Nothing matters without love

"If you are a follower of Christ Jesus . . . the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6).

Have you ever wondered what matters to God? The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:6: “If you are a follower of Christ Jesus . . . all that matters is your faith that makes you love others”. God says what matters in life is not your accomplishments or achievements. It's not your wealth or fame. The other thing that matters is having a faith that causes you to love other people. If you miss that, you have lost the most important thing in life.

Over the next couple of days, we will be praying and studying the most famous chapter in the Bible on love, 1 Corinthians 13. When speakers want to get your attention and want you to remember something, they use repetition. They say the same thing over and over again. In the first few verses of this passage, Paul says the same thing in five different ways: The most important thing in life is love.

Here are the first four reasons why.

1. If you don’t live a life of love, then nothing you say will matter.

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). We’re really impressed by great speakers. We love eloquence and charisma. But God says, I don’t care how good a communicator you are if you are not living a life of love. If you’re not, then nothing you say will matter. Words without love are just noise.

2. If you don't live a life of love, nothing you know will matter.

“I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all the secret things of God and have all knowledge . . . But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). We live in a world where knowledge is exploding. We are smarter than we’ve ever been. But we still have the same problems: crime, abuse, prejudice, violence. Why? Because the world doesn’t need more knowledge. It needs more love. You may be a genius. But God says if you don’t have love and show love, then all that you know is worthless.

3. If you don’t live a life of love, nothing you believe will matter. The Bible says, “Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love” (1 Corinthians 13:2b). There’s a myth that being a follower of Christ is just a matter of believing certain truths. Nothing can be further from the truth! Following Christ is about living a life of love. It takes more than belief to please God.

4. If you don’t live a life of love, nothing you give will matter.

The next verse says, “If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Love isn’t always the motivation for giving. Some people give just to get back or out of guilt or for control or prestige. You can give for a lot of wrong motives, but the Bible says if you’re not doing it out of love, none of your giving counts.

The Bible is very clear about what happens when you don’t live a life of love.

ASK YOURSELF: What motivates you to give? If a friend described you, what would they say about how you show your love to others? Scripture says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). What do you think that means?

PRAYER: If you will use anyone Lord, use me.

Little is much

We all need people we can lean on. But are we such that people can lean on us?

We all want people to be nice to us. But are we nice to others?

We all want people to be blessings to us. But are we willing to be blessings for others?

For some people, life is all about what they can get from others. Well, let us not always think that way. Let us also think of how others can get from us. Let us go out of our way to be there for others. Let us go out of our way to make others comfortable around us.

We begin a new week leading us into the month of August. Let us learn to lend a shoulder to those in need. Let our looking down on people only be to bring them up. Let us quit giving excuses so as not to help and support others. Let us stop telling lies just so we don't inconvenience ourselves to meet the needs of others. On the contrary, let us look out for those in need and do just the LITTLE we can for them. Your little might just be the BIG they have been waiting for to have that MAJOR break they have been praying about. God doesn't need a lot to do a lot. He needs little and little is much when given in love.

Let us put smiles on the faces of those we meet. Let our catch phrase be "little is much". #littleismuch

Love and blessings

F|B

Prayer Room

Dearly beloved,

He is our greatest redeemer, our constant friend and faithful father. He is also a God who listens and answer prayers. His word in Deut 32:30 "How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up? This means whenever God is involved, the results are always exponential and bountiful.

You may be might in prayer alone, but you can be mightier if joined by someone. Let us pray with you. Let God be involved by our togetherness for our prayers are stronger together. Join us in THE PRAYER ROOM tomorrow on HIT 95.9 FM at 6am. You can send your prayer request via Facebook.com/frbekomson, or 0903 935 9575 and 0902 031 5344. Let God arise and let his foes flee.

Prayer is the battle position of the church for we wrestle not against flash and blood but against principalities and powers in high places. Let our faith work for us.

Thank you for reading and may the peace of God rest, rule and abide with you always and may the Holy Spirt teach us how to pray like we ought.

Love and blessings

Frbekomson

FIND YOUR JOY

Nehemiah 8:10  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

I remember the song from Children’s Church, ”The Joy of the Lord is My Strength,” and the verse of laughter when they sing, “Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha,” and so on. What a blessing, hearing the pure unadulterated joy and laughter coming from those precious children as they rejoice in the Lord. Yes, the joy of the Lord is our strength.

But do we as adults share the joy? How long has it been since we’ve recognized His joy in our own lives, and how does that joy manifest itself?

I remember the story in the Bible when King David was returning the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. The joy King David felt as he ushered in the presence of the Lord was almost more than he could contain. (2 Samuel 6:14-15)

It goes on to say that King David leaped and danced before the Lord. In those days, the presence of the Lord, the God of the universe, rested upon that one spot, the Ark of the Covenant. Today, that same presence of the Lord rests within us. Oh the joy that comes when we recognize this fact.

I’ve personally seen this joy manifested when a person humbly asks Jesus to forgive their sins, and come into their heart. I have seen people shout for joy upon receiving their salvation and praise.

Some churches have exuberant praise and worship services where people sing, clap, dance, laugh, and release themselves to rejoice in their Lord’s presence, regardless of what onlookers might think. The Lord loves to see their joy and love for Him displayed in such a manner. But He also enjoys the person whose joy is so deep and personal, that it’s expressed by sitting quietly as they bask in their joy, which resides deep within.

Sometimes the cares of life will weigh us down, and it would appear that joy is nowhere to be found. And yes, there is a time for grief and sorrow. Even the Lord Jesus experienced it as He wept over Jerusalem. But when the day is done, the house is quiet, and you relax in the comfort of your dimly lit room, turn your thoughts away from the cares of the day and toward your Lord who lives within you.

Realize that the very presence of God, before whom King David danced, is with you and has shared this day with you. Rejoice, for you possess the Lord, and He possesses you. The communication and fellowship that you have with the Lord is your secret treasure. No one can understand or share in the intimacy that is yours and His alone. The sacredness of this treasure, the presence of God in and with you, is your source of joy and strength. This is not joy as the world knows it, but it’s the kind of joy that comes only from God through the Holy Spirit, “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8).

Don’t let anyone steal your joy. Jesus said,

“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow” (John 15:11).

It is His will that you live and breathe in the overflow of joy that comes from Him. Acknowledge and encourage His presence to be with you in word and in Spirit so that joy, His joy in you, becomes a lifestyle. 

Allow the fruit of joy to grow and manifest itself in your life. Your joy in the Lord is your great source of strength, and no bad report, circumstance, or person can take it away from you!

“So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure” (Psalm 32:11)

PRAYER: Lord may your joy strengthen me today and always.

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:
It is His will that you live and breathe in the overflow of joy that comes from Him. 

FURTHER STUDIES:
Psalm 35:9, Galatians 5:22.

Burden, pain and affliction

Psalms 55:1-23

In today’s reading, David was overwhelmed with the weight of external pressures and internal anguish. Burdens come in a variety of emotional, spiritual, and physical forms, but they all feel heavy and cause weariness. Every one of us can identify with David’s desire to “fly away and be at rest” (v. 6).

Some of the loads we carry are not part of God’s plan for us. We lug around the guilt that lingers even after confession of sin and also try to function while carrying worry about the future. Then we top it off with a little bitterness and unforgiveness because life has not been fair. These burdens aren’t from the Lord, and He won’t help you carry what He has told you to release.

Other burdens, however, are entrusted to us by God. He gives us responsibilities, which can weigh us down, and He sometimes allows relational difficulties that tear at our heart. And when such problems and trials are persistent, they can drain our vitality and threaten to overwhelm us.

But remember, every circumstance in life is lovingly sifted through the Lord’s fingers before reaching us. From His perspective, those things that are too heavy for us are opportunities for dependence upon Him. God never intends for any of His children to carry a burden without His help. He says to give it to Him (v. 22) and promises to sustain us.

Casting your cares upon God means releasing them fully into His control. You will no longer be free to manage and manipulate the situation toward your desired outcome, but the freedom Christ offers will release you from the burden’s weight. He’ll sustain you with His peace as you trust Him.

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:
Every circumstance in life is lovingly sifted through the Lord’s fingers before reaching us.

PRAYERS:
Dear Lord, Today I cast all my cares and worries to you. And I step aside that you might take the wheels.Amen.

Come as you are

"God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

Everything that Jesus did for you, he did out of love. Scripture says God made you to love you. The only reason you’re alive is because his love and mercy has kept you. God so loves that his word says "alive or dead we belong to the lord" (Rom 14:8).

God didn’t just say he loved you; he showed it. The Bible says, “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NLT). It says while we were still sinners. Before I even knew God or knew I needed God in my life, Jesus died for me.

There’s a myth that says we have to clean up our act before we can come to God: “I’ve got to get it all together. There are a few things I’ve got to get right in my life first, and then I’ll come to God.” No! You come to God the way you are, with your problems, your filth and mess. You can come to God though covered up in sin.

God says, “No, no! You don’t have to clean up your act. Just bring it all to me and let me help clean you because you can't on your own. I have all the answers. Come as you are.” The Bible says, “He will send down help from heaven to save me because of his love” (Psalm 57:3a TLB). That’s what Jesus did on Easter. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…. come as you are the master is waiting. Forget about the jury eyes and condemning voices in the church and congregation. The church is a place of healing for the broken, restoration and at the same time a place of reintegration.

If you don’t act on this news, then the death of Jesus Christ and his Resurrection becomes a waste. You may recognize the gift, but you still have to receive it. "You will be saved, if you honestly confess your sins, saying , ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death.” (Romans 10:9-10). You may say I have committed the worst of sins, I have killed and committed adultery, I have gone diabolical and consulted a witch doctor, I have carried out an abortion or have been involved in bestiality and homosexuality, I have done this, I have done that. All the master is asking for is "come as you are", he promises to help you. In him you will find rest for your soul. Be your sin as dark as charcoal I will make them whiter than snow he promises. (Is 1:18)

ASK YOURSELF:
*What is holding you back from seeking God for forgiveness?
*How does your life reflect the extravagant love God has for you and that you have accepted?

REMEMBER THIS:
Though you may be wounded and overwhelmed by the weight of your sin, Jesus is still calling and he says come as you are.

FURTHER STUDIES:
Romance 8:35-39

LIGHT IN DARKNESS

The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

A friend of mine grew up in a rural part of Hawaii where her family had no electricity. As a child, the dark hours of the night frightened her. Without streetlights or the occasional lamp-lit window, it was easy to imagine a scary ogre or hungry beast lurking around the corner. She suffered from nyctophobia. Eventually, my friend left Hawaii to attend college in another region of the US. Although modern lighting brightened the evening hours, her fear of the dark persisted. Finally, as a married adult with children, she began to ask God to help her overcome her fear, and He answered her prayers. She’s no longer afraid of the dark.

By its nature, light dispels darkness, and so God was like a torch in a dark night for David, chasing his fears into the distant shadows, while reassuring him God was with him every step of the way. In Psalm 27, he confidently declared, “The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

With God lighting his way, David felt safe. He believed the Lord would help him in his troubles (Psalm 27:5). Anyone who knows they have a loving Protector close at hand will feel courageous when they’re threatened. The problem is that sometimes our imagination magnifies whatever is threatening us and we can doubt God’s power.

David called out to God and could therefore say with confidence: “Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident” (Psalm 27:3).

When David faced the giant Goliath, his trust in God allowed him to shout, “This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:47). Do you believe God will help you when you’re afraid? Do you believe even in the darkness of sin, lack, illness, anxiety, God can shine his light? One day, all our fears will be gone, and we’ll be safe in the light of God’s presence (Revelation 21:2-4). May we rest in Him today.

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:
Anyone who knows they have a loving Protector close at hand will feel courageous.

PRAYERS:
Lord Jesus, I introduce my fears to you.(mention your fears) let your light shine in my darkness and grant me victory. Amen 

FURTHER STUDIES:
Psalm 139:12

Trust God

God wants you to walk with him and trust him every day. In our walk with God there is no guarantee things will be easy with us. But there is a guarantee that He will always be with us and his presence with us is a game changer. Philippians 4:6 & 8 show us that there are four things you need to do to trust God on a daily basis. "Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.… Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise”.

1. Worry about nothing. Why is worry such a big deal? Because it’s not just a bad habit, but it expresses doubt and disbelief in the word of God and in his promises. But God keeps his promises, and you can trust that he will take care of you. “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34). So instead of worrying, pray.

2. Pray about everything. Prayer can change things. Pray. It can set miracles in motion and can start what the devil doesn't want started. Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” We may not have realized this, but God solved our biggest problem — getting into Heaven — when he sent Jesus to die for us. But you have to make the journey towards heaven yourself knowing that you have access. If God loved you enough to send Jesus to die for you, don’t you think he loves you enough to take care of all these other problems?

3. Thank God in all things. No matter what happens, give thanks. The Bible doesn’t say, “For all things give thanks.” It says, “In all things give thanks.” You don’t have to be thankful for bad things in your life. You don't have to be thankful for evil. You don’t have to be thankful for the cancer or a car accident, a war or abuse. But in pain and going through an bad experience still thank God. Even though you don't thank God for the war, God expects that even in the war you will still thank Him. God says in everything give thanks. Why? Because you know that God is going to take care of you. You know he is going to meet your needs. You know he is going to help you. You know that in the end good will prevail.

4. Think about the right things.
God gives us a list of things to think about; things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. Where do you find things that are pure and lovely to think about? You will find pure and lovely and honorable thoughts in the Word of God. You need to read it, study it, memorize it, and fill your mind with it. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY: If you keep your mind on God, he will keep you in perfect peace.

PRAYER: Lord you know I worry and fret a lot about life and things. Help me to know that you are always with me to strengthen me and to make me realize worry will not change anything. Keep me in Peace.

LET HIM WORK

"God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13).

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God’s power in action. The recreating and renewing force of God. The recreating work of the Holy Spirit, which is renewal, gives birth to Christlike character in us. Scripture says, “The Lord … makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18a). This process of changing us to be more like Christ is called sanctification because to be more like Christ we have to be set apart. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2). A renewed mind means a renewed attitude and character which reveals an inner conversion and transformation which is translated and further seen in our way of life. We cannot be Christ. He is one. He is God in himself. But we can be Christ like and this cannot be done in our own strength.

New Year’s resolutions, will power, and best intentions are good but not enough. Only the Holy Spirit can bring about the changes God wants to make in our lives. But they has to be a cooperation because God who made you without you, will need you to save you. The good news is that God is working in our lives everyday. Scripture says, "God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13). You have the power to do what pleases him, but pleasing him is a choice you have to make.

When we mention the “power of the Holy Spirit,” many people think of miraculous demonstrations and intense emotions. But most of the time the Holy Spirit’s power is released in your life in quiet and unassuming ways that you aren’t even aware of or feel. He often nudges us with “a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12b).

Christlikeness is not produced by imitation but by inhabitation. We allow Christ to live in us and through us. “This is the secret: Christ lives in you” (Colossians 1:27).
How does this happen in real life? Through the choices we make. We choose to do the right thing in situations and then trust God’s Spirit to give us his power, love, faith, and wisdom to do it. Since God’s Spirit lives inside of us, these things are always available for the asking.

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:
Christlikeness is not produced by imitation but by inhabitation.

PRAYERS: Dear Lord, today I cooperate with your spirit to produce fruits that glorify you.

Our daily bread

"that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD" (Deut 8:3b).

When Jesus says we are to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” he speaks more than just bread. In fact, the scripture points our attention to the following:

1. Bread represents the necessities of life. This is the economy of God. God says, “I supply it. You gather it.” When you pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” it doesn’t mean you sit on the couch and wait for God to throw you money. You’ve got to work! You have to work for it. This is likened to the case of fishing. God put it in the sea, but you have to get the fish on your boat. Even the Israelites had to go out and pick up manna. Work is a part of God’s purpose for your life. It builds character. Proverbs 14:23 says, “Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table”.

2. Bread represents God’s Word.
The Bible is spiritual food. Bread is a symbol for scripture. The Bible says,
“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word which comes from the mouth of the lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). When the children of Israel were walking to the Promised Land, God rained manna from Heaven for his people to pick up because they had nothing to eat. God gave them this bread to teach them that people need more than bread for their life. Real life comes by feeding on every word of the Lord. You don’t just need physical nourishment; you also need spiritual nourishment. Besides scripture in John 6:63 records Jesus saying "the flesh has nothing to offer. It is the spirit that gives life". So when scripture says man does not live on bread alone, it means apart from bread there is something else that sustains life and that is the word of God. Your words are spirit lord and they are alive. (John 6:63)

3. Bread represents God’s family and fellowship. The Word of God in 1 Corinthians 10:16, “Is the bread which we break not a communion in the body of Christ? [Indeed it is]”. Bread is a metaphor for the family of God. You need God’s people in your life. Whether or not you have a physical family, God wants to be a part of you as much as he wants you to be part of his family that will last forever. The church is the family of God here on earth a prefiguration of the eternal church in heaven. The Church is meant to be a place of love, sharing and caring. Not a place of dissension, hatred and competition. We see rivalry amongst church, and now the intention is no longer "that they may be one". Church leaders and pastors now have it as the focus to outdo, outshine, and outsmart the other pastor. Effectiveness in evangelism is now seen in the numerical strength of our congregation rather than the quality of the breed. Isn't it funny that we have more churches and worship centers today, yet the crime rate is not reducing. So what is the church doing? It is our job as a church to stay together, pray together and chastise ourselves. The fellowship in Church should not end in church.

4. Bread represents the body of Christ.
Jesus chose bread to represent his body as broken in the holy communion for the salvation of man. Every time we eat the bread and drink the cup, it is a reminder of how much God loves us and the sacrifice he made so that we can be with him in eternity.

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

PRAYERS: Dear Lord help me to live each day according to your word. Give me this day my daily bread for I hope in you. I trust you to provide my physical and spiritual need. Amen.