October 15, 2018 by Kgalalelo
I celebrated my birthday last week Monday on the 8th October and I thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday. I thank God for His grace and mercy in my life. I had a beautiful and special day indeed. There’s a song that says “when I remember what the Lord has done, I will never go back”, this is the spirit I am carrying throughout my birth month and beyond as I think about all the things that God has blessed me with. I was amazed as well that the people that I never thought would remember my birthday were actually the ones who sent me messages. It is amazing how God works. The ones closest to you who you think might call and send messages, doesn’t and those who you hardly think about are the ones who remembers you. I have learnt that lesson years ago with my mother’s passing in December 2014 that the people I thought would descend to offer me support never showed up but those that I never thought about were the ones who came, including those that I grew up with and never saw for more than 10 years. What a mighty God we serve.
Do you get stuck in disappointment over the ones that doesn’t show up at your event, the ones who are supposed to care for you, or do you celebrate and be grateful for the ones who actually came? This is a very deep lesson for each one of us. Haven’t you realized that sometimes the ones that you have assisted in the past won’t necessarily assist you in the future? Some even forget your goodness completely. Should we accept that as human nature or be constantly aware and never forget the goodness of others? It makes sense not to forget the support that you have received from others, even so, it is best not to forget the goodness of the Lord. God never keeps a grudge but we do. How many things have God blessed us with since birth and yet we complain or turn away from Him? We do it all the time. Churches and temples are empty because people have other things to do instead of worshipping Him. We are all to blame one way or another.
Someone can argue that we don’t need a church to worship the Lord and indeed it is true, however, in your own personal space since you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, do you take time to commune with Him and thank Him for the things that He has done and doing for you? Only you can answer that question. You and God knows the truth that is in your heart. Your faithfulness to others is known to you, but are we really faithful to the one who has given us life itself? Not always. We complain, get angry and begrudge our loved and blame God. We would do ourselves a world of good if we just let go. Letting go is such a difficult thing to do but for us to progress, we have to lay it at the cross of Jesus and surrender. This message is for everyone, you can identify yourself in any of these paragraphs and instead of beating yourself up, recognize what is happening in your heart and start afresh. God always gives us a fresh start. In Isaiah 1:18 God says "Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool”.
Who else but God can give such a promise? God forgives and forgets. He gives you a clean slate to write your story again, a better one this time and He helps you when you ask Him. David says in Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”. If you read his story in Kings 1 and 2, you will notice that he had his own mistakes, he was an imperfect human being like us but he always humbled himself before the Lord, acknowledged his sins and sought the face of God. When we recognize the wrong things that we have done and the strong emotions that we have harbored against others, we should go before the Lord and ask Him to give us a clean heart and the right spirit. God is pure Spirit, He is Holy and has called us to be holy and blameless. Keeping the pain and bitterness in the heart only destroys the carrier and no one else.
Jesus says in Matthew 11: 28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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.” Jesus understood the fallen nature of man, He sees right through us and calls us to Himself without judgment. Romans 8: 1-4 says “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”. People might condemn and accuse but God doesn’t. He says “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7). When we are weak, God is strong. We have His promises.
It could mean also that somewhere somehow we are petty in our dealings with people or perhaps have too many expectations that we place on people. The only one we should fully expect from is God and not our fellow human beings because there will always be disappointment from people. At times, the people who disappoint you are not even aware that they have hurt you, so why keep it in your heart instead of moving on. You have your own journey and so are the people around you. God has carved for each one of us a path that leads to life, meaning, it’s a path that leads to Him and we need to focus forward or look up to Him instead of looking on the sides or around us. We should know that the only thing that covers us is His favour and as we call upon Him, He listens from heaven and comes through for us. There is nothing that God cannot do for us if we ask and come to Him. He says in Matthew 7: 7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”. On this day, what do you want God to do for you? He says anything. Jesus says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. He gives fully and not little.
Perhaps we don’t know how to ask, are afraid to ask, or we just don’t know what to ask for. We have never been properly taught that we can ask for anything. You can make this an assignment and let God teach you what to ask for and how to ask. Perhaps we have doubt that God might not do it and once you doubt, nothing will happen in your life. I pray that God may teach us what to ask for in our lives, what matters the most and that which is sustainable. He said to Solomon who had asked for wisdom to lead the Israelites, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honour—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings” (1Kings 3:11-13). God can honour us even with the things we’ve never asked for. He gives us additional stuff. I have seen wonderful things happen in my life and God blessing me with stuff I’ve never thought of. He is a covenant keeping God.
If you are hurt, He can lift that pain in a split second. He can take you to another level instantly that you would be surprised how you got there. Your life can become a testimony for someone else who is experiencing the same things you’ve gone through. He wipes away our tears (Revelation 21:14). He gives joy and strength to those who are sad and weary. Don’t put on sackcloth like the Israelites in biblical times when they mourned. We serve a good God who has given the entire world another chance. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. We all have the opportunity to be reconciled back to God by believing in His Son Jesus Christ who died for our sins. He took the sins of the world upon Himself and became the sacrificial lamb for all of us. We need to believe in His finished work on the cross.
In this way, we would be reminded about how petty our issues are sometimes and how great is His grace over everyone of us, who believes in Him. All of our sins have been forgiven including the small grudges we have against others. It is us who are hanging on to them in our hearts. We carry the unnecessary load in our hearts and need to release all of these that the Holy Spirit can work freely and occupy our hearts completely. We don’t recognize God’s presence in our lives because we are carrying things that are not of Him and those we give prominence. In the Old Testament, we read that the Israelites created Asherah poles and images of calves and worshipped them, instead of worshipping the one and true God. As a result, they defiled their hearts as we do today by carrying needless burdens. With God, we don’t need a tangible image that we can see but faith, which is believing in the unseen God. He is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20)”.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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