A foundation that has been unshakable since God breathed stars and shook the earth when his Son died at Calvary. You want to build anything, root it in our eternal Father God. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me.” Philippians 1:21–22. (BSB). When that has been achieved, in its fullest sense, then your neighbour becomes something much more than some primordial slug that climbed out of a cesspool of chemicals. The changed Spirit will naturally witness their changed-ness to the world by their changed actions.

Spurgeon has this analogy about the pig. It comes from one of his sermons. If we had a bowl of food, which consisted of decayed food and rubbish from our table and released the pig, it would run to the bowl and start eating from the bowl. Relishing this garbage. If God came and changed that pig into a human being, while he was eating from this bowl of decayed food and rubbish, the human being would realise what he was doing, immediately in disgust withdraw and possibly puke. The pig’s natural diet is not suitable to the human. Being reborn has a similar result. Your ability to consume the natural world around you in your previous dietary form is totally changed. After the rebirth, the way you see the world changes. You no longer wish to consume or be part of what you were before. Your natural state becomes changed because your heart and attitude have changed.

Seek God. When you find Him you’re seeked-ness will be an ever search for the truth and will of God. Rick’s five pillars will be a naturally balanced outflowing of you having found God.

Miracles are really easy.

Here is how they work. I have only just recently been looking at miracles that happened in my life and this is the formula.

The real miracle can only be performed if it is Gods will.

Jesus said, For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me” referring to the Father. John 6:38 (BSB)

and, Jesus explained, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.””  John 4:34 (BSB)

and, “But I do exactly what the Father has commanded Me,” John 14:31a (BSB)

Miracle Formula; When God has a task, and we can be used + we become his instrument + He tells us to do + when we listen and then do + because we are doing his will it becomes possible = Miracle!

Nothing we pray for, which does not serve the will of the Father, can be realised.

Everything we pray for which is Fathers will, will be realised.

The real secret in prayer is to first seek the will of Father. When we know, we are moving in His will the consequence is secured. It simply happens.

It has often happened with me and then afterwards I realise what has happened.

Can we change things? Yes, I believe we can, but only if it is God’s will. There have been instances when I approach Father and He simply says “No” or redirects the prayer. Once I was asked to pray for someone’s illness. When I approached the throne with this request Father clearly said, “No. Pray for his salvation.” That was it then. Probably more important anyway, than him getting well.

Watch this testimony of a miracle in the light of what I have said about miracles;

 

Now here is the penultimate in series of the 40 Days with The Purpose Driven Life.

Further information on Day 39; http://www.purposedriven.com/day39/

Reference;

Conference ; Re:vive London with Angus Buchan ; From 17 to 24 October 2010

Insatiable – synonyms; unquenchable, unappeasable, uncontrollable, voracious, prodigious, gluttonous, greedy, hungry, ravenous, ravening, wolfish, avid, eager, keen;

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren – Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

I am leaving my sketch for this writing here as directed.
(Whoever this is for will understand it. It was intended for you);

Love God – Father – Instructs Love me –  Man is fashioned in my image – look at man he is my image love man – Love your neighbour

His crescendo was Christ – Christ is the culminate result of the History of the old Testament

Christ says Love God – Love your neighbour

I am moving within the will of God – The Love of God will result in me loving my neighbour which serves loving God because man has been fashioned in the image of God. – This is the beginning of the scriptures – The end of the scriptures is God loves man so much there are no limits to the lengths he will go to reconcile man with God.

God sends Christ – who is doing only what the Father wants done – Christ is the propitiate sacrifice for man’s sins so that man can be reconciled to God.

The consequence of Loving God is you must love your neighbour

Christ came to do his Fathers will.

The real miracle can only be performed if it is Gods will.

When God has a task, and we can be used – we become his instrument – He tells us to do – when we then do – because we are doing his will it becomes possible.

Nothing we pray for, which does not serve the will of the Father, can be realised. Everything we pray for which is Fathers will, will be realised. The real secret in prayer is to first seek the will of Father.

 

Day 38 ~ Purpose Driven Life ~ Prepare Your Heart for the Mission

Day 38 ~ Purpose Driven Life ~ Becoming a World-Class Christian

Prepare Your Heart for the Mission

We all suffer from a diversity of existence imposed on us as a result of our formation “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27–28). (see also http://www.pfojc.org/day-22-we-his-offspring-live-our-being-in-him/).

It can be argued that our existence on this earth is a trial run and learning process of how we will manage and use the powers bestowed on us now (in limited form while in the flesh) in our future being in spiritual form (when we exist in the afterlife). This complete material existence we partake in, enclosed in our human skins, has boundaries set by rigid physical laws of physics that include space and time constraints. Birthed into this world our spirits are tested in the crucible of life for the ultimate qualified placement in the afterlife.

Jesus said, “Do not be amazed that I said, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:7-8 (BSB)

The experience of the rebirth, whether that be a sudden and dramatic shift in our being, or a gradual growth over time must take place.  And as per the opening paragraph, diversity and creativity are the hallmarks of Godliness. Our experiences are no different and are also subject to this outflowing of Godliness that has been bestowed on man.

Rick Warren in chapter Day 38 of his book “The Purpose Driven Life”  examines two types of Christians, essentially on the scale starting from the prosperity gospel Christian to the other end of the scale having the Christ life saturated disciple.

“You have a choice to make. You will be either a world-class Christian or a worldly Christian.  Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfilment. They are saved, but self-centered. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you would never find them at a missions conference because they aren’t interested. Their prayers focus on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. It’s a “me-first” faith: How can God make my life more comfortable? They want to use God for their purposes instead of being used for his purposes. In contrast, world-class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission. They are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God. World-class Christians are the only fully alive people on the planet. Their joy, confidence, and enthusiasm are contagious because they know they’re making a difference. They wake up each morning expecting God to work through them in fresh ways. Which type of Christian do you want to be? (PDL – Rick ©)

Rick refers to the prosperity gospel Christians as “worldly Christians”. Within this group, there are also those who are of the leech kind only. The leeches prayer is simply a shopping list for their own benefit. God is reduced to nothing more than a genie called to service by rubbing the lantern with menial gifts and tasks that are more by the way than anything else. Church is simply a religious task which incorporates the lamp rubbing process.

Determining what type of Christian you are is really important. Without  the rebirth your work will have no anointing. You have to examine your heart against the Bible as your litmus test.

Test your faith; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNFfgQtS528

No matter where we are in our individual walk with God it is the continual seeking of his presence that brings us enlightenment and the disclosure of his will.

A Life of Worship – Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing that you may prove [or discern] what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfected and, thus, thus, live a life of worship.” (How to Know the Will of God – John Piper ; http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/how-to-know-the-will-of-god)

Remember that although you’re mission should reach beyond your own environment your home and family are also mission fields, do not run away and neglect them.

Know that you’re heart has been properly prepared for the mission.
Know what God’s anointed you to do.
Move within God’s will and his anointing for your life and be satisfied with what he has asked you to do, doing it to your best ability.

Further Study material ; http://www.purposedriven.com/day38/

 

Reference

The prosperity gospel – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology

 

Worldly Christians – Paul Borthwick’s books A Mind for Missions (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1987) and How to Be a World-Class Christian (Waynesboro, GA: Authentic Media, 1999), should be read by every Christian.

 

Take ownership of your Church / Ecclesia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVAxAH6zq1E

 

Day 37 ~ The Purpose driven Life ~ We have a Miraculous God

Day 37 ~ The Purpose driven Life ~ Sharing Your Life Message

Sharing a Story of a God Miracle in my Life.

When I read Rick Warren’s Chapter Day 37 of “The Purpose Driven Life” it came to mind that I had never committed God’s miraculous work in my life to paper. Maybe it is time to tell one of the stories?

The fear that I have in telling the story is that I do not want the story to point at me but at the amazing grace that God worked in my life. God does His miracles and I am but a spectator. This is God just being faithful and graceful.

About a week ago, I had this conversation with him. So, me, “God I love you so much and I think you are great. Why did you not call me to be a pastor for you?”

God answered me, “Do you remember ….. ?”  What I was being reminded of in the kindest possible way was not something a pastor should have done. There are many things in my past that prove that at the time my unsuitability for the cloth would have been a problem. Reflecting on that does not leave me in condemnation but just brings me on my knees. Despite my failures, while being his child, He still worked His miracles around me and moulded me into what He needed and wanted.  There are many tasks in my life that God called me to do. Some were clear directives, guided by the strictest instructions, others simply pointing me in a direction and then continually nudging me so I did not stray from the course.

Maybe the next story I tell after todays would be the day God made it clear that I was on my way to becoming fish food (like Jonah) if I did not get on and do what he wanted me to do. He sent a bible punching, finger-pointing, God saturated momma at me who in no uncertain language told me; "When God calls you to do something, you quit complaining and get on with it!". She even wheeled the bible verses in support of her conviction that she had the right culprit. At that moment, I knew exactly why and how Jonah had felt when he had to own up to his shipmates and offer them all a solution for their dilemma.

.. A Story of how God saved Yolanda.

Today's Story of a God Miracle that I can stand witness to.

It was 1994, Yolanda and were married after a whirlwind romance. When we met, Yolanda was studying civil engineering at Stellenbosch University. I had a financial analysis company, situated in Stellenbosch, suing the banks on behalf of my clients for incorrectly calculating interest charges on their overdraft bank accounts. Most of my clients were farmers who had had years of overdraft accounts, the banks had been charging them excess amounts in interest. Yolanda, as part-time work during her studies, was punching data in my data centre. In South Africa, we have a national holiday which celebrates the covenant which was made with God by my forefathers on 16 December 1838. (See detail reference below{The Vow}) So, there was a national holiday coming up, and I needed crew as I wanted to spend the time on the water sailing.

Thinking that it was a good idea to recruit from the data centre, my eyes found Yolanda and I asked if she would be interested to crew for me on the 16th of December. This was about 3 days before the holiday. Anyway, therein lies it's own story. So our first date was sailing in a storm, with the most magnificent rollers, and the Coast Guard coming out to save us when that was the last thing we wanted. We had our first date on 16 December 1993, got engaged on 1 January 1994, got married in church on 22nd of January 1994. Five weeks from first date to altar has to be a miracle in itself.

In September 1994, we were driving up from our home in the Strand, Cape Town, to Windhoek in South West Africa (Namibia). 1,500 km's of road mostly through desert terrain. Yolanda had taken the wheel to give me a short rest. When about 130 miles from Windhoek we were involved in an accident at 70 mph. The car rolled over seven times, and Yolanda despite having her seatbelt on, was thrown out of the rear driver side window, the second time the car went over from nose to tail. I still often relive that shattering experience.

When the car nosedived off the road into the Kalahari sand I dived over and held Yolanda down onto her seat. My left arm was hooked into my seatbelt and my right hand had reached over and taken hold of the seatbelt at her right hip. I was pressing down on her with my arm.

The nose of the car hit the sand and the back came over and flipped us over a second time. When the back of the car came crunching down the momentum snapped the back of the seat Yolanda was sitting on, and she was thrown out the rear driver side window of the car. I saw her body being flung to the ground in front of the rolling car. I was still hanging onto my seatbelt with my left hand and my right hand was firmly attached to her seatbelt.

At that stage, there was nothing I could do but ride out the rolling car. The car rolled over three times nose to tail and then flipped up in the air onto its side and rolled another four times side-to-side. I was conscious and fully aware the whole time, and the seven individual lacerations in my left arm where the seatbelt had cut me were testimony to this.

When the car came to a standstill, luckily on its wheels, there was dust everywhere, my left arm was bleeding from the cuts and my left ankle and the ball of my foot had burst open from the impact. There was not a single piece of glass or plastic in that car that was not broken or cracked. The doors were still all shut but the boot and bonnet had been flung open from the impact. Our belongings were strewn across the desert from the road, where we had left it, to the point where the mangled wreckage, of what had been a beautiful green Toyota 3 L was now nothing more than a wrangled mess.

My injuries were not life-threatening and everything worked. I pushed open the mangled door and still hear the metal as the door screeched open. My only concern was to find Yolanda as I was not sure that the car had not rolled over her.  Although my foot had burst open it was not bleeding profusely. And I could walk on my toes.

I found Yolanda lying in the dust on her back. She had a very obvious skull fracture and many cuts and bruises over her legs and arms. From what I could ascertain her external bleeding was superficial and not life-threatening. My biggest concern was her head injury. She must’ve fallen on her head when thrown out of the car, it meant that her neck would also have suffered severely.

The truck driver who had caused the accident left us there and had driven away.

The road was quiet and there was no one and nothing in sight for miles. All I could hear was Yolanda’s groaning. Some 5 or 10 minutes later, which felt like an eternity, a farmer with his open-backed pickup arrived on the scene. He drove over to us.

Obviously, the carnage on the desert explained to him what had happened. His immediate reaction was “How can I help?”.

In the back of his pickup were dried sheepskins, normally in South Africa when we butcher sheep we would dry the skins with salt on the wet side. The salt prevents the skin from degenerating and helps in the drying process. The result is that you end up with a very hard skin, with the sheep’s wool on the one side and salt on the other side. So I asked him if I could turn over the sheepskin and lay Yolanda on them. So said, so done. When I had laid Yolanda out on the back of the pickup on the sheepskin, salt side up, I quickly located my briefcase which had our passports and wallets. It had wedged itself under the driver’s side seat.

On the drive to Windhoek, Yolanda was delirious and I stayed with her and held her down so she would not injure herself further. Two of the longest hours in my life transpired before we arrived in Windhoek at the hospital.

Windhoek hospital is simply what Windhoek hospital is, an outpost hospital in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday afternoon. Because they had limited staff, my concern was that they should focus on getting Yolanda attended to before using any of their limited resources on me. My wounds were not life-threatening, I basically needed them cleaned and stitched. That could be done later.

Yolanda was taken to the x-ray department so that they could determine the extent of her head and neck injuries.

Although Yolanda had a fractured skull, the bone was still correctly positioned. The doctors told me that there was nothing that they could do apart from clean and suture all her wounds. From what they could ascertain there was bleeding on the brain, but they had no facilities to deal with it.

Yolanda, at this time, was in a coma in ICU. After I had been attended to, the hospital staff ignored me and did not want to talk to me further. It was clear that I was the only one that believed she would survive the night.

Luckily, my mobile phone had been in my briefcase. In those days we mainly used mobile phones for making calls and text messaging. The mobile phone technology at the time was barely capable of doing that efficiently. I went through the whole of my address book on the phone and called everybody by text to prayer after having informed them of the accident. I know from witnesses later, within my family and extended family, the request for prayer went viral.

I had made a call to Suzette, the family whom we were on our way to in Windhoek to let her know about the accident. She was on the nursing staff at the Hospital and immediately came to support us.

The doctors and nurses at the hospital had intimated that Yolanda’s chances of surviving were less than 20%. I knew from experience that I had a God who could if it was His will. Prayer was all that could save Yolanda.

Three days later Yolanda came out of her coma. We left the hospital 14 days later with Yolanda in a wheelchair paralysed from the waist down. After loading her in the car. I left the wheelchair at the hospital.

Amazingly, Peter and Ann, a family of the people whom we were staying within Windhoek (Suzan) had come across the scene of the accident some 10 minutes after I had left with Yolanda on the frantic drive to Windhoek. They collected all our belongings and packed everything back into the suitcases.

Peter and Ann, when they arrived in Windhoek, phoned her friend Suzette, the family where we were staying with and discovered it was our belongings they had found and collected from the wreckage. Everybody who saw the mangled wreckage of the Toyota could not believe that anybody could have survived the accident. When the car was collected by the insurance company they could not close the door, on the passenger side and could not open any of the other doors of the car. Nobody who saw the wreckage believed that I could have opened the passenger side door unaided.

After having stayed at Suzette's house in Windhoek for another 14 days I took Yolanda home to our house at 26 Joubert Street in the Strand. Today as I write this it is 13 December which is the anniversary date of when we made our first appointment for a date.

At first after the accident, due to the brain damage, Yolanda had lost approximately 4 to 5 years of memory. When she woke up from the coma she had no idea who I was. I had to tell her that I was her husband. At least she didn’t run away from that. Must say her father who had come up to Windhoek supported me in the fact.

Back at our home in the Strand, I was faced with the dilemma of having to deal with a wife who was paralysed from the waist down. She was having epileptic fits which caused the most unholy contractions in her legs.

My first reaction was to go to my knees and pray. I had been in this familiar position so many times since the accident. So, Father God what now? “She will be healed!”

Okay, then we do not need a wheelchair. I would carry her wherever she needed to be until she was back on her feet. Now one of my problems is, that I am a very private person, and maybe I did not communicate very well with my family at the time, but I had a wife that had to be taken care of.

My and her family were up in arms, they were concerned. How could I deny Yolanda a wheelchair? My thinking was that I would not be taking God seriously on his promise if I bought Yolanda a wheelchair, or allowed a wheelchair into my house. Anyway, I needed the exercise.

Our problems did not end there, Yolanda’s paralysis seemed to be getting worse and her epileptic fits were getting so bad that the doctors were afraid that the bones in her legs might snap. My family, including Yolanda’s parents, kept finding the best neurologists, head and bone specialists and making appointments for us to go and see them. It felt as if the whole world had only one interest and that was to tell me that Yolanda was going to be paralysed and I have to face up to it.

Three different neurologists told me, Yolanda would never ever walk again, and it was time for them to permanently sever the nerves and ligaments that contributed to the epileptic fits.

My answer was simple, I would keep my family praying and myself as well. God had instilled in me the absolute knowledge that we would get her through this and she would walk again. Looking back I know that His quiet peace reinforced me every day and carried me through it.

At first, Yolanda would wake me up at night every 20 to 30 minutes so that I could turn her over. If she needed the toilet I would have to carry her and bring her back again. During the day I went to work and selected people from my datacentre to look after her. Of course, it was easiest for them if she slept during the day. That meant that when I got home at night I would have a lovely chirpy wife who could keep me company all night.

When Yolanda and I went shopping I would put her in the shopping trolley, or later when I got clever, I would borrow a wheelchair from the centre. At that time Jurie, Dennis, Christiaan and Petro, my kids, came for a visit. All Yolanda can remember from that time is they had trolley races with her. (shopping trollies are not very comfortable wheelchairs)

The accident happened at around the 8 September 1994. By December 1994 when the kids were visiting Yolanda was just starting to display some movement in her legs. So I was teaching her to crawl to the toilet and back. Sometimes, she would only get halfway back and then call me to come and fetch her.

By January 1995, God’s Christmas present to us was Yolanda on crutches. We were still dealing with some minor epileptic attacks, but they were much less severe. By the middle of 1995, Yolanda was back on her feet. At least now she could remember we had gotten married, but there were still some gaps in memory about everything we got up to after the marriage.

The story is all about God. When I look back at that time there are many decisions I made, and opportunities that Yolanda and I shared which were not conscious directives from me. I was just living in His promise, it is that adage of looking back at the footprints in the sand. I did not fully realise at the time, there were many many days during the period, that the single footprints were Him carrying us.

I will never forget this, the neurologist who was adamant that it was time to sever (cut) the nerves and ligaments had scheduled a follow-up appointment for June 1995. I remember as clear as day walking into his office. He stood up and stretched out his hand to greet me, his eyes went over my shoulder to Yolanda walking through the door behind me. The moment he realised what he was looking at he fell down onto his chair in astonished amazement. He blurted, “This is impossible!”. I never got my handshake.

Thank you, Lord. You are amazing.

Further Study Material : http://www.purposedriven.com/day37/

 

Reference;

The Miracle of Blood River - my GreatX6 grandfather, Sarel Cilliers, made the Covenant with God on behalf of the commando of Boers.

16 December 1838 : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blood_River

Zulus who were interviewed after the Battle of Blood River confirm that they were more than 30,000 strong at this theatre of war.  I will do a full writeup on this after the 40 days.

Many miracles lead up to make this victory. Look at the injuries versus the casualties? How can this be anything else than God's favour and Grace.

 

Day 36 ~ The purpose driven life ~ You have a Mission, if YOU choose to Accept it?

Day 36 ~ The purpose driven life ~ Made for a Mission

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to Live and breath Christ to all.

When I read this chapter Day 36 of “The Purpose Driven Life”  from Rick Warren it reflects a pivotal central point of what our being Christian, Disciple, should be. If this is the only chapter that you truly read and study in this book you are at the core of what it is all about.

“The mission Jesus had while on earth is now our mission because we are the Body of Christ. What he did in his physical body we are to continue as his spiritual body, the church. What is that mission? Introducing people to God! The Bible says, “Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also.” {2 Corinthians 5:18 (TEV)} God wants to redeem human beings from Satan and reconcile them to himself so we can fulfil the five purposes he created us for: to love him, to be a part of his family, to become like him, to serve him, and to tell others about him. Once we are his, God uses us to reach others. He saves us and then sends us out. The Bible says, “We have been sent to speak for Christ.” {2 Corinthians 5:20 (NCV)} We are the messengers of God’s love and purposes to the world.” (PDL – Rick ©)

Our joy at having found Christ should be so abundantly obvious in our lives that it shines and moves no matter where we are.The gift of Christ-likeness has to be lived out to the rest of the world. Display it to everybody around you and proclaim it with the certainty of Christ’s blessing and protection.

When Charles H Spurgeon reflects on Genesis 9-13 (full reference below) he writes “So, dear brethren, in like manner, let us bring forth fruit unto God, and bring it forth abundantly, for herein is our heavenly Father glorified, that we bear much fruit.”

The essence, quality and abundance of the fruit that we bear will be a reflection of our rootedness in Christ and our inner knowledge of Godliness.

Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:16–19 (BSB)

You can simply scroll the following verses about the bearing of fruit.

Matthew 12:33
John 15:5
Matthew 12:33–37
Matthew 7:16–20  
Matthew 3:10
Genesis 1:29
Matthew 21:19
Matthew 7:17
Mark 4:3–9  
Matthew 7:18–23
Luke 3:9
Galatians 5:22
1 Corinthians 12:3  
Jeremiah 17:7–8  
Matthew 7:19
John 15:4–5

The bearing fo fruit is a clear command from Christ. He elaborates on this quite extensively in his teachings. The passage that says it all to me is John 15:1-11. When Jesus taught this he included the whole of his Law;

Jesus the True Vine
I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.

I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, proving yourselves to be My disciples.
No Greater Love
As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
John 15:1-11 (BSB)

And in James 2:17-18 we read; “So too, faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (BSB)

First of all, I want to make it very clear that our works are not what saves us at the end of the day. Our saving grace is our faith in Christ, and it is by grace alone that we are saved and not by works (Romans 3:24) We do not deserve to be justified; in actual fact our works can never outweigh our sinful nature. You are justified by faith (Romans 5:1) faith is the human response to God’s grace. By faith we accept the free gift. Faith is that which appropriates what God has done for us. We are justified by his blood (Romans 5:9).

Jesus also made it abundantly clear that there is no saving grace except through Christ alone (John 14:6). There is no other way!

Are you bearing fruit? Paul Washer spends time explaining this in the video below.

But, how can you possibly argue that you have been saved but there is no recognition of Christ-likeness in you or your actions?

You do have a mission if you proclaim Christ and drink of his blood and eat of His body.

More Study material ; http://www.purposedriven.com/day36/

 

Reference;

Charles H Spurgeon  – Bible commentary

Genesis 1: 9-13. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.” Having attended to the air, God further exercised his power by setting the earth in order. Observe the remarkable fact that, no sooner had God made the dry land appear, than it seemed as if he could not bear the sight of it in its nakedness. What a strange place this world must have looked, with its plains and hills and rooks and vales without one single blade of grass, or a tree, or a shrub; so at once, before that day was over, God threw the mantle of verdure over the earth, and clad its mountains and valleys with forests and plants and flowers, as if to show us that the fruitless is uncomely in God’s sight, that the man who bears no fruit unto God is unendurable to him. There would be no beauty whatever in a Christian without any good works, and with no graces. As soon as ever the earth appeared, then came the herb, and the tree, and the grass. So, dear brethren, in like manner, let us bring forth fruit unto God, and bring it forth abundantly, for herein is our heavenly Father glorified, that we bear much fruit. (Commentary On The Bible: Spurgeon’s Bible Commentaries)

 

Day 35 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~Become Victorious through You’re Weakness

Day 35 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ God’s Power in Your Weakness

Christ’s Overriding Example

 

The greatest danger that Christianity presents to the individual lies in creating a self-serving religion. Egocentric grounded faith.  I wonder how many times our prayers replicate a shopping list. We approach the throne of the most almighty high God and quickly rattle off something along the lines, “Holy and most gracious Father…” without any real thought or worship only to get to our shopping list?

While preparing for today’s message which will follow this introduction, the overriding thought which came to me was, “What was the main feature, character that Christ displayed throughout his ministry?”. The all-encompassing image he left us with? It would be good, to stop for a moment and interacted with this, before reading further think about this?

What would you say, apart from all the doctrinal objectives that we are continually flooded with, what would you say was the one overriding feature or characteristic that flowed across the whole ministry of Christ from birth to death. Try to disregard all the “Wows!” and focus mainly on what His life message was excluding the main objective. Stop here and think about this for a moment.

Did you notice that everything he did, lived and died for was external to his own requirements; The glorification of the coming Messiah is proclaimed throughout the old Testament. His reward is given to him through the lips of the prophets in prophetic words uttered by God’s anointed prophets.

The record tells us that Jesus started his ministry with his first miracle when his mother asked him to help with the wine at the wedding ceremony. Then throughout his time on earth, he is mainly doing miracles at the request of those around him. Other than that he is proclaiming his deity, and there are many occasions when he slips off to spend time with Father. What he would do on this earth had been foreseen by God’s anointed prophets and encapsulated in the covenants which God had made with his people.

Jesus, indulges in almost nothing for himself during the whole of the record we have available. Jesus’s intercessory prayers and actions have to do with the people around him.  His only self-serving actions relate to his proclamation of deity and the fulfillment of the prophecies from the writings of the old Testament. And that can be argued was again for the benefit of his disciples and all of mankind.

I will make a very bold statement right now, “Jesus Christ from birth to death did nothing else than;
that which was the will of Father God;
served those in his immediate vicinity;
and ultimately for the whole of humanity itself.
There is nothing that he did or requested that was self-serving!”

Further, I would say, “Jesus Christ was sinless and perfectly in alignment with God the Father.”

My challenge to you is, “Prove me wrong?”  Remember this is a Blog, please indulge yourself?

The Silence of all the records on Jesus having sinned is Testimony of the Truth of his total sinless nature!

The complete silence of the records namely Jewish, Islamic, the Roman records, and any other records that the evil one may have wanted to introduce are a resounding continual witness to the fact “That a sinless, innocent man died on the cross at Golgotha. When total darkness fell on the earth that afternoon, the ground shook, the curtain in the temple tore from top to bottom, and a vicious Roman centurion soldier proclaimed, “Truly this was the Son of God.”

The message and example set by Jesus is having a totally selfless life in as far as God and man are concerned. That along with a continual relationship and conversation with God is what our lives should ultimately be.

Rick Warren in Chapter Day 35 of  “The Purpose Driven Life”, essentially concentrates of not being hindered or shackled by our inadequacies. This is the human condition.

It is probably true that the most limiting factor that hinders us is our inability to fully comprehend the limitlessness of our God. We tend to project our limited abilities onto God although we know and proclaim his omniscience.

The Bible in the old Testament, due mainly to the limitations of language and knowledge at the time of writing, still falls short of a full declaration. The truth of the matter is our limited comprehension of science proves this very fact.

Some 15 years ago science is now proclaiming that there is intelligent design. And Darwin’s evolution theory is nothing but a man-made theory. Wow, what did the Bible have to say about that?

Here is an interesting discussion that attacks the religion of  Darwinism. Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design | Jonathan Wells, PhD ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0BdziP3HBs&t=739s

Don’t get hung up on your weaknesses. Know your weaknesses, but remember that you are part of God’s kingdom, you are part of bringing heaven to earth, understand that you serve a limitless God, and not limitless as you understand it, limitless beyond your wildest dreams.

Changing what you are by living out Christ is often the greatest testimony that you can give.

God can work his best for you when you are in your worst situation.

Changing and delivering miracles is what God does best. When things seem impossible it is then that God can really work the greatest miracle for you.

We must never limit God. He may not give us what we planned in the way that we planned it.

Jesus although he commanded the Heavenly realms, he demonstrated all his power outward. He used his power to benefit everybody and everything around him. His display of power was never selfish. He took nothing for himself. His life was a display of endurance and steering the course. Focused on the glorification of the Father. His greatest aim was to reconcile man with God. Spoken of him as a servant of man, son of God. His focus was directed away from himself all the time. What Jesus did makes us look at Him. But he is pointing at God. He is doing for man what man is/was incapable of doing for Himself.

We are incapable of living without sin, We are incapable of living in perfect alignment with God. He comes and lives that perfect alignment in our place.

Throw yourself on Christ and you’re weakness will become a proclamation of victory for the glory of God.

Further study material ; http://www.purposedriven.com/day35/

Day 34 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ The Heart of the Problem is your Heart!

Day 34 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Thinking Like a Servant

The heart of the problem is the heart!

 

Get your heart reassigned and make it a joy, display the luvacta as a witness of your worship.

Thinking is a consequence of attitude. How we think is influenced by our core values which are established by beliefs and experiences. The heart of the problem is the heart! If your heart is not fully aligned with God you cannot think of the task you are about to do, in service of God, as anything else than simply work.

We cannot have the right thinking process if it is an attachment to our value. In other words, If you are in the process of “thinking” that you love God, you believe in God, and the very essence of your existence in your heart is not a testament to this, then, having the right thinking process is an attachment and not a natural outflowing of your heart.

This concluding paragraph on Day 34 of “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren is the essence of the outflowing of our worship;

“Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. They enjoy helping people, meeting needs, and doing ministry. They “serve the LORD with gladness.” (Psalm 100:2 (KJV)) Why do they serve with gladness? Because they love the Lord, they’re grateful for his grace, they know serving is the highest use of life, and they know God has promised a reward. Jesus promised, “The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.” (John 12:26 (MSG)) Paul said, “He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians.” (Hebrews 6:10 (NLT)) Imagine what could happen if just 10 percent of all Christians in the world got serious about their role as real servants. Imagine all the good that could be done. Are you willing to be one of those people? It doesn’t matter what your age is, God will use you if you will begin to act and think like a servant. Albert Schweitzer said, “The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve.”” (PDL – Rick ©)

If the value of what we are to be is not the essence of what makes our being we are practising religion.

When God’s agape love has been mirrored in your heart you will serve with joy and love and not as a result of some obligation driven by conscience condemnation. This is essential as it then changes the result of this action of love because the objective is no longer self-serving. The objective now becomes a natural outflowing testimony of your heart’s expression.

Passing it from hard to easy. If it is what we must do, it is work and will have our limited resources if it is love it will have our all, our unlimited resources.

Shift the result of what we are about to do from accomplishing the task to an act of worshiping our Lord. What will be the objective result of the task, if at the outset, the result should be a testimony of our worship?

The Last Supper is an immense display of worship.

The record of the Last Supper in John 13, displays a detailed act of love (of God’s agape kind) which is not so clearly defined in the other Gospels. {( Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:14-23; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 )} Jesus is standing at the brink of having to face God’s wrath for the sins of mankind. How dark and foreboding this moment was for him. Yet despite this, he displays the ultimate sacrificial love, fully and completely prepared by stripping off his garments, and lovingly washes the feet of his disciples. The record includes all the disciples! Even Judas Iscariot. {(Zechariah 11:10-17; Matthew 26:14-16; Matthew 27:3-10)} He singled Judas out in words but not in deeds.

“Jesus knew that it was his hour, he knew that he would leave this world in the most horrible way, but he also knew he was going to step into the Father’s embrace. He drew love and energy from his disciples who would remain in the world after his departure. For he loved them completely. There are no exclusions. It was time for the supper and the heart of Judas had already been prepared for the betrayal of Jesus.

Jesus was fully aware that his father had given all things into his hands; he knew that he was the son and that he would be returning to be face-to-face with God. As the incarnate Word he knew that he exhibited the very thoughts of God in human form on this earth. He knew full well that he was fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah and the prophets. He knew the anguish and suffering which lay waste in words in the old Testament which he was to face.

John has now prepared us for the story. Jesus the Christ got up from the table stripped all his outer garments and wrapped a towel around himself. He took some water in a jug and poured it into a basin and began to wash the feet of his disciples. He dried their feet with the towel from around his waist.

When he came to Simon Peter, Peter protested, “Lord do you want to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered, “You might not appreciate it now but later you will understand the significance of what I am doing!”
Peter in refusing said, “I will never allow you to wash my feet!”
Jesus answer came, “If I do not wash you then you have no participation with me.”
Peter said, “Lord, also wash my hands and head not only my feet!”
Jesus replied, “He that has already taken a bath only needs to wash his feet for he is completely clean. You are already clean, yet not everyone of you.”
Jesus knew who would betray him that is why he said “you are not all equally clean.”

Frances du Toit comments that not all had been given the full opportunity to wash their minds with the word of God. It was not necessary for Jesus to wash the whole of their bodies because it was custom that before you attended a feast, which as written in all the Gospels had been prepared,{( Psalm 41:1-13; Matthew 26:17-25; Luke 22:7-13; John 13:18-30 )} the patrons would be coming to the feast already bathed and only the dust from the feet would need to be washed.

The record concludes that when he had done the washing of all the feet he put on his robes, reclined at the table and asked them, “Do you understand what I just did?”

Jesus further elaborates, “You call me your instructor and Lord and that is good for so I am; if I, your teacher and Lord have washed your feet you too ought to wash one another’s feet! For I have demonstrated an example for you which you are to follow.” John13:1-16  Para adapted from the Mirror Bible.

Note; Jesus did preparation for the washing of feet in complete form. He did it with no shortcuts and not halfheartedly with his clothes on. He did it thoroughly with love. He also excluded no one, not even Judas Iscariot. We truly have no excuses.

How can we do anything else except love?

Love God with all your heart and the heart problem is solved, your task in the church then becomes an act of worship. If that happened to all the church there would not be enough work!

Further resources; http://www.purposedriven.com/day34/

 

Interesting fact about the number 34.

While I was revising my notes, it came to me that the number 4 (four) in Chinese is a symbol  of death. It is regarded as a very unlucky number in Chinese superstition. So I was wondering what the combination of the three and four for today’s Day 34 would reflect in Chinese mythological interpretation (Superstition)? Purely curiosity. Well, how is this for coincidence? The number 3 (three) is regarded as a very lucky number as it sounds similar to the character used for birth in Chinese. The number 3 (three) is also very significant since it displays the three most important stages  in a man’s life, namely  birth, marriage and death. All three of these stages  are heralded by the unconverted is vestiges of church life. The 4 being the last number in our day 34 it culminates in death.

For further information on luvacta, you can also see a definition of luvacta at; http://www.pfojc.org/luvacta/ and for additional information on the luvacta ministry you can find it at luvacta.org or luvacta.com or luvacta.uk. Read here..; http://luvacta.org/

Day 33 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Christ’s law fulfilled by an Attitude of Servitude

Day 33 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ How Real Servants Act

Christ’s law fulfilled by an Attitude of Servitude

Rick Warren on this day 33 chapter starts off by quoting  two passages the first being “Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.” MARK 10:43 (MSG). This sequence of greatness  is not preceded by greatness itself,  for you cannot rise in the ranks purely based on your greatness. Where your greatness, i.e. great mind or great physical or acting ability is the premise of your greatness it is hollow without the skill and attitude of servitude.

You will not assume greatness by rising up through the ranks without an attitude of servitude. You have to serve your bosses well, to get their approval for your promotions, if you do not serve your subordinate workers, they will not support your rising in the ranks. you need to get the people who are working for you motivated and supporting your cause to be able to do well in your work. If you as a boss do not recognise this your achievements will only be mediocre. It is imperative for you to be able to achieve real greatness that you serve as a servant those who work for you.

So the quote taken by Rick of Mark 10:43, implies in the sense that greatness precedes servitude. Whether your greatness is achieved by some act or ability, possibly such as brainpower or athletic or acting abilities, to be really great you have to, for instance, be a servant to your followers. In that case, the quoted text rings true.

But where you are trying to rise through the ranks in the corporate world you cannot become great without the dual attitude of servitude to your bosses your peers and your workers. In that case the greater your attitude of servitude the greater your opportunity of becoming great.

Jesus,  was the ultimate embodiment of the servant. And as he was God, his attitude of servitude was so great that he not only potentially re-established man’s favoured position with God but included the opportunity for the whole of mankind to find their salvation and true identity in redeemed relationship with God.

God’s crescendo of his son proclaimed in the old Testament is a manifestation of the pure and sacred love that God is. God’s ultimate relationship with man is formulated and encompassed by God’s ultimate and pure form which is love. As previously said I regard the old Testament as the shadow and buildup of Christ. For there is no way we can understand God, in the form of Christ, if we do not recognise Christ’s parallel shadow in the old Testament.
Isaiah in the passage Isaiah 42:1-4 captures in his vision the coming Messiah. In Matthew 12:17 -21 the gospel of Christ is captured;
“This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“Here is My servant,
whom I have chosen,
My beloved,
in whom My soul delights.
I will put My Spirit on Him,
and He will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear His voice in the streets.
A bruised reed He will not break,
and a smouldering wick He will not extinguish,
till He leads justice to victory.
In His name the nations (Gentiles) will put their hope.”” (BSB)

Isaiah was not a lone voice in the wilderness on the servitude attitude of Christ, although he did mention it in several places; Isaiah 49:1-7, Isaiah 50:4–9, Isaiah 52:13–53. Ezequiel prophecised it in Ezequiel 34:23–24, and also in Ezequiel 37:24–25. You can also see Zechariah 3:8.

Jesus in his mission continually sets the ultimate example of servitude to the Father. His teachings throughout the new Testament are a testimony of a deep and consistent willingness to do the will of God.

“Truly, truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself, unless He sees the Father doing it. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does. The Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does. And to your amazement, He will show Him even greater works than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He wishes.
Furthermore, the Father judges no one, but has assigned all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” John 5:19 – 23 (BSB)

Jesus as servant;
By coming to dwell among humanity as a man Philippians 2:6-7  , 2 Corinthians 8:9
Jesus obeyed the will of God the Father; John 4:34, John 5:30; Jn 6:38; John 14:31; Hebrews 10:5-7; Psalms 40:6-8
He continually served the disciples; John 13:1-17
Then he suffered crucifixion for mankind; Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45, Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42, Philippians 2:8.

Christ exalted as a servant;
He will complete his task John 17:4; John 19:30
He will be exalted by God Acts 3:13 See also Isaiah 52:13; Acts 3:26; Philippians 2:9-11

The obedience of Jesus Christ displayed as a servant
John 13:14-15, Philippians 2:5, 1 Peter 2:21

I can but echo the sympathies of Rick Warren in this chapter “By having an attitude of servitude  we best serve God”.

We cannot become great servers without the indwelling spirit of the love of God.

 

Further available material ; http://www.purposedriven.com/day33/

 

Reference Sources used;

Bible Gateway; https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/2327-Jesus-Christ-as-servant

 

 

 

 

Day 32 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Contribute According to your Natural Skin

Day 32 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Using What God Gave You

You have a Unique Contribution to Make in God’s Ecclesia.

“Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.
We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If someone’s gift is prophecy, let him use it in proportion to his faith; if it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is giving, let him give generously; if it is leading, let him lead with diligence; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”  (Romans 12:1-8) (BSB)

Rick Warren in this chapter Day 32 of “The Purpose Driven Life” uses a portion of text from the Message as his opener “Since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvellously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be. Romans 12:5 (MSG)

  • This chapter brings out three keys to living in the fullness of Christ-likeness;
    1 – know you have a unique role to play within the ecclesia of Christ’s Church,
    2 – know you are unique and have the right talents and will be equipped with the right spiritual gifts for your most valued contribution,
    3 – do not be envious, live and relish in the truth of what you are, a facade or display of something you are not will be a temporary lie and you will be outside the realms of what God needs you for.

“Knowing” in terms of the statements above means having faith that God knows best, and having the peace and all sufficiency that what you are is enough. I have to continually remind myself that Jesus did not intend for us to be pressurised or driven into submission. In (John 15:1-17) it is about simply accepting the fact that we have to abide in him. Rest in Christ. Further, (Matthew 11:29-30) “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (BSB) is so simple yet in our fast-paced lives so difficult to achieve mentally. When Paul wrote “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works,” (Ephesians 2:8–9) (BSB) it also lightens the burden of responsibility to try to create some kind of facade of who we are not. If you frequent a true ecclesia, which is not some replica of the outdated temple model, then because your brothers and sisters in Christ will be practising “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34–35) there is no necessity for performance beyond your abilities or natural Spiritual giftings.

Those who love Christ and live by his commands will love you because of the love of Christ in them. Will love and cherish who you are because when they look at you they realise that you are a wonderful being created in the image of God. The more humbly you wear the skin that God has given you the more beautiful and lovable you will be.

We live in a world where we are so hounded for performance that it is difficult for us to function within the realm of peace which God offers us under the new covenant. In the traditional religious world you are continually browbeaten by the Mosaic law.  The misconstrued principle which is often subliminally enforced by traditional churches requires us to perform in terms of the temple model.

“You are the body of Christ; individually as much as you are his body corporately. Everyone of you mirrors Christ. He defines your form.
The individual member does not give context to the body; the body gives context to the member.
Wherever God places you in the body is to co-compliment the full function of the ecclesia.”  (1 Corinthians 12:27–28) (Mirror Bible)

Further resources by Rick Warren ; http://www.purposedriven.com/day32/

 

 

Day 31 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Have a Belief that Transcends Faith

Day 31 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Understanding Your Shape

Have a Belief that Transcends Faith

 

It is a singular essence with the omniscience of God that flows through all of us. Our interconnection in the hive of Christ’s Church is managed by our eternal Father God.

So when Jesus said, But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.” John 14:26 (BSB)

“And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (BSB)

In this chapter, Day 31 of “The Purpose Driven Life” Rick Warren examines what shapes us. We have no way of even understanding the most basic infinitesimal knowledge of the omniscience of God’s wisdom which formed you. On the surface we see skin, hair teeth and eyes etc. Rick explores some of the wow factors that makes up your human genome. Yet, as he zooms in on the DNA there are some astounding factors exhibited by God’s amazing ability and infinite diverse possibilities that make you into what you are.

For us to even start to comprehend just how this works we would need to draw from a modern parallel. Today we are all familiar with Google maps. When you zoom out you look at the world. As you zoom in you can get down to looking at individual houses, and we even have street views. And all this is electronically captured for our convenience and access. We can draw a parallel to this to our human bodies, in that on the outside we see a skin and we know inside there are many bits and pieces that make up the body. As we zoom in further and further we eventually get to the point where we are not looking at DNA strings anymore but pure energy. And all that put together makes a unique you.

Even if it were possible to have an exact replica of you, what that you2 will become is still going to be unique. The environment which you and you2 will be exposed to cannot be duplicated, because you occupy a specific space and place in time you2 cannot be in that same space and place at the same time. Therefore because you2 will experience different things to you, you2 will have a different shape! The creative diversity of our lives have impact on our individual formed result.

The promise of the Holy Spirit given by Jesus in John 14:26 and Luke 24:49 amounts to only one Holy Spirit (essence). I want to reiterate this because it is only ONE. All of Christ’s children  share only one singular Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is through this Holy Spirit that indwells  the rebirthed child of God that we are coordinated in his ecclesia.

If there is absolutely no possibility of you being duplicated, and the full diversity of God’s creation bears down on every human being, we cannot and will not experience the interaction with the Holy Spirit in the same way that other people do. Yes, the instructions are universal (Love should be fulfilled in Luvacta) but the way we live out those instructions will differ.

Therefore, we have to have a belief that transcends faith in the all-knowing omniscience of God’s ability to micromanage through his Holy Spirit our design and destiny.

“And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined He also called, those He called He also justified, those He justified He also glorified.” Romans 8:28–30 (BSB)

Sometimes, our experiences seem to contradict the situation that “God works all things together for the good of those who love him” because of what is thrown at us by life. It is often  when we are in the darkest hours of our lives that Christ will shine most brightly for us. When we go and sit at the fountain with Christ and share our fear and anxiety with him, those moments often become the most precious moments of our lives. “No turning back.”

Therefore, we have to have a belief that transcends faith in the all-knowing omniscience of God’s faithfulness and providence that where we are right now is where he wants us to be and He will work His good work for our benefit. Trust and know that you’re God is in control.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (BSB)

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 (BSB)

The fear may not leave us. But we have to pray on it and trust God. Circumstances may not be under our control, but we are in the hands of the one who can control our circumstances. We may not be able to see the future, but the one who knows the future is our God, stand on the covenants of His word and walk in His ways and he will never forsake you.

Further resources for Day 31 ; http://www.purposedriven.com/day31/