God’s plan for mankind (AUDIO)

Walking without an understanding of God’s master plan is like groping through the darkness with no aim, goal, or enduring vision in life.

The audio class below (taught in Diepsloot) is the beginning of a series dedicated to revealing God’s master plan for mankind as stated in the Bible.  When you understand this, you’ll find yourself in a better position to live and take your position as a son of God — fulfilling the “job description” of exercising dominion and authority against all that would cause pain and destruction.  You’ll be equipped with understanding how God intends YOU to be a catalyst for change in this world.

“The heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind.” (Psalms 115:16)

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:27–28)

what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him? 5 You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him lord over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet:” (Psalms 8:4–6 HCSB)

In this audio (Part 1):

– Keys & Characteristics to the Christian Life
– The reason for creation / man / earth
– What happened in the Garden of Eden, and what occurred as a result?

(and more :)

First audio is the full audio, the second is an excerpt.

Mystery & Power of the Gospel, revealed (AUDIO)

Last Sunday I spoke again at Miracle Centre in Diepsloot.  The topic was on the “Mystery of the Gospel” which is now revealed.  (Please see below to download or play the audio files.)

What is the Gospel?  What is the good news?  Is it that Jesus died for us?  Well, that’s what made the Gospel possible — but Jesus’ death isn’t the result, it is the cause and vehicle.  Jesus death and resurrection brought forth something so powerful and life-changing that God had to hide this knowledge  from the very beginning lest the devil would not have had Jesus crucified.  This knowledge of the Gospel and the mission He was to accomplish is what prompted Jesus to say, “the works that I do you will do also, and even greater … and whatever you ask in My name, I will do it.” (Jn. 14:12-14) — because He knew the transformational power that would become available to every one who receives Him.

“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Corinthians 2:6-10)

Well, it’s not a mystery anymore!  “The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations … has now been revealed to His saints … for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Colossians 1:26-29, Hebrews 2:11)

To listen to a recording of this message, just click below.  The first file is the full audio.  The second is an excerpt.

Igniting vision, sharing truth, and inspiring faith in 1000+ school children

Recently I’ve been meeting various people, pastors, and leaders in Diepsloot to see about organizing a place where people can come and learn more about how they can walk with God in faith and effectiveness. I constantly meet people who, after they experience Jesus’ healing touch and are introduced to Him, hunger for more and ask where they can meet and learn more. So I’m in the midst of asking God to lead and guide so we can open up such a place, whether that means building one from scratch, or holding meetings in an already established venue.

One pastor I was introduced to invited me to speak at a school with over 1,200 students. My son went with me (he loves being involved in such things) and I had the privilege to inspire these young hearts and minds with truth from God’s Word. A truth which inspires them with:

1) Vision for life. God created them for a purpose, and he knew them before they were born. There’s no impossibilities for them if they’ll only believe and begin to walk in what God has made available for them. In the midst of poverty and hardship, it’s easy to begin looking through a “nothing will ever change” set of glasses. God has provided not only hope, but Himself, to help them through and over any obstacles to accomplish wonderful things that impact the present and reverberate in eternity. We tend to look at the life of Jesus and think of all the wonderful things He did as being far removed from what we’ll ever do. Yet Jesus says, “The works that I do, you will do also — and greater works, because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12) This is the message I shared with the children.

2) An eternal relationship. Vision is wonderful, but every solid building must be built upon a firm foundation if it hopes to stand strong. A “good” building built on a poor foundation can expect a very short lifespan. A relationship with God provides the firm foundation upon which life takes on meaning and purpose and finds its reach into the very realms of eternity. Jesus is our corner stone and sure foundation upon which all the colors of life begin to shine and radiate through us (manifesting in and through the practical things we do on a daily basis) as we begin to walk as sons and daughters of the one who Created all things. But it all begins with one step — the step of accepting the invitation from God in to a relationship with Himself. I led these children in a prayer to accept this invitation, and I trust that their lives will show the result of their decision.

Prophecy concerning faith, love, truth, doubts, evil, salvation, etc.

This is a prophecy I received for someone who had a variety of questions and doubts about faith and the workings of God in her life.  Many topics are covered here ranging from trials, doubts, the purpose of walking by faith instead of sight, the origin of evil, what is truth, what is love, etc.  I post it here  (minus any personal details) because I think others would benefit from the answers Jesus gave.  The prophecy may seem to abruptly jump from one topic to another, but this is because it was directly given to answer specific things this person wrote me about and wasn’t really meant to be a self-contained, stand on it’s own article.
God bless,


Dear one whom I’ve created and fashioned according to my perfect will and foreknowledge,

You look back on your life with many questions and much wondering — and I do not fault you for this, for if you look back, the natural mind is quick to come up with many valid questions that seem unanswerable; but the truth is this: I’ve been with you at all times.

Do you think it chance that you’re in the place you are now in your journey and search for answers and truth, even having this discussion now?

I am the master potter and I’ve formed you for a unique and powerful purpose — a purpose you can not fully see nor understand at this moment. It’s a purpose you’ve caught a glimpse of in those times when you’ve trusted and called out to Me, yet it’s unfolding, fruition, and specific shape and color has yet to be determined as so much depends on the course you choose to take. Your mind is confused and you look back and wonder how I could have been with you through all those difficult times. Yet I tell you assuredly, I was there and I AM here.

There have been times when My ability to intervene has been limited due to choices you or others have made, but yes, you’ve learned much and have come through the wiser for it.

May I suggest that you not look back on your life with contempt and bitterness, but rather with the understanding that I can use EVERYTHING you’ve been through to help activate and propel you forward towards the very purpose and role which you alone can uniquely fill if you walk with Me in faith and trust? In so doing your individuality, gifts, talents, uniqueness, godly desires and dreams will find fulfillment as you embark on the mission of life with Me at your side to help you navigate the stormy seas of this world, as well as to embark on exciting missions of discovery and those that will help others as well.

Yes, I do have a calling for you — I have a unique plan and opportunity for your life — yet, as you’ve discovered, life is full of choices, and I have limited Myself to work within the framework of your choices.

What I’m offering you is not a set of rules or religion. It’s not a methodology or “toolbox” of self-help instruments to be used within the framework of limited understanding and what “you think” — it’s more than that. What I’m offering you is a passionate relationship with Me which connects you to my very essence.

Yes, you’ve tasted of Me in times past, yet, as you see, you’ve let the waves of problems and doubts distract you from Myself. Remember when Peter looked at the waves instead of keeping His focus on Me? He began to sink. Why? Because He knew in himself he couldn’t “do” the “impossible” of walking on the water — it was contradictory to every form of human understanding. As long as He focused on Me it wasn’t a problem to do the impossible, but as soon as he focused on the “impossibleness” of the situation by looking at the waves and listening to his mind of natural understanding which told him what he was doing doesn’t make sense, then he lost the power to keep going.

So it is, now, with you. You’ve begun to embark on a journey with Me, a journey which requires walking by faith and not by sight, yet the voices of natural “wisdom” call out, “That’s impossible! It doesn’t make sense! What are you doing?!” I know it’s much easier to believe in something you can see and touch with your physical senses or which somehow rely on human capability and ability to obtain things — however, like waves, what can be seen and touched is not the full embodiment of truth; and even though they may seem to dictate situations, they really don’t — only I AM and I do — and as Peter walked on the water, so I can help you walk on in faith if you choose to focus and keep your faith in Me. … for when I am not in focus through faith, the very channel and connection is broken which allows My power, love, truth, and all that I am to flow in abundance which enables you to do the impossible and walk on the water in your relationship with Me. It’s like unplugging a TV from the wall socket. The TV is still there, but there is no power, no life, no flow of electricity which enables one to see and be activated. The TV becomes nothing more than a bunch of components with no purpose.

Look at all those people of faith in Hebrews 11. See what they went through for Me. Why? Because they were focused on Me (Jesus) and knew they were helping to construct My Kingdom — a Kingdom of true love and eternal purpose. They did not conform to the clamoring voices of the world (and even their own human brain) which were so ready to tell them they were crazy. It was not a “pipe dream” they convinced themselves of — they were simply following that inner conviction of faith which was completely contradictory to the voice of natural reasoning and “wisdom” of man. They were thus connected with My true wisdom — they were connected with Me through the vehicle of faith. Faith is tied to the internal compass I’ve put inside you which points towards Me and helps you know which way is TRUE north (the way to truth / to Me) — as opposed to the changing magnetic north of the temporal realm.

I created all the universe not by some outer tool, but by my very essence of who I am. I didn’t use an outer “tool” of power — I AM power. I didn’t use a guidebook of truth, I AM truth. I didn’t use an outside motivator of love, I AM love. There is no power outside of Me, there is no truth outside of Me, there is no love outside of Me. So, why the walk of faith? Faith is the vehicle by which people can connect with Me. It’s the “spiritual connection” to Me. I’ve created it this way so that ALL could simply understand and experience Me (indifferent of culture, creed, geographical location, resources, etc.) and so that no man could attempt to take glory to himself, his ideologies, his “tools”, his own wisdom, his “religion”, experience, or what have you — not because I’m “selfish” and some sort of glory-egoist — but because there really is no full embodiment of truth outside of Me, plain and simple. The moment people rely and put their trust in visible systems, “tools”, religions, laws of attraction, or other “understandable” things and what have you, above Me — they’ve in essence traded Me for some outer “thing”. This outer “thing” could not possibly contain the full embodiment of Me / My essence — it’s just physically and metaphysically impossible. How could the infinite be contained? It’s a contradiction in terms.

Now, don’t get me wrong, you can find many good things contained in various religions, methods, ideologies, etc … the thing is, these are only tidbits of the full picture… An absolutely minuscule piece of the puzzle; therefore it’s not wise to put one’s trust in these puzzle pieces rather than in Me — who is the sum of all the parts and full embodiment. To cling to a part to the exclusion of the sum just won’t take a person very far in their quest for truth.

So, back to the “faith” question… Faith connects to Me — it enables fellowship and relationship. “Seeing my glory” and even flashing my words in the sky doesn’t automatically enable someone to have a love-connection with Me if their faith and trust has not been activated towards Me. Lucifer saw my glory and still chose a path he knew would lead away from Me — so “seeing” is not the same as believing / trusting / having FAITH in Me.

Faith is the means by which one can enter in to a relationship with Me — the infinite — the full-embodiment of love, truth and power — the eternal life giver. Faith is the means by which truth can begin to be assimilated and understood and practiced.

I came to Earth in human form (Jesus), I lived and spoke with people, I showed that I am truly God by proving my essence through the love I shared, the live I lived, the miracles I performed, the truth and wisdom I displayed, as well as through the culmination of the crucifixion (and subsequent resurrection) and the judgment I took upon myself by allowing myself to be separated from my divine power and essence in order to experience true death for every man when I cried out on the cross, “My God, why have you forsaken me!” In that moment I experienced and took on myself all the sins of all humanity and the consequent judgment of complete separation from all the is love, from all that is Divine. In other words, there was in that moment the complete absence of light — in which case only darkness remained. Of course My subsequent resurrection sealed the deal and offered ultimate proof that I AM and that even death itself can not contain Me.

I did all this so faith would have a portal — a door by which one may freely enter (made possible through having the ability to recognize and perceive it clearly). Through the door of faith in Me, Jesus, one may enter in to fellowship and relationship with Me and thus be connected to all that I am. There is thus no need for dependence on outer tools or methodologies to replace the fullness of all that I am. Yes, some “tools” and practices are helpful in living a life of faith and love, and that is the purpose of all that is shared in The Bible — to serve as an anchor by which one may keep firm in My truth and aid in a relationship with Me. However, when the Bible is read without faith, true understanding remains hidden from the reader.

You see, the Bible is unlike any other book in the world. It’s inspired by Me and therefore is meant to be understood not solely by physical, analytical methods of the mind — but through the understanding granted when combined with faith which is the linkup with My Spirit. Sometimes this understanding isn’t formed the very moment a passage is read, but as I said, if someone “abides” and continues in My Word, then he shall know the truth and the truth will make him free.

This faith can come in various manifestations — the faith of a seeker crying out for truth — the faith of someone hurting who looks to The Bible for answers — the faith of someone who wants to grow in their relationship with Me and thus finds food for their spirit… In each of these cases faith is creating a vacuum in a person’s spirit which causes the Words read on the page to be enlightened by My Spirit and the truth starts flowing towards the vacuum, thus granting understanding. As it is recorded in John 6:63 that I said, “The Spirit is the one who gives life; human nature is of no help! The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” So true understanding of the Bible comes when read in faith. Even the seeker who may not know that I, Jesus, am truth — if he reads the Bible with his innermost being calling out for truth, he is calling out for My very essence since He has faith that truth exists and that it can reveal itself… He may not know truth is Me, but I will help Him understand this very fact, for I am the way, the truth, and the life.

I’ve given a portion of my power to my creation — for example to the angels as well as to humans. My power can also be seen in what I’ve created — the beautiful natural world I’ve created for people to enjoy. However, My power and essence is not FULLY embodied in My creation nor any “method” of operation — My glory and essence is too “big” to be contained within any thing except Myself … in fact, I am not contained, I am beyond all things because I created all things. If I created all things, it’s impossible for me to be contained by any thing or things, including the human mind. However, I do desire that my crown jewel of creation — people, experience a relationship with Me and for this reason I’ve created them in my image so that they may communicate and experience Me through the spirit which I’ve given them.

You see, evil is not a thing or person, it’s an absence of Me. Darkness is not a thing, it’s a state where light does not exist. Some give to much credit to the ‘Devil’ — thinking he has all this power in himself and is thus someone to be feared because of the “evil” he “creates” and the power he has… but this is not the case. Yes he has some power, but he’d have no power if I completely retracted all that I’ve given him — he, along with all people and all creation would immediately cease to exist should I completely retract my power and essence … everything would return to the “natural” state of nothingness — darkness and void — emptiness. But because darkness is the absence of light, the disappearance of the Devil wouldn’t mean evil would end … those who exclude Me will always live in various measures of void and darkness, with the high measures manifesting what has come to be known as evil.

I’ve given life to all My creation for a season. Choices are to be made and that’s what life on Earth is for. I extend my arms to all who would desire to come to Me and discover truth and eternal love. For those who come I also grant eternal life — a relationship with Me and a place in My eternal Kingdom of Love.

So in reality, you needn’t try to understand the role of the Devil. He’s simply chosen to depart from me and thus abides in darkness and void — the absence of love and light. The Good news of the Bible has nothing to do with the Devil, it has everything to do with a relationship with Me. This is what I offer to people, and this is what I offer to you.

I love you. My arms are wide open for you. Please choose to rest and abide in My arms so I may strengthen you and heal the wounds in your heart. It’s ok that there’s many things you don’t understand … full understanding is not necessary for us to share a wonderful relationship together; in fact, worrying too much about why this, that and the other is not spiritually healthy for you right now. I can guarantee that if you proceed in faith with Me, many of your questions will find their answers in time. There are many things I’ll show you, but they don’t need to all unfold at once. It’s a step by step process, just like a baby isn’t an adult by day two, nor is a caterpillar changed in to an unfettered butterfly except after time spent in the cocoon. I’m your cocoon. Yes, cocoons are needed sometimes in order for metamorphosis to take place… until that caterpillar enters the cocoon he doesn’t put himself in a position for me to do the miracle of transformation. Please, let me help you in giving you the desires of your heart. Let me help you experience the joy of salvation instead of slavery of the mind. Let me set you free from all the confusion you face … it doesn’t become clear by running away … it becomes clear by letting me renew your heart, mind, and spirit as you abide in Me and in My Word — in faith. If you lack faith in The Bible right now — that’s ok. But are you open to let me still work with you on this? That’s all I ask. You needn’t try and force yourself to have faith for it’s not something you’re able to do … trust in Me — I’ll raise Lazarus if you roll away the stone … just do what you CAN do and let me worry about what you can’t. If you’re able to simply give me a chance and trust that I’ll lead and guide you as a result of your direct faith in Me, then that’s all I require. Just lay out all your doubts to me and leave them on the altar. I’ll take them and work with you on them in time… but it’s always a step of faith to abide in Me — the natural mind can’t wrap it’s head around it, so I’d advise not to try and do so. If you can simply accept that I love you, that’s all I need to work with — we can take it from there. If you’re not sure of that, then I can still help you come to that place if you let me… It’s up to you — but just know that I do love you…

With much love,


Why we do what we do. Vibrancy with God for all!



We just wanted to explain once again (in a small nutshell :) why we’ve dedicated the last eighteen years of our lives to helping others know Jesus. It is this:  That all my come to know, experience, and trust in the immense love, depth, and fellowship of God and thus enter in to eternal life.  “Now this is eternal life–that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” (John 17:3)

It’s not about stuffing people’s heads with Bible Knowledge, seeing how many “good works” we can do, trying to build up a reward for ourselves in Heaven, nor trying to satisfy some feeling of “duty” or spiritual “obligation”.  It’s not about building up some sort of “wow” ministry, nor winning spiritual/intellectual arguments “for God”.  (Don’t misunderstand me — Bible study, good works, and ministry are important — it’s just that without experiencing the love, fire, and passion of an intimate relationship with God, we’re missing the most important thing.)

Our motivation is very simple.  Jesus Christ has radically and unequivocally changed our lives when we finally decided to fully trust and follow Him. (Jn. 1:12, II Cor. 5:17) The depth of love, peace, and fellowship we experience with Him on a daily basis is something we just can not keep to ourselves — we must share it our we’ll probably burst in to little pieces :) (well, something like that anyway.) We just love sharing with others how they may experience God because we know all who do will experience radically wonderful love and fellowship just as we are (… and we pray others may go even above and beyond what we have already experienced with Him!)

It doesn’t matter what church you attend (or don’t attend), what label you wear, or in what culture you grew up.  Jesus offers the same depth of relationship to YOU, sitting there, reading this, right now.  Perhaps you already know Him and know exactly what I’m talking about here (in which case that’s fantastic!); or perhaps you don’t, in which case I’d encourage you to Click on the “Faith” category and the sub-category “Entering in – The Starting Point” to read how you can begin this relationship with Jesus.  (We’ll be adding more writings and posts as soon as we can … we’re just getting started with the website here — please bear with us!  So much bubbling inside us we want to share … we just need a few more hours in the day!)

In any case words can’t do justice to what we want to express to you … you just have to experience God for yourself to fully understand how absolutely NOTHING compares to the wonderful, profound, immense and ultimate love, passion, fire, warmth, and security to be found in knowing God, knowing Jesus, and having His Spirit flowing within and without you as you go about your day in fellowship and conversation with Him. (Jn. 15:4)

(Disclaimer:  In case somebody is getting the wrong idea, let’s state for the record — we’re not perfect!  We have our ups and downs just like everyone … but God is always there with His arms wide open after we get off the roller-coaster! :)

Please, bring us joy by bringing yourself joy and invite Jesus in your life as your ultimate guide (Jn. 16:13), lover (Rev. 19:7) and friend (Jn. 15:15). Maybe you know “of” Jesus and have for many years, but you’ve never really fully given or trusted him with ALL, EVERYTHING. (Prov. 3:5-6) Please, that you may experience His fullness, ask Him to help you lay all down at His feet in complete, utter abandonment and trust.  I GUARANTEE you won’t regret it — if you don’t look back!  Keep walking on in faith (II Cor. 5:7) and you’ll find all you’ve ever desired (and more) in Him. (Ps. 37:4)

No, everything won’t automatically become perfect all of a sudden — life still has it’s trials and “bumps”.  But those trials and bumps are blessings because through them we can learn to trust in Him (and help others – II Cor. 1:4) who’s with us through those things.  If we hold his hand through it all in trust, we’ll come through it as gold comes through the fire — pure and refined (I Peter 1:7) in Him; until the very day we go home (to Heaven) (II Cor. 5:6-8) and the veil disappears — thus allowing us to behold Him in whom we have believed, in all His fullness and glory (I Cor. 13:12-13), as He (the very spirit of Love – I Jn. 4:8) pours, enters, and washes in to every fiber of our being.

Oh my, I must stop writing here or I’ll go on forever and you’ll never make it through this post!  (Plus, my three little kiddies are clambering at the door :)

Lots and lots of love, that’s what’s waiting for you!  Dive in and lets swim together in His depths! (Hey, check out the “Dive” music video while we’re on the topic by clicking on the “Music Videos” tag on the right side of your screen under “tags” … or, if that’s too much work, just click HERE :)

Buried with Christ – living a new life – Romans 6:4

“Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

In II Corinthians 13:5 the Apostle Paul encourages us to “examine ourselves” to see if we are truly “in the faith”.

In a world where “Christianity” is often “practiced” as a fashionable mode of operation or a regimen of rules rather than experienced as a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ, it’s so easy to get sucked in to the “normality” and various pulls of life and forget that our relationship with Jesus should result in us living a new life — a life in which our visions, goals, time and viewpoints are markedly different than the world’s “me-first” prototype.

“… we have been buried with him through baptism into death …”

Jesus was crucified (for us!) and buried in a tomb. In the same way our old life characterized by “me-first” priorities should be dead, gone and buried. (See Luke 9:23.)

This is not to say we suddenly, magically lose all human and selfish desires. The difference is the “me-first” motivator is no longer in control. It doesn’t lead us around by the nose telling us what to do with our thoughts, time and life. In essence, it’s no longer enthroned as “god” of our life. Why? Because we’ve decided that God should have the place of God rather than allowing our own selfishness to usurp that position. We’ve therefore traded a temporal path of limited fleshly reasonings for God’s eternal path of truth and light. (I Peter 2:9)

WAIT! someone may exclaim. What’s so “bad” about a “me-first” attitude? Isn’t it natural, after all?

I think the answer to this is clearly visible in the world around us. Flip on the news (or just look around) and we can see the results of the me-first attitude. What’s the motivating factor of every crime? — “I want that!” (me-first). (James 4:1-3) What’s the motivator of every unkind action? “I’m more important — I need to consider myself first.”

Me-first attitudes are not just actions — they’re characterized by lack of action as well. If love is seeing a need and filling that need, me-first attitudes are seeing needs and doing nothing.

“… as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.”

Now the power and life of God enters the equation and provides the solution to the me-first attitude.

Jesus was raised from the dead through the power of God. This same power (God’s Spirit) baptizes (immerses) and transforms our spirit when we truly make the decision to yield our life and receive Jesus as Lord — letting Him be God instead of us. See I Cor. 12:13, Titus 3:5, Lk. 11:9-13, John 1:12 and Acts 5:32.

This baptism and renewing by the Spirit of God is what gives us the power to live a new life in Christ. No longer do we need to try on our own to do the right thing, figure out eternal truths, etc. Now we have God’s Spirit and Word as a guide, counselor, and provider of power to live a new life. See John 14:15-17; 16:13; Acts 1:8.

Have we truly been “born from above” (John 3:3) by enthroning Christ as Lord in our life, and are we thus living our life with God’s Heavenly Perspective instead of a me-first attitude? (Col. 3:1-4) When people look at us do they see the love, joy and “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) which comes as a result of living a new life with Jesus? Are we walking by faith instead of sight — looking past the temporal enticements and keeping our eyes, heart, visions, plans and actions within God’s eternal realm of love and truth? (II Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:1,6, Heb. 11:13-16; II Cor. 4:18; I Peter 4:1-2; Romans 8:5-17)

“I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:16–21)

Let’s make a difference in this world! Let’s let God’s light shine through us in such a way that people will clearly see Him. Let’s live a new life — in Jesus.

Vision vs. busyness

One thing I keep getting reminded of is the importance of living with vision.

It’s so easy in this day and age to get so busy with so many things … sometimes to the neglect of what’s most important.

Have you ever stopped to identify your personal “mission statement”? Something that clearly outlines what you’re striving for in life?  Without this mission statement (and a plan to implement it) there can be a tendency to simply float along in life and wonder if we’re accomplishing anything of lasting value.

What is the high, over-arching goal that motivates you — the goal you’re working towards which, at the end of your life, if you were faithful to that vision you’d feel you really accomplished what God wanted you to?

As a Christian, a primary goal we have is to keep the fires of love burning brightly in our relationship with Jesus not only for our own sake, but that others may also realize that God truly exists.  People are much more open to truths they see lived rather than ones they only hear about.  Jesus says, “Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you.” (John 20:21) So clearly one of our goals is to take steps that contribute to the reality of God’s love and joy being birthed in the hearts and lives of others (Mk. 16:15) — as others are helped to discover the reality of a personal relationship with Jesus.  (Proverbs 11:30)

There may be multiple important goals in our lives, but the important thing is — 1) Have we identified these goals and 2) Are we implementing a plan to ensure these goals are receiving the time and attention they deserve?

Are we acting on what God has already revealed as His will through His Word — and have we taken time to hear from God for any specifics — to get His personalized plan and counsel as how to best use the time He’s entrusted us with?

‘Only one life, ’twill soon be past.  Only what’s birthed in God’s love will last.’

No matter what your personal method is for finding out what’s most important to you — it’s definitely a good thing to make time to do.  There’s nothing that results in that hollow, empty feeling more than simply letting the days role by without taking steps to meet our higher goals in life.

And, as you may guess, I can highly recommend asking God for His guidance on the matter; the One who created us definitely knows us best — even better than we know ourselves.  He can speak fresh words of guidance straight to our heart whenever we stop to listen, as well as when we specifically take time to study the vast wealth of wisdom in His Word (The Bible) as well.

Have you ever stripped your soul bare and laid it before the Creator of all things? It’s amazing what He can create when we give Him EVERYTHING to work with rather than just a part. He has a key to unlock every door, but they only unlock the doors He has for us to walk through . . . let’s not waste time with those other doors.

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

May God bless you as you clearly identify and chart a plan of progress to reach your life goals!

May He be able to say to us in that day, Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

Connecting with God – The altar and the incense

I was just reading the Bible with Kaden (my six year old son) in Exodus chapter 30 where God explains how the alter for burning incense was to be built. It struck me how God’s instructions concerning this altar and the incense parallels our spiritual walk and offers insight for walking in fellowship with Him.

This altar was located just outside the Holy of Holies (where God would manifest His presence) and was separated only by a thick curtain. The incense to be burned on this altar was a specific mixture set forth by God Himself — a mixture which was holy and sacred. Nobody was to make nor use this recipe for any purpose other than for burning on this specific altar before the Lord.

One portion of scripture I found particularly interesting concerning the altar was the instruction from God:

“You shall not offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering, and you shall not pour a drink offering on it.” (Exodus 30:9)

God had specific instructions in regards to the incense to be used.  There was to be no substitute.

The other kinds of offerings were good offerings sanctioned by God — but they were not to be offered upon this altar before the holy of holies. The altar was strictly for the burning of this specific incense.

This got me thinking how incense is spoken of in relation to our prayers and communication with God.

“And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:8)

“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!” (Psalms 141:2)

Considering incense is like our prayers — and at the beginning of Jesus’ model prayer He prays “your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10) — putting the two together we can see the relationship between communicating with God and His will being accomplished.

Prayer is our communication lifeline with our Creator. Without this vital communication and fellowship we’re unable to partake of God Himself.  We may accomplish many things which our mind and logic (as well as many other voices in the world) tells us are important, but only by seeking God’s will alone do we know that we’re accomplishing the things He wants us to which have the greatest impact on lives and eternity.

If we offer God the incense of HIS choosing and as per His instructions upon the altar of our life (Romans 12:1) — that is, if we do not offer “unauthorized incense” (incense (plans and prayers) which have root in our own selfishness) but rather seek to enact His Word and the things He reveals to us — in so doing we will not be presenting our own “burnt offering”, “grain offering” nor “drink offering” upon the altar of our life which was created solely to offer a specific, sweet incense to God; instead, we will be listening to God’s instructions and guidance and following it up with obedience and action. “To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

Each of us has a realm of influence which no one else has. Therefore as we seek first His Kingdom, He can make clear how to best enact the plan He has for us as individuals and how to incorporate all He has already shared with us through His Word — the Bible.

If we pray with Jesus, “… not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42) — then we’ll find the humble position of our heart is such that allows us to fellowship with God, as Jesus says, “where I am, there will my servant be also.” (John 12:26)  “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and respects my word.” (Isaiah 66:2)  “If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him.” (John 14:23)

I don’t know about you, but I want God to “take up residence” in my life. There is nothing that compares to the love, joy, truth and meaning He brings.  There’s just something about knowing you’re in the center of God’s will — burning the incense which He’s custom designed for you personally“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

And may God grant us the grace to allow Him to replace our old “wineskin” of our current way of thinking with a new wineskin of His making — one that will enable us to accommodate His new wine of instruction, guidance and fellowship in our lives.  May we allow Him pour out our own ideas, plans and opinions — to be replaced by His love, truth, fellowship and instruction.  “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. Instead new wine must be poured into new wineskins.” (Luke 5:37–38)

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Some people search for God with their mind — wondering why they can’t find Him.  Instead, we must open our heart and say with Jesus, “Not my will, but yours be done”.  In such a position of the heart and will, we find God.  The eternal and incomprehensible to human understanding then becomes known through the resultant indwelling of His Spirit within us.

Jesus reacing out

How to begin a relationship with God. Spiritual life and growth in a nutshell.

Search for TruthIn a world with a bazillion philosophies, religions and “roads” to purported “enlightenment”, one may wonder if it’s possible to truly distinguish if there is indeed just one “right” path to God; or for that matter, whether God even exists.

On the topic of the existence of God we believe the scientific data in fields such as archaeology, biology, geology, astronomy, and anthropology all support the Genesis (Biblical) account of God’s creating all things.  (Please click on the “Science and Faith” category for more on this).  Perhaps even more relevant are the “eye-witness” testimonials and personal experiences of hundreds of thousands of people (myself included) who’ve entered in to a vibrant relationship with God through Jesus Christ and can testify of the real communication and experiential relationship we share with Him.

As far as the “bazillions” of philosophies, religions and “roads” to God purported today … they can really be narrowed down to TWO.

The first is the “do-it-yourself” kind which encompasses most every religion and train of thought today. They suggest that we (a finite being) can somehow build a ladder to God (the infinite being) — through various means and methods.  Be good enough (your good deeds somehow outweighing your bad deeds), meditate the correct way, follow enough strict rules, do abc and xyz and bingo — you’ve arrived at enlightenment, you’ve earned your ticket to Heaven or whatever the goal may be; the point is that YOU’VE done it, got it, achieved it, bought it, did it, whatever.  You, the finite, have traversed to the infinite.

The second is the Biblical perspective which states that man can not build a bridge to God, but rather the infinite must reach down to the level of the finite in order for a relationship and union to occur.  This took place when God “was made visible in human flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) and Jesus walked among us.

Jesus proved God’s love for us even to the point of giving His life through crucifixion.  Why?  So we could have the possibility of entering in to a relationship with Him and know and experience the depths of God’s love for us.

But why crucifixion, death, and what’s all this business of “giving His life for us”?  Why do we need that in the first place? Good question — glad you asked.

Adam and Eve were created in such a state and situation that they had fellowship with God.  They walked and talked with the Creator.  Everything was harmonious in the universe as a beautiful, orchestral symphony with melodic notes of love and peace overflowing from the very vibrancy of creation … that is until Adam and Eve decided to go their own way and chart their own destiny which involved taking a path that led away from God.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:1–6)

Adam and Eve disregarded God’s instruction by trusting in what they “saw” and perceived to be true. After all, if they could be “wise like God” wouldn’t that be a good thing?  What they failed to realize is that true wisdom lies not in knowledge itselfbut knowledge which works and is empowered by God’s guidance, omniscience, and infinite vantage point rather than according to man’s finite methods of logical deduction. The problem is not man’s God-given ability to reason, but putting trust in this finite capacity above and thus out of alignment with the trust one puts in the omniscience of God; in other words, the ‘created’ thinking it knows better than the Creator.

Adam and Eve's temptationThe serpent’s seed of doubt towards God and His word successfully derailed Adam and Eve (and multitudes of individuals today) and got them to trade God’s path of infinite wisdom, fellowship and truth for a path of limited, finite reasoning.  This has resulted in spiritual “death” — separation from God who is the very essence and source of life.  As light can not abide in darkness, neither can fellowship with God exist while man’s spirit abides on a path where finite, logical deductions reign supreme and and effectively control the heart, mind, and resultant actions of the individual as well as cause distortion of and inability to receive God’s omniscient and eternal truth.  This worship of finite “self” reasoning above God and His word disintegrates the fellowship between God and man and fulfills the serpent’s desire to make mankind as he himself is — dissatisfied at operating on the level of the ‘created’ and lusting to operate within the capacity of the Creator — God — the One who sets forth what truth really is and the methods through which it operates. “… and you will be like God …”

“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin. (Romans 5:12)

The Greek and Hebrew (languages from which our modern day Bibles have been translated) words which find their English translation as “sin” in the Bible means “to fall short of” or “miss the mark”.  These words were used in Archery to describe the act of missing the center target — the “bulls-eye”.

Man’s choosing to depart from God’s “bulls-eye” (best / central) path is what’s known as sin.  “God is love” (I John 4:8) and a departure from His path (even if it seems the “logical” thing to do) results in “falling short” and “missing the mark” of God’s path of true love.  The newspaper is full of evidence of what happens when humanity departs from a path of love.

Man's inhumanity to man.

Sin necessitates justice to be served. We can see this in the penal system of society where evil deeds require punishment of the evil doer.  When this does not happen evil is allowed to flourish, gain in power and influence, and inflict further evil upon more victims.

Obviously God isn’t happy with sin and the damage it does, nor is he happy with the resultant separation between Himself and the very people He created to experience loving union with Himself; so in His infinite love for every person He chose to “become flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) and took the form of a man. This Jesus walked on Earth, expounded eternal truth, and was living proof through every word and deed of the vibrancy of God’s very personal love for each individual.  This living expression of supernatural love had its culmination in His crucifixion.

“… but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Hebrews 9:26–28)

“I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” (John 10:17–18)

CrucifixionSo God Himself, Jesus Christ, allowed Himself to be crucified by finite man who was motivated by his finite reasoning and sin and “Him who knew no sin” (Jesus) was made to be “sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) In other words, the justice which required payment for mankind’s evil and sin — God took upon Himself in the form of Jesus Christ.

The sacrifice and forgiveness for sin Jesus offers us has no effect, however, unless we personally choose to accept it. Someone offers us a glass of water; we can believe it’s good and will relieve our thirst — but until we accept the gift and drink it, it does us no good.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!(Luke 11:9–13)

To receive God’s Spirit and “eternal life … that they may know [Him], the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He] has sent” (John 17:3) — all that must be done is to ask God for this gift.  God sees the sincerity of our heart and that’s the only requirement.

Obviously to ask from the heart we need to recognize our own need for God’s forgiveness and our utter inability to “build a ladder to God” based on our own self efforts.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9)

Some people feel they are “pretty good” and in “need of nothing” yet don’t realize they are spiritually “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17) Pride has a tendency to cause people to be “alienated from the life of God … because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18) and God “has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.” (Luke 1:53) If we do not first recognize our spiritual poverty, we will never be able to enter in to a relationship with God and partake of His spiritual riches of truth, through Jesus Christ. Recognizing spiritual poverty causes us to turn from the things that brought us in to that state and thus we forsake the old life and deeds of emptiness and instead turn to the source of life — God Himself. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) 

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Why did Jesus make this statement?  To show that man can not build a ladder to God; to completely discredit the “do-it-yourself” type of religions and ideologies; to show that the only way to enter in to a relationship with God is to accept His gift, His sacrifice, His hand (Jesus Christ) which has reached down from the realm of infinity to our finite realm.  All we must do is accept and receive His gift.  (Reach out and drink that glass of water).  The gift is, Himself. After we accept His gift our spirit is “renewed by God’s Spirit;” (Titus 3:5) and “God [raises] us up with Christ and [seats] us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:6) So GOD brings us in to the heavenly realm — by his power, not by our own self achievement.

“To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—” (John 1:12)

Jesus reaching outWill you accept this gift Jesus offers you? Do you want to enter in to a relationship with God Himself? “Ask and you will receive”.  “God will give His Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

If you like, you can pray a simple prayer like this one:

“Jesus, I realize my best intentions and efforts fall short in comparison with Your Eternal Truth. Forgive me for putting my own ways and desires above you — thinking that I know better. Please cleanse and fill me with Your Spirit of Love and give me the gift of Eternal Life – knowing you, knowing God.  Please be my Counselor throughout life’s journey, as you alone know the path of greatest significance and meaning.  I want to know you, and I want to walk in the fullness of your love. Amen.”

If you’ve accepted Jesus’ gift you can know for certain that “to be absent from the body [is to] be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8) We’ll see each other in Heaven when this life is over!  “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.(1 John 5:13)

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand … I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. ” (John 10:27-28; 11:25–26)

When we receive Jesus we are adopted in to God’s family.  “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;” (Romans 8:15–17) When you have a child, he’s your child forever — nothing can change that. When we are adopted in to God’s family, it’s forever.

Butterfly“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ(2 Corinthians 5:17–18)

Beginning this relationship with Jesus is, well, just the beginning! As you spend time with someone you love you get to know the person better; you get to know his heart, motivations, recognize his voice and more.  The same with Jesus.

Prayer is not a religious ritual — it’s communicating with God. We talk, He talks, we listen, He listens — just as we communicate with anyone else.  When it comes to prayer many people not only approach it like a ritual by repeating the same words over and over, but neglect the most important part — listening.

How would you feel if your loved one comes running up to you, repeats a few lines he always says every day then goes hurrying off.  That’s not much of a dialog is it?  In the same way if we want to get to know Jesus deeply, we must spend time not only speaking from our heart (not just repeating some memorized, ritualistic lines), but we must take the time to listen as well. Don’t you think, perhaps, that God might have a few valuable things to say to us that might just be the very thing that can change our life or provide the answers we’ve been searching for?  Or perhaps sometimes it will simply be words of endearment … after all, love is the most beautiful gift we can share and love makes time to interact, caress, communicate, as well as simply enjoying each others presence.

A relationship with Jesus provides the deepest, most satisfying union that can ever be experienced; after all, we’re interacting with God Himself whose very essence is pure and total love.  The marriage relationship is a parallel to the intimacy He wants to share with us.  (See Ephesians 5:31-32); yet unlike earthly relationships, it’s also nice to know Jesus promised, “I will never leave nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5)

What a precious treasure — to be able to communicate, interact, and experience intimacy with God Himself.  Yet what a neglected treasure it is.

(Video) Interview with God

Some people doubt whether God makes Himself available to provide specific answers to specific questions; God, however, doesn’t have any doubts.  He’s alive, well, and more willing to give than we are to receive. If we exercise a bit of faith and receptivity and deem God important enough by making time to listen to Him, then we too can experience a direct hot-line with the One who created all things.

“Call to Me and I will answer and show you wonderful things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

In any case, sit back and enjoy this beautiful “interview with God” which is accompanied by beautiful music and scenes of nature.