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ASH WEDNESDAY

Isaiah 58:3-9. ““But they also complain, ‘Why do we fast and you don’t look our way? Why do we humble ourselves and you don’t even notice?’ “Well, here’s why: “The bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit. You drive your employees much too hard. You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. You fast, but you swing a mean fist. The kind of fasting you do won’t get your prayers off the ground. Do you think this is the kind of fast day I’m after: a day to show off humility? To put on a pious long face and parade around solemnly in black? Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, GOD, would like?

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The GOD of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, GOD will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’”

It’s Ash Wednesday and thus Lent begins; a forty day period of fasting and devotion to God in preparation for the celebration of Easter. Growing up in an episcopal orthodox home, the significance of Lent was impressed us from an early age. It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized knowing all about Lent was truly different from understanding it. The distinguishing factor is the practice of biblical principles instead of a worldly display of self.

Reading through today’s passage I wish I could say I tick all those boxes everyday. I don’t. I do however have a chance to try again everyday and this is the perfect time to start.

Think About This

What does Lent mean to me?

Prayer

Dear Lord, May I seize this opportunity to live as You require. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen

NB:

My heartfelt gratitude to Eva Noonoo for keeping things running whilst I was under the weather.

God bless you all for the prayer support.

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MY WORD IS BOND

Psalm 89:34. ””I’ll faithfully do all I so solemnly promised.””

When God promises you something, do you take Him at His Word? God does not do anything for His own benefit. God is a God of His Word. He does not break His Word. But He bound Himself to a covenant because He knew that Abraham needed to know in his heart that God would do whatever He had promised him.

Man finds it hard to just believe words. For example, when you buy a house, a contract is drawn up and signed by both parties, and lawyers are involved. You need a contract because you cannot trust the other person’s words and he cannot trust yours either.

Likewise, we find it hard to take God at His Word. So God made a covenant with us, not because He cannot be trusted, but because He knows that we find it hard to just believe what He says. God knows that man will wonder, “What if God wakes up on the wrong side of His bed tomorrow and decides to fry me instead of bless me?”

But because God has made a new covenant with us, which is established by the blood of His Son, we can, like Abraham, not waver through unbelief regarding the promises of God, and instead be strengthened in our faith, being fully persuaded that God will do as He has promised. (Romans 4:20–21) We have the assurance that God will not wake up one day and say, “Forget the new covenant. I want to remember your sins now and curse you instead of bless you!”

The new covenant blessings for you are guaranteed because God has bound Himself to the covenant. And He is a covenant-keeping God who is willing and more than able to do everything He has promised you! Because God has made a new covenant with us, established by the blood of His Son, we can be fully persuaded that He will do as He has promised.

Blissful day!!!

Auntie Eva

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NEVER SAY DIE

Isaiah 43:2. “When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end.”

When the Lord holds and helps you as you move along in life, anything designed to hurt, hinder or halt you won’t succeed. He always wants to remind us that there is no way He will abandon us. It may seem like we cannot trace His footsteps but He is still there. Even the ones you saw were not yours but His. When the Lord is present, no danger is dangerous. Nothing is too hard for Him. Fear not. Keep smiling for you can always count on God in good times and in bad times. His presence goes ahead before us and give us His peace. God bless you.

NB:

Auntie JJ is currently ill and unable to attend to the blog personally, Auntie Eva stepped up to the plate and is covering for her.

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FIGHT TO THE DEATH

Ephesians 6:10-12. “And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”

The way you run for daily exercise is totally different from the way you run in an Olympic sprint. Even the clothes you wear are different. Thankfully our coach is multi-disciplined and an expert at both. For our regular day to day engagements God can be like an inspiring high school coach, but when a crisis hits He suddenly becomes an ultra deluxe upgrade of Alfred Pennyworth (in this comic, Bruce Wayne is NOT the central character). He has every possible gear needed in the most recent version and He’s not afraid to equip us with it. All you have to do is use it.

Sounds simple but it isn’t. Anyone who has competed professionally has the battle scars to prove the struggle they’ve been through. These are not the sort of wounds that close up in a couple of days after a bit of balm is put on it. Armenian weightlifter Andranik Karapetyan dislocated his elbow while trying to lift 429 pounds. French gymnast Samir Aït Saïd broke a leg after missing a landing on vault. Three cyclists have broken bones in road racing crashes. The list goes on. You might heal, but you’re sure gonna remember exactly what you were doing when you got that scar.

Engaging the devil in warfare is a bit like that; it’ll mark you without question but God will prepare you, protect you and fight for you (Exodus 14:14). We’ll take a closer look at this in the coming days.

Think About This

Do you trust God Only when things are fine or when things get tough as well? Do you turn to Him in your toughest moments only failing to realize that His daily preparation gets you ready to face the storm?

Prayer

Dear Lord, May I rely on you in every phase of my life. Through the easy moments and through the crunch times. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

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NO LONG LISTS

Isaiah 43:25. ““But I, yes I, am the one who takes care of your sins—that’s what I do. I don’t keep a list of your sins.”

I like lists, they help me focus. I could keep a list of the lists I have; it would make me happy. One list I struggle not to make is a list of grievances. That kind of list is so easy to put together that even people who seem laid back carry one around, checking it off.

Thankfully God doesn’t keep that kind of list either. Could you just imagine what would be on it and long long it would be?! I figure mine would cover the continent at least three times over.

God forgives us and that’s the end of the matter. No long lists. There aren’t enough trees for that; instead He used only two and erased all grievance list forever.

Think About This

You got a grievance list or a forgiving heart?

Prayer

Dear Lord, it’s hard not to hold on when someone upsets me. But I know You want me to let go of my lists and forgive. Please teach me how. It’s really hard to do. I need Your Holy Spirit’s help even as I pray through the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

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FOR A PROFITABLE MOMENT

Isaiah 48:17&18. ““And now, the Master, GOD, sends me and his Spirit with this Message from GOD your Redeemer, The Holy of Israel: “I am GOD, your God, who teaches you how to live right and well. I show you what to do, where to go. If you had listened all along to what I told you, your life would have flowed full like a river, blessings rolling in like waves from the sea.””

I’m recently discovering I’m still hard of hearing when it comes to God. It’s either that or I’m a very disobedient child. Last year God laid a number of things on my heart that I really should have planned towards and executed. I’m now consistently being caught off guard in a demand for results. Anyone of us can get ourselves tangled up so. My friend Eva Noonoo has a few words of advice for us all;

God instructs us for our own benefit. He wants us to profit in every area of our lives health, finances, career, marriage and family relationships. The Bible says that it is God who teaches us to profit. And it is He who leads us in the way that we should go. God always has our best interests at heart. We only have to sit at His feet, listen to His Word and just have fresh, daily communion with Him, and He will make our way fruitful.

But we are constantly bombarded with things to do every day, like taking the kids to school, attending a business meeting or making a sales presentation. Likewise, in church, there are just as many important things to attend to; ministering to the needy, reaching out to the lost and healing the sick. But you know what? All these things will be taken care of when we sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to His Word. When we sit at Jesus’ feet to have fresh, daily communion with Him, He makes our way fruitful.

Just listen and obey.

Think About This

After we accept a call from God do we actually draw up a plan and work towards execution or we just sort of expect things to happen?

Prayer

Dear Lord, I’m very well intentioned when You call me, but then things get lost in life and I forget. Show me how to plan, show me how to live, teach me to be profitable. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

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WORD ON THE STREET

Job 17:9. ““But principled people hold tight, keep a firm grip on life, sure that their clean, pure hands will get stronger and stronger!”

This isn’t something you can do on your own. First of all who’s principles are you holding on to? God set the standard and He is the one keeping us anchored. The Bible tells us that our good deeds are like filth rags (Isaiah 64:6) but Christ’s death gives us the opportunity to to wash our garments in the blood of the lamb (Revelations 7:14). It is Christ who make us clean and pure. Our strength is in the joy of the Lord (Nehemiah 8:10) and is heightened by waiting in His presence (Isaiah 30:31). Is this the description that comes to mind when people speak of you or are they more likely to say this;

“He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property— the eyes of his children will fail. “He has made me a byword of the peoples, and I am one before whom men spit.”

Job 17:5-6 ESV

Think About This

What is people’s testimony of you? How can you better shape your character?

Prayer

Dear Lord, May my life be a witness to Your goodness and mercy, forever bringing You glory. In Jesus name I pray. Amen