Amazon will become an Advertising Giant

Michael K. Spencer

Blockchain Mark Consultant, tech Futurist, prolific writer. WeChat: mikekevinspencer.

Move over Google and Facebook, Amazon will dethrone you.

Just as Alibaba and Tencent compete for supremacy in the veritable tech dynasty that is emerging in China, in the U.S. Amazon and Google are increasingly becoming direct competitors.

Nowhere is this going to be more fun to watch than in advertising, smart speakers and the future of how tech companies become implicated in Health Care.

As Amazon ramps up expensive physical store expansion and logistics fulfillment with rising postal costs and higher minimum wages, it needs another “cash-cow” to fund its growth. The low-hanging fruit here is definitely digital Advertising.

Amazon is on track to generate $10 billion a year from its advertising business

Amazon’s trajectory in Advertising is also based on the growth of its Prime subscribers?—?well over 100 million at this point. With more consumers in the funnel comes more traffic and higher value for brands to advertise with Amazon, instead of outdated banner Ads with Google.

  • Amazon is quickly becoming the 3rd horseman of Western digital advertising.
  • Amazon’s growth in advertising and Alexa becoming ubiquitous is a major threat to Google and, to a lesser extent, Facebook.
  • Google has made progress with Google Home devices in 2018, but it’s hard to catch up to Alexa or AWS in the cloud.

Amazon reported $2.5 billion in sales in its “Other” category in Q3, guess what that means? It means brands are moving from Google to Amazon to do their ads. Some advertisers have already opted to move over half of their budgets from Google search to Amazon ads, according to CNBC.

Like Netflix or Tesla, Amazon is a favorite of Wall Street. Its aggressive pursuit of health care, grocery, AI and advertising means Amazon can scale over the next two decades in ways that will make Facebook and perhaps even Google look obsolete. This essentially means as an advertising platform Amazon can only go up.

Alphabet should be terrified even as they are in the smart home and some hardware initiatives, but nothing that can compare with Amazon’s dynamic approach. Alexa’s penetration of the smart home, robotics and consumer products is elevating the game, and few other companies will be able to keep up (outside of China).

EMarketer predicts Amazon will become the third largest digital ad seller in the U.S. by 2020, behind Google and Facebook. This is not news, but it may be the first time you are reading this. Even as Amazon’s stock had one of the worst weeks in recent memory, the bullish Amazon stock is the epitome of Wall Street’s recent tech bubble.

While Alphabet’s Waymo is going to be a big winner, Amazon will likely have several big winners in the decade ahead. The safest bet is digital advertising as formative companies such as Google and Facebook completely warped the internet due to their emphasis on Ads, and this led to a decline of innovation and startups in the U.S. Amazon is the last U.S. company that, in some sense, can compete on a global scale with China.

Amazon, not Google or Walmart, is the perennial “American Company”. I think the 2020s will demonstrate this.

Amazon has just a small sliver of the digital ads market in 2018, but fast forward to 2028, and just look at that chart.

Eventually Amazon Prime Video will be a massive place for digital Ads. And with Netflix’s level of debt and cash burn, it’s doubtful it will even be around in 2030. Facebook and Google have made some poor decisions that have impacted their reputations in 2018. Amazon here has the most to gain. There’s an important catch here: Amazon has demonstrated it is forconsumers, so an Amazon gain is generally a gain for consumers who value convenience, discounts and bundled services that finally have given subscriptions a good rep.

Facebook and Google were never truly on the side of consumers (nor was Microsoft), and that’s a sign of more evolved business models. Amazon’s trust levels are high and increasing the minimum wage and opening new stores should only augment it. The future of advertising is intimately connected with consumer and brand trust, and this is why Amazon as an underdog in advertising can truly disrupt the Ad-duopoly and change the face of advertising as we know it over the course of the next ten years.  https://medium.com/futuresin/amazon-will-become-an-advertising-giant-83809ac3e858

Amazon’s U.S. advertising business will generate $4.6 billion in revenues this year, giving it a 4.1% share of the market. For Amazon, its A-Z game plan?—?to dominate groceries, AI, the smart home, and ultimately advertising?—?is just beginning. Bottom line, if Amazon wins the consumer wins, and that’s the best equation for the global economy.

Jeff Bezos has googly eyes for taking on Google, and the tech wars have gotten quite serious for the future of artificial intelligence.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What is a Cult? How to tell the false from the true

 

How to tell the false from the true

 

Written by Dan Lee on 11/07/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: Church, Cults, Discernment

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

 

2 Timothy 4:3-4

Do you remember the “People’s Temple”? Started in Indianapolis in 1955 by the Reverend Jim Jones, it moved to San Francisco in 1971. The headquarters was just a few miles from my house, and mere blocks from the hospital where I was born. As a teenager I often rode the bus right past it.

 

In 1974, the People’s Temple established a settlement in Guyana, South America. It promised a tropical paradise, free from the wickedness of the outside world.

 

By 1978, the population of Jonestown, as it was called, had grown to over 900. And in November of that year, the residents of Jonestown were forced at gunpoint to drink poison. Nine-hundred and eighteen people died that day, the largest deliberate taking of American lives before September 11, 2001.

 

The people tasked with cleaning up found a shocking discovery: Not a single Bible was found in Jonestown. This “church” turned out to be one of history’s most dangerous cults.

 

As a follower of Jesus, you need to be regularly involved in a church, or local fellowship of believers — “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)

 

But you must choose your church carefully, avoiding false teachers, and making sure you don’t end up in a cult. Here are some characteristics of a cult, or a church or group that has gone the wrong path:

 

Authority Other than the Bible

Sometimes it is writings, such as Mormonism’s The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. Often it is the teaching of an individual, such as Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claimed that historic beliefs of the church were wrong (the Trinity and the deity of Christ).

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses took this a step farther with their New World translation of the Bible, which is “the first intentional, systematic effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group's doctrine.” (gotquestions.org)

 

Additional Revelation

Many cults are based on new discoveries or so-called revelations. For example, Joseph Smith’s founding of the Mormon church was based, he claimed, on his discovery of golden tablets. Other cult leaders simply declare that they have received direct revelations from God, which cannot be proven or disproven.

 

Paul warned in his very first epistle about those who departed from the established truth of the gospel: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

 

The Mormons make their stand very clear: “We do not believe the Bible to be inerrant, complete or the final word of God.” (From an address to the Harvard Divinity School in March 2001 by Robert L. Millet, former dean of religious education at Brigham Young University.)

 

Incorrect view of Jesus

Both the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons deny the full divinity of Jesus. They cite isolated passages to prove their point, rather than looking at the totality of teaching about the Lord. They ignore passages that show the eternal nature of Christ, such as John 10:30, “I and the Father are one” or John 17:5: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” Also, Hebrews 1:3 says of Jesus, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

 

Salvation by Works

Most cults do not teach that one is saved by faith alone in the finished work of Christ, but by following the rules and teachings of that particular group.

 

For instance, the Mormons add “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” to the requirements for salvation. But the Bible makes abundantly clear that works cannot save us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Romans 4:5 says, “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” Also see Titus 3:5, Galatians 5:4.

 

Authoritarian Leadership and Excessive Control

If a church, or even a fellowship group, is led by someone who has complete rule, whose authority is never to be questioned, watch out! Pastors and elders are to lead gently and lovingly, “not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:3)

 

Another warning sign is when group members are required to submit their daily lives to group control – to quit their jobs, or give all their money to the group. This was definitely true at the People’s Temple.

 

Other possible reasons for caution include:

 

Exclusivity / Denunciation of other groups – “Everyone else is wrong”

Secret rituals or doctrines

Bondage – you cannot leave, and if you do you are shunned.

 

Jeremiah 23:1-2 gives a dire warning to pastors who lead their people astray: “‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: ‘You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.’”

 

One of life’s most important decisions is choosing your church family. Ask Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep (Hebrews 13:20), to help you find a church and a shepherd who will be true to God’s word and lead you and help you “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

 

Pray this week:

Lord, guide me by Your Holy Spirit to know when a church or group is one that I should participate in, or avoid as a cult. Lead me to a true Christian fellowship that honors and glorifies You, and where I will grow in my faith and witness for you.

 

Do you have doubts about the group you’re involved in? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Trusting God’s Wisdom

He is Infinitely Wise

Written by Dan Lee on 10/01/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: WisdomHopeSovereignty


Who can measure the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God? Who can understand his decisions or explain what he does? “Has anyone known the thoughts of the Lord or given him advice?

Romans 11:33-34 CEV

We as human beings are constantly faced with tough decisions, and situations. It’s the nature of living in a fallen world. However, through all of the turmoil, God is still sovereign and is truly wise.

If we doubt that God has infinite wisdom, we will be tempted to despair when things go wrong. On the other hand, understanding God’s wisdom helps us to trust Him and be secure in any situation.

Here are some areas we see God’s wisdom demonstrated, and why you should trust his Wisdom:

Creation – Past and Present

By wisdom the Lord founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens. (Proverbs 3:19)

From the distant galaxies to the tiniest insect, everything we see is a product of God’s perfect design, not random chance. Every area of human knowledge, from mathematics to physics to biology, is just a tiny sliver of God’s great wisdom. All of our study in these and other fields, is an attempt to discover more of the wonders of His creation. “The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what He has done.” (Psalm 19:1)

Some people believe that God created the world, then left us to fend for ourselves. But Colossians 1:17 says this about Jesus: “God’s Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together.” (Colossians 1:17)

Human History

If the presence of evil rulers bothers you, think of Pharaoh, who was cruel and oppressive to God’s people. Yet, “In the Scriptures the Lord says to Pharaoh of Egypt, 'I let you become Pharaoh, so that I could show you my power and be praised by all people on earth.'” (Romans 9:17). Yes, even Pharaoh, the wicked oppressor of Israel, was appointed by God to bring glory to Himself. And so it continues with today’s kings and kingdoms. God is still in control.

Our Relationship to God

One of the most “foolish” things to many people is the idea that God came to earth in human form, and then willingly allowed himself to be killed for the salvation of mankind. Yet 1 Corinthians 1:25 says that God’s “foolishness” is greater than human wisdom.

In His infinite wisdom, God sent Jesus to die for your sins. All God's children should take great comfort from this. Those who have not yet decided to follow Him should realize that His plan of salvation, strange or even foolish as it may seem, is true and is intended for you. Humbly accept that God is infinitely great and wise, and seek to follow Him.


Pray this week:

Lord, forgive me for thinking I know better than You. Even though I can barely see or understand Your greatness, by faith I submit to Your great wisdom and Your plan for my life. Teach me through Your word to understand more and more, and to walk in greater confidence every day.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Source of Our Strength

Who do you lean on?

Written by GodLife on 23/10/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FaithSubmissionTrustGod


And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him.

2 Kings 18:7

How often does this happen to you? You go through a difficult time – maybe a health problem or family struggles – and you attempt to solve the problem all on your own. After a while, you find yourself exhausted and ready to give up on the problem and nothing you have done has seemed to helped at all!

It’s in our sinful nature to want to rely on ourselves, but the Bible shows us a great example of what happens when we fully rely on God instead of ourselves.

Hezekiah’s example

Hezekiah was one of the best kings of Judah in the Old Testament. 2 Chronicles 31:20 says, “Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God.” In 2 Kings 18:5, it says, “He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him.”

He showed his love toward God by trusting in Him fully. That’s not all he did, though.

“For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him.” (2 Kings 18:6-7)

What made Hezekiah such a faithful king to God? It was his unrelenting reliance on God throughout all circumstances. He showed that He was faithful to God by the way he kept His commandments. 

And his life wasn’t easy! He was the king of Judah after a very difficult time in its history. He had to lead the nation as they were being challenged by the biggest world power at the time – the Assyrians. It would have been easy for him to be overwhelmed by everything happening in his life, but instead he trusted God.

What did Hezekiah do when the kingdom was threatened by Assyria? He went into God's temple and spread an intimidating letter from the king of Assyria out before the Lord and asked for deliverance. And God decimated the Assyrian army in one night! Hezekiah didn't have to lift a finger, and the victory was the Lord's. 

Hezekiah held fast to the Lord, and he did not stop following him. For that, he was called one of the best kings in the history of his nation.

We have access to God

You might be thinking, “Well, Hezekiah was a king! I’m nothing like him.” It’s true that we all have different roles on earth, and some of us have more earthly power than others, but we all have access to the same power that Hezekiah had access to – the power of God. Hezekiah accessed that power by staying close to the Lord all throughout his life and staying faithful to Him.

Do not think you need to handle things on your own. You can’t. But by His Spirit, we can handle anything life throws at us. As believers after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, we have access to the Holy Spirit living within us (Ephesians 1:13-14). 
The Holy Spirit is God! To know that God lives within us and empowers us in tough situations (and when life is going well), should be extremely comforting. As you go forth today, and as you come across difficult situations, remember that the Lord is with you, and He is reliable, faithful and trustworthy.


Pray this week:

Lord God, give me the ability to fully trust you with absolutely everything in my life. Allow me to release whatever I’m holding back from you, because you alone can ultimately bear my burdens. Thank you for loving me and not abandoning me in times of need. I love you, Lord. Amen.


Where have you failed to rely on the Lord this week? Let your caring Christian friend know, and they can pray with you today!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What Are You Running From?

If God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them.

 

Written by Abide on 29/05/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: Contentment, Depression, Jesus

Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit.

 

Psalm 143:7

By Julie Thomas

 

My season of hopelessness began about six years ago. Quivering, gasping for breath, I felt the tingle from the cold night air against the sweat on my brow and the chill of the stone pavement beneath my bare feet. The stirring from the raging thoughts in my mind was coming to a calm. I had to stop running as my mind steered back to the reality of where I stood.  

    

The reflection from the street lamp at the base of which I stopped was bright enough for me to see most of my surroundings — enough to realize that I was alone and that it was sometime during the night hours. Soon enough, a passing cold draft also brought me to the realization that I did all that running without the needed clothing to keep the cold out.

 

I stopped long enough to recover my breath and turned around to retrace my steps. Retracing footsteps seemed simpler than retracing the mind’s steps. Retracing footsteps meant I would just have to run those steps back, albeit barefoot. The mind’s steps — those would hurt more than the cold, coarse sidewalk grazing against the soles of my feet. Muffled memory pulled me home, where I remembered leaving two babies and a husband, following a mental and emotional breakdown on my part. I have yet to recall what triggered the outburst. All I am able to recall is the harrowing fear that led the way for my sprinting out the door and into the night.  

 

I ran as fast as I could and as hard as I could. What was I running from? I did not know. My mind was not able to cooperate with the backdrop of my home and my family. Everything at home had begun to increasingly overwhelm my mind. I know today that the running was a means of escape from whatever was causing anguish to my mind. When my family found me and took me home, the anguish trailed home with me.

 

How long have you been running? The anguish and exhaustion from the running, has it ceased? Perhaps it hasn't. This was true for me during my spar with depression.  Running failed to get rid of the pain. The only one exhausted was me. … It was intensely painful to live inside of myself — with the depression. Can you relate to this feeling? Depression can do that to you. But know that no pain is without the knowledge of God. He hears. He sees. Just like He heard the many cries of anguish of King David in the Psalms.

 

Pray this week:

Do you have pain within you that seems unbearable? Join me in this prayer inspired by Psalm 143:4, 7     

 

Lord, depression has agonized me for a long time. It seems like there is no end in sight. Still…I believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I will walk in restoration. I will attain spiritual and moral resurrection that lifts me out from the depression. I release every hurt and every pain to you Lord! I embrace the fullness of Christ. I receive your healing Lord!    

 

Journal two words today: One that describes your emotions before spending time with God and another after you spend time with Him. Hold on to His hope as you breathe.

 

Are you battling depression? Do you have pain within you that seems unbearable?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

ANOINTED TO KNOW THE TRUTH

Pastor Chris 

 

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time… But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things (1 John 2:18-20). 

 

The Scripture reveals that in the last days there’ll be many antichrists, many who’ll come in their own names with false doctrines. A false doctrine is a perversion of truth, intended to deceive and lure people away from the true Gospel of Christ. 

 

However, as a child of God, it makes no difference how many antichrists, false preachers, and false teachers are out there; you can’t be deceived. 1 John 4:3-4 says, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome THEM: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” “Them” in the scripture above refers to the antichrist, false prophets, and teachers; you’ve already overcome them all. 

 

Your heart and mind are anointed to know the truth. Because of the Holy Spirit who lives in you, you’re able to tell right from wrong, and to discern the right teaching of the Gospel from false doctrines; you have insight into Kingdom mysteries and secrets. No one can toss you to and fro by any wind of doctrine; you know, and judge the truth. 

 

1 John 2:27 tells us, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The Holy Spirit is the Lord of the Church, and when you hear the Word of God, the same Spirit in you bears witness with your spirit that what you’re hearing is the truth. That’s why you can’t be swayed from the truth, because there’s a special ability from the Holy Spirit that makes you know, and keeps you in the truth. 

 

Trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit in your life. Apart from helping you recognise all false and antichrist doctrines, He’ll also cause you to make right and accurate choices, decisions and investments in life.

 

                PRAYER 

 

Dear Father, I thank you for the anointing of the Holy Spirit in my life. I’m anointed to decipher between light and darkness, and I’m deeply rooted in the Word of truth. I can never be deceived, because I dwell in the light, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

FURTHER STUDY: || John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. || 

 

|| John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. ||

 

|| 1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. || 

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The reasons why you should invest in organic fertilizers right now

The Global organic market is going to grow rapidly! It will increase. The scientists predict its grow at 9.1% from 2018 and reach $4,606.7 million by 2023.

Consumers think about food safety more, and organic food is impossible without organic fertilizers. The FiBL?IFOAM?SOEL research has shown that the global sales of organic food and drink reached $81.6 billion in 2015 from $59.1 in 2010.

Organic agriculture is developing fast in 178 countries, and 57.8 million hectares of agricultural land was managed organically by approximately 2.7 million farmers in 2016.

The farmers still use a lot of animal-based organic fertilizers due to the inexpensiveness of animal waste. But in general, organic fertilizers are much cheaper, easier, and efficient than the chemical ones.

Asia-pacific commanded the largest share of the global organic fertilizers market in 2017, followed by Europe and Latin America. The major share of this region is mainly attributed to the huge area under organic cultivation especially in Australia, increasing health awareness, rapid population and income growth, increasing mechanization and irrigation facilities, and the huge number of organic operators. https://nagricoin.io/#sect_token

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TO MAKE A WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

WHAT IS NAGRICOIN?

Our unique certified product is tested and ready to ship worldwide. By purchasing Nagricoin you help us to promote and distribute next generation fertilizer and have a share in our success.

SMART CONTRACTS FOR SMART FERTILIZERS

The Basic asset of the NGRX token is Nagri-HL, which has been in development for more than 7 years and is now ready for release worldwide. Nagri-HL is the newest organic product of micro elements and antioxidants that stimulate plant growth. It has a broad application for agriculture and plant cultivation, increasing yields and improving the quality of virtually any crop.

Nagricoin is the project of an international biotechnology company, created by a team of international scientists and business people. https://nagricoin.io/#sect_token

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Do Not Fear

Living in Confidence Because God is With Us

Written by Dan Lee on 19/09/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FearConfidenceFaith


Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6

What’s the most common command in the Bible, appearing in one form or another, more than 300 times?

“Don’t be afraid.”

Why should we not be afraid? Because, as God told Joshua in Deuteronomy, if we are a follower of Christ, God is with us. In fact, one of Jesus’ titles is “Immannuel,” meaning “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14)

What or who do we often fear the most? People. But God’s word says we should fear God, not people.

Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”

Here are some different kinds of fear, and how God’s word helps us combat them:

People can insult us

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Matthew 5:11)

Jesus says that we are BLESSED when people insult us for His sake. Why? Because it means we are following Jesus in a way that people actually notice, and that some will react against (see also John 15:18-191 Peter 3:14)

People can harm us

In Acts 5, the Apostles were put on trial for preaching the gospel. They were sort of acquitted, but then they were beaten. Then “they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Acts 5:41). And what did they do right afterward? “Every day . . . they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus” (Acts 5:43).

People can kill us

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

These words of Jesus were not just theoretical; most of His disciples wound up being martyred.

Even today, in rare cases, people can be killed because of their Christian faith. But in light of eternity, as long as we are headed for Heaven, even losing our life is not that bad. And dying for Christ’s sake is a high honor.

In Matthew 28:18-20, when Jesus commanded the disciples to take His message to the end of the world, he reassured them (and us) by saying, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

What are some other fears that can hinder us?

Fear of imagined circumstances

“The sluggard says, 'There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!'” (Proverbs 22:13) Our fears are often much worse than what actually happens. A “sluggard” is a lazy person; so this verse tells us that yielding to imaginary fears can actually be a way to avoid responsibility.

Fear of displeasing people

Galatians 1:10 says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

The bottom line is, when we are fearing people, it’s because we are insecure about ourselves. Strangely enough, insecurity about ourselves stems from pride – being preoccupied with what others think about us.

And yet, our issues usually go unnoticed because most people are too busy thinking about themselves. It’s like a teenager who thinks everyone is staring at a flaw on his face, when actually most people don’t even notice or care about the flaw.

When we truly have confidence in our right standing before the Lord, we won’t give much thought to what people think about us. Passages like this will describe us:

“So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6)

And finally, one of my favorites. Pray this for your friends and ask them to pray that the Holy Spirit would make it true in your life as well: “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1b).


Pray this week:

Father, thank You that You are always with me. Thank You, Jesus, that You are Immanuel, God with me. Help me to live in the confidence that comes from knowing that You will never leave me or forsake me. Amen.


How has fear kept you from accomplishing what the Lord wants you to do? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

God’s Solution to Fear and Anxiety

How to face our fear and anxiety is clearly laid out in scripture.

Written by Gary Fleetwood on 16/10/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: AnxietyFearWorry


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Everyone has fears, everyone becomes anxious, and everyone experiences very stressful moments in their life.  Just because someone is a Christian does not exempt them from the stressful events or from the effects that fear and anxiety can produce in their life.  For instance, medical science has been saying for a long time that stress, fear, and anxiety are very harmful to the body because they destroy a person’s immune system.  So, the more that someone worries about things that they often cannot change, the greater will be the negative effects on their life.  Stressful events are more than able to take a person’s focus off of God and to place it on their difficult circumstances.  So, what we want to do is to see what God’s Word says about how a believer can actually win their battle over fear and anxiety.

What does it really mean to be “anxious”?

The word “anxious”  means to become troubled, unsettled, and deeply concerned about something.  It means to constantly be worrying about something that most of the time that we cannot change.  It refers to the person who seems to worry about everything.  Something happens in their life and they begin to worry about it so much that it consumes their thought life.  They cannot rest for worrying about something.  It affects their sleep and their eating, and the fear of something negative that may happen begins to control their life.  

Several years ago my oldest son was working in a very dangerous part of the world. He had to travel every day on what was considered at that time as the most dangerous 10 miles of road in the world.  Obviously, it was something that made our family very anxious.  However, it was during that time that God began to teach me about Philippians 4:6-7 and it became one of my two life verses.  What I learned was how to handle that which made me anxious.  

So, what is God’s solution to fear and anxiety in our life?

God’s solution is simple.  It is to bring our concerns to Him in prayer and He will provide His peace in our life – which He did for me about my son’s daily safety.  These verses do not say that God will change our difficult and stressful circumstances, but rather that God will provide an inner and supernatural peace that will “guard” and protect our heart and mind so that our difficult circumstances will no longer consume our life.  Rather than always being anxious about my son’s safety, I simply began to pray each morning for God to protect him.  Rather than worrying about something that I could not change or control, I began committing my son into God’s care each day.  Once that happened, God’s supernatural peace began to deeply influence my heart and mind and helped me to rest in His control over all things.

What does it mean to “guard” our heart and mind?

The word “guard” means to keep someone safe with a military guard.  Everywhere that the President of the United States goes, he always has people guarding him.  That is the idea with the word “guard”.  It is knowing that God will always protect the believer’s heart and mind so that worrying and being afraid will not consume their life.  Some people seem to worry about everything in life.  Almost anything can make them anxious, and as soon as something goes wrong, they begin to worry.  What that anxiety does is to immediately take their heart and mind off of God.  In reality, God is always the believer’s solution to anxiety and fear.  Jesus provided a great encouragement in Matthew 6:25-26:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 

So, what God does when the believer comes to Him in prayer is to “guard” their heart, protect their heart, and shield their heart from things that He knows can hurt them.  He is always wanting us to trust Him in every difficult circumstance of our life.

Can fear or anxiety be a good thing?

It is important to understand that some level of fear and anxiety often can be a good thing because it forces us to be more careful and to be much more cautious.  I love to work with wood and have been making things for over 40 years. Several years ago I was working next to a wood machine, my hand too close to it  and part of my thumb was cut off.  Today, I am so respectful of that saw that I will never make that same mistake again.  In fact, I have made a guard and I use it every time I have to use the wood machine. So, in my case, having a healthy fear is a very good thing.  It is the fear of what the saw can do to me that actually keeps me safe.  So, what we want to see in this series is how God actually uses the things that make us afraid as His supernatural tools to strengthen our life to trust Him in every circumstance of our life.  Coming to God in the midst of troubling and stressful situations is always God’s solution to fear and anxiety.


Pray this week:

Father, will you please help me to see how you are able to use the stressful moments of my life to draw me closer into your supernatural peace?
 


Are you willing to make a list of all of the different things that you are constantly worrying about and then commit them each day to your heavenly Father with a grateful heart as to what He is doing through those stressful moments to draw you closer to Him?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Do you have children? Teach Them

Do you have children?

Written by Hope on 03/11/2013

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: DisciplesLife Change


 

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

 

Do you have children? If so, you might know that the Bible instructs us to "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). Taking a new Christian on a path of discipleship can be compared to teaching or training a child. Jesus said, "Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it" (Mark 10:14-15).

Faith Like a Child

Jesus taught, "unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18:3). He said, "anyone who welcomes a little child like this on My behalf is welcoming Me" (Matthew 18:5); your service to a new believer is an act of service to the Lord! But we must be careful to teach only what is in God’s Word. Jesus warned that it would be better to die than to "cause one of these little ones who trusts in Me to fall into sin" (Matthew 18:6).

Gift from the Lord

God loves and highly values every person. His Word tells us that "children are a gift from the Lord" (Psalm 127:3). Your disciple, believing in God with faith like a child's, is also a valuable person to the Lord. Like a child, they can turn to you to gain knowledge of the Lord. If you teach your disciple the ways of the Lord while he or she is "young" in faith, they may be more likely to follow the Lord all their life. Be encouraged: "Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, 'You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings'" (John 8:31).

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus

"Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you!”

Scripture: Matthew 28:19-20

One of the most exciting ways we hope your faith is strengthened when learning from the Prayer, Care and Share Jesus guide (PCS) is by becoming more confident when sharing Jesus with others.

When you do lead someone to Christ, you might even feel led to share what you’ve learned in the PCS guide. It can be a great discipleship tool!

In Matthew 28: 19-20, Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey (not just know) all of Jesus' commandments.

When you walk someone through accepting Jesus in their life, it’s a great idea to start the discipleship process right away – "teaching the new believer to obey everything Jesus commanded." You can also get them connected to a church or community of faith. You might not be able or feel led to be the one to disciple the new believer. But, you can help them find a way to get discipled by connecting with someone or a Christian community or church. When I have led people to Christ whom I won’t see again, such as taxi drivers or flight attendants, I have prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to orchestrate their follow-up.

You can teach them about things that Jesus teaches in the Bible like baptism, reading the Bible, prayer, involvement in a community of believers (such as a church or house church); taking communion (remembering Christ in the way he commanded us); and sanctification ("go and sin no more." John 8:11).These are not all of Jesus' teachings, but they are a good start for your new believer.

This week, start praying about your role in someone’s life as a discipleship mentor. Ask for guidance, wisdom and compassion.


Pray this week:

That your children and disciples will remain faithful to the Lord all their life.


Do you have questions about being a teacher? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member