Category Archives: Heart of the Father Blog

Relationships

 

Something that every person in their life faces constantly is conflict. Be it either with others or within themselves. This is especially prevalent in close relationships, more so in marriage. I believe God gave Carlo and me wisdom enough in this area to be of help to others. Carlo met me when I was still a young girl at school; needless to say he instantly fell in love. Of course he did, because he is just a stellar loving guy like that. While we were in the phase of getting to know one another we realised that we would rather sit and talk about the Word and things of God than any other subject. We shared our views on various subjects, and soon realised we were definitely likeminded when it comes to relationships and marriage. During one of these discussions Carlo and I were discussing the fact that many people find Christianity challenging, he then went on to say that if you struggle in a certain area of your Christianity, it is merely due to the fact that there is just too much of yourself to contend with, that it is not Christianity that is difficult, but YOU are being difficult. This to me was such a profound statement as it relates to every other area of our lives. If marriage is very difficult to you, it might just be that you are in your own way, and that the hindrance to peace is in fact your own selfish desires. Marriage, like Christianity, becomes difficult and confusing only when you are not getting what you want from the other person.

It is definitely true that every person has needs, and that we should communicate these needs to one another. But if you can only communicate your need to your spouse with an added pinch of threat or intimidation, you are in fact manipulating him instead of building a relationship. Your spouse is not there merely to supply your every need, to fulfil a role your heart has a yearning for, to out-do your parents, or give your more than they ever did. I feel the need to stress that although we have been taught since a young age to desire a knight in shining armour, and rightly so, our husbands cannot ever fulfil a role reserved only for God in His goodness. My husband is most definitely my hero, but can never be my Redeemer. Carlo has rescued me from many hardships, and he spared me many heartaches and disappointments. But God is and will always be my ultimate Saviour. In reality He is the only one who ultimately saves us from depression and disappointment. Misplaced trust leads to disappointment and hurt. We cannot let the performance of our spouse determine our measure of peace.

I think of how many times I have resented someone for not fulfilling some role I had expected, and the feelings I associate with those memories are hurt and anger. I believe I do not need to remind you that these are not thoughts and feelings inspired by God’s perspective of someone. I have resented my husband for not taking out the trash after he agreed to do so, and soon I found myself resenting him for much more than just an overflowing trash can. He rapidly evolved into a very noncompliant person in my opinion. Soon I was the girl burdened with the spouse who committed myriad indiscretions a day. Where previously I had been happy and content, I was now an embittered and unsatisfied mix of agitations. I can honestly say the poor guy couldn’t do one thing right. Of course when I put up with it and kept my suggestions to myself I felt like a supremely spiritual person for attaining taciturn discretion. I think so many times we create conflict and engage in arguments thinking it could result in peace. That fighting and having our say would smooth out the wrinkles of the situation. Although I’m an ardent believer in conflict resolution I am severely opposed to strife and fighting. Encouraging conflict creates an atmosphere conducive to manipulation and disempowerment. Getting angry at your spouse will never accomplish anything good. I’ve many times in my life felt the need to inform people that pointing out my mistakes won’t miraculously make me change my ways. Awareness of sin doesn’t necessarily eradicate it from our lives. James 1:20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. We think annoyance with sin in people does the work of the Word in their lives. Just discern whether you are in fact utilising the Word of God or your own words. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. When we approach unsuspecting people with a mouth-full we intend to lavish on them, it is most certainly due to a desire to be heard or acknowledged. James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice

Let me point out that in order for you to be right, your spouse becomes the wrong one. The issue with creating unhealthy conflict is that it empowers one person at the cost of another. When we do find ourselves with conflicting ideas or opinions it is really fine for both of you to be right. Yes, right. At the same time, in the same room, in the same lifetime. For real, I mean it. We need to eliminate the idea that only one person can be right at a given time. If your spouse’s opinion differs from yours, listen. Pay attention. Hear what is being said. Ponder. Respond (optional). Remember that using the time your spouse is talking to come up with an answer is not really considered listening at all.

Franciska Merrick

God has boundaries

Boundaries, simply put are limits you set up around you to for yourself and other people. There are healthy type of boundaries & unhealthy ones. I’d like to talk about the healthy ones since we are in Christ & believe on loving one another. We are not people who are in life just for ourselves and what we can get, our needs being met comes from God, not people or circumstances being in our favour, even though God does give us favour with people and blesses our circumstances too.

God also has boundaries. We know this from looking at the covenant relationships between God and man through the Bible. Without going into too many details we know that through every covenant there were rules made or promises. Every covenant was different, some would be based on promises and not rules like that of Abram and then another would be mainly rules like the covenant with Moses. I want to refer to the covenant of Moses as that shows us what huge boundaries look like & especially since Israel chose to have it this way.

Since it was a covenant that had so much rules & boundaries, it would show how easy people would break them & push them. This showed us if we had to comply with Gods boundaries & our own, what they would look like & what we would look like through Gods eyes.

Through the Old Testament we see God gets angry because people push the boundaries without thinking twice and then there are others who believed God and found favour in His sight. If I could say it in a different way, it’s like they listened to Him and were very considerate of who He is. This is relationship. You will always find favour by being considerate of someone’s heart even though you aren’t good with keeping the rules.

Somehow being considerate helps you understand the boundaries of another person. But God sends His Son who has the greatest consideration and understanding of His Fathers boundaries and walks in perfect relationship with Him and Jesus Christ makes a covenant with His Father. Now He invites us to be in Him so we look just like Jesus when the Father looks at us!

This doesn’t mean we become perfect law keepers, this means He comes into us & we are in Him and as we grow in Him we start seeing what the Father sees us as now and we grow in our understanding of who He is so we can become more like Him, because the new covenant boundaries only draw us closer.

So in our new covenant we have the healthiest boundary ever! Jesus! It only takes believing to have this boundary count to your absolute benefit & to His, since He gains a son or daughter who can be in relationship with Him. He doesn’t become angry now that the new covenant is established since you look like Jesus to Him. He will not force His boundaries on you, that’s why it remains healthy.

Even if someone rejects God, His boundaries toward that person is still open and healthy, the one doing the rejecting would be the one with unhealthy boundaries. Like I said, He will not force you. He loves you and invites you to be a son & daughter, accept Him as He accepts you, learn His heart toward you. Let your unhealthy boundaries go and accept the best One from Him, His name is Jesus. He made you & you were made for love, His love.

Any other love or acceptance should not affect your life except build you and grow you more in His love. You can depend on Him; let Him meet your need. We do something with His love though, since we abide in His Boundary, we give love away. We don’t take responsibility for other people’s unhealthy boundaries or insecurities. We live first for His kingdom & that is our priority, areas where we do not have influence, we need to move out of those, otherwise we step out of His Boundary which is Christ & we try be someone’s saviour. Even Christ who is the Saviour set Himself to be a healthy boundary for people to accept & find the Life that is in Him only or… keep their own boundaries that lead them on their own path void of life.

In His word, He has life for you, it is not a rulebook or a love letter, it’s all about relationship & you can learn from it to know the Fathers heart, never forget the Boundary(Jesus) when reading the word, otherwise you can read it with your own unhealthy boundaries and miss the life He has for you.

Thankx for reading. Bless You

Carlo Merrick
Carlo Merrick

Why it is raining in South Africa

The last 10 days it rained here in Gauteng and I’m really thankful for that, also the other areas that need it. A few days before it started to rain, there were “Facebook”videos and “posts” about why it has not rained and I felt in my heart to begin to thank Jesus for the rain and told it to come. Other people of faith started praying for rain as well and thanking God although there was no sign of rain coming. Just the day after that, the rain began to fall every day!

I would like to shed light on the idea that Christians have that a drought is because South Africa far from God and must be turn back or repent.

Also there are Old Testament and Old Covenant examples being used. Now I do not want to say much about it except that Christ is not used as an example, where the problem lies, because then the idea that God withheld rain is portrayed as in Old Testament times of drought and punishment is due to sin.

But! We are now in Christ and He is the will of God manifested! As the Father said, “This is My Son, listen to him!”

Jesus was in the boat with the disciples and the storm was wild and they feared for their lives, but Jesus was sleeping! They awoke him and asked Him: don’t You care that we perish? Jesus gave the answer: Why are you afraid? As if they should not be afraid? Then He said to the storm to be still and it was so!

In today’s time and in some Christian movements Jesus’ story in the boat will look different. Jesus would wake up and make his disciples immediately aware of their sin and how they are just like Jonah who made wrong decision and that it is God who caused the storm & now God was waiting for them to turn back and repent.

But it’s not how it turned out, even with Judas that would betray him. Jesus still says: why are “you” afraid? He also speaks to storm as if it was not the Father who sent the storm.

What I want to say today is that it is not God that withholds things and He isn’t waiting to do something until everyone is converted. Yes we need to come to the full realization of God’s Kingdom as the word “Repent” means in Matthew 4:17 to change our minds because the kingdom is at hand. Also yes, you have to accept God’s forgiveness and so we can live in it.

Who are we today? God’s people? His children? Interestingly by Jesus’ example, we see He said we are going to do what He did and more! But if we ourselves still stay in an Old covenant perspective, we will feel that we are not worthy and can only hope that God will have mercy on us.

See in the Old Covenant the people had to keep the covenant rules like contract and if they had broken the rules, God would keep His part of the contract which entailed punishment. Also the nation had to make sacrifices for their sins and because they have broken the covenant rules but it never lasted because their sacrifices was not able to make them free and they were aware of their sinful nature.

Here in the new covenant, we have Jesus, who kept the covenant perfectly and did not sin, but He made the new covenant with the Father, we did not. Finally, He became the perfect sacrifice for us and He took His blood to the heavens itself. it’s in Hebrews 9.
24:  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:25: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;26 : For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

So when we are in Christ we have no reason to feel guilty, because the perfect sacrifice was made, there is no punishment waiting for us because we live now in Him. In the new covenant we are in Christ and so He gave us a new nature when we change our minds to His kingdom and rule here because He is now within us!

Jesus comes and says He is the first born among many brethren and we are those brothers! But why was there a storm while Jesus was in the boat? Because the enemy really exists too, but we have power through Christ to tell him what to do as Jesus did with the storm. It’s in Romans 8 v 28-34
28:  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.29:  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.30:  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.31:  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?32:  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?33:  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.34:  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Why do all things work together for Good? Because He is for us & we who are in Christ are being formed in His image. Therefore we are talking to the storm and the storm has to listen. Now we can talk to the weather and tell the rain to come! We are no longer sinners, but we are sons and daughters of our Father.

Jesus loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.

Thankx for reading. Bless You

Carlo Merrick
Carlo Merrick

Hoekom dit nou reën in Suid Afrika

Die laaste 10 dae reën dit so lekker hier in Gauteng en eks regtig dankbaar teenoor die Vader daaroor, ook vir die ander areas wat dit so nodig het. ‘n Paar dae voor dit so gereën het was daar op “Facebook”
video’s en posts oor hoekom dit nie reën nie en toe voel ek om te begin dankie sê vir Jesus vir die reën en dit beveel om te kom. Ander persone van geloof het ook so begin net bid vir reën en dankie se alhoewel daar geen teken was van reën wat kom nie. Net die dag daarna het die reën begin val elke dag!

Wat ek graag wil by uitkom is die idee wat Christene kwyt raak dat daar droogte is omdat Suid Afrika ver van God af is en moet terug draai of moet bekeer word(die bekeer is gewoonlik
dat mense hulle lewens vir God moet gee)

Ook word daar Ou testament en Ou verbond voorbeelde gebruik. Nou daarin wil ek nie veel se behalwe dat Christus nie as voorbeeld gebruik word nie, waarin die probleem lê, want dan word die idee dat God reën weerhou mooi uitgebeeld word soos in Ou Testament tye van droogte en straf a.g.v sonde.

Maar! Ons is nou in Christus en Hy is die wil van God wat aan ons  gemanifesteer het! Soos die Vader gesê het : “Hierdie is My Seun, Luister na Hom!”

Ek het so gedink aan Jesus in die boot saam met die dissipels en die storm was woes en hulle het gevrees vir hul lewens, maar Jesus slaap! Hulle maak Hom wakker en se vir hom gee U nie om dat ons vergaan nie. Jesus gee die antwoord : Hoekom is julle bang? Asof hulle nie moes bang wees nie? Toe se Hy vir die storm om stil te word en dit was so!

In vandag se tyd en in sekere Christelike bewegings sal Jesus se storie in die boot anders gelyk het. Jesus sou wakker word en vir Sy dissipels dadelik bewus gemaak het van hul sonde en hoe hulle nou net soos Jona is wat verkeerde besluit gemaak het en dat dit God is wat die storms veroorsaak het, waar God net wag dat hulle moet terug draai en hulleself bekeer.

Maar dis tog nie hoe dit uitgedraai het nie, met Judas wat Hom gaan verraai vra Jesus nog steeds:  hoekom is “julle” bang? Ook praat Hy met die storm asof dit nie Sy Vader is wat die storm gestuur
het nie.

Wat ek wil se vandag is dat dit nie God is wat dinge weerhou nie en Hy ook nie eers iets doen wanner mense almal bekeer is nie. Ja ons moet tot volle realiteit kom van God se Koninkryk soos die woord “Bekeer” beteken in Mat 4:17 om ons gedagtes te verander want die koninkryk het naby gekom. Ook ja mens moet God se vergifnis aanvaar en so kan ons daarin leef.

Wie is ons vandag? God se volk? Sy kinders? Wat interessant is as ons dit deur Jesus se voorbeeld kyk dan sien ons Hy gesê ons gaan kan doen wat Hy doen en meer! Maar as ons onsself nog in ‘n Ou
verbond perspektief plaas is ons nie waardig en kan net hoop dat God ons genadig sal wees.

Sien in die Ou verbond moes die volk die verbond se reëls hou soos ‘n kontrak en as hulle dit gebreek het moes God Sy deel van die kontrak nakom wat straf ingehou het. Dan ook moes die volk offers maak vir hulle sonde en dat hulle die verbond se reëls gebreek het maar dit het nooit gehou nie want hulle offer was nie waardig om hulle vry te maak nie en hulle was net bewus van hulle sondige natuur.

Hier in die nuwe verbond het ons Jesus wat die verbond perfek gehou het en nie gesondig het nie, ook het Hy nuwe verbond gemaak met die Vader, nie ons nie. Laastens het Hy die perfekte offer geword vir ons en Hy het Sy bloed tot in die hemele gevat en daar die offer gemaak se dit in Hebreërs 9.

24:Christus het nie ingegaan in ‘n heiligdom wat deur mense gemaak is en net ‘n namaaksel van die ware is nie. Nee, Hy het in die hemel self ingegaan om nou ter wille van ons voor God te verskyn.  25:Hy het nie ingegaan om Homself herhaaldelik te offer nie, soos die hoëpriester elke jaar die Allerheiligste binnegaan met bloed wat nie sy eie is nie. 26:Dan sou Christus immers herhaaldelik moes gely het, reeds van die skepping van die wêreld af. Maar nou het Hy net een keer in die voleinding van die tye verskyn om deur sy offer die sonde weg te neem.

So wanner ons in Christus is het ons nie rede om skuldig te voel nie want die perfekte offer was gemaak, daar wag nie straf vir ons nie want ons lewe is nou in Hom.Ons is in die nuwe verbond want ons is in Christus en so het Hy ons ‘n nuwe natuur ook gegee wanner ons ons gedagtes verander na Sy koninkryk wat Heers en hier is want Hy is nou binne ons!

Jesus kom en se Hy is die eerste geborene tussen baie broers en daai broers is ons! Maar nou hoekom het die storm gekom terwyl Jesus dan in die boot was? Want die vyand bestaan regtig ook, maar ons het gesag deur Christus om vir hom te se wat om te doen soos Jesus met die storm. Dit se in Romeine 8 v 28-34

28:Ons weet dat God alles ten goede laat meewerk vir dié wat Hom liefhet, dié wat volgens sy besluit geroep is. 29:Dié wat Hy lank tevore verkies het, het Hy ook bestem om gelykvormig te wees aan die beeld van sy Seun, sodat sy Seun baie broers kan hê van wie Hy die Eerste is. 30:Dié wat Hy daartoe bestem het, het Hy ook geroep. En dié wat Hy geroep het, het Hy ook  vrygespreek. En dié wat Hy vrygespreek het, het Hy ook verheerlik. Niks kan ons van die liefde van Christus skei nie 31:Wat is nou ons gevolgtrekking oor al hierdie dinge? Dít: God is vír ons, wie kan dan teen ons wees? 32:Hy het sy eie Seun nie gespaar nie, maar Hom oorgelewer om ons almal te red. Sal Hy ons dan nie al die ander dinge saam met Hom uit genade skenk nie? 33:Wie kan die uitverkorenes van God aankla? God self spreek hulle vry. 34:Wie kan ons veroordeel? Christus Jesus het gesterf, maar meer as dit: Hy is uit die dood opgewek, Hy sit aan die regterhand van God, Hy pleit vir ons.

Hoekom werk dinge ten Goede? Want ons wat in Christus is sal dinge te goede meewerk omdat Hy vir ons is en omdat Hy ons vorm in Sy beeld. Daarom praat ons met die storm en die storm moet luister. Daarom praat ons met die weer en se reën, kom! Ons is nie meer sondaars nie ,maar ons is seuns en dogters van ons vader.

Jesus het jou lief en daar is niks wat jy daaromtrent kan doen nie.

Dankie

Carlo Merrick
Carlo Merrick

The Two questions

The two questions you want to ask in your life are these two :

Who is God to me? & Who am I to God?

The way people answer these two will always be the frame in which their belief system is built.

These two questions always stay in my mind when I speak to anyone about God, because it helps me see what they need to hear to be encouraged to have more of God in their life.

We answer the first question, maybe, with a God that is judgmental & wants to punish us, then we end up with a bad idea for an answer to the second question. It only leaves us with little hope & maybe some mercy because what God is says a lot about us & what our destiny looks like.

This leaves the door open to a lot of feelings that will take us spiralling down fast & ultimately shipwreck our faith.

Now “Karma”  and “the wheel turning” also makes sense when we feel like we have been wronged. So God must be the one instigating “Bad karma” or making “the wheel” to turn on people for their deeds.

While none of that is in the Bible, people do dig their own pits & fall into them while God has no part in that process except to lead someone to come help them out of that pit or be the voice telling them to stay away from certain things that would hurt them.

But aren’t we simply living Gods plan that He laid out for us? Not necessarily. See love doesn’t force you, it lets you choose. God is love. You can walk in His plan or another plan. God wants to walk with you & you to walk with Him. But for you to walk with Him you need to know His heart & His heart towards you is so good. Think on some words that describe God. Merciful, full of grace, giver of life, Father, Love! That is just a few simple examples of our God. Now if that is who He is to us, then who are we to Him? One’s who obtained mercy, received grace, have His life in us, sons & daughters of the Father, we live in His love.

If we have the wrong idea about God, we will miss His plan & will live a life less than what He intended for us. Today, see yourself in His eyes, from His perspective, through His heart. This turns our hearts to thankfulness & not blame. We do not need to be victims when God made us to be more than conquerors.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this. feel free to send a message to heartofthefather through the contact page.

Thankx for reading. Bless You

Carlo Merrick
Carlo Merrick