Love like God loves

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I have been challenged by someone close to me and whom I love about that thing called love. In fact I thought I knew what love was and is, until recently. In fact, God is always teaching me and I’m ALWAYS learning about love.

God wants us to love the ones that are near to us. I’m talking about people that we live with day in and day out and see all the time, our friends and family, the ones who we know intimately.

See of course it’s easy to love strangers. It’s easy for me to go out Evangelising and loving on strangers, because I value that short time that I have with them so I put my best efforts into speaking with them, ministering to them, loving on them, encouraging them, praying for them and hopefully leading them to Christ and a lot of the time, I don’t see that person again. That is the nature of ministry and street Evangelism.

So, can we apply the same principles and dedication to the loved ones around us. As I’m writing this, I’m challenging myself, I often preach to myself. I often write about what God is teaching me at the time. Look I know I’m not the only one that struggles with loving people and so this is why I’m sharing this revelation that God has given me over the last 24 hours.

The world will know us as Christians by our love for one another, so it’s important we explore this subject regularly and keep checking in on where our love level is at.

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Okay, back to loving the ones near to us. The reason why we let our guard down on love is because we become “familiar”. We get to know almost all the flaws, imperfections, character defects, insecurities, fears as well as dreams, goals, passions, and the things that excite and motivate the ones we love.

This is actually a gift, its special, its a privilege. However, when we are challenged and confronted with other peoples flaws and inadequacies and short falls, how do we deal with those people? How do you deal with loved ones with mental illness, how do you deal with loved ones who display controlling and manipulative personality traits, how do you deal with men in our lives who are passive and complacent or how do you deal with children who are rebelling and just not honouring you in your home.

I have one answer for this and it’s a confronting and challenging answer for all Christians to face. The answer is we need to love them unconditionally as GOD loved the world. John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. (King James Version). What an extraordinary statement and declaration of love.

Now Gods Son was Christ Jesus, The Messiah, The bright and morning star, The light of the world. Jesus was God manifested in flesh, not separate but One and the same, united. Now Jesus loved His heavenly Father so much that He was willing and obedient unto death on the cross. Jesus died a glorified and horrific death by crucifixion for the sins of the world, for us, for you and I, for our families, our children, our loved ones and every single human being that has ever lived and will ever live. Now that Is some kind of love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – New International Version (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Now what an amazing scripture that is.  Now God not only displayed through His Son Jesus Christ how much He loves us but He also tells us how to love others. He also tells us to pick up our cross daily and follow Christ, why? Because Christ Jesus was the perfect and the only perfect example of how to love and how to walk in love. Everything He did was out of love, because everything Christ did was the will of the father so that means that God is the Creator of love. God is LOVE. But it’s not the love that we think or feel, it’s Heavenly, pure, holy and righteous love that God has for His children, us.

We need to be vessels and carriers of God’s love, we need to love like Jesus. We need to love unconditionally and persevere, trust and hope in our loved ones when they are going through the storms of life or when they are angry and bitter, when they hurt you, when they abandon you.

There is nothing in life that you could ever go through or experience that Christ has not endured. He walked that path of pain, rejection, fear, sickness, hate, ridicule, mockery for our sake and it led Him to the cross so that we can have the victory through Him.

Now isn’t that the love that makes you want to weep. Isn’t that the love that makes you dance and sing. Isn’t that the love that we all want? Our first and foremost calling as Christians is to Love God and to love others.

Matthew 22:37-38 – Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 

This is NOT A CHOICE. It is a commandment from Jesus. Remember Jesus did what the Father did, therefore He was only reflecting the LOVE of God.

Turn your gaze off everything and everyone and look to Jesus. He is our example of how to love. Jesus will strengthen you and teach you, but you have to be willing to learn, willing to change, willing to SACRIFICE yourself in order to love others.

You have to be willing to ask God for help in this area if you are struggling as I have had to yesterday. I know this is a hard word, but it’s so important. It is the number one thing we must grasp as Christians.

In order for us to win souls and rule and reign for God on earth is to learn how God wants us to love. All you have to do is follow the example of our Lord and saviour Jesus. Love and blessings in His name. ~ Jonda

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Stop waiting for God when He’s done it all

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The biggest mistake/excuse we can make as Christians is to say “I’m waiting on God”. Now there is a time and place for waiting on God, yes. I believe that. But hasn’t Jesus done everything for us on the cross, so what are we waiting for? We have inherited so much. We can sometimes “wait on God” when He’s waiting for us to get up and do something.

Faith without works is dead so if we’re sitting around for months, years saying “I’m waiting” and not stepping out in faith then there’s going to be a lot of stagnant water and you won’t bear any fruit and God cannot do anything unless you’re willing to do your part. Take that first step of faith, then the next step, then the next step, but keep moving forward. DON’T STAND STILL for too long.

Get up and do something. The only way I was going to go out and win souls and to Evangelize was by stepping out even with my doubts and fears but I know I had the desire to do it and I knew what the Word of God said about faith without works is dead and to go out and preach the gospel, heal the sick etc. so I thought well God, I’m stepping out in faith and I expect that you’re going to meet me where I’m at.

I didn’t win any souls in my first try, I stood back and watched and learned and started with giving words of knowledge and treasure hunting and then boom, I had one victory and it sparked so much joy and excitement in me that I wanted to keep doing it.

Each time I stepped out, I learned something new and I praised God and gave myself a pat on the back for trying. I just kept going until I saw results and now I’m so thankful I stepped out. Same with everything in my life, you have to work hard, you have to make an effort and often you fail and fail and fail until you get a victory and then it gets better.

EVERY TIME this year that I’ve stepped out in faith (faith in GOD, not in my owns strength) I have been blessed immensely, I’ve have favour on my life and my gift as a worshiper and Evangelist and now I’ve taken a big leap of faith in pursuing being an author.

I can’t see what’s in front of me or what tomorrow holds but I don’t need to worry about that because that’s God’s role. He sees the end from the start and everything in between, all I have to do is trust him, do my part, step out in faith and He will do the rest because I know that If I stumble, I will stumble into His grace and mercy and love and He will pick me up again and lead me on because that is His job. That is the wonderful God that He is.

We need to led go of our pride and our need for constant control of our environment and lives but God tells us not to lean on our own understanding.

Take a deep breath, step out and let God do the rest, everything else will fall into place but let God do His job. ~ Jonda

 

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Got a creative spark?

Hey I just wanted to encourage you to keep dreaming and exploring your creative side. Whether it be picking up that instrument, a paint brush, getting out your jazz shoes, camera or maybe it’s taking that photography course that you’ve been thinking about.

Whatever it is, each of us were made with a creative side and guess what?! Being creative is fun, it’s actually part of our DNA.

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Now for some people, being creative is not just about the arts and music. Some people use their creative gifts for business, making money, architecture to even planning and infrastructure for building towns.

There is endless possibilities for creativity. If you’re day dreaming and always coming up with ideas then you are a creative person, if you know how to cook a great meal and invite friends and people over for drinks and entertainment then you are a creative person.

SERIOUSLY, there is endless potential. So explore that creative side and see what happens! I guarantee that you will have fun. GO FOR IT ~ Jonda

Let people go

This is a bit of a sensitive subject but have you had people in your life walk away from you, neglect you, abandon you, leave you and desert you? I just want to say that whatever the situation, you are not responsible for other people’s actions.

We cannot always see what is ahead and sometimes life just gives us a tough blow. Some of us were born in loving families and have had wonderful relationships and lives but there are some of us like myself that have just had a tough start from early on and we’ve just been beat and beat and beat.

For myself I was adopted and around the age of five, my adopted Dad left home, then some time later I didn’t see him for a good solid 6-8 years. Since that early experience, I had separation anxiety, I was anxious that I would be alone. I had no one to trust. Later on in life, when people left I went into depression and would suffer in silence and in anguish.

My father left for good reasons but as a small child I didn’t see those reasons, I just missed my Dad and all of a sudden he wasn’t around anymore and I just assumed that he didn’t love me or care about me. I just didn’t understand. Don’t get me wrong, my father is a great man and still is someone who I love and respect dearly. Later on in my adult years I found out why my father left and why I couldn’t see him for all those years, it was actually out of both of our control at the time. However the consequences of my father leaving home were horrific as I endured physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse, I was raped multiple times and assaulted and hospitalized. I suffered greatly because of my fathers absence.

Later on in life, I started to enter into relationships and each separation was heart wrenching, I lived in fear that they would leave me and so I reacted out of fear, I was insecure, I was nervous, afraid. I did everything that an insecure abandoned, angry and scared little girl would do.

It was always difficult to trust people. I still have trust issues, it’s so painful to trust even the best of people with the best of intentions.

One thing I’ve learnt in life is to just let people go. I’ve developed this tough hard shell that has this “whatever” attitude, that no matter what happens, if people want to walk out of my life then I let them, I suck it up and get on with life.

Friends have abandoned me, my parents and family and even when I was married I had a husband who walked out on me and never came back. It’s taken me a good few years to get over that one so I’ve just learnt to let go. If people don’t want to stay in my life then that’s okay.

Don’t think it’s been easy because it hasn’t been.

I believe people come and go like the seasons. There are seasons for growth and there are seasons of loss and part of the dance of life is to embrace when to hold on and when to let go. Just keep on being the best you that you can be, don’t change or compromise your faith, your beliefs, dreams and who you are just to keep people in your life because at the end of the day you will sell yourself short and it will be like cheating on yourself.

Forgive the ones that have hurt you and are genuinely sorry.

Be who you are, love the ones that are dear and close to you and let go of the people that choose to leave you ~ Jonda

 

Say NO to distractions

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Just recently I set a goal for myself, a goal that I know is going to accelerate me into something big. A goal that is going to accelerate me into accomplishing one of my many dreams. Now I’m only a few days into this goal, or this challenge and there is this momentum and desire to see this goal fulfilled and to see what will come out on the other side of the challenge.

I’ve set myself a target goal for 21 days then 40 days then eventually 90 days to eventually see some massive results. I am so determined right now that I cannot afford to be distracted, I literally have to hide away for a little bit and say no to certain things like dinners and social events, church and ministry events just to see this baby through.

If you’re in the same boat all I can say is keep going! You can do this, write down your goal and put it up so you can look at it every day so that you can see the progress that you are making. Make time every day to focus on this dream, this goal, this challenge or plan you have.

The key here is saying no to the distractions and enduring through your challenge, for some of you it may be a 2 week, 3 week, 40 day or 90 day challenge whether it be fitness, health, dieting, writing, planning a business, building a house or something else. DO NOT COMPROMISE, this is the most crucial point right now when you’re about to birth a baby, your dream into reality. DO NOT GIVE UP. GO, GO, GO! I believe in you!

So when your friends, family and people ask you where you are or what you’ve been doing, you can tell me “I’m building my dream”. Just imagine what they will say when you accomplish your goal and you can look back at the journey and the hard work and the effort you put into your dream. It’s so worth it, each day, each step, you get closer and closer to that dream. Reach for the stars my friends!

 

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When going through a storm

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Last week I was going through a really tough time. I felt as though everything was caving in on me. I’ve had this feeling before but this time was different.

It was as though I was being split in two. It was like something was trying to separate my heart and spirit from my physical body. My flesh and body was being pulled one way, yet my heart and my spirit was trying to hold onto something else. It was quite excruciating.

I had been in this place for well over a week, probably about 10 days then on the 11th day I sat on my couch looking on my Messenger App and I saw a message in a group with someone asking for help. I knew I had to get up off my couch and do something but I just couldn’t get over these feelings and emotions that I had been experiencing. To be honest I was feeling pretty crap.

Someone I knew was asking for help with a young adult that they had just met who was struggling and needed somewhere safe to stay for a little while. I knew instantly I had to reach out and help, I had to make sure that this person was safe but yet I just felt led to get off the couch and go and meet this friend and the young lady.

On the way there I remember praying, I didn’t know what I was doing but I asked God to give me peace about the young lady when I got there and met her.

I met this friend and the young lady at a café near the city and waited.

Eventually they arrived, we ordered and chattered and I heard about the young lady’s story. I had a peace come over me and I felt I wanted to help this young lady, I felt compassion and I could see that it was a divine appointment.

I learnt something important about that day.

Helping Others

By helping others, we help ourselves.

I was no longer pre-occupied with how miserable I had been feeling and how horrible this storm was in my life, I was able to take my eyes off myself and focus on someone else.

It’s not that all of a sudden my troubles went away but I just wasn’t drowning in my own emotions. It wasn’t until days later when the storm lifted a little that I could see that God sent me this young lady to give me a focus and a purpose and to stop the temptation of running away from the call and destiny over my life.

I had experienced so much breakthrough in my life this year and I couldn’t believe that I was experiencing what I was going through again, however God was testing me. I was being put through the fire and being tested and in my trouble I cried out to God and said “God please don’t let me do anything stupid, God please don’t let me stumble and fall” and he sent me someone that needed some love and help.

It was through my helping and blessing someone else that I was blessed far above than I could think of. I experienced a peace I didn’t expect.

Whatever you are going through, take a leap of faith and go and help someone in need, do something that is opposite and contrary to what you are experiencing. As you take invest your time into someone else’s life, I know you will experience a lighter burden.

Storms will certainly come but it’s our ability to dance in the rain that will shape us. Blessings ~ Jonda

Everyone has a story

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I guarantee that if you’re reading this then you have a story to tell.

Every body I meet or have ever met has a story to tell and it is unique to them. So why not share it with others?

In my home village and probably in most parts of my country, the art of story telling is alive and kicking. My family live in huts that my father builds, each hut is build for a specific purpose and for each family. There may be one for the family to sleep in with separated rooms for sleeping and there may be one for storage and there is usually one larger one called the “RaRa” that is kind of like a living room and dining area combined.

The RaRa is the meeting place where you sit and talk and eat and where all the guests and visitors sit. I have memories of my parents and family sitting in the RaRa for hours and hours talking, exchanging stories, eating, maybe lying down for a rest, the children in one corner playing with the babies, the other corner might be where my aunt or mother is peeling and preparing vegetables for the meal.

In my village there are no cars, no television, no electronic devices, no board games, no fridge, no entertainment except what is around us. We don’t have the houses that you see here in the western world, everything is made out of the resources that we find in nature and what God provides. The simple life is the only life in this place.

Since my family back in the village does not have all of the luxuries that the western world offers, they still have the art of story telling. They still have the art of sitting and talking and listening. My parents and grand parents would sit for hours and hours and all night talking and telling stories, these stories are passed down from generation to generation and told down through the ages and from elder to youngster.

Everyone has a story. For us who live in the western world, we are blessed with technology and book publishing and the means to be able to write, record and publish our stories. It is a gift and a privilege that my family back home do not have and I want to be the first in my family to write and record those stories and I can start by telling my story.

You too have a story to tell, are you going to tell it, if not it will die with you.

 

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What do you believe?

Isn’t it interesting how people are awed and wondered by the beauty of the cosmos, scientific discoveries, nature and think that it all came from a “big bang”.

They are happy to believe that the complex nature of the law of physics, gravity, the cosmos, stratoshphere, solar and planet systems, atoms, neurons and stars were all created from an explosion yet they don’t want to believe that there is a God that created all of this.

The truth is they simply don’t want to accept that there is a God who created the heavens and the earth and created man because if they were to accept that then they will have to accept that they are accountable to someone bigger than themselves.

They will have to accept that everything that shapes their reality, their education, their self taught convictions and beliefts will be rocked, shaken and challenged. People simply don’t want to admit that they are wrong or accept a belief system outside of their comfort zone and yet they want to believe that we all crawled out of swamps and just randomly appeared on the earth or that we were just one big accident.

I sympathise for those people because they do not know that they have a creator that loves them unconditionally. Once you have an encounter with Jesus, you will know who God is through His character and nature. Once you know Jesus, you will know your creator, The One who made you. The closer you get to know Jesus, the closer you are to The Father, The Creator and the more you become aware of how all of creation came to being.

God said “let there be light”, God never said stop, life is still being created, stars are still being born and created, planets are still being shaped, new species of plants and animals are being formed. So if there is a God then you have to question where is God, where does He live, who is He, what does He want from me and the questions are endless. Those questions will never be answered until you come face to face and encounter Jesus, because it is through the Son of God that you will know The Father and you will know the answers behind creation and why you are here. Wouldn’t you want to find out? ~ Jonda