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Monday, 12 March 2012

Looking Forward

Dear Precious Ladies

Grace be multiplied to you all. March is already marching forward. We thank God for sustaining us.

Some of you had a very challenging February but it’s now behind us. Lets keep looking forward. What you focus on has the power to distract you or to propel you forward. Lets take heed to the words of the author of Hebrews, ‘...looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,’ (Hebrews 12:2) and Colossians 3:2 where it says, ‘set your mind on things above...’

It’s very easy for the mind to be set on different things. It can be set on painful experiences, disappointing moments, unfulfilled expectations, anxiety, relational issues... the list is endless. These are earthly challenges, which have the potential to consume us and at times, resulting in incorrect thinking producing incorrect behaviour.

As we progress into this month let us guard our minds and make sure we don’t set them on wrong things. To set means to put in the proper or desired order or condition for use. The Master wants to use us for His glory, lets not give room to the enemy who wants us to be vessels of dishonor. For us to be effective vessels, let us set our minds on things that have eternal value. In Philippians 4:8-9 Paul gave us a list of things to think on, ‘Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.’

I pray that the Lord helps us and gives us the grace to practice focusing on things that add value to others and us.

Much love and blessings

Pastor Fatima

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Our Help Is In The Lord

Grace be multiplied to you.

January is almost gone! We thank the Lord for seeing us through. I know that January was a unique experience for each one of us. Some had a great month, some a not so great month. Despite how the year has been so far, I want to encourage you to keep on trusting in the Lord. 

One other attribute of faith is believing and trusting in God in the midst of life's uncertainties and inconsistencies. Christ is our hope for a better tomorrow.

As we exit the month of January and enter the month of February let us remain steadfast in our faith. The words of David in Psalm 121 are very encouraging.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore. 
There is a promise of help. Our help comes from the Lord who made this amazing earth. The heaves are also His. He is the sovereign God. The most powerful who does not need to report to anyone. His authority is unquestionable, He is the beginning and the end. He is the pillar that held your life together all these days and He will surely see you through. Remember He does not sleep, He does not slumber, He does not grow weary. He is your keeper, protector, provider, defender - to name just a few. Imagine, He allowed and let His Son die in your place whilst you were still a sinner. How much more now that you are His child!!! He really cares for you.

Anticipate February with hope! Psalm 121:8 says the Lord shall preserve your going into February and your coming out! Be of good cheer, there is help for you in the Lord. Continue to draw near to Him in your devotional life and continue to apply what He is teaching you daily.

The grace (favour and divine enablement) of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Many blessings

Pastor Fatima Sibanda

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Faith for the Journey

As we progress into 2012 we are going to need a good understanding of faith.

I have been preparing for my dissertation and I realise that there are many misconceptions about faith. I have seen how many women have ended up disillusioned when they didn't receive what they had asked for, or believed for. Some have blamed themselves for not having had enough faith, not having confessed enough, not having fasted and prayed enough, and some have been told it's their fault that they didn't receive.

Basically, having faith, especially biblical faith, has an object. That means faith is directed towards something. In our case, towards God. So when we talk about faith, we mean trusting in God. 
Proverbs 3:5 says, " Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding..." 
Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God."
Our faith should be in God, not in our ability to claim and confess scriptures. Our faith should not be in 'our' faith. Trusting in God and having confidence in God comes from our knowledge of His nature and character as our Father. We trust Him because of who He is, Trustworthy and Faithful. Before God can do anything for us, we need to trust Him out of conviction, instead of trusting Him out of convenience. We need to determine in our hearts whether we receive anything from the Lord, or we don't receive the answers to our prayers, He remains trustworthy.

Sometimes we lean on our own understanding of people, of situations, events, our families, our jobs, our pastors, our children, but that understanding is limited because God is the only One who is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. Often things don't go the way we thought just because we live in a fallen world. We are not exempt from certain painful experiences and the strength of our faith is not in us, but in the One whom we are trusting. So the fact that you might have prayed for someone and they were not healed, or asked God for something and didn't get it, doesn't mean that you don't have faith. It also doesn't mean that you will never get it. Can you imagine if, just because we are children of God, we would be immune to everything and all of us have 100% health and wealth, 100% problem free living, 100% success academically, socially, physically etc. and then those who don't know the Lord yet be the ones who have 100% sickness, 100% poverty and all-round failure, etc. That would be very unreal and very unlike God, and people would want salvation for the wrong reasons, for what they can get, not for who God is. God is good to all and has extended His mercy and love to those who haven't received Him yet.

Matthew 5:45 says, "...for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

In 2012, if we face some things we don't understand in different areas of our lives, that is not the time to blame ourselves but to trust in the Lord, that at the end, if we love Him He will work it out for our good. God is not the author of anything evil because He is good. He is not the author of sickness, diseases, pain and heartache, but He promises to see us through. He did not promise us immunity to all things but He promised us strength when we are weak.

Keep your heart pure, make sure you are not opening the door for the enemy's attacks by unforgiveness, bitterness, disobedience to God's instructions to you personally and through His word. Should you not understand, keep trusting Him.

Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."
This is a great scripture to remember when you don't understand why things are happening the way they are happening. If it has not been revealed to you, don't try and lean on your own understanding, or someone else's understanding. Wait for Him and keep on trusting in Him. It will never be a question of God's ability, but a question of His greater purposes being worked out in your life.

God bless you

Pastor Fatima

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Happy New Year to all of you.

We can surely say Ebenezer the Lord has brought us this far. It's by God's grace that we have been allowed to see this new year. Many, many people lost their lives even in the month of December, they didn't make it to the new year and God allowed us to live for a special reason.
I was meditating on the Christmas cards that were saying 'Happy New Year' and some were saying 'Have a Prosperous New Year' and then I realised that the word 'new' means something not experienced before. It also means uncontaminated, unfamiliar, spick and span, original, just out, recent, advanced, and fresh. So God has given us a fresh and uncontaminated 2012 so we must not allow the old things that were undesirable in 2011 to contaminate our 2012. We have been given a spick and span year and let us guard our hearts so that we don't give access to things that could infect them.

Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

So may we also keep pressing forward and put the past behind us. Let's embrace 2012 having faith in God knowing that the same hand that carried us through 2011 will carry us through 2012. Let's endeavour to stay in Gods will for our lives and not allow anything or anyone to distract us from becoming the women God has called us to be. I wish you well in all you do this year.

Remember there is nothing you will face this year that God and you cannot handle.

Much love and blessings

Pastor Fatima Sibanda