quinta-feira, 30 de setembro de 2010

DAY 30 BEARERS OF LIGHT




DAY 30 BEARERS OF LIGHT

How can I most effectively help others?

This is the final day in this series. If you have followed these studies to this point, you have begun to set in place a solid foundation for your life as a believer. My goal at the outset was to help you explore some basic truths and establish patterns of thinking about your spiritual life. It was to build momentum toward a future in which you are vitally related to Christ. I am deeply grateful if these goals have been met. In fact, little could give me more joy than to know you are well on your way toward a growing, rewarding and purposeful walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I want to encourage you to be a bearer of the light you have received. You can now be a light to help others. Light is a powerful metaphor in the Bible, and it is always set in contrast to darkness.

* In the beginning of creation, when darkness covered the earth, God simply said, "Let there be light" -- and there was light (Genesis 1:3)
* Jesus came into a dark fallen world as Light: "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness" (John 1:4,5)
* On one occasion, Jesus forgave a woman caught in adultery, then said: "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12)

When you came to Christ, you came out of darkness and received that light. Paul observed: "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1:13). And Peter says, "(He) called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).

A fascinating aspect of light is that it always extinguishes the darkness. Even a single candle burning in a dark room illuminates everything in that room. We can even consider the Internet from the perspective of darkness and light. Someone told me the Internet is 80-85 percent darkness. That may be so, but I praise God for the 15 percent that is light, because we know that light will ultimately overcome the darkness. Sending these studies to every corner of the world, some of which are very dark, is testimony to the power of light.

How can you be a bearer of light?

* If you have encountered the truth of the gospel on a website, share that site with a friend. If you want to share my story, it is at www.lifesgreatestquestion.com.
* Look for doors the Lord may open for you to tell a family member, a friend or coworker about Christ.
* Let your transformed life be a beacon of light as the light of Christ flows through you. Remember, we are merely the conduits for the light. It is the light from Christ in us that will reach into the lives of others.

I close this study with the charge Jesus gave His followers in the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew 5:14-16. It is a challenge to you and to me -- that we might be His light-bearers wherever He takes us for the rest of our days.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.

May God bless and keep you always.

John Beckett

Final Thought I will bear His light to others who are in darkness.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

quarta-feira, 29 de setembro de 2010

Tithing - the Generosity Habit. By Kevin Miller

Tithing - the Generosity Habit
by Kevin Miller

When it comes to giving, Marvin Kehler, business man and Christian leader doesn’t think it is complicated.

tithing"It all starts with God putting a desire in your heart. Once that happens, God begins to supply the means to fulfill it."

Marvin and his wife Katherine have applied this simple philosophy throughout their personal and professional lives. God has honored their unconditional willingness to give of their time, talents, and resources by providing them with more opportunities to give than they ever could have imagined. Looking back on Marvin’s early years it’s easy to see why giving has become such a natural part of his and Katherine’s lives.

Planting the Desire
There was not a lot of money around when Marvin was born in the small town of Altona, Manitoba in 1938. Like most Canadians, Marvin’s parents were still struggling through the midst of the Great Depression. Marvin’s father ran his own business but the family was still very poor.

Despite their poverty, Marvin began to note how other family members always seemed to depend on his parents for help. This included some of his parents' siblings as well as Marvin's grandfather, who was a teacher and lay pastor.

"When things fell apart for other family members, it was interesting how many of them ended up at our place," Marvin says. "Strangely, there always seemed to be enough 'extra' to go around for those in need."

When Marvin was in his teen years, his parents bought his grandparents' chicken and raspberry farm and moved to Abbotsford British Columbia. It was a tough go with little profit to be made, but Marvin's parents stuck it out, even taking jobs off the farm to keep things going. Although Marvin didn't realize it at the time, he later learned that his parents were giving 50 percent of the farm profits to Christian causes.

"That had a phenomenal impact on my life. I thought that was definitely the way to do it."

Responding to the Call
When Marvin and Katherine got married and started a new life on their own, they were determined to continue practicing the habits of generosity Marvin had picked up from his parents.

They told God they were willing to go anywhere, do anything, and give whatever he asked. They got very involved sharing the gospel with as many people as possible.

One of Marvin's responsibilities was helping to raise money for a Christian ministry. But he found the task so difficult and time consuming that he decided to get into business for himself so he would have more of his own resources to give.

"At first, my goal was to make a lot of money. Then I realized that was relatively easy. It was also meaningless. But giving a lot of money, that’s a different story that helps our faith to increase."

God rewarded Marvin and Katherine's willingness to obey him by blessing his business with tremendous success. After reaching his financial goals at the young age of 32, Marvin went on to get involved in many more ministries and businesses, further increasing his wealth and his ability to give.

Multiplying the Means
It was around this time that Marvin started to look at various Christian organizations in light of his business experience. What he discovered alarmed him and provided Marvin with an opportunity to put his ideas to the test by becoming involved in the Canadian branch of Campus Crusade for Christ. Marvin willingly took on the task of serving as president, and vowed to help create an organization that leveraged every dollar they raised to its maximum potential. He looked at an investment in Campus Crusade - or any Christian organization for that matter - just like any other type of investment; the goal being to get the maximum return on your dollar.

With God's guidance, over Marvin's 28-year tenure as president, he and the rest of the Crusade staff were able to help share with millions of people how they can personally have a relationship with Jesus. And God has rewarded their faithfulness by entrusting them with even greater resources, just as He promises in the Bible. (Matthew 25:14–30)

In 1976, Crusade’s budget was only $189,000 and it was costing them well over a dollar for every person with whom they shared the gospel. Today, Crusade’s annual budget is upwards of $20 million, and, thanks to new strategies, new technology and strategic partnerships, sharing the gospel costs only pennies per person.

Lessons Learned
Along the way, Marvin and Katherine have learned some important principles about life and giving. Here are a few:

God Owns Everything - We Are Only Managers

"It's okay to earn money," Marvin says, "but you shouldn't try to hold onto it. God has made us like a flow-through system, not a reservoir. Money is a lot like water - the tighter you hold onto it, the more it leaks out of your hands. The temptation to hold on is always there. But you are more blessed to allow the money you make to flow through to others."

You Can Give Much More Than Your Money
In addition to their financial resources, Marvin believes it's just as important that people share their time, talents and influence.

He notes that many people respond to this by saying, "But I don’t have anything to give:" however, Marvin strongly disagrees.

"God gives us all twenty-four hours a day. We need to ask ourselves, 'How am I using it? How am I using it to affect my sphere of influence? Am I truly being salt and light to my friends and associates? Is Jesus being lifted up?’ I believe we are going to be as accountable for our time, talents and influence as we are for our possessions."

The Time to Give is Now
Years back, a friend of Marvin's who had lost a huge fortune told him, "You can only give it when you’ve got it.” That made a deep impression upon Marvin.

"I realized that you can only give your time when you have your health. The same goes for talent, money and influence. As the saying goes, 'If you don’t use it, you lose it.'"

You Can Only Give What You Have
Many times Marvin has heard people say something to the effect of, “Well, if I had money like that guy, I’d give it too!” But Marvin encourages people not to look to those who are wealthy but rather to look to their own situation. "What are you doing with what you have now? Are you being faithful with what God has already given you? As you are faithful, he will bless you."

On the flip side, if you feel God calling you to give but you don't have the necessary resources right now, Marvin encourages you to keep the vision of the call anyway and believe that God will supply the means at the appropriate time.

Always Seek the Best Return on Your Giving Investment

“Choosing where to give is as critical as any other investment I’ve ever made,” Marvin says.

He recommends that you seek out organizations whose goal is to share God’s message of salvation with the greatest number of people possible so that none should perish (John 3:16) and who have the ability to do this as effectively and as efficiently as possible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

God is the one that causes the increase through the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in each believer. That’s the abundant life.

If you, like Marvin, are looking for the abundant, deeply satisfying relationship with God, I encourage you to pray by faith and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God has given you His Holy Spirit to help you live life according to His perfect plan. Why not pray this simple prayer and by faith invite Him to fill you with His Spirit:

Dear Father, I need you. I acknowledge that I have sinned against you by directing my own life. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ's death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

We would love to hear from you. If today, you prayed to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sin and control your life, why don't you let us know by filling out this form:
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DAY 29 NEXT STEPS

DAY 29 NEXT STEPS

What do I do next?

The other day I was in a meeting with a woman, now in her eightieth year. She is one of the most godly, mature Christians I have ever known. Yet at one point she said wistfully, "I'm no where near where I want to be in my prayer life." This was not false humility. This was the heart-cry of one who has gone deeply enough with the Lord to know there is so much more.

Such a realization should not discourage us, but rather serve as a strong motivator to pursue spiritual growth with undaunted passion. It was toward the end of the Apostle Paul's life, having seen incredible evidences of God's power and provision that he said, "That I may know Him ... " (Philippians 3:10). That same passion is what prompted him to say, as might a great athlete who is straining toward the finish line:

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me ... one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14, emphasis added).

T. Austin Sparks describes the wonder and challenge of our growing in Christ this way:

The effect of the Holy Spirit's work in us is to bring us to the shore of a mighty ocean which reaches far, far beyond our range, and concerning which we feel -- Oh, the depths, the fullness, of Christ! If we live as long as ever man lived, we shall still be only on the fringe of this vast fullness that Christ is (Sparks, The School of Christ).

This study will end tomorrow. You have stayed involved for a full 30 days, and I want to commend you. But I hope I have inspired you to press on -- to go the next step, and then the next. As much ground as we've covered in these 30 days, we have only "come to the shore of a mighty ocean." There is so much more! And God has given us the capacity to receive so much more.

By now I hope you have become accustomed to looking up scriptures, at least the ones in this study. I also hope you are beginning to read the Word each day on your own, letting its truths shape your thinking and actions. It would be wonderful to know you've made some Christian friends and are meeting together, praying together, caring for each other's needs. How good it would be to know you are hearing sound, biblically based teaching. Most important of all, I trust you are drawing close to the Lord Himself, sensing His love, being strengthened with the grace only He can give.

Finally, some great additional study materials are available through the Internet. Take advantage of these resources to continue your growth. Don't let up, but rather make continual growth your highest priority. Trust the Holy Spirit to provide what you need, remembering that "He who has begun a good work in you will complete it, until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

An excellent site through which you can connect with a variety of proven, valuable resources is www.looktojesus.com. At this site you will find Ten Basic Steps, Transferable Concepts and other helpful materials.

In addition, here are several other websites, some with studies for each day of the year:

* My Utmost for His Highest: http://www.myutmost.org/
* Experiencing God: http://swcbc.org/exp_god/
* Purpose Driven Life: http://www.purposedrivenlife.com/
* John Beckett's study helps: http://www.masteringmonday.com/


Key Scripture I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).
Key Thought There is so much more! Knowing Christ is a lifelong pursuit.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

segunda-feira, 27 de setembro de 2010

DAY 28 NEAR THE CROSS

DAY 28 NEAR THE CROSS

Why is the cross Jesus endured so vital to me?

As we near the end of our studies, I want to encourage you to "live near the Cross." This means to live moment by moment in the reality of what Jesus provided for us through His sacrificial death.

When I first heard someone urging that I "live near the cross," it seemed strange. The Cross is where a terrible death took place. The Cross is where nearly everyone abandoned Jesus. Why would I want to live in such a place? The reason is that the Cross is the ultimate place of victory, and the nearer we are to the Cross, the closer we are to that triumph. As Isaiah prophesied, and Paul reiterated -- at the Cross "Death is swallowed up in victory" (Isaiah 25:8, 1 Corinthians 15:54).

The most helpful way I've found to understand the benefits of the cross in my life is to consider the exchanges that took place there (courtesy of a little booklet from Derek Prince Ministries).

* Through the punishment inflicted on Jesus, we were forgiven (Isaiah 53:4-5).
* Jesus was wounded at Calvary that we might be healed (Isaiah 53:4-5).
* Through Jesus' death we are able to receive His life (Hebrews 2:9).
* Jesus endured our poverty that we might share His abundance (2 Corinthians 8:9).
* Jesus endured our rejection that we might have His acceptance with the Father (Ephesians 1:5-6).
* Jesus was made a curse that we might enter into blessing (Galatians 3:13).

What came from these exchanges defines the contours of your new life in Christ. Consider each with care, for when your faith is tested, when you doubt, when you struggle in a particular area, you can appropriate all that came forth from Jesus' finished work on the Cross. Jesus left nothing incomplete, nothing to be revisited at a future date.

Still, you might ask, why is it important to live near the Cross? Think of it this way. The Cross is like the headwaters of a river. As the river flows out, it becomes less like the source. It picks up contaminants. It gets muddied. It is less pure. Is this not the problem of much of contemporary "religion"? Through time, neglect, and the influence of human methods, the central message becomes distorted, leaving only a "shadow," not the "substance" (see Colossians 2:17). You need to go back to the Source, and that source is the Cross of Jesus Christ.

How do you live near the cross? Suppose someone offends you. You may not feel the least bit forgiving. You say, "She was the one in the wrong." Or, "He needs to come to me and apologize." But as you come near the Cross you realize you are newly impacted by Jesus' incredible forgiveness towards you when He took the full punishment you deserved. This gives you the capacity to forgive the one who has offended you, regardless of where the fault lies. Even though you may not feel forgiving (that will likely follow), you can, in fact, forgive. You can say, "I forgive my friend." "I forgive my father or my mother." So it is in other areas. Do you feel your life is cursed? At the Cross you realize Jesus actually became a curse for you so you could receive His blessings. Are you struggling with rejection? At the Cross, you encounter His amazing acceptance, even with all you've done wrong, or may do wrong in the future.

Thank God your life is not designed for defeat, for despair, for destitution and degradation. Paul says that in Christ you are "more than [a] conqueror" (Romans 8:37). You are designed to "reign in life" (Romans 5:17). You are able to live victoriously for one and only one reason. It has nothing to do with doing good works or observing certain rituals. It's not something you can do for yourself. It is solely because of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Live near the Cross. It is the gateway to freedom.

Key Scripture [Jesus], for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
Key Thought "I will live my life near the cross of Jesus. It’s my place of victory".

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 27 WHEN WE STUMBLE

DAY 27 WHEN WE STUMBLE

How do I get back up after I fall?

One of the most critical moments in the lives of believers is when they stumble. We're all vulnerable, and it happens to everyone at some point. We are going along, progressing in our Christian walk. We're getting to know God. We're adjusting our thought life. We're overcoming some bad habits. Then, boom! Without warning, we do something "really stupid." Maybe it's an outburst of rage at something, or someone, in unrestrained anger. Or, maybe just as we start to get free of an impure sexual habit, we revert back as though nothing had changed in our lives. Or, maybe we have a nasty moment of gloating over someone else's failure, swelling us with ugly pride.

Our next steps after that stumble are really important. Why? Because right after a failure, we will either draw back from our relationship with the Lord, or we will press into Him, drawing closer than ever. We are at a fork in the road. Let's see where each of these opposite paths takes us.

On one path you progressively distance yourself from God. You may be overcome with guilt from what you've done, thinking ... "I've blown it. I'm a failure. I'm not worthy. God doesn't want me the way I am." Or, you may become hardened, justifying yourself: "He deserved my tongue-lashing." "She set me up for that moral failure. It's her fault."

The further you go down this path, the more difficult it is to recover. Some never do. They abandon their faith and give up on trying to walk further with Jesus. Sadly, the world is full of people who once believed, but have strayed far away. The writer to the Hebrews issues this caution, and it applies to everyone: "Do not drift away" (Hebrews 2:1 NIV).

But the other path can restore you to even closer intimacy with God. An earlier scripture promises that God has provided "everything we need for life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3 NIV). That includes a perfect way back to Him when you stumble. First, it is important to realize you will stumble. Even at your very best, you are completely unworthy when compared to a holy God. Second, when you fail the Lord is watching and protecting. See this assurance from King David, who was no stranger to failure:

If the Lord delights in a man's way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand (Psalm 37:23,24 NIV).

Third, you can come to God in complete honesty about your failure, and ask His forgiveness. Remember, He knows all you have done, even what you've been thinking. There are no surprises with Him. But you need to take the initiative in returning. What is God's response when you humble yourself and come before Him? Hear what the Apostle John says: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

What a tremendous promise and wonderful reality. I couldn't put a number to the times I've had to walk this path. But one thing I know -- each time, the Lord has been utterly faithful to forgive. You can be washed clean and restored no matter how grievously you have erred.

Finally, it is so much to your benefit when you come quickly. And come as often as needed -- not just for the big slips but also for the small ones. As you do, you will increasingly discover the depth of God's love for you and find your love and trust for Him growing deeper and deeper.

Key Scripture If anybody does sin, we have One who speaks to the Father in our defense -- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (1 John 2:1 NIV).
Key Thought I am not perfect, but I am forgiven.
Ohhhh! Allleluiah! Praise be the name of the Lord my Saviour!
Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

sexta-feira, 24 de setembro de 2010

DAY 26 IN, BUT NOT OF ...

DAY 26 IN, BUT NOT OF ...

How do I maintain my equilibrium in daily living?

One of the great dilemmas of the Christian life is to know how we should relate to the world around us. For me, this has been a lifelong challenge. As I said earlier, I know I have been "called" to the business world. Yet with that call I am functioning daily in a non-Christian environment. I often interact with people who don't know Christ, and may not have the slightest interest (they may even be antagonistic to my beliefs). I have to deal with ideas and ideals that are steeped in materialism, selfishness and greed. I work alongside those with lifestyles and habits that are contrary to biblical patterns. The "fallen world" is never far away.

We can err in two ways as we try to navigate the troubled waters of the world around us. One is to isolate -- a direction taken in the extreme by those who have joined various monastic orders down through history. Such an approach may indeed keep us separated from the messy world about us. But if our isolation robs others of the witness of a Spirit-filled follower of Jesus, isn't that selfish on our part?

The other error is to assimilate -- to be so much like those around us there is no visible difference. This is often the mindset of believers who are living two lives, a religious life (say at home and on weekends) and a workplace life, where spiritual focus is muted for the sake of work in the "real world." In the closing book of the Old Testament the prophet Malachi prophesied that there would one day be a clear distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous, between those who serve the Lord and those who do not (see Malachi 3:18). Our lives should reflect that distinction. We should be different in ways that are important, yet approachable and accessible in ways that engage us in the lives of others.

Jesus both modeled and instructed an approach in which He neither isolated nor assimilated. He continually interacted with people where they were, in the "marketplaces" of His day. He drew His closest associates from trades and professional people, and His teachings centered around the everyday world -- "a sower went out to sow," "the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant" (see Matthew 13:3.45). Although Jesus fully engaged the world around Him, He did so without losing one iota of His devotion to His Father or deviating in the slightest from His integrity or values.

Jesus' teachings lined up to His personal example. For example, He prayed for His disciples, "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one" (John 17:15). He instructed His followers: "You are the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13). (Salt has cleansing, flavoring and preservative qualities, but does no good if it is confined to a box or bottle.)

You have not been given a new life in order to isolate, nor have you been transformed only to assimilate. You are called to Christ, first to be His -- heart, soul, mind and strength -- and then commissioned to go out in His power to a needy world. As Paul said, "We are ambassadors for Christ ... workers together with Him" (2 Corinthians 5:20,6:1).

Billy Graham likens your role in the world to that of the Gulf Stream as it flows through the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean: "The Gulf Stream is in the ocean, and yet it is not a part of it. Believers are in the world, and yet they must not be absorbed by it." The warmth of the Gulf Stream profoundly affects the climate of many parts of the world. In fact, palm trees grow off the coast of Scotland, while further east, at the same latitude, Siberia experiences some of the world's harshest winters. You, as with the Gulf Stream, are to retain your identity and purpose, but also affect the surrounding climate, where you live and where you work. You are in the world but not of it.

Key Scripture As you sent Me into the world I have also sent them into the world (John 17:18).
Key Thought I may be the only bible my neighbor ever reads.
Questions or comments about this study? Click "reply" if you received this by email and let us know your thoughts.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

quarta-feira, 22 de setembro de 2010

DAY 25 CALLING

DAY 25 CALLING

How can I serve God in my work?

Our primary "calling" is always to Christ. Os Guinness in The Call says, "First and foremost we are called to Someone (God), not to something (such as motherhood, politics, or teaching) or to somewhere (such as the inner city or Outer Mongolia)" (p. 31). However, we who are called to Christ are also "called" vocationally. God's plan for us includes our work.

There is a common idea in Christian circles that people cannot fully serve God unless they go into some kind of "full-time" Christian work -- as a missionary, a minister or a church worker. The root of this thinking is the long-held view that there is a sharp divide between the "sacred" and the "secular" -- the sacred being higher, more noble, more worthy, and the secular lower, less noble and less worthy. But this is not the view held by Jesus and His followers. A. W. Tozer, in The Pursuit of God, addresses the issue this way:

One of the greatest hindrances to the Christian's internal peace is the common habit of dividing our lives into two areas -- the sacred and the secular. But this state of affairs is wholly unnecessary ... It is a creature of misunderstanding. The sacred-secular antithesis has no foundation in the New Testament.

Removal of this divide in our thinking has profound implications for our daily work. The reality is that God calls people to a huge variety of honorable endeavors -- from educators to engineers, from sculptors to scientists, from farmers to factory workers, from medical technicians to moms at home with their children. If we receive such a vocational call, we can respond with the same sense of purpose and intensity as to any other call. The challenge is to keep our activities, whether designing a bridge or singing in the church choir, in harmony with God's design, rather than in opposition to that design. We can ask, "Are my motives right? Are my methods right? If Christ were standing right beside me as I operate this machine or paint this picture, would I do anything differently?"

After I became a Christian, I wrestled with the tension between the sacred and the secular. Most other believers I knew were employed in church-related work. My interests and background seemed to point toward a career in engineering and business, yet I had the nagging sense such pursuits were less "worthy." How could I find God's highest for my work? I didn't want to be a "second-class" citizen.

After an extended time of searching for God's will, I realized He indeed wanted to guide me. I didn't hear an audible voice, but I sensed Him saying, "John, I've called you to business. Do it with all your heart." As you might imagine, this clarity was tremendously liberating. It freed me to wholeheartedly pursue business as my calling in life -- a journey I've now pursued for over four decades.

Do you have clarity on your vocational call? I believe the Lord wants to give you confidence in your career choices. Here are some indicators that may help you. Ask yourself: What am I good at? What do I really enjoy? What do my education and experiences point to? Where do I sense God's pleasure?

You may see patterns in your life that provide clear direction -- as though an Invisible Hand has been at work, guiding you, even before you fully committed to follow Him.

You will spend the majority of your waking hours at work. How important that you respond to a call. Life is more than just doing a job and earning a paycheck. God calls you and gives purpose to your life -- right where you are, right in the workplace.

Key Scripture: "Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men" (Colossians 3:23).
Key Thought: I can be an "ordained plumber."

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 24 AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE

DAY 24 AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE

How do I keep my focus on that which is lasting and most important?

It is hard for us, when we are studying for an exam, changing the baby's diaper or closing a business deal, to give much thought to eternity. Most of the time, our focus is on doing the next thing -- that which is right before us.

But King Solomon, to whom God gave great wisdom, said, "[God] has also set eternity in the hearts of men" (Ecclesiastes 3:11NIV). That is why, even in the press of the daily round, something deep within us calls out to understand the eternal -- that which is lasting and most important. (This yearning, by the way, is evident in the search questions that have prompted people to read this study, such as "What is there after this life?")

Our window into the eternal dimension is through the Bible. (By the way, I would question any source, other than the Bible, that says it knows what eternity is like, or what the future holds.) Jesus described eternal life this way: "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:3).

The scriptures assert that the promise of eternity is as certain as the reality of this life. When Jesus said, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV), He was affirming a direct and immutable link between believing and eternity. When we give ourselves to Jesus, He joyfully and emphatically opens the way for us to be with Him forever. Eternity profoundly impacts our lives here on earth and on into the next life -- life after death.

Our intimate and timeless unity with our Lord and our God is so wonderful, it infinitely overwhelms any price that is paid or any suffering that is endured in this life -- even life itself! Eternity, including the next life, is what we were designed for, a truth the Apostle Paul embraced:

[He has] raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6,7).

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body (Philippians 3:20,21).

If you have such a perspective -- an eternal perspective -- it will be your mainspring of true hope, giving you the stamina to persevere, whatever the trial. Paul said: " ... tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Romans 5: 3,4).

However rewarding or challenging your day-to-day life is, by comparison to God's eternal purpose for us, it is but a moment, a vapor. Thank God that His plan for you is so much larger, so much more extraordinary than you can ever possibly imagine. He has, indeed, set eternity in your heart and will take infinite care that your deepest longings will be eternally fulfilled.

Key Scripture Lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:24).
Key Thought I have been designed for eternity.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 23 TRUSTING GOD FOR THE FUTURE

DAY 23 TRUSTING GOD FOR THE FUTURE

Is my future safe in His hands?

As we grow in our relationship with the Lord we find we can trust Him for more and more. When Wendy and I were beginning our family, we spent long hours talking about what kind of world our children would encounter. (Probably every generation has had such concerns.) While we still wonder where this troubled world is headed, our confidence has grown that the future is safely in God's hands. More than just trusting Him in whatever happens, we trust Him for whatever happens.

Undergirding this trust is an understanding that history is not just mankind's story. It's the Lord's story (His-story!). It has a beginning and an end. It is not circular, as some religions contend, but linear. Three major markers define the trajectory of man's journey.

* Creation. The Bible's opening phrase is, "In the beginning" (Genesis 1:1) and Jesus was present: "He was in the beginning with God" (John 1:2). From that point, history unfolds systematically and progressively.
* Redemption and Restoration. The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus became the fulfillment of God's plan for a restored relationship with His creation -- and the fulcrum upon which all world events turn.
* Consummation. History will culminate in what Paul calls the "consummation," or "summing up," when God will "gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth -- in Him" (Ephesians 1:10).

We are now in that period leading up to the consummation. The times ahead will likely witness increasing challenge and difficulty throughout the earth, but we can rest securely in the confidence that God is firmly and fully in control.

So where do we fit in? From our limited perspective, day-to-day events may seem random and detached from each other, like individual threads on the underside of a tapestry. But from God's perspective, nothing is random. He views the tapestry from above and sees an exquisite pattern. Each person and each event has a purpose, whether a birth, a death, an election result, a military defeat or a technological breakthrough (like the computer you are using right now).

How future events will transpire, we simply don't know. But God knows -- and again, we can trust Him implicitly. Not that we should have a passive, "come-what-may" attitude -- but rather the opposite. As Jesus directed, we are to be watchful, very attentive, especially as the end draws near (see Matthew 24:42).

One of my favorite scriptures defines the rules of engagement and the focus of our affections as we walk through the present toward the future:

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1,2).

Just imagine -- pioneers of the faith watching you as you run the race! How timely is the advice that you shed all that weighs you down and keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, the One who has already won the victory.

Memorize these verses from Hebrews and let them be your daily inspiration. Come what may, be certain that the Lord, who was there at the beginning, who has been present throughout, will write the last glorious chapter.

Key Scripture I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 21:6).
Key Thought The essence of history is His Story. Because of His love and care for me, I’m part of that story.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

terça-feira, 21 de setembro de 2010

UM GRANDE EXEMPLO A SEGUIR…


UM GRANDE EXEMPLO A SEGUIR….
Amigos para refletir


mestre escorpião

Um mestre do Oriente viu quando um escorpião estava se afogando e decidiu tirá-lo da água, mas quando o fez, o escorpião o picou. Pela reação de dor, o mestre o soltou e o animal caiu de novo na água e estava se afogando. O mestre tentou tirá-lo novamente e outra vez o animal o picou. Alguém que estava observando se aproximou do mestre e lhe disse:

- Desculpe-me mas você é teimoso! Não entende que todas as vezes que tentar tirá-lo da água ele irá picá-lo? O mestre respondeu:

- A natureza do escorpião é picar, e isto não vai mudar a minha, que é ajudar.



Então, com a ajuda de uma folha, o mestre tirou o escorpião da água e salvou sua vida, e continuou:

- Não mude sua natureza se alguém lhe faz algum mal; apenas tome precauções. Alguns perseguem a felicidade, outros a criam. Quando a vida lhe apresentar mil razões para chorar, mostre- lhe que tem mil e uma razões para sorrir. Preocupe-se mais com sua consciência do que com sua reputação. Porque sua consciência é o que você é, e sua reputação é o que os outros pensam de você... E o que os outros pensam… é problema deles.

Posted by Sister Sonia Mate
Lecturer at USTM
Maputo

DAY 22 TEMPTATION

DAY 22 TEMPTATION

Why do I keep having these thoughts?

We need to be aware of a tenacious and destructive force at work in the life of the believer. It is called "temptation" -- the continuing effect and downward pull of our former life and habits. The end game of temptation is always the same, to keep us from a close walk with the Lord. Temptation is never fatal. But yielding to it can set us back and cause much discouragement.

Some mistakenly believe that Christians are immune to evil thoughts and behaviors -- that some kind of protective shield drops over us to keep us from being lured away. That may be a happy notion, but it's not reality. In fact, I have noticed that as a person moves ahead with the Lord, temptations often intensify. The believer is, after all, of great value to the Lord and therefore a target for our adversary, who hates anything God loves. Peter refers to us as "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people" (1 Peter 2:9). Credentials like these increase Satan's obsession to pull us down and separate us from the Lord.

I find I have to guard myself diligently, especially in three areas of temptation identified by the Apostle John. He cautions, "All that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life -- is not of the Father, but of the world" (1 John 2:16).

* The lust of the flesh includes improper kinds of self-indulgence, especially in the sexual arena -- and that includes not only our actions but our thoughts as well.
* The lust of the eyes refers to all that we illicitly crave -- and which, by the way, does little to satisfy should we attain it.
* The pride of life is perhaps the most insidious -- producing in us self-promotion, selfish ambition, and advancement at the expense of others. Ultimately the pride of life seeks to make us like God -- the very cause of Satan's fall from heaven.

No matter how much we battle temptation, we can thank the Lord that He is our way to victory. He is uniquely qualified, for He, the God/man, successfully overcame all that tempted Him and is able to help us as we're tempted: "For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18). Peter echoes this assurance: "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations" (2 Peter 2:9). Paul adds: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

AN EXAMPLE

Let's look at how temptation might arise in your life and how you can respond. Suppose you are traveling and have booked into a hotel. You are tired at the end of a long day and you turn on the TV to relax. As you are channel surfing, you land on a station that portrays blatant nudity (or something else you know is inappropriate). You linger there, and before long you are absorbed in what you are watching. You think, "No one's around. What could it matter?" But the next morning you feel dirty. Images play across your mind. You can't shake them. You find it hard to pray. God seems more distant.

How might this confrontation against your mind and spirit be dealt with at various points? Prevention: To avoid randomly landing on a tainted channel, prescreen the channels using the directory found in most rooms. Or decide you have better things to do, and don't turn on the TV at all. Protection: If you land on a channel with questionable programming, call out to the Lord immediately. Ask Him to help you. If you know what you're watching is offensive to Him, click out of it and don't go back. Ask Him to wash away any of the lingering images. Repentance and Restoration: If you do get dragged in and are facing the "morning after," talk with the Lord openly and honestly, no matter how much you don't "feel" like it. Confess that wrong you've done, ask for forgiveness and receive His restoring love. Learn the lesson and don't repeat it.

Key Scripture God is faithful ... to make a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Key Thought Temptation is inevitable. Whether I resist or yield is voluntary.
Questions or comments about this study? Click "reply" if you received this by email and let us know your thoughts.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 21 PRAYER

DAY 21 PRAYER


How do I talk with my Father in heaven?

It is a wonderful privilege that we can talk with the Lord of all heaven and earth at any time of the day or night. And we can discuss any subject with Him. We don't need to use formal written prayers -- although if these are more comfortable for us, that's all right.

One day Jesus' disciples asked Him a key question: "Can You teach us how to pray?" They had observed how much time Jesus spent quietly talking with His heavenly Father. The prayer He suggested is a model for us:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be (holy is) Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen (Matthew 6:9-13).

This prayer is so helpful because it reverently establishes our focus on our heavenly Father, petitions His intervention in earthly matters, brings before Him our needs for provision, forgiveness and protection, and ends by glorifying Him and His great power.

Just as the psalms of David are great for worship, they are also helpful examples of how we can talk with our heavenly Father. He loves for us to simply come to Him, just as an earthly father delights in his children sitting on his knee, sharing whatever is on their minds.

Many of the psalms are cries to the Lord for help in times of trouble. Psalms 17, 28, 61, 64, 70 and 86 are all examples of David's calling out to the Lord to hear and protect him from his enemies. Sometimes it's clear by the end of the psalm that David knows by faith that the Lord has heard his cry for help.

Here is the key: Talk to Jesus as your best Friend. Begin by thanking and praising Him for His great love for you. Then tell Him your concerns. You can tell Him anything and everything. He already knows so don't worry about shocking Him.

When you know you have disappointed Him, instead of distancing yourself, come immediately to Him and ask for forgiveness. Then take His hand and go on with Him. In prayer you can experience the joy of His comforting arms around you. In response to your prayers, He will forgive, encourage, strengthen and bring clarity to problems. And He will give you His amazing peace.

One of the hardest lessons is learning to listen. You will probably find it difficult to quiet your distracting thoughts enough to hear God's voice. A good way to begin hearing Him speak is through daily reading of the scriptures. It is an excellent way to listen -- and often the result is unexpected answers to some of your questions.

When you have found others who also believe in Jesus, join with them to pray. Hearing others express their hearts to the Lord is a great catalyst to the growth of your own faith. You will soon find yourself looking forward to those times together.

Most important of all, remember that prayer is continual conversation with the One you are learning to love and trust. Just looking up into the sky and smiling at Him or giving your own hand a squeeze -- as if holding the Lord's hand -- can bring you right back into the closeness you need with Him at that moment.

Key Scripture Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer ... with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).
Key Thought Prayer is conversation with our precious Lord.
Questions or comments about this study? Click "reply" if you received this by email and let us know your thoughts.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

segunda-feira, 20 de setembro de 2010

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domingo, 19 de setembro de 2010

DAY 20 WORSHIP

DAY 20 WORSHIP

Note: The next two studies -- today’s on worship, and tomorrow’s on prayer -- are written by Wendy Beckett, my precious wife of more than 45 years. Wendy has developed a wonderful life of both worship and prayer, and I believe you will appreciate her insights.

Why is it so important for me to praise and worship Jesus?

When believers in Jesus praise and sing to Him, is it because God, the King of the universe, needs human beings to worship Him? Not really, although we can be sure God delights in our worship.

Actually, what I find is that praise and worship are vitally important to my relationship to Him. Worship enables me to lift my thoughts from myself to my Savior, Friend and Lord, and into a whole new realm. It shifts my focus from my circumstances to His plans.

When we meditate on His goodness, His amazing love, His sacrificial death for us, and His great power in our lives our natural response is to praise and worship Him. Thankfulness spontaneously wells up within us.

David was a great worshiper who became Israel's most outstanding king. The account of his life is found in Old Testament books of First and Second Samuel. From his earliest years we see his heart for worship. As a young shepherd boy, watching his father's flock on the hills surrounding Bethlehem, David expressed his love and gratitude to the Lord. He sang about the beauty of God's creation. He prayed to God when he was in danger. And when the Lord answered and protected him, David expressed thanksgiving and praise through songs and poetry.

The Psalms, many of which were written by David, give us the rich legacy of his worship and deep love for God.

* The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want [lack anything] (Psalm 23:1)
* The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? (27:1)
* Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (29:2)
* Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised (48:1)
* Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! (103:1)
* Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever (107:1)

Here is an approach to worship, based on my experience, which you may find helpful. Early in the morning and before going to sleep at night express your love to the Lord. "Father, I greet you this morning, and thank You for this new day." "Lord, it's been quite a day, but I thank You for Your faithfulness."

As you go about your daily activities be conscious to thank Him, praising Him for Who He is and telling Him you love Him. (Of course, some days you feel more like doing this than others.) Realize that you are on a journey. The more you praise Him throughout the day, the more you will sense His joy and the more you will see things from His perspective. Your daily life will take on a whole new meaning.

Key Scripture Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God (Psalm 147:1).
Key Thought Nothing brings me closer to the Lord than thanking, praising and worshiping Him.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 19 ASSEMBLING TOGETHER

DAY 19 ASSEMBLING TOGETHER

Who has God linked me with?

When people become followers of Jesus, their highest priority is to nurture their new relationship with the Lord. There can be no substitute for developing a personal one-to-One bond.

Even so, as we emphasized on Day 11, we aren't supposed to be isolated, but rather joined to other believers in a common pursuit to discover God and walk in His ways. It has been said that the two sections of the cross -- the vertical and the horizontal -- symbolically represent our dual relationship with God and with others. They intersect. They are not unrelated.

Gatherings of believers -- or "churches" -- come in many packages -- from small clusters of those who gather secretly in regions where such practices are forbidden, to "mega-churches" of tens of thousands of Christians. Regardless of the configuration, it is vital for every believer to be linked with other believers. This linkage was the spontaneous response of those who came to faith on the day of Pentecost, and we need to understand how they functioned.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine (or teaching) and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers (Acts 2:42).

Each of the four aspects of their assembling was catalytic to their growth individually and as a group:

* Teaching kept them centered on God's word, rooted in "sound doctrine."
* Fellowship kept them involved with one another in friendship, as well as praise, worship and testimonies to God's activity.
* Breaking bread kept them in touch by sharing meals with each other, giving opportunity for warm dialogue and growing friendship. These meals generally took place "house to house" (v. 46), and brought whole families, including children, together in a very natural setting.
* Prayers kept them focused as a group upon God's presence. As they offered prayers, petitions and intercession, they were able to hear His will for their lives.

If only these same elements were always present in church life today!

As a new believer, you may or may not have an existing relationship with a church fellowship. Or, you may be in a church that falls far short of being the right place for you. Sadly, many churches seem spiritually dead. Some are making serious mistakes. But you can boldly ask God to bring you together with the individuals and groups He desires for you. He knows your needs, and knows with whom you ought to be connected.

He may direct you into a format that is "unconventional." For many years our family met "from house to house" with several other families. Our children were enthusiastically involved, and the essential elements of the early church noted above were present. In many areas of the world, thousands of new churches are forming, growth is taking place and dynamic fellowship is occurring.

Jesus is intent on this kind of growth. He said, "I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (Hell) shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Jesus' church is not in retreat, not barely getting by, not just going through the motions. Jesus' church is healthy, vibrant and strategic. He wants you to be in such a church.

Key Scripture ... not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25).
Key Thought As a new Christian, I need to be in healthy fellowship with others.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 18 WORKERS WITH, NOT FOR ...

DAY 18 WORKERS WITH, NOT FOR ...

What work does God want me to do?

The true nature of God is wonderfully revealed in the life and words of Jesus. He said, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also" (John 14:7).

In almost every other religious form or tradition, the "god" (or "gods") being worshiped is passive and abstract or merely a historical figure. In contrast, Jesus declared that the true God is alive, active and engaged. "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working" (John 5:17). God did not simply create the heavens and earth with an explosive burst of divine energy -- then back off to let creation run itself. He has remained intimately involved, infusing His sustaining power and influence in every location, every situation and every moment (see Colossians 1:17).

This reality has huge implications for how we live out His purposes. If we miss the intensity of God's direct involvement, our tendency will be either to work independently of Him (secularism) or work for Him, as "little helpers." His concept is neither. It is to work with Him. Dr. Henry Blackaby, author of Experiencing God (an excellent resource!) puts it this way: "God is at work all around us all the time. Our job is to see where He is working and join Him." The Apostle Paul refers to us as "ambassadors" who are "workers together with Him" (2 Corinthians 5:20, 6:1).

You need to grasp just how dramatic this is. The God of the universe is inviting you, indeed giving you the privilege, to join Him in His work. That's much different than your going off, doing your thing, and checking in with Him now and then. Instead, as His coworker, your "antenna" goes up and every sense is quickened, alert to His activity. Nothing is random, nor beyond His redemptive reach. For example:

* You see the sad face of a fellow employee who has lost a loved one, and you are able to pour out God's compassion and mercy
* You have been helped by a new book and you purchase some to give to your friends
* A traffic jam causes you to miss a flight and you discover God had a significant reason for you to not go when you'd intended

Think about your current situation -- as a student, or as you begin your work career or start a family. Maybe you're in the midst of a job change, or planning to retire. Where you are is no accident, nor is what you are doing at this time. But maybe you're like me -- you just need to adjust your focus from "what I am doing" to what God is doing, and how, specifically, you can join Him right now in His work.

Make this shift and a whole new world of adventure, joy, peace and spiritual impact will open to you.

Key Scripture We (are) workers together with Him (2 Corinthians 6:1).
Key Thought God is at work all around me. How can I join Him?

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 17 TRUTH: THE KEY TO FREEDOM

DAY 17 TRUTH: THE KEY TO FREEDOM

Why does truth matter?

If we were given the opportunity to sit down with the Apostle Paul over a good cup of coffee, and if we were to ask him what energized him to press on, here's what I believe he would tell us: "I do what I do, and endure what I endure because ‘God, our Savior ... desires all men (every person on earth) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth'" (1 Timothy 2:3,4).

We might then ask Paul to comment on the question that has haunted men and women through the ages: "What is truth?" This great scholar and thinker would say, "Here is the essence of truth: ‘There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus'" (v.5).

Dare we challenge Paul at this point? "Can you really reduce the concept of truth to that one phrase?" "Yes," he would reply, "This is bedrock. Get this and the rest will follow. There aren't multiple gods. There is One, and He is a God Who can be known. There aren't multiple ways to the one true God. In fact, Jesus Himself, without a hint of arrogance said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'" (John 14:6). Ultimately, here is what Paul is telling us: Truth is not just a set of beliefs, as in other religions or philosophies. Truth is a Person. We encounter the truth as we encounter Christ.

I believe we must contend for the truth. Here's why:

* Truth brings stability. Absent truth, the world is unhinged, leaving only chaos. Isaiah said, "Truth is fallen in the street" (Isaiah 59:14). This happens when we run from the truth, rather than embrace it.
* Truth is freedom. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Truth matters supremely because, in the end, without truth there is no freedom. (For example, consider how repressive regimes that deny their people basic freedoms must prop themselves up by distortions and lies.)
* Truth can be learned, actually imparted. Jesus, looking to the day the Holy Spirit would come in power, said, "When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13). Isn't it reassuring to know that the Holy Spirit is with you on the path of life as your guide to all truth?
* Truth is the surest way to avoid deception. Deception is your number one future danger. Jesus said, "Take heed that no one deceives you. False christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:4, 24). Paul said the days ahead would be marked by the "working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth" (2 Thessalonians 2:9,10). As a friend of mine says, "The only safeguard against deception is a passionate love for the truth."

Does this battle for the truth impact your world? If you are a high school student, you know lying and cheating are an art form, and that truth doesn't seem to matter. If you're on a college or university campus, you know the very idea of objective truth -- that truth can be known -- is scoffed at. If you're in business, you know truth is too often compromised. How evident this was at Enron, where many of the "best and brightest" in leadership shunned truth in their daily work.

Truth matters. You're not for sale, and truth, for you, is not for sale. In fact, truth could even be worth dying for!

Key Scripture Buy the truth and do not sell it (Proverbs 23:23).
Key Thought "Living in truth is the secret of living free" (Os Guinness, at a Veritas Forum at Stanford University). The truth sets me free.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 16 ABIDING: THE HEART OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

DAY 16 ABIDING: THE HEART OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

How do I stay close to Jesus?

If I could, in the course of these 30 days, leave you with one burning desire, it would be this: To stay closely connected to Jesus. The term used in the Bible is "to abide" with Jesus, which means to remain united with, to stay intimately connected. (A quick note here: when it comes to "abiding" -- staying close to Jesus -- I am still a learner. It's an area where I, and most Christians, need to grow.)

Some will say the key to staying close to Jesus is to learn "doctrine" -- the foundational teachings of the Christian faith. Without question, sound doctrine is important. In its absence, many have gone into error. But as Oswald Chambers points out, "It is possible to know all about doctrine and yet not know Jesus. The soul is in danger when knowledge of doctrine outsteps intimate touch with Jesus" (August 16).

Others will say following Jesus consists of doing good deeds. Again, good deeds are important and God commends them; for example, in Paul's admonishment against idleness: "Brethren, do not grow weary in doing good" (2 Thessalonians 3:13). But our activity can easily become a substitute for "abiding," putting the cart before the horse, for as we'll see, good works flow out of a close relationship with Jesus.

In John's gospel, Chapter 15, Jesus provides a powerful metaphor to describe the intimacy He desires with you:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:4,5).

The branch of a tree is totally dependent upon the trunk for support, nourishment and vitality. From the moment a branch is cut off, it withers and dies. But when properly connected there is a continual life flow. This transmission of energy, strength -- indeed purpose -- is what brings forth "good fruit" -- a fruitful, productive life.

This is the "abiding" relationship Jesus had with His Father. If you follow the pattern He established, you will stay closely connected to Him and to the Father.

* Jesus trusted completely, confident that the Father knew what was necessary and what was best.
* Jesus was in continual dialogue, watching and listening for the Father's initiative, then obeying immediately.
* Jesus enjoyed being in the Father's presence, dwelling securely in His love, care and protection.

Oswald Chambers, quoted earlier, said in his June 14 writing that you can "abide" -- stay close to Jesus -- "in intellectual matters, in money matters, in every one of the matters that make human life what it is."

Here's the major challenge you will find: You will feel like you have something to do first -- before you can "abide." That's a trap! Abiding is now, not in the future. It is here, not there. Make staying close to Jesus the number one objective in your Christian journey. Learn to abide in Him.

Key Scripture Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
Key Thought Abiding is now.
Questions or comments about this study? Click "reply" if you received this by email and let us know your thoughts.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

sexta-feira, 17 de setembro de 2010

DAY 15 A PERSONAL REFLECTION

DAY 15 A PERSONAL REFLECTION

How am I doing at the halfway point?

We are midpoint in this 30-day study. As I think about our connection with each other through the Internet, I am both amazed and a bit mystified. Rather than taking up another topic today, I'd like to simply share a few personal thoughts.

I never imagined I'd be writing this study. Here is how it came about. Some years ago, a friend called me on a Saturday morning to watch space shuttle Columbia returning to Earth. Just 15 minutes prior to its scheduled touchdown in Florida, however, something went terribly wrong and it began to break up. In a moment, seven astronauts (six Americans and one Israeli) were lost -- just as they were coming home. Many thoughts raced through my mind, but one question gripped me: Did they know Jesus Christ? I turned off the TV that morning and began writing a little booklet about how one comes into a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. I called it "Coming Home." I thought perhaps this message could help others, providing a roadmap to answer life's greatest question: How should I relate to God?

Coming Home was published and thousands of copies were distributed. It was translated into several other languages. I received comments that it really was helping people, but I wanted this message of God's love to reach many more. One day I met Mark Weimer, a California businessman who had recently joined with some other Silicon Valley business leaders to start a new venture called Global Media Outreach. Their goal was to find new ways to spread the message of the gospel over the Internet. Mark read my little booklet and proposed formatting it for the web. In February 2006, Coming Home went live on line as www.lifesgreatestquestion.com. We purchased ads on Google and later Yahoo! to help people find the site.

As I mentioned earlier (Day 7), statistics indicate that at least one million people each day are seeking insights on the Internet into the deeper questions of life. In a remarkable way we began connecting with thousands of such people (like you) from all corners of the world -- over 170 countries within a few weeks. More than 12 percent of those visiting the site indicated that as a result of their visit, they had made a decision to follow Christ. Frankly, I was stunned. Internet technology, so often used for wrong purposes (like pornography) was becoming a means by which people throughout the Earth could find new life in Christ. We were able to track countries of inquiry, and they included the US, India, the UK, the Philippines, Nigeria, Pakistan, Canada and South Africa, and though less in number, places like Burundi, Cuba, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Fiji, Malta and Lesotho through such search words as "The meaning of life," "God," "Hope," and "Life after death."

In July, as my wife, Wendy, and I were beginning a summer vacation, I developed a strong concern for new believers, wondering what materials might be available to help you become more firmly established in your faith. When I didn't find much in the way of help, I felt strongly directed to be part of the answer. That is when I began writing this 30-day study. I consulted with Mark and he was thrilled. He, too, had been sensing the need for such material, even to the point of it covering a 30-day time span.

Now, as I write, I feel a growing "connection" with you. I can say, as Paul said to the Philippian believers, "I thank my God every time I remember you" (Philippians 1:3 NIV). You and I will likely never meet, at least not here on earth. But I want to affirm that you are dear to Wendy and me, and more importantly, you are very precious to God.

Now I want to encourage you. Keep on the journey. Don't give up! God has a wonderful adventure planned for you. Whatever you face, always remember that God is faithful. If you let Him, He will complete the process for which He created you, and fulfill every purpose for which you were redeemed.

Key Thought God has a plan for me. It’s no accident that we’ve met through the Internet.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 14 RESISTING THE DEVIL

DAY 14 RESISTING THE DEVIL

How do I deal with the devil?

Yesterday our focus was on overcoming the old self, and we saw that victory comes to us as we walk in the Spirit. Today we will talk about how we deal with the devil.

I learned a great lesson early in my Christian walk. A dispute, one that seemed quite irrational, developed at our company between two senior managers. As tempers flared and harsh words burst out, it looked as though things would only get worse, not better.

Later, as I pondered the problem in the quiet surroundings of my study at home, my eyes fell on an unopened book on my bookshelf, still in its cellophane wrapper. The title intrigued me: Dealing with the Devil by C.S. Lovett. As I leafed through its pages I came across this analogy: Suppose you stood in the middle of a busy traffic intersection, wearing normal street clothes, with cars coming from all directions. You might wave your arms wildly trying to stop traffic, but before long you'd probably be run over. Imagine instead that you do the same thing, only this time change your clothing. Put on a policeman's uniform. The results would be completely different. Drivers would respect the authority represented by the uniform and do as you directed.

The author then made this point: If a believer is "clothed with Christ," he or she has authority to deal with spiritual opposition, just as the policeman does in traffic. Armed with this insight, I "put on my uniform" and prayed in Jesus' name, exerting authority over whatever unseen forces were causing dissension between the two managers. The next day I found to my amazement the problem had vanished -- as though there had never been a conflict in the first place. This incident really opened my eyes to spiritual opposition. The Bible has a great deal to say about such warfare. Let's look more closely.

The devil is a real adversary that you must reckon with. Also known as Satan, he was initially a high-ranking angel in heaven who rebelled, was cast out of heaven (see Luke 10:18) and has been in total opposition to God ever since. It was he who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden (see Genesis 3:4) and even now is the author of war, famine, murder and every vice known to mankind. Jesus called him a thief that "does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (John 10:10).

Satan challenged Jesus at every turn -- from His infancy through His death. Yet Jesus was undeterred from His mission to completely defeat His ancient foe. The Apostle John said, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). Though the enemy was a schemer and clever tactician, he made an enormous miscalculation, thinking if he could kill God's Son he would gain uncontested control of the entire world. However Jesus' death, which Satan expected to be his supreme triumph, became his ultimate downfall.

Though Satan was indeed defeated, for a while he continues to exert a measure of influence on earth. He is still behind every form of evil, perhaps with increasing intensity, sensing (correctly) the day is coming when he will be completely destroyed. Peter says Satan "walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Peter's counsel? "Resist him, steadfast in the faith" (v.9). Paul says the same: "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles (schemings) of the devil" (Ephesians 6:10,11).

Every day you will see evidence of the devil's influence around you and in world events. The good news is that in Jesus you can be an "overcomer," a phrase used often in Revelation, the final book of the Bible. James says emphatically, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). In other words, put on the policeman's uniform!

Key Scripture I (the Lord) will contend with him who contends with you (Isaiah 49:25).
Key Thought Christ’s victory is complete, and He will show me how to apply that victory each day.
Questions or comments about this study? Click "reply" if you received this by email and let us know your thoughts.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 13 OVERCOMING THE OLD SELF

DAY 13 OVERCOMING THE OLD SELF

How do I handle tough times and temptations?

Some people falsely think that when a person becomes a follower of Christ, he or she is immune to difficulty. This idea doesn't align with scripture or our experience. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33NIV). I don't know one region of the world today where God's people are not beset by trouble (including severe persecution in some nations). Even though I've been a Christian for many years, I still face difficulties, wrestle with temptations, and encounter family and work-related challenges -- at times, intense.

Here is the encouraging news. Through your faith in Christ, you are equipped to confront and work through trouble in a whole new way, so much so that Paul said that in Christ, "We are more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37).

There are various aspects of the daily battle you encounter. Today's topic is the "old self," or the old nature. (Fasten your seat belt. These concepts are weighty, but very important.)

In Romans Chapter 6, a masterful summary of who we are in Christ, Paul says, "We were therefore buried with Him (Christ) through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (v.4 NIV).

Just what was buried? Verse 6 says, "Our old self was crucified with Him." This old self is the flawed human nature we inherited as the result of Adam's sin. Thankfully that is not the end of the matter. You put that nature to death with your commitment to Christ and your daily actions. Paul continues, "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (v.11 NIV). In other words, you have to walk out what was accomplished when you identified with Christ in His death. (Note that baptism -- immersion in water -- is the outward evidence of your old self being buried with Christ. The water in baptism literally represents a burial vault for that "old nature.")

Walking out the new life in Christ is a lifelong journey. In writing to the Galatians, Paul describes it:

So I say, live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other (Galatians 5:16,17 NIV).

He goes on to describe various aspects of the sinful nature -- all of which degrade human character and damage interpersonal relationships. Then Paul explains what the "fruit of the Spirit" looks like -- qualities such as love, joy, peace and faithfulness -- which reflect the nature of God Himself. Don't you want your life to produce that kind of fruit?

Here's the bottom line: You were given a "new nature" when you committed yourself to Christ. But you must walk out the implications. How? By "walking in the Spirit." That means you allow the Holy Spirit Who lives in you to shape your thoughts, guide your steps, govern your reactions and correct you when you stray. The old nature is real. The warfare is real. But God has made it possible for you to walk in victory.

Key Scripture Take off the old self with its practices ... and put on the new self (Colossians 3:9,10 NIV).
Key Thought Through God’s Spirit I can walk in daily victory.
Questions or comments about this study? Click "reply" if you received this by email and let us know your thoughts.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

quinta-feira, 16 de setembro de 2010

DAY 12 LOVING OURSELVES

DAY 12 LOVING OURSELVES

Do I love myself?

Here is the "surprise" from yesterday's lesson: the reference point for loving others is our love for ourselves. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).

How should we love ourselves? Jesus' concept of loving ourselves has nothing to do with the weary drone of today's pop psychology -- "feeling good about yourself" is all that counts. Marketers blatantly link "good feelings" with acquiring everything from pep pills to protruding biceps; fabulous manicures to monster TVs; fast cars to fantastic vacation getaways.

While "good feelings" may have a place (and I'm not on a crusade against things we acquire), more often than not, acquisitions and nonstop activity are escape mechanisms that will never fully satisfy. In fact, when we try all the "elixirs" and they fall short, we often get discouraged or depressed, the result of trying to fill our emptiness in the wrong ways. God's provision transcends feelings and things. Our deepest needs are only and always fulfilled in Him. Centuries ago St. Augustine wrote, "You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You."

Now that you have come to Christ and "all things have become new," the whole matter of your self-image gets a major makeover -- and is the basis for your loving yourself. (Don't worry, you can still wear cool clothes and gel your hair!)

Here are two keys to your new self-image.

Key #1: You can't love yourself on the basis of your fallen human nature, no matter how much you beautify it, educate it or indulge it. You have to face the hard reality that apart from Christ, you are "nothing." Peter, quoting the prophet Isaiah says: "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away" (1 Peter 1:24). In our honest moments we can identify with the Psalmist when he says, "But I am a worm" (Psalm 22:6).

Key #2: You love yourself on the basis of God's love for you. First you have to see yourself as God sees you -- as incredibly valuable to Him. He fashioned you after Himself (see Genesis 1:26). He knew you even before you were born (see Psalm 139:13-16). He loves you so much He gave Himself for you (see John 3:16). He created you to live together with Him in this life and in eternity (see 1 Thessalonians 5:10).

So how should you view yourself? You are one of God's priceless children (for He paid dearly for you through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.) You are precious in His sight, filled with His Spirit, part of His body, commissioned to fulfill His grand design for your life, the object of His great love and affection. On this basis you can feed your soul and spirit with good things, take care of your body, discipline the unruly aspects of your life, enjoy fellowship with Him and others and apply your best energies in service to Him. Though you stumble, by His grace you will learn from your mistakes, be forgiven, and ultimately finish the race set before you (see 2 Timothy 4:7).

As one who is intensely loved by God, not from a puffed-up ego, you can love yourself and then "love your neighbor as yourself."

Key Scripture Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you (set you apart) completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, Who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
Key Thought I am of infinite worth because I belong to Christ.
Questions or comments about this study? Click "reply" if you received this by email and let us know your thoughts.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

TRUE LOVE

IT HURTS BUT YOU MUST READ IT.

YOU CAN ALSO CRY IF YOU WANT TO





I was walking around in Pick N Pay, when I saw a Cashier hand this
little boy some money back.

The boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old.

The Cashier said, 'I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll.'

Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him: ''Granny,
are you sure I don't have enough money?''

The old lady replied: ''You know that you don't have enough money to
buy this doll, my dear.''

Then she asked him to stay there for just 5 minutes while she went to
look around. She left quickly.

The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.

Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to.

'It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for Christmas.

She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her.'

I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus would bring it to her after
all, and not to worry.

But he replied to me sadly. 'No, Santa Claus can't bring it to her
where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can
give it to my sister when she goes there.'

His eyes were so sad while saying this. 'My Sister has gone to be with
God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I
thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister
.''

My heart nearly stopped.

The little boy looked up at me and said: 'I told daddy to tell mommy
not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.'

Then he showed me a very nice photo of himself. He was laughing. He
then told me 'I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won't
forget me.'

'I love my mommy and I wish she didn't have to leave me, but daddy
says that she has to go to be with my little sister.'

Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. 'Suppose we check
again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll!''

'OK' he said, 'I hope I do have enough.' I added some of my money to
his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough
for the doll and even some spare money.

The little boy said: 'Thank you God for giving me enough money!'

Then he looked at me and added, 'I asked last night before I went to
sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so
that mommy could give it to my sister He heard me!''

'I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy,
but I didn't dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to
buy the doll and a white rose.''

'My mommy loves white roses.'

A few minutes later, the old lady returned and I left with my basket.

I finished my shopping in a totally different state of mind from when I started.

I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind.
Then I remembered a local news paper article two days ago, which
mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young
woman and a little girl.
The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical
state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the
life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to
recover from the coma.

Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the news
paper that the young woman had passed away.

I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went
to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was for people
to see and make last wishes before her burial.

She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her
hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her
chest.

I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed
for ever. The love that the little boy had for his mother and his
sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine.

And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

Now you have 2 choices:

1) Send this message to others, or

2) Ignore it as if it never touched your heart.

For those who prefer to think that God is not watching over us.... go
ahead and delete this. For the rest of us... pass this on.

The value of a man or woman resides in what he or she gives, not in
what they are capable of receiving

From Evangelist Julio Tomas Matavel
Shepherd at Baptist Church
Matendeni- Maputo
Mozambique

DAY 11 LOVING OTHERS

DAY 11 LOVING OTHERS

How do I relate properly to others?

Just as God created us to be in close fellowship with Himself, He designed us to be tightly related to others. In that order! Our tendency is to focus on human relationships -- friends, family, co-workers, neighbors -- and make God an afterthought.

In the lesson on Day 6 we saw that loving God is our highest priority -- "the first and great commandment," according to Jesus (Matthew 22:38). Then He added, "And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (v. 39). These two are closely bound. It is really out of our relationship with God that we develop the capacity to love others. Oswald Chambers puts it this way: "God's love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God's love to me" (May 11).

You may have come into your relationship with Christ from a place of complete isolation from other people of faith. This seems to be a common trait among those who are searching the Internet. Or, you may have made this step after being around other Christians, seeing their lives and hearing how Christ has changed them.

In any case, God's intention is to link you with other believers, groups of fellow Christians who constitute what is known as the "church." Keep in mind the church is not a building, nor a denomination. In most cases it is a local gathering of those who are "born again." A term Paul uses to describe such a network of believers is "the body." See how members of "the body" are interdependent on each other:

For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased (1 Corinthians 12:14,18).

God's design is for you to be linked together with others. The 17th century English poet, John Donne (1572-1631), captured this reality in his famous meditation when he said, "No man is an island, entire of itself ... " You have a unique role to fill. It shouldn't surprise you that the Great Designer would not leave your earthly relationships to chance. So you can put the whole matter of your relationships with others before Him, asking Him to bring you in contact with those of His choosing.

Does this include your mate in life? I believe so. For example, God brought my wife Wendy and me together nearly 50 years ago, and I have no doubt this was His wise choice. Our six children were not just biological happenings, but God's carefully designed gifts whom He called us to raise. That conviction has helped carry us through the many challenges we have faced as parents.

Your newfound faith will impact every relationship. As noted earlier, some will want to grow spiritually along with you. Others will back away. Still others who come into your life through Christian fellowship will become your closest friends. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" is a privilege and responsibility that comes directly from God's heart.

Key Scripture Abound in love to one another (1 Thessalonians 3:11).
Key Thought I am incomplete in myself. I need other people and they need me.
Questions or comments about this study? Click "reply" if you received this by email and let us know your thoughts.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 10 THE RENEWED MIND

DAY 10 THE RENEWED MIND

What does it mean to renew my mind?

Our scripture on Day 1 described the extent of change in our new life in Christ:

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

"All things" includes our minds. The Lord has plans to renew our minds, along with everything else!

You may say, "I have a perfectly good mind. It has been well trained and highly educated. I can reason, and think clearly. I'm not in a fog. My mind serves me well in my work. I've even received awards for creative thinking ... "

Here's the problem: Our minds were deeply impacted when mankind initially rebelled against God. This happened when Adam and Eve yielded to Satan's temptation to sin, resulting in the "Fall of Man" (see Genesis chapter 3). God's first children became thoroughly corrupted (including their minds) and we inherited their fallen condition.

Since then, we've used our best efforts, humanly speaking, to function with that which was damaged -- to compensate for what the Apostle Paul calls "a debased mind" (Romans 1:28). For example, consider how the Greeks sought to elevate the mind, as did the great Oriental thinkers, or philosophers down through the ages. Yet with all the prominence given to "thought" and "reason," they totally missed it when it came to apprehending the greatest truth ever, that there is one true God and He can be known personally.

Another example: Think about brilliant people you know -- "the smartest person in the world" -- and observe the large gaps, say in their ability to be good parents, or manage their finances, or maintain lasting friendships or use their time wisely. In spite of their great intelligence, vital aspects of an integrated life are missing. Before I became a Christian, I had concluded I wouldn't believe anything that wasn't reasonable or logical. Eventually, however, I realized that line of thinking was a barrier, not a doorway to receiving Christ. In reality, I needed a different way of thinking.

The Apostle Paul, who had a brilliant mind and was highly educated, challenged early followers of Christ (and us!) toward having "renewed minds."

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).

The Lord doesn't want you to set your mind aside when you come to Him. Just the opposite. He created your mind, and wants it fully employed, but in the right kind of way. The process by which this occurs is "renewal." It is not to stop thinking, but to think biblically. It is to view things from His perspective. It is to have "the mind of Christ," and not allow your thinking to be conformed to the world. "Let this mind be in you ... " was Paul's advice to the Philippian believers (Philippians 2:5). The results are dramatically different: "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:16).

A great way to begin the transformation toward a renewed mind is to meditate on the scriptures. You might take the ones mentioned so far in these studies, reflect on them, even memorize them. Renewing the mind is a process, but one with great reward.

Key Scripture Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things (Philippians 4:8).
Key Thought In every circumstance and every situation, I can have the mind of Christ.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary

DAY 9 THE HELPER

DAY 9 THE HELPER

How am I supposed to live the Christian life?

If we try to answer this question from a human perspective we will always gravitate toward a rules-orientation -- do this, don't do that -- implemented by self-will and human effort. This approach is destined to fail. It simply is not God's design.

The Apostle Peter said God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3). The key to living the Christian life is to draw upon God's provision. One main way that provision comes is by the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. (The Trinity, or Godhead, includes the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Three in One, One in Three.)

While the Holy Spirit was involved in God's work from the beginning of creation, He was imparted to Jesus' followers in a powerful way after our Lord's death and resurrection. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He instructed his followers to wait for the Promise of the Father, saying, "You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:5).

This prompted them to recall earlier words of Jesus:

* (The Father) will give you another Helper (Comforter) that He may abide with you forever (John 14:16)
* The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you (John 14:26)
* It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you (John 16:7)
* When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).

True to His word, the Father powerfully sent the Holy Spirit fifty days after Jesus ascended to heaven, on the day of the Jewish festival of Pentecost. This is recorded in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. Here is how E. Stanley Jones, a missionary to India in the 1900s, describes the impact: "At Pentecost, timid believers were transformed into irresistible apostles."

The Holy Spirit is God's provision for you to successfully live the Christian life today. Some of His characteristics will help you know Him and discern His activity:

* He works quietly, never intruding or demanding
* He always points to and glorifies the Father and the Son, never drawing attention to Himself
* He instructs you by speaking to your now-awakened human spirit (thoughts and impressions that are clearly beyond your normal processes)
* He is always present, always able to be of help
* He gently corrects, warns and adjusts (the requirement for you is to be very sensitive to detect his voice)

As you read the Bible, especially the New Testament, watch for the many and varied ways the Holy Spirit guided the activities of God's people. He wants to help us in such ways today.

Take a moment now to thank God for His wonderful provision. Open your heart, mind and spirit to the Helper, the Holy Spirit, and how He wants to be active in your life -- right now!

Key Scripture He (the Holy Spirit) will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).
Key Thought I am not on my own. God has made full provision for me as I walk with Him.
Questions or comments about this study? Click "reply" if you received this by email and let us know your thoughts.

Rev. Alfa SG Moambi
Apostle & Missionary