ONLY JESUS

You’re my constant in the chaos.
You’re my compass when the road is long. You’re my portion, never failing.
For me, only Jesus.

You’re my center should I wander. You’re my future and You redeem my past. Every moment and then forever. For me, only Jesus.

Let my heart want for nothing but You, just You. Let my heart want for nothing but You, just You. The riches of this world Could never satisfy.

Let my heart want for only You. Oh Jesus, let my heart want for only You.

~ Brian and Jenn Johnson ~

“LORD, WHAT ABOUT HIM?”| JOHN 21:21

In John 21, Jesus spoke to Peter about ‘feeding His sheep’. Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me?” Peter answers with “Yes Lord, you know that I love you” … Jesus then says, “Take care of my sheep”. As believers, the Lord is asking us today ‘Do you love me? … then feed my sheep’

But what happens when we become so concerned with those around us? Do you sometimes question the genuineness and love of your fellow brothers and sisters towards God and towards you? Do you sometimes find yourself asking God ‘Lord, why aren’t those around me genuine in their Christian walk? Why can’t they show genuine love? Why does everyone around me seem so artificial? How is that person serving You?’

We can easily be discouraged and bring ourselves down because we are so concerned with whether or not those around us are fighting the good fight. When we do that, we jeopardise our happiness, our relationship with the Lord, our effectiveness in service and our own genuineness.

But how should we as believers deal with disappointment from other believers? Firstly, we must remind ourselves that all have sinned (Romans 3:23). Reminding ourselves of how God loved us as sinners should be great motivation to continue loving our brothers and sisters. Christ did not hang on a cross any more for your brother or sister than He did for you.

Secondly, we ought to speak the truth in love. “So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and from by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15). God does not want us to live in war with those around us. What is the truth? John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” – We need to look to God’s word and do what it tells us – and if something is contrary to God’s word, it must be corrected.

Thirdly, we must remind ourselves that gossiping about others is a sin in itself. Romans 1:29 lists gossips among murderers, slanderers and haters of God. Ephesians 4:29 says unless it builds others up, don’t say it! Talking to someone about someone else’ sin is not going to restore this person to better relationship with God or with yourself. Watch out for Matthew 7:3-5 which says “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Whilst the Bible tells us to speak the truth in love, we must first take heed that we don’t have a log in our own eye. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139: 23-24).

Peter looks at John (one of the other disciples) and asks Jesus “Lord, what about Him”? Jesus responds with “What is that to you?”. Dear reader, the Lord calls you to love, to serve, to forgive others, to preach the good news. Our objective in this life should be to look more like Jesus. Don’t be so concerned with those around you – Jesus asks you today, ‘Do you love me? Then feed my sheep … follow me’. YOU must follow Him.

God bless
Evelen.

LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE | JOHN 8:7

Unlike the legal system, there is no specific punishment depending on the sin you have committed in God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that ‘the wages of sin is death’. God is holy and we have ALL fall short from His holiness and perfection. God is loving, but He is also JUST. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. Because God is so holy, no matter what sin you have committed, it is a crime against Him. Whether you have lied, stolen, used bad language, looked at another person with lustful thoughts or committed murder – you’re sentenced to death.

Unfortunately, this was the case of humanity. Without God’s intercession, we would all end up in hell. But thank God that He has stepped in. Romans 5:8 says ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’. What does this really mean? How does God exercise His perfect love and perfect justice at the same time?

Just imagine that you’ve committed a crime and you’re standing before a judge. The law is set out and you’ve broken it without a doubt – you’re guilty. The punishment for your crime is a death penalty. You cannot tell the judge of all the good things you have done in the past in hopes that he will realise that you are in some ways a good person! The crime has been committed and the punishment is set.

Let’s say that the judge is your own father – who loves you but must do his job in defending justice. Because he loves you so much, he decides to take your place. Instead of you receiving the punishment of death, he will now be the one to die and you’re free to go.

Now, this can only paint a picture of what God has done for us. Unlike a human judge, God is a PERFECT and holy judge. He has done nothing wrong and in Him there is no sin. He leaves the glorious perfection of heaven, comes down to earth and lives a perfect and holy life. He takes all our sins and puts them on Himself. He dies on a cross so that the wages of our sin (death) is paid for, and is raised again on the third day. Jesus was raised from the dead because He had not committed any sin himself – it was only our sin He put to death. We could not balance the good with the bad – the crime has been committed and justice must be satisfied.

Today I want to tell you that the guilt, shame and regret you are feeling cannot compare to His innocence which was crucified. My friend, He died so that you wouldn’t have to. All those around you have accused you, abandoned you and told you that you will never be loved and accepted anymore – you’re so ashamed that you can’t even talk to God because you fear that you are not worthy. The truth is, no one is worthy.

But because of what Christ has done, no one can point a finger at your sins and tell you that you’re not loved or tell you that your sins are too big for God to forgive. My friend, whatever it is from your past that is haunting you, there is good news for you today: God loves you, accepts you just as you are and is ready to forgive you because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Whoever tells you that you’re not good enough does not at all understand the power of God.

In John 8, the religious men bring a woman to Jesus and claim that they caught her in the very act of adultery. The law said that any woman who is caught in this act must be stoned to death. Jesus tells them ‘Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’ (V7). He didn’t say ‘Let he who has not committed the SAME sin be the first to throw a stone at her’, but He sets the standard by regarding all sin to be the same.

Your sin is not greater than mine, or anyone else’ sin. Your sin is not too big for God to forgive – because Jesus paid it all. No man has the right to tell you that your sin is too big, no man has the right to tell you that your value or worth lays in what you have done in the past. No matter what it is you have done – my friend, your identity is in Christ- all you need to do is put your faith in what Christ did on the cross, ask for forgiveness and repent (turn away from those sins). God loves you so much that He has given you this gift for free – You only need to accept it. John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life’.

If you haven’t prayed before, you can pray this prayer today:

Dear God,

Thank you for Your love for me. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot earn forgiveness, nor do I deserve it. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save me from my sin. Please forgive me for my sins – I ask you to come into my heart and renew me. I put my faith in You and from now onward, I am a child of God. Thank you for this amazing sacrifice. Please help me to live for You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you have a Bible at home, I would encourage you to start by reading the book of John. May God bless you and I pray that you would receive this wonderful gift today.

Evelen

HERE IS LOVE

Here is love, vast as the ocean
Loving kindness as the flood
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom
Shed for us His precious blood
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten
Throughout Heaven’s eternal days
On the mount of crucifixion
Fountains opened deep and wide
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide
Grace and love, like mighty rivers
Poured incessant from above
And Heaven’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love

No love is higher, no love is wider

No love is deeper, no love is truer’

– William Rees

The world takes us to romance movies, news headlines and celebrity gossip and says ‘this is love’. God takes us to Calvary, where His son was sacrificed in our stead – bloodied and marred like no other man has ever been before … and says ‘this is love’

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us‘ (Romans 5:8).

This is that ‘agape’ love which the bible speaks of 259 times and essentially means ‘self-sacrifice’. It is the kind of love God wants us to have towards one another in our everyday relationships and friendships – putting each other’s needs before our own.

God left the glorious and perfect luxuries of heaven to die like a criminal on our behalf … and to make us heirs with Him. What a beautiful God we have and how undeserving we are of this magnificent love.

May we all learn more about true love by looking at His character – He is the definition of love (1st John 4:8).

– Evelen

SO HE SAID, “COME” – MATTHEW 14:29

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:28-33).

Some people may criticize Peter in this passage, but the truth is, most of us can relate to Peter at one point or another in our lives. There are many lessons we can learn from this passage when we are faced with similar circumstances.

Firstly, Peter asks the Lord ‘if it is You, command me to come to You on the water’. This shows that Peter believed that if Jesus has the power to walk on the water, then He can give to him that same power. Have you ever been in a situation that seems so impossible for you to fix by your own strength? The good news is that God can do the impossible. He interrupted the law of gravity by walking on water – all you need is the faith to believe that if God is able, then you are also able through His power. Faith unleashes the supernatural in our lives – therefore we should have faith that God is able. It is at that moment where we begin to experience God’s mighty hand in our lives.

‘So He said, “Come”’. Jesus responds to your faith, even the smallest amount of faith you may have, by inviting you to come. Peter immediately stepped out onto the water. When God commands us, we should always obey even if it makes no sense. Perhaps God has commanded you to do something that seems impossible, or far beyond your purpose or ability. This is what obedience looks like – responding because God has commanded. Is there an area in your life where you are not responding to God’s call of obedience?

Thirdly, we can see that as Peter takes a few steps forward, he takes his eyes off Jesus and is fearful of the waves and cries out “Lord, save me”! We can learn from this that fear will sink you. The devil wants us to look to our surrounding circumstances – our sins, struggles, weaknesses. He wants us to take our eyes away from Jesus so that we begin to sink. Dear friend, turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full on His wonderful face instead of looking at yourself or at your circumstances. Your sins, situation, struggles are nothing in the light of His power and grace.

As Peter cries out to the Lord for help, He acknowledges his weakness and realises that he has sunk. He believes that Jesus will not leave him there to drown. ‘And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”’. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God will hear us as soon as we cry out to Him for help? Not only so, but He is quick to save us when we fully depend on Him. Perhaps you hear the voice of God today asking, ‘why did you doubt’? Jesus asks this because he wanted Peter to realise that doubting will only cause him to fall. Jesus spoke of Peter’s ‘little faith’. Little faith is better than no faith – meaning, what greater things we would do for the Lord if we had stronger faith!

‘Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”’ Finally, you can choose to worry or to worship the Lord when He has done a work in your life. You can choose to stay in that place of stress, fear and anxiety – or you can choose to praise the Lord and thank Him for allowing you to experience a situation, whatever it may be, in order to strengthen you.

Dear reader, are you still looking towards Jesus? Do you have faith that He can do the impossible? Are you obeying His commandments or calling? Are you crying out for the Lord to save you if you are drowning? Are you grateful to Him for the work He has done in your life? I thank God that He understands our humanness and is ready to save us immediately as soon as we acknowledge our weakness and cry out to Him for help.

God Bless,

Evelen

I GIVE MY LIFE FOR YOU

If I could speak a thousand words and write them down for all to see, I could never truly say how much You mean to me.

If I could write a thousand songs to tell about Your wondrous love, I could sing a thousand years and still not sing enough.

All of time would never be sufficient to tell of all the beauty You have given. Because there’s nothing I can do, I’ll give my life for You.

If I could work in miracles, if I could heal with just a touch, I would still be showing just a shadow of Your love.

If I were a prisoner, or if I were a head of state, You would look inside my heart and love me just the same.

All the books that ever have been written could never tell the beauty You have given. Because there’s nothing I can do I’ll give my life for You.

All of time would never be sufficient to tell of all the beauty You have given . Because there’s nothing I can do I’ll give my life for You.

Because there’s nothing I can do I’ll give my life for You.

Janelle Reinhart|New Day

DELIGHT YOURSELF ALSO IN THE LORD, AND HE SHALL GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART – PSALM 37:4

On the last day of 2017, I heard a message from Psalm 37:4 in my church meeting. This was the perfect way to start the next year – ‘Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart’. This made sense to me at the time, so I thought. But it’s amazing how a year later, I see this verse and I interpret it with a completely different perspective.

It amazes me how often I can come across a verse in scripture, or a passage, until a year later I read it again, yet God speaks to me in a completely different way. So here I am in the beginning of 2018, sticking the verse up on my wall and writing it down in my calendar and my journal.

I understood this verse to mean – if I delight myself in the things of God as my priority, then He will give me other things that I desire. If I love God, obey His commandments and prioritise Him in life, then He will surely give me everything that I ask of Him. The Lord has truly blessed me this year in far greater ways than I could have asked for. Writing my prayers down, I can go back and place a tick next to almost everything I prayed for.

I say ‘almost’ because …
There are prayers that God answers with a ‘wait’. I don’t understand why, but I trust Him because He loves me and truly wants what is good for me. But continuing to pray, I began to come back to this verse that is on my wall, calendar, journal and Bible; and really wondered what I was missing. ‘But Lord, I have lived in obedience, I have faith that you are able, I know that you can do all things’ …

Until it hit me 330 days later. I wasn’t missing anything but a true understanding of this promise in Psalm 37:4. God gives me good things because He is good, not because I deserve it- like grace, salvation and eternal life. Yes, God wants us to make our requests known before Him and the blessing is already prepared for the right time.

What I didn’t realise is that God IS the desire of my heart. This is how I’m created – with a desire for my God, a yearning in my soul for communion with Him daily. God is very clever (obviously) because He draws us near to Him. Us as humans, will continue to have a yearning for God which nothing else can satisfy, except for Himself. This is what He wants – for us to come back to Him every day, talking with Him, praising Him, placing our needs before Him. He wants to have that relationship with us.

God IS the desire of my heart and by delighting myself in Him, He is giving me my true desire – Himself! How magnificent is our God, in that, He wants to fulfill our desire for Him through His word. Blessed be His name forever.

Evelen