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You must care for the needy (1)

‘Their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.’ Acts 6:1 NIV Since the government didn’t care for widows and orphans back in New Testament times, the church took on that responsibility. Unfortunately, bias raised its ugly head, and Jewish widows and orphans were given preferential treatment over Gentile widows and orphans. How did the church leaders respond? They could easily have dismissed it like we so often do. They could have said, ‘We’re called to feed souls, not stomachs. We deal in matters of sin and salvation, not sandals and soup.’ Instead they did this: First, they called a meeting to resolve the problem (see Acts 6:2). They let every member know that...

You’re a reflector

‘But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord’ 2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV As the old saying goes, ‘You become like the company you keep.’ Paul explains it this way: ‘But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV). Christians, like mirrors, reflect the glory of God. The more you spend time in God’s presence, the more you will reflect His likeness and carry His presence with you. What does beholding your face in a mirror mean? It’s more than just a quick glance; behold means to study, stare at, and...

Give God all the glory

‘For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword,’ Psalm 44:3 NKJV A frog was running out of water, so he asked two birds to transport him to a nearby pond by having each bird carry one end of a stick in their beak while he bit down on the centre and held on. It was a sight to behold: two birds, one stick, and a frog in the middle. A cow looked up, saw the trio passing overhead, and asked, ‘Who thought of that?’ The frog couldn’t resist. Pride prevailed over prudence. ‘It was meeee…!’ he yelled as he plummeted to earth. Don’t make the same error. Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall’ (Proverbs 16:18 NLT). Why are you good at doing what you do? For...

Christ’s love for you

‘To know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge.’ Ephesians 3:19 CSB Princess Alice was Queen Victoria’s daughter. When her son contracted an incurable disease called black diphtheria, the doctors quarantined the boy and warned his mother to stay away from him lest she gets infected. Yet she couldn’t. One day she overheard her son whisper to his nurse, ‘Why doesn’t my mother kiss me anymore?’ His words melted her heart, and she ran to him, smothering him with kisses. Within a few days, she died and was buried. What would compel a mother to risk her life for her child? Love! Now stand at the cross and ask what would lead Christ to do something even greater for us? Love! Writing to the...

A heart filled with goodness

‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.’ Luke 6:45 NIV Where does goodness come from, and how can you cultivate more of it in your daily decisions and actions? Some people think goodness is a matter of the head and that right-thinking results in right living. Today every politician gives the impression that education is the panacea [answer] for practically every problem in society. Yet education of the head, without the same emphasis on the integrity of the heart, will only make wicked people clever. If education alone were the answer, white-collar crimes would likely drop. Others think goodness is a matter of the hands. They say goodness means treating...

Are you having a night-time experience?

‘Bless the Lord, all you…who by night stand in the house of the Lord!’ Psalm 134:1 NKJV God divided time into days and nights. So, you will have daytime experiences and night-time experiences. For example, you can have a night-time experience in a divorce court, in bankruptcy proceedings, in an unemployment line, or at a graveside. And because you can’t see clearly at night, it’s easy to wonder if God is really there with you. Take heart – He is! With Pharaoh’s armies behind them and the Red Sea in front of them, the Israelites faced their greatest challenge. But the Bible says, ‘All that night the Lord drove the sea back’ (Exodus 14:21 NIV). Be encouraged; God is at work even when you...

Showing grace towards those who differ from you

‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ 2 Peter 3:18 KJV Think how much happier and more energised you would be if you weren’t trying to control people and straighten them out. Allow your loved ones the dignity of making, and learning from, their own mistakes. If you’re always getting into someone else’s business, you’re not only going to burn out; you’re hindering God from working in their lives. They belong to Him, not you! In the New Testament, when legalistic Jewish believers tried to impose kosher laws on Gentile believers, Paul wrote: ‘Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain...

Try a power nap

‘When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.’ Proverbs 3:24 NIV God built specific triggers into our bodies to let us know when it’s time to escape consciousness. And wise people listen to these clues. History’s most notable power nappers include Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Winston Churchill. There is a reason why your eyelids start to droop around 2:00 p.m. The levator muscles, which constantly contract to keep your eyelids open, give out and beg for a break. And a chemical called adenosine, which collects in your brain when you’re awake, piles up and makes you feel drowsy. Consequently, your body yearns for sleep to allow the adenosine to disperse, resulting in instant relief. A...

Seek God for direction

‘Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.’ Proverbs 16:3 NIV As a follower of Jesus, your direction shouldn’t come from people and be confirmed by God, it should come from God and be confirmed by people. The Bible says: ‘The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. The Lord has made all for Himself’ (Proverbs 16:1-4 NKJV). You may be able to do what someone else has done and do it even better. But has God called you to do that particular thing? Before you follow...

Learn to control your anger

‘Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.’ Proverbs 19:11 NLT When it comes to anger, here is what you need to know: it isn’t a psychological disorder; everybody gets angry. And it’s not necessarily a sin. Like a fast-flowing river, it can generate constructive or destructive energy and be unleashed negatively or harnessed positively. Anger is commonly misunderstood as something that’s done to us by others or by circumstances. We say, ‘I couldn’t help it; they pushed my buttons!’ In the Garden of Eden, Adam said, ‘“It was the woman You gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ (Genesis 3:12NLT) Since the fall of man in Genesis, we have claimed to...