FRIDAY REFLECTION – Don’t give up, God’s promises are sure!

Friday Reflection
June 14, 2019

Don’t give up, God’s promises are sure!

You need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised Hebrews 10:36.

“Be patient, run the race of life with hope, knowing that once you have completed the race , you will receive your prize”_ Unknown. 

Brothers and sisters, greetings!
Today’s reflection takes us to a passage of scripture that we are very familiar with, let us take from it what God wants us to hear in this season. As I reflected on the verse, two very important things jumped out at me:

1. The need for endurance: Let me just say for those of us who read other versions , endurance is translated “patience”. Nature teaches that we have basic needs and without these , it is difficult to survive. In the same way, the Bible teaches that we have need for endurance, without endurance/patience, we cannot survive in this day and age. I have randomly read different translations and they all maintain the word need. It is important friends, that we recognize the importance of endurance. We cannot live without it!

2. Doing the will of God is a criteria , if you wish to receive what was promised : What is the will of God? The word of God is set before us , it instructs us to live a life pleasing to God. Every single area of life is accounted for, nothing is left unchecked. Therefore, we have all we need for Godly living, that is, we have all we need to do the will of God. God’s promises are to his people, those who don’t give up! Those who fight the fight of faith continuously . What God has promised is not for those who have been slight and mislead. If you wish to receive what is promised, you must do the will of God. 

Today I want to encourage you. Don’t give up, God’s promises are sure. It is never easy to endure hardship, suffering and pain. But I say to you today, as hard as it seems, it is possible! God doesn’t ask of us anything that he knows we cannot achieve, therefore, let us press towards the mark of the higher calling, run the race of life with patience, help a brother along the way and take Jesus at his word!

Until next week, Don’t lose hope, be patient and keep doing the will of God. You will receive that which was promised!

Shaneka Raymore-Euphfa

THURSDAY REFLECTION – What kind of fruit are you bearing?

Thursday Reflection – June 13, 2019

What kind of fruit are you bearing?

“You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16

It is easy to identify a tree by the fruit it produces. Yes, it is true that many can identify a tree without the fruit being present on the tree, but let’s seriously look at it. We know what tree it is, because either you or someone would have already identified the tree by the fruit it produce. Sometimes it is difficult to identify the tree, because it shares commonalities with other trees. For example the leaves on the tree might look the same even though they are different trees. They might have the appearance of being the same, but after the fruit begins to bear you then can tell the difference.

Jesus points out this similarity with false prophets. He says that they come in sheep clothing, pretending to be part of the flock, but in truth they are not part of the flock and you can tell by the fruit they produce. A good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree, says Jesus, cannot produce bad fruit and likewise a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. I want to highlight a few points from the text.

The false prophet comes in sheep clothing.

 The sheep is considered to be one of Jesus’s followers. Someone who has totally given their life to Jesus and is willing to follow Jesus at all cost. I phrased the description of the sheep that way, because there is no conditionality when it comes to Jesus. It is not part in and part out. It is not doing the things of Jesus when we feel like. It is total submission to Jesus. The false prophet only give the impression that there is total submission to Jesus and so blends in with the flock. No one truly questions the false prophet, because by all indication the false prophet is seemingly doing the will of Jesus. The operative word is seemingly. This brings me to my other point.

The false prophet cannot hide from Jesus

There is a saying I often use at church, “You can trick me, but you can’t trick God.” Scripture reminds us in 1 Samuel 16:7b “For the Lord does not see man as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” We go by what we can see, but Jesus goes by the motives of the heart. So it is easy for us to be deceived, because we look at the outward appearance of people. So we become deceived by the pretense of others; someone who talks nice and seem to care. Someone who is always praising the Lord in church. Jesus know we can be easily deceived so he gave us a tool that will helps us identify false prophets. Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.”

What kind of fruit are you bearing?

All along we have been talking about fruit, but we have not identified the fruit that is good and the fruit that is bad. Galatians 5: 13-26 helps us in this regard. The good fruit is love, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. This is the fruit we should be producing. Now the bad fruit is sexuality immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, and orgies. The false prophet, whilst dressed like a sheep, cannot hide his true colors forever. The false prophet must produce the fruit that are bad, we need to look out for them.

So for example the false prophet will seem like a caring and helpful person, but in truth only cares about himself and highlights all the help given to others. The false prophet will smile and pretend to be kind, but really is malicious and speak ill of people behind their back. The false prophet will pretend to be about God’s will, but really is only putting on a show to impress others. The false prophet is a hypocrite who does and say one thing, but in another setting does and say the complete opposite of what they said and did in the setting before. By their fruit you shall know them. I leave us with two questions for self-examination. What fruit are you producing and are you a false prophet?

 Until next week blessings!

Christopher Euphfa

Watch Your Thoughts!

Tuesday Reflection – June 11, 2019

Watch Your Thoughts!

The Lord knows our thoughts, that they are but an empty breath. Psalm 94:11

When Jordan began his epilepsy journey, I recall going from place to place doing a multitude of tests. Among those he had to do were a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an electrocardiogram (ECG), and an electroencephalogram (EEG).  This was the first time I was learning about an EEG test that he has had to do twice, with another to go by the end of the year. This test is used to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain.

While there are these many tests, including the EEG, none is able to test our thoughts and determine what we are thinking. Yet, today’s Watchword declares that God knows our thoughts. Indeed, God knows about every fibre of our being because he created us and arranged every tissue, ligament, bone, marrow etc. into their place. But lest we forget, God even knows our thoughts. According to David, those thoughts of ours are but an empty breath. This is not to downplay the need for us to think, for indeed God has created us to think and reason – that’s why we have a brain. Philosopher Rene` Descartes said, ‘I think, therefore I am.’    

David is here declaring that outside of God’s leading and inspiration, our thoughts are futile. In fact, in this Psalm, David indicates that when our thoughts are not God-directed we are likely to be wicked, arrogant, evil, boastful, oppressive, murderers, senseless, and fools.

For our thoughts to be pure, genuine, wise and productive, we need the Lord’s discipline. Our thoughts tend to drift and lead us astray, thus so many times we require God’s discipline to bring us back in line with his principles. Our minds need to be receptive to the Lord’s discipline so that the actions that flow from our thoughts are pleasing and godly.

David also speaks to being taught by the word of God. A mind that is continually being fed by the word of God will produce thoughts and actions that honour God. Our minds require training and that’s why we have to be careful what we feed our minds on. What we listen to, what we watch, what we read, the conversations we have, all feed our minds. We need to be divinely selective about what occupies our minds so that our thoughts and actions are wise.

I close with a thought I have never forgotten since high school – ‘Sow a thought, reap a deed; sow a deed, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.’