je cours

purposefully press forward

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also. Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.

– Philippians 3:10‭-‬16

https://bible.com/bible/8/php.3.10-16.AMPC

#runwildlivefree

rejoice in the wilderness

rejoice || wilderness

a well in the wasteland.

There are times in life where we’re “stuck” in the in-between.

One of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn, is to actively wait while I’m in the in-between.

As Westerners, we’re conditioned to be time-conscious — not to waste time, but to save it and steward it.

What I’ve learnt is that ACTIVE waiting is very different from PASSIVE waiting.
The in-between is a time for growth.
A time for stewardship, for cultivating, for digging deeper wells.

In the desert, there is no commodity more valuable than water.

When you don’t know what’s next, or even if you know, and you’re waiting for the release, don’t pop up an umbrella and camp out under the palm trees of the oasis.

Now is the time to break through the hard ground, to dig deep, to be filled with Living Water that flows out of your belly.

His promise is that this will bring healing to the Nations.

#runwildlivefree

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 NIVUK

seed for sowing

“I was once young, and now I am old, but not once have I been witness to God’s failure to supply my need when I had first given for the furtherance of His work. He has never failed in His promise, so I cannot fail in my service to Him.”

William Carey
1761-1834; British missionary to India
“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” – 2 Corinthians 9:10

Everything God gives us has two purposes:

  1. seed to sow
  2. food to eat

God provides us with seed. We are to plant this seed where God directs us. It is foolishness to expect a harvest where no seed has been sown. You only receive when you give.

In the right environment, a small seed has the potential to become a powerful tree. We see this in Isaiah 55:10-11 explains this, illustrating that when God’s Word enters our hearts, the seed of faith brings us to Salvation; and now that we are saved, we are to share the Good News of Salvation with others so that they too might know their Saviour.

We are not called to be consumers, but farmers.

Every truth and endowment that God has given you is for your benefit, but it is also destined to bless others.

As Believers, we often think that giving is limited to tithing — if that, and rarely do we give as if we serve a God whom we cannot out-give. He is able to supply abundantly according to our every need, yet we often live as if we’re not convinced that He will.

Be willing to share what God has given you — finances, skill, time, resources, relationships.

“I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you.”

Acts 20:20

Freely you have received, now freely give — this is the heart of Missions.

GIVE: your prayers, your material resources, the Message of the Good News, your giftings and anointing.

“Heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

Matthew 10:8-9
14 Later as they were eating, Jesus appeared to the Eleven and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned
Mark 16:14-16

click here if you’d like to give to World Missions.

the purpose of wealth

“The world asks, ‘what does a man own?’ Christ asks, ‘how does he do it?'”

Andrew Murray
1828 – 1917
South African pastor and author
“You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him.” – Deuteronomy 15: 9 – 10

When Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt, they left with all the wealth of Egypt and disappeared into the desert with it. Why did God place a great wealth into the hands of a people who would have nowhere to spend it?

Moses knew the answer to this question, but his brother Aaron did not.

The purpose of the wealth was to build God a tabernacle so that He could dwell among His people in the wilderness. When Moses went up the mountain for 40 days, the people grew restless, and urged Aaron to provide leadership. Because he lacked vision and understanding of wealth, Aaron instructed them to bring their gold, and they made a golden calf to worship.

If we don’t understand the purpose of wealth, Christian leaders today also run the risk of building idols. So, what is the purpose of wealth? We are blessed to be a blessing, not to squander it on ourselves.

We can build larger churches, but without fervor for the lost, they simply become temples to Man’s glory, rather than places to disciple the incoming harvest of souls.

every tribe and tongue

“After these things, I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” – Revelation 7:9

How did this great multitude get there?

Someone went, someone was sent, someone was finances, and someone had been praying.

They got there because Jesus died for their sins, and charged His faithful followers to go to the ends of the earth.

Someone plowed. Someone seeded the fertile soil. Someone tended the field. Someone will bring in the harvest.

1 Corinthians 3:6-7

John 4:37-38

Each member of the Body of Christ has a part to play in God’s World Harvest Team.

Some are called to go to the nations and some have a part to play back home — one is not more important than the other. Collectively, we have the power to change the eternal destiny of entire nations.

Muacahona tribe, Angola

Every believer is called to the harvest. The task of world missions is the responsibility of every Christian; there is no one exempt — it is the responsibility of every pastor, the nursery worker, the sound engineer, the worship leader, the child, the mother, and the father.

If we rise up and take responsibility to do something, we would reach our generation.

Take charge of your heart and life, and begin to say, “Here I am Lord, use me.”

Wold Missions cannot be treated as a side-issue because it ultimately involves the destiny of nations, tribes, people and tongues.

There are more than 200 tribes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, most of whom are unreached by the Gospel.

Saints gather at the throne of God. Their praise is not directed at missionaries, financial givers, or anyone who played a part in them getting to heaven.

Revelation 7:9

Regardless of our level of commitment or sacrifice, we are merely doing what is expected of us as co-labourers together with Christ.

All the increase and glory comes from God, and therefore must be returned to Him.

“I will go anywhere, provided it be forward.”

David Livingstone
Pioneer, adventurer, discoverer, and missionary.

All vision is born in our hearts, not by the size of the task or need, but by the love of Him who saved us.

“We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it.”

P.F. Bresee
1838-1915
founder of the Church of the Nazarene

vision for the harvest

“We must be global Christians with a global vision, because our God is a global God.”

– John Scott, 1921
British Pastor and Evangelical leader
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘come to Macedonia hand help us.'”Acts 16:9

Recognizing God’s appeal in this vision, Paul’s ministry took a drastic turn and he went to Macedonia.

Vision turns us toward the purposes of God, and for some, this heavenly touch will activate us into reaching the nations.

Vision is defined as the ability to see into the realm of the Spirir and thus be awakened as to what God has implanted in you for your life and ministry.

Without vision it is unlikely that we, as creatures of habit, will change course.

When we hear God’s appeal for labourers to go into His vineyards, our lives are changed to live sacrificially so that His vision can be fulfilled.

Paul was thrown in jail because he cast a demon out of a young woman, but he found great solace in the knowledge that he had been faithful to that which God called Him to.

All Christians agree that the Great Commission should be a priority, but few regard this as a personal mandate. Although you may give mental assent to the Great Commission, you will never accept it as a personal responsibility without vision.

Vision without corresponding action will cause frustration, and destiny will be denied. One man said that he would rather die doing the will of God, than live outside of His plan. When someone asked Hellen Keller what was worse than being blind, she said, “to have sight but no vision.”

Do you have a dream?

Do you have sight but no vision?

There is a Macedonian call coming to the hearts of those that are hungry for God.

It is the cry of the neglected, the abused, the sick, and the broken.

Nations are calling. Will you hear and respond?

Three years ago, my friend Sanet told me, “Aligning yourself with Holy Spirit is more important than aligning yourself with offense,” and it still resonates within me — when we choose to align with Holy Spirit, and allow Him to renew our thoughts and hearts, offense becomes a matter of little importance as we learn to forgive and set free.

In Matthew 14, we read of John the Baptist’s execution.

The disciples brought this news to Jesus, and He withdrew in a boat to a solitary place. Crowds of people followed Him, and when He saw them, He went ashore, had compassion for them, and cured their sick.

Later in the chapter we also read about the miracle where Jesus used a couple loaves and two fish to feed the multitudes.

His cousin had just been murdered, and normally it wouldn’t be too much to ask for a quiet moment alone, but rather than being offended, Jesus was compassionate.

Compassion will propel you beyond your natural resources and your comfort zone; it prompts us to look beyond our own needs and pain, and urges us to respond to the move of Holy Spirit.

a heart of compassion

One of the ways we express love is by showing compassion.There are multiple verses from Scripture that attribute compassion to God’s character. As much as He is Love, and Good, and King, and Just, and Kind, and Fair, He is compassionate — slow to become angry, and abundant in mercy.

Compassion is deeper than sympathy in that it urges us to take action.

Compassion

Merriam-Webster’s definition of Compassion.

Here are the Scriptures we’ll be looking at in this Devotional:

Compassion will propel you beyond your natural resources to access heaven’s resources; prompting you to look beyond your own needs, desires, and pain, as it urges you to respond to the move and unction of Holy Spirit.

Compassion has power because it’s God’s own power that is at work in us, and through us. Compassion calls you out of the boat, beyond your self-imposed limitations, beyond your comfort zone, into the uncharted waters where the glory of God dwells.

We must ask God to revive a heart of COMPASSION within us — to feel what He feels, to see through His eyes, and to respond with His heart, and His love.

This is the heart of missions.

#runwildlivefree

The Star Breather 

He is faithful to complete the good work He started with in us!
#runwildlivefree

firechronicles

In 2010 I had a dream in which I was standing on a balcony, and I was browsing through the stars in much the same way that you would browse through Google Sky Maps.

I remember that the galaxies I saw before me seemed thick and soupy and I couldn’t resist the urge to dive in. So, I jumped over the balcony rail and I started swimming through the stars.

As I swam, I came to a white house with Grecian pillars framing the front door. I wanted to knock, but before my knuckles could reach the door, a woman with long dark hair opened the door, and she spoke to me in Hebrew, saying “I know why you are here. You have come to find the one they call Yeshua.” And then she invited me inside. Up until this day I have no idea how I was able…

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mid-week encouragement

the sons of God are lead by the Spirit of God || Romans 8:14

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Yeshua . For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what was impossible for the Torah —since it was weakened on account of the flesh—God has done. Sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as a sin offering, He condemned sin in the flesh— so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Ruach . For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Ruach set their minds on the things of the Ruach . For the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Ruach is life and shalom . For the mindset of the flesh is hostile toward God, for it does not submit itself to the law of God—for it cannot. So those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Ruach —if indeed the Ruach Elohim dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Ruach of Messiah, he does not belong to Him. But if Messiah is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Ruach of the One who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Ruach who dwells in you. So then, brothers and sisters, we do not owe anything to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Ruach you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live. For all who are led by the Ruach Elohim , these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall again into fear; rather, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Ruach Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, also heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Messiah—if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Romans 8:1‭-‬17

#runwildlivefree

https://bible.com/bible/314/rom.8.1-17.TLV

the Good Shepherd

I recently sat down to review some of the work I’ve been doing over the past few months, and, as most of you will probably know, I’m finishing up a couple work-things as part of the final preparation before leaving for Zambia.

Anyway, as this review came up, I was reminded of my last “working day” of 2018.
I was still in Mahahe, Namibia, and I had 8 hours to go before getting on the bus to Zambia (via Zimbabwe and Botswana — yes, things don’t always go as planned but that’s part of the adventure).

I was writing about John the Baptist, as part of the series of stories I’m doing for Online Church, and consulted my friend Hugo about the Theology of baptism.

Obviously, this is an important subject to write about. I wanted to be extra careful to write the Truth, and to not sound preachy while doing it.

These children’s stories are available free of charge online — that’s a rather large audience, and, of course, I don’t know these kids’ knowledge or background regarding baptism. And, aside from the children, there will be parents watching and hearing and processing this too. How do I write the Truth without involving Theology?

Rather than advising me about what to write, Hugo suggested that we should pray about it. Which we did. And then I wrote what Holy Spirit lead me to say.

This extract from Psalm 23 is part of those writings.

As I look back on the adventures of the last few months, and the craziness of the last few weeks, I’m drawn closer to times of prayer — leaning in to the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Psalm 23 is probably one of the most well-known Scriptures, right along with John 3:16&17, and 1 Corinthians 13, though I doubt we take the time to dissect this passage, and to pray over it.

The past few weeks and months have presented various challenges and difficulties, but as Hugo reminded me, when we face a problem — physical or spiritual — the best thing we can often do about it, is to pray.

David, when he wrote this song, was a young shepherd boy who lived in the field with his flock. There was nothing famous or important about him, but he knew how to hold on to and grasp revelations of Truth.

Just as David was taking care of his sheep, he knew God was also taking care of him.

As a kid who grew up in the lush green that the Northern Drakensberg had to offer, I’ve always imagined Psalm 23 to resemble the rolling foothills of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

However, upon visiting Israel in October 2018, I came to know the bitter truth — the green pastures David spoke of look nothing like the paradise of my childhood.

The reality of the Psalm 23 in which David’s praise-song was set, was rugged and harsh desert landscape, just outside of Palestine.

But, the more I looked around, I noticed that it was in fact not just rocks and desert, and a hot wind that scorched your skin. There is some grass! And the modern-day shepherds, just like the shepherds of old, I’m sure, knew where to find the good stuff.

They weren’t following the flock from rock to rock, but they were walking in the front, with the sheep following them, leading them from one patch of shade to the next, providing shelter and food as they went along.

The Shepherd does not only ward off danger, herding the flock together, He walks in front of the sheep and He shows them the paths of Life. He provides for the body, and for the soul.

The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.

You see, so often, we have things backwards.

When we’re confronted with difficulty, we should draw near, and not shrink back, from Him who restores our souls and gives us rest.

Is there any better approach to solving a problem than asking the Shepherd who knows all things how to approach it?

In Him we always have more than enough.

This gives me the courage to press forward, even if the future seems unstable and uncharted.

I’ve been living out of a suitcase for 126 days, and each in-between-suitcase-day has been absolutely worth it. I’m looking forward to the suitcase living and planned (and unplanned) adventures that lie ahead!

I don’t know exactly how things will turn out, but I trust the Good Shepherd, and that’s more than enough! All in pursuit of the Kingdom!

#runwildlivefree

Cornelia’ version of Psalm 23

The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. The Lord gives me a place to rest — I am safe in His love. The Lord makes me whole, and gives me new life. He shows me the paths of life, and leads me to walk in His ways. By walking where He guides me, I bring honour to His name.

Lord, when your path takes me through valleys of darkness, I will not let fear be my master because You take care of me. You remain close to me, and lead me all the way!

In your presence, I am strong, and my heart is filled with peace. Your love comforts me, and takes away my fear. I will never be lonely because you are always near!

You anoint me with your Holy Spirit, and you fill me until my heart feels like it will burst!

I am not afraid of the future because Your goodness and love is always with me — all the days of my life.

And afterward, when all my days have been lived, I will enjoy your presence — forever with You!

God watches over us. He takes care of us, and gives us everything we need. In His presence we are safe and fully loved.

“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6

vision

Vision.

It’s a one syllable word. And a perfectly simple one at that. Right?

If you look up “vision”, the OED will tell you that it means a) the ability to see, b) the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom, c) a mental image of what the future could be like, and Vision also happens to be a Marvel superhero. (There are other definitions too, but this is not a vocabulary lesson.)

In other words, to have vision implies looking at something with faith and hope. Now, why does that sound so familiar? Oh yes, of course: Jeremiah 29:11.

This morning I spent nearly three hours raking the leaves in my garden into heaps and pulling the weeds out of the lawn as I went along. Winter is hard work. Anyway, I had my iPod playing while I eagerly started out my task. Soon enough a hymn came across the playlist: Be Thou My Vision. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. It has a really catchy Irish tune. If you, for the moment, forgot how it goes, check out this cover by Noteworthy.

So, anyway, the song stuck with me, and I went looking for the scriptures that inspired this hymn.

It’s from Ephesians 1: 17-23 and Colossians 3 : 11

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot this week is that scripture in Matthew 14 where Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and Jesus tells him (Peter) to get out of the boat and come to him. Peter starts out great, but soon enough he starts sinking. Because he took his eyes off Jesus.

I think it’s easy to loose sight of God. Not because we’re distracted necessarily, though that can sometimes be the issue, but often simply because we have our own agenda.

When Peter got out of the boat his goal was to reach Jesus. That was what he was focused on and what he was going for. Now, I’m pretty sure there might have been waves spraying into Peter’s eyes and he might have been afraid, but the minute he stepped out of the boat, he walked in faith. Yes, he started sinking and he cried out to God to save him. Jesus said, “you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

When I think about “little faith” I’m reminded about Matthew 13, just one chapter earlier, where Jesus says in v31:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Faith in obedience has the power to move mountains. If we act on a word of God we shall be like the believers described in Matthew 10. It’s not just about the supernatural, but it also is. If we call ourselves Christians we simply cannot live ordinary lives.

be thou my vision

And this hymn reminds me of that — to live with heavenly perspective. He is my battle shield. His Word is my sword. He is my strong tower. He is my delight.

I pray that you might see Him and have the courage to step out of the boat. Yes, it’s scary and sometimes the waves are pretty big and the wind blows strong and throws you off balance.

But keep your eyes on Him.

Act in obedience and walk by faith, not be sight.

Stepping out in faith is not knowing that Peter walked on water. Faith is getting out of your own boat, whether you’re wearing a life jacket or not, and whether you’re knee deep in the water and surrounded by a storm or not, to still trust that God has plan for your life; knowing Holy Spirit will guide you; knowing Jesus will reach out to catch you; knowing Father will embrace you; and doing the impossible because God is a God of wonders.