Posts Tagged With: Thankful

The Destructive Nature Of Anger

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Anger is an emotion that all of us have felt or will feel! A formless force that manifests itself in many ways, often in the destruction or (attempted destruction) of whatsoever crosses our path.

Now whilst there are many that struggle with anger problems, often because of deep-seated personal issues, anger is such that even the most mild mannered lady or gentlemen can exhibit feelings of intense rage. Now is this all bad? Not necessarily, in the bible we are told that Jesus Christ got angry, often times at the hardness of people’s hearts towards his words.

In other passages, we are told that due to the lack of respect shown to the temple, he proceeded to physically cleanse the temple of moneychangers & those that bought & sold in the temple with whip in hand.

Now I bring up Christ to highlight the fact that anger in itself is not a bad thing, if the anger is directed towards unrighteousness or injustices. The problem though is that many of us get angry for the wrong reasons! Even if initially our fit of rage is justified.

I picture anger like a man balancing spinning plates; whilst initially he could be successful in balancing a few, as the intensity grows of balancing more & more, he quickly finds that he cannot keep track of all the plates as they begin to smash on the ground, before he knows it, what started out as a simple (albeit complex manoeuvre) becomes something he has no control over.

It’s the same with anger, we often times open up a pandora’s box of hurt, when we let anger control us & ultimately consume us. The bible of course has much to say about this;

Make no friendship with an angry man;
and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Proverbs 22:24

An angry man stirreth up strife,
and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. Proverbs 29:22

Two verses to name a few, highlighting the dangers of allowing anger to sit within us for long periods of time.

The bible says in Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil

Showing us that anger becomes a problem when we don’t deal with it. The bible’s timeframe of dealing with anger is 1 day, but often times we harbour anger in our hearts for many days, months, years even. We allow it to fester & canker in our hearts, eating us from inside & robbing us of our joy

steam on pot in kitchen

The bible says let it go! In a sinful world filled with sinful men & women, the chances of you harbouring anger is extremely high, but understand that in Christ, we have a Saviour who not only took care of the anger of God towards sinners by appeasing it through his own sacrificial death, but forever lives to make intercession for us.

The sustained anger we often show towards others is the same anger that was dealt with on the cross. Can we not show the extended hand of grace to others who have ruffled us?

Is there a time to be angry? Oh yeah!! Christians should not downplay this, but there is a difference between anger at injustices, disrespect & sin & plain anger due to emotional instability (bruised ego, pride etc)

Let’s identify them both & act accordingly! A life ruled by emotions is an unstable & dangerous life to live. Choose rather to be governed by principles & grace.  Amen

 

 

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An Attitude Of Bitterness Is No Excuse.


You know it’s been a while I wrote a blog post, when I had to use my password protect app to locate my WordPress username & password to login 😕

So here I am again, with a quick thought taken from my general reading through the book of Ezekiel. Have I ever mentioned that I love the books of Jeremiah & Ezekiel?

Do I understand everything from them? No…..but the more you read, the more God opens your heart to his Word.

As I read through Chapter 3 of Ezekiel, the verses 12-17 stood out to me. In these verses, you get a glimpse of the attitude of the prophet Ezekiel! Drawing in the immediate context of what is going on at this period, we understand that the captivity of Judah had already taken place; Nebuchadnezzar has besieged Judah & rounded up the choice men & women for Babylon. King Jehoiachin who was the king of Judah at the time, was also taken to captivity, Nebuchadnezzar instilled Zedekiah as the last king of the remnants of Judah. (2Kings 24:10-15)

Ezekiel who was one of the captives of Judah is called of God to be a prophet as he & the captives are dwelling at the river Chebar in the land of Babylon (Ezekiel 1:1-3)

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. Ezekiel 1:1-3

The commands of God to Ezekiel are clear,

1: Go preach to my people

2: Warn them to turn back to me

3: Tell them I have not forgotten them

4: Warn other nations of my judgments

Now prior to Ezekiel leaving to preach to the remnant of those captive, this is what is said of Ezekiel in terms of his attitude to the command of God “So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.” Ezekiel 3:14

Now bare in mind, Ezekiel had lived through some of the rebellious years of Judah, & grew up during the reign of King Josiah to Jehoiachin, so he had legitimate reason to be upset with his people for how they had disobeyed God.

Let’s not forget also that God makes it clear to Ezekiel that whilst he will have the ears of the people, they WILL not listen to him “But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.” Ezekiel 3:7

So Ezekiel was aggrieved & bitter in his spirit towards the people, but the Spirit of God was still strong on him as he took him to the captives. Showing that Ezekiel had a heart of obedience, even though he himself did not particularly like the task at hand, nevertheless he obeyed God.

Now whilst Ezekiel left in bitterness & anger to the people, his attitude changed during a period of 7 days as he sat amongst them “Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. Ezekiel 3:15

Ezekiel, once he had been amongst the remnant, no doubt seeing the state in which the people were in, his heart softened to the cause. This reminds me of Christ’s surmisings & compassion he had for the people in Matthew 9:36 that they were scattered like sheep with no shepherd.

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36

Ezekiel would go on for 48 huge chapters obeying God, sometimes undertaking some of the most difficult tasks God had ever given to man, solidifying himself as a great prophet of God & a giant of the faith, but that was not how he started.

All of this to say this one simple fact; sometimes God calls us to obey him, when we may have our own reservations as to why we should not. Maybe a past hurt, or fear, past disappointments, disillusionment, doubts, inadequacy etc but regardless if we have these thoughts, just like Ezekiel, it should not stop us from obeying the command of God, in whatever capacity God has called us to. God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. Amen

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Thankful 2014 Edition (10 Things)

Thankful (1)WOW WOW WOW 2014 has been one of those years where if I were told in January, what I would experience by December, I would have…………believed it! Because that’s the way life is, but I still would have been in awe of how these random events would fit into a tightly knit puzzle called 2014.

Suffice to say that 2014 has exceeded my expectations of how I envisioned God working in my life personally! With all that has gone on, I feel it necessary to continue my tradition of writing a “Thankful Post” the end of every year just so I remind myself that above anything else. God is Good.

So here are my top 10 things that made me thankful in 2014.

  1. Health – Never underestimate the blessing of just having good health. Many of my Christian brothers & sisters have fallen ill throughout the year & my prayer goes out to them, so to take health for granted is a big mistake.
  2. Chanced Encounters  – London, my city is a place where you can meet various people at any given time. I have had the pleasure of meeting really interesting people throughout 2014. Some who have stuck around, others who stayed just for a short while. All with interesting backgrounds & from different walks of life. It really opens your eyes to the world we live in. As Christians, we cannot be closed minded, the world is crying out for truth & as bastions of truth, we have to let the light shine as Christ taught us to do.
  3. Single Vision Conference – I attended the Single Vision Conference in Florida once again this year & just like previous years, it was of tremendous encouragement to me. Not only did I meet so many other like-minded believers, but I got to hear some truly inspirational talks & sermons from people I look up to.
  4. My Heritage – I am thankful that I am made in the image of God of the melanoid variety 🙂 – 2014 has made me more aware of my heritage than ever before, both good & bad. Regardless of everything, I am thankful of who God has made me.
  5. Hobbies – 2014 had it fair share of stressful moments, but whenever I needed to let some steam off, football or running came to my rescue. For those few moments nothing else mattered, except playing for my team & pushing myself to deliver on the pitch or run further than I’ve ever ran.
  6. Missionaries To London – Thankful for those who give their lives to bring the gospel to my city. Praying for more church plants in 2015 & that God would use me to plant a church someday in London
  7. Consistency – Life is a series of mundane tasks the best of times, but it’s in the mundane that men & women are forged. God blesses those who are diligent in the mundane but necessary tasks of the day
  8. My Bible – Battered, worn out, highlighted, paper clipped, smudged, bent, ripped……it just gets more beautiful the longer I have it.
  9. My Church – My sanctuary away from this crazy world. God’s house, God’s people.
  10. Family – Life is busy, but when we get together………… 🙂

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What are you thankful for this year?

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21

Sal

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Being Thankful 2012

thankful-forLet’s just for a few moments pretend the Mayan Chinese whispers are true; the world is set to end 21/12/12. In less than 24 hours, a major catastrophe will come upon the earth ending all life as we know it! Would it take the magnitude of an event such as the world coming to an end to maybe consider how thankful we are for what we have? Suffice to say the world is not going to end tomorrow. How do I know this? Well the Mayan’s were not God manifested in the flesh, They did not create this world and in no way have they the power of prediction to know the hidden things of God. The world will end when God decides, Period!!! Continue reading

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