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Suggested Reading ...

As requested by a number of you, herewith a few books that I strongly recommend.

The Case for the Psalms:Why they are Essential - N.T.Wright

Journey to the Common Good - Walter Brueggemann

Gagging Jesus: Things Jesus said we wish he hadn't - Phil Moore

Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God - Bob Kauflin

The Writings of the New Testament : An Interpretation - Luke Timothy Johnson

These titles I have been able to source through Loot.co.za- happy reading!

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Home DAILY DEVOTIONS
Daily Devotions by Grant Nuss
Pride and finishing the race. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 05:55

2 Timothy 4:7; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

"When I have learned to do the Father's will, I shall have fully realised my vocation on earth" (Carlo Carretto). There is no higher achievement than completing the assignment God gives us. So, we need ask ourselves, are we completing the task that He has given us in the manner He would have us do that? Whilst I can speak particularly from a worship/preaching perspective, an area that Satan gets involved in wholesale, it happens in any ministry and we need to understand where it’s coming from. That we wouldn't let pride, selfish gain, or any other method Satan would throw in the mix to ultimately thwart and divide a growing community or ministry. May you run your race in a way that you will be satisfied with later. It is heartening to be able to look back and have no regrets. Paul was not always popular, nor was he usually comfortable; but he remained faithful. That is what really counted. Paul’s life and ministry provide for us a powerful example for modelling Christ today. Not only did he “fight the good fight,” but he also “finished the race” and “kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

 
Build a Bridge. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Sunday, 08 January 2017 13:58

Ephesians 4:32; “Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges” (Isaac Newton). We have all heard it said or exclaimed ourselves; “Oh, build a bridge!” Now, if you are someone who tends to hold grudges, can’t let things go, or keep a score on who you believe has wronged you, sorry to bear the bearer of bad news but the reality is that, you will suffer in life. Un-forgiveness does that. Forgiveness is the key to all healthy and lasting relationships. Perhaps read what Jesus had to say about forgiveness and reconciliation in Matthew 5:23 – 24 in this context. Here’s the reality of harbouring un-forgiveness and resentment, the one who ultimately gets hurt is you. If you want to be healthy and vibrant spiritually, then you must learn to forgive. As followers of Christ we have been forgiven, and, forgiven people should be forgiving people. The deal is this:  if you want to be healthy and vibrant spiritually, then you must learn to forgive. Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labour and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence. One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days’ work” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?” “Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbour, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber over by the barn? I want you to build me a fence –an 8-foot fence — so I won’t need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow.” The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.” The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence at all. It was a bridge — a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all — and the neighbour, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.” The two brothers met at the middle of the bridge, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother. “I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have so many more bridges to build.” If you holding a grudge, resentment, or un-forgiveness, refuse to not hold on to it for one more day – build that bridge today – tomorrow might just be too late! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZoF_D28SUw

 
Happy New Year! PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Monday, 02 January 2017 15:07

Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT); “No, dear friends, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.”

Firstly, Sally, Cara, Chelsea, Chad and I wish you and yours a year that abounds in God’s peace, love, joy, and wonders anew in your walk with Him! It is a privilege for us to be called your friends. As you consider the text above and the year ahead our prayer is that we would remember one thing, whatever happened last year, whether in your career, your family, or your church community, failure is not final. The deal is this: The future is wide-open. Likewise, as 2016 ends and 2017 begins, it is an ideal time for you and I to do some “spiritual-housecleaning’. Perhaps the questions we need ask ourselves are; Has there been spiritual progress in my life? Has my relationship with Christ grown closer over the past year? Finally, have I grown and developed in the gifts that God has heaped out in my life? As we consider this deeply, one thing is certain as we get our ‘brooms’ out, all of us bar-none have erred this past year, we have made mistakes, taken wrong turns, made poor decisions and are in serious need of a ‘tune-up’, a ‘check-up from the neck-up’, and some rigorous house-cleaning. For me, it is time that we refuse to see our current situation from our own limited perspective and worldview, and chose God’s perspective. Whilst we will always see the immediate view, God already sees the ultimate. So, may we choose to re-evaluate what we are doing both in and with our lives? May we choose to cast aside that which hinders and weighs us down? Importantly, let us get real and radical and truly forgive and seek forgiveness from those we have wronged and who have wronged us, refuse to carry that baggage around for one more day. If it is slowing you down and baulking you in the race of life it is a hindrance – lose it … today. Far too often we are crippled by our past failures and sin and, research tells us, most of us tend to keep repeating those things. Refuse to do that. Forget the former things, learn from your mistakes, and ‘fail-forward’! So may we refuse to live in the past and choose to move forward with every ounce of our being as followers of Christ? My prayer is that you and I, as we enter a brand-new year, ask God to speak into those areas of our lives that need to be rearranged, changed, and start with our house- cleaning and do not cease until it is deal! Bless you guys – Happy New Year!

 
You are as close to your Father as you choose to be. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Friday, 16 December 2016 15:29

Psalm 73:28; "It is good for me to draw near to God."

"You are as close to God as you choose to be" (Rick Warren). When our youngest daughter Chelsea was young she was extremely 'busy' to say the least! Always being gregarious (as she still is ), she was known to wander off and start chatting to other people and 'kuiering'. Now the Afrikaans word “kuier” does not translate easily, and, in the the dictionary, it says that it means to “visit” or “stroll".  But to us in South Africa, it is so much more than either! Anyway, that was what Chelsea was known for. I recall one day whilst living in Accra, Ghana where she, after having been told told not to wander, was, unbeknownst to us, up an escalator and out of sight - yes, 'kuiering'! As soon as we realised she had gone I was up the escalator frantically looking and calling for her. I eventually found her, and after that experience, she never wandered off again. Why? She was separated from her Dad and as soon as she realised that, it was scary for her. She understood how important it was to stay close to her Dad and Mom. Now for us, as followers of Christ, we should want to stay as close to our heavenly Father as possible. We need to remain "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10). There is a battle out there, and it is a spiritual one. Some respond to it with paranoia, others with extra-biblical strategies, whilst others choose to ignore it or obsess about it to their detriment. Scripture tells us a different story. It tells us that the approach to the spiritual war is to 'stand firm' (remain strong in the Lord), immerse ourselves in truth (God's Word), choosing to cling to it regardless of our emotions and circumstances. May we choose to stay as close as possible to our Father and stand firm.

 
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