Stay connected to the plug!

Plugs are those that always come through for you. Your plug might be a member of  your family or a friend, it can even be someone you least expected. By now I’m sure you get that I’m not talking about an appliance plug. A plug usually has something that you need and they give it to you without being asked.

A friend giving you their Netflix password. An aunt connecting you on her Spotify Premium for Family. A friend that offers to pick you up in the dead of the night. A friend sending food to your house. Mum hooking you up with that good good food.

Amazing right? If you don’t have a plug you are definitely missing out.

Where are you going with this you may ask?

In life, God is our ultimate plug.  Your go-to-guy, your number one. As the book of Matthew says: He knows the things we need before we even ask Him (6:8). Now let me share an analogy with you, so you have a better understanding of what I’m explaining. Have you ever been in that situation where your phone battery is running low and you quickly run to get your plug to save it from dying? Now, iPhone users can relate to this, your phone has been on 1% for the past 5 minutes and it’s still going strong until you click on snapchat and the next thing you know you are staring at your own disappointed reflection as your phone has now completely died.

When would have been the most appropriate time to get your phone connected to the plug? obviously, wayyyyy before it showed signs of extremely low battery. That is exactly how we should be with God. We need to remain connected to Him 24/7 (Disclaimer: I’m not advising this should be done with your phones), it shouldn’t be when we’ve exhausted all our power that we turn to God.

I’ve just moved into a new house for third year, whilst setting up my wifi an error occurred and the next available date for an engineer to visit was over a week away.  Fear and panic rushed through my body when I realised I had to wait sooo long before I was reconnected to wifi ūüėē How was I supposed to survive without it? Hmmm, would I have panicked that much if my connection to God was disrupted for over a week? <foodforthought>

I’m reminded of the passage in John 15:4-5:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

The Word abide in the bible means: to stay (in a given place/state/relation), dwell, endure, not to depart, to continue to be present, to remain as one, not to another or different. The fruits listed in Galatians: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are the fruits that we bear when we abide in Christ. You may not be able to see the roots of a tree but you can tell what tree it is by its fruits, likewise if we are rooted in Christ those around us will know by the fruits we display.

How do we Abide in Christ?

  1. Abide in His Word
    • We need to constantly spend time reading & meditating on God’s Words. The Word has 3 main functions:
      • Word keeps us from sinningI have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11)
        • Jesus used it whilst being tempted by the devil in the wilderness
      • Word gives us continual guidance (Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105)
        • Principles to help govern our life
      • Word gives us life, a world view, philosophy 
    • The Word of God is like living water, however society is constantly dehydrating us spiritually. As a result Jesus is evaporating from our lives. Unless we actively do something to rehydrate ourselves we will be left dry.
    • Personal devotions, listening to sermons and spiritually feeding our soul is essential
  2. Abide in the Church 
    • The church is the body of Christ, so it is not a surprise that christian fellowship is a way in which we can abide in Christ
    • Being in the environment of christian fellowship is useful as it gives us accountability
  3. Love – Abiding and Obeying
    • It’s impossible to abide in Christ & live rebelliously
    • Jesus explicitly says if you love me you’ll keep my commandments, therefore we need to obey Him and walk as Jesus walked
    • 1 John 2:17 – whoever does the will of God lives forever

If we were as concerned about being plugged in to God in the same degree as plugging our devices wouldn’t we be living great lives?

Without any juice, what good is a phone? It’s a useless piece of aluminium, glass incapable of functioning in the purpose in which it was created.

In the same way, what good are we? If we aren’t plugged into our power source daily we are nothing and as the book of John says we can’t do anything worthwhile / of eternal value. The rest of John 15 explains what happens when we abide in Christ and the conclusion I got was When we abide in Christ, circumstances can’t dictate our happiness. Abiding in Christ is a means by which our joy may be full (John 15:11).

Key Undilutedword points:

  1. Stay Connected to the Ultimate Plug – God, without him we can do nothing worthwhile
  2. Abide in Christ via reading His word, fellowshipping with believers and obeying his commandments
  3. Share your plug with others – the more you walk with & abide in Christ the more you want to share him with others
  4. Be the plug for others!

Stay Blessed,

Dara xx

 

 

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Happy New Month – November

As this year begins to round up may all the difficult roads that you have treaded lead you to beautiful destinations. Yes you may have had challenges this year but we don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges. So make this declaration: My current situation is not my final destination.

 Have a blessed November! xx

Happy New Month – October

The presence of God is not the absence of trouble. He is a very present help IN time of trouble. In spite of the raging storm in your life I pray you have the overwhelming assurance that: God is your only shelter. Turn to Him and you’ll see that even though your situation seems out of control, it isn’t out of God’s control. ALL things are working together for your good. Have a lovely October. xx 

Dear Fresher… 

Freedom has finally arrived, off to Uni and no nagging parent behind your back telling you what to do, when to do it and what not to do. Great… right?

You can say I’m putting on my aunty persona whilst writing this post, but here are some key tips from me to you as you start this new academic year. Whether you are a fresher or not there is knowledge to be gained.

  1. Put God First! Cannot stress this enough, when you wake up the first thought that should be on your mind is speaking to your creator and spending quality time with him. It is too easy to begin your day without saying a prayer or reading a devotion, especially with the struggles of waking up for 9ams, but when you purpose in your heart to Put God first you will never be Last. The bible states in Matthew 6:33: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you EVERYTHING you need. Pretty self explanatory ; turn to Him first for help, fill your thoughts with His desires, take on His character and serve & obey Him in everything.
  2. Commit EVERYTHING to God. No matter how BIG or small, it actually makes a difference to every situation. With any decision you need to make, pray to God to help you chose correctly and set you on a path that allows you to walk in alignment with His Will for you. Commit your activities to the LORD, and your plans will be achievedProverbs 16:3
  3. Surround yourself with people that will bring you closer to God, not those that will harm your relationship with him. There’s a quote that says:¬†surround¬†yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.¬†This couldn’t have been put any clearer. The bible warns in 1 Corinthians 15:33:¬†Do not be deceived: ‚ÄúBad company ruins good morals.¬†Many people get to a different setting, lose all sense of home training and you wonder why? – the way to avoid this is by choosing your “squad” wisely. Pray that God will lead you to correct people!! If you want Godly friends one of the best ways to find them is by attending church, you are more likely to meet like minded people there than at the club – or am I lying?
  4. Everyday may not be good but there is something good in everydayFACT.¬†Many times you wake up and you have a whole day of lectures you may feel as though nothing good will come out of that day but I’ve realised the key to living your best¬†life is having a positive attitude. Positive attitudes lead to positive outcomes.¬†So remember, Look for something good in each day even though it means that somedays you have to look a little harder.
  5. Having said all that, life is too short, to be anything but happy. So make the most of it whilst staying safe, having fun, chasing your dreams and living without regrets. Remember to accomplish what you set out to achieve at Uni – don’t get sidetracked by the craze.

Finally before I leave, I was involved in a mini-documentary by my friend Kaobi on mental health in a university setting which I believe is a reality that needs to be addressed. I’ve inserted it below please have a look and share with others to raise more awareness about mental health.

With Love. Stay blessed,

Dara xx

Happy New Month РSeptember 

You may be on the verge of giving birth to something that’ll change your life for the better, but the devil is telling you to abort it. Keep pushing because God might let you bend but he won’t let you break. When you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried & forgotten but God has actually planted you‚Ķ awaiting the perfect time for you to explode with His goodness. Have a Spectacular September! xx

Happy New Month – August

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to shape your circumstances, Jesus uses them to shape you. God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls and coal into diamond using time and pressure. Trust that he is working on you too. Have an Amazing August & don’t forget – Do not give up on God or doubt what he is capable of doing. xx

3:16 – The Gospels

In my last post, I told you about a book named: ¬†3:16 The Joy of the Gospel and how I was going to share more from that book – so here I am with some more juicy gospel truth. Some Quick Disclaimers – I¬†may not actually go through all books of the New Testament (well 6 books don’t actually have a 3:16), but I will try to share¬†as much as I can. ¬†This post will cover the 3 other gospel 3:16 in Matthew, Mark Luke.

Matthew 3:16

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Matthew’s 3:16 discusses The Gospel in the Baptism of Jesus. Did you know that baptism is about the only doctrine that is in the New Testament but not in the Old Testament? It was introduced during the intertestamental period (time between the end of OT and start of NT). The word baptism¬†or¬†baptise¬†comes from the Greek word¬†baptizo – to immerse or dip or plunge.¬†Jesus did not go to have water sprinkled or poured over Him, he was fully immersed under water which correlates with what Paul says in Romans 6:4 –“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism [immersion]¬†¬†into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life [resurrection].”

You may have wondered was it ¬†necessary for Jesus to be baptised and “thus ¬†fulfil all righteousness”? Jesus was pure, he didn’t ¬†have sins to be repentant of. However, Jesus identities himself with us – His people and leaves an example for us to follow. Although there was ¬†No sin in Him, every sin was on Him,¬†Jesus had the sins of the world¬†on¬†Him thus needed to symbolically wash them away. Verse 17 of Matthew 3:16, further illustrates the unity of the Godhead during Jesus’ baptism and how each one is a necessary component of the Good News of Salvation.

Mark 3:16
And Simon he surnamed Peter;

A rather small and insignificant looking text. Mark’s 3:16 explores The Gospel where you may not expect it.¬†If you recall, Jesus had an inner circle out of all the disciples who were given special privileges on at least 3 recorded¬†occasions; raising of the daughter of Jairus, Mount of Transfiguration & in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus¬†went to pray. It is no surprise that Peter whom he names – Cephas¬†which meant a Stone,¬†is part of this circle. In several instances in Peter’s life before the cross he displays a lack of understanding of Jesus’ mission.¬†¬†Peter, in his usual speak-before-you-think manner, declares his undying loyalty to Jesus and we all know how that ended – denies Jesus ¬†3 times and the last one included swearing & cursing.

So what has the Mark 3:16 verse got to do with the Gospel ? Peter is a person of complex nature, which I’m sure we can all relate to in one way or another. Peter is impetuous, well-meaning, loyal, frail-of-faith, unconverted-though-we-think-we-are, remorseful when our spirituality is revealed for its weakness, talented, able to achieve beyond our ability when we are really converted [not just on paper], self-opinionated¬†Jesus said to Peter¬†“when you are converted, strengthen your brethren”¬†Luke 22:32¬†This same message applies to us, we need to examine ourselves to see whether we are truly converted. But when you see the latter part of Peter’s story, you see he dedicated his life to spreading the good news. That is the glory of the Gospel when it touches the hearts of men & women, you and I. It transforms the character, it puts a backbone into spineless “Christians”. ¬†When you are indeed converted, when you understand the Gospel, you will certainly strengthen your brethren just as Peter did.

Luke 3:16
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Finally Luke – The Beloved Physician – And the Gospel.¬†From this 3:16 text we can see John the baptist’s greatest quality ; Humility.¬†The well¬†known text “He must increase, but I must decrease” was by John. Additionally, John reveals 2 things: 1. He was a forerunner. 2. Christ would baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire.

To put simply this text tell us that John’s baptism with water symbolised the washing away of sins, which is in line with his message about repentance and reformation. Jesus’ baptism with fire equips a person with power to carry out God’s Will. This began on the day of pentecost when the Holy spirit came upon the disciples and they began speaking in tongues which enabled them to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection in a variety of languages. Having said that speaking in tongues is not the only way in which you can be baptised by the Holy Spirit, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t speak in tongues. The Bible says you can tell if someone has the spirit by their fruits (love, joy, peace …) not gifts. Different people get different gifts and you don’t¬†prove that someone has the Holy Spirit by their gifts. The Holy Spirit comes in different degrees, It can come as waves in our lives. When we need more of the Holy Spirit we get more. Jesus said¬†when you‚Äôre brought to bear witness for your faith, the Holy Spirit will be given to you in special portion men, to defend the truth. When the Holy Spirit came on Samson, he was given supernatural strength. The Holy Spirit came on King Saul and he prophesied. The Holy Spirit came on David and he was able to write Psalms.

The Holy Spirit is working in your life to bring about conviction for sin before you’re ever baptised or saved.¬†It‚Äôs the Holy Spirit that leads us and teaches us in our understanding as we hear the truth. ¬†Additionally, The Holy Spirit guides us in our day-to-day decisions.

Finally 3 take home points from this undiluted word…

  1. Jesus is our model for baptism, and we should follow suit when we feel like the time is right.
  2. The Gospel can transform our lives just as it transformed Peter’s.
  3. The Holy Spirit comes in different degrees throughout our lives. The fruits we bear show that we are lead by the Spirit.
Stay Blessed
Dara x
P.S – Stay tuned for more upcoming posts