Aug

29

Declaring Fearlessly

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”  Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV)

Paul had just been encouraging the Ephesians to be strong in the Lord, to draw their strength from His and to clothe themselves with the full armor of God so that they’d be able to stand against the devil’s schemes. We’re in a spiritual battle and the enemy wants nothing more than to keep us from following Christ and from reaching others for Him. So he’s telling us to stand firm, gear up, and pray, pray, pray.

He tells us to pray for all the saints, then goes on to ask for prayer for himself. Why? Because he’s an ambassador in chains charged with sharing the Gospel. We can think of the chains figuratively, but in Paul’s case he was literally in prison in chains at the time.

As an ambassador, Paul was Christ’s representative. Christ chose him, entrusted him with the Gospel, commissioned him, sent him out to share it, and qualified him to do so. We are Christ’s ambassadors as well.  2 Corinthians 5:20 says this: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

God makes His appeal through us. What an awesome privilege and responsibility that is!

Even in jail, Paul’s priority was doing the will of God, sharing the Gospel, and encouraging others to do the same. Paul doesn’t ask for prayers to get out of prison. His own comfort and freedom weren’t top priorities in his heart or mind. Rather, he asks to declare the gospel fearlessly – without fear of the enemy, without fear of man – as he ought to speak. 

Whether we are in chains or able to go freely, we ought to proclaim the Gospel boldly, without fear. So what are some of the things that are holding us back from doing so?

Fear of rejection? Fear of persecution? Fear of embarrassment or humiliation? A lack of love for our fellow man?

Ask the Lord to reveal any fears that you have so they can be dealt with and you can be reconciled with God, ready to battle for Him and for those who don’t know Him.

Feb

12

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The sanctity of life message has always resonated with us however, in 2014 it became a passion amongst a group of our pastors and leaders as well.

It all happened after LIFE International provided a church leader training.  Approximately 30 of the attendees continued to meet as a group every other month to discuss how to impact their communities.

Why would this be important?

Because of the signs.  The signs that litter every pole and every bare space advertising pain free abortions as the option for unplanned pregnancies.

Because of the pain.  The pain that can be seen in so many faces.

Additionally, the Department of Health 2011 statistics report that the Free State Province (ours), leads in the number of legal abortions per year by over 9,000. They also report that legal abortions (this number) only accounts for 42% of all abortions within South Africa.

Because of all these factors, for the next two weeks we have asked LIFE International to equip our team to support and help the many who are post abortive, or those who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. Our team desires to reflect God’s love and heart as we walk alongside men and women who are struggling with these life-decisions.

Feb

5

FP Team 3x6

Back row L to R: Constance, Moeketsi, Nefthali, Thabang, Phillip, Sipho, Aaron, Moeti, Dudu and Busisiwe.  Front row: Sibongile, Martha, Nnini, and Nthabiseng.

God is taking our staff team on a journey where they are learning to specialize in areas, as well as individually mentor new volunteers.  Let me share:

Busisiwe Mosia our Director of Flashpoint for the past four years continues to  use  her leadership and collaboration with the schools to strengthen our team and expand our opportunities within Qwa Qwa.

Moeti Moloi is our Volunteer Coordinator and also works in our Discipleship program.  His gift of leadership and encouragement supports his fellow coaches. He is mentoring Constance as a CIT and Nefthali in our Discipleship program.

Aaron Sibaya as Administrative Support ensures all coaches have what they need for schools and encourages them along the way.  Aaron is mentoring Sipho.

Thabang Tshabalala as our Data Specialist works to compile, input, and report our data results twice yearly.  In addition, after reviewing results will propose ways in which we could improve our program.  Thabang is mentoring Moeketsi.

Nnini Sibeko as Administrator and Conference Organiser uses her gifts to organize attendance, events and assists all staff wherever needed. Nnini is mentoring Phillip.

Martha is our Writer and storyteller.  Her goal is to help you experience our Flashpoint program and classes through a variety of mediums. Martha is mentoring Nthabiseng.

Sibongile as Environmental Specialist sets the mood by preparing our environment both physically and with song/worship.  Sibongile is a gifted vocalist and is mentoring Dudu.

We are thrilled to see our coaches step into these new roles knowing it is a small part of the God-miracle that is unfolding this year.  In addition, we are delighted to welcome our seven volunteers who joined us for training.  We pray their time with us is fruitful, fulfilling, and God-willing may they join us as permanent team members in the future.

 

Dec

15

Have you let fear overcome your life, alter your dreams, or cloud your passion?

Has your purpose in life become so distant you no longer remember what it is?
It is vital you remember that you have Unlimited Potential.
How do I know that? Because God designed you that way and lives in you!

In Exodus 4:11-12 we find Moses questioning God’s plan for him and this is the Lord’s reply, “Who makes mouths?” the Lord asked him. “Who makes people so they can speak or not speak, hear or not hear, see or not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and do as I have told you. I will help you speak well, and I will tell you what to say.”

God called Moses from his hiding spot in the mountains to lead during a crucial time. Because of past failings Moses felt inadequate.  It was only by faith in the True God- the One who forgives, equips, provides wisdom, and directs paths, that he was able to accomplish all he did.

Moses did not need to fear Pharaoh or any of the Egyptian army because God filled him with the unlimited potential he needed to overcome and journey to the promised land.

Just like Moses, God has forgiven, equipped, filled us with wisdom, and is directing us today by His Unlimited Potential.

His very Spirit inside of us.

So, when considering your God-purpose look not to yourself because you are right, you cannot do it.
However, Christ-in-you can accomplish all things (Phil. 4:13).

So today. . .
Strip off every weight that slows you down and any sin causing you to stumble.  Run the race He has set before you while keeping your eyes on Jesus on whom your faith depends on.

Ready. Set. GO!

Dec

7

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As the end of his life drew near King David spoke into the life of his son, Solomon.

He gave Solomon instructions in regards to the call in His life, to build God’s Temple. He concluded his instructions with these words;

Be strong and courageous, and do the work.
Don’t be afraid or discouraged for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly

(1 Chronicles 28:20)

The call God has placed in our life is no different; to build the Temple of the Lord, His dwelling place.  The role that each of us has in that call will differ, but we are all called to build.  To strengthen. To encourage.

To be His dwelling place, to be Christ to others.

So the words that David spoke to his son also apply to us.
We must be strong and courageous and do the work that we have been called to, and in doing so we must also remember God’s role in our calling. He will lead us, guide us and see to it that all the work is finished correctly as we follow after Him.

Remember, the results are not up to us they are God’s responsibility; our job is just to do the work.

So today I ask you, what has God called you to do?
What role has He given you to fulfil and, are you doing that work?
Don’t be afraid or discouraged, step out in faith and do it for the Lord God, my God is with you.

Dec

2

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After thirteen weeks of studies and dedication our Foundations for Christian Growth, God’s Plan for Christian Service and Discipleship Training classes have completed and graduated across their respective levels! During our graduation celebration Mme Annie, a DT graduate, shared the power of all three classes in her life:

I just completed the third class in this series and have learned much.
I find myself going back to review the lessons learned in FCG often as they are rich and continually teaching me. It was through GPCS that my understanding of God’s gifts and calling was deepened and I got excited about the work of the Lord.  Finally, in DT all that I have learned has come together as we applied and practiced what it means to truly be a Disciple. I have started walking in my calling with confidence and a deepening relationship with God.

It was because of these classes that when God called me to go to a remote area to share His Word, I went in faith.  Here God put me in front of a woman who happened to own the field He impressed me to ask about.  At this field I shared of His love, grace, and mercy – a message much different than I would have preached before these classes!  It was after this message that 21 people gave their lives to Christ. While excited about the decisions I now was also determined that they be discipled therefore I returned home and approached my Pastor.

As my Pastor also just graduated from DT, we both recognised the need for ongoing discipleship and I was commissioned to go.  Today my husband and I lead this fledgling congregation where we are seeing new believers coming to Christ regularly.

I praise the Lord for the opportunities He has provided through Ignite South Africa and these classes!

Join us in praying for this fledgling congregation and all the participants of our classes.  May the seeds  planted in their hearts continue to blossom and be fruitful not only for them but for everyone around them.

Oct

26

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When Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth, he continued teaching just as he had been doing in other places.  At first people were amazed. They clearly recognized that he had wisdom and miraculous powers. They didn’t deny that fact.

But then the more they thought about it the more their amazement gave way to unbelief, judgment, offense and suspicion. How could Jesus say such things?  What makes him so special?  Isn’t he just one of us?

They couldn’t believe that someone who grew up among them could speak with such wisdom and authority, or perform the miracles they had heard about.

As a result, Jesus wasn’t able to perform any miracles there, not because he lacked power or authority or willingness, but because of their unbelief.

The people of Nazareth missed out. . . Big time!

When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”  Matthew 13:53-58

This is a great lesson for all of us. If we want to learn and grow spiritually, we need to have the right heart to receive.  As teachers teach and preachers preach, the rest is up to us.

Our attitude can either hinder or enable God’s Word getting through to us, and our expectancy will fan that Word into flame.

It’s up to us to receive, discern and then apply what God has for us, not judge the person He uses to bring the Word.  To throw away what is said without prayerful discernment is like saying that God can’t use whomever he chooses. It’s a negative reflection of God, not His instrument.

When Nazareth rejected Jesus they missed out on everything God had for them.
Let’s learn from their mistake rather than repeating it.

Sep

29

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Who is Jesus?

He is the image of God. (Col. 1:15)
When Jesus came, He showed humanity exactly what God was like.

He is the Word of Life. (1 John 1:2)
Humanity saw, heard and touched Him.

So, who is Jesus?  He is God and He is eternal.

On Monday Pastor Leon De Haan is joining us to teach his Ministry Intensive in Colossians and I, II, III John.   Pastor Mark Horton from Freedom Ministries and June Blanshan will co-teach this week long Intensive with him.

Join us in praying for…

  • Pastor Leon as he leaves today to travel
  • Effectiveness of ministry on Monday through Thursday,
  • The three teachers as they prepare
  • The Word to be planted in the hearts and minds of all in attendance next week.
Sep

7

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“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 13:44

When Jesus spoke in parables, his intent was to convey a biblical truth in a manner that was interesting (who doesn’t love a good story?), relatable, and that compelled people to think and discover the truth for themselves. When we discover God’s truth for ourselves, it takes on such a more personal and practical meaning.

This is a parable that would have sounded perfectly normal and relatable to ancient ears. Because banks did not exist, the ground was considered a safe hiding place. The man in this parable came across a treasure as he was going about his daily work. It makes me think of how God’s desire is to be a part of our daily lives, not just confined to Sunday services. Our faith and relationship with Him are meant to operate 24X7.

When the man discovered the treasure he immediately recognized it’s worth. He hid it again because it was so valuable, and then joyfully sold everything he had to purchase the entire field.

The Kingdom of God is basically God’s will done perfectly as it is in heaven. To enter His Kingdom is to accept and do His will. I know things aren’t perfect here, but as we experience and strive for God’s will on earth things become more so.

The challenge of this parable, the main question we must ask ourselves is this:

What are we willing to sacrifice to do the will of God? Is doing the will of God worth our time, our focus, our talents, our treasures…our everything?

Because doing the will of God is pretty demanding. It may demand giving up our dreams, ambitions, goals, or desires in order to pursue God’s. It may mean letting go of our expectations and trusting in God’s best for our lives. It may mean giving up a selfish habit or sinful pattern, exchanging it for self-denial and discipline.

Christ never said it would be easy to take up our cross to follow Him; it wasn’t easy for Him either. But that is the only way to enter the Kingdom of God and take hold of the greatest treasure ever – both now and in the eternal life to come.

Are you willing to give up all that you have to take hold of this treasure?

 

Aug

3

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“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” Matthew 12:34 NASB

The Scribes and Pharisees had just spoken some pretty terrible words to Jesus. Jesus had cast demons out of a suffering man, and the religious leaders basically accused him of being evil himself, of working through the power of Satan.

So in this passage Jesus talks about the importance of our words and how they reveal what is truly in our hearts. Based on someone’s words, we can quickly determine whether they are compassionate or selfish, kind or mean-spirited, if they know the truth or are confused, and so on. Our words reveal our character deep within.

For the Scribes and Pharisees, their hearts were hardened to Christ. As a result, only bad things bubbled up and came out through their lips. Their evil words were an indication of their evil hearts.

Then Jesus takes things a step further. In verse 36 he says that we will be held accountable for the careless words we speak. The Greek word for careless, also translated as idle, describes that which doesn’t produce anything of value.

Careless words are not only unproductive, but they can also cause the greatest harm. And it’s those careless words that slip out in the heat of the moment, when our guard is down, that reveal the most about our character.

So Jesus reminds us that we have a responsibility for our words, and to take that responsibility seriously we must examine our words to discover the true condition of our hearts.

Do your words reflect a heart filled with love, faith, truth, and hope?
Or do they reflect something else like fear, doubt, bitterness, or selfishness?    

If your answers are not what you hoped, ask the Lord to help you examine and change what needs to be changed.