Tag Archives: want

The Darkness or the Light

Are you worshipping in the light?

Written by GodLife on 13/11/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ChurchCultsReligionGodJesus


I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

John 12:46

The old saying, “All that glitters is not gold,” is truth. Just because something looks like gold and feels like gold does not mean it is gold. Have you ever heard of fool’s gold? It looks like the real thing, but it is worthless. Those who know the real thing well enough know the difference. 

On the road to Damascus, Jesus appeared to Paul (Acts 9) and told him he was to open the eyes of the Jews and the Gentiles to bring them out of the darkness into the light, from the power of Satan to the power of God, that they may receive forgiveness of sin and have a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Him. Where do you stand? Are you worshipping in darkness or in light? 

Only One God

There is only one God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If you are in a church that only focuses on one person of the Holy Trinity, it is not of the Light. Similarly, when a church’s doctrine adapts the Bible’s teachings to conform to a separate religion, it is not of the Light. There is only one way to the Father: it is through Jesus Christ, God the Son (John 14:6). There is only one Holy Spirit given to indwell and guide us, and He points us to the Savior of the World.  

“I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” (Isaiah 44:6

Sound churches go by many different names but share the same biblical doctrines. Those who are in Jesus have life because they receive these essential doctrines and have asked Him to save them. They have become a new creation. We are no longer a member of the darkness and must have nothing to do with the world’s pagan religions or practices. We are now in the Light, and we should behave as children of light. (Ephesians 5:8)

Demonic Practices

In some African and Latin American societies, Yoruba religion and other tribal practices with witchcraft, spiritism and demon guides have been blended with Catholicism or some other forms of Christianity. This practice has created new man-made religions such as Santería, Candomble and Voodoo with their demon spirit guides and curses. They are satanic in origin. These demons are disguised as Catholic saints and are worshiped. Animal and even human sacrifice may also be involved.  

Some in Hindu societies add Jesus Christ to the list of Hindu idols to be worshipped as one of their pagan gods. Hindi Christians sometimes find it difficult to come out of participating in pagan Hindu religious practices. As Christians we are to leave the darkness behind. To become a Christian is not to accept a foreign culture associated with Christianity, but to trade darkness for the Kingdom of God. 

“You shall not make for yourself any graven image of anything and bow down to it or serve it.” (Exodus 20:4-5)

Come out of the darkness and into the light. God is light, love and life. He brings joy and peace.

“…for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true…  try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:9–11)

Counterfeit Religion

Any other religion mixed with Christianity makes a separate religion. Chrislam is an example of this. Chrislam also began with the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, but has now spread around the world. Chrislam is an attempt to mix Islam and Christianity. Chrislam denies one of the essentials: the deity of Christ Jesus. It treats both the Quran and the Bible as Holy texts. Since the Bible contradicts the teachings of Islam, in Bangladesh a new translation of the Bible has been produced, which changes terms and names in order to refer to Jesus as only a prince or Master. 

In effect, in Chrislam all become Muslim because the full doctrine of Christ is denied. Christ is the Lord, God the Son and the only way to God. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no man comes to the Father but by me.” To deny this fact is not to not believe the whole doctrine of Christ. In addition, scripture clearly says if you do not have the Son, the Saviour of the World, you do not have the Father either.

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves so that you may not lose what we have worked for; but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 7-10)  

Chrislam, Santería, Candomblé, Vodun and New Age Christianity are counterfeits. They are of the darkness because they deny the Trinity. We are saved only by our faith in the sacrifice of the Son of God and receiving Him as our Lord and Savior. Christianity is about Christ. Fear of persecution leads many into the delusion that a compromise religion would be better. But if we deny Christ, He will deny us. (Matthew 10:33) Christ did not come to give mankind a way to salvation. He said He was “the Way”, and that no one could come to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)

A child of God cannot worship Jesus in these man-made, false religions. It would be trying to walk with one foot in the light and one in the darkness. It is following a glittering deception: a false peace motivated by fear. Just because something includes Christian terms or practices does not mean it is the real thing. Many first-century Christians were persecuted or martyred when they did not compromise their faith. In peacefully obeying His call to take up their cross and follow Him, they turned the world upside down instead. (Acts 17:6)


Pray this week:

Lord, Please, I only want your Light. Please keep me in your Light in all of my ways.


God loves you. Are you in the darkness? Why not come into the Light? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What Kind of Work Does God Want You In?

How do we know we are doing the job God has created us to do?

Written by Gary Schneider on 09/10/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: CareerWorkVocation


For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

Given the fact that we belong to God and that life is all about stewarding or managing what God has given us, the question naturally arises in the heart of a Christ-follower: “How do I choose a career that honors God and brings me true fulfillment?”

Let’s look at a few key Scripture verses to get started:

Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Isaiah 43:6-7“Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Psalm 139:13-16“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”   

These passages indicate that:

  1. God shaped you for a purpose,
  2. You are unique, and
  3. You are wonderfully complex.

About 20 years ago, a mentor of mine, Pastor Rick Warren, came up with a tool called SHAPE to talk about the five things that make you, you. SHAPE is the way God wired you for your life’s work. Understanding the SHAPE God uniquely gave you is the key to finding His will for your career.

SHAPE is: Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experiences

Spiritual gifts

The Bible teaches that God gives every believer certain spiritual gifts to be used in ministry and in your career (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 8, Ephesians 4). However, I believe spiritual gifts are only one part of the picture. Sometimes, spiritual gifts are emphasized to the point at which believers excuse themselves from service because they claim they are not 'gifted' in that area. But the absence of a spiritual gift is never an excuse to disobey a command such as the one to share the gospel. That's a responsibility we all share. Natural abilities that you were born with also came from God. So do your experiences and inborn personality traits. Your creator planned these factors as well.

Heart

The Bible uses the term “heart” to represent the center of your motivation, desires, interests, and inclinations. Your heart determines why you say the things you do (Matthew 12:34), why you feel the way you do (Psalm 34:7), and why you act the way you do (Proverbs 4:23).

Physiologically, each of us has a unique heartbeat. Each person has a slightly different pattern. Likewise, God has given each of us a unique emotional “heartbeat” that races when we encounter activities, subjects, or circumstances that interest us.

God had a purpose in giving you your inborn interests. Your emotional heartbeat reveals a very important key to understanding his intentions for your life. Don’t ignore your natural interests. People rarely excel at tasks they don’t enjoy doing. High achievers enjoy what they do.

Abilities

These are the natural talents that you were born with. Some people have a natural ability with words. They came out of the womb talking! Others are naturally good with numbers. They think mathematically and they can’t understand why you don’t understand calculus.

Exodus 31:3 gives an example of how God gives people “skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts ….” in order to accomplish his purposes. In this case, it was artistic ability to be used in building the Tabernacle. 

Personality

It’s obvious that God has not used a cookie cutter to create people. He made introverts and extroverts. He made people who love routine and those who love variety. Some people work best when given an individual assignment while others work better with a team.

There is no “right” or “wrong” temperament. We need all kinds of personalities to balance the church and the workplace and give it flavor.

Your personality will affect how and where you use your spiritual gifts and abilities. For instance, two people may have the same gift of evangelism, but if one is introverted and the other is extroverted, that gift will be expressed in different ways.

When you minister or work in a manner that is consistent with the personality God gave you, you experience fulfillment, satisfaction, and fruitfulness. It feels good when you do exactly what God made you to do.

Experiences

God never wastes an experience. Romans 8:28 reminds us of this: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Consider five areas of experience that will influence the kind career you are best shaped for:

  • Educational experiences: What were your favorite subjects in school?
  • Vocational experiences: What jobs have you enjoyed and achieved results while doing?
  • Spiritual experiences: What have been the meaningful or decisive times with God in your life?
  • Ministry experiences: How have you served God in the past?
  • Painful experiences: What are the problems, hurts, and trials that you’ve learned from?

God sovereignly determined your shape for his purpose, so you shouldn’t resent it or reject it. “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?” (Romans 9:20-21)

Instead of trying to reshape ourselves to be like someone else, we should celebrate the shape God has given to each of us.

Wise stewardship of your life begins by understanding your SHAPE. You will be the most effective and fulfilled in your life’s work when you use your spiritual gifts and abilities in the area of your heart’s desire and in a way that best expresses your personality and experiences.

What God made you to be determines what God intends for you to do.


Pray this week:

God, please show me how I can use the gifts you have given me in the way that best honors you and maximises the talents you’ve provided me. Thank you for your daily blessings in my life and walking through this with me. Amen.


What is one thing you have done in life that you have talent in and have found great joy in? How could this relate to a possible career choice?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member