Slay your giant

David wasn’t much in appearence compared to the gruesome villain Goliath. At around 9 feet tall his appearance alone was enough to make the average fighting man pee his pants. Yet this didn’t scare King David, he knew his God was bigger so he got some stones and loaded his sling shot. Goliath approached with his cocky taunts saying “am I dog that you come at me with a stick?“. You can imagine his fellow supporters sneering and laughing at the armour less David with just a sling shot, and how they would be cheering on the giant as he goes in for battle. David takes aim and fires. As if the whole scene was played in slow motion, the crowd watched as the stone sunk into the forehead as easy as a knife through melted butter. Goliath was dead, then David did something else that many people passover, he removed his head. (This is the part they usually skip in children’s plays.) The head was removed indicating the permanent fatal blow of the defeated giant. Story found in 1 Samuel 17

So what does this epic battle mean for us? Does it mean that we can take down some buff guys with a sling shot? 🤔 No, it means that we do not have to fear whatever giants we face. Whether that be financial giants, depression, health, relationships and a shopping list of ther things.

We can face our giants with confidence because we serve a God who is bigger than them all put together! Goliath is like a puny ant compared to God almighty. So often though, people forget how big our God is. We think… well God did those miracles in the past but he works differently now. Does he? Or is it just our belief that is different?

You can stand against the financial giant and confess: My God will supply and meet all my needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Phillippians 4:19

You can stand against your health giant and confess: I walk in the divine health of Jesus Christ.

You can stand against that big ugly giant called depression and say: The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10

The list goes on, but the point is this. You slay your giants with the word of God. The more you practice using the word to slay your giants then the sharper that sword becomes. You will be known in the spiritual realm as the giant slayer and the devil will not want to mess with you; so long as you keep humble while you gain victories.

So, slay your giants today! Do not be afraid. Get your sword and fight in the spirit. You can overcome because with Jesus you are always on the winning side.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Prayer: Lord, I know that during my life I will face some giants that seem impossible to defeat. Yet I know with you nothing is impossible. Give me courage I pray that I may overcome anything that comes my way. In Jesus name – amen

Love and God bless

Dean

Prayed for patience recently?

You’ve been there right? That time when you utter in the moment, “Oh Lord give me patience“. If you ask God to give you patience, be careful, because he just might answer you.

How can you be given patience? Is it just like… boomhere you go child! Here is some patience for you“. No, it’s not a magic formula that God endows from heaven to his children.

The prayer for patience is answered by giving opportunities to be patient. It’s that time when you are stuck in traffic and already late for work. It’s when you friend wants to be slow with everything but you want to be quick. It’s when you are waiting for a response for an answer that could change your life… “did I get the house? Did I get the job? Is this the best option to take?”. Those moments, they are the moments patience can be built or destroyed.

The hardest prayer response as a Christian is not when God says yes, or no; it is when God says wait. If the Israelites had a little more patience instead of moaning then they wouldn’t have wondered 40 years in the wilderness! If Abraham and Sarah did not wait then the promise for Abraham’s descendants would have been compromised. If the disciples did not wait for the Holy Spirit then the church would not have been birthed! Patience is very important, it is what aligns ourself with the will of God.

Today, if you are being tested with your patience, remember that God is working all things out. He will deliver on his promises, but sometimes, you may have to wait just a little longer.

Psalm 27:14 wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Prayer: Father God, I ask you that you would help me to reflect Christ in every situation. I know it takes courage to ask for patience, but today I ask that I would be patient in every situation I face, and I would be patient waiting for you Lord. In Jesus name amen

Image: Google images – time

Love and God bless

Dean

With us through the storm

The other night I heard one of the loudest claps of thunder in my life, it woke me up from a nice sleep. The time I heard it was exactly midnight. Now, I love a good storm, but when you are caught off guard it can be a bit scary. As a man that wanted to be a storm chaser when I was a child, I got up and watched the show and gazed in awe at the power of nature.

Storms come physically and metaphorically. Remember when the disciples got caught up in the middle of the storm? What was Jesus doing? Well, he was just having a nap while the waves crashed against the boat. The disciples looked in disgust and said, “dont you care“. So, Jesus just casually woke up, rebuked the sea and the wind and everything was perfectly still, it’s almost as if there was no storm!

Do you feel that Jesus is sleeping on you in the midst of your suffering? Your asking him, “God where are you, speak to me” and the response… silence. Yet silence does not mean absence. Why did Jesus say to the disciples, “you of little faith?” Why did he not just rebuke the storm and then comfort the disciples? The disciples already witnessed some miracles before this one, yet they still doubted Gods power. Jesus already told them they will go to the other side! ?(story Mark 4:35-41)

Sometimes the quietness of God is because you already have the faith within you to trust him through the storm. You already know the joy of the Lord is your strength when you are fighting depression. You already know that God will never leave you nor forsake you when you feel rejected. You know that God loves you when you feel unloved. Even so, we humans need constant updates from God to feel secure. We are like computers sometimes that need updates to function well. Yet Jesus tells us, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed then you can move mountains”. You dont need an update, you just need a little faith.

What storm are you facing today? Do you remember how God was there for you during your last storm? How did he get you through it and what good came from it? We need to remind ourselves of how God was there in the past, otherwise its easy to forget he’s with us in the present. The Israelites were quick to forget how God delivered them in the past. That’s why when God established a new leader he always gave a little reminder, and that should have been enough. Unfortunately most of the Israelites just didn’t heed the message. That’s not you though!

So today, trust that God is with you in the storm. He may appear to be “sleeping” but he who called you never sleeps or slumbers. You will get through the storm, just trust what God has already said and his faithfulness.

Matthew 28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please give me faith to trust what you say. Today give me strength though your Spirit to face whatever storm may come my way. I know with you, I will get to the other side. In Jesus Christ name. Amen

Cover images: Google images -Jesus calms the storm

Love and God bless

Dean

All things work together

Have you ever felt like God has missed it? You felt God had the target set and was about to shoot the bulls eye only to discover he didn’t even aim at the target! It all seemed so perfect right? You went through all the stages of the job application just to be turned away at the last moment. You had everything required for the application yet you were still denied, you even felt like this was Gods perfect assignment for you.

Many of us have been there… the place of disappointment 😔. Faith is sometimes held by only a thread that can snap at any moment. Yet this all depends what we are placing our faith in. If faith is placed in momentary success or good gifts then the moment we face disappointment then we can easily lose faith. What are you placing your faith in?

Do you (and me) believe that if God did not allow us to get the promotion or the good gift we so longed for that he still has our best interests at heart? Do you believe that God has the perfect timing for everything we need that is ultimately for our good?

I was meant to be married this year on the 23rd of May. My fiance and I had everything ready and were getting excited for the big day, and then… lockdown! We couldn’t believe it. The start of the year we raised a glass to 2020 and started the countdown clock to the big day. A day I had been longing for so long thinking that finally at the age of 32 I will be married! Our faith was rocked to its core; my fiancé was in tears and I had such emotional pain I couldn’t even cry. As I live in a foreign country I also had no immediate family (except church family) to comfort me. It was a very difficult time.

Even though this situation hurt we got back into prayer and put our trust fully in the sovereign plan of Jesus. It actually came to our attention that we were so focused on the party and celebration that we forgot about the most important thing… the marriage! We neglected Gods sacred lifetime gift for the sake of a few hours of partying. This revelation struck our hearts and we have been spending much more time preparing for the marriage instead of the wedding day. At the end of the day it is my fiancé and I that will be left together, so out of this God brought something good.

God has a way of making things work out for those who belong to him. Although sometimes much pain is endured, he always paints a more beautiful picture in the end.

You may not be able to see the end result of what you are going through, but you can always trust the one who sees the end from the beginning. Whatever heartaches you have endured, never forget that God also suffers with you and understands you and your situation completely. You have an eternity to look forward to when there will never be disappointment again!

Roman’s 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

Prayer: Father God, help me trust you more each day. Strengthen me by your Spirits power and lead me in the way everlasting. I know that in you all things work together for those who love you and are called according to your purpose. In Jesus name amen.

Cover image: My fiancé and I on the evening I asked her for marriage

Love and God bless

Dean

He loves us

You are loved more than you can imagine. You are valued and worth far more than any precious jewels. You are not a mistake and were created for a purpose. God….loves….you.

God is a faithful God who endured the horrors of the cross to restore humanities broken relationship with him. If you ever doubt Gods love, as I have many times, remember the following…

Remember the pierced hands of Jesus on the cross. Remember his last cry of forgiveness on the cross, even for Gods enemies! Remember that God leaves the 99 to search for the one who is lost. Remember that you are stamped with the haul marks of your creator for you are made in his image. Remember that the ultimate purpose in life is to know the one who made you through the one who saved you, Jesus Christ.

If in doubt then remind yourself of Gods goodness and who he is. Oh how he loves us. How he loves us all! Imagine if the whole world believed this. We would see a very different world if people realised how much they are loved. Crime rates would drop, government corruption would end and injustice around the world would be made right.

Many say, “well if God loves us then why do bad things happen to good people?” Unfortunately, the freedom God has given humanity has been abused and used for wrong purposes, especially by those who have great wealth and power. Jesus died for them too, but unless they are humble enough to accept that then they remain in condemnation.

Today, tell your self over and over, “God loves me… God loves me… he made me in his image and I have great value”. Don’t ever let the devil lie to you and tell you anything that denies this truth.

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Prayer: Father God, forgive me when I forget about how much you love me. Help me to embrace your everlasting love with all my heart. I love you. In Jesus name amen

Image credit: Google images – epic heart

Love and God bless

Dean

No turning back

How often do you put 100% energy into what you are doing? These days its hard to give 50% as so many things scream for our attention. From family commitments, social gatherings (if possible right now 😒) work, romantic dates perhaps and Netflix. Yes many things are calling for our undivided attention, but rarely do we give everything we have to the moment we are in, we are there physically but mentally somewhere else.

What does it mean to commit to something and not turn back? Remember when Simon Peter was fishing all night and caught nothing? Jesus turns up and says, “hey, put your nets down the other side”. Frustrated Peter did as he said and had such a great catch that the weight was ripping the net! Then Jesus said, “now you will fish for men”. Peter left everything and followed him along with the other disciples.

When Jesus saved you (me) did we make the same radical commitment? Now of course God does not expect us to just leave our families or end our work contract (all though some have done this!) He does, however, ask for all our love and devotion to be directed to him. To love the Lord with all our heart is not easy! It requires daily sacrifice and devotion. It means deciding to follow Jesus and not turn back to where we were before we knew him. Meaning: to no longer live only for ourself.

I challenge you (and me) to start the day with God. Pray and dive into His holy word. Let the Holy Spirit awaken you to the great endless love of the father and his son Jesus Christ. Let your love grow exponentially to a place where it overflows to those around you. You will become a river of of life when you decide to follow with all your heart when the option of turning back is removed like writing in the sand by the ocean.

Step out and follow Christ with all your heart! Do not fear, for he is with you always!

Luke 5:10-11 Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, sometimes I am afraid to give my whole devotion to you. Sometimes I get comfortable where I am and do want to take the risk. Lord, I don’t want that to be how I am anymore. I want go take the risk and step out the boat

Image: Google images – walking into light

Love and God bless

Deano

Heavenly treasures

Unfortunately a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is just a myth, I know because I have checked it out myself. Isn’t it disappointing when expecting a reward only to get nothing? You work hard and you play even harder but your outcome doesn’t match your input. What rewards are we working towards anyway? Earthly or heavenly?

Jesus said where your treasure is there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21) Meaning please: well what Jesus meant was that you will always make room in your heart for what really matters. Do you care about the Kinhdom of God? If so you will find time to do Gods work. Do you care about the latest technology? If you do I’m sure you will make room for the next big tech investment. The point Jesus was making Is that we always make room for what we really want.

The thing with focusing on heavenly treasures is that we have to wait! Oh we dont like waiting for things… Come on be honest, you dont like waiting for things as much as I do. Yet…with the heavenly we have to wait. Every heavenly investment for the Kingdom of God is able to produce an earthly blessing and a heavenly one. For example, you tell someone the good news of Jesus and they accept him as saviour, you do not only have a new church member but also a new member in heaven! Angel’s rejoice when a sinner repents and in heaven we will all be rejoicing together!

So where is your heart today? What are you investing in and how can you ensure you have heavenly treasures? Jesus said give to the poor and you will have treasures in heaven (Matthew 19:21) This is one way to ensure heavenly blessings. Other ways are simply by being faithful in our service to God. Let’s not get mixed up though with salvation and heavenly treasures. Salvation is through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, nothing else is required but belief and trust in jesus for salvation. Heavenly treasures are reserved by investment into the Kingdom of God.

So today, bear in mind your heavenly treasure when you are serving God. Store up treasure in heaven and when Jesus returns and brings his reward with him, you will bring him great glory and you will be filled with joy.

Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Prayer: Father God, help me to fix my mind upon things above, for in Christ I already have everything I need. I ask you in Jesus Christ name – amen.

Image credit: Google images – treasure chest

Love and God bless

Dean

We all need encouragement

Can you remember the last time someone really encouraged you? Can you remember when your boss said well done? Or when you were struggling and your good friend said “hold your head up mate, your doing great!“(if your friend speaks like that, some of my English friends do) Doesnt it make a big difference? Even when it’s just one person that encourages you from their heart, it’s enough.

Sadly, encouragement seems to be fading in the 21st century. The selfy generation is more focussed on self than others, it’s hard to encourage others if we only look at ourselves.

We Christian’s need to be encouragers! We need to be the ones making the sacrificial effort to say, “hey, don’t beat yourself up, your doing great!” Encouragement strengthens us and encourages us to continue. Yes, it’s true that sometimes God and his people will hold back encouragement so that your faithfulness does not depend on it. However, sometimes, especially during difficult times, we just need to know that we are on the right track.

Infants in the faith need a lot of encouragement, just like when a child takes its first steps or speaks for the first time. When the child grows up, however, encouragement is not required in the same manner because you have matured in your walk with Christ. God himself becomes your encourager! His word becomes your anchor and His Spirit your guide as you learn to lean on him.

Today be encouraged in whatever you are doing (that is good!) And take heart in this world that seems to be growing ever dark.

Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

Prayer: O Lord, help me be encouraged by you above all else. May I know that you desire me to walk with you each day and grow in faith. I praise you for empowering me this day and giving me the courage to overcome all obstacles that I face. In Jesus Christ name, amen.

Image credit: Google images

Love and God bless

Deano

Get back up!

One of my favourite worship songs is Hillsong: from the inside out. The opening line is: “a thousand times I’ve failed still your mercy remains”. I sing this and think, wow, even when (not if) I mess up so many times Gods mercy still stands!

So many times we make a mistake and when down stay down. No, no, no, stop with that. I had to tell myself so many times to just get up and try again. How many times does a Christian fail? How much time do you have? Because I have a huge list. Yet scrap that, my list has faded because of the blood of Jesus!

We are human so mistakes are inevitable. So trust in He who makes no mistakes! Have you fallen friend? Then get back up again! Imagine if Peter gave up when he failed… what would he have become? Imagine if the apostle Paul gave up… what would happen? You may not know yet just how great Gods works can be displayed through you… Don’t give up, you will see then what God can do.

Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm- Winston Churchill

Proverbs 24:16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

Prayer: Father God, thank you that you do not make mistakes. Even though I make mistakes and do wrong things, the blood of Jesus has erased all my sins! Thank you for your great love. In Jesus name, amen.

Cover image: Kerry shook ministries – get back up

Love and God bless

Deano

Known before the womb

Did you know that you were known before conception?! Just pause for a moment and think about that…

You did not magically form from some gunk that appeared out of a big cosmic explosion that some how formed your human body with all its intrinsic detail. You were formed by the hands of a loving God who delicately wove your inmost being together with great care and detail.

Evolution tells you YOLO ( you only live once) so you may as well do it your way. Creation tells you that you are valuable and made with a much higher purpose than just living for yourself.

I was born with Poland syndrome; a condition where certain muscle groups are missing. I never realised until my body began forming certain muscle groups that I was missing a chest muscle. Yes I was bullied and it was hard to accept this part of who I am. I battled with the scriptures of being formed in my mothers womb, the old joke “when God made me he dropped a stitch” came to mind. Yet Gods forming is much deeper than just our skin or outer body, he forms our inmost being. The part that even a microscope could not see.

You were known fully even before your parents knew your name! You were planned to be born into this world by a loving God who knows every detail of your life. You are not a mistake, you have purpose and that purpose is to know the one who made you.

Today, remind yourself of how beautiful you are and how delicately you were formed by God. Look in the mirror and say, “I am beautiful… I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. Keep telling yourself this until you believe it with all your heart.. because God says to you today, and he says to me… “My child you are beautiful!

Psalm 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Prayer: Father God, thank you that you took so much care when you created my inmost being. Thank you that I am beautiful and that no negative opinions from people can change that. If you say so, then I believe it. I give you all the glory and praise, in Jesus name. Amen

Cover image: child in Gods hand (Google images)

Love and God bless

Deano