Calvary Church

Calvary Church

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Divine Masterpiece

'...I am...wonderfully made...' Psalm 139:14 NIV



Evolution says that, where there’s a want, nature will provide what’s needed. That takes a lot of faith. In Natural Theology, Dr. William Paley writes: ‘To keep the eye moist and clean—which qualities are necessary to its brightness and its use—a wash is constantly supplied by a secretion for the purpose; and the superfluous brine is conveyed to the nose through a perforation in the bone as large as a goose quill. When the fluid has entered the nose, it spreads itself upon the inside of the nostril and is evaporated by the current of warm air which in the course of respiration is continually passing over it… It’s easily perceived that the eye must want moisture; but could the “want” of the eye generate the gland which produces the tear, or bore the hole by which it’s discharged—a hole through bone? Let the evolutionist tell us who bored the hole… and laid a water pipe through it for the dispersion of tears.’ When it encounters darkness, your eye’s ability to see increases one hundred thousand times. The finest camera ever made doesn’t even come close! And what’s more, your eye will find the object it wants to see, and focus on it automatically by elongating or compressing itself. Both eyes moving in tandem must adopt different angles in order to fix themselves on what’s to be seen. Evolution tells us when the eye got ready to create itself, it had forethought for its own protection and built a bony ridge of the brow, which provided a nose on which to position the glasses many of us need. Then it provided a shutter to protect itself from foreign objects. Perhaps it takes more faith to believe in evolution than creation! What do you think? '...I am...wonderfully made...' Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Set Yourself Free from People Pleasing

"...We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29 KJV

Too often our actions are dictated by a misguided need to please others. We care so much about what they think that with every step we take we look over our shoulder to see whether they’re smiling or frowning. Understand this: if you’re always looking for people’s approval, you’re not looking where you’re going and eventually you’ll hit a wall or trip over your own two feet. The Bible says, ‘…We ought to obey God rather than men.’ What do you think will happen if you open your mouth and stand up for yourself? The truth is that people who don’t respect your rights and honor your wishes are not worth your time or effort. Nor are they worthy of a long drawn–out discussion; just say goodbye! (We’re not talking about your marriage or children they deserve effort) The scripture has everything for us, look at Abraham's life. When the land became too small for the flocks of Abraham and Lot to graze together, strife broke out. Abraham loved his nephew Lot, but he realised he could no longer live in this situation. So he said, ‘…Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.’ (Genesis 13:9 NKJV) How does their story end? Lot chose the best grazing land close to Sodom, and, as a result, everything he worked for went up in smoke. But Abraham, who always sought to please God, ended up not only being blessed himself, but being a blessing to the nations of the world. So the word for you today is—God wants to set you free from people pleasing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

'Now' Faith

'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for...' Hebrews 11:1 NKJV


When you’re in the middle of a crisis, what you really believe manifests itself in your words, attitude and actions. When Lazarus died and his sister Martha said, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died’ (John 11:21 NCV), she was voicing past–tense faith. When Jesus said, [Lazarus] will…live again’ (John 11:23 NCV) and she replied, I know that he will…live…in the resurrection…’ (John 11:24 NCV), that was future–tense faith. And when she said, ‘…Even now God will give You anything You ask’ (John 11:22 NCV), she was demonstrating ‘now’ faith, which is present–tense. As believers, the Bible tells us not to ‘…look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen…’ (2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV) ‘Now’ faith stakes its claim on ‘something…even if we do not see it.’ (Hebrews 11:1 NCV) Paul says, ‘…we walk by faith, not by sight.’ (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV) Too often we base our feelings on what we see, instead of what God says in His Word. But as Jon Walker writes: ‘When we believe that reality is confined to what we see, we become trapped into thinking the only truth is what we see. We become prisoners of our own perceptions; we cease walking in faith… For those who walk by faith, appearances are never the ultimate reality… Reality extends beyond what you can see… the things we do not see are eternal [time and circumstance do not diminish or alter them] (2 Corinthians 4:18). Even though things may appear bad, God is working things out for our good (Romans 8:28). He knows how the story ends, so fix your eyes on the unseen and not on what you see.’

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Give It Your All

'...I will go...And if I perish, I perish.' Esther 4:16 NIV

Esther, a Jewish girl married to a pagan king, risked death to break with long–standing tradition, marched into her husband’s throne room, spoke her mind, and rescued her people from annihilation. One girl saved a nation because she was willing to put everything on the line.

Are you feeling inadequate today? Are you thinking, ‘Someone else should be doing this job instead of me’? Then read these words by clergyman Edward Everett Hale: ‘I am only one; but still I am one. I can’t do everything; but still I can do something: and because I can’t do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.’ How many people did it take to rescue the dying man on the Jericho road? One Good Samaritan. How many people did it take to save the whole known world from the consequences of a seven–year famine? One man, Joseph. John Maxwell writes: ‘God has put a dream inside you. It’s yours and no one else’s. It declares your uniqueness. It holds your potential. Only you can give birth to it. Only you can live it. Not to discover it, take responsibility for it and act upon it is to negatively affect yourself as well as all those who would benefit from your dream.’ Poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, ‘For all sad words of tongue and pen; the saddest are these, “It might have been.”’ In your twilight years, will you look back and feel you’ve spent your life struggling to fulfil other people’s expectations? Or know that you lived to the fullest by striving to fulfil your God–given dream? Think about it now, while there’s still time to change direction.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Stop Complaining

'...do not complain...' James 5:9 NCV

In your walk of faith whatever you keep doing becomes a habit whether its good or bad. Today lets focus on something all of us do from time to time, complain. James says, ‘…do not complain…’ Author Jon Gordon says, ‘A complaining fast won’t just make everyone around you happier…you’ll experience more joy, peace, success and positive relationships.’ So instead of complaining when things go wrong: (1) Practice gratitude. Giving thanks for three blessings every day energises you and makes you feel happier. It’s impossible to be grateful and negative at the same time. (2) Encourage others. Instead of complaining about what people do wrong, focus on what they’re doing right. ‘…encourage…people who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NCV) It’s ok to criticise people’s weaknesses as long as you balance it with three times more praise. (3) Focus on your success. Start a success journal. Every night before you go to bed, write down something great about your day. It could be an uplifting conversation…or an accomplishment you’re proud of. There’s truth to the old saying, ‘Nothing succeeds like success.’ When you focus on success you set the stage for more to follow. (4) Learn to let go. Instead of obsessing about what you can’t change, focus on what you can influence. When you stop trying to control everything and place your life in God’s hands, things have a way of working out. (5) Use the power of prayer. Paul says, ‘…pray…on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…’ (Ephesians 6:18 NIV) Prayer reduces stress, boosts positive energy and promotes health. When you’re under pressure, instead of complaining, plug in to God’s power and recharge your batteries.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Vision 3

'I will instruct you...in the way you should go.' Psalm 32:8 NKJV


It is told that Mother Teresa didn’t set out searching for fame; it found her. She simply went to India, found a need no one else was meeting, heard the call of God, allowed her heart to be consumed by it, and ministered to multitudes of the world’s most neglected and forgotten people in the slums of Calcutta. One of her most famous slogans was, ‘A life not lived for others is not a life at all.’ Let’s face it; much of what we do each day doesn’t seem to matter until it’s evaluated as part of a larger picture. When you take the minutiae of any given day, drop it into the pot of a God–ordained vision and stir it around, suddenly there’s purpose, worth, adrenaline and the joy that comes from knowing you’re fulfilling your destiny. It’s like the difference between filling bags with dirt and building a levee to save a town. There’s nothing glamorous about filling sandbags, but saving a town from the ravages of a flood is another matter entirely. Building a levee gives meaning to the drudgery of shovelling dirt into sandbags. And it’s like that with your vision. Many times the everyday routine of life can feel like shovelling dirt. But take those same routines and view them through the lens of a God–given purpose, and suddenly everything looks very different. Vision brings your world into focus. It brings order and purpose out of chaos. It enables you to see everything in a fresh light. And the good news is that God is the giver of visions—so ask Him for one!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vision (2)

'...acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.' Proverbs 3:6 NKJV


One of the things about vision is you always need God; Proverbs 3:6 says "Acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path."  Having God’s vision for your life gives you four things: (1) Passion. It makes you wake up in the morning and bound out of bed because there’s something out there you love to do; something you believe in and are good at; something bigger than you; something you can hardly wait to get at. (2) Motivation. Author Richard B. Elder said: ‘Safe living generally makes for regrets later on. We are all given talents and dreams. Sometimes the two don’t match. But more often than not we compromise both before ever finding out. Later on, we find ourselves looking back longingly to that time when we should’ve chased our true dreams and talents for all they’re worth. Don’t be pressured into thinking your dreams or talents aren’t prudent. They were never meant to be… They were meant to bring joy and fulfilment to your life.’ (3) Direction. Vision simplifies decision–making. Anything that moves you closer to your vision gets a green light; everything else should be approached with caution. Vision brings what’s important to the surface, and weeds out anything that stands in your way. Without vision, good things will keep you from achieving great things. People without a clear vision are easily distracted. They’ve a tendency to drift aimlessly from one thing to another. They’ve no spiritual, relational, financial or moral compass. Consequently, they make decisions that rob them of their dreams. (4) Purpose. Having vision is like getting a sneak preview of things to come. It says, ‘If you don’t show up, something important won’t happen. Your life matters. Without you, what could be—won’t be.’