NEW: Insight for the Day 24:02:17: Shock and Awe

shock-and-awe
Discussion Points:

  1. Have you experienced the goodness of God?
  2. Have you experienced the discipline of the Lord?
  3. What impact did both actions have on your spiritual development?

Case 24:02:2017

As Christians we sometimes forget that, just as God is merciful, He can also be ‘terrible’ when His decrees are ignored. His acts can be so terrible that the opposition has no choice but to succumb.

In 2003, Saddam Hussein was advised by the United Nations to get rid of his country’s stockpile of WMD (or Weapons of Mass Destruction). The advice was ignored and the full might of the United States Armed forces was unleashed, resulting in the term ‘shock and awe’.

Pharaoh was advised by Moses to set the Israelites free so they could worship God in the desert. Just as Saddam ignored advice and was subjected to a massive onslaught, Pharaoh ignored plenty of advice given by the LORD and experienced ‘shock and awe’ tactics of a different nature and level, and in the end he had no choice but to let the people go. Exodus 13 verses 14 – 16 gives us an insight into this nature of God:

“In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’ And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the LORD brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”

LORD we ask for the grace to obey Your every decree, so we do not experience your ‘terrible’ nature.

Points to Ponder:

  1. God’s love makes Him  slow to anger
  2. God’s love makes Him gracious
  3. God’s love also involves Him chastening us

©Insight for the Day 2017

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NEW: Insight for the Day 23:02:17: Shout to the Lord

shoutDiscussion Points:

  1. Do you believe in Jesus?
  2. Do you declare his existence wherever you go?
  3. Do you declare his love wherever you go?

Case 23:02:2017

The scene was set; the two convicted men were paraded in front of the mob that consisted of two groups of people. Some were rooting for the first victim, while ‘the others’ were rooting for the second in a rather timid way. The general in charge of declaring judgment knew he had a hard task and was confused, particularly as his wife had warned him not to get involved because of a dream she had the previous night.

In my opinion, because of his status as a general, he had to save face and succumb to the wishes of the people by allowing them to choose who would be set free. ‘Who do you want to be set free?’ echoed the general and to his amazement the loudest cries were for victim one, the Al Capone of this era. The cries for victim two were not even heard, even though he was so innocent that the general could not find any reason to execute him. Hence he washed his hands off the matter after giving his judgment.

The Bible highlights the consequences of being ashamed of Jesus in Mark 8 verse 38:

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

How many times are we told to stand up for Jesus and proclaim the gospel with boldness? If we remain silent like ‘the others’ people will not be set free, and will be condemned to a life of misery. Like those who shouted with such boldness that the general had no choice but to free ‘Al Capone’, let us raise our voices and proclaim the name of Jesus to set the captives free.

Points to Ponder:

  1. Jesus was not ashamed of us – he loved us so much
  2. His love was so great that he gave his life for us on the Cross at Calvary
  3. On that eventful day; we will be judged on how we declared our love for Christ in words, thoughts and deeds.

©Insight for the Day 2017

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NEW: Insight for the Day 22:02:17: Show me the Money

givingDiscussion Points:

  1. Do you give tithes and offerings in church?
  2. Why do you feel it is necessary to perform this duty?
  3. What are your views on the current churches emphasis on giving?

Case 22:02:2017

Little did Cuba Gooding Jr. know how much this statement he made in the course of his Oscar-winning role in the film Jerry Maguire would impact our lives! Money is the one of the most controversial issues facing the church in terms of scandals, lack of integrity and authenticity behind the claim that God demands specific amounts in the form of tithes or offerings.

A tithe pretty much speaks for itself – a tenth of your income. The amount to donate as an offering is not clear-cut, as we sometimes see from the questionable formulae presented at some church meetings.

Should we be bothered?

My answer is two-fold. ‘Yes’, in terms of the ability to lead people astray, and ‘No’ based on the response given to my spirit by the Mighty Counsellor. If I gave out of my lack and the LORD guarantees me long life and prosperity, surely this is much better than not giving out of my abundance and facing a sickness that will wipe away the abundance?

In my opinion, offerings should be a form of worship to the Lord Almighty. So rather than trying to figure out the gymnastics of giving, we should give with a faithful heart. The next time we hear the Scripture below from Malachi 3 verses 8 – 12 quoted when it is time to give an offering, we should rejoice and thank God for all He has done in our lives –:

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me, “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you? “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty. It is the heart behind the giving that the LORD treasures most!

Points to Ponder:

  1. God owns all the silver and gold; so he really lacks nothing
  2. It is the act of worship in giving and not necessarily the amount that is given
  3. The Lord advocates to give out of a cheerful heart.

©Insight for the Day 2017

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NEW: Insight for the Day 21:02:17: Stand and Deliver

heavenDiscussion Points:

  1. Do you believe in heaven?
  2. Are you prepared for heaven?
  3. Is your life motivated by eternity?

Case 21:02:2017

I have always questioned myself about reaching heaven and finding out that I have missed God’s plan for my life. Life starts and then it ends with death. It is so short that we will need God’s help to ensure that we are on the right track.

In our lifetime, we will encounter different kinds of people along the track – rich, poor, great, proud, humble, selfish, kind, great, blessed, sick, healthy, masters, servants etc but when all is said and done – it is the judgment of God and not people who is the final ‘leveller’

On that final day of judgment will we be able to stand or will we hide in fear as highlighted in Revelations 6 v 14 – 17:

The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

We need to do everything within the grace of God to stand tall and be worthy on the day of judgment.

Points to Ponder:

  1. There is an appointed day that we will all go to meet our maker – The Almighty God
  2. The original mandate given to us is to dominate while here on earth for the glory of the Lord?
  3. Let us live our lives daily with the hope that on that day – the Lord will see welcome my son or daughter – I am pleased with you.

©Insight for the Day 2017

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NEW: Insight for the Day 20:02:17: System Demo

system-demoDiscussion Points:

  1. Have you ever tried to convince someone about the love of Christ?
  2. How would you describe the experience?
  3. Were you able to persuade the individual to surrender his life to Christ?

Case 20:02:2017

The scene is set – the marketing representative and his assistant go through their final preparation for what could make or break their company. This account is crucial for the injection of cash for the future survival of the company. Sweats of nerves can be seen on the face of the assistant as he pounced up and down the conference room.

The scene is the demonstration of the firm’s latest offering to facilitate cash flow accounting throughout the client’s global organization. The approval of the account is dependent on the outcome of the system demonstration. Key decision makers and influencers will be present and their “nod” is crucial to the final approval.

No organisation will approve the expenditure of millions without evidence of the value that will be obtained. There needs to be convincing evidence that will influence this key decision. As the age-old adage goes – ‘Actions speak louder than Words.’

We see an example highlighted in 1 Kings 18 v 34 – 39:

Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD; answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!

Points to Ponder:

  1. Only God can change the heart of an individual to accept Jesus as his personal saviour
  2. The conviction only comes through strategies orchestrated by the Holy Spirit
  3. Our role is to surrender ourselves as vessels to be used by the Lord

©Insight for the Day 2017

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NEW: Insight for the Day 17:02:17: Teacher Teacher

teacherDiscussion Points:

  1. Do you lecture or teach people in any capacity?
  2. What are the key considerations in presenting your materials?
  3. How do you know the impact of your presentations.

Case 17:02:2017

The lucrative rewards from professional public speaking cannot be underestimated, as we see the flurry of posters advertising yet another conference, seminar, or public gathering. Everyone now wants to be involved in the art of giving advice and tips on the latest fad, which can range from sports and motivational tips, to religion and the Word of God. In my opinion, some of these speaking engagements can be a waste of time if they have no impact in terms of value creation.

Acquiring the knowledge and discipline to be a teacher takes time. The process of maturity is facilitated over a certain period and when it happens people will flock to you, as was evident in the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon. The impact of effective teaching can be seen in Luke 4 verses 36 – 37, as Jesus demonstrated His mastery and skill in the art of delivery:

All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Your gift will make way for you as you make an impact in the lives of people by effective teaching that demonstrates authority and power.

Points to Ponder:

  1. Our Lord God has advocated asking him for wisdom when required.
  2. Commit your gifts to God and people will be amazed at what the Lord will use you to accomplish?
  3. Our purpose on earth is to communicate the gospel with the gifts that God has provided us with?

©Insight for the Day 2017

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NEW: Insight for the Day 16:02:17: The Bold and the Beautiful

boldDiscussion Points:

  1. Do you believe in the power of the Gospel?
  2. Are you timid in sharing the Gospel in the marketplace?
  3. Do you share other information apart from the Gospel without reservation?

Case 16:02:2017

One can only be amazed on one hand, and sad on the other at the utter boldness with which terrorists carry out their deadly missions. Death is not a discouraging factor, since they believe they have been promised riches of another kind in a ‘paradise’ defined by their leaders. This makes them ready to do anything to sway the policies of countries that do not share their beliefs.

Year after year, innocent people are subjected to periods of mourning as their loved ones fall victim to terrorist attacks whose perpetrators seek to force realignment with their beliefs. As Christians, we have a faith which gives every individual the freedom to choose to worship and glorify a beautiful God. That freedom of choice is currently being challenged by government policies that will restrict the teaching of the gospel.

Do we sit down and keep quiet, or should we let the government know our convictions, as Peter made clear to the rulers and elders of the land in Acts 4 verses 16 – 20:

“What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Points to Ponder:

  1. The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ has the solution to all our problems
  2. We should freely share the Gospel because a heavy price was paid on the Cross for this freedom
  3. Finally, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a disciplined mind

©Insight for the Day 2017

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