What are you holding on to?

Psalm 12 

Every time any of my children’s birthday approaches they know that they will get one thing from the top of their wish list. 

They have my word as a certainty for that, nothing else. They can’t see the gift beforehand, they can’t check my cupboards to glimpse if I have purchased it or not, just holding on to my word until that day arrives. 

Our words are very important. Our words ”manage the world” says the psalmist in today’s devotion. Our families, friendships and all connections are build based on the words spoken or unspoken. For the words give us a window into someone’s heart which helps us to make up our minds either to trust ourselves to them or not. 

“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.

Maya Angelou. 

We can all confess that we haven’t been able to keep our word every single time we give it, and also that we have been disappointed by others doing the same. 

’All friends I depended on gone’ says the psalmist. 

I know that most of us mean well,  but delivering to our words is difficult. 

Our words can be flattering (telling people what they want to hear) polluted with our own intentions and motives, unclear and empty. 

But, God’s word on the other side is like pure like silver (see verse 6), refined and perfect, holy and gracious, trustworthy and unflappable. 

We can rely on that! 

That Word, Scripture says is Jesus and he always keeps his promises. We can hold on to him, because if we hold on to people’s words as our ultimate source we will be let down, if we hold on to our assets ( money can speak my friend a language of security and fame) we will soon find out that holding into that is like trying to grasp oil with our hands. If we depend on our health and beauty we soon learn that none of that is durable. And lastly if we depend on ourselves we soon comprehend the impossibility of that task, we sure make many promises to ourselves that have been proven hard to deliver -only yesterday I promised myself to not have sugar for one day… I totally forgot that as soon as I saw the cookies my girls had freshly baked

God’s word is very different from ours, we can hold on to that always. 

It’s true that we need to trust people, for without trust there are no real relationships. We need to give our word to people also for without our word there is no accountability and responsibility for our actions, but let us hold on to the one who can carry us all the way through as we do it, Jesus the Living Word. For his Promises are Yes and Amen. 

(see John 1:1-5, 2 Corinthians 1:20, 2 Tim 3:16

What’s the point?

Psalm 11:3-7

What is the point?

I often hear people who are not necessarily depressed or inclined to pessimism say ’what’s the point of this?’ What is the point of trying to be good, do good, bring good?

’I mean, the morality has gone, truth-telling has become dangerous, justice is no longer practised, and it seems that the foundations of society are shaken and plummeting quickly’ they argue. 

Is there any security for the faithful? Is there any meaning for the good and the righteous person to continue doing their best? 

What source of insurance and confidence we have to carry on even when we feel like nothing is happening? 

David tells us here three things to lean on in times when feeling like running away from all because it seems pointless. 

  • 1-God is in control and omnipresent ( we can’t run away anywhere where he is not). Jesus is praying and interceding for us to co-labour together in bringing good to the world. 
  • 2- God sees all, my problem, my insecurity, my fear, my circumstances and my trials. Whatever I go through, with him all will be worked out for good, yes even my pain. He is just and his justice will prevail eventually. 
  • 3- God is good all the time and the righteous ( those whom hearts are transformed by Christ love and sacrifice on the cross ) will see his face. 

We do what we do for the audience of One.

Assured by his love we can carry on doing his will and be certain that we will not be shaken by the results our bare eyes can see. 

(see Revelation1:17, Matthew 5:8, ) 

When Fear advice​

Psalm 11:1-2

When fear advice

I called my parents recently and I shared with them how I had emailed our local hospital offering to volunteer if they needed some extra hands in this COVID-19 crisis.

I am a nurse by training and with all this pandemic strain in hospitals, I wanted to be of help. My parents called me the day after stressed, worried and in tears telling me that I should cancel my volunteer application because I had children and other responsibilities to be putting my life at risk like that.

I told them what David tells his ‘well-meaning’ friends in psalm 11.

I can’t run away in fear or fly like a bird and hide, for what I am choosing to do is my commitment to God, myself and the world and I can’t run away from my commitments.

Helping people is at the core of who I am. To run away from that, it’s to live all my life as a fugitive. 

Most of our regrets in life come from us being casual with things we should commit, and committed with things we should be casual. 

Commitments are connected to our calling, to our being, we can’t run away from that. Let us think who we are listening to advise us in our commitment and today? Remember fear is mostly not rational.

( read Isaiah 26:3-4, Luke 9:51

Keeper of my heart

Psalm 10:17

keeper of my heart

Above all else, gourd your heart, says the scripture, because from the heart comes the life you live. The heart is the centre of our personal being.

But how can we gourd it? Have you ever tried to control your heart, the way you feel and act? I have, it worket for a while than everything went back to the state i started, even worse.

There is no amount of self- governing or self- keeping that can keep our hearts safe. How can we keep our minds away from vanity, our understanding from error and sin, and our will from perverseness and petulance? 

Its good to remind to ourselves daily that: God, through Jesus Christ, has given the believer a new heart, a heart that is inclined to seek and satisfy itself in him. It’s true that our nature can override the deeper desires of our heart but if we keep turning to God, if we keep filling our minds with his word, staying in his presence and following him to be our guide, we can be sure that our hearts are in the safest place they can be. 

 Here is palm 10 in verse 17 the writer is pulling out attention with  ’comfort their hearts’ with this idea that if our hearts are tuned to God he will settle them in time of trouble, he will dispel fear and anxiety with his peace and he will assure our hearts with his love and salvation.

It looks like when we seek God he gives us his full attention, he lend us his full hearing capacity and by his presence, he comforts us to peace.  

( see Proverb 4:23, Ezekiel 36:26, Hebrews 10:16

Why bad people succeed? ​

Psalm 10:1-11

success

I don’t know how many times I have heard these questions asked to people of faith and had it asked to myself by many whom I love and I meet regularly. ‘Why people that are bad succeed? Why some people do one thing and get ahead and others try all their lives and work hard just to survive? Why good people suffer and horrible things happen to them? Why ’dangerous’ people seem to get away with lots of stuff and be happy? 

We see that in the first half of Psalm 10 the writer wrestles with that dilemma too. He feels like God is hiding while the wicked (the bad people) are prospering, what is going on? 

I don’t know the answer to so many questions like that, there is a mystery and far-reaching arguments into the divine that I can’t rationalize, but I know this: bad or evil is not an external force that acts upon humanity,  but an internal reality of ours. So to eradicate evil it means to extinguish humanity.  But, God in his mercy and grace remains patient with us, he restrains evil and he uses his kindness to draw people to salvation ( Rom 2:4)

We live in a fallen world, the earth is not Eden any longer. God put Adam and Eve in paradise, He never planned pain and suffering in their lives.

But they had free choice to choose their own path and after they did that everything in the world changed. Still, God is loving and compassionate, we see this in him sending Jesus more than two thousand years ago to reach back to humanity with forgiveness and a brand new path. New Life 

Yes, there is evil, pain and outrageous things happening in the world today, but it’s not because God is unloving or cruel, for God shows his love to us in the cross. Let us turn and survey that event in history and see ourselves in his light and love. Let us not spend our time examining other people’s lives because success is not as it looks.

( see Romans 11:33, Isaiah 30:18, 1 Timothy 6:17)

Safe heaven for us

Psalm 9

Safe heaven for us

“GOD ’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.”

Psalm 9:9-10 MSG 

Life has its ways of squeezing us and putting us in situations where we feel crushed and pressured and at times cut off. 

Life is pressure 

Age is pressure 

Love is pressure

Home is pressure

Job is pressure  …

After being under certain burdens for a while all we want to do is run away, hide and find a place to escape. Not, all running is good, for we can’t run away from ourselves, but if we run away to God we can be sure that He will be that sanctuary and safe place for us. 

In today’s psalm, we learn that God is a refuge and a stronghold for the oppressed and those in trouble. The idea of ’trouble’  here is facing challenges that feel like you have been cut off and are at the end of your rope. The anguish and pressure have come to a climax and you are being crushed by the weight of that problem

If that’s how you feel right now my friend, run to the safest house of rest, reach to them who host homes like that, for there is peace and wisdom waiting for you, rest and clarity for the pressure you are facing. Ask for help and share the burden.

Only GOD can turn pressure into purpose, struggle into strength and trouble into triumph. 

Let us eter the rest of God today, let us run to that safe haven, climb to that tower of protection and strength, for it is a safe place in time of trouble. 

( see Heb 12:1, James 1:12, Proverbs 3:5-6

Treating people right

Psalm 8

 Kind, treating others right

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”

Psalms 8:3-4 NIVUK

God cares about how we treat people. We can go to church, say our prayers and give money to the needy, do impressive acts that make us feel good about ourselves and dress holy, but if we don’t treat people right we are doing nothing. Without love says Paul we are nothing.

I have found often that people outside the church are not disappointed or hurt by Jesus, they usually are hurt, mistreated and disappointed by people who call themselves believers and act in a hypocritical, prideful, self-righteous way. 

We are encouraged today through the Word to see people as God does, we are motivated to see nature and the world we live in like he did, mindful and with care, with mercy and truth, love and compassion.

Let us make everyone feel important because God does.

We can’t say we love God and not love people, it’s not possible. Because God is love. The way we treat people shows if we know God at all. 

Let our prayer be, Lord, open my eyes and heart to see people and treat them like you do. 

( See 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 , John 13:34-35, Luke 6:31, 1 Thesalonians 5:11 )

When I am weak I am Strong

Psalm 8:1-2

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.”

Psalms 8:1-2NLT

We would never see a baby and think of him or her as strong. Yet, God puts his strength in the most unusual places and people to reveal his glory.

I don’t know how many times I have heard the saying that a person was made aware of the existence of God when they held their baby in their arms for the very first time. The complexity, fragility, wonder and strength of a baby are not easly ignored. 

There is strength in what we see often as our weakness. I know that we don’t like the sound of being weak, we don’t like our shortcomings, but they seem to be an opportunity to see God work in us, through us and with us to bring his glory and his presence in this earth. 

He uses the weak to show the strong hispower. Jesus himself came as a baby in a world waiting for a superhero. He came in weakness yet with a strength that offered the world salvation and eternal joy 

It’s not what it seems in the kingdom of God. If you are paralyzed to move on because you are  thinking about your weaknesses too much, don’t be. 

GOD knows your weakness, they are not surprising to him,  what you see as shortcomings are not a deficiency, he is ready to demonstrate his power through them if we approach him like a baby, eager to listen learn and believe that he is able.  If he uses the giggles of the infants and the singing of a toddler as a fortress against the enemy, imagined what you see as weakness given to him can achieve?

I want us to see our weakness as a place where God can channel His strength and grow us in becoming humble and courageous in life.  

Let me read you something from the Scripture

Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. 

Amen, when I am weak, He is strong in me.


The gossip song

Psalm 7

What do you do when falsely accused, or when you hear that your friends have gossiped about you and slandered your reputation?

When that has happened to me, I usually get upset, angry and start building a case to protect myself next time I see them. I desperately want to clear my name. Still, I must confess that in many cases, I, have been a participator in similar ‘gossip parties” too.

I don’t know why, but it is so attractive to us to want to know juicy information about other peoples life. I mean, look at the tabloids, newspapers and most of magazines and tv programs, most of their content is just gossip and slander information.

We like information that makes us feel better about ourselves especially by putting others down.

“It is crazy to think that pulling someone else’s life apart can put ours together” 


Today’s psalm is, in fact, a song about gossip where we see clearly the effect that slander has in someone’s life. Words cut deeper than the blade and often times those wound never heal.

Gossip erodes and destroys every relationship where present, for it betrays trust and loyalty. Slander like an earthquake flattens and dismantles the very core of our beings.

The scripture says it very clear:

Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

Let choose our words wisely today my friends and if we are in a situation where gossip has being shared, change the conversation if you can or get out, run.

(see Proverbs 11:9,13, James 1:19-27)

On waiting and ‘how long?’ quesions.​​

Psalm 6:3

Waiting, how long?

I don’t like delays. I mean who likes to wait in lines in the supermarket or airports? It is in our nature to want instant answers, we want it all and we want it now. This pattern is often similar in how we relate to God.

When we ask him for something we expect a quick and good answer straightaway.

God though, is never in a hurry, He is never late, but never rushing nevertheless.

I know that some of us have questions and longings that need an answers right now. We don’t understand why God does not do his magic to help us.

Doesn’t he care that our health is in trouble, or that our marriage is in the brick of divorce, or that our child is in the weong path, or that our finances are running dry?

We have prayed and waited and prayed and waited, still nothing.

Waiting is hard, still, God is in the waiting, he is working and moulding us. It can be a difficult and confusing time, I am right now in one of the ‘waiting seasons’ and its tough… trusting God is the way forward.

For us, believers waiting is not a static stage of our lives, but its, in fact, a very active and productive time. I don’t understand many delays that God allows, but I know He is in “the waiting” with us. He is working in our weakness, our character formation and how we relate to him and in our circumstances.

It has been said many times that God is often waiting on us and not us in Him, whatever be the case my friend let us find Him in our waiting and walk with Him as he leads.

(see Isaiah 40:29-32, 2 Peter3:9, Isaiah 64:4)