All posts by Franciska Merrick

freedom in the cross

Read with me, “ And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14

As my friends and I were discussing what Easter means to us, the concept of having victory kept coming up. It seemed, collectively, we all shared a hope that we would have victory over circumstances. Here were a bunch of ladies of all ages, demographics, and walks of life testifying that they were so very reminded of His ability in us to be see victory over every onslaught of the enemy. An awareness of His ability to make all things new, to bring life and restoration. And let me tell you, some of these girls are fighting hard battles. What admirable faith! IT encouraged me to hope and become excited about the future. I could see Him rise, offering deliverance to those hoped. But suddenly I felt a sense of doubt in my celebration. My heart was fearing arrogance. How can I celebrate in the face of death? It was my sin that put Him there. I felt a tinge of shame as I thought of this wonderful deed Christ did for me evoking such a boldness is my heart. Should the fact that He suffered not make me sad? Should I not walk head upside down to show my humility. Maybe if I had showed some remorse I would be deserving? Should I not weep constantly in awe of such mercy? Oh, but I do feel sad and shameful, God, I thought. Immediately God reminded me it was for freedom that we were made free. He did not suffer to put us to shame. It was for Joy that he suffered.

The Cross was an extremely costly sacrifice. If we can understand that He bought us access to Himself we will jump for joy. When we choose to live in shame of any form, we cheapen the price He paid. Shame often represents in us trying to hard, judging too harshly, feeling inadequate, lack of boldness, constantly needing to have the answers, validating our own shortcomings, justifying living distant from His presence. We do not have to live in shame. We have been bought. We belong to Him. He paid the ultimate price so we do not have to. Freedom means we get to live, it means we get to live HOLY. It brings Him joy when we embrace the fullness of the cross and live in such a way that honors our belief. Honoring Him looks like boldness, action, love, hope, freedom, and obedience.We believe He died for us, because He loved us so. Live like you believe He paid it all. It can be a daunting and overwhelming idea to think that your debt has been paid by the very Son of God. But be encouraged today, He had a choice, and He chose you. The one who created you chose to keep you. Today, if you hear His call, respond. Choose Him, also. Accept the call, revel in His love, embrace His words, and lay down your reasoning that wants to give you all the reasons you cannot ever overcome. It was for you. It was for love. He endured for Joy! Take the courage to love on Him by accepting that He loved you then, and He loves you still. He knew you then, everything you would do, everything you would be, and He still chose to die for you. Today, lay aside yourself. Lay aside the pride that would have you living in sin and working for righteousness. Love on Him, be with Him, speak to Him. Partake of His nature by embracing the fact that He is Love, and that He chose you.

Pray with me, “Father, thank you for sending your Son to die for me. Thank you for loving me and choosing me, daily. Help me live in a way that honors the You. Forgive me for the times I have doubted you and denied you. Today, I vow to live according to You purposes and not my own.”

the power of god to overcome

Read with me, “2 Corinthians 13:4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

Before Jesus ascended, He told Philip that He would leave us a helper, the Holy Spirit. We know that when we receive the Holy Spirit, we also receive the power of God. When Jesus left earth and ascended to heaven He did not leave us destitute or powerless. In His goodness Jesus gave us of Himself, so that we will be able to live holy and sanctified, effective to every good work by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit imbued us with power that is able to reverse death and decay, power for victory over sickness, and power that trumps our human deficiencies. He helps us in all things, everyday. There is nothing that is too big or difficult for Him. This one part found in Colossians stands out to me clearly when I think of how in need I am of His help. Colossians 1:29 says “For this I labor [often to the point of exhaustion], striving with His power and energy, which so greatly works within me.” I am reminded that He has left us the holy spirit and given us His power which comes into effect when we find ourselves weary and exhausted. It is then that the Holy Spirit works through us mightily. He comes alongside us and says, “I want to help you. I want to remind you that you have great Power available to you.” It is then that our fleshly striving have turned into “striving” in His might. His burden is light, and His yoke is easy. Doing the work of the Kingdom has a guaranteed energy support and power supply in the person of the Holy Spirit. When we partner with Him, things that were heavy and difficult become manageable, we become able, and He becomes glorified in our lives. We need power and energy to do the works He sent us to do, namely to overcome and rule with Christ, proclaim the good news of the gospel, and love those around us. When I partner with the Holy Spirit, remembering that He is with me, and tackle the mission with the knowing that He is with and for us, the power of God works mightily through me.

2 Thessalonians 1:11- 12 says “With this in view, we constantly pray for you, that our God will count you worthy of your calling [to faith] and with [His] power fulfill every desire for goodness, and complete [your] every work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you [by what you do], and you in Him, according to the [precious] grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

I think it is imperative to recognise that the power of God comes to fulfill our desire for goodness and not for destruction. The power that comes from God is to do the will of the Father, to accomplish His Kingdom mission on earth for every person. The ultimate reason for operating and desiring power should be to complete our faith, to testify of His sovereignty, to establish His reign in our lives, and to acknowledge that we are deficient without Him. We do not seek His power for our own gain, but to fulfil that which He called us to; good works and great faith.

Pray with me, “ Thank you Father for your awesome power that enable us to go and do. Thank you for equipping the saints to live victoriously and powerfully. I pray today for an awareness of the Helper, and the power that is available to me to conquer everything that comes against my purpose. Lead me in your truth that I may always know I am more than enough through Your great strength. Thank you for calling us to this great purpose of loving You and living for you.”

the power and authority of god – pt 3

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every other name. Philippians 2:9-11 “

The name of the lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe. Proverbs 18:10

While reading the Bible we Time and time again encounter the phrase “in the name of Jesus.” We see demons cast out in His name, sickness healed in His name, Salvation come through His name, baptism happens through His name, sanctification and justification comes through His name.

The name of Jesus is powerful and has been given to us as an effective tool to wage war and establish rule over the enemy. There is nothing we cannot attain when we pray in His name. There is no enemy that can stand and persist against the name of Jesus. There is power in His name to overcome, consistently. And this power is in us! We have been made His, and He is ours, so we pray from a place of belonging. We do not pray as those who have no hope. We do not ask as some who do not have a good Father. When we realise we are already in Him, the security that comes from the safety of belonging in Him gives us the boldness to pray wild prayers, because He does not deny His own. When we choose to operate in His name, we acknowledge and utilise the gift of Power He has freely given us. We come into alignment with the truth that He still has a valued interest in the things we do while on the earth, in us as a person. Because HE is who He is, we have an assurance that our prayers are effective and we pray in great expectation of breakthrough and results. All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus. When we utilise the power of His name, we utilise an authority that reaches all areas of heaven and earth. The name of Jesus also has the highest ranking, having authority over every other name. All angels, powers, and authorities have been subjected to Him. He has given us access to His name, and to the authority that comes with it. He makes us powerful in Him. When we pray ‘in Jesus’ name,’ we call on the authority that He has. This makes us a threat to the enemy. When we pray in the name of Jesus we get to be confident, we are powerful and effective. His name affords us the upper hand, making us strong and safe. His name gives us the opportunity to live not as victims, but victoriously, overcoming in everyday things and everyday life.

Pray with me, “ Thank you Father for the authority you have given us access to through your Son, Jesus. Today, I acknowledge You as sovereign and powerful. My desire is to walk in Your power, to be effective for the Kingdom of God. Please show me Your power in my everyday life, so that I would know how to live victoriously.”

the power of god – pt2

Read with me, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” Romans 1:16-17

“What does Romans 1:16-17 mean for us today? What stands out to me in these verses is that faith and power are two gifts that operate together. The power of God is not dependent on our faith, but faith is required for us to carry out the works and purposes of God. We have been required to put our faith in God’s power to accomplish His purposes. The power of God also accompanies the entire Christ nature, being manifested alongside and in conjunction with joy, peace, strength, doing good and healing the sick, godliness and life. These are the traits in which the Kingdom of God becomes manifest. When we are kingdom minded, we are Christ minded, and that means we are powerful and effective at accomplishing that which He sent us to do. Righteous living is Kingdom living, righteous living is demonstrating His kingdom and reign on the earth, in us. It is important to remember the power we carry. If we understand that He has given us His power freely, we can wield it effectively. If you have been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, then you have been filled with power, also. God has given us a spirit of power, along with love and self control. A person living a life of love and self control is a powerful person, and a powerful person is the opposite of someone plagued by the victim mentality. We have received the power of God so that we can overcome, we are not left without options or destitute, we have been given power and authority over he works of the enemy. Luke 10:19 reminds us the the prayer of a righteous person has great power. When we come into agreement with what God says about us, we are in right standing with Him, that means our faith pleases Him, this is when our prayers become powerful.

Pray with me, “Lord, forgive me for areas where I have allowed a victim mindset to steal from me, where I have surrendered my power. Please help me live from a place of victory and power. Please remind me that Your power is perfect in my weakness, and that I have received all that I need to overcome. “

The power of god

Read with me, “and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

1 Corinthians 2:4-5

What does 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 mean for us today? It is a reminder that the wisdom that comes from people can sometimes create a false sense of security. Our trust is not be grounded in the wisdom of men, but rather we should take encouragement to trust in the power of God. What do we read about the power of God, it’s availability, and purpose? The power of God is displayed through us, our lives and our ministries. 2nd Peter tell us that His power has given us everything we need to live a Godly life. We really have no excuse for a powerless life. What is a powerless life? A life where I consistently see myself as a victim. His power is mighty, it makes us powerful and able. His power created the entire universe, and the same power that raised Christ from the dead, is also the power that lives in us, enabling us to live wholly and righteously. He has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power. He gave us this power to overcome, to rule, to reign, to live. The power of God is what makes us live victoriously over our enemies, stripping off the victim mentality and empowering us to take action against the forces that would have us broken and barren and wanting. There is a significant increase in assurance when we stand on the word and power of God. Resting happens when we trust that His word is alive and full of power to accomplish that which was promised to us. Victory was promised, success, power over the enemy, wisdom and guidance so that we can live holy are all promises we can claim by His power. We cannot direct our lives according to the instructions of men who sound wise but have no demonstration of His Spirit or power in their lives. We cannot allow the wisdom of men that informs us of shortcomings and impossibilities to steer our lives. In many testimonies we will see the prevalence of resting and trusting in God’s word that precedes a breakthrough. God has an uncanny way of confounding the wise, His power shifting and shaping our lives with magnificent beauty. When our faith rests in the power of God we are assured victory. Faith is what moves Him, it is what pleases Him. The wisdom of men might say “go left,” while the Spirit leans “right.” It is when faced with difficulty that it becomes imperative to listen to the leading of the Spirit, as He leads He demonstrates God’s power in our lives, which stirs our faith even more.

Pray with me, “ Thank you God for your amazing and mighty power that is at work in me, to change, to do, to be. I acknowledge You as the Sovereign God, Mighty in deed. Let your power be demonstrated through my life by Your Spirit. Amen.”

love – part 4

Read with me, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:9-10

What does Romans 12:9-10 mean for us today?Our love must be sincere. The dictionary defines sincere as free from pretense or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings. Love that is sincere flows from true affection and honor, it is not made up. Love doesn’t lie or manipulate. True love is just that, true. It always seeks out the true value of the other person. It always believes the best, and hopes for the well being of another. It is deficient in nothing except deceit or pretense. It is honest, pure, unfeigned, and heartfelt.To the same extent that we are to truly love, we are also to hate evil. Love is the force that makes us stand up for someone else, defend them, and remind them of the truth God has said about them. The love we have for one another should spur us on in our pursuit to eradicate every vile and evil thing that comes against our loved ones. We can easily do this by clinging to that which is good, in us and in others. Love allows us to seek it out, embrace it, and champion the person as valuable and loved. It becomes easy to love others when we choose to intentionally seek out and cling to what is good about a person. Our devotion should be to love. When our devotion is to ourselves and our own wants, it is quite hard to truly love others. Our devotion should be to always seek the better in each other, and elevate each other to a higher standard. Sincere love allows us to not compete with each other, seeking our own gain and validation, but love asks ” how can I love YOU better?” in loving well, we manifest Christ, encouraging others to love and seek Him, also.

Read with me, “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you…”

1 Thessalonians 3:12

There is a way of loving others that can only be accomplished by a work of God in your heart. He alone is able to increase our heart’s capacity to see the value in others and love them accordingly. To love them as Christ sees them, not as I see them. To love them according to what Christ has done and who He is, as opposed to what they have done. We need to come to a place where we regard people not according to perceived faults, but according to the amazing value the price Christ payed has placed on their lives. When we become Christ focused it becomes easier to see someone else’s value because we are not self-absorbed but love focused. We cannot live in the past of what others did to us, we need to allow God to increase the capacity of our hearts to abound in love towards them.

Pray with me, “God, thank you for loving us so perfectly, and calling us to be perfected in this love. Help me see the good in others, help me realize their value and worth, let me love like You do. Teach me what it means to love honourably. God, I want to live a life of love and honour.

Love Part 3

Read with me,Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

What does 1 Peter 4:8 mean for us today? Love covers a multitude of sins, ours and those of others. Sins, unfair treatments, ignorances, arrogances, dismissals, hurts, lies, and pride are just some of the everyday things people do that I can think of that easily causes offence in our hearts. Every single time we are faced with situations that include offence, we get the honour of choosing love! In honor we get to cover that person rather than hammer on the wrongs. There is no greater love than laying down your life for your friend. Covering someone’s sin looks something like this – saying no to vengeance, saying no to always having the last say, not needing to be right, forgiving, not reminding someone of their faults – while being right. Laying down your life for someone requires you to remove your own will and opinion from the equation. Essentially, this means saying NO to myself, and saying YES to love. The greatest commandment is to love, and if this is particularly difficult, it could be due to the fact that too much of ourselves are still in the way of loving the way Jesus demonstrated. There is a beauty that comes with loving someone deeply, it speaks of selflessness. It sets the other person free from guilt and condemnation. Love liberates them, and us. Love covers. While the blood of Jesus washes us clean of sin and we do not possess the power to rid someone of their sins, we do however possess the power of choice to cover them in love. What a dynamic way to live like Jesus, laying down our lives in order that someone else could be free. Let your life speak of the love of God, let your life demonstrate the practicality of dying to self. Let your life proclaim that He is Love.

Read with me, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13

Would your relationships look any different once you realised true love means laying down you life for someone else, persistently seeking the well-being of another above your own? True love inspires compassion as opposed to anger, patience instead of irritation, Godly love covers, it doesn’t expose and humiliate. Laying down your life for someone you love could very well mean you keep quiet and let them speak, you allow them to have an opinion, you listen to understand. There is no I in love, it is not self-seeking, aka I am not thinking of me when dealing with you. Fighting? Let love win.

Pray with me, “ “God, thank you for providing us with a love that covers us and sets us free. Your love is amazing. Help me recognise it and embrace it. I pray that You empower me to live this love out loud. Let me love people to freedom. Help me forgive as I have been forgiven, and love as I am loved. “


Read with me, “ But the goal of our instruction is love [which springs] from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5

What does 1 Timothy 1:5 mean for us today? This scripture has such an efficient way of bringing to our attention the ever present need for the love of God to be at the centre of all we do, everyday. Our goal, our aim, is to love. Let all we do be done in love, void of manipulation and agendas. This means we listen to, we wait for, we pray for, we trust, we believe another. Love like this expects no return. We all know the famous Bible passage that speaks of love,1 Corinthians 13. Say it with me, ” Love is patient, Love is kind, does not envy, is not boastful or proud.” Imagine being loved like this. Now, imagine loving someone else in such a way that you cannot be boastful, proud, envious, unkind, or impatient with them. Imagine the God of love himself urging us to love with patience and kindness, as HE does. This is the kind of love that ushers in peace and hope. 1 Corinthians 13 also says, if I do not love I AM nothing. Doing life without love in your heart renders you void of purpose. If we are not busy loving, what are we being? The greatest faith, most beautiful tongues, accurate prophecies cannot add the significance to your life that love can. In love alone our lives find meaning. In loving others we add value to our own callings. Not money, not miracles, not ministry, but doing those things in love. The aim of every instruction is love. The purpose of God’s sending is love. The purpose of Jesus’ coming is love. Love never fails, it does not run out, it is not found wanting, because there is no fear in love. Love is redemptive. When we love someone else with perfect love, we drive out their fears, we help them become free, and empower them to live in the redemptive love of God. According to Jesus, the greatest commandment is to love the Lord, and the second is to love your neighbour. It all comes down to loving God and people.

Read also,”Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7

Loving others comes naturally to those who know God, because He is love. The more we desire to know Him and become acquainted with who He is, the better we will love. Loving people is so important, loving them well is a testimony to our faith in God. When we love our lives testify that we know Him. Our entire lives should be aimed at loving God and people. It is the foundational element of being reborn and living in Him.

Pray with me, “God, thank you for loving me well. Thank you God, for your love that has been shed abroad in our hearts. Help me to see as You do, help me to love as You do. God I long to love as perfectly as You do, with patience and kindness and gentleness. Help me to pursue every opportunity to be love to those around me. Reveal to me areas where I have pursued my own agendas. Forgive me where I have not loved well.”

Love – Part 1

LOVE Part 1

Read with me, ‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1 John 4:18 ,21

What does 1 John 4:18 & 21 mean for us today? We do not have to be afraid. We have a God that loves us to a degree that chases away our fears! It is amazing that He in the essence of who He is chose to give us this love, freely. Also, He loved us first, perfectly. His love driving out our fear is the great empowerment we need to love others. The purpose of our mission on earth is to love (1Tim 5). He came and loved us first, showing us exactly how to love others. It is to be understood that living a life with no fear is the greatest empowering element when it comes to loving people. Fearless love for others is one of the commandments He has given us; to love them, as we love God. We love Him as He loves us. Sometimes, that means loving them first, without reciprocation, unconditionally. Love them without the added element of fear as a driving force for their good behaviour. When we deliberately invoke fear and punishment, we have moved outside of the scope of perfect love and entered into the selfishness of control. There is no fear in love. IF we love the way God intended, we cannot strike fear into the hearts of others. It is one of the most rewarding aspects of life, to see the fear leave someone’s heart as you love them wholly. God is the Father who enable us to love like that, by loving us first. There is no fear involved when we allow Him to love on us, just as we are. It is often the fear that prevent us from approaching the Father, not realizing that in His perfect love is where we will find everything we need and long for. His love is perfect, not lacking in any good things.

Ephesians 4:2 -3 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

I love how scripture gives us answers and strategies to deal with everything in our daily lives. God has definitely provided us with solutions that are both workable and easy to understand. He loved us in a way that demonstrates the peculiar dynamic of loving someone without being loved in return, a love that is unconditional. Reading various passages we will see many divers topics that lend themselves to loving well. Ephesians helps us realise that often times loving others will reqire much humility, gentleness and patience from our side. Loving someone else first will require us to be humble enough to deny our own opinions, gentle enough to show them clearly they are loved regardless of differences, and patient enough to do it over and over again. This is the love of God we ought to demonstrate to others, a love that is patient, gentle, humble,kind, longsuffering, and always initiated from our side first.

Pray with me

“ Thank you God for your love that has been shed abroad in our hearts. Help me love see as You do, help me to love as You do. God I long to love as perfectly as you do, with patience, and kindness, and gentleness. Help me to pursue every opportunity to be love to those around me.”

Christ In me – Part 4

Christ In Me – Part 4

Read with me, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

What does John 14:16-17 mean for us, today? I love that this passage includes the word ‘forever.’ He was then, is today, and will tomorrow be our Helper. The Greek word for another in this context means “of the same sort,” which helps us to understand that the Holy Spirit is of the same ministry as Jesus. HE did not leave us an inferior Helper, He did not hand us over to someone who is incapable of helping us. What is even more amazing is that the helper is with us FOREVER. He lives in us, and ‘ will be with you.’ This refers to a constant abiding, a present help. This makes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit personal as well as continual. It is important to note that the function of the Holy Spirit is to help us while operating in truth. He helps us by bringing us the truth. Our Helper is the Spirit of Truth. What happens when we allow the Truth to help us along? We gain freedom (John 8:32). He is able to efficiently assist us because He lives in us. When Christ ascended to heaven and left physically, He didn’t leave us destitute. No. He left us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Christ. It is The Holy Spirit in us who gives us new birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus unless one is born of water and of Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. With being born again we receive the Holy Spirit who testifies of Christ in us, who constantly reminds us of the reality and truth of God. The Spirit of truth comes and reminds us that we are able and loved, empowered and we have been given grace, reconciled and favored. He is the one who comes alongside us encouraging us in truth, edifying us and exhorting us to good works. When we fall short, it is the Spirit of Truth that whispers to us, “You have been redeemed. Be encouraged. His power is made perfect in your weakness.” Allow the Holy Spirit to encourage you to continue the good works by advocating your salvation. HE speaks the truth, you are accepted and loved.

Read with me, You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

A great part of the testimony the Holy Spirit speaks to your soul is the reminder that you have what it takes to make it. He reminds us that God is on our side. We belong to Him, and therefore we overcome through Him. As His children, He takes our side and assures us the victory we need in the face of circumstances and onslaughts. You are of God, dear child, you have overcome. Claim your victory, He who is in you is greater than who is in the world. He chose to make His abode in you, valuing relationship with you, affording you the opportunity to face life with the boldness that comes with being equipped for warfare and victory. His Spirit inside us, reminding us of the reality of His might is the empowerment we need to run head-first into battle, unafraid of the world.