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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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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Put Works to Your Faith

by Andrew Cartwright

      

“By faith the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and the walls fell flat”. -Hebrews 11:30

Sometimes it seems nothing ever changes. Day in and day out we just “go through the motions” and in many cases, continue to lead meaningless lives. What can we do to change that? Just like so many heroes of the bible who obeyed in faith – and received their promises fulfilled – we need to hear from God… and do it! God’s ways are far higher than ours, and thankfully, we don’t need to lean on our own understanding, but can trust fully in Him. He’ll give you a divine strategy for success (Proverbs 3:5). God has a great plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). He wants to impact the earth with the good news of the kingdom of God through you. It’s when you obey Him and put works to your faith, that things begin to change and He will lead you to victory.

Take Action: What has God told you to do? When He’s confirmed the word and you’re sure you’ve heard from Him, begin to do exactly what He says. Do it now! Put works to your faith, even if God’s strategy seems strange or unusual (like marching around a city for seven days!). Great things will soon happen in your life.

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No Patch on You

by Lesley Cartwright

      

He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.” –Luke 6:36

If you pay special attention to scripture in the bible, you will notice that all of it in some way or other points to God’s big idea – the Kingdom restored in the earth.

Jesus likened the Kingdom to discovering a treasure, then hiding it again until the land was bought before the find was revealed. In order to take on the land, the new owner had to sell all he had (Matthew 13:44).

If we want to receive this inheritance that God has for us, we need to be prepared to “sell” all our old ideas. Romans 12:2 says we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. We are not to be conformed to the world (ignorance). We need to put off the old man and put on the new man (Col 3:10).

What does all this mean? It means we need to pursue and be established in the present truth (2 Peter 1:12 NKJV) of God’s Kingdom.

Action Plan: We have to be willing to give up old ideas – old religious thinking – and embrace the God idea. In the same way that you don’t expect a seamstress to sew a new patch on your old clothes, don’t patch your old ideas with a new one. Be prepared to seek after God’s heart (mind) with all your heart and you will see your life radically change.

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