NEW: Insight for the Day 02:07:15: Another one bites the dust

decayDiscussion Points

  1. What are our values in life?
  2. Do we have value propositions we present to the people in our lives?
  3. Do these values align with a God ordained purpose?

Case 02:07:15:

In a message outlined by Dr AR Bernard, he spoke about our value system. As I pondered over this insightful message; it got me thinking about the meaning of life in terms of working to make ends meet and be financially comfortable and secure.

Also, the lengths to which we go to ensure that we are remunerated to the so call “level of comfort and security”. As I continued to ponder; the following question came to my mind:

Is God playing a major role in our pursuit?

Being much wiser after the conference, it is conclusive that our total comfort and security can only be in God – who provides it with a lifetime guarantee!

Revelation 18 v 11 – 14 provides a quite scary insight into the future of the values of a commercial system without God and hence no lifetime guarantee.

The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more— cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.

They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’

Points to Ponder

  1. Values based on a worldly system will fade and perish
  2. Values based on God are everlasting
  3. Invest and desire things that are of an eternal nature

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2015

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NEW: Insight for the Day 01:07:15: Angelic Assistance

asitance
Discussion Points

  1. Do we sometimes feel alone during conflicts?
  2. Do we sometimes feel that we have been neglected to face fearful situations?
  3. Do we feel overwhelmed by fear?

Case 01:07:15:

For those of you who are movie buffs, are you not amazed when the main character is trapped in a complex situation and has to fight his way out? In most cases, that means he has to fight against an army of the bad guys, and you are left wondering whether he will survive. Where were the reinforcements before and during the fight, though?

The reinforcements always seem to come after the fight has been won by the main character who, by this time, is battered and needs medical attention. In our fight against the enemy, we sometimes wonder where God is; especially during intense warfare. The good news is that angels are on standby waiting for that command from the Mighty Warrior, as we see in Matthew 4 verses 10 – 11:

“Jesus said to him, Away from me Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

God has guaranteed to give His angels charge over us, lest we dash our feet against a stone. His assurance of protection through angelic assistance is the ‘reinforcement’ that is always in the wings, waiting for orders from the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Praise be to God, that He will never forsake nor leave us!

 Points to Ponder

  1. God is for us and not against us
  2. He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind
  3. His rod and staff not only comforts us but protects us too

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2015

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NEW: Insight for the Day 30:06:15: Killing Fields

killingDiscussion Points

  1. How do we handle the struggles associated with sin?
  2. Do we set find ourselves constantly judging others?
  3. What do we base our belief system on?

Case 30:06:15:

Currently on a train pondering over the recent killing of tourists on a Tunisian beach. Two questions beginning to form in my mind:

  1. What possessed that individual to kill innocent people; followed by second which may seem awkward but worth considering;
  2. Could I have ever been that individual?

We are advised in Genesis that the original plan was to create us in God’s image but somewhere along the line; sin and its components took over our lives. Even though a plan was already constructed to save us; the battle to resist sin  and live a righteous life commenced.

This main battleground being in our mind so I ask myself what was he thinking about or what thought patterns led him to perform this atrocious attack.  If we take a step back, could he really have really thought he was performing an act that aligned with a set of core values that must have been indoctrinated into him at one stage of his life. Did he ever question the core values that he has been led to believe? What if he believed he was doing the right thing?

How do we know we are doing the right thing? This question and its answer illustrates how sin can confuse our thought patterns to believing we are doing the right things. We are advised in Romans 7 v 15 – 25 the nature of this battle and the only guarantee that we have to ensure our actions line up with core values that are of a righteous nature:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

If not for Jesus and his grace plus mercy; we could have easily been in the shoe of that individual mentioned above.

Points to Ponder

  1. Resisting sin is an ongoing battle from the birth to the death of an individual
  2. Our belief systems and core values determines how we see and approach sin
  3. Only Jesus is fully equipped to battle sin because he fully defeated it on the Cross at Calvary.

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2015

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NEW: Insight for the Day 29:06:15: The art of focus

focus
Discussion Points

  1. Do we struggle to focus on issues that really matter?
  2. Do we set time apart daily to think on issues?
  3. How do we avoid distractions in our daily routines?

Case 29:06:15:

The world we live in today is so much different in terms of so many things. The internet in terms of social media platforms; multiple TV channels either satellite or terrestrial; crime on the rise; terrorism and not to talk of personal and family issues we have to deal with on a regular basis. There are so many distractions in place that if one does not have a strategy in place to manage them; they will lead us down the path of destruction. In addition, they will incorporate so much fear and dis-order in our lives.

The dictionary gives us some further insight into what distractions bring to the party in its definition of the word:

  1. ‘a thing that prevents someone from concentrating on something else’ or 
  2. ‘extreme agitation of the mind’

From both definitions above, we can see that it is not a state we would like to introduce into our minds. To eliminate this from happening we need to introduce something else that enables us to concentrate and have peace in our minds. This word is called focus and the dictionary highlights the difference:

  1. ‘the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition’
  2. ‘the centre of interest or activity’

In Acts 7 v 54 -60, we see the centre of interest that Deacon Stephen focused on to eliminate fear as he was being stoned to death over his core belief system:

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Points to Ponder:

  1. Eliminate distractions by focusing on what is relevant and important
  2. Focus on Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith
  3. Set time apart daily to focus and think on what really matters

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2015

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NEW: Insight for the Day 26:06:15: Blue Ocean Foundations

blueDiscussion Points

  1. Do we struggle making decisions?
  2. Are we reaping the consequences of foolish decisions?
  3. Do we have strategies for making wise decisions?

Case 26:06:15:

An action that every one of us has to make on a daily basis is decision-making. Adults and Children alike have to make choices that will have an impact in the short and long-term . When the foundations of the earth were established thousands of years ago; three components were utilised as highlighted in Proverbs 3 v 19 – 21:

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom are those three crucial components. Do we apply the three in our lives to think with focus and strategy or do we apply them loosely? Have the foundations in our lives been girded by godly wisdom? If not; Lord please re-establish all the areas of our lives based on the wisdom that only you can provide. Can we truly say that godly wisdom facilitate our choices? What foundations do we have in place that support our words, thoughts and deeds?

Our foundations should be established by wisdom and not foolishness. They should be established by strategic thinking, organisation and focus so they have a lasting impact. The word ‘placement’ is about being strategic and focus so what framework have we put in place to ensure that godly knowledge, understanding and wisdom is applied to make effective choices.

Some of these choices may involve ‘eliminating’ ‘reducing’ ‘raising’ or ‘creating’ things to ensure solid foundation or frameworks are established in our lives. This concept is based on the Blue Ocean Strategy designed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, Professors at INSEAD and Co-Directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute.

Points to Ponder:

  1. Have a strategy for making choices
  2. Rely on God for the information required to make effective decisions
  3. Let the information consist of godly wisdom, understanding and knowledge

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2015

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NEW: Insight for the Day 25:06:15: Which Wisdom

wiseDiscussion Points

  1. What is our take on the fear of God?
  2. What is our primary source of wisdom?
  3. What is our primary source to know God?

 

Case 25:06:15:

When we talk about the fear of the Lord; what does this mean and what is involved in reinforcing this statement? We are given some advice in Proverbs 9 v 10:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

My take on the instruction being mandated from this passage is that we must obey God and incorporate the reverential fear of The Lord in every decision we have to make. We need to ask ourselves how the Lord will feel if we took a particular course of action. This should be one of our yardsticks. What is his take and advice on a critical decision about to be made?

Is the fear of the Lord considered in all my words, thoughts and deeds? At the workplace, in our relationships and in our local church community; do we allow the fear of God to form the framework of the wisdom we apply?  So for example; The fear of God at the workplace means no flirting;  no office politics; no backbiting or gossiping; respect for both senior and junior staff members. We need to remember that God is our boss and so we need to be perfect as he is perfect. Adopting a stance of being excellent about what is good and innocent about evil. Speak when required and learning to be quiet in observation.

Do we have the knowledge of the Holy one regarding issues of life? This can be obtained from the Word of God if we truly seek with all our heart. Hence why the Bible has to be our primary reference source. The advantages of using the wisdom obtained from this source is outlined later in this section of Proverbs; in verse 11 and 12:

For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

Tell me; who does not want many years added to their lives!

On a final note; watching the funeral of Mandela yesterday reinforced the importance and power of forgiveness in emulating the fear of God in our decisions. Despite the resistance from those that had been hurt by the Apartheid administration and even from family members; Nelson Mandela had to sacrifice by forgiving them all his family for the better cause of the nation of South Africa. We thank God that Jesus had already set this template of forgiveness in place.

Points to Ponder:

  1. True wisdom is found in the reverential fear of God
  2. Departing from all form of evil is genuine understanding
  3. The wisdom from God has been appraised, confirmed and tested – so it works!

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2015

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NEW: Insight for the Day 24:06:15: Friendly Neighbourhood?

gazelle

Discussion Points

  1. Do we find it hard to speak the truth under pressure?
  2. Are we influenced by how people feel about us?
  3. Have you lied to make others feel happy?

Case 24:06:15:

 

Why do we find ourselves so scared of people that we refrain from speaking the truth. Is it because we feel they may deprive us of what we want? Is it because we want to be liked? Is it because we do not want to upset the status quo?

Whatever the reason; it is not a healthy state of affairs because all what we need is in Christ; Our Lord and Saviour. We need to ask God for guidance on how to speak the truth so we do not stay under the bondage of fear and be set free like the gazelle in Proverbs 6 v 1 – 5:

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbour, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbour’s hands: Go—to the point of exhaustion— and give your neighbour no rest! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

There was a time in my life that I was subjected to this state of mind; trying to please all those around me. The turning point came when I realised that the heart of man is desperately wicked and it does not matter whether you keep quiet or speak the truth; you cannot control the decisions that originates from a person’s heart

The Lord has thought me that the key things to consider in responding is to be calm in speaking the truth; breathe, relax and do not get over emotional in presenting the facts of the matter; listen to understand first and do not listen to respond first. No point in responding with a lack of understanding of the situation if you want to present the truth.

We have God as our source of truth so we need not be intimidated by people. When in fear; pray to God because he has not given us a spirit of fear but of love. So we need to learn to be bold and speak the truth in love. If people say things that we don’t like; we need to voice our opinions in a calm but firm way; gather our facts and present our case truthfully and accurately.

Points to Ponder:

  1. Lies keep people in bondage
  2. Only the truth sets one free
  3. Only God can change the heart of people

Shalom – Love Never Fails

©Insight for the Day 2015

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