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Dayle's Blog

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November 2018

21 Nov -Approved

How much of our life do we spend trying to prove something? Either that we are good enough, smart enough, rich enough, accomplished enough, or trying to prove someone else wrong for the things they have said or believed about us. Let’s face it, there is a certain satisfaction in overcoming or suceeding, especially if someone has said it wasn’t possible or that we couldn’t do it.

However there is also a danger in all our striving to prove ourselves,  in that we can waste alot of time and effort trying to win others approval when it has already been offered and made available to us  when we ask Jesus to be part of our life. We don’t have to be or do anything to prove our worth to Him because He loves us completely, and none of our human efforts, accomplishments, money, fame or the possible lack of these things is going to change how He sees and thinks about us. That’s because as Jesus died for our sins on the cross He said something really significant, He said,“it is finished”.

The work of securing our salvation; our deliverance from every evil, any lack, sickness, poverty and the needed approval so that we could be draw near to God who is holy was fulfilled and completed. On acceptance of this gift of salvation we instantly become good enough. Actually better than good enough; we become the righteousness of God, connected with the who’s who and creator of the universe, as the stain of guilt and falling short of any standard is removed. This means we can now just enjoy our work, interests, our discoveries and achievements without the need to use what we do as a way to prove ourselves. Now we can simply live; “being and doing” simply for the joy of it.

Don’t waste anymore time striving to gain approval or having to “work” in some to be good enough when Jesus has done all the hard work for our approval already. Today just appreciate and receive His free gift of salvation and then go and enjoy the rest of your day knowing you have His seal of approval.

Ephesians 1:3-6 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

Prayer: Lord thankyou that when I receive your gift of forgiveness and salvation I also receive your approval and therefore no longer have to prove anything to anyone. Help me to live in that place of rest,  knowing that I am loved and accepted. In Jesus name Amen.

20 Nov -Who’s at the door

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I have discovered that there are some visitors who tries to sneak into our home when we are not being vigilant to keep him out. Though our home welcomes many into it, I make every effort to keep the front door firmly shut to this particular visitor. He is definitely not welcome!

He loves strife, gossip, backbiting, fighting and anger. Actually he tries to bring some of his more unsavory mates along with him to visit too.
I tell our kids don’t let these guys in! But sometimes the door of our home is opened, and in they waltz bringing havoc with them. They even try to camp out and make themselves really comfortable in my lounge room, at the kitchen table, and  believe it or not in the bathroom!

Who are they you might ask?

Their names are strife, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, hatred, selfishness, and the master of evil Satan. They have access into our homes when we welcome them in by our negative attitudes, speech and the way we relate to one another.

Next time they show up at your house, “show them the door”. Then make sure you and your family keep your home firmly shut against them sneaking back in. No good comes from them hanging around.
Tell them they are not welcome. Not anytime, not anywhere, not ever!

The bible tells us know what Satan is the mastermind of, and to be vigilant against his schemes operating in our lives; “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16).

Instead we are encouraged to welcome Jesus, and the peace and bliss of heaven into our house.
However the wisdom that comes from heaven above, is first of all pure, then peace-loving, gentle, willing to yield, full of compassion and good deeds, and without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy”. (James 3:17)
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me”. (Revelation 3:20)

Make your home and family a place your’e glad to come home to.  You might need to kick some unwanted house guests out, but you’ll be glad you did.

Prayer: Lord help me wise up to those things that try and get a negative foothold in my life, family and home and that I will keep the door firmly closed to them and only welcome good in.. In Jesus name Amen

19 Nov – Shape the future

Raphael a famous Italian painter was asked which of his paintings was his greatest work? He thought for a moment and then said. “My next one“.

You can’t change the past and you definitely can’t live there, but you can shape the future, so make your future your best years ever. Which means today has the potential to be the best day ever!

When it seems impossible Jesus says to look to Him. Look to Him when it is looks too difficult, or you are struggling and disappointed. Look to Him when you are tempted to settle for second best in your life. Allow Jesus to speak to you, to put vision and dreams in your heart. He is the restorer of broken dreams. He infuses life into our hearts where we felt we were dead inside.

“He gives life to the dead and call things that are not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17)

Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before usfixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus came and gave His best – Himself; so that we could have a life; free from guilt, pain, shame and death. He is the ultimate positive thinker. He challenged traditions, and mindsets, stood up to hypocrisy and reached out to the lost, the hurting the unaccepted. He gave His life to free mankind from the evil plans of the devil. He is our example, our guidepost, our benchmark.

God gives us vision and strength to make a contribution to the world that is desperately in need of role models. All of us are born with incredible potential for greatness. Possibilities are unlimited. We are created to stand out, not to blend in. To shine. God plans and promises to strengthen each of us to rise above adversity, and struggles if we will follow His lead and take hold of Him. People are searching for a light, and Jesus says we are to be that light.

You are the light of the world.. let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven“. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Winston Churchill another person who “shone” in adversity once said, “Things don’t happen to me, I happen to things“. So I say, “Let’s go happen to things today”!

Prayer: Jesus I choose to fix my eyes upon you, and to have you as my example and guide. I want to live a life “happening” to things rather than waiting for things to happen to me. Lead, guide and strengthen me to live my best life. In Jesus name Amen.

 

18 Nov – Acceptance

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Acceptance -The process or fact of being adequate, valid or suitable. When we accept others we are welcoming and are more willing to regard something or someone favorably rather than with hostility or fear.

Love and acceptance are, when it comes down to it what we all desire. Everyone has been created with a huge capacity to love and be loved and when we accept firstly ourselves, feel accepted by others and bestow that acceptance upon others our capacity to love and be loved grows and can then be expressed.

Admittedly we are all different and there are times when we may wish we or those around us were not quite the way they are. It is okay to try to influence or impart positive attributes we hold to others but problems usually arise when we start to act and treat people out of an attitude and spirit of self-righteousness, anger, faultfinding, judgement and fear instead of walking in grace, acceptance and trusting God to work in people’s lives. He accepts us just the way we are, warts and all and it’s His job to touch peoples hearts to bring change and ours to follow His ways so that we can each live the full, vibrant and whole life He created us for.

It’s also important to understand that acceptance does not mean we agree, approve, waive our rights or negate how impacting others can be upon us, but to choose to allow people to be who they are and love them regardless. God is the one who created us in all our uniqueness, and even when we fail in ourselves or others negate to be the people they were made to be, walking in love and acceptance is how God treats us and just as His attitude and heart of acceptance blesses us our acceptance will also bring peace to our lives and more often than not facilitate a shift and change of things for the better in our relationships with others.

Today examine if you struggling with judgement and trying to change people yourself instead of trusting God to work things out so you can use your energy to focus on learning from Him on how to relate to others? Then take some time to consider whether you may need to receive God’s acceptance in a greater way for yourself so you can then begin to walk in that same attitude towards others.

Since God chose you to be the Holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowances for other people’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you.” (Colossians 3:12-13)

Prayer: Lord please help to receive your love and acceptance so that I can more easily become more accepting of others also. Thank you that you accept me. In Jesus name amen

16 Nov -Promise in my pocket

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When my husband and I were beginning our life together we had to believe God to provide for us. Philip my husband was busy at bible college finishing his studies and we had two young children. I learnt back then how important it was to not look at my circumstances, the uNncertainties of our future or what I didn’t think we had. Instead God taught me step by step to fix my eyes on Him and the promises He had made to me in His Word. I learnt the importance of going to God’s Word every time I got afraid or started worrying, and to find a promise. I would then write it down on a card and put it in my pocket. It became my weapon against fear, worry and any lies the devil would try to come against me with. It was a promise in my pocket, which I would throughout the day regularly take out, look at and declare over our circumstances.

I still keep promises in my pocket from time to time when I am pushing for something to happen, or I am concerned about things. Those promises in my pocket have seen me healed of sickness, have six babies with no pain, helped me to face and overcome  financial difficulties, navigate relationship issues, raise a healthy family, be part of a loving church family and seen us travel the world with our kids.

God is faithful to His Word for its part of who He is, and therefore He is alert and active watching over it to perform it. (John 1:1) When we receive and believe what God says to us in His Word our trust and faith is made stronger, and what we once thought was out of our reach or impossible becomes possible and a reality in our lives (Romans 10:17).

Today whatever you are facing or believing for God to do, find what He promises in His Word and get into agreement and apply it to your life. Write His promise to you down or put it on your phone or other device, and every time you think about or get into worry or stress about a situation take that promise out and pray and declare it with everything you’ve got.

Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it”. (Jeremiah 1:12)

For the word of God is alive and active”. (Hebrews 4:12)

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God”. (John 1:1)

Prayer: Lord thankyou for the promises in your Word. Please help me to find your promise for me regarding my circumstances and future.  Today I choose to hold onto and believe in the promise in my pocket. In Jesus name Amen

16 November 2018 – Walking on Water

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It’s so easy to focus on the problems and negative things happening around us. We hear about the state of the economy, education, health, and the world’s moral compass and we can be tempted to focus on these things until we get to the point of shaking our heads in discouragement, or making every effort to try to ignore it all.  I don’t believe it’s necessarily helpful to stick our heads in the sand and pretend everything’s rosy, but there is also a definite danger in allowing the negatives and concerns around us to become our focus, rather than putting our hope and trust in God’s goodness and ability.

Jesus highlighted the importance of keeping our eyes fixed on Him in the account of Peter walking on the water. It had been a busy day and Jesus had sent his friends before him in a boat while He dispersed the crowd, and spent some time alone praying.

Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.  Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased”. (Matthew 14:22-31)

Peter recognised Jesus and took the courageous step of climbing out of his boat in the middle of a stormy sea. He even walked on water just like Jesus, until he made a mistake that many of us still make – he chose to take his eyes off Jesus and consider his surroundings, rather than recognising who was with Him. Because of that He started to sink as he lost faith. He forgot about Jesus’ ability to care and override natural forces to do something supernatural like walking on water and calming the wind and waves. He forgot just how powerful Jesus is, and instead looked at a few waves, which he happened to have been previously walking on!

Faith is trust. It doesn’t necessarily make sense, but it does mean keeping our eyes on Jesus and choosing to focus on what He says and does, rather than the noise, other’s experiences, and the circumstances around us.

We won’t ever live the life that God says we can live in Him if we focus on anything but Him. It just doesn’t work. We can’t live healed and whole if we look at other people and what they have experienced, rather than what Jesus says in His word. We can’t live at peace when we read and listen to the noise of the world, instead of resting in His love. Nor will we know overflowing abundant life if we follow the crowd rather than fixing our eyes on Jesus and following Him and His ways.

However just as Jesus didn’t force Peter or any of the other disciples to step out of the boat, he won’t force us. It’s our choice whether we fix our gaze on Him or whether we do our own thing. As for me, I’d rather be walking on water with Jesus any day, because really how cool is that!

Prayer: Lord please help me today to keep my eyes fixed on you rather than on people, circumstances or the noise around me. For with you I can “walk on the water”, and conqueror any storm in my life. In Jesus name Amen!

15 Nov – In the quiet He is there

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There are some circumstances in life where our world can be exploding with noise and some of that noise is deafening, chaotic and can even throw us off balance.

I’ve discovered that quiet is vital to us being able to journey through the ups and downs of life. It’s in the quiet that God can be found and it’s there that He restores our soul. In the quietness we are made strong as Jesus calls us to be still so that He can bring rest and peace to our busy minds and hearts.

Yet how much time do we give to quiet and finding Jesus there? Perhaps instead of quietness and rest many of us have learnt to hear the voice of the world and it’s  constant chatter and noise, but have failed to learn and to recognise God’s voice in the quiet.

Psalm 23 encourages us to discover quietness and to seek and be led to quiet places.

 “The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (my life);He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-2 Amplified version)

Today think about the past 24 hours of your life. How much quiet have you had? What noise in your life keeps you from hearing God’s voice?

Try this challenge – for one week. Spend five minutes each day sitting with Jesus in quiet.  Don’t read, petition or recite off your list of thoughts and requests to Him. Just sit and absorb the quiet and focus on Him. What might He say when you stop long enough in the quiet to listen, and how much stonger and more at peace will you be?

Take time to allow Him to restore and to bring strength today. For “In quietness and confident trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

To help you to take the steps to quietness and to firstly focus upon Jesus  have a listen to “In the quiet” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzuHsX4YecY

Prayer: Lord please help me to find you in the quiet. To take the time to still my heart and mind each day so that I might simply sit with you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

14 Nov -When life hurts

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We live in a broken world and unfortunately sometimes we will be faced with painful experiences, frustrations and disappointment. Walking with God doesn’t mean life is always a party or filled with positivity. At times we will have to face, and do hard things.

The bible is full of the passionate emotion of people crying out in lament, questions, pain, frustrations and disappointments to God. In our Western culture we are often taught to keep a “stiff upper lip”, and to “suck it up princess”. But God actually wants us to be honest with Him and to share our hearts, even if that means with tears and lamenting. He knows there is healing found in that place with Him.

Jesus Himself wept and cried out to the Father.

Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah would be “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).(Matthew 27:46)

Where have you laid him,” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they answered. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”…(John 11:34-35)

The bible says we are to imitate Jesus, meaning we are to rejoice, to celebrate, to speak God’s word, to mourn with those who mourn, to cry out, to weep. We are to imitate His feelings, His emotions, His expressions, and His actions. If Jesus feels, then it must be okay for us to feel too. Minimising our feelings can actually rob us of intimacy with God, as He doesn’t see our relationship being conditional on us always feeling great, or having it all together. We can also grow close to Him in disappointment, pain and frustration.

Are you hurting? Take the opportunity to open up your heart and be honest with God about how you feel. Our pain and disappointment can be pathways for a deeper relationship with Him.

In Psalms 30:5 David sings “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” This is a promise that even when life hurts, it will not be forever. Be honest; cling to God, tell Him how you feel,  and know that “He will perfect that which concerns you,” and bring you through whatever you are facing(Psalm 138:8)

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

14 Nov – A catalyst for change

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Discontentment is our heart being dissatisfied – so what is it that we feel dissatisfied about? 

I’ve learnt that when we fail to get quiet and to listen to God speaking to our hearts what usually happens is we keep doing the same things day in and day out, yet failing to see that the reasons we are feeling so frustrated and discontented with our life are the exact issues God wants to deal within us and to change.

God will also often allow us to become uncomfortable and discontented as a catalyst for change, which is why it pays to listen and take notice of what is stirring in our hearts so we don’t miss God talking to us.

Today I encourage you to take a moment to schedule in some time with God to reflect and pray so that you can hear Him speaking to your heart. Remember at times God does allow us to be discontented and uncomfortable so that we will stop and take time to assess our lives and seek Him for guidance. Perhaps today your discontentment is actually God orchestrated and is Him trying to catch your attention so that He can speak and lead you to make some needed changes in your life?

I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.” (Proverbs 18:7)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-6)

Prayer: Lord please help me to be in tune with how I am actually feeling and thinking, and to seek you as to whether my discontentment is due to you wanting me to deal with an issue or whether you have something new for my life. Help me to hear you clearly today. In Jesus name amen

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