Author Archives: Amasains

About Amasains

"Love so amazing so divine, demands my soul, my heart, my all"

Leviticus 25; Psalm 32; Ecclesiastes 8; 2 Timothy 4

Leviticus 25

In April 2015 my wife and 11 month old daughter and I left our “home” in South Africa and moved permanently to the United States. On the eve of this 2 year anniversary I look back at what has been an enormous undertaking, with many a tear but also many a wonderful story to tell. It still feels rather lonely without family and familiar friends sometimes but I am reminded as I read in Leviticus we can always rely on the Lord for strength and He will keep us safe

18 “ Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. 19 Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.”

Psalm 32

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

What is confession? To confess our sin is to agree with God, acknowledging that He is right to declare what we have done as sinful, and that we are wrong to desire or to do it. It means affirming our intention of abandoning that sin in order to follow God more faithfully.

Ecclesiastes 8

Solomon recalls the remedy for life’s unanswered questions. He recommends joy and contentment as encouragement for us along life’s journey. We must accept each day with its daily measure of work and of course pleasure. Let us learn to enjoy what God has given us to refresh and strengthen us to continue His work.

15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

2 Timothy 4

2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Always be ready to serve God in any situation, whether or not it is convenient. Be sensitive to the opportunities God gives you. It is difficult to accept correction, to be told we have to change. But no matter how much the truth hurts, we must be willing to listen to it so we can more fully obey God.

God Bless

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Leviticus 10; Psalm 11, 12; Proverbs 25; 1 Thessalonians 4

Leviticus 10

The purpose of Gods laws is to teach us how to distinguish between right and wrong, the sacred from the common, the clean from the unclean. Aaron’s sons were careless about following the laws for sacrifices. In response, God destroyed them with a blast of fire. Performing the sacrifices was an act of obedience. Doing them correctly showed respect for God. It is easy for us to grow careless about obeying God, to live our way instead of God’s. But if one way were just as good as another, God would not have commanded us to live his way. We always place ourselves in danger when we consciously or carelessly disobey Him.

2 So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord

Psalm 11

God does not shield believers from difficult circumstances, but he tests both the righteous and the wicked. For some, God’s tests become a refining fire, while for others they become an incinerator for destruction. Don’t ignore or defy the tests and challenges that come your way. Use them as opportunities for you to grow.

5 The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a  passion.

  Psalm 12

2 Everyone lies to their neighbour; they flatter with their lips but harbour deception in their hearts.

3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue— 4 those who say “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

We may be tempted to believe that some lies are relatively harmless, even useful at times. But God does not overlook lies, flattery, deception or boasting. Each of these sins originates from a bad attitude that is eventually expressed in our speech. The tongue can be our greatest enemy because, though small, it can do great damage. Be careful how you use yours….

Proverbs 25

God’s form of retaliation is most effective and yet difficult to do. By returning good for evil, we are acknowledging God as the balancer of all accounts and trusting him to be the judge.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. 22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

1 Thessalonians 4

Because Jesus came back to life, so will all believers. Do not despair when loved ones die or world events take a tragic turn, God will turn our tragedies into triumphs. And we will all be reunited and united with Him for ever and ever. Amen

18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

God Bless

Neil

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Exodus 35; John 14; Proverbs 11; Ephesians 4

Exodus 35

Building the tabernacle needed various materials and of course people with varied skills in a variety of disciplines to accomplish. God did not require special offerings from his people, just what they were willing to give, whether that was skill or material. He appealed to them as He does to us, to have generous and willing hearts. We all have been given varied skills and abilities and it is our duty to develop and nurture these and to use them in the service of God for His glory!

5 From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze; 6 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 7 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; 8 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 9 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breast piece.

10 “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded:

 26 And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair.

John 14

Hallelujah! Jesus’ words show that the way to eternal life, though unseen, is secure.  As secure as your trust and acceptance of Jesus.

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Not only is our eternity secured for us we also know the way to get it, wow!

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”     6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Proverbs 11

Two contrasting paths for life and not intended for all people in all circumstances, yet it can be applied to anywhere or wherever we may live. As God’s people we are not by any means excluded from troubles or struggles. If we follow God’s wisdom, however, we can and will be rescued.

8 The righteous person is rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead.

Ephesians 4

God has chosen us to be Christ’s representatives on earth. In the light of this, Paul challenges us to live lives worthy of the calling we have received. We have an awesome privilege of being called Christ’s very own. This includes being humble, gentle, patient, understanding, and peaceful. People are watching your life. Can they see Christ in you? How well are you doing as His representative?

 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

The Holy Spirit in us is our seal and guarantee that we belong to God!

God Bless

Neil

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Exodus 21; Luke 24; Job 39; 2 Corinthians 9

By the time I had read these readings, I could not but rejoice at what was achieved for us by Jesus Christ. His faultless life, death and resurrection.

He came to fulfill the “impossible to keep” intricate laws by which everyone would be declared guilty.

He came to absorb the Fathers wrath and redeem all who believe in Him

Exodus 21 – Complicated Laws

God laying down the Law

1“These are the laws you are to set before them:

Luke 24 – Resurrection Emmaus

Jesus walking beside believers and explaining the Scriptures in love.

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Job 39 – Humbling Job

God, more gently persuading Job to think correctly

26 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread its wings toward the south? 27 Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high? 28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; a rocky crag is its stronghold. 29 From there it looks for food; its eyes detect it from afar. 30 Its young ones feast on blood, and where the slain are, there it is.”

2 Corinthians 9 – Encouraging generosity

Paul encourages the people to respond generously

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;  their righteousness endures forever.”

Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

God Bless

Neil

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Exodus 7; Luke 10; Job 24; 1 Corinthians 11

Many times in my life I end up not taking on challenges based purely on the fact that they are exactly that, challenging! God requires us many times to get out of our comfort zones and to trust Him. In each of the readings today we find people having to do things that are far outside of their comfort zones.

Exodus 7

Moses & Aaron having to confront Pharaoh with an audacious demand.

2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.

Luke 10

The 72 followers of Jesus sent out to preach and demonstrate that the Kingdom of God had come near to them.

3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Job 24

Job having to wrestle with evidence that the wicked seemed not to be punished by God
1“Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days? 2There are those who move boundary stones; they pasture flocks they have stolen. 3They drive away the orphan’s donkey and take the widow’s ox in pledge. 4 They thrust the needy from the path and force all the poor of the land into hiding.
1 Corinthians 11

Paul having to reprimand the Church at Corinth.

17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 
Obedience to God will often require this of us also. No matter how uncomfortable God’s call to obedience may be, we must know that He always strengthens and equips those He calls.

God Bless

Neil & Tom

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Genesis 43; Mark 13; Job 9; Romans 13

Genesis 43

I know the many blessings that I have received and continue to receive in my life everyday are not all of my own making or my doing, but a gracious gift from God because of my family before me.  Joseph’s fortunes changed considerably from slave to royalty by his own work yes but also due to the works of his righteous father before him. In Gen 43 we read that Joseph’s father did not try to get away with anything, did he? He was a man of integrity who paid for what he bought, whether he had to or not. We should all follow his example and guard our integrity as we store up treasures in heaven not only for ourselves but also for those who follow us.

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake.

Mark 13

Storing up our treasures in heaven becomes all the more real and prevalent when we read Mark 13 which is a vivid and very real description of the end times as told to us by Jesus himself.  Nobody knows the when, not even Jesus. These are more guidelines for preparation than for calculation, so let us keep watch together.

26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

 32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only he Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.34It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

Job 9

Life is not easy and by any means fair.  Even Job, a good and faithful servant struggled to understand why he was under so much suffering and wanted his case brought before God. He knew trying to argue with God was fruitless and so should we. Hard times are a reality and we might not understand the why but we should understand that we serve a mighty God who uses all things for the good who believe in him.

Romans 13

The presidential election here in the United States was a hot topic of conversation throughout the world. It remains a hot topic to this day for many reasons. Romans 13 is a real eye opener to how we as believers should behave toward authority. Let us never forget one of the most important guidelines for us as followers of Christ.

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.

God Bless

Neil

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Genesis 28; Matthew 27; Esther 4; Acts 27

In Romans 8 we read: 28. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

I was pleasantly reminded this week that there are so many different ways in which God reveals messages to us in His word and how council with others helps you to just stop, take a step back and really look at things differently compared to how you always look at things. This was such a wonderful example this week when I asked my dad to look into today’s readings and let me know what he thought about it and he sent me Romans 8:28. No matter what the plans of man may be. God is working for the good.

Genesis 28

We read in Genesis 27 that Jacobs mother Rebekah was a manipulator and together with Jacob had stolen his brother Esau’s blessings. Jacob had learned well from his mother and tried his own manipulation on God. A great example of how God uses the plans and even manipulations of man for good!

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God 

Matthew 27

An amazing example of how God can take the worst plans, deeds and wickedness of people and use them to accomplish his purposes, which are always good. The ultimate price paid by Jesus who was sacrificed for us so that we may be saved……shows the incredible lengths that God would and will go to for us who love Him, in order to get it done.

1 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed.

62The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63“Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

When we remember that all this is motivated by God’s love for us, it is mind boggling.

Esther 4

Evil plans are hatched to kill off all Gods people Israel

6 So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. 7Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews.

God already had people and things in place to protect the Jews

Acts 27

Paul endured really harsh circumstances, for not only is he imprisoned after being falsely accused but has to endure a violent storm at sea while being transported to Italy

14Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. 15The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 

God allowed His servants (Jesus, Mordechai, Esther & Paul) to experience the harshest of circumstances and often the hatred of others in their service of Him. Despite devious plans, persecution, storms and the harshest of circumstances, God uses all these things for the good of those who love Him, because He loves us!

God Bless

Neil

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