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“And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:49-50‬ ‭(NKJV‬‬)

 


Jesus at the tender age of 12 had gone missing and His parents were angry when they found him in the temple. Jesus’ response was ‘‘why are you looking for me? I need to be about my Father’s business!’ Jesus had been drawn to go to the temple, not just listening and learning but also teaching and applying His Father’s business rules. Jesus knew what the mission accomplished looked like for Him. He knew that He had been born to die, but knew that He would need to apply The Father’s principles for the process.


Having worked in the tech industry for nearly 7 years, one thing I have learnt is that a client's business rules must not be overlooked. When I gather requirements and scope from a client it means nothing without the business rules and logic. These are the directives that define an organisation’s business activities. They are important because they clarify an organisation’s objectives and detail how processes will be performed. If we ignore the business rules, we are never able to accurately build a functional product. In fact it would be deemed useless to the client as the outputs would be wrong. In the same way, we cannot ignore our Father’s business rules, we can call these Kingdom Principles.


Adopting the same attitude of 12 year old Jesus, who was humble enough to sit, listen and learn so that he could apply Kingdom Principles to His ministry ahead (which with hindsight was a rollercoaster ride). In the same way, in the good and the bad seasons we need to know these Kingdom Principles; generosity, forgiveness, prayer, love, faith to name a few. The next level is now to stretch ourselves to apply them to the decisions, processes and plans for our lives. We are quality products and cannot waste time producing useless outputs for our Father. Kingdom principles fuel kingdom life. Stretch yourself to live a kingdom life this year!


Further Study: Colossians 1:13-14, 1 Corinthians 16:9-10, John 3:3, Ephesians 2:19-20, Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬, Matthew 16:19













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“O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You; My soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for You, my flesh longs and sighs for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭63:1‬ (‭AMP)‬‬

 




There are many things in this world that crave for our attention. There are also many things we seek to fill the empty void we often experience through this journey of life. Some people look to drugs, alcohol, money, fame, status or love from fellow humans to fill their void. However this approach is commonly short lived and we find ourselves crying out for the same void to be filled. This often leaves us frustrated and stuck in a vicious cycle which produces weariness and heaviness upon our spirit. Everyone is looking for peace, joy and love which is lasting and satisfying. Although many sources claim to guarantee these three things only one man can provide this and His name is Jesus.

King David wrote this Psalm when he was in the wilderness of Judah either running away from the pursuit of King Saul or brief exile from the throne in the rebellion of Absaolm. Nonetheless, he found himself at a very low point in his life and instead of turning to other sources to fill the void of worry, fear and loneliness he acknowledges that only God can provide what his flesh and soul is craving. David expresses his desire and desperation for God’s presence in one of his most painful seasons. Are we able to demonstrate this level of desire when we feel rejected, defeated, or disappointed with the outcome of our situations?

As we stretch our arms out to our heavenly Father in our distress He will give us exactly what our soul longs for and that's His presence. God wants you to come to Him with an appetite that desires more of Him in your life. As you stretch out your arms today God is giving you peace, joy, rest and love which is unexplainable. Those whose arms are stretched out are those who get filled with His presence. Those who want more, get more! If you want more of God in your life, stretch your arms a little further and watch Him fulfil the desire of your soul.


Further study: John 4:7-15, Psalm 42:1-2 and Matthew 5:6


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“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

 


Our focus scripture for today is a reminder that God has an expectation of us in the area of forgiveness. We often recite so easily ‘‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’. - God is holding us to this very line. Yet how often do we think that our own unforgiveness is a barrier to accessing God’s forgiveness? There are many scriptures in the Bible that reiterate that forgiveness is reciprocal. God forgave us, so we forgive others. Countless times we read phrases such as ‘forgive as the Lord forgave you’, or ‘forgive and you will be forgiven’. As you reflect today, ask yourself sincerely, are you holding your end of the bargain up?


You may be tempted to lean on the laurels of grace here and ask “What about grace? Surely, grace gives us access to an endless supply of forgiveness?” You may have had the mindset that there is an allowance of grace so that we can forgive at a convenient time after we have nursed the unforgiveness we have allowed to live in our hearts. However, Hebrews 10:26 says this; ‘If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,’ or in other words, if we chose to hold on to unforgiveness after knowing that we must forgive as Christ forgives us, there is no more forgiveness left. Ouch!


The reality of God’s Word is that there isn’t an optimal, or most convenient time to forgive. The Bible says while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Our forgiveness came before we were repentant. We must develop a habit to ‘forgive daily’ just as we require God’s daily forgiveness. Whether big or small, if it offended you, the onus is on you to let it go. Stretch your muscles of forgiveness so that it becomes a lifestyle and not a chore.


During this season of fasting, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you, which people you need to wholeheartedly forgive. Add forgiveness to your list of things you need to deal with for this year ahead. Forgiveness is a gift given to us by God. Every single day we need to use it, or we might just lose it.


Further Study: Luke 6:37, Colossians 3:13, Mark 11:25, Matthew 18:21-35


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