Things to know about hardship and struggles

Most often we think something is wrong if we’re experiencing hardship or struggles, but actually it’s the opposite. In the Father’s mind it means we’re making progress, that we’re growing as sons and that we’re taking the next step in a life of destiny and promise.

Hebrews 12 offers some great encouragement about hardships. If we focus our faith on these gems, it will change our experience and enable us to access His grace:  Continue reading

Hamba kahle South Africa, the Lord your God is with you

Jesus was not pronouncing a gloomy verdict when He asked, ‘when the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth?’ He was posing a challenge, daring us to a faith that sees that ‘the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea‘ (Hab 2:14).

On my way back to the US after a great trip to South Africa, I’m reflecting on the state and the prospects of our ‘rainbow nation’. Many challenges exist including the latest ‘xenophobic crisis’, but seeing the great work that the Lord is doing, particularly among university students, gives me great hope that our best days are ahead, that the goodness of Christ’s Kingdom is expanding and that God has an intention for South Africa to shine His light brightly to the continent and to the world. Continue reading

The Spirit’s empowerment takes us beyond ourselves…into the glory of the sons of God

“The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power…and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” 1 Sam 10:6-7

In the Old Covenant, the most sought after, distinguishing blessing from God was the anointing of His Holy Spirit. Less than 100 men and women were entrusted with this gift over several thousand years, and they are the ones about whom pre-Christian history is written. Many of them were flawed people – think of Moses’ stuttering, Gideon’s fear and David’s adultery. But when the Holy Spirit came upon them, each became “a different person” as the nearness of God amplified their lives, covered over their failings and turned their ventures into magnificent works.

Today, Christ brings us something even greater. Continue reading

Change the campus, change the world

In the late 1920s, a group of young South African students went to study at the universities of Berlin, Liepzig and Hamburg in Germany, among these one Hendrik Fresch Verwoerd. There they were inspired by the concept of “national socialism” more commonly termed “Nazi-ism” and this gentlemen went on to become known as the notorious “principal architect of Apartheid” in South Africa, drawing heavily on the ideas of his university years, and assisted by some of his old “college pals”. Continue reading

Unload those heavy rocks…and carry His Presence instead

Jesus invites us to an amazing exchange. We give him the burdensome “rocks” of our struggles, and He gives us the weight of His Holy Spirit instead. He carries our heavy load, and we carry His Presence and the weight of glorious destiny and purpose in life.

It’s basically a really good deal.  Continue reading

Clothe yourself with Christ

Gal 3:27 “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Rom 13:14 “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” Luke 24:49 “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

These verses convery the glorious truth of being clothed in Christ, covered by Him, fully immersed in Him and overshadowed by His power and life.  Continue reading

Johannesburg is eGoli, the city of gold in hearts

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matt 13:44

I arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa this morning for one of my twice-yearly 10 day trips here and I am feeling a pregnant sense of excitement in the (spiritual) air. The Lord’s heart is very full of purpose and goodwill for this “capital city of Africa”, and the key is the gold that He sees in hearts of men and women.  Continue reading