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So Thankful

Today I am grateful for:

  1. BSF and the brilliant notes they have been preparing for this years study.
  2. Great friends.
  3. Our home and all that it means to us in this season.
  4. My family and for WhatsApp that allows us to be in touch.
  5. Beautiful Johannesburg weather.
  6. Oranges, pawpaw and yoghurt.
  7. The freedom that my car provides me.
  8. Work and the ability to earn an income.
  9. A great cup of tea.
  10. Flavoured sparkling water.

For what are you grateful for?

Monday Thought

43 So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there.

44 The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands.

45 Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

Joshua 21:45 (NIV)

This year’s study of BSF begun with the book of Joshua and I am in awe of God and His faithfulness to His Word and His Character. God never lies and He can be depended on always as we see in these three remarkable verses above. I can trust God with my present and future cares, wishes and thoughts. He can be trusted.

I have also learnt about obedience through Joshua’s response to God’s commands. He was swift in His obedience and He always trusted that God would come through for him and the Israelites. How was he so sure? Because he abided in God’s word and spent time in prayer such that he knew what to ask, how to trust and how to obey. I want that, don’t you?

 

 

Why I Believe

This is the reason why I am a Christian. Truths I have been reminded through the study of Romans in BSF.

  1. We are justified through faith because Jesus died for our sins and was raised for our justification (Romans 4:25). The great exchange: His life for ours; His righteousness for our sin.
  2. Knowing this saves me from striving for salvation. There is nothing I can do to save myself., I am powerless to do this. If I do not accept this truth, I strive and try to work at my righteousness through works. All I can do is accept this free gift of salvation.
  3. Christianity makes all men equal. Before salvation we were all sinners, after salvation we are all justified by faith. No one’s sin is greater than the other or the utter worst; none of us is more righteous once we have believed. God views all men as equal.
  4. As a believer, I know what I am saved from (the penalty of sin which is death) and what I am saved for ( eternal life) and while here to do good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
  5. While we wait for the day when we will be taken up to meet our Lord and Saviour, we have the Holy Spirit as a seal and a promise. He also reveals all truth and teaches us all things righteous.

So do you believe, and if you do not, will you tonight ask Him to be your Lord and Saviour (Acts 4:12 / John 14:6)?

My City is Better than Yours

When I moved to Cape Town, I did not expect to like, or GASP love it, as much as I did Johannesburg. Two years on, I feel like I am cheating on my first love but here goes a list of things I love about the city.

  • Franschhoek and the annual literary festival
  • The Book Lounge
  • The Mountain View
  • Camps Bay – I don’t do this often because it gets touristy and it’s a big contrast to the daily inequality but occasionally, I do note its’ beauty and appreciate that.
  • Wine Farms
  • Unstuffy Markets – Mojo Market, Old Biscuit Mill and Oranjezicht. For some reason in Joburg, peeople need to dress up and then get to markets and look like they just walk up like that, URGGGH!!
  • An Evening BSF Class
  • The Promenade
  • Being able to walk around to most places
  • A main street that means not having to get into a mall unless you want to, Yay!!!
  • Off-street Parking
  • Kalk Bay
  • A gorgeous CBD
  • Love the pace of drivers and their general chill
  • It’s a very outdoors and family-oriented place

Faith Lessons so Far

So far in BSF we have done Romans chapter 1 to 3 and if I could summarise my thoughts, it would be:

  1. God’s gospel has transforming power and we should not be ashamed to proclaim it widely (Romans 1:16)
  2. God’s wrath is now being revealed – meaning, right now, right this moment but also one that great final day, it will be revealed against those who have not believed in Christ (Romans 1: 18 – 32)
  3. Not one of us is righteous. None of us can stand on our own and claim that we are not guilty of sin. None of us, not even one of us (Romans 2:10 – 11).
  4. The good news, no the great news is that we are justified by faith apart from the works of the Law and this applies to all, Jew and Gentile alike. We are free from the penalty of sin which is death and free to claim eternal life if we only believe.

Will you believe? And if you have believed, will you persevere in your Christian walk?

Concluding Thoughts on the Book of John

On the last night of BSF we typically have a sharing night where class members share with each other lessons and thoughts of the study. It is a very encouraging and motivating part of the lesson as the Holy Spirit continues to affirm that He is the one who reveals knowledge to each of us.

Below see some of my thoughts and I pray that you will be deeply encouraged/challenged as I was.

  1. The Father and the Son act in one accord always. Jesus acted in total obedience and submission to His father and was obedient to death, even death on the Cross (Philippians 2:8).
  2. God is Sovereign – He ordains all things so that scripture will be fulfilled. This was confirmed for me particularly at the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord – He was in charge at all points, even when He gave His spirit on the cross.
  3. Through looking at the relationship between Father and Son, I was able to reevaluate my identity as a Child of God (John 1:12 -13) and to critically evaluate those relationships that were providing a pseudo identity. It particularly helped to read that believers are a gift from the Father to the Son (John 17:2) and we are securely held in the Father and the Son’s hand (John 10:28).
  4. Believers bear fruit as they abide in Christ. This forced me to look at the Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) again and ask those around me to help me identify where I am not bearing fruit. It was challenging to hear but definitely true and it gave me another reason to trust and ask God to help me overcome this area of growth.
  5. The character that most reminded me of myself is definitely Peter. Oh how I wish I could say I was like John but I saw repeatedly how self confident I am as opposed to being God-confident.
  6. I was struck at how unbelief in Christ existed throughout the gospel. I had previously thought that it only grow during that Holy Week but it was only present among the Pharisees and the other Jewish leaders throughout His life on earth. However as John explicitly says that he wrote this book that we would believe and by believing we would have eternal life (John 20:31), this is what I learnt about belief:
    • Jesus confronts unbelief to expose the heart. I was particularly challenged at how praying small prayers ultimately demonstrated that I did not fully believe that God is able to achieve significantly above all I can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
    • A believers’ sole identity is in Christ and nothing (or no one) else.
    • God provides evidence for each step of belief.
  7. I also learnt that obedience is the lens that allows us to see the purpose that we were created for. Also, through the depth of my obedience am I able to show my love for Jesus Christ.

Having learnt all of this, I can also say that my discomfort at the number of the unreached (unsaved) also grew. It is appointed for man to die once and after that to face judgment (Hebrew 9:27). My responsibility is purely to share God’s word and leave it to Him as he awakens faith in us and causes us to believe. While scary, failure to believe means meeting Jesus as Judge as opposed to as Saviour and Great High Priest. So I pray that we may continue to share the reason for our Hope when asked (1 Peter 3:15).

 

break time

Christmas comes early when your office organizes a trip to the Coast and you all HAVE to be there for a week-why after all do we say Mombasa Raha? its been meeting after meeting and still more meetings thereafter until when i get to my room at night-its only sleep and nothing else. TOTAL bummer is all i can say. we break tomorrow and then i have to leave in the night as Saturday seven a.m. has to find me in Nairobi-without anything to say, had a chance to think a lot about stuff but nothing concrete yet so wait and see i guess.