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Family First

Text: John 13:34-35, Acts 2:46; 34:32-37

What would the repercussions be if you loved other children more than you loved your own? What would your children say of you? Would they consider you a hypocrite? What if you bought or gave things freely to other people, while those in your own home went hungry or were suffering? What would your family think of you? Would they consider you to be a good steward over them? What would be the eventual outcome of those, in your own house, whom you are neglecting?

In his book, “The Mark of a Christian”. Francis Schaeffer makes a big deal of John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” I agree with Schaeffer’s conclusion that, having love for one another is certainly a distinguishing mark of the Church.

This message might create some controversy because of what I am about to say, but I hope it moves us to a place of balance in our practice as Christians, both as advocates of justification by faith and as agents of justice.

No doubt, a reading of the above bible passages, a reading of James and many other places in scripture, you will discover a clear correlation between justification by faith and being agents of justice. In other words, when God saves you, he saves you to do good works which he has prepared in advance for us to do.

Here’s where I might start to add tension to our thought. Let’s look at those texts.

1. We must be agents of justice, first in the household of God

This was how the early church practiced justice. Whenever the members of the house had a need, those who were in a position to help, helped. We are quick to be agents of justice to those outside the church while those inside are suffering. In the twenty first century this might win the downtrodden to church but a few years down the line they are treated the same way. Bringing an end to injustice must start in the household of God. If we brought injustice to an end in God’s house, we will be strengthening God’s children to reach out more effectively and with greater efficiency.

2. People are attracted to the house when they see injustice in God’s house dying

Acts tells us that thousands were added to their numbers. God’s house is a haven of hope. People are attracted to the cross when they see saved people loving each other unconditionaly. The problem today is, the church wins the poor through its benevolent acts only to bring them within its walls to neglect them. The church must continue to finish the work of justice that it began. When injustice prevails in the church, it is a travesty of the greatest proportions.

I am not advocating that we stop mercy and compassion ministries to those outside the church, instead, I am saying let’s spend some time and resources to bring healing and justice to those already in the household. You never know how the church might become an attraction if you do.

I look forward to any dialogue this perspective would surface.

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Dare to Give Your Everything….Again!

“At the vestry meeting, the congregation’s wealthiest member decided to share a portion of his faith story.

“I’m a millionaire,” he said, “and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life. I can still remember the turning point in my faith, like it was yesterday:

I had just earned my first dollar and I went to a youth meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I knew that I only had a dollar bill and had to either give it all to God’s work or nothing at all. So at that moment I decided to give my whole dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that is why I am a rich man today.”

When he finished and sat down, the chair of the stewardship committee leaned over and said: “Wonderful story! I dare you to do it again!”

Paul says in Galatians 3:3, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”

Think about the possibilities if you exerted yourself in the things of God as you did when you first came to know Christ? No reservations. No holds barred. No unbelief. Just risk. Just radical Christianity. Just faith.

Shalom
Selvan Govender
Director of Shepherds Heart SA
http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za

 
 

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The Church – God’s Redemptive Tool

I believe that the church is God’s redemptive tool in our world. It exists to point people to the cross. It points them to the cross through the various ways the church will use to show to people their significance. People are created lower than angels but God bestowed them with glory and honour.

Is the church doing enough to lift up the value of people? What have you done recently so that someone’s hope is firm and their faith is steadied?

Let us consider how we can spur each other long. Let us become what God put us together to be – His redemptive tool on this earth!

Shalom
selvan Govender
http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za

 

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Lid Lifters

John Maxwell speaks at length about lid-lifters in the Bible. What do we mean when we speak of lid-lifters? Lid-Lifters are people who remove the lid of other people so that those people may reach a greater level of potential.

Today I want to introduce you to some lid-lifting imperatives for the church, that, if implemented will cause ministry to thrive. We all want to see our ministry bear fruit, but they will not bear fruit if these important ingredients are absent (these are not exhaustive but imperative).

1. Lift the Lid of Someone by Lending Them Your Spiritual Gift (1Corinthians 12, Romans 12)

Stop being selfish! In this same vein, Romans 12:5 reminds us that we belong to each other. No Christian is an island. Can you wrap your mind around the kind of impact the church would have if we lent our spiritual gift so that someone else may increase?

2. Lift the Lid of Someone by Sharing Your Material Resources (Philippians 14-17)

Stop hoarding! There are too many Christians who are lovers of their wealth. Paul waited for, and accepted, material resources for his ministry. He commended those that gave and he credited their account because sharing material resources is essential to lid-lifting. If you shared just a little bit of your material possessions, do you think you’ll become bankrupt? Think about the impact you may have through that person when you give some material resource.

3. Lift the Lid of Someone by Sharing Your Financial Wealth (1 Corinthians 8)

Stop being miserly! I don’t think one can read this passage on giving and not feel convicted about giving generously. The Macedonians were an example to the Corinthian believers. They were poor yet they gave generously. They asked for opportunities to give. They gave in spite of not having much. Greed is usually a good indicator of who your real god is. When the Macedonians gave, they were lifting the lid off other Christians. Have you considered if you gave to the ministry with faithfulness and with rich generosity, the impact it would make in our world? You should consider releasing your financial wealth so that someone or some ministry might reach another level of its potential.

Shalom
Selvan Govender
Director of Shepherds Heart SA
http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za
Director of Theological Education for the BMSA

 

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From Vision to Fruition (Part 2)

“Vision is the ability to understand the history, the present condition, and the potential of the church, and to conceive a plan for action that will maximize the ministry potential. More often than not, vision is a result of having spent much time absorbing the facts about the community, knowing the resources upon which the church can call (people, funding, facilities, equipment, etc.), and devising sound but creative strategies for moving forward. Vision always entails progress: it is never satisfied with the status quo.” (George Barna, How to Find Your Church, p. 104.)

George Barna gives us vivid direction to steer our lives and our organization if we want to see fruit. Barna’s definition of vision corresponds very much with what Nehemiah teaches us through his own practices. Let’s look at some more principles ho we can move from vision to fruition.

1. You must ACCUMULATE the Resources (Nehemiah 2:16)If you want to go fast then you may go alone, but if you want to go far then you must go together. In Nehemiah’s case he went fast and far. Nehemiah knew that if the walls were to get rebuild he needs people-resources. In Nehemiah 2:16 we see that Nehemiah already had in mind and at his disposal the people that will be used for the monumental task of rebuilding the walls. Perhaps the walls of your personal life is broken down, you need to accumulate the right resources to rebuild. You need good, strong, willing and godly people to help you to rebuild it. Perhaps your organization is crumbling. You cannot go it alone. You need people resources. Although they may come in a kaleidoscope of colours, skill sets or economic statuses, as long as they are willing to spread the fame of God’s glory and lift it up from disgrace, use them.If you want to go fast then you may go alone, but if you want to go far then you must go together. In Nehemiah’s case he went fast and far. Nehemiah knew that if the walls were to get rebuild he needs people-resources. In Nehemiah 2:16 we see that Nehemiah already had in mind and at his disposal the people that will be used for the monumental task of rebuilding the walls. Perhaps the walls of your personal life is broken down, you need to accumulate the right resources to rebuild. You need good, strong, willing and godly people to help you to rebuild it. Perhaps your organization is crumbling. You cannot go it alone. You need people resources. Although they may come in a kaleidoscope of colours, skill sets or economic statuses, as long as they are willing to spread the fame of God’s glory and lift it up from disgrace, use them.

You must ACCUMULATE the Resources (Nehemiah 2:16)If you want to go fast then you may go alone, but if you want to go far then you must go together. In Nehemiah’s case he went fast and far. Nehemiah knew that if the walls were to get rebuild he needs people-resources. In Nehemiah 2:16 we see that Nehemiah already had in mind and at his disposal the people that will be used for the monumental task of rebuilding the walls. Perhaps the walls of your personal life is broken down, you need to accumulate the right resources to rebuild. You need good, strong, willing and godly people to help you to rebuild it. Perhaps your organization is crumbling. You cannot go it alone. You need people resources. Although they may come in a kaleidoscope of colours, skill sets or economic statuses, as long as they are willing to spread the fame of God’s glory and lift it up from disgrace, use them.If you want to go fast then you may go alone, but if you want to go far then you must go together. In Nehemiah’s case he went fast and far. Nehemiah knew that if the walls were to get rebuild he needs people-resources. In Nehemiah 2:16 we see that Nehemiah already had in mind and at his disposal the people that will be used for the monumental task of rebuilding the walls. Perhaps the walls of your personal life is broken down, you need to accumulate the right resources to rebuild. You need good, strong, willing and godly people to help you to rebuild it. Perhaps your organization is crumbling. You cannot go it alone. You need people resources. Although they may come in a kaleidoscope of colours, skill sets or economic statuses, as long as they are willing to spread the fame of God’s glory and lift it up from disgrace, use them.

If you want to go fast then you may go alone, but if you want to go far then you must go together. In Nehemiah’s case he went fast and far. Nehemiah knew that if the walls were to get rebuild he needs people-resources. In Nehemiah 2:16 we see that Nehemiah already had in mind and at his disposal the people that will be used for the monumental task of rebuilding the walls. Perhaps the walls of your personal life is broken down, you need to accumulate the right resources to rebuild. You need good, strong, willing and godly people to help you to rebuild it. Perhaps your organization is crumbling. You cannot go it alone. You need people resources. Although they may come in a kaleidoscope of colours, skill sets or economic statuses, as long as they are willing to spread the fame of God’s glory and lift it up from disgrace, use them.

2.

2.

You Must APPLY Energy (Nehemiah 2:18)It is said that there are three kinds of people in this world, “Those who make things happened, those who watch things happened and those who wonder what happened”
What kind of person are you? In Nehemiah 2:18, we are told very clearly that the people said, “Let’s start rebuilding!”, so they began this good work.”

It is said that there are three kinds of people in this world, “Those who make things happened, those who watch things happened and those who wonder what happened”
What kind of person are you? In Nehemiah 2:18, we are told very clearly that the people said, “Let’s start rebuilding!”, so they began this good work.”
Fruit never materializes out of thin air. Fruit comes from hard work and nurturing. Vision must be nurtured, developed and fed the right ingredients for the appropriate fruit to develop. In your personal life or as an organization, are you applying energy to getting things the way they should be? Or, are you just waiting for something magical to happen? Are you applying energy to the things that will lift up the name of God from disgrace? Are you applying energy to the things that will spread the fame of Christ glory?

Shalom

Selvan Govende

Shalom

Selvan Govende

Shalom

Selvan Govende

Selvan Govende

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Posted by on April 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

From Vision to Fruition

Walt Disney, famed for Disney World, died before Disney World in Florida in the United States was completed. On opening day in 1971, almost five years after Disney’s death, someone commented to Mike Vance, creative director of Walt Disney Studios, “isn’t it too bad Walt Disney didn’t live to see this?” “He did see it,” Vance replied simply. “That’s why it’s here.”

Many individuals and organizations have a vision but they don’t have the fruit. Reminds me of the short sitcom tune, Love and Marriage, it goes something like this, “Love and marriage, love and marriage. Go together like a horse and carriage, horse and carriage. You can’t have one…without the other!”

Vision and fruition is exactly like that. They go together!A vision of a good marriage will show the fruit of it. A vision for business success will show the fruit of that. A vision for God will show the fruit of that. A vision for your organization will show the fruit of that. A vision gives you and your organization a clear understanding of where you are heading and on the way you can eat the fruit of the journey. Nehemiah 2 gives us some principles for moving from vision to fruition.

A vision of a good marriage will show the fruit of it. A vision for business success will show the fruit of that. A vision for God will show the fruit of that. A vision for your organization will show the fruit of that. A vision gives you and your organization a clear understanding of where you are heading and on the way you can eat the fruit of the journey. Nehemiah 2 gives us some principles for moving from vision to fruition.

1. You must ASSESS how things are (Nehemiah 2:11-16)

The text tells us that Nehemiah made a thorough assessment of the condition of Jerusalem. He did not assume nor did he presume. Nehemiah did a complete post-mortem. When last did you do a complete assessment of your life? When last did you do a thorough post-mortem of your organization? Nehemiah needed to know how bad the situation was and what is required for the rebuilding process.

2. You must ACKNOWLEDGE your situation (Nehemiah 2:17)

Nehemiah did not hide the dirt under the rug. After assessing the situation he reported back that the situation was deplorable. He acknowledged that the situation brought disgrace to God. Reminds me of Isaiah in Isaiah 6, when he was confronted with God’s holiness he said, “Woe is me. I am a man of unclean lips and I come from a people of unclean lips…” Are you sweeping personal misdemeanors under the rug and bring disgrace to Christ? Is your church or organization sweeping misdemeanors under the rug and not acknowledging that there is something wrong? Fruit will only start growing when you start admitting something is wrongAre you sweeping personal misdemeanors under the rug and bring disgrace to Christ? Is your church or organization sweeping misdemeanors under the rug and not acknowledging that there is something wrong? Fruit will only start growing when you start admitting something is wrong

Director of Shepherds Heart SA

http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za

 

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Keys to a Successful Life

The story is told of a new bank president who met with his predecessor and said, “like to know what have been the keys to your success.” The older gentleman looked at him and replied, “Young man, I can sum it up in two words: Good decisions.” To that the young man responded, “I thank you immensely for that advice, sir, but how does one come to know which are the good decisions?” “One word, young man,” replied the sage. “Experience.” “That’s all well and good,” said the younger, “but how does one get experience?” “Two words,” said the elder. “Bad decisions.”

All of us are striving to be successful people. You want to be rewarded with the best possible achievement in your field, in business, with your peers and society.

The Bible offers some keys for a successful life. In the book of Joshua 1 the nation is poised to claim the promises of God in their lives. They are on a journey to success. Let’s look at some keys to a successful life.

1. A successful life comes from following God’s agenda (Joshua 1:1-4)

God has an agenda for Joshua. It’s the same agenda he had for Moses. No surprise because he’s the same God. The problem arises when everyone else’s agenda is crowding out God’s agenda. You have to admit everyone has an agenda for you but not everyone’s agenda gets the priority and no surprise (again), God’s agenda is shoved aside. If you are not following God’s blueprint (agenda) for your life, you may never know or experience your full potential. Take a moment to think about how quick you are to push God outside your daily activities than you do to bring him into it. Following God’s agenda will revolutionize your entire life. Start today by making deliberate choices of getting onto God’s agenda.

2. A successful life comes from a willingness to break new ground (Joshua 1:1-4)

God makes a promise to Joshua and to the Israelites that he will give them every place they will set their foot. As long as they are setting foot on the places that are in God’s agenda, he will give them that place.

There are some places in our hearts that are like the fortified cities of the land of Canaan. There are some parts of our hearts where we have built thrones and castles on high places like castles in the land of Canaan signifying pride and security and independence. Breaking new ground may mean that you will have to decide to tear down those high places if you want to experience his promises. Identify your fortified cities. Identify you high places. Now ask God to give you the courage to tear them down. You will never experience success until you have a willingness to break new ground.You will never experience success until you have a willingness to break new ground.

 

 

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