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Showing posts from August, 2017

LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Why Study the Book of Nehemiah

So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to workNehemiah 4:6
The challenges could not be greater. In fulfilment of the prophecy of Jeremiah, a minority of the people of Judah chose to leave captivity in Babylon and return to home. The walls of Jerusalem and the temple of God were rebuilt. Yet, they faced much opposition from the neighbours and over time the walls of Jerusalem came into disrepair. The people were greatly discouraged.
Then comes Nehemiah. A Judean who served in the Persian court as the king’s cupbearer, Nehemiah’s rise to leadership was birthed in crisis. When he asked about the welfare of his people back home, he heard most distressing news: The people of Judah are in great affliction and reproach. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates burned with fire.
Crisis can be the womb of opportunity.
Nehemiah rose up to be one of the greatest Hebrew leaders and indeed one of the great leaders of…

Paul’s Secret to Changing the World Part 03

Ambition: It is a bane and it is a blessing. When it is ambition for personal advancement, especially where the ‘means justifies the end,’ then it can be harmful to the ambitious one and others. Yet, when ambition is directed towards a greater good, everyone benefits. As the adage says:
When you see someone reaching for authority, avoid him. He will hurt you. When you see someone reaching for responsibility, embrace him. He will bless you.
The latter clearly applies to the apostle Paul. He was so single-minded in his devotion for God, sold out to fulfilling his call with joy (Acts 20), fighting the good fight of faith and winning the prize, that the entire world has been blessed for centuries because of him.
He is one of the most influential people who ever lived; a man who changed the world. How did he do it?
In our first part, we learned Principle One - Grace: Don’t let your natural gifts get in the way of God’s grace. Be willing to surrender them all to God in order to live by grace an…

NORTH KOREA: What Is At Stake?

It is not unusual for North Korea to be in the news. This highly-armed Stalinist state rattles the sabres from time to time. There are warnings, sanctions, negotiations, and then things go quiet.
Yet the current crisis is different - and more dangerous - than anything we have seen before. It has been said, with reason, that the stand-off with North Korea is the biggest confrontation since US President John F. Kennedy faced off Nikita Krushchev of the Soviet Union in the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis. This was probably the largest and most dangerous incident in the entire Cold War.
As a refresher, the Soviet Union placed nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba, which is only 140 kilometres off the US coast. This was simply too close for comfort. President Kennedy solemnly warned that if the missiles were not removed, America would invade Cuba. For 13 days the world held its breath. It was the closest thing we have seen of Armageddon in living memory. Being a rational player, the Soviets ne…

Seven Pillars to Understanding the Future: Final Pillar Number Seven

In this important series we have been learning the pillars that help us to make sense of the future. When you understand the future, we are better prepared to face it. So far, the pillars we learned include:
Pillar 01: Bible Prophecy is the key;
Pillar 02: We live in a spiritual world and the challenges, problems and solutions are equally spiritual;
Pillar 03: We have power and victory over the enemy;
Pillar 04: We are called to fearlessness;
Pillar 05: We are simultaneously ‘dead’ and ‘alive;’
Pillar 06: God provides a way of escape.
To these we add the seventh and final pillar. It is well described in Proverbs 4:18-19:
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
In short, Pillar 07 can be summarised as this: Your God-given future is bright. This is very true, however, the converse is also correct: A future without the living God is wicked, dark, and full of off…

JERUSALEM: A Burdensome Stone - Part 03

Zechariah calls Jerusalem ‘a burdensome stone for all people.’ Whoever messes with it will be cut in pieces, even though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it (Zechariah 12:3). Could the whole world be obsessed with the holy city to the point of global conflict? Judging by the amount of international attention this city already receives - plus the uptake in violence - and you have a plausible scenario.
In Part 01 of this series, we learned that Jerusalem is the Number One foreign policy issue and will get increasingly more global attention in the days ahead. We also reviewed Jerusalem’s history from the time of its founding 4,000 years ago until the time of Christ. In Part 02, we reviewed Jerusalem’s history from the end of the Biblical period until today.
In this article, we will look at what is called ‘The Jerusalem Question.
Among other things, the year 2017 will be remembered as the ‘anniversary year.’ It is the year of the 500th Anniversa…