Give All Your Concerns to God

By Andrew Cartwright

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you”. -1 Peter 5:7 NLT

Often when we’re faced with adverse circumstances, it’s easy to get our eyes off God and onto the situation. That’s when we need to remind ourselves that we live by faith – not sight (Hebrews 11:1). We need to see with the eyes of faith and act accordingly, so the thing we hope for, though still unseen, will be made manifest in time. 

Take Action:  Hand over to God, once and for all, all your worries, concerns, anxieties and cares. What’s the problem? Let Him handle it. Do what you can to resolve it, but if it’s bigger than your abilities to deal with, then it’s the perfect opportunity for your Father in heaven to show Himself strong on your behalf (2 Chron 16:9)!

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Who Switched the Lights Off?

By Lesley Cartwright

“The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'” -Matthew 25:8

How we respond to a power failure in life will depend largely on how well prepared we were beforehand. If we are caught off guard, it will be a mad dash in the dark looking for candles or a torch.

One thing we learn when we operate in the Kingdom of God is that we can’t continually play the ignorance card. There will come a time of reckoning. Sometimes when I ask my kids why they did a particular thing when they should know better, they answer, “Sorry, I forgot”. Of course this cannot continue indefinitely.

Light = knowledge
darkness = ignorance

Hosea 4:6 says that God’s people perish because of a lack of knowledge. Matthew 25 continues with the foolish virgins returning with new oil, but finding out the bridegroom had already come and then hearing him say, ‘I don’t know you.’ I know this may sound harsh, but God has set out principles in His Word that need to be adhered to.

Take Action: God’s Word admonishes us to walk in the light as He is in the light. Col 1:12 says we are partakers of the inheritance with saints in the light.

So where do we get this light? Psalm 119:105 says God’s word is a “lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path”. Start by getting your own supply of knowledge from God’s word so you will be ready for any challenge.

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Be an Encourager

By Andrew Cartwright

“When Job’s three friends… heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes… to go and sympathize with him and comfort him”. – Job 2:11 NIV

How do you react when you hear of someone who is going through troubles? Job was a man who was “blessed and lived righteously, feared God and shunned evil,” (Job 1:1) but Satan gained permission from God to test him, and Job experienced the tragic loss of most of his family and possessions.

In spite of this, Job did not charge God with wrongdoing – he praised Him instead (Job 1:21-22). Job knew God’s character and chose to trust Him completely, even in the face of dire circumstances. The same cannot be said of Job’s friends. Though they were well-meaning and set out to encourage him, most of what they said was discouragement and criticism, including of God! God ultimately restored Job’s wealth and family, but He was angry with Job’s friends.They had “not spoken what is right,” (Job 42:7) and Job had to pray for their forgiveness.

Take Action
In his book, A Tale of Three Kings, Gene Edwards admonishes us to “not become a spear-thrower,” and to “stay out of the company of all spear-throwers”. So when we hear of someone who is going through troubles, let’s not be quick to condemn. Rather, let’s sow love and encouragement with our words. Be an encourager, because you never know when you may need kind words yourself.

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Renew Your Strength

By Andrew Cartwright

“Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or whine, Israel, saying, ‘God has lost track of me, He doesn’t care what happens to me!?” -Isaiah 40:27

Do you sometimes feel weary, lonely or disillusioned? Does it seem like God doesn’t care and He’s deserted you? In the ancient text in Isaiah 40 verses 27-31 (The Message bible), the heavenly Father was reminding the people that He doesn’t come and go – He lasts forever! Think about the kind of power and wisdom it must have taken to create everything – and He holds it all together by the Word of His power! God never “gets tired out” or “pauses to catch His breath” and “He KNOWS EVERYTHING, inside and out”. Your heavenly Father knows everything about you at any given moment!

Never make the mistake of placing circumstances above God’s word. God is awesome. Mountains melt in His presence. But because of what Jesus accomplished at the cross, God’s presence in you will never harm you – it only makes you stronger (Ephesians 3:16). Are you feeling weary and alone? God will cause you to soar like an eagle!

Prayer: Father, I’m so thankful that You know everything about me at all times. You know when I’m feeling weary. But right now, I rise up and receive your strength to soar like an eagle. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy Now!

By Lesley Cartwright

“And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord”. -Colossians 2:6-7

Fear, or stress as it is better known these days, is signed off as a danger zone by God Himself. He tells us in Philippians 4:6 not to be anxious about anything. He highlights this by saying that we should trust Jesus for our everyday problems.

Why should we cast our cares onto Jesus and not just work them out on our own? Most of today’s stresses come from trying to cope with impossibility and these are things that Jesus triumphs in. Our greatest breakthroughs come when we’ve conquered our greatest battles. A teabag is only worth something when it’s been through hot water.

Take action: If you are experiencing some tough moments in your life right now – cast your care onto Jesus and let Him show you the light at the end of your tunnel.

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What is Holding You Back?

by Lesley Cartwright

 

“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” -Matthew 14:27

Are you a “boat-sitter” or a “water-walker”? Before you answer, think carefully about the dreams that you have put on hold. The one that you have banished to “one day”.  Is it because you felt fearful to move ahead or because circumstances forced your hand? Whatever the reason, I want you to know that it is not too late! Age or ability shouldn’t be a factor. The time has come to move from “bridesmaid” to “bride” or from “best man” to “groom”. You can’t be a person-in-waiting forever.

So, what then is it that is holding us back? Fear, loss of hope, lack of expectation and planning that has gone MIA. All of these are major players in apathy. Waiting and procrastination is also another factor – “I will do it when I get paid”, or “I will do it when all my ducks are in a row”. If we keep putting it off till tomorrow, we will never do it.

Over-checking everything or incorrect goals can also hold you back in that you miss the “God moments”… the simple command to “come”. Often we miss it because it didn’t look the way we expected it to look. God uses the foolish things to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). A farmer never sows seed when he observes the wind. Peter began to sink when he saw the wind and Jesus attributed that to a “small burst” of faith.

Take Action: Today, take steps towards getting out of your boat. Don’t over-rationalise it, but ready yourself with expectation. God specialises in your “impossibility”, so entrust it to him and become an active “doer” and not just a listener!

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Is Fear Holding You back? You’re welcome to inbox us or POST a short testimony on our Facebook page. Click here to go there. Visit our blog, feel free to share it with your friends.

Candy-coated Candy Floss?

by Lesley Cartwright

      

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God”. -Philippians 1:9-11

Trouble doesn’t always show up with a black and yellow sign saying “beware”. Often it just sneaks up on you and catches you unawares. That is if you have not trained yourself to discern the good from the bad. Matthew 7:16 says that you will recognise them by their fruit. Learn to trust the leading of the Holy Spirit and He will keep you from the traps of the enemy.

Look at Proverbs 27:12 – “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences”.

Action Plan: Train yourself to discern God’s voice, tune into His broadcast! Get to know the Word of God, so that if bad fruit in someone shows up, you already have precautions in place and you know how to handle it. Remember that not everything that is candy-coated is good for you. Don’t let someone fool you with their “candy floss” charade.

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