Issue 10 July/August ISSN 2223-473X www.devotedmag.co.za
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The inspiration for this issue of Devoted comes from 1 Peter 2:21: “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” Many of our articles in this issue focuses on ways to follow Jesus and the article in the series Back to basics is meant as a reminder of what Christianity really means in its essence. In living our lives and running in the rat race, it is so easy to forget the basics; and in the process we lose our identities. We hope that this new series will give our readers hope and help them on their journey to follow in His footsteps.
une is officially youth month; and the 2011 Census portrays South Africa as a “youthful nation”. It means that the average age of the population is 25 years and a third of the population of 52 million is under the age of 15 years. What better way to celebrate youth month than to focus on our youth in this issue? Our team has therefore decided to share not only one, but three testimonies of young people with our readers. These youngsters have overcome the challenges they were faced with as teenagers to become kingdom youngsters. Their stories inspired us and it is our wish that you are inspired by them also. The social issue of alcohol and substance abuse (including illicit drug trafficking) is a global occurrence, and South Africa is no exception. This has serious implications for millions of South Africans, because alcohol and substance abuse contributes to crime, gangsterism, bullying, domestic violence, family dysfunction and other social problems. Young people are especially at risk. Therefore, we also deal with matters such as alcohol abuse and bullying in this issue. However, as always we do not only focus on the challenges, but we provide hope for our readers in the form of advice, contacts and inspiring stories from others who went through tough times and turned to God for help. Sharing your God-given gifts with others is a topic close to my heart. The scripture 1 Peter 4:10 says: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” All of us were created for the glory of God. All of us have received our own individual gifts from Him. It is our responsibility to find out how we can glorify God with the talents and gifts He gave us. I believe if you do not use it, you will lose it! There are a number of projects and activities going on in churches (and other places, because we can be kind to people outside of the church!) where you can use your God-given talents to help others. This magazine for example, was born in its entirety out of a deep desire to use my God-given talents to glorify God and to use the
Malta is a magnificent destination with excellent food. Read more about it on page 28.
magazine to lead people to Him. Over the years a small team of volunteers joined unselfishly and our lives have been enriched in so many ways. To become a member of the team of a Christian lifestyle magazine has many benefits: It can help you find new friends and learn new skills. It may even advance your career. Devoted for instance, acts as a platform for skilled and talented writers, graphic designers, photographers, marketers, and others to showcase their work. It is also good for your mind and your body, as it increases selfconfidence, combats depression and helps you to stay mentally healthy. Volunteering in general connects you with people, helps you make new friends and contacts, and increases your social and relationship skills in the process. Read on page 16 & 17 how you can use your talents to glorify God. We always have space for you on our team, provided that you are devoted to help us lead people to Jesus by using your talents in this way. We pay tribute to our regular contributors who use their talents to help people discover life through the Gospel. They are: Pastor At Boshoff (page 4); Mignionette Fair (pages 5 & 14); Gillian Lombard (page 42); Vicki Fourie (page 32); Johan Terblanche (page 10) and Fergus Ferguson (page 38). Our newest writers are Mmathabiso Khalema (page 12); Disebo Pesa (page 33 to 35) and Prince V (page 44); and we hope that they will walk the extra mile for Jesus in contributing regularly to this magazine. Thank you also to Sarel van Staden who regularly provides beautiful photographs to help us bring our message across. All these wonderful people have already discovered what it means to use your God-given talents to glorify God’s work. They also know how fulfilling it is to help others… We honour and thank you for your selfless contributions. I would like to ask our readers to write to us and let us know when an article inspired you. Our writers would appreciate your feedback very much.
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I n t h i s i s s u e REGULARS Ed’s letter 2 Devotion 4 Fair flair 5 Inspiration 6 Feature article 8 Destination 28 Victorious with Vicki 32 Kingdom youth 33 Kingdom Kidz 36 Business 38 The rat race 44 THEME Following Jesus 10 My servants must be where I am! 12 Taking up your cross 42 ATTITUDE Women’s Destiny Conference 2014 14 Using your talents to glorify God 16 OTHERS The Reflex praise 18 A call for Christians to stand united 20 Alcohol, a loaded gun 24 Salvation 26
Contact Details Editor: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Pretoria: Emails: email@example.com Cell numbers: 082 896 0955 firstname.lastname@example.org 082 889 8511 Christelle.whelan@yaho o.com 071 481 7028 Sales Bloemfontein: Emails: email@example.com Cell number:076 7567749 Sales Johannesburg: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell number:079 827 5600 Content disclaimer: Devoted is published by DeVine publishers. All rights reserved. While every precaution has been taken to ensure accuracy of i n f o r m a t i o n , t h e e d i to r, p u b l i s h e r, a n d D e vo te d m a g a z i n e ca n n o t a cce p t l i a b i l i t y of whatsoever nature arising out or in connection with the contents of this publication. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Devoted team and remains the sole responsibility of the writers.
Front cover picture We celebrated Youth month in June. Read about young people who have overcome many challenges to become kingdom youngsters (Pg 32 -34) Picture by Alicia Potgieter Girls from Curro College - Hazeldean
“And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude…” (Mark 3:7-8)
Credits MANAGING EDITOR Gerda Potgieter SUPPORTING EDITOR Pastor Butch Lester COPY EDITOR Mignionette Fair LANGUAGE EDITING Pastor Yvonne Lester CREATIVE AND DESIGN TEAM Annerine Lubbe Square d’zign studio PRINTERS SA Print Group (Bloemfontein) SALES AND MARKETING Alicia Potgieter (Pretoria) Christelle Whelan (Pretoria) Natty Mthimkulu (Johannesburg) Rene Brink (Bloemfontein) PHOTOGRAPHER Sarel van Staden WEBSITE DEVELOPER Tony Hendricks
Contributors Vicki Fourie Vicki is a former Miss Deaf South Africa and Miss Deaf International 2010 1st Princess. She is a motivational speaker. Her first book and memoir ‘Viva la Vicki!’ is now available. (WEBSITE: www. vickifourie.blogspot.com EMAIL: email@example.com) Johan Terblanche Pastor Johan Terblanche is from Christ alone ministries: It is an emailed based ministry and non-profitable organisation that offers weekly messages of encouragement.(WEBSITE: www.christaloneministries.weebly.com EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org) Gillian Lombard Gillian is a marketing consultant for more than 30 years, reaching people in the business environment. She is the author of 7 Christian books, soon to be published. (WEBSITE: www.sapcor.co.za EMAIL: email@example.com Plagiarism disclaimer: It was confirmed by our writers and contributors that no part of the written submissions has been copied from either a book or any other source, including the Internet, except where such sections are clearly shown as quotations and the sources have been correctly identified within the text or in the list of references.
The purpose of
Why does God want us to excel in life and in business? The answer is simple: God wants us to be His ambassadors. But when Christians lose sight of their purpose, they become selfish and self-centred instead of Christ-centred. All that matters to them is themselves. We should never lose sight of our purpose. We are not here for ourselves; we are not here just to live a life, we are here to embrace the Christ-life in which we have a new purpose.
hen we speak about lifestyle everybody becomes very excited, but when we speak about the cause of Christ, people
start to hesitate. The Bible gives the clear illustration of the rich young ruler, and the Good Samaritan. Both were successful, both were businessmen. The difference was that the one embraced a purpose bigger and beyond himself, the other one lived for his own purpose and served himself. Which one am I? Am I the rich young ruler who has been blessed by God and who is a gifted man with many resources at my disposal, but all I do is expand myself and my own things? Or am I the Samaritan who lives with the heart of Christ, realising that Jesus came to save sinners? Am I that Good Samaritan who sees those dying and suffering, the needy in my community, and who lives with a purpose in my heart? Do I go to work to generate finances to be successful, so that I can help people beyond myself? My dear friend, when you understand your purpose you understand the importance of your life; you understand why God will sustain you in that key position of influence because all God is interested in is that His kingdom should continue to expand. I often see so many dear Christians who start out and serve God with passion and who will do anything for God. But when success comes, their minds and hearts are no longer set on their kingdom purpose. They begin to live and build for the here and now, not realising that what Solomon said is still true. “As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to
go as he came…” (Ecclesiastes 5:15). My life has a purpose - the purpose of Christ, and I have been called with the calling of God. He is the head of that calling and He is in charge of His church. I am in the body and I now fulfil what God instructed Jesus to do as the Head of the church on earth. That is why the Bible says He has joined the body together (see Ephesians 4). God has placed you in the exact place in the church (the body) where He wants you to be, because that is where you can bring life. There you can function to make a difference if you receive your instructions from the Head, walking under the same anointing that Jesus lived by, seeking to please God your Father. Live with the attitude of “not my will be done, but Thy will be done”. Ask God to change your prayers to “God, what is it that I can do for you?” Rather than “Please bless me, God”. Ask God what His kingdom purpose is for your life. You may know that you should be a secretary or a teacher or a shop assistant or a dentist or even a rugby player, but as you practise your chosen profession, what is God’s purpose for you? I want to live every day for God’s purpose. I know I am a minister, but I still ask God what His purpose is for my life as a minister. Like Paul you may be a former blasphemer, a persecutor of the church; but you have been called by God to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. That is the purpose of your life – not just to expand your own influence and your own horizons, but through expanding your horizons, bringing about the expansion of God’s kingdom; standing as God’s ambassador, standing as God’s representative, in your world. That is God’s calling for you.
We have to be vigilant and alert, understanding the purpose of our lives. We celebrate because we understand that we have been redeemed and our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. But we have to serve God with a sense of urgency, because the work has not been completed. There is a world out there, going to hell, and you and I can make the difference by understanding our purpose and embracing our cause and our calling in Christ; standing for Jesus. We are God’s redemptive plan for planet earth. When you and I were saved, we were called, we became anointed. Christianity is not about preserving cultures, but about advancing the kingdom of God! Jesus makes our purpose very clear in Matthew 5:13 (The Message): “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be saltseasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”
Much love, Pastor At Pastor At Boshoff is the founder and senior pastor of Christian Revival Church (CRC). The Church is celebrating 20 years of existence this year. You can watch Pastor At every Sunday on TBN – 18:30; Rhema – 08:30 and CTV – 21:00 Visit www.crc.org.za / www.crcbfn.bloem-online.com
Follow me and I will make you…”
By MIGNIONETTE FAIR
I am sure at some point you have heard the following: “You’ve got it made!” or “She’s really making something of herself!” But what eternal value does this “making of” really have? Is it something that will touch and change people’s lives? Is it something that will cause Jesus to say: “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
n Matthew 4:19 Jesus said to his new disciples: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (NKJV) They did the smart thing and immediately stopped what they were doing and followed Him. Was it an easy road for them? I am pretty sure it wasn’t. Were they challenged by the situations they faced? With Jesus in the surrounding area, every day probably scared the living daylights out of them! The good news is that Jesus is still calling people to follow Him. He has called you and me, and He is calling our friends, families and colleagues. And the best part is He said He will make you a fisher of men! This means you don’t have to study to become a fisherman or woman, Jesus has already qualified you! In Matthew 19:22 we see James and John leaving their father behind and deciding to
follow Jesus. Then in the next verse it says, “And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.” (NKJV) Something amazing happens when you make the decision to follow Jesus...
He equips you to do His work! You can rest assured that everything you need to do God’s work has already been given to you. In most cases there will be no thunderbolts, no audible voice from above or a vision or a dream. There will just be you, deciding to follow Him, and there will be Jesus, making you into whatever and whoever you need to be to become a fisher of men.
In 1 Corinthians 9:22 Paul says “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (KJV) The moment you make the decision to fish for God, God will equip, train and make you into the best fisher ever! But He can’t use you if you are standing still. Just like a car without powersteering is nearly impossible to turn while it is standing still, so it is with a stubborn Christian. Just move a little and God can do the impossible through you. I want to challenge you to allow yourself to be made into something great by Jesus. This “making of” has lasting value and it only requires a simple decision from you...and in response Jesus will say “well done, good and faithful servant.”
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No-one can tell you
who you are Nick Vujicic is an ordinary man doing extraordinary things. Bullied so many times in his life, he has built a bully defense system to cope with being different. The article that follows is excerpted from Stand Strong by Nick Vujicic. We hope that our readers will find inspiration in his story.
he dude was drunk as a skunk. My wife and I were swimming in a resort pool on a road trip. He kept staring at me. At first I couldn’t hear what he was saying because his speech was slurred, but I knew it was something bad. As he got closer, my fears were confirmed. He pointed at my little foot as I sat on the edge of the pool. He said crude things about my foot and my body. Then he badgered me with obnoxious questions intended to embarrass and belittle me. Mostly he made a fool of himself. He didn’t need my help doing that, so I kept
quiet and let him wear himself out. After a few minutes, he stumbled into the hotel. I prayed for him. I really did. I prayed for him to walk full speed into a closed glass door! (Just kidding! Maybe!) I try to be like Jesus when it comes to dealing with bullies. He is the supreme example of someone who was bullied for His religious beliefs. Yet Jesus was so cool, so true to Himself that He never used His power to strike back at them. I’m sure Jesus could have zapped His tormentors with a lightning bolt if He’d wanted to. Instead, He dealt with bullies just as He dealt with all people — with compassion from a foundation of love and redemption. I wasn’t usually that strong. My experiences with bullies often left me feeling both intimidated and angry, not to mention depressed, anxious, stressed, and sick to my stomach. As an adult, I’m better equipped to rise above bullying. But I admit that the bully at the resort pool did bother me. He made me uncomfortable just as he made everyone else around the pool uncomfortable with his drunken rant. Did he make me ashamed or insecure or depressed? Not at all! You see, I now have the best defense anyone can have when it comes to bullies, one that I will share with you. Our first step in building your own
bully defense system is to help you define yourself so that no bully and no other person can tell you who you are.
A Sense of Self This is a lesson I learned the hard way. I let the taunts of bullies stick to me like burs when I was a kid. I pretended to be sick so I could stay home from school and avoid them. When I went to school, I hid in the bushes so they couldn’t find me. I was very vulnerable, and bullies took advantage of that. There were so many questions that I couldn’t answer, including this big one: If God loves all of His children, why did He create me with so many imperfections? Most kids my age were worried that their noses were too big or that their zits would never go away. I’d lie in bed at night tortured by thoughts about what I lacked: Couldn’t He have given me at least arms, or at least legs, or at least one arm or one leg? Why would He leave me with no limbs at all? What purpose does that serve? What purpose can I serve? How can I function in a world designed for people with limbs? My nagging doubts about my value and my future were only made worse by bullies who said mean things to me, made jokes
Inspiration about me, or shunned me like I wasn’t a real person. All of this weighed so heavily on my mind that I had suicidal thoughts. A few times I had urges to throw myself off ledges or countertops. Finally, around the age of ten, I did make an attempt to drown myself in the bathtub. I put my head underwater and held my breath for a long time, but I couldn’t do it. I had visions of my parents and my brother and sister crying at my funeral. I couldn’t stand the thought of them grieving or feeling hurt or guilty. It wasn’t their fault; how could I cause them such pain? That day, I decided suicide was not an option. The self-destructive feelings still came, but over time they diminished. Still, I know first hand that bullies can drive you to despair. I understand those feelings. If you’ve felt depressed and had thoughts of hurting or killing yourself, please do not allow bullies to take your joy and your will to live from you. Why give anyone that power? Don’t let them take you away from the wonderful life that God has in store for you.
A Better Life Awaits If I had let bullying drive me to suicide, I would have missed a life that has been
full of joy and love in measures that I never could have imagined. I would have missed marrying the love of my life, not to mention the birth of our son! I never would have had the opportunity to meet and encourage people around the world. You and I just don’t know what wonderful things are possible for our lives. Only our Creator knows what is in store for us. You may be in the dumps right now. Maybe a bully is making your life miserable. It’s a horrible feeling, I know. But I can help you. You can get past this. Better days are ahead, and you don’t want to miss them, do you? We all have challenges. Yours may be far greater than mine. I was born without limbs, but I was blessed in many other ways. I believe we all have the power to overcome challenges through determination and God’s help. Remember, you may feel you don’t have the strength to handle a challenge, but He does. I lack limbs, but I’ve hung in there and come through some major storms. I’ve dealt with bullies all my life. In fact, I’m still dealing with bullies—and I’m a married man with a child. I’ve learned to handle the bullies, mostly by controlling how I respond to them and by building a solid foundation from which to fend them off. You can learn to do the same. By sharing my experiences, I’d like to give you a hand
with that. (A sense of humor helps too!) For a time in my teen years, I thought I would never be able to go to college, to earn a living, or to make a contribution to this world. I thought no woman could ever love me as a husband, and I never thought I would be able to be a father and hold my child to my heart. I was wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again! The bullies who said nasty things to me had it wrong, and so did I. My life — the same life that looked so dark for a while because of bullying and insecurities — has been absolutely and ridiculously wonderful! I never could have imagined what God had in store for a guy born without arms or legs. You can’t imagine what your Creator’s plan for you is either. I suggest that we both stick around to see the good that life has in store for us.”
Excerpted from Stand Strong by Nick Vujicic Copyright © 2014 by Nick Vujicic. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Stand Strong against bullies! Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. This gave the bullies the “right”, or so they thought, to bully him from a very young age. In his book, Stand strong, Nick helps teens and others to overcome the hurt and fear felt as a result of bullying, by sharing with them his “bully defence system”. The book was translated into 30 different languages and his inspirational messages have been shared with millions of people through broadcast and other media. Nick is an international and New York Times best-selling author and evangelist. He is also a motivational speaker and the leader of a non-profit organisation, Life Without Limbs. Stand Strong is available at Cum Books stores. Also available in Afrikaans. Our Devoted readers stand a chance to win one of two copies of this inspiring book. Write to us and share your story of bullying and how you managed to overcome the consequences. E-mail your story to firstname.lastname@example.org www.devotedmag.co.za
going strong By DAVE HOTCHKISS (Chairman)
The Association for Christian Broadcasters (ACB), now known as the Association for Christian Media (ACM) was born out of some amazing and unexpected miracles 20 years ago; and has been born again twice since then.
n 1993, an evangelism group in a church in Fish Hoek, Cape Town thought that radio might be a good way to reach out to the local community. In those days, radio consisted of a few big government controlled South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) stations, and two “homeland” stations – Capital Radio & Radio 702. To apply for a church radio station seemed crazy. But they did. And some months later, a broadcast license arrived by fax … yes, this was before the days of e-mail! A few one-month licenses were granted to Radio Fish Hoek as it was called, and they became the authority on how to apply for and run a small Christian community radio station. The team, under the leadership of
their pastor John Thomas, could hardly run the operation between telling everyone else how to do it. The way to solve the problem would be a conference where everyone could come together and have a look! At the same time, Trans World Radio’s (TWR) Martin Frische saw the changes coming, and with them the opportunity for different Christian radio stations working together with Christian content and music suppliers. He started talking to the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), a similar organisation in the United States of America. As he called America, John Thomas was also there in the office of the NRB. The ACB was miraculously coming together.
At about the same time, the door was opened for Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) in the Ciskei, and Christian TV arrived in Southern Africa. Bernard Roebert was appointed to head up TBN Africa’s office, and TBN became part of the new ACB. The first conference in March 1994 drew about 80 delegates, representing people who were interested in starting Christian radio stations and TV stations, as well as content, music and technology providers. The ACB was born. The first period of existence of the ACB was ably led and managed by Martin Frische and the TWR SA office. During this time the first one-year community radio license in the country was granted to ACB member Radio Maritzburg; then more
Feature Article Christian radio stations were licensed throughout South Africa. But this was not without challenges, as the community of interest category under which Christian stations were licensed was challenged in proposed amendments to legislation in 1998/9. A march to parliament led by John Thomas and the Radio Fish Hoek / Cape Community FM (CCFM) team in Cape Town was among the strategies employed by the ACB members. The challenge abated, but Christian radio licenses continued to be threatened. The next major challenge in the ACB’s life was in about 2002. TWR was no longer able to carry and sponsor the organisation. Anthony Barkhuizen was given the mandate to tour through South Africa talking to members to determine whether the ACB should continue, and what role it should play. It was time for the ACB to step out and grow up. The 2003 conference at Good News conference centre in Gauteng saw Rainbow FM’s Humphrey Birkenstock elected as chairman and Dave Hotchkiss appointed as part-time General Manager. Other members including TBN, Radio Pulpit and Kenneth Copeland ministries stepped forward to carry much of the financial responsibility. Over the next few years satellite TV developed and the community radio broadcasters matured. In 2005, the annual ACB conference graduated from Christian conference centres to the much smarter hotel venue, with the first new-look conference being hosted and sponsored by TBN at the Halyard’s Hotel in Port Alfred. Since then, the ACB conference has continued to enjoy generous sponsorship from various members, in particular Radio Pulpit, Radio Tygerberg, TBN and Link FM. By 2010, the digital revolution was having a major impact on media and broadcasting, and it was time for the next step in ACB’s development. A leadership summit was held and about 40 delegates representing some 30 ACB members met at Willow Park in Johannesburg. Digital convergence of media meant that there was no longer a clear distinction between radio, television, print and new internet-based media. The ACB was being called to encompass other media, and to transform into the ACM … the Association of Christian Media. That was a unanimous decision, but what was less obvious is what this new organisation would look like. The summit produced some very ambitious goals without a funding model to sustain them. The ACM board grappled with this over the period following the summit. It was another very challenging time for the ACB/ACM. The ACB officially became the ACM at the Annual General Meeting in June 2012. Jackie Georgiou of Joy Magazine, representing print media was elected to the chair. Prior to this, Dave Hotchkiss resigned as General Manager of the ACM to pursue a commitment to Vuma FM, the first commercial Gospel music radio station licensed in South Africa, and Natalie Turco was appointed to administer the organisation. A new phase in the development of the ACM was born. Change was not as dramatic as had been hoped for by some at the 2010 summit, but the 2014 conference sees a clearly focused organisation with increased membership, improved communication and training and sound finances. Looking back over the 20 years, we can only give thanks to the Lord for the miraculous way in which He has sustained the organisation He called into being 20 years ago. The ACM goes forward in faith, looking to the Creator God for direction, so that the ACM may fulfil its purpose.
Very First ACB Conference
ACB Board 1997
Current ACM Board
Association of Christian media www.devotedmag.co.za
By JOHAN TERBLANCHE
In Christ alone, I place my trust and find my glory in the power of the Cross In every victory, let it be said of me my source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone (From the song “In Christ alone” by Donald Koch and others)
In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song; this Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand. (From the song “In Christ Alone” by Natalie Grant)
would like to use the same phrase Jesus used when He spoke to Judas in John 13:27: “Hurry and do what you must!” (GNB) Today I wish to bring God’s urgent call, God’s call to His very own people, the people so loved by Him and say: “Hurry and do what you must!” I have heard many people sing “I have decided to follow Jesus”, while others sing “Jesus now, more than ever, we are sailing in stormy weather, all His children should get together, for we need Jesus now more than ever.” I have also heard some people pray: “Come Lord Jesus, come”.
But today I want to say to you: “Hurry and do what you must!”
We’re living in a time of turmoil, a time of political and economic instability, a time of severe weather fluctuations and a time when Christianity is under severe attack. Christians are victimised, persecuted, tortured and killed world-wide. When studying the book of Daniel and Revelation, it appears to describe the times we’re living in, the end times or the last days. Now I cannot give or predict a date since no man knows the date, but I firmly believe Christ’s return is imminent and we should be ready, we should hurry (haste) to do whatever we must. Should a person wish to follow Christ, he or she should do it now, right away. And if there are those who choose to follow Christ in a half-hearted, let’s-see-what-we-can-get, in-case-of emergency way they should also make a choice today for it is written: “But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:16 - GNB) And should there be anyone who does not desire to serve God, wishing to betray Jesus, do it now and see what the outcome will be. Whatever you choose, whatever you decide: “Hurry and do what you must!” I am reminded of what Joshua said, of what He has decided: “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 - Amp)
With the Heritage singers I urge you: Choose you this day tell me who will you serve Let nothing stand in your way. Give the praise He deserves as for me and my house we will serve the Lord (From the song “Me and My House” by the Heritage Singers)
And you can respond with the song of Brian Doerksen and say: Today I choose to follow You Today I choose to give my ‘yes’ to You Today I choose to hear Your voice and live Today I choose to follow You Jesus said to Zacchaeus: “Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today.” (Luke 19:5 - GNB) There is urgency to God’s call. God, through Christ is saying: “Hurry down, because I must stay in your house today.” We need to respond to that call today, we need to respond soon. We need to step out of the world and into God’s presence. We need to follow Christ. Whatever we choose, we need to hurry, we need to do it quickly, for Jesus is saying: “Hurry and do what you must!”
My servants must be where I am! By MMATHABISO KHALEMA
“Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am” (John 12:26)
hat does it mean to follow Jesus? I posed this question to a number of Christians, and was met with the following responses:
“It means to follow His laws, and apply the principles of the Word.” “It means to do as He says we should do.” Discontented with my mini-survey results, I had to inquire further. I consulted with the dictionary to find the definition of the word “follow”. I found many explanations: “go or come after; strive after; act according to the lead or example of;
accept; yield; defer to; appreciate; take an active interest in; get the picture; grasp…” The list continued. My personal favourites have to be “understand the meaning and tendency of; practice; attend”. We live in a fallen and dark world which continually entices us with promises of pleasure or some other reward. Social media and advertising promote this world system - which has been designed specifically to destroy the human heart. Many of us come to receive Christ after realising that the sort of things we have been following - alcohol, drugs, destructive relationships, cheap thrills, celebrity worship, material wealth, status - cannot solve a deeper spiritual problem and are greatly dissatisfying. We clearly need a saviour. We call upon Jesus, and He comes, saves us, and cleanses us of our sin. It does not end there, however. He says “follow me”.
In John 8:12, Jesus tells us, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” In the gospels, we see the unfolding of Jesus’ ministry on earth, and from the onset, Jesus called on ordinary men who were entangled in their own pursuits: tax collectors and fishermen alike, to follow Him. Twelve of these became His disciples. Crowds and multitudes were constantly around Jesus. He was always performing miracles, casting out demons, healing the sick, and had such great authority in teaching that He amazed even the religious teachers of His day! Many, however, never hung around long enough to truly understand the Man and His tendency. They simply went back to their normal routines. Even today, many Christians gather for a weekly church service and
Theme return to their routines refreshed, and continue to navigate the world system with mind-sets that are not renewed. These are the Christians who have never counted the cost of following Jesus. “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must take up your cross daily and follow me” He advises us clearly in Luke 9:23 and Matthew 6:24. Jesus is all about our hearts, and if we limit Him to a Sunday service, and what we can get from Him, then we will never have a true relationship with God and know the guidance of His Spirit. Jesus was distinct in His teaching. He used parables and questions. His questions, seemingly simple on the surface, however, very intentional, require us to continually examine the condition of our hearts. In His more private ministry He explained the meaning of the parables and told the disciples that it was them (the disciples) who were permitted to understand the secret to the Kingdom, this after the rest of the crowd had left. He told them to take heed of how they listen, and promised that “The more you listen, the more understanding you will be given - and will receive even more” (Mark 4:24). Mark 4 is the first parable Jesus taught at the establishment of His public ministry, and He tagged it as the key to understanding the rest of His teaching. I tag it to determine the kind of Christ-follower one becomes. Jesus used questions a lot. This was in direct contrast to the religious teachers of the day. He went so far as to even question the validity of the laws that the religious teachers prescribed. He was always intentional in His pursuit to show that God is interested in the condition of our hearts in every area - not dead religion! One of the more pivotal questions He
asked His disciples was “Who do people say I am?”(Mark 8:27) The disciples, without grasping the intentional nature of His manner, started telling Him what other people said about Him and who He was. He very simply asked in return “Who do you say I am?” The way we answer and understand this question for ourselves determines the nature of our relationship with Christ. Christ not only questions, but He wants us to question, and continue to ask - just as children do. “Keep asking,” He says, “and you will receive”. Jesus sure is a gentle kind of teacher. One of the men whose entire life’s direction and mission was radically changed upon encountering Jesus, was Paul. One question changed His life: Why was he doing what he was doing? On the ground in utter shock, Paul was unable to answer, and instead, asked in retort, “who are you, lord?” (Acts 9). He was blind, picked himself up, and did as Jesus instructed Him to do - this, without attempting to negotiate any of his unsettled business. He was fully aware that his life had taken on a new meaning, and that he could no longer live as he pleased. As the scales fell off his eyes, he received his sight anew (renewed vision = a revelation of who Jesus is), and had his strength return to him. Paul was sovereignly used to establish the early church, as a result of his obedience. Unfortunately, many followers try to negotiate their old life mission. Following someone assumes that they’re always on the move, and we need to be in their presence. We seek God’s presence in our lives, because He says “follow me, and I will make you”. All other pursuits are in vanity if they are not of Him, He so clearly tells us that “without me you can do
nothing”. All the other things are but vanity. When we’re born again, we receive new desires and a heart that is so passionate and hungry for the things of God - His law is written in our hearts. This is grace, and we are to continually, actively grow in the ways of grace, so that Jesus’ character grows in us. We are privileged to be a part of a dynamic home-cell based church which is based on discipleship. We get to grow together and follow Jesus through Bible study, ministering to each other and fellowshipping with one another in the home-cells. This makes the journey a real adventure as we forge ahead together, equipped to bring God’s Kingdom to the earth. Christ came to save all the world, and winning the lost, hurting, and ailing souls is our mission as Christians - this is done best as a disciple. Our hearts directly indicate where our priorities lie - our time, talents, and financial resources, God is after our heart, total surrender. “Where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will be.” (Matthew 6:21) We serve God with our hearts because of the destruction He saved us from. Following Jesus is allowing Him to grow in us. Give God your all, ask the Holy spirit to show you what kind of “follower” you are - a fan, follower, or a disciple? If you let Jesus be the Lord of your life and put Him first in everything you do, your life will begin to reflect His blessings and character, and everything else will fall into place. Again I put it to you, what does it mean to you to “follow Jesus”? May you get a revelation of the person of Christ and allow Him to guide you on every part of this amazing journey with Him to discovering the life He promises!
In John 8:12, Jesus tells us, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.
Women’s Destiny Conference 2014…
we are unstoppable vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
Women’s Christian conferences have grown in stature and popularity in recent years. Mignionette attended the recent Women’s Destiny Conference held in Bloemfontein in May and shares her experience with us. vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
ll I can say about the Women’s Conference for 2014 is… WOW! And then maybe some more adjectives like: amazing, great, anointed, absolutely fantastic! You might think “Surely she is exaggerating?” But no, my dear friends, I am not. It was truly a conference of destiny and a special encounter with God for thousands of women. Pastor Gillian Cameron was the guest speaker all the way from Arise Church in New Zealand. She and her husband, John Cameron, are taking New Zealand for Jesus and running this race with fire. She is such a gentle spirit and a true encourager. Our spirits were lifted up constantly by her words. Her sermon titles were: “Failure is not final” and “Give me my mountain” – especially for all the CRC women who are ready to take new territory for Christ in our cities and communities. The conference started with a bang on Friday evening with the most stunning video and dance number: “She is grace. Beautiful in her diversity. On a mission for Christ. She is You!” Our spiritual mom, pastor Nyretta Boshoff, spoiled all the ladies with beautiful scarves with Proverbs 31:25 printed on it: “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future”.
The whole weekend you could spot a CRC lady from a mile away with their signature scarves…thank you pastor Nyretta! On Saturday morning it was the lioness of CRC’s turn to speak – and what amazing sessions we had with the mother of the house! Pastor Nyretta covered the basic principles of being a Christian women like: “Your leaders and God will test you, before they trust you”, “You are the guard of your own soul and the protector of others’ souls” and many more. She also spoke about our destiny as women of CRC and a church as a whole with some of the other national pastor’s wives. What a privilege it is to be in a church with such vision. The theme for this year in CRC is Unstoppable. The women’s conference was a fantastic kick-off and for every lady who missed it this year, next year promises to be bigger and better with one conference in two cities in Bloemfontein and Pretoria! Be encouraged beautiful daughter of God, you are unstoppable and like pastor Gillian Cameron said, the devil’s only weapon is his voice. He walks around like a roaring lion, but all he can do is roar. Don’t be distracted by the noise he makes, he can’t harm you and God is on your side. And if Jesus is for us, who can be against us?
If you attended this life-changing conference, or you have a testimony you would like to share or photos from the conference, please contact us at email@example.com. We would love to hear what you thought or how your life was touched by the Women’s Destiny Conference! Send us your email and stand a chance to win a prize for the best email.
Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. vvvvvvvvvvvvv
Using your talents to
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teaches, on teaching; or he that exhorts, on exhortation; he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans12:6-8)
any times in a person’s life you have to decide what you want to do with your life. The question about talents and skills then often merges. The actor Will Smith said the following about talents and skills: “The separation of talent and skills is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.” So what is the difference between talents and skills? A talent, according to the dictionary, refers to a special natural ability or aptitude. A skill, on the other hand, is defined as a result of a person’s knowledge, practice, and aptitude. It seems that, simply put, the big difference is that one is
born with a talent (or it is probably learnt unconsciously) and skills are something that can be developed and taught by somebody else through guidance. A simplistic approach to look at the differences in general terms would probably be that a talent is something you are good at. It is an inborn ability or tendency to respond in a certain way. A skill, on the other hand, is something you develop, over a period of time and with hard work, into something useful. Skills, although they often complement your talents, are not things you were born with. You have to hone them – and this takes hard work and dedication. However, when one is born with a talent such as singing, it does not mean much unless that talent is developed into something useful. It is only with hard work,
dedication, perseverance, and a personal vision that a talent will be developed to such an extent that it is valuable to that particular person and others. I believe that God has blessed each and every one of us with a special talent (gift), but it is up to us to recognise it, nourish it and share it. Larry Bird said: “A winner is someone who recognises his Godgiven talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” In this article the words talents and skills are used to describe spiritual gifts given to us by God. The term gifts speak of many things that God has given us all individually: talents and skills, intellect, physical and other abilities, opportunities, employment, money and so many other gifts. The Bible tells us that each person is
Attitude granted particular spiritual gifts from God. Utilising these gifts to glorify Him by building the church and others is a fundamental part of Christianity. We have a responsibility to use our God-given gifts to make the world a better place and NOT to use it only to benefit ourselves. Every person is unique and no one else has the same gifts or the same opportunities you have. No one else can take your place. Therefore, if you do not use your unique gifts for the benefit of the church, the church suffers. The reason is that no one else can do it better than you! In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus tells the parable of the talents. This parable shows us, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus wants us to use our gifts (talents and skills). It should be regarded as gifts of God’s grace toward us, and as such it should be utilised to glorify God. We are all part of the body of Christ and we are all connected by our faith in Jesus Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Various scriptures focus on spiritual gifts, such as 1 Corinthians 12:12–27; 1 Peter 4:10; Matthew 25:14-30; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:16; and others. All of these passages hint towards the need for each person to discover their own
spiritual gifts that help them perform their designated job within the Body of Christ. We are all parts – and important parts – of the Body of Christ and we are all, individually, the managers of the gifts God has given us. This also means that God gives gifts to each individual according to His plan. Every person must use his or her God-given talents to help the body function as it should. God gave you the talents to benefit others. Jesus taught that if we use our talents for Him, He will give us more. But if we ignore our talents, or hide them, He will take them away. One of the aspects of giving is giving your talents, volunteering your time and effort to be part of what God is doing. The service of many is what helps the church to make a bigger impact. The blog of Calvary Memorial church (calvarymemorial.com) states boldly in the article, Glorifying God with your talents – all to the glory of God, by Pastor Todd Wilson the following: “To take all that you are and all that you’ve got and use it to make much of God – there’s nothing greater you can do with your life. There’s no higher purpose than to take your time, your treasure and your talents and use them to glorify God.”
This is how you can use your special gift(s) to glorify God: 1. Pray for His guidance and ask Him to use you and your talents for His will. 2. Analyse your talents and your skills. If you have not discovered it yet, you are missing out on the grace of God in your life. 3. Decide where there is a need for your gift(s) in your church. Volunteer your gifts to enhance the church services. Get involved. God wants to use you to do great things for Him. 4. Your church has multiple specialised ministries and projects that might enable you to use your gifts for the glory of God. 5. Pastors are usually available to provide in-depth information about ways you can use your talents in various ministries. 6. Volunteer your gifts to charitable organisations or outside church activities. 7. Make a list of what tasks fulfil you once completed. Be faithful and a good steward of your gifts. God says that if you are faithful in small things, He will make you a steward over many things.
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Kingdom builder We would like to expand our sales team. If you have what it takes to be a successful salesperson, we would like to invite you to join the small Devoted team. The funding of Devoted relies on selling advertising space to valuable clients. In this way the magazine will become financially independent and sustainable in the long run – and not be a burden on church resources. Do you know of anyone who may be looking for an income opportunity? Could it be you? Or someone you know? This is your opportunity to be an independent salesperson offering a product with no current competitors. You can become a Kingdom builder by helping us grow Devoted in this way; and you may earn valuable experience in this dynamic market.
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Gospel choir foundation Two young men who were born and raised in the dusty streets of Soshanguve in the north-western part of Tshwane founded Reflex Praise in May 2010. Although the township has a high crime and unemployment rate, the young people got together to do something good for themselves and for the community as a whole.
ebogo Bloss and Thabo Ramaphoko, co-founders and music directors, brought together youths from various churches in Soshanguve to form gospel choirs. Their main objective is to reach out to young people and take them off the streets, away from things like crime, drugs and alcohol abuse. After being turned down by one of the biggest gospel talent competitions, they committed themselves to doing God’s work by spreading and ministering His word through singing. And they have made it as young as they are! The gospel choirs perform at functions like weddings and corporate events, and at churches. They competed in UNISA’s Youth Music Festival in 2011, and were nominated in
the following categories: • Developed category • Gentle Tones Boys’ Choir: Won the Yvonne Chaka-Chaka grand-prize for vocal ensembles. • Ladies in Harmony Girls’ Choir: Won the Jury’s Discretionary Award for vocal Ensembles. • Beginner’s category • Reflex Praise: Won first prize. Reflex Praise had their first live performance in 2010 and they featured some well-known gospel artists like Paul K and Mpho Thosago. Since then, local artists and gospel choirs like the Tshwane Youth Gospel Choir have invited them to participate in their concerts.
Reflex Praise will be hosting a gospel show on 30 August 2014 to worship and minister the word of God to the nation. The show will take place at the student centre hall of the Tshwane University of Technology’s main campus in Soshanguve. Tickets are being sold at R50 for young adults and R100 for adults. To buy tickets please call Tebogo on 076 544 7617. Your support will be highly appreciated. If you would like Reflex Praise to perform at one of your functions, contact the founders: Tebogo Bloss, 076 544 7617 Thabo Ramaphoko, 072 129 0480 Email: email@example.com Physical address: 1290 Block L, Soshanguve, 0152
012 809 0727
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A call for Christians to
stand united By PAULINE SAYERS
Andrew Selley an
Laws are increasingly proposed that make the State, rather than the Bible, the highest authority on what Christians should believe, and how they should act according to those beliefs. Many of these laws subscribe to a secular, liberalist world view and as such are in direct conflict with Christian and family values.
e believe that the Lord is calling all Christians, irrespective of doctrinal differences, to stand together against the ungodly laws threatening to flood our nation, and to stop undue interference with our freedom to believe, preach and live out the full Word of God in its entirety and according to our interpretation of the Bible. While we can disagree with each other, we can agree on this; it is not for the government to tell us what to believe, preach and how to live our lives according to the Word of God,” Andrew Selley from
Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) said. Together with Christian leaders Michael Cassidy and Moss Ntlha (who have joined the leadership of FOR SA), Selley is urgently calling Christian leaders and concerned Christians to make a united stand to keep the voice of the church free to speak the Word of God; and to govern their faith communities without undue legal or government interference. “Join FOR SA and give us your mandate to speak on your behalf in Parliament”, said Selley. “We need the Body of Christ to act
and to rally behind us as we fight for our religious freedom; also to help give us a powerful voice to government to affect change.” “Our hope is that by standing together we can propose amendments to Bills where government will acknowledge the autonomy of the church and uphold freedom of religion, religious expression, and the sanctity of the family.” “We believe that together and with God for us, Christians in South Africa can make a difference – to the glory of God and the good of our nation,” Selley said.
FOR SA (Freedom of Religion South Africa), founded in 2014, is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organisation started by a group of concerned Christian leaders. The organisation works to protect and promote religious freedom in South Africa by serving as a voice for Christians to government and society on issues that affect the autonomy of the church, and the constitutional freedom of Christians FOR SA’s vision is to rally support amongst Christian and religious leaders, as well as concerned members of the public, to create a loud enough voice to be heard and to make a positive impact at government level. For every issue that FOR SA takes on, the organisation’s leadership will have to be in agreement, members will be advised of FOR SA’s position, and members will have the opportunity to comment or indicate on that particular issue if they do not wish to be included in FOR SA’s submissions on the issue. Members will also be able to give feedback. Join FOR SA by signing up electronically on the FOR SA website. By joining FOR SA there is no requirement to assist the organisation in its work or to make a financial contribution, while of course any of these contributions are welcomed. Membership can be withdrawn at any stage.
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a loaded gun
By WIM FOURIE
“Alcohol abuse is the same as handling a loaded gun”, says my friend Philip. This is a statement I tend to agree with, especially when I think back on the fact that I formed part of the alcohol abusers statistics in my younger years. My earthly father (bless his soul) finally went to be with the Lord. However, in my early years of upbringing, he advocated that the more you can outwit your friends at the pub through hustling for beers, the better life would be and the better man you were. No need to say what else accompanied this mentality set at such an early stage of my young life; which later on evolved into a full-fledged addiction for a better part of my teenage life and into my young adult life. South Africa is a “hard-drinking” country. It is estimated that we consume in excess of 5 billion litres of alcohol annually. This figure is likely to be higher still if sorghum beer is included, and equates to 9 to 10 litres of pure alcohol per person. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report released in 2011, this is among the highest per capita consumption rates in the world, and it continues to rise. Another report states that “Alcoholism among youth is a particular concern, given that at least half of SA’s population are categorised as young people, under 35.” Further surveys have shown that alcohol use among our country’s youth is common
and increases with age for both males and females. There is also a tendency of more harmful and frequent binge drinking. It is believed that the reasons for use and abuse of alcohol include peer pressure and a desire to fit in, poor home environment, boredom, ignorance of alcohol’s harmful effects, and the relative cheapness of alcohol products and ease of access to these products. High youth unemployment rates (taking into consideration the classification for youth mentioned above) is without a doubt an exacerbating contributor. And in SA, alcohol can be easily purchased from bottle stores, supermarkets, bars and shebeens and other unlicensed liquor outlets, which outnumber licensed ones. This is particularly the case in disadvantaged communities, which have very little control measures in place, thus opening up avenues for our country’s youth at risk. With this in mind, I believe parents have more influence over their child than friends, music, TV, the Internet and celebrities. However, there is an effective way to explain to your teen why you don’t want him/her to drink alcohol.
Here are a few tips on how to tell them how you feel and what you expect from them, while you remain warm, but firm: • You might say: I’m not trying to ruin your fun. I love you and I want you to stay healthy. The best way to do that is to stay completely away from drugs and alcohol. I need you to promise that you will. • Admit that you realise there’s a lot of temptation out there. Say something like: I know you’re a really smart, strong person. That’s why I expect you to stay clean — no matter what your friends are doing. Agreed? • There’s a lot of new science about teens, drugs and alcohol. Use these statistics to tell your teenager: It scares me to know how easily you could damage your brain or get addicted. I want your word that you’ll steer clear of all that, and keep me in the loop on the kids you hang out with too.
Education Research shows that when parents talk openly about drugs and drinking, children have better self-control and develop more negative perceptions about these risky behaviours. You might ask: Is my teen’s attitude and behaviour normal? The reality is that, from mood swings to risk taking, “normal teenage behaviour” can appear to be anything-but-normal to parents and other bystanders. However, new research reveals that patterns of brain development during these formative years play a significant role in shaping your teen’s personality and actions. You’ve come to the right place if you’re one of the millions of parents who have ever wondered:
For more information visit: Website: http://yada.org.za For assistance call: • Men: 082 558 3863 • Ladies: 082 8355 730 Or e-mail: • E-mail: Men – Contact@YADA.org.za • E-mail: Ladies – Support@YADA.org.za
• “Who is this kid?” • “Why does my teen do that?” • ”What can I do?”
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Back to Basics
Salvation By MIGNIONETTE FAIR
You can’t build a strong house without a strong, basic foundation. Devoted is going back to the basics of Christianity with this new series. We hope to help you build a relationship with God which cannot be shaken; and to help you be more effective in reaching your world for Jesus. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)
o be saved or to be born again means to be saved from sin and saved by Jesus. Everything God created was perfect and man lived in a perfect world and had a perfect relationship with God. Genesis 1:31 says: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” There was no death in the Garden of Eden and man would live with God forever. But God also created man with free will and He gave Adam and Eve the gift of choice. They could eat from any tree in the paradise except one. Sin is defined in the dictionary as “deliberate disobedience to the known will of God” and “a condition of estrangement from God resulting from such disobedience”. In John 10:10 it says: “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy” and that is exactly what the devil did in the Garden of Eden. He stole our right to eternal life with God. Satan deceived Eve and convinced her to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and she convinced Adam to take a bite as well. This choice was their rebellion against God and this one sin brought death into the lives of Adam and Eve and also into
the lives of all their future descendants. Bad news? But there is also good news! God had a plan to save us from death all along. The perfect sacrifice was waiting… Jesus was waiting to save us from eternal death. Ephesians 1:4 puts it so beautifully: “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” For a very long time, sacrifices needed to be made to make atonement for people’s sins. An animal life was given to cover the sin of a human life for a short while. However, there was a sacrifice which would redeem all mankind for all eternity. In John 3:16 the Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” What an amazing God we serve that He would send His Son, and that His Son would willingly come to die for our sins. All this so we can have a perfect relationship with God again. Jesus lived a perfect life on earth, a life free from sin. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17) Jesus was the sacrifice without a blemish.
He was the Lamb whose blood could make atonement for all our sins for all time. But He is also the Lion who was raised from the grave by His Father and lives forever to bridge the gap between us, as sinners, and our perfect God. Hebrews 7:25 confirms this: “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Salvation comes through one Name alone…the Name of Jesus. In John 14:6 the Bible says “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.” So what do you need to do to receive this free gift of salvation? The Bible says you need to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. As easy as that! (Romans 10:9-10) To be saved by Jesus from a life of eternal death and condemnation is a wonderful thing. Allow Jesus to come into your heart and take away the sin and shame and allow Him to love on you. Then you will truly know what it is to be saved and you will not be able to stop telling your world about Him.
Back to Basics
This is what it means to be born again • • • • • •
• • • •
You live free from condemnation – Romans 8:1 – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” You have a perfect relationship with God and you have eternal life through Him – Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” You are a new creation – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things are made new.” You have the Holy Spirit living inside you – Acts 2:4 – “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” You are forgiven – Ephesians 1:7 – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” You have resurrection power inside of you – Ephesians 1:18-20 – “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” You are dead to sin – Romans 6:1 – “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” God has a plan for your life – Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” You have been blessed by God – Ephesians 1:3 – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” You are loved by God - Zephaniah 3:17 – “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
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the island of many churches “And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita (Malta). And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.” (Acts 28: 1-2)
am a strong believer in “travelling with a purpose”. In recent years I started to travel with the purpose of following Christian roots in the countries I visit. I was especially privileged to visit countries where I could walk in the footsteps of Apostle Paul, a man whose conversion to Christianity was nothing short of a miracle. The verse at the beginning of this article was the piece I read on the first day I visited Malta in 2011. For me this was significant and an indication of what I could expect. However, I did not find the Maltese people barbarous at all, and they showed me much kindness! Known also as the Island of Churches due to the many churches on the small island, Malta and religion are often mentioned in the same sentence today. And it is not only because of its many - and beautiful churches. This small Mediterranean island is a predominant Roman Catholic apostolic
religious country and its constitution makes provision for freedom of religion. However, over the years it was not completely free from other religious influences. Malta became part of the Roman Empire during the Second Punic War in 218 BC; and it was during this period of Roman rule that the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked in AD60, on his way to his trial and martyrdom in Rome (read introduction above). It is said that it was Paul who brought Christianity to Malta. The Islands of St Paul (also known as St Paul’s Islets) are believed to be the site where he was shipwrecked. It is suggested that Publius, the Roman Governor of Malta, converted to Christianity and became the first Bishop of Malta. He ruled the Maltese church for 31 years. Malta is the home of the legendary Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, also known as the Knights Hospitallers or Knights of Malta. They ruled Malta from 1530 until 1798. The knights were united under one creed - Christianity.
They were a priestly knighthood dedicated to hospitalising and fighting the enemies of Christ. The knights saw the Islamic religion as the enemy of Christ and they fought to preserve the very faith which the Apostle Paul introduced to the island. In 1565 they fought under the Grandmaster Jean Parisot de Valetta and defeated the Muslims (sent by Suleiman the Magnificent) during, what is known today as the “Siege of Malta”. They built beautiful churches, palaces and auberges most of which can still be seen today. Today there is an estimated 365 (some documents record more, and some less) churches in Malta and Gozo, the adjacent island, and the church density is a little more than one church for every kilometer. If visiting beautiful churches is your thing, you can visit a church in the small island state of Malta (and Gozo) for every day of the year. The domes and steeples can be seen from across the island. The churches are beautifully decorated inside with
countless murals, paintings worth millions and other priceless ornaments and artefacts. But, Malta is more than its churches. Its written history began well before the Christian era. Its rich (and sometimes turbulent) history can be traced back to the fourth millennium BC. The many historical sites reveal much of the history. It is a great place to visit for a number of reasons. Malta also attracts tourists with its beautiful beaches and pristine waters whether one likes to swim in the deep sea or bathe in shallow waters. Scuba diving around the Maltese islands is a popular activity and so are harbour cruises for sightseeing. The island is blessed with fine year-round weather and the clean promenades are excellent for strolls â€“ and it is safe. Its natural beauty, but also its high concentration of cultural history, historic sites and Neolithic temples makes it interesting for tourists from all over the world. Heritage Malta consists of a variety of temples, archaeological sites (also from the Bronze Age
Destination and Phoenician and Roman periods) as well as historical buildings, of which the Hypogeum and temples are designated UNESCO heritage sites. Malta also has many late Roman and Byzantine burial sites. The St Pauls’ and St Agatha’s Catacombs (in Rabat), featuring Christian tombs, paintings and underground chapels, are fascinating and date back to the fourth to ninth centuries AD. Yes, Malta has so much to enjoy on so many levels. Its cuisine is much like Sicilian cuisine but you will find traditional English dishes everywhere. The speciality is stewed rabbit, but I must admit that I could not bring myself to eat it. The markets are definitely worth visiting for a peek into daily Maltese life. This is where locals come to stock up on fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and spices. It is particularly vibrant on Saturdays, but we found a number of smaller markets with fresh fruit, vegetables and freshly caught fish – enough to keep us going on a low budget! The small size of the island makes it relatively easy to get around and it can be done in many ways. The public bus services serve the major tourist areas and are rather inexpensive and quite efficient. There are Malta sightseeing buses everywhere and so are boat taxis. I did a lot of walking, which helped for the over-eating part on the delicious pastries and ice-creams that can be found on almost every corner. Malta lies south of the Island of Sicily (Italy), between Africa and Europe. It is a member of the Schengen Agreement. It is not a familiar tourist destination for South Africans. However, I think now is the time to consider this marvellous destination for an inexpensive experience you will never forget!
We prefer to stay at the Christian guest house in Marsaskala, Malta. Visit www.christianguesthousemalta.com
Visit: www.quddies.com.mt/churches to read more about Malta’s churches or www.visitmalta.com for places to see and visit.
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Victorious with Vicki
Facing life with
By VICKI FOURIE
How I wish we could face our everyday struggles with the same courage and determination like the horse does. Life tends to catch us off-guard, just when we least expect it. We keep showing up unprepared. In the end, we struggle to weather life’s storms. Most of the time, we give up even before the war starts...
hen we ask ourselves, “How come I wasn’t better prepared?” In the summer of November 2003 – when I was 14 years old – a friend accidentally shot me in my left arm. While lying in the hospital in an utter state of shock, I thought, “What on earth just happened to me?” Little did I know my body was a fighter. By the grace of God, I survived this traumatic ordeal, despite narrowly escaping death, amputation, or paralysation. After this event took place, I had unanswerable questions racing through my mind. Why did this happen? To me out of all my friends? Why me? Why am I still alive? At times I even thought I would’ve been better off dead... It took me more than a year to get out of the horrible depression that had engulfed and overwhelmed me. One day, I realised that these things do happen. We all have our own struggles and challenges. That’s life. One important thing I learned after this ordeal was that even though my circumstances and events may change, it cannot take the following thing away from me: My choice on how to react to it. From that day on I decided to be positive. Life is full of choices, and having a positive attitude doesn’t just fall into one’s lap – you need to make a choice to practice this attitude in life. It’s like a muscle: at first it’s not that easy, but with time it becomes easier and then one wonders, “Why did I ever doubt myself?” Your circumstances and past do not need to define you. I believe South Africa has many opportunities. Every time I see horses fighting in battles onscreen, I can almost see the unswerving bravery in their eyes. It’s as if they’re saying, “Do your worst, for I will do mine!” In The Message bible (Job 39:19-25), Job once again questions God. He rightly wonders why his life turned out to be one big mess. Guess what? There’s a whole passage where God replies by describing the horse – simply at its best:
“Are you the one who gave the horse his prowess and adorned him with a shimmering mane? Did you create him to prance proudly and strike terror with his royal snorts? He paws the ground fiercely, eager and spirited, then charges into the fray. He laughs at danger, fearless, doesn’t shy away from the sword. The banging and clanging of quiver and lance don’t faze him. He quivers with excitement, and at the trumpet blast races off at a gallop. At the sound of the trumpet he neighs mightily, smelling the excitement of battle from a long way off, catching the rolling thunder of the war cries.”
There are some people who wallow in self-pity and bitterness, and that will not bring you very far in life... Stop complaining – you are alive, and your disability and/or circumstances is nothing compared to what you have – the gift of life. The world doesn’t owe you a thing – it’s your responsibility to make something of your life. You can be just like the horse every time you stare life in the face – strike with terror, laugh at danger and race off at a gallop! I’ve already run plenty of races, and there’s more to come. Like the horse, I can now face it with the determination and courage that I lacked before.
How will you run your race? 32
- the Servants of God! By DISEBO PESA
The Word of God teaches us that laying foundations is the first plan and God’s design to building something great. This is an affirmation that nothing can stand firm if the foundation is not well laid. Proverbs 22:6 holds a testimony to this truth: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This Bible principle goes a long way in instilling the right moral values in a child. The responsibility of prospective parents, grandparents, relatives, and anyone else who has a heart for children, lies in the first word of the abovementioned scripture - train. But before we get to that, we must consider the way training will take place. Bringing up children to follow the correct way early in life will ensure that when they are old, they will not follow worldly standards. We should not only train them to be saved, but also to be planted as committed servants in the house of God. Training is necessary if they are to know the Bible, if they are to get answers to their prayers and if they are going to be soul winners and populate God’s Kingdom. We spoke to some of our Kingdom youth who shared their testimonies with us. Their lives are moving from glory to glory and they gain strength in following Jesus. Their lives continue to unfold in dynamic ways. The wonderful testimonies we heard from Anouchka, Kelly and Dietrich below are proof that our lives will be better, will continue to be renewed and lifted up when we welcome Jesus as the Lord and Saviour of our lives. We encourage all our youth who are planted in the house of God to be committed servants and then to see their lives change! Please let us know if these testimonies made a difference in your life and impacted your soul.
I build a relationship with God
Anouchka van der Walt is a devoted member of Christian Revival Church (CRC). She is currently the coordinator of a home cell structure. She is employed as a registered industrial engineer through which she makes a living. Q1: Anouchka, did you grow up with the Lord or did you meet Jesus later in life? A1: I am very privileged to say that I grew up in a Christian family who knows and loves the Lord. Although our upbringing had the right ingredients of being a Christian and living for and loving God, my faith was only on a religious level. I started to know God and build a relationship with Him when I moved to Pretoria to start my exhilarating new life as a student. I remember I was busy studying for Chemistry in my first year as an engineering student, when I had the amazing breakthrough of what a righteous path and relationship with God actually means. This relationship gave me the unique ability to think and reason, to get knowledge and to make decisions based on that knowledge from God. Through very difficult times while studying, the only thing I had to keep me going and carry me through was God’s
hand leading and guiding me, picking me up when I just couldn’t anymore. Through many late nights and difficult times, I finally graduated with only the help and guidance of our amazing Lord Jesus Christ! Q2: How have you experienced the grace of God that found you and made you His possession? And why is it important to grow with Jesus as the centre (foundation) of one’s life? A2: God is love. When God grants His grace, it is rooted in and flows from His love. Whenever He extends mercy and forgiveness; favour and blessing; and kindness, it is by His grace. God always works in mysterious ways. Those times when you think you are alone and the burden is too heavy to carry, He is wonderfully working His ways in your life, shaping you and bringing you to your knees. Finding yourself in tough times while studying could never beat the fear and helplessness you feel when someone close to you gets diagnosed with a threatening disease. My sister, who is my best friend, was diagnosed three years ago with Wegener’s Granulomatosis disease. My heart shattered at the thought of my sister maybe not surviving this autoimmune disease. Although the first year of her illness was very difficult for her and my family, God took me out of the situation. It made me strong so I could lead the family and pray with them; at the same time still reaching out to people. This is something I had never done before. God used me, found me, and made me His possession through the toughest time I ever had to face. My sister got to a point where she was too weak to walk. I remember walking up the stairs to my room the one day when I
Kingdom Youth suddenly stopped, sobbing and angry. I looked up to God and said: “God, my sister had enough, heal her in Jesus’ name”. It wasn’t the first time I prayed for her healing, but that time I believed and solemnly trusted Him for His grace. The next day my mother phoned me, I could hear the smile, excitement and relief in her voice when she told me that my sister was dancing. Dancing? Only by God’s grace! In His most wonderful way I experienced His love and grace for myself and everyone around me. How awesome is our God! Once you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Saviour and begin to engage in regular prayer and Bible reading; and when you are planted in a local church, it is important to develop a deeper, personal relationship with Christ. You have to make Him the centre and foundation of your life. Q3: What does serving the Lord mean and how do you do it? How would you encourage more young people to do the same? A3: I trust, moment-by-moment, that what I need in serving Him, He
Available to be used by God
Kelly Leola is a final year medical student. She has served in various church ministries within CRC since 2010. Kelly has been on the counselling team, hospital ministry and has led the teen ministry. She has been singing in the church choir for three years to date. Q1: Kelly, did you grow up with the Lord or did you meet Jesus later in life? A1: I grew up in a Christian family in Pretoria. My whole family and I went to church every Sunday, but we lacked a true understanding of walking with Jesus and having a relationship with Him. I did seek God when I was growing up, but I did not have an understanding of receiving salvation and seeking God’s will in my life. In 2009, when I started the first year of my studies, a friend of mine invited me to attend a service at CRC Pretoria. I invited Jesus into my life and immediately became a member of the church and continued my walk with Christ, fellowshipping with other students within the church. Since then, it took approximately two years for my parents, brother and sister to also join and serve in the church, because we all started to see changes in each other’s lives and a spiritual rebirth in our relationship with God.
Live your life for God Dietrich von Staden has been an altar worker in CRC for five years now. He is a second year student at CRC Bible School which he says is a great foundation for every Christian. He feels that to study the Word is the best investment anyone can make. Dietrich also has his own IT Company. Q1: Dietrich, did you grow up with the Lord or did you meet Jesus later in life? A1: I grew up in Pretoria in a community where going to church and Sunday school was a normal thing to do on Sundays. I was raised
will supply (life, breath, and everything). This is the opposite of being anxious. Such serving brings happiness. And it makes God look no less authoritative, but infinitely more desirable. Therefore, “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2). I serve Him through my daily routines, in the office, at a client, in the car and how I handle myself in front of people everywhere. I serve Him by giving without asking anything back and comforting the people that are hurting. Trusting Him with every step I take and making sure that what I need to do is according to His plan for me. Human nature prefers to be served rather than to serve. Yet, something amazing happens when you reach out to serve another person. It is a strange, but remarkable feeling of fulfilment that washes over you after you have served someone else. This is especially so for someone who has Jesus living in him or her; because it reflects the nature of Jesus to lay down one’s life for others (John 15:13). Through time, though God’s people often forgot Him, God didn’t forget them. He kept His word. God didn’t give up. He never gives up.
Q2: How have you experienced the grace of God that found you and made you His possession? And why is it important to grow with Jesus as the centre (foundation) of one’s life? A2: I have experienced God’s favour in placing me where I need to be at all times; and by His grace I’m surrounded by amazing leaders within the church. I have gotten to my final year of studying medicine. I received a financial breakthrough while I was studying and I have built God-fearing friendships from attending cell groups, church conferences and being involved in the music ministry at church. Q3: What does serving the Lord mean and how do you do it? How would you encourage more young people to do the same? A3: Serving the Lord means to be available to be used by God in our daily lives. It also means to be an ambassador for the Kingdom in our schools, universities and communities; and also to our peers and the people we meet. Being a servant also means being active in uplifting the church, so that we’re not only partakers in church, but getting involved in making God’s house a place of worship. It is so easy to do that in CRC because there are so many ministries where we can get involved. I am grateful to be under the leadership of Ps At & Ps Nyretta Boshoff, because within CRC there is a challenge to all of us to bring the Gospel to the people around us. I would like to encourage young people to get involved in church and to get excited about where God has placed them. Everyone is unique in their talents, dreams and ambitions and in Matthew 28:18 we are called to reach out and spread the Word of God wherever we are. There is no better place to cultivate our future as a youth in this beautiful country of ours, than being in the church and realising that we wake up with a purpose every morning.
by both parents together with my two siblings, a brother and sister. I am the eldest of the three children. I would say we were a happy, small family. Early in my high school years, as I was going through my teenage phase, my friends and I started experimenting with cigarettes and it soon became a stronger substance, until it reached the alcohol abuse stage. I discovered that pornography was a norm for high school boys. Like everyone else, I joined “the club”. At the age of 17, my parents got divorced and I didn’t really know how to handle the situation. I started going out with friends to clubs on weeknights and lost focus of school and reality. All I wanted was to have a good time, all the time. I was the kind of guy that went to bed last, because I was afraid I would miss out on something exciting. People enjoyed my company and I was usually the centre of attention and I loved every minute of it. It gave me an identity of who I thought I was. I felt good and it gave me some form of pride. In my matric year, things started to get out of hand as I drove under the influence of alcohol the one night and crashed the car my mom gave me. My mother took care of that car for 14 years and
Kingdom Youth I destroyed it in only a few months. Even after that incident I would go out with my friends two or three times a week, including school nights. That resulted in me being absent from school for most days. One event I will never forget was somewhere in my matric year, when a teacher called me to his office and he told me that I would not pass that year, nor make something of my life. At that time his words didn’t mean much to me, but what I didn’t realise was that what he said got stuck with me like a label. When the results were released at the end of that year, I was not surprised that my name was not in the newspaper. I knew I was going to fail, for I only studied for an hour for the whole final exam. The following year I got some sense and decided to rewrite the two subjects I needed to get my matric certificate. The second time around, I did put study time in and got the certificate. Finally, the good news! After completing school I had no idea of what I wanted to do with my life. I had no purpose. All I wanted was to have a good time with my friends and possibly meet a girl who would make me happy; or so I thought. I longed for someone to love me. Someone who could fill the void that was within me. I started going out more and more and the drinking came along with it. Some nights I would even go out alone and make new friends. I still remember how Sundays used to be my depressing days. Sundays were for huge hangovers in my opinion. I stopped going to church when I was about 14 years old, so there was no joy to my Sundays. Although my life was in a mess, I was surrounded by friends and family that I love and respect. It was no one’s fault but my own that my life was a mess. One day I was sitting with my friend when he said to me, “You know, if you would only live your life for God, you would do great things for Him.” Only later in my life I realised that this one sentence was a seed sown into my heart that started to change the course of my life for the better. In 2008 I started sinking into a dark place. I could feel my body not being able to take it anymore; and I realised that I had a drinking problem. I felt like a failure with no hope for the future. I thought that I had messed up too much and too many times in life to deserve anything good. I knew I was a sinner and I felt that if God was real, He would never forgive me. I felt so low that I didn’t want to live anymore. Suicidal thoughts sometimes crossed my mind. All I thought I was good for was to entertain people in bars and clubs with my personality. I was a lost young man. On 19 July 2008, I went to a conference called Loftus vir Jesus (Loftus for Jesus) hosted by Angus Buchan. That day I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Angus talked about Jesus in a way I had never heard it before. It felt like Jesus was there among us with the most warming presence. You could feel the love of God in the atmosphere. Angus Buchan gave opportunity for people to give their lives to Christ and that moment I decided that I had had enough of my life. I had enough of trying to live life with my own strength. I told God at that moment that I was naked before Him and He should take my whole life and lead me. After saying that prayer, I remember the weight of depression leaving me. Never in my life have I felt so pure. I felt holy and my hope of the future was immediately restored. I was overwhelmed with the fact that I was accepted with all my sins and flaws. I felt forgiven because of Jesus and it felt so good. From that day on I wanted to know God more and more. A few months later, I was invited to CRC and I felt that God wanted me to be planted in this church. Two weeks after I joined CRC, I was baptised in water. It was one of the pinnacle moments of my life. The next day I remember asking God what He expects from me as I now belonged to Him completely. The Bible says that God is my provider and I reminded God of that scripture and said to Him that I needed purpose, which was to get a job. A few hours after praying that
prayer my phone rang; and I was invited to an interview at a private school for the position as a sport organiser. I was in awe! Needless to say that I got the job and the Lord provided, like He promised. I enjoyed working at the school, but I knew that it was temporary and that I had a different passion. After working at the school for three months, I started praying to God about my purpose and whether I should do full time ministry or going into business. A few weeks passed by and I got another call from a man who was the husband of one of the teachers at school. He called me for an interview at a big IT company. The only computer background I had was what I learned by myself over the years. I got the job and my salary was tripled. What amazes me was the fact that the only thing I was good at was working with computers and people and God gave me a job in that field. I knew God was in control as I saw my purpose unfold little-by-little. I learned to never underestimate the day of small beginnings, because the doorway to my own company was through the little private school where God placed me. I learned that one has to be faithful over little in order to be ruler over much. After working for the IT company for more than a year, I got a vision from God one morning on my way to church. I saw a computer support company car and I just felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me saying, “Start a company like that”. At that time I wasn’t sure if it was God or only my imagination. As months went by, I forgot about the vision until one evening I went to help a friend from work with their computer. As I drove home, I stopped at my aunt’s guesthouse just to greet her. We had coffee and she asked me if I could help them with their computers and Internet problems at their guesthouses. As she said it, the vision of my own company came back and I knew God was confirming the vision. In January 2011 I resigned from my job and my company gave me the favour of only working half days for a full month so I could work on my new company. That was God’s favour right there. Today I am blessed to say that my company Just Plain IT is going from strength to strength and we see the Lord’s favour year after year. We started employing people on a full-time basis, which is an honour for me to do. Q2: How have you experienced the grace of God that found you and made you His possession? And why is it important to grow with Jesus as the centre (foundation) of one’s life? A2: I am amazed by God’s grace in my life and the longer I walk this journey, the more I realise how dependant I am on His grace - every second, each day. My relationship with Jesus is something I need to prioritise in my life, because if I lose that, I lose everything. Q3: What does serving the Lord mean and how do you do it? How would you encourage more young people to do the same? A3: I believe every believer needs to be a servant. That is the example Jesus set for all of us. I am involved at church as an altar worker. We pray for the people who get saved on Sundays at church and we answer questions they might have. I use my business to finance a “need” that God puts in my heart. At the moment we help feed children in South Africa. I believe that when your business has a cause bigger than yourself, you will succeed. It gives me purpose to go to work every day, because I know I am making a difference in someone’s life. Home cell is another way of serving people. I am a home cell leader and I try to care for the people who attend my home cell. It’s like family. When someone is going through a tough time, we make sure we are there for them and we help where we can.
To share your own testimony, contact Disebo Pesa directly - Young person, you were designed by God for this time. Win the lost at any cost as Christ won us! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • Cell: 0834306026 www.devotedmag.co.za
By JOHAN TERBLANCHE
ne Sunday my mother was admitted to hospital. When we went to visit her I met my brother in the parking lot. Since he visited my mother earlier during the day I followed him thinking that he will know the way. We went in through the main doors, got into the elevator and went to the third door. My brother walked in front and we followed. We went down the passage and at the end of that passage we turned left. After a while we all realised that something was wrong, for all we found were men lying in the beds, not a single woman! We turned around and went the other way and after going through another door we found the women’s ward, and my mother. So, what went wrong? Instead of turning right, my brother went left and since we all
followed him, we all ended up in the wrong place. Often in life, we go through something similar. Many times we follow a wrong person and end up in the wrong places. When we follow friends, who do not serve God, get advice from strange sources, follow any book other than the Bible or listen to what the world says, we are led the wrong way. For us to end life’s journey successfully, for us to become what God wants us to be or for us to enter God’s kingdom, we need to follow a leader who knows the way. Luckily we do not have to look far and wide because Jesus Christ does not just know the way, He became the way. He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6)
Colour me in
Jesus is saying to us today: “Follow me”. And if we do this, He will show us the way. And we will also remain in the house of the Lord, forever and ever.
Turning your business around By FERGUS FERGUSON
As a business owner have you asked yourself why you are in business? The answer is likely to be most of the following: • • • •
I want to be my own boss; I want to control what I earn; Ideally I would like my business to run without me giving me a passive income; Eventually I want to sell my business (or part thereof ) and reinvest my money into something else.
It is common knowledge that you will never make as much money running a business as selling it and if you could do it with one business, you can repeat it with a second business. The question is how do I prepare my business for sale so I can sell it for a healthy sum? After many years of study and 29 years of business experience, I have come across some guiding principles on how to prepare a business for sale. 1. It is all about mindset – Gone are the days of having a job for life, or one business for generations. With every change in technology, politics, markets, law, social interest, fashion and other external factor, someone gets rich! It might as well be you. Success is an acquired skill – if you are going to work hard, you might as well get rich in the process.
2. Where does money come from? From other people of course. Demand and supply as macro-economic factors determine price, but how much of the slice is yours, depends on • YOUR value proposition – or how good you are in your business. • YOUR quantity supplied – how much of the product or service you deliver. 3. Timing is everything – Matching your product with the needs of the current market. Being too late or too early with your product can put your business under severe stress. You need to learn how to gauge and time the market, when to get in and when to get out. 4. Systemise – A business system is a repeatable process that produces turnover and profit – consistently. If your business is not consistently delivering a turnover and profit, you have a hobby. Often, businesses do well until they expand. That’s when the systems can’t cope with the increased volume. For this reason, Destination
Mastery, Financial Mastery, Time Mastery and Delivery Mastery should be obtained prior to an aggressive marketing campaign. If you are the major ‘cog’ in the machine, you will be the major ‘clog’ too. 5. Duplicate – When it works, duplicate it. Establish how to get your product or service in the hands of the largest number of people in the shortest time possible. Duplication is a way to increase the quantity of the value you deliver leading to an increase in income. 6. Leverage – Doing more with less. The focus is on how to do it better. I coach my clients to use different tactics and strategies to work smarter instead of harder providing business owners with value while they sleep. 7. Team – Most of the time and energy in business are used to grow, direct, motivate and retain the team. They are the ones who have to run your business the same way you would.
Fergus Ferguson is a franchisee of the global business coaching company – ActionCOACH. He is an accredited business coach who assists business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills. Main: +27 12 460 9769 • Mobile: +27 82 650 0867 • Email: email@example.com
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Taking up your
cross BY GILLIAN LOMBARD
“To deny ourselves means to turn from the sins we delight in and obey Jesus and His principles. “If anyone desires to come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24)
esus’ pure and holy life had to be given up before He could receive it again and make us partakers of it. It cost Christ His life to conquer sin and Satan to gain the risen life. The need of self-sacrifice was described by Jesus as the law of the Kingdom as well as for His followers. There is a price to pay to follow Jesus. It is to no longer desire whatever appears to be in your best interest, but to desire to fulfill the will of God. It is to focus on God’s heart and not on our own lives. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” The importance of the cross is that it is the power of God; it is a symbol of reconciliation between man and God. It is a confirmation that God forgave all our sins. The cross is our title to life. Through it we become partakers of Christ’s death and die with Christ, but we get to share in His resurrection. We are to look at the cross and see ourselves hanging there, dying to our old life and becoming alive in a new life. It was not only our sins that were nailed to the cross, it was ourselves. When Jesus died, we were crucified and buried with Him. When He rose we rose in Him. God gave us life in Him. In Matthew 10:38 Jesus says: “Whoever does not take his cross and follow is not worthy of Me”. Jesus desires intense dedication from His followers. He calls us to deny ourselves, have complete loyalty and follow Him whole-heartedly. To take up your cross and follow Jesus means that you will be willing to publicly identify with Him, face opposition and even suffer for His sake.
Those who embrace the cross trust that Jesus is faithful, just and a loving master. There are three conditions laid down which must be fulfilled by a loyal follower of Jesus. The first is self-denial, where we should cease to make ourselves the object of our life. The second demand is willingness to suffer and to be obedient for the Lord’s sake. The third condition is to maintain a continuous relationship with Jesus. There are sometimes things in our lives which we need to give up. The Kingdom of God is a matter of giving and receiving – give up something – receive more fullness from Jesus. Sacrifice is an act of giving up something one values for the sake of something that is of greater importance. In Philippians 3:7 Paul said: “I consider everything rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him”. We also have to learn to give up self-righteousness. We must learn to refuse our self or fleshly desires taking any place or having any right in the service of God. (Self-righteousness is when we are certain that what we do in our own strength is correct.) The message of Jesus is that we have to die to follow Him. We need to choose who we will serve: ourselves or Jesus. Sacrificing for Jesus can change our lives from lives of wandering and failure, to lives of blessing and power. The power of Jesus and His presence in our lives will make it a joy to cast out all which was most precious in our lives. Jesus even gives us a reward. Mark 10:29 states: “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for Me, and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age and in the age to come, eternal life.”
God expects self-sacrifice from us. Sacrifice also entails dedicating ourselves to do what is pleasing to God even when it causes our flesh discomfort. Following Jesus comes with a great cost and often sacrifice. You could lose your friends, become unpopular and even need to lay down some treasured habits. However, the rewards of earning eternal happiness in the long run far outweigh any sacrifices on earth. God’s love is the cross of Jesus by which man can be forgiven and cleansed. The love of God sent Jesus to the cross. “I live yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” This should be the testimony of each one of us who has found what it is to give up his own life and to receive the blessed life of Christ in us. As our flesh learns to be subject to the law of God and surrenders all of that which is its old nature, then only the life of God will be manifested in us with power. When we die to ourselves and put our life in His hands, it will become a lot easier to let go of our dreams, our plans and our way of doing things and trust Jesus by embracing His way.
Luke 9:23 and 24 - If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. Luke 14:27 - Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be my disciple.
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The choice is
By JPRINCE V
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19
hoices are extremely important. You don’t have a choice but to always make a choice in life. No matter the state of your life at the moment, it is the result of the choices you have made in the past. This is because the quality of your choices will determine the quality of your life. Maybe you blame people, family, your environment or God for certain setbacks in
your life. But know this; a man’s life is made up and built by the choices he makes. You cannot plant a banana seed and expect apples to grow. In the book of Proverbs 21:16 it says “death is waiting for anyone who wanders away from good sense.” No matter how hard it is to do the right thing, it is all worth it; because in the end it will produce life. The word of God teaches us the right path to walk on, and if we walk
on it, we will be choosing life and not death - blessings and not curses. Be a man or woman of good choices. Choose your words, choose what to watch, choose who you hang out with, choose the places you go to. Be careful not to choose things that lead to death and not life. Add value to your life by starting to make the right choices today. Love your life.
Ideally situated in Pretoria East
Hazeldean is a 900 ha nodal development in the booming Pretoria East region. It is an eco-friendly secure suburban precinct with schools, office parks, shopping centres and more. A variety of residential developments will leave you spoilt for choice...
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EXCITE MENT IS BUILD ING NOW OPEN
The bigger, fresher Woolworths Hazeldean will offer you a whole lot more. More freshness in our new in-store bakery; more flavour at our new butchery and fishmonger; more choice in our grocery aisles; more convenience with hot food from our kitchen; more to taste (and enjoy) at our new coffee pod and more savings with great opening specials. So stop in and see what all the excitement is about!
WOOLWORTHS HAZELDEAN Hazeldean Shopping Centre, Silver Lakes Road, Tijger Vallei, Pretoria WE’RE OPEN: Mon. to Sat. 8am - 8pm; Sun. 9am - 6pm; Public Holidays 9am - 5pm
Woolworths Financial Services (Pty) Ltd (Reg. No. 2000/009327/07) An authorised financial services and registered credit provider – NCRCP 49. Up-Front Investments 132 (Pty) Ltd (Reg. No. 2000/003242/07) is a registered credit provider – NCRCP 2901.
Published on Jun 30, 2014