Author: Alan


As we head towards the end of the year, we trust God for some quality rest and relaxation. I know that over the festive period it is easy for some to overindulge and do things we shouldn’t. Now more than usual, we need to exercise self-control.

Proverbs 16:32

Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.

Patience and self-control are strengths, not weaknesses. Your ability to resist temptation, to handle difficult challenges, to build meaningful relationships are all linked to your ability to exercise restraint and control.

Proverbs 29:11

Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.

We need to be in control of what we think, say, and do. It is a learned discipline that gets easier the more you do it. How often do we say things in anger or out of frustration and then regret it? You need to know when to speak your mind and when to just listen.

Proverbs 25;38

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

You start to relinquish protection you when you have no self-control. Remember that a wall not only keeps things out, but it also keeps some things in. The more self-control you exercise, the more you will protect yourself against pressures from outside.

Romans 12:1-2

And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

This may sound contradictory, but the way we get self-control is to give up control and allow God to guide and lead us through his holy spirit. Your body is a temple of God’s spirit. Respect your own body (and the bodies of others). Don’t put things into your body that are harmful to you. Control your appetites. Allow God to shape the way you think about life and the world around you. Be in control by giving God control.

Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.

  • LOVE
  • JOY

Although we need the Holy Spirit to help us have these fruit in our lives, it starts with our choice. We need to decide that we are going to walk in love, be patient and kind and so on.

Each fruit is distinct from but similar to the others. Usually, they will overlap and more than one will be evident at the same time.

As we grow and mature as believers, the fruit becomes part of our lifestyle, the way we live.

God wants it to become normal for us to have the fruit of the Spirit manifest every day in our lives.

Ephesians 4:31-32

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

All of us need to deal with bitterness and anger daily. Getting rid of certain toxic habits and behaviours and allowing God to change us into good people.

Paul tells us that there is faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love – the very first fruit of the Spirit


Being faithful is such an important dynamic in any relationship. We expect those closest to us to be faithful and we are deeply hurt when they are not. Many friendships, families and marriages have been destroyed by unfaithfulness.

Matthew 25:21

The master was full of praise. Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together.

God does not reward success, he rewards faithfulness. Not everyone can be successful all the time but we can choose to be faithful all the time. What is the reward for faithfulness? More responsibility. I believe that one of the reasons for the growth of our ministry at Hands of Compassion is that Pastor Xana and I have been faithful to God, to our calling and to each other over many years. Faithfulness is a cause for celebration. I celebrate all of the faithful people in my life, and when people are unfaithful, I celebrate the faithfulness of God.

Psalm 107:1-2

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.

Are you grateful to God for his faithful love that endures forever? Why don’t you take a minute now to thank him? Think of all the times that he has been faithful to you even when you might have been unfaithful to him. He has redeemed you so often, many times you have not even been aware of it.

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.

Paul suffered much during his lifetime but he remained faithful. He finished his race although he could have given up many times. I want to encourage you to keep going. Remain faithful. God will strengthen you. He will be faithful.


South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Sadly, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening and sadly this looks likely to continue for some time. It is the responsibility of the church and other faith-based organizations to be models of equity. Equality brings dignity and justice.


Our thoughts are an important part of who we are. The way we think about ourselves, others, and God form our worldview. The decisions we make can seriously affect the trajectory of our lives.


Many of the problems in the world today are because of selfishness. We strive to better ourselves at the expense of others, and this leads to all kinds of social problems like poverty, injustice, war, racism, and exploitation.


We all long to have a sense of purpose. We want our lives to be meaningful and to make a difference. I believe that there is a connection between our sense of purpose and our awareness of God. Do I really believe that I have been created in the image of God? Am I conscious of the fact that God has created me for a purpose?

Jeremiah 29: 11 (NLT)

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

God has a plan for your life. It is a good plan. You can live in hope. We may not know what the future holds but we do know who holds the future. There is great comfort in understanding that my life is in God’s hands.

The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom and in chapter 19 verse 21 we are reminded that we can make many plans but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. What is God’s purpose for your life? There is a general purpose and a specific purpose for each one of us. The general purpose is the same for all of us . . . to walk in love, to forgive, to respect our own bodies and those of others, to worship God etc. The specific purpose differs from person to person and we each have a responsibility to find out what it is and then commit ourselves to fulfil that specific purpose. I have a calling to be a pastor and to be an agent of God’s justice through Hands of Compassion. We do not need to compete with others. Find out what your specific purpose is and be content with it.

Philippians 2: 16

Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

We need to hold firmly to the word of life in order to fulfil God’s purpose. It is not easy but it is worth it. Don’t run your race of life in vain. your life is not useless, it has a purpose.

Romans 8: 28

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

When we allow God to fulfil His purpose in our lives, he causes everything to work together for our good. This is wonderful. God has a purpose for you. You are called and loved.


Money. We all need it and use it. Many love it and are willing to do almost anything to get it. Some say it makes the world go around. The Bible has a lot to say about money and not all of it is good.

1 Timothy 6 : 10

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

Notice that this scripture does not say that money itself is evil. It is the love of money that gets us into trouble and often results in us compromising our values and doing what we know to be wrong. Too often we love money and use people rather than using money and loving people. We have been created in God’s image with the ability to love him and to use money to be a blessing to others.

Proverbs 16 : 8

Better to have little with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.

Let money be your servant and not your master. Money can be such a powerful resource if in the hands of a person willing to be used by God to bring justice and equity to our communities.

Matthew 6 : 33

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Can you trust God to provide for you and your family if you seek his kingdom and live an honest life? You don’t need to bribe or be bribed to succeed. God will honour your honesty.

1 Timothy 6 : 17-18

Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.

Lord help us not to be proud when we have money and not to trust in our wealth. My prayer is that each one of us will learn to use our money to do good. Let us be rich in good works . . . always ready to share with others.


We all live in a world where we are constantly giving and receiving. We were given life by God through our parents, and we have the opportunity every day to give into the lives of those with whom we interact. Your every breath is a gift from God . . . think about that for a moment. Be grateful for the gift of life.


It is easy to see why there is so much fear and uncertainty in the world today. Our lives have been turned upside down by COVID. When will we return to some kind of normal?

The future seems so uncertain. God understands your fear and anxiety, and he wants to help you face your fears with the assurance that you don’t have to do it alone.