4.4. Life in the Spirit – Dying to Self – Deep Conviction

“Dream as if you will live forver, live as if you’ll die today” – James Dean

1. The Movie

In the movie “Tree of Life” with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, the plot is about the impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.

2. Movie Quotes

“There are two ways through life,  the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you will follow.”

“It takes fierce will to get ahead in this world.”

“Come on son, hit me, hit me. He is afraid of you, you expect things of him that only an adult could accomplish.”

“I always wanted you to be strong, be your own man.”

“Father, mother, always you wrestle inside me. Always you will.”

“Some day we will fall down and leave, then we will understand it all, all things.”

“Guide us to the end of time.”

“Unless you love, your life will flash by.”

It is interesting what she says about life Hans, there is the way of nature (sinful nature) and the way of grace (life in the Spirit).

Then you will have to choose which one you will follow. In the end it is about choices you make that determine the outcome.

It takes a fierce will to get ahead in this world either way if you live for the world or if you live for God.

As as parent you set the scene for your children, “you wrestle inside me” your discipline will either lead them to the tree of life or you will be a willing partner to their death (Pr 19:18)

Hans I pray that you will understand what life is all about now, dont make the mistake to find out at the end that your life that your ladder has been leaning against the wrong wall, “then we will understand it all, all things”.

Who will; “guide you to the end of time.”?

“Guide us to the end of time.” Will that be worldly love or spiritual eternal love?

3. The scriptures:

Let’s look at what the Bible has to say:

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 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. 19 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. 20 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.21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 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. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  – Romans 7:14-24 | NIV

– Am I making every effort to be in close contact with other Christians?

  • Francois, no not always daily contact.
  • I am thinking about the first century Christians that met daily in the Temple courts.
  • I know in our current day and age that does not seem possible to meet in person every day,  but surely we have Whatsapp where we can chat daily.

– Why would someone want to have daily contact?

  • We are social being, just think how you felt during the lockdown.
  • Francois maybe to be encouraged.
  • To confess sin to have a clear conscience.
  • To get advice about situations that happened during the day.
  • To build friendships in the church Francois.
  • To think of it that way, why would I not want to have daily contact!

– How powerless am I to live this life without God’s help?

  • If I do not have the Holy Spirit I will live in sin all the time.
  • My sinful nature wage war on my soul.
  • I will be totally unspiritual.
  • I would keep on doing the things that I hate, being a slave to sin.
  • No good thing lives in my sinful nature.
  • Even when I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

–  What must I do with my sinful nature?

  • It is only God that can save us from our sinful natures.
  • I need to to put to death whatever belongs to your sinful / worldly nature. (Col 3:5)
  • I will not live to gratify the desires of my sinful nature; if I walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5:17)

Hans let us read Romans, placing your name in the scriptures:

 81 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those (Hans) who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you (Hans) free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us (Hans) , who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.5 Those (Hans) who live according to the flesh have their (Hans) minds set on what the flesh desires; but those (Hans) who live in accordance with the Spirit have their (Hans’) minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those (Hans) who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.9 You (Hans) , however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you (Hans) . And if anyone (Hans) does not have the Spirit of Christ, they (Hans) do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you (Hans) , then even though your (Hans) body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you (Hans) , he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your (Hans) mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you (Hans) .12 Therefore, brothers (Hans) and sisters, we (Hans) have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you (Hans) live according to the flesh, you (Hans) will die; but if by the Spirit you (Hans) put to death the misdeeds of the body, you (Hans) will live.14 For those (Hans) who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you (Hans) received does not make you (Hans) slaves, so that you (Hans) live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you (Hans) received brought about your (Hans) adoption to sonship. And by him we (Hans) cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our (Hans’) spirit that we (Hans) are God’s children. 17 Now if we (Hans) are children, then we (Hans) are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we (Hans) share in his sufferings in order that we (Hans) may also share in his glory. – Romans 8:-17 | NIV

You were probably assured at your baptism into Christ that you would receive the Holy Spirit upon your obedience to the Gospel Hans.

Now we will look what the Spirit means in our lives.

– What are some things that impressed you the most in these scriptures?

  • There is now no condemnation if I am in Christ.
  • If I live according to the Spirit I will have my mind set on what the spirit desires.
  • Living according to the Spirit means I put to death the misdeeds (sin) of the body.
  • If I am led by the Spirit I am a child of God.

 

2.4 Day 4 of 7 – Sound Doctrine – Authority

puzzle-truth-fake-news-lies-quarrel-gospel-god-love

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

“They hope to God the truth gets lost in the scrum!” Mary Mapes – Truth (Movie 2015) Quotes

“You have to make your case, you have to fight” a line in the movie Truth, with Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford. There is an enquiry in the movie if the president George W. Bush of the United States went AWOL when he was in the military. In it Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) make the statement: “You do not get to do this, they do not get to smack us just for asking questions!”, which is nowadays the norm when you bring truth to the world about public figures. So in essence people want to hide the real truth to appear truthful. Not that I know anything really about the truth as it was portrayed in this movie, although it is based on a true story.

We live in an era of people who spread lies (fake news) as if it is the truth because of the selfish gain they can get out of it. It is not about God and His truth anymore, rather a half truth with a financial gain. We all want to live eternally in heaven with God, but without conditions attached to it. In essence we want to be our own god in God’s world.

Let’s look at what God says Hans:

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” – Rom 1:16-17

– Hans is anything hindering me from sharing the Word of God with my friends?

  • Francois I might think; what might my friends say?
  • They might think I am a religious freak.
  • They might say I think I am better than them.
  • I don’t have all their phone no’s.
  • Maybe they will think I am not up to standard or think what I am about to  share with them is inferior.
  • I don’t have enough knowledge to share with my friends.
  • What if they ask me a question I do not know the answer, I might look stupid.

Hans just remember, it is God’s Word that has the power to save us.

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my  preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power – 1 Cor 2:1-5

– So Hans what do you get from Paul’s attitude in sharing his faith?

  • His message Francois did not come with eloquence and human wisdom. He did not try to be clever.
  • His main message was Jesus and Him crucified.
  • He wasn’t this bold guy, he came in weakness, great fear and trembling.
  • His message was not with wise and persuasive words.
  • His preaching was a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.
  • The disciples faith did not rests on human wisdom but on God’s power Francois,

16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers – 1 Tim 4:16

– What are the two things necessary to save yourself and your hearers?

  • Well, first Francois it is your life; which might be my daily habits and the things I do, there is no power in the things we tell people if we are not living the life we proclaim and my life needs to convince people that his Word is the truth.
  • Second, is doctrine; is what I believe in the Bible, but not based just on a single verse, God’s Word convict people and I need to understand the elementary teachings about salvation and life in Christ.

You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine – Tit 2:1

– What is sound doctrine and how might you learn it?

  • Well Francois, sound doctrine comes from the Bible.
  • I need to study my Bible regularly to learn God’s word.
  • Apply the Bible on a daily basis.

– What is the attitude of so many “religious“ people towards sound doctrine?

  • Religious people rather wants to listen to their preacher than Gods word Francois.
  • If their preacher says something different than the Bible says, the preacher must be right.
  • They don’t confess their sins or struggles as the bible commands to have a clear conscience.

– Why is it important Hans to learn exactly what God has commanded?

  • If say you’re a mechanic Francois and you don’t fix the car according to the manual it does not work and it does not matter how sincere you are in your actions.
  • If you don’t obey as the Bible says you’re not a christian.

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it – Tit 1:9

– What will we be able to do by holding to sound doctrine?

  • You can encourage others by it.
  • You can refute false doctrine.

3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain – 1 Tim 6:3-5

– What is the connection between false teaching and a bad heart or a bad attitude?

  • It is almost as if when people reject the truth they have a bad attitude towards you and just want to quarrel.
  • They want to make it a personal thing instead of focussing on God.
  • They will try to disprove you to justify their lack of knowledge / faith / conviction in the scriptures.

– Why is keeping a pure heart so important in understanding God’s Word?

  • God will not reveal himself to you.
  • You need to have a teachable / pure heart to grow in your faith.

Great study today Hans!!!

– Can you close us out in a prayer?

Dear Lord. Thank you that You Lord came to earth to show us truth and the way to spending eternity in heaven with You. Lord I don’t think Pilate wanted to know the truth otherwise he would ask you to tell him the truth. He was too scared of the real reality, of you being God and that he had to follow you. Lord I know although the gospel is simple, not complicated and Paul even shared it in weakness and much fear, it is the power of God for those who believe and is able to save you, bringing you to the knowledge of the truth. Lord first help me to know the truth first and then to live according to the truth. I do not want to live a lie that will make me serve you in vain. Help me to live as a disciple that you are proud of who correctly handles the word of truth. Amen

2.3 Day 3- The Boss’ right hand – Authority

“Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes but don’t  quit – Conrad Hilton

1. What I think a great employee entails?

– What does it take Hans to become your boss’ right hand or 2nd in command according to Forbes?

  • Loyalty I think.
  • I need to follow his / her instructions.
  • Identify problems and solve them.
  • Don’t get bogged down by the details.
  • Feedback closes the loop after input, output and feedback.
  • Give my boss the benefit of the doubt.
  • Don’t be a suckup, do your job. 

2. What are some requirements of a great employee?

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. – 2 Tim 2:15 | NIV

– What do you believe God is communicating to you here Hans?

  • I need to do my best Francois.
  • I need to present myself.
  • I need to be approved.
  • I am a worker for God and I need to do good work so that I will not be ashamed of my work.
  • I need to do correctly handle the word of God.

Hans state a brief explanation of each of these statements; to handle God’s Word correctly I must:

a. Have great respect for it?

  • Francois it is God’s word, the creator of the universe.
  • It is the law of the universe if I believe it or not.
  • I will be judged according to it.

b. Spend time studying it?

  • If I do not study it I will not be able to use it properly.

c. Share it with a Godly attitude?

  • If I speak as God’s ambassador Francois, I need to be serious enough to install conviction / faith in the other person.
  • If I do not share it with an Godly attitude I make a mockery of God.

3. What is the value of communication in being a great employee?

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will – 2 Tim 2:24-26 | NIV

– What characterises Worldly Communication and it’s effect on people lives in this scripture Hans?

  • It is querrelsome Francois.
  • You see people as opponents.
  • It is senseless.
  • It is lies from satan.
  • You are trapped by the devil.
  • The people are captive doing satan’s will.

– Hans the opposite characterises Godly Communication and it’s effect on people lives in this scripture?

  • It is kind to everyone.
  • You are able to teach.
  • You give gentle instruction.
  • Yor attitude will be hope that God will grant them repentance.
  • It leads people to the knowledge of the truth Francois.
  • It is God’s truth.

Wow Hans that was a mouthful!

– Would you like to close us out with a prayer?

  • Sure my friend. Father thank for for a new day that I can be a great employee in your kingdom! Help me to be approved by you by the quality of work that I produce. Lord I do not always see myself as your employee; but help me to do have great Biblestudy and Prayer in the morning so that I will grow in my relationship with You and it will help me to focus on the tasks at hand. Holy Spirit I feel a bit overwhelmed about the big task to go make disciples of all nations, but help me just to focus on my influence sphere. Amen

– Great prayer Hans, I will see you tomorrow.

Watch 11 best qualities of a good employee.

2.2 Day 2 of 7 – Terrible times in Last Days – Corona Virus – Authority

“We can’t predict what a virus we’ve never seen will do” – Marc Lipsitch

Hans the first time to my knowledge I learned about a plague was when I was on holiday in the Europe in 1995. We were traveling from England to Calais on a ferry. On the boat to pass the time we went to watch a movie, which at the time I thought was an oldie. The movies name was “Outbreak” and quite a few famous actors like Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland and Cuba Gooding Jr. In the film a virus that looked like the “Ebola” virus was transmitted via a monkey in Africa to America where the virus then spread. It was transmitted by saliva and the monkey’s bite. In the movie they called it “The greatest medical crisis of all time”. The effect of the virus was stated, “There will be panic’s of the like we have never seen”. In the movie their solution to eradicate the virus in a small town of “Ceder Creek” in California by first quarantine the town and eradicating it with a fuel air bomb by United States Airforce. It seemed pretty far fetched to me at the time; me not knowing what a plague could do to the worlds population. I did not know that between 75 to 200 million people was wiped out in the Bubonic plague in 1347 to 1351 and 500 million people had been infected and 17 to 50 million died in the Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1918 to 1921.

– So Hans what has this to do with us on a spiritual level?

  • Francois you got me there.

Let’s read a verse which quote God as saying the terrible times will happen in the last days.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God̶ having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” – 2 Tim 3:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

– Now Hans what do you classify as a terrible time in your life?

  • Well Francois there is the time I lost my job and could not get one seven months.
  • My three divorces did not do me any good.
  • When my kids did not want anything to do with me was quite tough and still is.

– Man Hans that is terrible!!!

– Ok let’s get back to the verse here.What is the problem with this kind of religion or “ungodliness” described here?

  • Francois I never though as I call myself a christian that love for money is terrible, in fact I thought is a good thing.
  • Me thinking that I was justified in not forgiving one of my wives that was unfaithful to me.
  • The Bible / God says it is terrible.
  • I think these christians they think they are right with God.
  • I think they are deceived according to this verse.
  • Francois if you hang around them, you most probably might become like them.

– Man that is intense!!! Let’s look at another verse.

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage̶with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” – ‭‭2 Tim 4:1-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

– Ok so what is the problem with this powerless religion Hans?

  • These people claim to love the truth but they don’t.
  • Francois they follow their own desires instead of God.
  • They rather seem to want to please people rather than God.
  • They in essence create their own god with it’s requirements which is idol worship by their itching ears.
  • They love their sin more than God.
  • They lack character due to the fact that they do not love the truth and change accordingly.
  • They are unwise and ignorant, like they say “Ignorance is Bliss“. It is like people who do not practise social distancing and have to pay the price of pretty much die of pneumonia.
  • They want to use God as a life jacket for incase it is true.

– Why would people ever substitute men’s teachings for God’s teaching on a given subject Hans?

  • Francois they think they are wiser than God by implication.
  • They are prideful and God hates pride.
  • They think God cannot be that serious He must mean something else.
  • It is easier to follow people than God.
  • It is easier to walk the wide road that leads to destruction.

– How do you think this tendency to substitute God’s teaching for man’s might creep into your life Hans?

  • If don’t want to be whole hearted committed to following Jesus. Like the Bible says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart“. They think 90% is a good average. God wants 100%.
  • If I just follow blindly what my pastor says and don’t check it out for myself in the Bible to see if it is the truth.
  • I do not study my Bible or share it with other people. “We Remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss with others, 80% of what we personally experience and 95% or what we teach others” – Edgar Dale

– Why would carefully following God’s message lead to powerful religion as opposed to powerless religion?

  • The Holy Spirit would work powerfully with you.
  • You would have the kind of impact Jesus had vs. the teachers of the law.
  • People would become disciples of Jesus vs. converts to a pastor being his own god worship.

– Hans must say this was quite a heavy but infighting study we did today.

  • Yes thank you Francois, I did not take reading my Bible that serious and I am that guy that would be mislead by the devil because I do not know the truth.

– Hans I will close us out with a prayer today.

  • Thanks Francois.

Dear Lord, thank you so much that you want us to follow the truth and get to heaven and not be deceived. Please help Hans to love the Bible and treat it as the most important book in his life that will help us go to heaven. Help me to study my Bible and share my faith with people so that I remember the truth 95% like Edgar Dale said. I pray that I will not be ignorant like some people about corona virus and pay the price. I pray that the terrible times things will not be part of my life which love for money is always a struggle. I want to love you God with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Amen

– Ok Hans. We are going to look at correctly handling the word of truth tomorrow.

  • Great Francois, see you tomorrow. Bye.

 

 

2.1 Day 1 of 7 – An approved worker – Authority


It is very funny looking at Snoopy’s cartoon; I can definately relate!

Steve Jobs used to say:

“The only way to do great work; is to love what you do”.

Link

The Theme for today is:

Be an approved worker for God under all authority from Jesus’ with the Bible as my Standard to love God with all my heart and making sure my neighbor and I make it to heaven.

Let’s see what God has to say about work:

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth – 2 Tim 2:15 | NIV

– So the question is Hans; how can you be obedient to this scripture?

  • Phewwww, I need to be on the level God expects.
  • I need to do good work Francois so I will not be ashamed of my work.
  • I need to know the Bible so I can handle it correctly. So if I have my bosses knowledge, my workflow increases in it’s effectiveness.

– What did Jesus say about authority just before he left the earth physically:

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me – Mat 28:18 | NIV

– In light of the previous passage Hans, what does the authority of Christ now mean in your life?

  • Francois all authority belongs to Jesus.
  • I need to please Jesus.
  • Jesus is The Boss.
  • I work for Jesus now.
  • I need to do a great job for Jesus.
  • I need to have some goals in my relationship with God and people, just as I have with my daytime job. 

George Lucas said the film maker of Star Wars said:

“Always remember your focus determines your reality”.

So Hans if you want to do great work for God you have to decide how much time to set aside for say bible study, prayer, sharing your faith, etc. Time that will please God.

Something Michael Phelps the 28 medals olympic medalist said:

“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time”.

  • Wowww Francois that is challenging.

So Hans let’s have a look at the benchmark is for God on work done for Him.

47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” – Jn 12:47-50 | NIV

– What happens to the one who does not accept the words of Jesus Hans?

  • They will be condemned to hell. Owch.

– What does God want for us?

  • Francois He wants for us to have Eternal life with Him.
  • God’s Word is the Authority in our lives
  • To accept His commands. 
  • Follow His commands.
  • The Bible be my Standard for Living, not my feelings or what I want.
  • Leaders can only remind and keep me accountable to the decision I have already have made to make the Bible the standard for my life.

– Hans how would one make the Bible the Standard for your Life?

  • Well this might sound simplistic but read God’s word & keep it.

– Yes that’s right. So how can  you make it practical and be specific?

  • Francois I need to make sure I know God’s standard.
  • Second, make sure I do what the standard requires.
  • Thirdly, spend good time examining the standard every day. I would say if I want to become say a doctor, I spend seven years of my life to study to become one. How much more intensity to make sure I get to heaven to be with God!

– Now Hans thinking back on what we have discussed last week in your mission, who did you share the gospel with last week?

  •  Well we did a Bible study with Thomas. 
  • I spoke to Ben as well

– What did you share with them?

  • Francois with Thomas we did a seeking God Bible study.
  • I shared with Ben what I am busy studying out in the Bible and how I want to share my faith with people.

– Hans who am I praying for on a daily basis?

  • People close to my heart.
  • People who I’m sharing the word with.

Hans I am really proud of you and I think God is smiling.

– Hans would you mind closing us out in a prayer?

  • No problem. Morning Father, thank you so much for your word that inspires us to live a godly life. Sometimes it is hard to think that you are ultimately my boss, and I need to please you. Thank you for your grace that you do not fire me. Help me to make the Bible the standard for my life on a daily basis. Help me also just to share your word boldly with my friends on a daily basis because my love them inspires me to help them to be close to You. Amen.

Thank for your time Hans and we will catch up tomorrow on what ungodly religeon is all about. 

Sure dude it was awesome. Cheers.

(Continued) 1.8. Day 1 to 8 - My Mission – Show Hospitality / Study / Live with Joy – Keys to Making Disciples – Summary

“It is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us joyful” – Anonymous

Hans would you say you want to be joyful?

Brad Turnbull said – “You are as happy as you choose to be”

So the question is what make us unhappy Hans?

– If we deal with the unhappiness we will by default be happy, don’t you think?

  • Makes sense to me Francois.

Hans some other questions we are looking at:

– What gives you joy in your heart?

And

– Is what gives you joy lasting or fleeting?

  • Francois some people might say posessions give you joy, but why is most film stars are not happy?
  • Money people say will make you happy, but if you look at lottery winners after 5 years they are worse off than before they won the money.
  • Travel some people say is the pinnacle of joy, but if you cannot share it with someone you are lonely.
  • You might say marriage bring you joy, but 2 out of 3 of them fails?

– So if joy comes from being grateful, we need to focus on how we can be grateful Hans don’t you think?

  • Sounds awesome Francois, let’s do it!

The dictionary says that gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation.

Let’s see how Jesus lived a grateful life:

’19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”’ – Matthew 11:19 | NIV

– Hans what must you be known for?

  • Being a friend to people in the world who does not know Jesus yet or are struggling with their relationship with God Francois.
  • Also eating and drinking with them.

“15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth”. – 2 Timothy 2:15 | NIV

– What type of worker do you need to be Hans?

  • Do my utmost best.
  • My work for God needs to be at such a level that I will be approved by God.
  • Francois if I am ashamed then there is something wrong.
  • I need to handle the word of God correctly.

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4 | NIV

– What should my mental state of mind be mostly Hans?

  • Francois it does not say rejoice in my situation or anything else except in the Lord.
  • I think most of the times by default we look to rejoice in worldly circumstances.

Hans that was great studying with you again. Would you mind closing us out with a prayer?

  • Yes thank you Francois, sure I will close us out with a prayer. Dear Lord. Thank you that we could learn about gratitude today and how to live it out in my life. I appreciate that you call me to build friendships with my friends in the world so hopefully they can also become disciples. I pray that my bible study will lead to me being a approved worker in your kingdom. Thank you Lord that my joy is not dependent on circumstances but that it is based in You. Amen

References:

1.8. Day 1 to 8 - My Mission – Keys to Making Disciples – Summary


Oliver Wendell Homes once said: “Love is the Master Key that open the gates of happiness

Have you found your keys to happiness yet?

I watched the series on Netflix, “Locke and Key” recently. 

Very facination story about a house that contains different keys that does special things for the person posessing them. 

Keys unlock the barriers to where we want to go or to keep oneself safe like the movie “The other side of the door

Having the right keys is essential.

Ever came to your house and realize you have locked the keys inside, bugger!!!

It make you feel helpless, but then you remember your good old friend the locksmith.

I recently had my locks serviced in my house. Ther was quite a few missing. So on the other end of the spectrum locks keeps you and your belongings safe. 

Let’s see how you can open new adventures but keep yourself safe by having the right keys to life.

1. Prayer

19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. – John 5:19 | NIV

– So Hans what do you learn here?

  • Francois to pray I immitate Jesus depending on God.
  • I can do nothing spiritually by myself, but pray that God works through me.

2. Make the most of Every Opportunity

2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:2-6 | NIV

– Hans what must we pray for?

  • Francois first I must devote myself to prayer, I will only do that if I am depending on God and not myself.
  • I need to be watchful in prayer, like a guard on a tower to asses the situation all the time.
  • I need to be thankful in prayer about the things God has given me Francois, not look to the things I do not have.
  • Francois I must pray for God to open a door for our message. See where an opportunity afford me to share the gospel with people and study the Bible with them.
  • I must pray that I may proclaim the gospel clearly. Francois I need to know the basics at least to study the Bible with people and help them to become Disciples / Christians.

– What should my demeanor / conversation be towards people I am reaching out to Hans?

  • First Francois I must be wise how I act toward outsiders. It is like fishing, you must put on the right bait to lure the fish.
  • I should try pointing the conversation in that direction and see how they react to what I am saying. Also use the opportunities I have to reach out.
  • My conversation Francois should be graceful; which is unmerited favour with unconditional love. 
  • My conversation seasoned with salt might mean making things spiritually tasteful; like salt does with food.
  • Lastly Francois I need to be able to answer anybody regarding spiritual things, which is a real big ask! I’m not sure if I can do it at this stage of my walk with God.

– Hans we have a series of Bible studies that will train you to be able to help people spiritually. Would you like to study that out?

  • Oh yes certainly? Where can I start?

– I think it is best to start here. https://francoisvdmerwe.wordpress.com . It is a daily series that will help you understand the 101 of Christianity. 

Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord thank you for your word that helps me to be close to you. It also teaches me to stay close to you and grow as a disciple. I know that prayer makes me reliant on You. I pray that I might be consistent with my prayer and Bible study every day to keep build my relationship and understanding of You. I pray that me reaching out to people will be graceful and be able to give them the answers they need to hear to grow in their relationship with You. Amen.

References:

1.7 Day 7 – Are you growing?

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety” – Abraham Maslow

Are you the person who steps forward?

What is stopping you from stepping forward?

What do you need to overcome to step forward?

Is it a daily focus?

I like what John Maxwell said:

“You will never change your life untill you change something you do daily. The secret of your success, is found in your daily routine”.

Let’s have a look at what God says about growth.

26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” – Mark 4:26-29 | NIV

Also

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. – 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 | NIV

– So Hans, what is our role in making disciples?

  • Francois , we plant and water the seed. Or to put it in our words today, we share God’s word and help people to grow spiritually.

– What is God’s role?

  • God makes the seed grow.

– Why can we never be prideful about the fact that we have been used to lead someone else to Christ Hans?

  • Firstly we share God’s word with people, not ours.
  • Francois secondly if they decide to obey God’s word, it is God’s words and the Holy Spirit that has been working in their lives to help them to change.
  • In essence God is the message and I am only the messenger.

– If God is really the one who brings change to people’s hearts and lives, why would he want us to share in the work?

  • While we share the gospel with people we ourselves get’s convicted about the message all over again and that keeps us close to God.

– How has it been going this week with using your opportunities to reach out to people?

  • I think I need a consistent plan how I can work on my colleagues, clients, family and friends on a daily basis.

– Who can I reach out to next week?

  • Some of my friends

Prayer for Today:

Morning God thank you for the new day. May I be outward focussed on my friends to help them be close to God. May I grow in my faith. I need to understand my job is to sow the seed and water it. God you are the one who makes things grow. Amen.

1.6. Day 6 – Are you Making the Most of Every opportunity? – Mission

Choices are the hinges of destiny” – Edwin Markham

Life is about choices and making the best ones with the information that you have.

In many instances it is about being informed about making the best descision.

Seeing that our lives is in constant flux of change; the best way to make the best decisions is to ask a lot of advice from people who have experience.

Then you by implication make better decisions overall because you don’t reinvent the wheel.

The other side of the coin you make bad decision, which in turn have a bad outcome and messes up up your life.

Let’s make this spiritual in regards to making the best of opportunities.

2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:2-6 | NIV

– Hans what are all the things you find here in regard to sharing your faith with someone?

  • Francois I need to pray that the message door will be open or opened.
  • Pray that the message will be proclaimed clearly.
  • I need to be wise in the way I act towards outsiders.
  • Francois I need to make the best of every opportunity.
  • Francois my conversations need to be: Full of grace. Seasoned with salt. I need to be able to answer anybody.

– What do you think Hans Paul meant by “making the most of every opportunity”?

  • Francois I think that is the impact we make he is referring to.
  • We should use every opportunity to help someone to get closer to God.
  • We need to ask the right questions to prick their conscience about God.

– Hans what are some opportunities you could have used recently if you had been more alert and ready to speak?

  • When I invited people to our Bible discussion at the mall.
  • Francois I can practice different dialog answers on how I can help people to get closer to God.
  • When I speak to clients I can see how I can steer the discussion in that direction.

– Hans what are the things we need to say to ourselves at the beginning of every day in order to live an evangelistic lifestyle?

  • Francois I think to ask myself if I fear God and want to obey Him.
  • Maybe how can I love people like Jesus do today.
  • Francois reminding myself that my purpose here on earth is to seek and save what is lost like Jesus did.

– How will your lifestyle be evangelistic today Hans?

  • Francois I will ask people do they believe in God.
  • I will ask people how their relationship with God is.
  • Francois I will ask if they want to grow in their relationship with God. Do you have a plan for that?
  • I need to build friendships daily: Followup daily habit. Send funny stuff. Send actual stuff on like the Corona virus.

Prayer for Today:

Lord choosing you was the best choice I ever made for eternity! Choosing everyday to share that best choice I made is the choice I need to make everyday. To focus on that 2nd choice is the challenge daily. If I do not have my time with You in the morning daily I will revert to being worldly and not achieve my destiny which You have planned for me. Help me Lord to love like you do! Help me to have a good strategy in how I reach out to people! Lord help me just to live like the best disciple I can be for You today! Amen. 

1.5. Day 5 – What Compels you? – Your Mission

What makes you get up in the morning?

Is it that 7 digit bank account?

Are you an adventurous guy and ur job just pays for your adventure?

Let’s have a look at what should motivate you as a disciple.

Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God – 2 Corinthians 5:11 | NIV

– Hans what are the 7 things we learn in this passage about evangelism?

  • 1. Francois if I fear God I will try to persuade others to come to him.
  • 2. I need to be “Out of my mind” for Christ in the eyes of the world.
  • 3. Francois, Christ’s love needs to compel me to make disciples.
  • 4. I should no longer live for myself but for God.
  • 5. Francois I should no longer regard someone from a worldly point of view, they are either disciples or not,going to heaven or not.
  • 6. I am a minister of reconciliation, reconciling people back to God. 
  • 7. I am also Christ’s ambassador as if Christ was making His appeal through me.

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body  – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 | NIV

– What do we need to learn from Paul’s experience in sharing the Word with people Hans?

  • It is like a treasure we share with them.
  • Francois I will be hard pressed on every side but not crushed.
  • There will be a lot of difficulty and confusion, but I will not be in despair.
  • I will be persecuted Francois but not abandoned.
  • I will be struck down but not destroyed.
  • Jesus being alive will be revealed in my body.

1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart – 2 Corinthians 4:1 | NIV

– Hans why would there be no greater purpose in life than bringing others to Christ?

  • Francois because that is the only thing that will matter in the end, if you are right with God or not.

– What great feeling do you have when you share your faith?

  • What I do has eternal impact on someones lif, it might just save them for eternity.

– Hans what does it do for your convictions?

  •  Francois that I am one of God’s messengers on earth.

Payer for Today:

Lord thank you that I can be one of your messengers. I pray that I will not take up my job You gave me lightly. It is true that we will face persecution while sharing the gospel, help me to have faith in you not in what I can accomplish. God it makes me happy to think that someones life can change for eternity. Amen.