Runaway Jury – Insight for the Day 20:08:2014

juryTo those who have read John Grisham novels or watch his films, I would say that the Runaway Jury is a classic.

The book and film is about a woman whose husband was shot dead. A million-dollar lawsuit was launched against the gun manufacturer as to the ease with which guns could be obtained.

A jury was selected, and two parties tried to influence their thought patterns. The first party was led by a member of the jury who had lost someone dear through a gun shooting, and the second was led by the defence counsel, who tried to blackmail every member of the jury with information about their past lives.

The first party managed to persuade the jury to vote against the gun manufacturer, and the prosecution won millions of dollars in compensation for their client.

What made the difference was the approach adopted by both parties in trying to sway the jury. The first party stuck to the facts and empathised with the other jury members when he found out they were being blackmailed. The second party used an aggressive and negative approach which had no lasting impact on the jury.

In trying to convince people to accept the gospel, we need to stick to the facts of the gospel and not try to manipulate people into salvation, as confirmed in Titus 1 verses 9 – 11:

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach – and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

We need to teach the truth so our ‘jury’ – which is made up of non-Christians – is not put off!

 

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2014

Route Planner – Insight for the Day 18:08:2014

routeYou get in the car and punch the co-ordinates of your journey into the GPS navigator.

One of the options on the menu gives you the ability to choose from the fastest or shortest routes, and also warns of impending road blocks, accidents, and road works.

God has His own guiding system in the form of the Holy Spirit and angels, and sometimes, through dreams. Evidence of its use is seen in Matthew 2 verses 12 – 15:

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

As we know from that famous Scripture, He is our Shepherd, and will lead us through the valley of the shadow of death. His rod and staff will comfort us. Goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives.

God is that good Shepherd, so anytime we want guidance – just key the co-ordinates into God and His guidance system will kick into operation.

 

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2014

Revelation T.V – Insight for the Day 15:08:2014

revelationDuring the Falkland war, it was suggested that the Americans assisted the British Troops with a lot of intelligence which outlined the strategic positioning of the Argentine fleet. This was achieved through the aid of their Global Positioning Satellites a.k.a. GPS

This technology which was barely available years ago can be downloaded via the click of the button on the internet and the software integrated into a Personal Digital Assistance (P.D.A). I particular like the word “Personal’ because it can be aligned with the words intimacy, care and friendliness.

This was what the American were to the British as the competitive advantage provided via the GPS ensured that the initial “fighter plan re-fuelling” disadvantages the British troops had because of the long distance from the UK to the island was eliminated. The revelation of enemy location facilitated effective decision making and the effective mobilization of British troops.

The advantages of “inside revelation” a.k.a. revelation is highlighted in Amos 3 v 7:

“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets”

A relationship with God will ensure that the right co-ordinates are keyed into your personal G.P.S for effective decision making and action.

 

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2014

Response Centre – Insight for the Day 14:08:2014

responseHow do you respond to situations around you? Which of the following do you do?

  • Stop, Think and Respond
  • Respond, Think and Stop
  • Think, Respond and Stop

It seems the world around us is in such a rat race that we do not even have the patience to observe situations and ask the right questions.

We are quick to presume we know the answers and then react accordingly; we presume to be good judges of character and categorise people according to our initial perceptions.

Most of my close friends are people that I saw in a different light at first, before I took the time to truly know who they were and what they were about.

In Acts 2 verses 12 – 13 we see two responses to a situation that involved Jesus’ disciples:

Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Looking at their reaction, you wonder whether they were the ones that served the wine, or whether they smelt the ‘aroma’ of wine on Peter’s breath!

The first bit of advice I was given as a management consultant was to “Never assume – always ask questions if you do not understand.” How many times do we second-guess God and prescribe how He will do something without consulting Him first?

My prayer is that God gives us the patience to stop, think and respond!

 

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2014

Remember the Times – Insight for the Day 13:08:2014

rememberThere is a saying that goes, ‘Old things have passed away’.

In reality, the memories linger depending on the situation, and we need the divine grace of God to erase them from our memory banks.

Our memories should serve as an indicator of our former state, and in guiding new Christians or those still struggling with sin, we should always bear in mind that it was the grace that saw us through.

Even though we may need to be firm, we have to do it with love and compassion. The importance of this approach is highlighted in Titus 3 verse 3 – 5:

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 

But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

Remember the LORD’s grace abounds to us all.

 

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2014

Question Time – Insight for the Day 12:08:2014

questionAs a consultant, I have had the privilege of interacting with colleagues who are experts at communicating during interviews and negotiations with clients.

In order to engage the client in effective conversation, they always use questions to assist the client in exploring the wider scope of issues.

Good communicators go one step further by using questions to answer a question. The advantage of this method, if used effectively, is that it guides the client to understand and provide the answers to their own questions.

We see the art of great communication using questions to answer a question utilised by Jesus in Luke 20 verses 22 – 25 :

“Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Another example is seen in Luke 7 verses 20 – 23:

When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’ ” At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind.

So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

In other words, Jesus wanted John to answer his own question by observing the wonderful and mighty things He had done, and make his own judgement!

 

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2014

Public Opinion Poll – Insight for the Day 11:08:2014

opinionIt is amazing at the amount of opinion polls that are held today to obtain people’s view on nearly every issue from “Should Charles marry Camilla” to “Should the FIFA golden ball trophy be taken away from Zidane”.

We have all heard the expression “there is always one” – in other words there will always be an awkward, difficult, negative person that you have to work with on a team.

I have recently joined a new project and straight away the “public opinion poll” machinery went into action as they began to give me their opinions about a particular member of the team.

Later in the day, I began to ponder on their comments and asked myself why the statement – “there is always one” can’t mean someone who is not ready to compromise a “status quo” of holiness, godliness, moral standing and a positive character trait. One thing is certain in life – you cannot satisfy all of the people all of the time.

So what do we do? – The answer is simple as highlighted in John 3 v 16 – focus on what God thinks about his children. It is his opinion that counts and not that of “people”.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

People’s opinions are like a wave that goes up and down – remember what they said about Jesus! One day they shouted “Son of David” and the next they shouted “Crucify Him”

 

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2014