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Vol. 5

Mthobisi Dladla

Give God a Chance. Jeremiah 2:5(KJV) Thus saith the Lord, What INIQUITY have your fathers FOUND IN ME, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?

Long before we ever truly know God, we have SO MUCH to blame Him for; we blame Him for poverty, for sickness, for death, for sorrow, for almost every bad thing. We are so consumed with the idea that God is responsible for everything and we forget that there are two sides in a coin. James wrote something very profound in his epistle, he wrote "My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."(James 3:12). Therefore how can David say "the Lord is good"(Psalm 100:5) if God is bad? how can a good God do bad? God cannot be good & bad at the same time, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. God is good. There is a person who is responsible for the bad and all the misfortunes that we see in the world and his name is Satan. He doesn't want to be recognized for his wickedness, he hides himself behind God, he transforms himself to an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He

rejoices in pain and suffering, he rejoices in evil, Jesus says "he was a murderer from the beginning"(John 8:44). The reason that God sent Jesus was so that He could destroy the works of the devil, and release those who were oppressed by him (Acts 10:38). He is the opposite of God; he only stands for evil & wickedness. God doesn't find joy in our sufferings and pain, that's the reason for Jesus; He came to restore peace, love and joy. He came to give us life and life in abundance (John 10:10) while Satan came to kill, steal & destroy. I saw something that a lady posted on her status update on Facebook today and her words were "God has failed me again, my grandfather passed away". To tell you the truth I was sad to see such words from a believer, and it made me realize that God was right when He said "My people perish because of lack of knowledge"(Hosea 4:6). It is evident that God doesn't enjoy people's deaths when He says "I DO NOT DELIGHT in the death of the one who DIES" (Ezekiel 18:32), but because some of us don't know that, we blame God for people's deaths. Have we ever imagined or thought that maybe the reason there is so much trouble and evil in the world is because of our fallen nature and our tendency to sin? Does not the book Genesis speak about mankind and say Now the earth was corrupt in Gods sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had

become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. (Genesis 6:11-12). Let us give God a chance by getting to know Him more. Let us strive to know Him personally, to know Him deeper. He greatly loves. J.I. Parker in his book titled "Knowing God", he wrote something extraordinarily powerful, and he wrote "there's a difference between knowing God and knowing about God". That statement changed my life and my perception of how we relate to God. Let us not know about God but know God. As we know God more we will see that there is no iniquity with Him and that He is all loving and all true.

God Bless You

We may BODLY SAY; Hebrews 13:5-6(NKJV) Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. SO WE MAY BOLDLY SAY: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Without a doubt, the truthfulness of any word is judged by the character of the person who utters it. It would be complete gullibility to trust in the words of someone's character you haven't been acquainted with. Being trustful and being gullible are two different things. If somebody promised to buy you a car at the end of the month, unless you were completely sold into believing that the person would do it (judging both their credibility and or ability), you would never tell anyone about it, just in case that person doesn't keep his word and you are shamed. However if you believed and have known that, that particular person is faithful to his word then you would go to the streets and SHOUT WITH BOLDNESS your new found blessing. It is the same thing with the Gospel. We go out evangelizing to people, telling them to receive the grace of Christ with

BOLDNESS because we believe it is the truth. The reason we can be BOLD about the measure of love that God has for us is because "we have known and believed the love that God has for us" (1 John 4:16) as John says. In that way we have judged Gods word and found it to be true since God would never lie. Thus if God says "he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities" (Colossians 2:15), WE CAN BOLDLY SAY "no weapon formed against us shall prosper," (Isaiah 54:17). We say whatever we say from God's word with BOLDNESS because God said it. We have judged God and we have found Him FAITHFUL to His word, as even the bible speaks concerning Sarah that "she CONSIDERED HIM FAITHFUL WHO PROMISED" (Hebrews 11:11). We BOLDLY confess what God says about us, simply because of His truthfulness, trustworthiness and faithfulness. Let us live by that same SPIRIT OF FAITH that he had who wrote "I believe therefore I speak" (2 Corinthians 4:13), and confess with BOLDNESS the word of God, professing what we believe. We can also pray for one another, as Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for him "that utterance may be given unto him, that he may open his mouth BOLDLY to make known the mystery of the Gospel of Christ" (Ephesians 6:19). In fact let us not delay, let us pray now; "Blessed Father in the name of Jesus, you say to us, we must come to

Your Throne of grace with the full assurance that faith brings and with boldness, therefore Father we ask that you give us boldness to speak Your word without fear, to confess your word with the power of faith, and to hold Your Word in sanctity and speak it as it is in truth, THE TRUTH, which works effectively to those who believe, in Jesus' glorious name we ask, AMEN & AMEN". Now let us expect to receive.

God Bless You

Expect to Receive. Acts 3:5 (NKJV) So he gave them his attention, EXPECTING TO RECEIVE SOMETHING from them.

This is a huge element of faith; namely expectation. Jesus says Therefore I tell you, WHATEVER YOU ASK FOR IN PRAYER, BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED IT, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24). Believing is the first element. When we believe, a release is made or by faith our prayers are granted, so to say that what we asked for has been granted to us - that's the prayer of faith. It is faith that makes a way for expectation because you cannot expect what you didnt have faith to receive. James puts it this way, If any of you lacks wisdom, YOU SHOULD ASK GOD, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU. But when you ask, YOU MUST BELIEVE AND NOT DOUBT, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person SHOULD NOT EXPECT TO RECEIVE anything from the Lord (James 1:5-7) THIS VERSE IS POWERFUL. James is saying if you dont believe when you ask and put your faith to work in your prayer, DO NOT EXPECT TO

RECEIVE ANYTHING FROM GOD. Expectation is a concept of welcoming what we have received by faith . For instance when a woman is pregnant and she's aware of it, she doesn't believe that she's pregnant, she KNOWS IT and she is waiting for the day of delivery, that is why that whole process is called EXPECTING. Likewise, when God has given us things or promised us things, all that we have to do is WAIT for the materialization of those things; the day of delivery. If you pray to God for an opportunity and you believe that you've received it by faith, then you should expect that opportunity, that's why Jesus says "which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?" (Luke 11:11) In other words you don't ask God for a fish and He gives you a snake instead. The bible says For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off (Proverbs 23:18).Therefore it is important that we make specific requests to God when we pray because Satan can also take opportunity from our requests and give us things which we think are from God. However, God be thanked because every good and perfect gift is from above. Enjoy your faith and believe God for all things you ask Him.

God Bless You

Release a Blessing Ephesians 1:3(NLT) All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who HAS BLESSED US with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the HEAVENLY REALMS because we are united with Christ.

The verse says 'God HAS' and not 'God WILL', as though talking about the future. In other words, all the blessings that God would ever give us, have been prepared and made available for us already in Jesus Christ and upon our union with Him; God has packaged them and made them ready for us - for a time when we need them. But He says they are in the "heavenly realms". Hence for us to get them we need to take them from the treasure room of God in heaven. But how?? Very simple, Jesus says "whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you LOOSE (RELEASE) ON EARTH will be LOOSED (RELEASED) IN HEAVEN"(Matthew 18:18). So I don't have to literally go to heaven to get a blessing when I need it, I can be anywhere on earth and when I need it; I release it - WITH MY WORDS. Prayer is effectual in this regard. God invites us in the Book of Hebrews "to COME

BOLDLY to His throne of GRACE"(Hebrews 4:16). You could be enjoying your day & suddenly something happens that changes your mood or changes the state of your day to being BAD, it doesn't matter where you are (at school, at work, at home, etc.), you can reverse that STATE with a blessing from God, the bible says "the blessings of the Lord maketh one rich and He adds no sorrow with it"(Proverbs 10:22) and in another place "Every good & perfect gift is from above"(James 1:17). Therefore blessings are there to give you joy & prosper you. And you know what? There are more than enough blessings for everyday of your life. Whenever you need a blessing, even if you are not having a bad day, just say: FATHER I NEED A BLESSING UPON ME TODAY AND I RECEIVE IT IN THE NAME OF JESUS. You can even PRAY one for a friend, or a relative, family, spouse, children, a stranger, ANYONE. There is more than enough for ALL of us; Peter says "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this YOU WERE CALLED SO THAT YOU MAY INHERIT A BLESSING."(1 Peter 3:9). We are too blessed to think about releasing and speaking CURSES upon others and even if we wanted to, GOD WOULD NEVER ALLOW US, look at Balak for instance when he is talking to Balaam, he says "Come, let me take you to another place. Perhaps it will PLEASE God to let you curse them

for me from there."(Numbers 23:27), however the prophet had said before "HOW SHALL I CURSE WHOM GOD HAS NOT CURSED? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?"(Numbers 23:8). Speak a blessing to somebody today, let your words be seasoned with salt and filled with grace. Since we cannot be CURSED, therefore we NEED to bless.

God Bless You

Dead to Sin. Romans 6:11(NLT) So you also should consider yourselves to be DEAD TO THE POWER OF SIN and ALIVE TO God through Christ Jesus.

This is a very profound thing - to be dead to the power of sin. The power of sin is its strength over us and its slavery over our own lives. The reason that sometimes we struggle with sin is because we haven't accepted what Jesus did for us as a reality. Sometimes we justify ourselves and say that "its impossible for us not to sin", but that's not true. The act of nobility that Jesus did at the cross was more than just make us right with God; He died so that sin might have no power over us, so that we may be DEAD to the power of sin and be ALIVE to God. If we are alive to the power of sin, then we are dead to the reality of God. Moreover Paul says "Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins...But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, THAT EVEN THOUGH WE WERE DEAD BECAUSE OF OUR SINS, HE GAVE US LIFE WHEN HE RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!"(Ephesians 2:1,4-5).

So we are no longer dead but alive, alive to Him who gave us ETERNAL LIFE. One of the reasons that sin still has a hold of the Christian could be because of the Law, because thats where sin receives its strength from. Paul says The sting of death is sin, and THE STRENGTH OF SIN IS THE LAW. (1 Corinthians 15:56). The moment the Law is involved in a persons life, sin receives its strength and it revives through the Law in a persons life like Paul also says I was alive once without the law, but WHEN THE COMMANDMENT CAME, SIN REVIVED AND I DIED (Romans 7:9). Let us start walking in the grace that God gave us, and consider ourselves dead to sin, but alive to Him so that we allow no sin to have its power over us anymore, let us accept this grace as it is. You can wake up every day and meditate on the opening scripture to remind the devil that he has no claim over your life anymore, he has no power over you and sin has no power over you as well.

God Bless You

Natural Teaching. 1 Corinthians 11:14(KJV) Doth not even NATURE ITSELF TEACH YOU, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

Nature or the natural sphere of life was created by God just as the spiritual. God formed it in His initial design of creation, He had a plan with it and He was PLEASED to see it through as the bible records "God saw all that he had made, AND IT WAS VERY GOOD."(Genesis 1:31). There are so many elements of creation that we cannot talk about at this point in time but we will look at them however a little later on. After the first man Adam; who by delegated authority was given everything on earth sinned, even nature itself FELL from the glory of its Creation and was subjected to evil forces. For instance lions were not supposed to eat people but as it appears they do. Nonetheless even in the fall of nature itself, God has left a NON-PERISHING SIGNATURE of who He is in the things He has made, like an artist; after he has created his master-piece he leaves a signature, an identity confirming that it was his hand that made it. In fact according to ART EXPERTS, a piece of art is not finished until the artist puts his/her SIGNATURE on it .

However God's masterpiece which is NATURE has something more in it than a simple signature, of its Artist. God's creation declares His very EXISTENCE and His very ATTRIBUTES are witnessed by it. No man has studied NATURE and its beauty and never came to a conclusion that a Higher Being has formed it, unless BLINDED by the power of Satan. In fact Paul in his letter to the Romans mentions "for ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. THROUGH EVERYTHING GOD MADE, THEY CAN CLEARLY SEE HIS INVISIBLE QUALITIES--HIS ETERNAL POWER AND DIVINE NATURE. So they have no excuse for not knowing God."(Romans 1:20). God is CLEARLY SEEN through His creation, Hes seen from the things He has made and we hold the closest RESEMBLANCE to God, did He not say "LET US MAKE MANKIND IN OUR IMAGE, IN OUR LIKENESS..."(Genesis 1:26)? There are some who don't know God as it is now and the greater part insists that He doesn't exist even though God has PORTRAYED Himself so clearly from them and nature. It is for that reason Paul even says "so they have NO EXCUSE for not knowing God.

Nature reveals to us the POWER of God and His mind, His design and building skills, as it is even said "for every

house is built by someone, BUT GOD IS THE BUILDER OF EVERYTHING."(Hebrews 3:4). The great psalmist speaks of God's creation this way, "The heavens DECLARE the glory of God; the skies PROCLAIM the work of His hands. Day after day THEY POUR FORTH SPEECH; night after night they REVEAL KNOWLEDGE they have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their VOICE goes out into all the earth, THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD."(Psalm 19:1-4). The Psalmist had great revelation of God in nature and that's where it should be and many miss it because they are keen on abusing this world. Imagine he says the VOICE of nature goes to all the earth and even the ends of the world, meaning that everyone in the earth should have a revelation of God by NATURE and also how the stars REVEAL KNOWLEDGE, its really amazing. Its quite fascinating when we read about Jesus and we realize that MOST of His PARABLES had something to do with the elements of NATURE, some which are the greatest principles in the world; the kingdom of God and the mustard seed, the tares, the salt and many such parables which He spoke all with different KINDS of natural teachings. The opening scripture says something quite powerful really about one of these socalled natural teachings, "A MAN WITH LONG HAIR",

Paul says "doth not even NATURE ITSELF TEACH YOU, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?"(1 Corinthians 11:14) - What a powerful statement, NATURE ITSELF TEACHES US. Some things are unnatural, whether we like them or not and because Satan is a liar and he has made some of the most unnatural things in the world to look and seem NATURAL. For instance same sex marriages are NOT NATURAL but in this world system such things are accepted, even COMMENDED because Satan is the author of this world system however such things are not from God. The people in Sodom and Gomorrah were UNGODLY because they were against the NATURE of God; these are DEBASED things of this life and God will judge such things. When I think about the lawlessness that will come in the last days and the destruction that Satan will cause and the ungodliness that will dominate people I feel sad, because that is not what God intended for His creation. It was in the times of Noah that God REGRETTED creating everything that has breath because of GREAT WICKEDNESS, even in the HEARTS of MEN, how much more in the last days?

God Bless You.

Small Beginnings. Zechariah 4:10(NLT) Do not despise these SMALL BEGINNINGS, for the Lord REJOICES TO SEE THE WORK BEGIN, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabels hand.

There is no doubt about it; growing is one of the best experiences in nature, to see something reaching a level greater than its former state. Everything in this world has its beginning stage, a point of birth, a level of commencement. The opening scripture is a way of encouraging us as we journey through life to reach that which God predestined for us. Now it is evident that God has something He brought us for in this world, some form of work that He needs us to accomplish FOR HIS KINGDOM. Jesus said "My food, IS TO DO THE WILL OF HIM WHO SENT ME AND TO FINISH HIS WORK."(John 4:34). We are sent by God to this world to do His will and to finish His work which He has given us. Each and every person in this world has A GOD-GIVEN ASSIGNMENT, which God prepared for that man before He was born, as Paul says "for we are Gods handiwork, created in Christ Jesus TO DO GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD PREPARED IN ADVANCE FOR US

TO DO."(Ephesians 2:10). I once spoke to a man of God who was beginning a campus ministry and he said to me "I now know what God wants me to do but THE BEGINNING STEP, IS ALWAYS THE HARDEST" - I held those words close to me. In these different ministries that God has called us to the most difficult part will always be the initiation part, because truth be told, WE DON'T KNOW WHERE EXACTLY TO START, but we have to start somewhere. The opening scripture is too powerful in the New Living Translation, Zechariah says "Do not despise these SMALL BEGINNINGS, for the Lord REJOICES TO SEE THE WORK BEGIN..." - this is too wonderful. If God rejoices to see the work begin then we should never despise the beginning phase of the work we are doing for God. Nehemiah says "THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH."(Nehemiah 8:10), if God rejoices in what we are doing then we are strengthened - even if its SMALL, that is why we should never despise SMALL BEGINNINGS because that is when we are filled with God's power the most. We need to learn patience, we cannot start BIG all at once, we need to learn to wait on the Lord, for "THEY THAT WAIT UPON THE LORD SHALL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; THEY SHALL RUN, AND NOT BE WEARY; and THEY SHALL WALK, AND NOT FAINT."(Isaiah 40:31) - This is it.

Many of us have started with our ministries and callings and we are still at the beginning phase and we are looking at those who fore-ran us, and how much God has blessed them and we are despising the LITTLE that God has done; we should NOT. When Job lost all that he had and was in mourning, one of his friends, Bildad the Shuhite, said something that is powerful that we need to look at, he says to Job trying to comfort him, "IF YOU WOULD EARNESTLY SEEK GOD, and make your supplication to the Almighty...THOUGH YOUR BEGINNING WAS SMALL, YET YOUR LATTER END WOULD INCREASE ABUNDANTLY."(Job 8:5, 7) - Its lovely. It doesn't matter where we are now; all that matters is where God wants us to be. If we walk according to God's schedule, to God's timing, then we are where God wants us to be, whether we are still small or big. How glorious are the words of the Holy Spirit through Solomon, as he said "THE END OF A MATTER IS BETTER THAN ITS BEGINNING, and PATIENCE IS BETTER THAN PRIDE."(Ecclesiastes 7:8). Whats the point of starting out RICH and ending up POOR, like Lot; is it not better to start in tribulations and prisons but end with RICHES and HONOR like Joseph. All that matters is how we ended our race, how we finished our course. You could have been number

10, when you started the race and become number 1, at the finish line, because God is constantly RENEWING YOUR STRENGTH. Paul says exhorting us "HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."(Philippians 1:6) - Let us fear not brothers and sisters but watch God turn something SMALL into SOMETHING BIG. Let us learn from Elijah who prayed seven time for rain telling his servant to go and see if there was any rain coming and at the seventh time, the servant saw "a cloud as SMALL AS A MAN'S HAND rising from the sea." and Elijah said to him "Go and tell Ahab, 'Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you. "(1 Kings 18:44). Elijah even with smallness of the cloud, perceived that GREAT RAIN WAS COMING, as the bible even says "the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was A GREAT RAIN"(1 Kings 18:45). Let us believe the promises of God and have faith, and be patient as it says "and thus Abraham, having PATIENTLY WAITED, obtained the promise."(Hebrews 6:15). It could be business, anything small right now will grow BIG eventually and there is no doubt about it as long as we WAIT on the Lord.

God Bless You.

Heavenly Mind. Colossians 3:2 (AMP) And set your minds and keep them set ON WHAT IS ABOVE (THE HIGHER THINGS), not on the things that are on the earth.

This is the mindset that God wants for us - a heavenly mindset. A mentality of heaven, "the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16). God wants us to think in the realm of His existence, to be aware of His existence that there is a heaven where He dwells, where He IS, which we are born to by receiving Jesus into our lives. Paul says 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 more we think in that sphere the lesser we will think in the sphere of the earth or of the world. The heavenly mind is the mind that is filled with the environment of Heaven, the environment of peace, of love, of joy, of faith, of delight, of bliss, of tranquility, of comfort, of warmth, of righteousness, of holiness. Jesus always had His mind set on the Kingdom of God, He knew where He was from, ("not of this world"), and we also ought to

think in that sphere. The heavenly mind is the one that always thinks of destiny, that we are here on earth for a purpose, that we are sojourners and pilgrims in this world and that we have a citizenship in heaven. It imagines the beauty of heaven continually, the angels, the saints in heaven, the worship & praise, the Throne room of God, the sea of glass, the heavenly Jerusalem, the unsearchable treasures of Christ, the life, the beauty of Jesus, the fellowship of the saints, the trees and rivers, the image of God, and all such beauty . Paul says "whatever things are lovely...MEDITATE ON SUCH"(Philippians 4:8). Every person's picture of heaven is uniquely amazing and God has allowed us to meditate on those imaginations, so that we may have hope and strive to reach that precious picture of HEAVEN. We havent seen heaven on a literal and tangible experience but we imagine it, therefore Paul says but if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it (Romans 8:25). Believe me, what we imagine is nothing compared to the true image of HEAVEN.

God Bless You