September 30, 2016

Honesty on Three Levels

‘Each of you must … speak truthfully to your neighbour.’ Ephesians 4:25 NIV Telling the truth sounds simple, but it takes commitment on three levels: (1) Verbally. When you’re found out in a lie, it undermines the confidence others have in you. For example, when a husband or wife denies blowing the family budget, or covers up a drinking problem, inevitably there’s trouble. But when each knows that the other ‘will hold firmly to the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15 PHPS), the relationship becomes stronger and more likely to weather the storm. (2) Behaviourally. ‘Unless you are honest in small matters, you […]
September 29, 2016

The Peace Process

‘Great peace have they who love your [Word], and nothing can make them stumble.’ Psalm 119:165 NIV One of the last things Jesus told His disciples before leaving this world was, ‘In this world, you will have trouble.’ (John 16:33 NIV) And He was right, wasn’t He? We all experience stress, occupational demands, deadlines, expectations, personal pressures ganging up on us and constantly trying to rob us of the peace we desperately desire. No one is immune to stress, frustration, and the feeling that we’re on the ‘autobahn of life’. What is all this but the absence of peace? And the […]
September 28, 2016

Dealing with Difficult People

‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.’ James 1:19 NIV The only way to avoid having to deal with difficult people—is to move to another planet. Human beings are a mixture of vices and virtues, and unless you understand that, you won’t be able to work or live with them successfully. The story’s told of a monk who joined a monastery and took a vow of silence. Once a year he was invited to appear before the abbot, and he was permitted to say one thing. After the first year when he was asked […]
September 27, 2016

You Need a Vision

‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.’ James 1:17 NKJV If your vision in life is to become as rich as possible, hoard every penny you make, and indulge your every whim—your vision is not from God. But if your vision is to succeed, use your success to bless others, and fulfil the purposes of God in the earth, your vision is from God. When God called Abraham, He promised him three things: ‘I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing [to others].’ (Genesis 12:2 NIV) Understand this: every worthy […]
September 26, 2016

‘God is for me!’

‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ Romans 8:31 NIV The question isn’t simply, ‘Who can be against us?’ That’s an easy one to answer: disease, inflation, corruption, exhaustion, calamities, and fears. The real question is, ‘If God is for us…?’ Let’s read these words slowly, placing emphasis on each of them: (1) God is for you. Your parents may have forgotten you, your teachers may have neglected you, your siblings may be ashamed of you, but within reach of your prayers is the Maker of the oceans: God! (2) God is for you. Not ‘maybe’, or ‘has […]
September 25, 2016

Recovering from Divorce (3)

‘When there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping.’ Romans 4:18 NLT Let’s examine the last three stages involved in recovering from a divorce. Stage Five is acceptance. Yes, acceptance can and eventually does come! And when it does, sometimes you’ll feel a twinge of guilt for not feeling depressed and sad any more. What’s happening? You’ve stopped fighting. The war within has settled down and you’ve begun to experience peace. And it’s God’s peace that transcends human understanding (see Philippians 4:7). Stage Six is hope. ‘When there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping … In fact, his faith […]
September 24, 2016

Recovering from Divorce (2)

‘I will restore to you the years.’ Joel 2:25 NKJV Recovering from divorce and learning to live again takes time, so please be patient with yourself. Chances are you’ll go through the recognised stages of grief: (1) Denial. You try to ignore or minimise what has happened in hopes it’ll go away. You fear confrontation and refuse to face it. You won’t go for professional help because you think ‘it’ll all work out in the end’. (2) Anger. When someone rejects you, it affects your self-worth and you react the wrong way. You make wild, unchecked statements born out of emotional […]
September 23, 2016

Recovering from Divorce (1)

‘Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.’ Isaiah 43:18 NAS Divorce is one of the most painful things the human heart can experience. If it’s happened to you, you know that’s true. If it hasn’t, be grateful and show compassion towards those who’ve been devastated by it. Have you been crushed by someone you trusted? Does loneliness overwhelm you in the midnight hours? Do you feel as though your hands are completely tied? Does it upset you because your friends don’t seem to understand? Don’t despair—your present circumstances will change. You will recover; you will […]