“Planted by the Waters”

Are you planted by the waters? Are you trusting Jesus in every area of your life?
Some years ago our house developed a major water blockage and I was using a water-hose in a desperate attempt to un-stop the main drain. To say that I, and everything around me, was completely soaked would not be sufficient.
As might be expected the phone rang, and with the gushing water-hose in one hand I answered the phone with the other; without even saying “hello” a voice on the other end blurted out, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the water!”
God definitely has a sense of humour! My Mother, who had no idea what I was doing at the time, was quoting what has become one of my favourite Scriptures.
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jer 17:7-8 (NIV)
Years later, in the midst of my morning devotion, I sensed the Holy Spirit ask, “Do you trust me in every area of your life?” Again the Scripture in Jer 17:7 came to mind. I knew this Scripture by heart, but this time it had a much deeper message.
Perhaps for the first time I realized that God was describing a lifestyle that is based upon complete trust and confidence in Him. He was asking “do you trust Me in every area of your life, for anything you may encounter?”
So I ask, do you trust Jesus in every area of your life? There is assurance and confidence in knowing that He will be with you in every situation, and that He promises to never leave or abandon you. (Heb 13:5)
If you will trust in the Lord He will be there to help with decisions, temptations, illness, social situations, and whatever you may encounter. You will find renewed trust, hope, and a deeper walk with Him.
In good times, tough times, or in a year of drought, you can be like the tree near the waters that does not fear or worry; whose leaves are always green and never fails to bear fruit.
When your trust and confidence is in the Lord you are blessed. It’s His promise!

Take up Your Cross

Are you ready to take up your cross? “Then he said to them all, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self”? (Luke;9:23-27)
There are at least three conditions in the above scripture that must be met by people who follow Jesus. We must be willing to deny self, take up our crosses, and follow him. Anything else is superficial lip service. When Jesus said to his disciples, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and “FOLLOW ME” his disciples understood what he was saying.
Crucifixion was a common Roman method of execution and condemned criminals had to carry their crosses through the streets to the execution site. Following him meant making a true commitment, the risk of death, and no turning back.
Christians follow Christ by imitating his life and obeying his commands. To take up one’s cross means to carry your own cross to the end, even if it means death, if necessary, for your faith in Christ. We must also deny our selfish desires.
Following Christ requires dying to self and may seem costly now, but in the long run is well worth the pain and effort. Nothing can compensate for the loss of eternal life.
A good example of how to take up your cross is found in Acts 16:22-25. Paul and Silas had been severely flogged and thrown into prison yet about midnight they were praying and singing hymns to God. They were praising God even in the most difficult circumstances.
Another instance is when the people close to Paul learned that he was going to Jerusalem where he would likely be thrown in prison; they pleaded with him not to go. “Then Paul answered, Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:14)
Yet, according to Paul, the Christian life is the best life there is. It’s true that when you take up your cross there will be a burden to bear, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Not even life itself can compare to what we gain with Christ. Jesus wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and let him direct our paths. He knows better than we do what real life is about.
When we give our life in service to Christ He will send the Holy Spirit to comfort, instruct, fill us with joy, and guide us through our troubles and onto the path he would have us follow.
We then discover the real purpose of living, and a brilliant future not only in this world, but a beautiful, glorious eternal life so fantastic it defies description.
As you take up your cross remember that there Christians in over 40 countries who face daily persecution, imprisonment, and even death for their faith in Jesus Christ. We must pray for these persecuted Christians that they will remain strong in Christ as they take up their cross. Therefore decide today to take up this cross laid upon you!

I SEE

Here’s what I’m seeing – I know it’s never happened; but, I know that it must before the end. There must be, not just individuals – I’m thankful we have individuals that are rising up with such anointing, such strength, we have people scattered all over the planet right now that are just making a mess of things in all the right ways. We are so encouraged. But, what I’m believing for is a generation – a generation that will rise up with a corporate faith, a corporate anointing to press into realms because it’s my conviction that as much as God put on a William Branham, or a Kathryn Kuhlman, or a Wigglesworth, He’ll put far greater anointing on a company of people than He ever would on an individual. To do that, there must be that corporate sense (Unity Of The Faith). ‘We have to deal with the issue of obeying the rules of this kingdom to tap into the resources of this kingdom’…we cannot use the principles of this world and expect to tap into unlimited resource of the kingdom of God…”

How To Communicate To Change Lives

Why do preachers preach?index
Since the goal of preaching is to change lives, preaching is the ultimate tool for church growth. But how can you be effective in communication through preaching? Listed below are eight questions to ask about your preaching.

1. Who will I be preaching to? Asking questions like, “What are their needs?”, “What are their hurts?”, and, “What are their interests?”, will help us focus on where the people are. Why ask? Because although there are three things that always get one’s attention:
• Things that threaten us.
• Things that are unusual.
• Things that we value.
“A preacher can only consistently keep people’s attention by focusing on what people value.”

2. What does the bible say about their needs? Since the Bible is the Book of Life, is will have the answer to peoples needs! The preacher’s task is to show the Bible to be relevant for today’s needs.

3. What is the most practical way to say it? Application is the central task in preaching. So, preaching must be practical enough for people to know what to do. How to make preaching more practical?
• Always aim for action.
• Tell the people why.
• Show them how.
Exhortation without explanation leads to frustration. Too often people respond to a message with the expression, “Yes, but how?” In other words, I agree with what you’re saying, but “how do I do it?”

4. What is the most positive way to say it? Jesus never tried to convert anyone with anger. Although the Scriptures clearly warn of judgment, negative preaching only produces negative people.
• Promote the positive alternatives to sin and preach humbly.

5. What is the most encouraging way to say it? Everyone has three fundamental needs:
• To have their faith reinforced,
• To have their hope renewed,
• To have their love restored.
The key to encouraging people is don’t just tell it like it is, but also tell it like it could be.

6. What is the simplest way to say it? Jesus taught profound truth in simple ways. Since a person forgets 90 to 95% of what they hear in seventy-two hours, the sermon needs to be definable in a single thought. How do you simplify the sermon?
• Condense the message into a single sentence.
• Avoid using religious terms.
• Keep your outline simple.
• Make your application fit.
• Never make a point without a picture.

7. What is the most personal way to say it? People today are skeptical and resistant to sales pitches, so the message must be made personal “He’s preaching to me!” How do you preach with impact?
• Honestly share your struggles.
• Honestly share your progress.
• Share what you are learning.

8. What is the most interesting way to say it? To the unchurched, dull preaching is unforgivable. Vary your delivery! Jesus told stories about people and He also used humor. Humor relaxes people, makes painful medicine easier to accept and creates positive emotions.

In summary, good effective preaching is not just an accident. It should be thought through. Finally, the most effective key to preaching is simply LOVE PEOPLE!

N/B: Not for only preachers but also for those who want to communicate values to the lives of others

How a new Pastor/Leader can get his people to follow his leadership:

1tim4vs12: Let your speaking, your lifestyle, your love for your people, your zeal, your faith and your pure lifestyle be an inspiration to them. Become a leader by loving your people, serving them and setting the example.
1tim4vs13: Spend time reading. The old saying that “leaders are readers,” is true – depending on what a person is reading. Spend time reading the Word, as well as time reading books on leadership and people management. Also, give time to duplicating yourself in others – mentoring. Find some in your congregation who have leadership potential and begin building a group of like-minded leaders. And, make sure your doctrine is biblical and accurate. Don’t just go with the flow of what other churches are doing, but be founded on the rock, the Word of God.
1tim4vs14: Paul reminds Timothy not to neglect the anointing, the gifting that is in him for ministry. It’s easy for a Pastor/Leader to forget that there is an impartation in his life that separates him from the members of the congregation. He is not just a young man. He is a young man with the anointing, a young man with the gifting for ministry directly from the Holy Spirit, which was given through the laying on of hands by those over him.
1tim4vs15: Meditate (from the Hebrew “to mutter, to whisper”) on these things; to speak them to himself, and to give himself 100% to being the example of a committed, zealous and loving man of God. When he does that, everyone will take note that he is what he says he is, that God has sent him to that congregation, and that God is backing him up!
1tim4vs16: keep an eye on your attitude, your schedule, your words and deeds, and pay attention to what God is telling you through the Word of God. Keep on doing this all your life, never lose your momentum. That will keep you in position with God and will cause people to come to the Lord through your ministry.

I AM A CHRISTIAN


“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit power line operating in me, the dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line between deaths to that of God’s abundant life. I am His and I wouldn’t look back, let go, slow down, back out or stand still. I am moving on in victory.
My past is redeemed, my present is productive, and my future is assured. I’m finished and done with low life mentality, sense living, small planning, rocky journeys, colorless dreams, tamed and narrow visions, mundane and senseless talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals.
I no longer “need” to live according to the world’s patterned lifestyle to know beyond every reasonable doubt that I am a king. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by Spirit, I’m lifted by His promises ad labored by His power.
My gaze is set on Him, my gait is fast in Him, and my goal is Heaven, Amen. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of problems, hesitate in the presence of adversary, negotiate in the presence of the negotiator-the devil, ponder in the pool of confusion or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I wouldn’t give up, shut up, let go, until I have stayed strong, stored up, prayed up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus, I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all knows and work till He stops me. When He finally comes, He would recognize me as His own.”
Above was the testimony of a young African pastor who wrote this note before he was killed for the sake of the gospel.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TESTIMONY AT LAST?