or God is not unrighteous to forget your labour and the love which you have shown for His name's sake in ministering to the needs of the saints. But we do [strongly and earnestly] desire for each of you to show the same diligence in realizing and enjoying the full assurance and development of [your] hope until the end; in order that you may not become slothful, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith and patient endurance are [now] inheriting the promises (Hebrews 6:10-12 amplified). God's will and desire for your life comes in the form of a promise. This promise is packaged as a 'seed' which He plants in the hearts of each and every one of us. Evidence of this seed is the vision and calling that is tugging on our hearts to achieve something great. It is the one thing that we must achieve before we die. It is the thing that would make all the difference to our lives and the lives of others and bring us to a place of total fulfilment. In the opening text, Paul makes an important distinction between our labour of love in ministering to the needs of others and realizing the promises of God for our lives. The willingness to serve is the prerequisite to becoming a leader in your own right. It is important to submit under the leadership of others and aid in realizing their vision. However there comes a time when you must answer the call of your own vision and pursue it with all diligence. Our prime responsibility is to discover, develop and deploy the gift that God has given to us. We do not have the right to just bury our gift as the lazy steward did in Jesus' parable of the talents (Matthew 25:24-30). So how do we manifest the promise of God for our lives? According to Paul it is through faith and patience. Let us look at these two aspects in more detail:
THE DYNAMICS OF FAITH
Arguably the most concise illustration that Jesus gave on the dynamics of faith is the parable of the sower. In this parable the word of the Kingdom (represented by seeds) is sowed and scattered across four types of surface conditions: the wayside, stony or shallow ground, thorns and good soil (all represented by different types of heart conditions). It is only in the good soil that the seed is able to take root and bring forth fruit. What we are seeing here is the synergy that takes place between mind (heart) and spirit. Jesus said "the words that I speak unto you are spirit and life" (John 6:63). Words are more than a form of communication, they are spiritual containers! Spirit is in essence life (or a life force), therefore words (especially God's word) are full of life. Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to 'keep and guard our hearts with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life.' It is through the heart (mind) where manifestation of God's word for our lives
any given situation. When your psychology is in agreement with God's word there is nothing you will not be able to achieve! That is why the most effective people on the planet are those who are able to combine theology (spiritual) with psychology (natural). This model for success can be found in the work of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, an ordained minister and Pastor who blended psychotherapy with theology. A prolific writer, his highly acclaimed book 'The Power of Positive Thinking' (a phenomenal best-seller written over 50 years ago) still impacts millions today. Over the past generation the church has experience unprecedented growth due to the shift in preaching psychology as well as theology.
take place. All the issues of our lives stem from and are determined by the condition of our heart. Your heart is the control centre of your world! Your heart is the incubator of God's word. Spirit and mind are designed to work together, not in isolation. That is why James declares "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). There must always be a natural correlation to spiritual pursuits. To put it another way, your actions must be congruent with your faith. That is why 'belief' is the key element of faith, because all of your actions stem from what you believe. That being the case your 'psychology' is also critical to your faith as it is fundamental to your beliefs. Your psychology (to put it simply) is the combination of your rules, values and attitude to
Taking all this into account, the dynamics of faith boils down to taking a seed (in the form of a word from God that addresses our need) and planting it in our hearts where it will take root and grow until we see the manifestation. The soil of your heart must contain nutrients conducive to the growth of that seed. These nutrients come in the form of corresponding beliefs, knowledge, principles and values; all of the things that make up your psychology. To ensure the right nutrients are present you must water your heart with God's word and information conducive with what you want to manifest in your life. THE NEED FOR PATIENCE
The dynamics of faith is liken unto the process of germination. Germination is the growth of an embryonic plant contained within a seed. The things that God has promised for your life will come as a result of germination in your heart. Germination is dependent on both internal and external conditions. Therefore in order for germination to take place the right
MANIFESTING THE PROMISE
“the nature of your seed determines the beauty of the soil” environment must be present. This is why germination does not happen immediately. It only happens after a period of dormancy. This period is known as seed dormancy. The length of dormancy is dependent upon the nature of the seed and the
“When your environment becomes conducive to the character of your seed, it induces germination”
environment it requires. Different variety of seeds require distinctive variables for successful germination; some seeds germinate while the soil is cold, while most germinate while the soil is warm. Some seed require light and others require darkness. It all depends on the individual seed and its nature. In like manner your time of manifestation is dependent on the nature of your purpose. The conditions that worked for someone else may not necessarily work for you. Depending on the nature of your purpose you may have to go through a period of darkness while others need light. Like a cactus, you may flourish in hostile conditions where others cannot. Places and activities that are questionable to others maybe
totally necessary for you. When your environment becomes conducive to the character of your seed, it induces germination. This is called the dormancy release factor. The dormancy release factor removes all the 'barriers' that prevents germination. As previously mentioned, the seed (word), in Jesus' parable of the sower, only flourished in good soil. It is interesting to note that the Greek word used for good is kalos which primarily means 'beautiful.' It has nothing to do with benevolence! Beauty is a relative term (beauty is in the eye of the beholder); what is beautiful to one, maybe repulsive to another. Therefore only the seed can determine the beauty of the soil. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God makes everything beautiful in His time. Never think God's delays are His denials. He is working on your heart and your environment to bring you to your place and time of beauty. It is in your time of beauty that you will see the manifestation of God's promise. This takes time and patience. The barriers that are before you, the things that are hindering your success may have more to do with your environment than your behaviour! What you need is the dormancy release factor to break down the barriers. Consider the environment you are in right now. This maybe your job,your social setting or even the country you live in. These factors and many more can stifle your growth. Your place of beauty maybe in your own business rather than a job. Your place of beauty maybe in another country. Your place of beauty maybe with someone or without. Maybe you should be an actress instead of an accountant, a musician instead of a lawyer. Remember it is the nature of your seed that determines the beauty of your soil and the environment; not the opinion of others!
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Your Heart Matters By Angela Tella BSc,
Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Consultant
healthy diet which has been proven to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels, both well known risk factors for developing heart disease. Some practical ways of doing this are:
• Eat more fruit and vegetables Aim for the recommended 5 portions daily.
• Eat oily fish
such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and pilchards at least once a week. Oily fish contain omega-3 fats which are important to heart health. Omega-3 fats can also be found naturally in walnuts, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, and are added to some brands of yoghurt, milk, eggs and even fish fingers.
• Prioritize and learn to say ‘no’. What’s important and what’s urgent? Realize that saying ‘yes’ to this in effect means saying ‘no’ to that. Besides, you only have 24 hours in any given day…
• Watch fat intake. Replace saturated fats like coconut oil and animal fat (lard, ghee) with better quality fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats e.g. olive, rapeseed, sunflower, soya and groundnut oils. Also choose lower fat dairy products.
• Limit salt intake
as too much salt increases blood pressure levels. About 75% of salt intake is from processed and manufactured foods, so always check labels. Other lifestyle factors that play an important role in keeping your heart healthy include regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, as well as reducing and managing your stress levels. Remember, your heart matters so do what you can to keep it ticking over nicely. Selah!
Heart disease remains a major cause of death in the Western world and is the UK’s biggest killer with over 275 people dying from it everyday in the UK, according to figures by the British Heart Foundation. I recently read Proverbs 4:23, “…guard your heart with all vigilance…for out of it flow the springs of life”, and saw this verse in a very different light. Life flows from your physical heart as it pumps blood through your body and so you need to guard or look after it. One way of doing this is by eating a heart-
Angela is the founder of Illumina Lifestyle Consulting, which provides seminars and workshops on health and wellbeing, as well as consultancy to the healthcare sector and to voluntary and private organisations. For consultancy, seminars/workshops or other speaking engagements, email email@example.com or call on 0845 116 1317 or 07961 413 053.