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Tag: body

The Idolatry of Control

There’s only one God — and it’s not you!

Written by Dan Lee on 27/09/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Control, God, Sovereignty
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

Proverbs 16:9
We might not think of Control as an idol. Yet anything that we come to value more than God, is an idol. And as humans, we love to feel like we are in control of our own life, our destiny.

We believe we have control over our health, our job, our finances, and our relationships. However, that’s not the case. There is only one Sovereign, one Master of the Universe, and it is God, not us.

Here are just three important things that we cannot control ourselves, but God does:

1. How long we will live
We can take care of our bodies with proper diet and exercise. We’re told that this will allow us a long, healthy and full life.

But how long will we really live? That’s up to God. There are no guarantees no matter how hard we try.

Psalm 139:16 puts it plainly: “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

An accident or attack can end our life at any moment regardless of how careful and healthy we are.

Because of this, we can’t trust ourselves with our lives. Rather, we must put our trust in God, for He has each moment planned.

2. Our Success
There are countless articles here on the internet that explain how to gain success from business, schooling, and changing your mindset. But, does that mean that success is guaranteed if only we just work hard? Not necessarily.

“Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:13-14

Just think… sometimes a business opportunity promises success. Though you might make a lot of money, you could also lose all of it. Or as this verse says, you might not even be alive tomorrow! (Also see Luke 12:16-21.)

3. Other People’s Decisions
Just as we believe we can control our own success, we believe we can control other people’s decisions and opinions. But, can we really?

“As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises” (Psalm 55:20).

Even if we are loving and kind, those closest to us can disappoint or even betray us. Marriages, can result in infidelity, friends can break promise, and children often go astray, even when we parent them the best we know how. Other people are simply not under our control.

So, what does this all mean? Should we stop trying to care for our bodies, stop trying to make plans, or to stop building good relationships? No, the Bible tells us that these are all important (1 Corinthians 6:19; Luke 14:29).

It does mean that we seek God’s will above our own, and remember every day that His plans are the ones that will never fail! The more we submit to His will and His plans, the more we will experience His peace and joy — even when things don’t turn out the way we planned.

Pray this week:
Lord, forgive me for thinking I am in control of my destiny. Thank You that my life is in your entirely capable hands. Help me seek first Your Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) and trust you with my life.

Does this make sense? Want to discuss it with someone? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Love Serve and Stay United in Church

Life with Jesus

Written by GodLife on 14/08/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church, Service, Unity
…we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 12:5
The Church Jesus built has an enemy. That was clear from the time He introduced it: “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) In less than 300 years the Roman Empire went from being its most vicious persecutor to acknowledging Jesus as Lord. Preaching “Christ crucified” — which was called “foolishness” by the gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:23) — ended up being victorious over the “wisdom” sought by Greco-Roman culture. (1 Corinthians 1:22-30)  But that’s in the past. What about today? Do the “wise” and “strong” still search for “the wisdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 1:27, 30) Yes! Here are a few examples: 

Facebook’s founder admitted that he wants to imitate the church’s ability to make strong and unified groups. 
Guy Kawasaki, an American author and “Chief Evangelist” for an important computer company, attended the Billy Graham school of evangelism. 
After so many centuries, the Church is still effective and influential. How does it operate? What kind of organization, (or, as it has also been called, organism), is the Church of Christ?

How are we to love one another?
Romans 12:9 urges, “Let love be genuine.” How are we to do this? “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9) Impostors seek honor for themselves, taking advantage of others and tearing down the integrity of the group in the process. (As the problems in the Church of Corinth show.) True Christian love puts the other person’s best interests first. If you’re part of a group you can really trust, where you can be yourself, it works to build you into the person God means for you to be.

How are we to serve one another?
In  Romans 12:11-13 goes on to explain,  “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit.” Have you ever volunteered for something without really wanting to do it? Probably not if you were helping a really close friend. With our church family, God wants us to be energetic and passionate: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Prayer is necessary because Jesus Himself promised us we’d have trouble. “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” The longer you’re part of a church, the more likely it is you’ll have opportunity to help someone in a profound way: it may be giving them something they need, serving in place of someone missing in their life, or making space for them in your home or routine. In fact, it might end up being you who has the need, who experiences the loss or who needs a place to stay. You should turn to your church family before your government or unsaved friends. It makes a great witness to the world! (John 13:35)

How do we stay united?
The Church is called an “organism” — Paul compares it to a human body in 1 Corinthians 12. Each member has a unique function, but they all serve in unity. The word used in Romans 12:16 is “harmony.”  “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another.” Harmony is a better word, since it makes it clear we’re not all the same. We’ll sometimes feel sadness and joy at different times — this gives us opportunity to support one another and to celebrate with one another. “Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”

God wants us to always remember that our righteousness, our wisdom, all comes from Him, not ourselves. “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:15–18) In saying this, Paul is not telling us to be peaceful until we’ve reached the limits of our patience. He’s telling us that a relationship with another person requires both to be peaceable, and that it’s not always possible to have a harmonious relationship with a disagreeable person. Don’t forget that Jesus taught us not to put a limit on our forgiveness. (Matthew 18:21-22)

Reminding ourselves of Jesus’ commandments should be a central part of what we do together as a church. As 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” We serve as His body “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:18) The life of the Body is Jesus’ life: His continued ministry on earth. It’s by His direction and in His power. Living this way is how we, like the early church, will be victorious over the world, and show them Christ is their only hope of salvation: “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23)

Pray this week:
Lord, give me the opportunity to serve with a joyful spirit. Amen. 

Do you want to know what it’s like to be in unity? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Involved in Church

What should you do when you go to Church? If at all possible it is good if you can go to church services each Sunday.

Series: New Believers Guide


What should you do when you go to Church? If you know someone already at church, they can help guide you to activities that would be good for you. If at all possible it is good if you can go to church services each Sunday. Many churches have Bible studies or small groups that meet to study God’s Word; if so these can be a great help to you. You can also begin to help and serve others, even if you are just a very new Christian; maybe there are ways to minister to others at your church.

The Church is the Body of Christ

The Church is Jesus’ own body on the earth. The Bible says, “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself” (Ephesians 1:22-23). That’s what the Bible says, but what does that mean? Think of your own body. Your head tells the rest of your body what to do. If you want your arm to pick something up, it does it. If you want to step on something, your foot obeys the command. It is the same with the Church. We are the representatives of who Jesus is and what He wants done in the world. That means, when people ask the question, “Who is Jesus?”, they can look to the Church and find their answers.

"And each day the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved." Acts 2:47

 

"And when they prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31

 

The Church Needs You

 

This is a wonderful responsibility. Being Jesus’ body means we act like He acts and tell others about Him. The Bible asks this question, “How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? And how can anyone tell them without being sent by the Lord?” (Romans 10:14-15). This is the main goal of the Church—to tell others about Jesus that they too may be saved and added to God’s family. You have an important role to play your part. Maybe God gave you the gift of singing so that you can sing about Him to others. Or maybe He made you to be a teacher and teach people about Jesus. Whatever role God has made you to play is a very crucial one, and His body cannot function at its best without you.

"And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all." Acts 4:33

Day 21: What is Prayer?


How does it help you to think of the church as Jesus' body? When others observe your church family, do they see Jesus? If you don't have a church, you can still talk with other believers! 

 

https://youtu.be/b54tboVpS-I

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What happens the moment after you die?

Every day thousands of people will take their final breath and slip into eternity, either into heaven or into hell. Although we may never know their names, the reality of death happens every day.

What happens the moment after you die?

The moment after you die, your soul temporarily departs from your body to await the Resurrection.

https://youtu.be/YqHAio_Wf4E
Those who place their faith in Christ will be carried by the angels into the presence of the Lord. They are now comforted. Absent from the body and present with the Lord.

Meanwhile, unbelievers await in Hades for the final Judgment.

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments… And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” ~ Luke 16:23a-24

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” ~ Ecclesiastes 12:7

Although, we grieve over the loss of our loved ones, we sorrow, but not as those who have no hope. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 17-18

While the unbeliever’s body remains resting, who can fathom the torments he is experiencing?! His spirit screams! “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming…” ~ Isaiah 14:9a

Unprepared is he to meet God!

 

Although he cries in his torment, his prayer offers no comfort whatsoever, for a great gulf is fixed where no one can pass to the other side. Alone he is left in his misery. Alone in his memories. The flame of hope forever extinguished of seeing his loved ones again.

On the contrary, precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Escorted by the angels into the presence of the Lord, they are now comforted. Their trials and suffering are past. Although their presence will be deeply missed, they have hope of seeing their loved ones again.

***

Dear Soul,

Do you have the assurance that if you were to die today, you’ll be in the presence of the Lord in heaven? Death for a believer is but a doorway that opens into eternal life. Those who fall asleep in Jesus will be reunited with their loved ones in heaven.

Those you’ve laid in the grave in tears, you shall meet them again with joy! Oh, to see their smile and feel their touch… never to part again!

Yet, if you don’t believe in the Lord, you’re going to hell. There is no pleasant way to say it.

The Scripture says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 3:23

Soul, that includes you and me.

Only when we realize the awfulness of our sin against God and feel its deep sorrow in our hearts can we turn from the sin we once loved and accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” ~ Romans 10:9

Don’t fall asleep without Jesus until you are assured of a place in heaven.

Tonight, if you would like to receive the gift of eternal life, first you must believe in the Lord. You have to ask for your sins to be forgiven and put your trust in the Lord. To be a believer in the Lord, ask for eternal life. There’s only one way to heaven, and that’s through the Lord Jesus. That’s God’s wonderful plan of salvation.

You can begin a personal relationship with Him by praying from your heart a prayer such as the following:

“Oh God, I’m a sinner. I’ve been a sinner all of my life. Forgive me, Lord. I receive Jesus as my Savior. I trust Him as my Lord. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Restored Sexuality

God’s plan for sex

Written by Joy on 14/06/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Lust, Marriage, Sex, Sin
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

Ephesians 5:10
God created sex to be a beautiful gift. In Genesis 2, God says it was not good for man to be alone so God created the perfect partner, a woman, so they could become one flesh. The chapter closes with the statement, “they were both naked and felt no shame.” Sex creates a unique relationship that involves physical, emotional and mental unity and completion.

If sex is blessed by God, what makes it immoral?

Blessings Lost
When we forget God has authority to set limits, blessings are lost. “Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” (Romans 1:28). Your phone works best when you use it the way it was designed. In the same way, God designed sex to work a certain way. Rejecting His design leads to darkness, confusion, secrecy, shame, and judgement.

Blessed Design
God used His infinite wisdom to design sex in the beginning. God does not need to “evolve.” He does not change his mind based on our opinions. Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation give a very clear picture of the kind of sex that pleases God. “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). God approves of sex when it is between one man and one woman who have made a lifelong commitment to marriage. Jesus confirmed this to be an unchanging truth in Matthew 19.

Are you willing to trust God’s wisdom and love and follow his guidelines?

Blessing Restored
“He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.” (Colossians 1:13-14). We no longer have to sit in the darkness of shame and confusion. Jesus has made us children of light! (Ephesians 5:8-11)

“You cannot say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies…If we belong to Christ our body is not our own but a temple of the Holy Spirit and therefore we should honor God with our body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13, 19-20). Obedience to God’s plan for sex is a choice we make when we want to please God, not ourselves (Colossians 3:1-17). God has given every Christian the Holy Spirit to teach us truth and empower us to obey it.

Are you going to find out what pleases the Lord and choose to live by it?

Pray this week:
Show me, Lord, where I am not pleasing you in my attitudes and actions regarding sex.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member