Tag: praise

Then He told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”
Luke 13:6‭-‬9 NIV

In the passage just before telling this parable, Jesus was speaking to a group of people about repentance of sins. He used this parable to illustrate the importance of repenting of our sins, as sin separates us from God and prevents us from bearing fruit in our lives.

This really got me thinking how we, as humans, tend to hold things off until the pressure is on. We hold off dealing with our sin, we hold off on following our calling, we hold off on spending enough time with God, or really putting effort into reading our Bibles. We become so in tune with getting through each day that we miss out on hearing His whispers, while the enemy shouts his way through our lives. We are so busy doing life that by the time we look again we realise that we’re still stuck in the same motion, the same rhythm.

For a tree to bear fruit, it’s needs to be nourished, cared for, fertilized, it needs food. So do we. We need to invest in spending time in God’s word, spending time with Him, hearing His words over our lives and with Him guiding our steps.

I love that we serve a God of second chances. He may watch us for years bearing no fruit in our lives, but He still loves us unconditionally and will forgive us if we just turn to Him and repent. This is illustrated in this parable when the man kept coming to check for fruit, until one day after 3 years, He puts pressure but still gives him a second chance of another year to fertilize and allow the tree to bear fruit. His grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in weakness.

As we step out of 2019 and into 2020 let’s choose to fertilize, nourish and care for ourselves so much that we bear healthy fruit in our lives. I pray that in 2020 we make it a commitment to spending more time in God’s Word and in His presence. Let’s spend some time digging and repenting of our sin, getting rid of all that which is too heavy for us to carry. Let’s realize the beauty of God’s forgiveness and soak in the depth of His love for us. Let’s sow His righteousness in our lives. This is how we fertilize, nourish and care for ourselves. This is what brings us every step closer to the very best that God has in store for us.

I want to leave you with this verse as we head into the New Year:

“Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord , until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”
Hosea 10:12 NIV

I pray the very best for you and your families in 2020, May God’s will be done and may He place His desires in your heart.

Much love
Di

As I look back on 2019 I realise it has been a year of growth, love, of many lessons and of the kind of blessing that can only come from the grace of God. At the beginning of 2019, we were losing everything we owned, including ourselves. Watching everything we had worked so hard to build over the years crush all around us, crushed our spirits at the same time because we were so focused on our emotions that we allowed it.

God placed the right people around us, at the right time, to open opportunities for us that would help us to rebuild everything we had lost. He not only helped us to rebuild all the material things we had lost, but also helped us to heal and restore what was broken inside of us as we drew closer to Him.

On Christmas Eve, I found myself sitting on the edge of our bed looking all around me at everything we have now. I found myself just feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude for everything I have and that God has done for us over the past year. It may seem like very little to others, who have fancier pieces of furniture in their homes, perhaps a home all to themselves. Everything in our little home (one bedroom flat let) just feels so beautiful, feels so refreshing. I looked over the Christmas tree we put up this year and I was reminded of an empty tree we put up last year, with no decorations because we couldn’t afford it, but we put the tree up anyway. This year, we put up our white Christmas tree with shades of blue and silver decorations.

I found myself feeling as though the room is full, not just filled with items / furniture, but filled with love, filled with so much more than money could ever buy, filled with the presence of God. I was reminded of a sermon by the pastor of our church.  He said: “you can have the kingdom of God right where you are, in the room you are renting, in your granny flat, in your middle class home or in the mansion in you live in. The Kingdom of God is not a place, it’s a person.” Back then I didn’t really understand the extent of those words because with everything I was going through, I felt empty, our home felt empty. I even felt empty in the presence of others. I couldn’t bear to be alone, that’s when the emptiness felt even stronger.

I wasn’t empty though, I wasn’t lonely either, the emptiness I was feeling was all the gaps of my life I wasn’t allowing God into. When there are spaces that we don’t allow God into, we leave room for the enemy to lie to us. If God isn’t filling those empty spaces, the enemy is.

If we are to have the Kingdom of God in our lives, feel whole and fill all our empty spaces, we need to unleash His fullness into every area of our lives. We need to allow Him to take control and let Him guide our steps. Let him take control of our relationships, our finances, our hearts, our thoughts, our hopes and dreams. Let Him have more than just our spare time, let His Holy Spirit fill every part of our being.

“Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.” Colossians 2:9-10 MSG

It’s when we start allowing God into our empty spaces, that we can start focusing on what we do have rather than what we don’t have. This is when we can sing His praises, even when we face life’s storms, when we can find comfort and rest in Him. This is when we can know the depth of His love. Even though we are so undeserving, He loves us so much and we can let that love rise above every pain, every fear, and every insecurity. We can know that He surrounds us, He wraps His arms around us and we are under His protection. With Him we lack nothing, we have all we need.

We serve a God that is all powerful, a God that created the universe from an empty space, a God who parted the red sea, a God that gave His one and only Son to save us. He has set a table aside for us, we have a purpose, we just need to show up and welcome Him.

“Now may the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Let your Kingdom come Lord, lets us continue to allow you into every empty space in our lives, unleash your fullness in each of our lives Father God. Let us have encounters with you like never before Jesus, let us encounter your love in the strongest way. Come fill our hearts Lord, come fill our homes, our lives with your presence. Let your Holy Spirit wash over us Lord and guide our steps that we may live our lives in the fullness that you have set aside for us Lord God. Thank you that we can trust you with our whole lives Lord God because you created us and love us so deeply. Amen.