I have only been reading Gateway News for 5 months now. I love it and can’t wait for the new edition to pop up in my inbox. When Andre asked me if I would like to write a prophetic column once a month I actually had no idea where this journey would take me. I don’t think he knew either. The title of my column is “How then shall we live?” Perhaps I can shed a little light on this title.
As a follower of The Lord Jesus I believe that how we live is on its own a prophetic action. The way we live will hasten or slow the coming of Jesus. Every action, every reaction should be prophetic, everyday life should be us living out the testimony of Jesus. Every believer living in the fullness of his or her calling, anointing and gifting. I am very aware, and I have said this before, that we are living in the end times. Everything I see and hear around me points to this. However, how I live is Vital. I will stand before The Lord one day and give an account for it all.
I grew up being taught some fundamental truths. Concepts like; it is better to give than to receive, what you reap you sow and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As I got older, before I gave my life to Jesus, I explored many spiritual avenues, every one prided itself in trying to make me a better person. For years I lived out the “Paying it forward” principle. I know many of you reading this will relate, whether you grew up in church or not, somewhere deep down there was and is a longing to do the right thing.
In media, on the radio, through magazines and on television we are being encouraged daily to make the world a better place through doing random acts of kindness, speaking kind words and serving in our community. There is nothing wrong with this, It’s admirable to say the least. I look around and love seeing the things people are capable of and accomplishing.
In principle this is all good but not always easy to live out. God is busy reminding us as believers to live by the fundamental truths and guidelines he lays so clearly out for us in His word. These are some I believe God is wanting us to “get” and to start living in.
Taming the tongue, what and how we speak – “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” (Psalms 34:13 ESV)A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4 ESV)Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Proverbs 18:21 ESV)If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. (James 1:26 ESV) For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? (James 3:3-12 ESV) – Wow, don’t just those few make you want examine yourself, repent and say “Please God help me to speak what is right”, it does to me. I desire to love life and see good days, by keeping my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceit. (1 Peter 3:10 ESV)
Don’t Judge – “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:1, 2 ESV) . Way back in the 70’s Joe South wrote a song that said – “Walk a mile in my shoes, just walk a mile in my shoes. Before you abuse, criticise and accuse, then walk a mile in my shoes.” My prayer is that we would see people and situations through the eyes of Jesus. We will be slower to judge and quicker to show mercy. “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12 ESV)
What you sow you reap – What I learned from a young age is a universal truth. It’s like the law of gravity, if you drop something it falls. Just so, what you do and say comes back to you. I know many people today that don’t know The Lord who live by this principle, and yes they are blessed too! Galatians 6:7 ESV “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” ,”Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”( Luke 6:38 ESV). Our mentality should never be “I sow in order to reap” it should be a way of life, an action to a command from our Heavenly Father, done willingly with joy, actually expecting nothing in return but at the same time anticipating what is to come.
Love your enemies – But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. (Luke 6:35 ESV)
“You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45 ESV)
I love what the Matthew Henry commentary says here: ” The Lord Jesus teaches that we must do all the real kindness we can to all, especially to their souls. We must pray for them. While many will render good for good, we must render good for evil; and this will speak a nobler principle than most men act by. Others salute their brethren, and embrace those of their own party, and way, and opinion, but we must not so confine our respect. It is the duty of Christians to desire, and aim at, and press towards perfection in grace and holiness. And therein we must study to conform ourselves to the example of our heavenly Father, 1Pe 1:15,16. Surely more is to be expected from the followers of Christ than from others; surely more will be found in them than in others. Let us beg of God to enable us to prove ourselves his children.”
I know that I have given you a lot of scripture to read this time, but as Christians this is our life manual, this is where we must and should be looking, the word is Spirit and life. Let us not be like the foolish man building our house on the sand, take heed of what is said in the word and put it into action. Let us endeavour to be doers and not just hearers of the word, wise men and women, building our houses on The Rock.
Perhaps this column is not completely what you expected, but My prayer is that it stirs you to live out your lives prophetically in the boldest of ways, embracing every truth with zeal and allowing it to thrust you forward into all God has for you.
In His grip