Covid-19 Faith declaration

Not only is the world turned upside down in this season of Covid-19. On a personal note, many of us are affected too. Whether the impact is due to losing a job, fear and dread of what's to come, cancellation disappointments, or missing a hug, I think Psalm 112 is timely to declare!

It's heading is "The triumph of faith" in the Passion translation. And how we will triumph! We'll not have to fear bad news when we're walking with God, for our hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

I've inserted "we" and "us" where it says "they" and "their" so that you can audibly personalize and speak out these promises over us as the people of God.

I pray this declaration will become your belief and anchor as you navigate these changing waters.

"Shout in celebration of praise to the Lord!
Everyone who loves the Lord and delights in him
will cherish his words and be blessed beyond expectation.

Our descendants  will be prosperous and influential.
Every generation of his godly lovers will experience his favor.

Great blessing and wealth fills the house of the wise,
for our integrity endures forever.

Even if darkness overtakes us,
sunrise-brilliance will come bursting through
because we are gracious to others, so tender and true.

Life is good for the one who is generous and charitable,
conducting affairs with honesty and truth.

Our circumstances will never shake us
and others will never forget our example.

We will not live in fear or dread of what may come,
for our hearts are firm, ever secure in our faith.

Steady and strong, we will not be afraid,
but will calmly face our every foe
until they all go down in defeat.

Never stingy and always generous to those in need,
our lives of influence and honor will never be forgotten,
for we were full of good deeds.

But the wicked take one look at a life lived like this
and they grit their teeth in anger, not understanding their bliss.

The wicked slink away speechless in the darkness that falls,
where hope dies and all their dreams fade away to nothing,
nothing at all!"

Psalm 112 TPT.



Let Love Lead - 5 practices for the corona crisis

Let love lead - five practises for the Corona crisis

These are the days of lockdown.

These are the days where toilet paper and other essentials have been hoarded in fear of lacking. Super markets have experienced queues, hand sanitizers and the like are being stolen from hospitals in desperation and selfishness. Restaurants, fitness centres, shopping centres, hairdressers and dentists are closing down today except for takeaway and urgent dentist care. These are the days where no more than 10 people are allowed to meet up. Pregnant women can't choose anymore if they want to birth their baby at home due to hygienic considerations. People's non-urgent operations are on hold. The welfare system that is normally so dependable in Denmark is being shaken and endangered.

Everyone has to change up their daily life. It's the days of cancelled plans, empty streets and coughing in our sleeves. Things are different for sure, and who could have imagined this just a month back?

What a surreal moment in history we're part of right now of a new virus locking down society! Unprecedented days. I hope you're safe and your hope is anchored and your faith intact.

It's so easy (and natural) to panic and get paralyzed by the crisis. But I know I do not want to stay there. When I think about having to tell my daughter one day about these crazy times we lived through, I want to tell a story of how we didn't stay paralyzed by fear but we moved forward in loving action.

That's where I want to position myself. You too?

Therefore, I am practising these five 'S'-words: sow, serve, stir, sabbath rest and spring forth even though they are not natural at all right now!

Wanna join me? Then read along below.

I pray that no plague will come near your dwelling.

When fear tries to paralyse us, let's let love lead and respond with action.

1. Sow

I heard the biblical teachers John & Lisa Bevere recently speak about Genesis 26 and how Isaac chooses to sow in the land (v.12) even though it is a time of famine: "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him".

It's not natural to sow now because I know my husband's job with a blink of an eye just got more unstable, and my job prospects after maternity leave might be also. Nevertheless, we have chosen to sow now financially to an organisation that helps serve the socially vulnerable in Covid-19 because sowing seed activates faith and trust instead of fear of being in lack ourselves.

Also, I love that God has already sown words of knowledge into the earth through His people and given us discernment to know the times and season we're in. He has already given heads-up's to some people of what is in front of us right now, like this hope-filled prophecy from Joseph Prince.

2. Serve

Serving is not a natural response either right now. Fear of spreading the virus may want us to stay in our homes completely. I want to do my due diligence and err on the side of caution to not spread the virus unknowingly.

I also want to be on the lookout for those who are more exposed than me. I've chosen to offer my help in my local church and also through Red Cross' help network to grocery shop for elderly and other exposed people. This can be done with all the precautions in place of two metres of distance, gloves, hand sanitizers and so on.

3. Stir up

I want to stir up prayer, conversation and positive imagination.

Prayers of protection (Psalm 91). Conversations about God's nature that's unshaken in the midst of shaking times. Positive imagination on how to spend my time creatively - whether that's to connect with people through FaceTime to not isolate completely, to practice new skills, read books that's been on my bucket list or whatever else I might be reminded to do.

4. Sabbath rest

With constant newsflashes during the day, I find myself sitting down a lot and checking the news constantly to stay updated, and maybe also to feel a sense of control in the midst of craziness.

But I want to be committed to set parameters on my intake of this so that I'm actually also getting up, walking, praying and journaling instead of mindlessly consuming and ending up in spirals which do not bring any true rest.

"If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health" 2 Chronicles 7:14 MSG.

This lockdown is a great opportunity to 'return to the garden' and awaken or reawaken to our first love. We can get still and let God tend our souls. I love how Isaiah 51:3 puts it:

"I, God, will comfort… I will transform her dead ground into Eden, her moonscape into the garden of God."

5. Spring forth:

What I know about God is that He allows in his wisdom what He can prevent in his power. He has allowed this to play out even though evil is not sent from Him. I know that He works things out for the good for those who love Him and are called to his purpose.

Therefore, I'll have hope in what will spring forth from this. I know the nature of God and the rhythms He has set up. After Autumn and Winter, comes Spring and Summer. When He prunes and cuts back, a new bud shows up. In pain, a child is birthed. In boredom, creativity blossoms.

I want to pay attention to what might be awakened through this. I pray we will awaken. I pray that with the slow pace comes reconciliation for families that are on the brink of divorce.

I pray we'll not let worst-case-scenarios spring forth but speak forth God's promises instead. We know the facts about the situation. But the eternal truth is, that He that is in us is greater than the One in the world... The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy but Jesus came that we might have life to the full... God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind....and on and on His truth goes! Let's preach it to ourselves and remind each other of God's promises.

Let's take this one day at a time. He has got you.

We only know in part now but one day we will know in full <3



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Picture: Sophie Vestergård (instagram-handle: @sophvest).

More intention, less obligation

A new year, a new decade, a new beginning. A clean canvas to fill. 358 days to paint within. What colours and word are you going to choose for the painting of this next chapter? What will you make space for within the framework of this year?

Beginnings hold potential; potential to transition you into a new trajectory in life; potential for blooming. It often takes boldness to begin, for beginnings can feel both bare and brutal, big and beautiful, blurry and bright all at the same time.

Whether your beginning to this new year feel beautiful, blurry, or brutal (or something completely else), I pray you're awake to your heart's desire.

One of my desires for the new year, and even decade, is to live more out of intention than obligation.

An obligation is defined as a duty, a debt (of gratitude for a service or favour) and being bound morally and legally to someone or something. Obligation is not all bad. The bible speaks about how we are obligated to:

  • Take care of our families (1 Tim 5:4 AMP talks about it both being a religious duty and a natural obligation).
  • Speak in a manner that reflects our fear of God and profound respect for His precepts (James 3:10 AMP).
  • Walk and conduct ourselves just as Jesus walked and conducted Himself if we claim Him as God and Saviour (1 John 2:6 AMP - moral obligation).
  • Follow the Spirit's promptings instead of the flesh's demands (Romans 8:12 AMP).
  • Walk in His ways, His statutes, His commandments, His precepts, and His testimonies (1 Kings 2:3 AMP).
  • Righteousness (Romans 6:20 TPT).

Obligations keep us accountable to the ones we love; to our God and our families.

Where obligation gets unhealthy is when the vision for our own life is altered and others' agenda instead get to dictate our days. It affects our fruit and our freedom. Focus and effectiveness is rarely evident in our lives when we are dragged in different directions due to the pursuit of pleasing others:

"But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing!" Romans 13:11 MSG (my emphasis).

It's so easy to live unintentionally with no aim and just do what's demanded of us each day - to go about our errands, stay long for that birthday party because you feel obligated to, keep meeting up with a friend because you always have done it and so on. It's beautiful wanting to delight others. But when these above examples are done to earn approval or acceptance, you wear yourself out. God cares about the motive for our actions, though they look good on the outside:

"Though they fast, I will not hear their cry; and though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them [because they are done as obligations, and not as acts of loving obedience]" (my emphasis).

God doesn't wants dreadful, dutiful, dulled actions with no heart in it. He wants our loving obedience to the assignment He is waiting for us to steward. He wants our hearts, our all, surrendered before Him. He wants us focused and awake, not sidetracked by others' agendas, demands and expectations of you:

"Since we are approaching the end of all things, be intentional, purposeful, and self-controlled so that you can be given to prayer" 1 Peter 4:7 TPT (my emphasis).

He has an assignment for you this season which takes prioritisation. He wants to partner with you to give your dreams legs.

If you're up for that shift in life, I believe 2020 can be the year where you’ll live more out of intention and less out of obligation. Jesus' death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, canceling your old obligations once and for all (Heb 9,16 MSG). Therefore you can resist and refuse those who try to tie oppressive burdens of religious obligations on your back (Matthew 23:4 TPT).

Instead, by your beautiful intentions you can continue to do what brings pleasure to him (1 John 3,22 TPT). You can finish what you started last year without intentions growing stale. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't (2 Corinthians 8:10 MSG).

As you're intentional with your time, treasure and talent this year, you'll make space for new births. It will move you out of being stuck in transition and into the trajectory for your life.

You've got what it takes to finish it up, so get to it. Your heart's been in the right place all along.

Whether you intentionally begun this new year or you have stumbled into it, the matter of fact is that it has begun! And though what you have intended to build into this year seem insignificant, know that the Lord delights in small beginnings and asks us not to despise them.  

Remember the promise that “[...]Though your beginning was insignificant, yet your end will greatly increase Job 8:7 AMP (my emphasis).

More intention, less obligation in Jesus' name.

Walk in His liberty.

All the best,

Sandra Hultén.

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Picture: Sophie Vestergård (instagram-handle: @sophvest).


I believe 2020 has the potential to be the year you’ll internally hear and believe that you’re ACCEPTED instead of rejected! 🙋🏼‍♀️

“Accepted” will be the soundtrack you walk to. Roots of rejection will be uprooted as you, by faith, receive the grace to walk free from people bondage and past wounds and into your identity in Jesus of being fully accepted - enfolded into the family of God:

“And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God” Romans 8:14-15 TPT.

To accept means to give consent, say yes to, approve of and to welcome.

How powerful to accept (give consent to, say yes to, approve of and welcome) the Holy Spirit’s stamp on you, His life in you, His breath in you. ✨

When you know you’re accepted, you can give consent to make God stretch you beyond what you’ve currently seen without looking to the left or right for approval of your every move. When you know you’re accepted, you can say yes to who you’ve been created to be. 

When you know you’re accepted, you can approve of the gifts you’ve been given and not reject or neglect using them anymore. 

When you know you’re accepted, you can welcome rather than abandon yourself - that is the redeemed, renewed self. The self which Christ shines through. 

Christ in you is the hope of glory. We share in Jesus’ glory. What a grace and what a mystery. What an ACCEPTANCE. 

So - welcome how Christ in you is expressed... Your personality, your gifts, your abilities, your quirks. 

Challenge accepted? (no pun intended)

I know I want to receive this by faith and apply and align myself accordingly 🤗

Whether you’re carrying perceived rejection, internal self-rejection with a harsh inner critic or experienced an actual rejection in a relationship, from a job, a certain group etc., know that you can apply the Word of God to your mind. 📖

With the mind of Christ, you’ll believe you’re accepted even while being rejected on the outside. 

As you accept the gift of you, you can give of yourself to others rather than neglect, abuse, despise and discard what you have to offer. ❤️

We’re accepted - in Jesus’ name. ✨

Picture by Sophie Vestergård  (Instagram-handle: @sophvest)

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The road of revelation

“You are the revelation-light in my darkness, and in your brightness I can see the path ahead” Psalm 18:28 TPT.

Financial revival is in the air. That’s what my senior pastor Brian Houston has declared over the Hillsong congregation for the year of 2019. 

Revival happens corporately when individuals personally experience revival.

Some synonyms of revival are advancement, comeback, improvement, upswing, restoration and resurrection!

Yes and amen. I want in on that. 

The godly outcome of financial revival for believers is that it enables the church body to take care of their own families, share with their faith community, invest in good noble causes, leave an inheritance to the next generation and be generous - a blessing to the world. 

Any prophetic word needs our partnership and decree to see it become our own personal reality. 

For me, this word seems timely and strategic; right on point with what God is already up to in my life. It’s an echo of a voice already heard and a process already started. It rings true. Confirms and reassures. And how important to weigh a word like that. Against THE Word and your own Rhema words that are highlighted and quickened in your spirit for the season you’re in and about to step into by faith. 

Let me testify to what practical partnership with a word of God can look like. 

I am not naturally great with numbers nor money. I have to work at being wise and knowledgeable to steward well what God each month entrusts me to steward. 

I’ve had to debunk some false beliefs around finances. One of them being that it’s selfish to take care of myself and my household. The great focus on giving in churches had me swing on the extreme pendulum of giving what I didn’t have for years! I gave out of weakness, not strength. The result was debt. 

Even though the bible never calls debt a sin-issue, it is never mentioned in a positive light as the higher road, the wisdom way, either. It talks about it crippling and enslaving me though culture calls debt natural and necessary. Culture sells consumer debt as attractive to keep up with the Joneses so you can own a house, new furniture and a car at 30. But who says that’s where you need to be at? After all, mere appearances are not what we’re called to aim after. Nor to live similar lives. Rather, solid foundations and depth (not debt) manifesting from the inside out is how the upside down kingdom works. Integrity matters. Not what you have, when you have it or what it looks like to others.

Side note is, your debt spiritually speaking is paid for in full so no condemnation here if you have debt! Also, there are good and bad debt. There’s so much to say on this and nuances too I won’t go into here. 

The point is, I needed a revelation of how a poverty mindset made me live in lack and neglect of my what was within my own yard to garden. I needed revelation-light to shine on the unhealthy parts of my heart that looked down on those not sacrificing in the way I did. I needed excuses to stop and false beliefs to be broken. I needed to believe I could get victory in this area. Maybe you need that too?

As my need for revelation in this area was revealed, I began to search for it and have hope that even though I’m neither a practical, detailed or math-wired person, I can learn to practically outwork the financial counsel of the bible in my life.

It’s not there to frustrate me but to free me.

As the counsel of the word and gifted people in the area of biblical finances began to guide me, divine design is beginning to protect me as the scripture below promises:

“If you choose to follow good counsel, divine design will watch over you and understanding will protect you from making poor choices” Proverbs 2:11 TPT.

A budget now makes me stay on track. Where guilt abounded with my nice-to-have spending, enjoyment now resides because nice-to-haves are planned for. 

I’m aware of the temptations to rationalise emotional spending. There’s room for being spoiled once in a while but I don’t let it ruin the whole picture of the direction I’m going in my budget and ultimately what that finance empower me to do in life.

Living below my means does mean that my life no longer looks like I am somewhere in life I am not. I can no longer support all the causes I did beforehand. I live in a cheaper apartment and I go on holidays only if I can afford it.

Because I now have a long-term vision for what I want to spend my money on, I can better welcome sacrifice in my present. 

Telling my money where to go is intentional, creates freedom and builds into my long term goals and dreams. 

Life in the faith lane is beautiful. There are never-ending layers of revelation to tap into. Each layer gives new light to walk out life with wisdom. 

“The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together” Psalm 19:7 MSG.

So, revival is in the air. 

Where do you need to AWAKE to new revelation? 

If it’s in the area of finances as it was for me, I declare and decree blessing over you that’ll cause ripple effects of momentum for the body of Christ all over. When Jesus’ body on the earth is strengthened financially, it can’t help but cause His light to shine brighter. As we lend our strength through our open hands, we’re reaching those who are still walking in darkness.  

Let’s pray with King David… “Teach me how to make good decisions, and give me revelation-light, for I believe in your commands” Psalm 119:68 TPT.

Also, how good is mercy? We get what we don't deserve. As you start walking in your new revelation and abandon your old ways, I believe God declares over your former:

"Her debt of sin is paid for, and she will not be treated as guilty. Prophesy to her that she has received from the hand of Yahweh twice as many blessings as all her sins" Isaiah 40:2 TPT.

Let it be your portion. Bless you.

Picture by Sophie Vestergård  (Instagram-handle: @sophvest)

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Kaldet til din næste

Dette er en artikel udgivet på "Docks". Det er Haven Networks ressourceplatform, som tilbyder artikler og videoer, til at styrke, udfordre og inspirere dig på din vandring i den kristne tro – om du er skeptisk eller allerede troende. De er tilknyttet kirken Haven i Aarhus, som er en evangelisk frikirke.

Diakoni er en vigtig del af mit liv på syvende år. Det har haft indflydelse på min egen åndelige udvikling og hjulpet med at sætte mine egne kampe i perspektiv og bringe indre helbredelse, hvor jeg behøvede det. At sidde med åbenlyst brudte og forkastede mennesker har givet mig vokseværk på mange planer.

Selvom diakoni udleves af kristne i mange lokalsamfund rundt omkring i Danmark, er ordet ikke længere en fast del af de flestes ordforråd. Men det er endnu mere relevant i dag, hvor kirkens rolle i socialt arbejde kan underspilles på grund af de omsorgsopgaver, der er uddelegeret til staten. Bureaukrati i det offentlige sundhedssystem kan spænde ben for nærværet og udlevelsen af et kristent menneskesyn, og derfor har diakoni – gjort i Jesu navn og eksempel – stadig sin berettigelse.

Derfor vil vi sammen kigge nærmere på, hvad diakoni er, og hvorfor det er en vigtig del af at være Jesus-efterfølger.

Må det være til opmuntring og motivation for dig, der allerede er i gang med diakoni, og til inspiration for dig, der endnu ikke er det.

Hvad er diakoni?

Det græske ord diakonia betyder tjeneste og er brugt over 100 gange i Det Nye Testamente. Historisk set har diakoni været det centrale ord til at beskrive kirkens sociale ansvar og arbejde; hvordan evangeliet udleves i handling igennem omsorg for fattige, nødlidende og udstødte. Og at være Jesu hænder, fødder og stemme deles typisk op i to former – karitativ og profetisk diakoni.

Karitativ diakoni handler om barmhjertighedsgerninger, der afhjælper og lindrer et medmenneskes nutidige, presserende behov, som eksempelvis at tilbyde et måltid mad eller et bad til en hjemløs. Udover de utallige eksempler i evangelierne på Jesu spontane barmhjertighedsgerninger, opfordrer blandt andet Ordsprogenes Bog til spontan tjeneste for vores medmennesker: »Afslå ikke at hjælpe nogen, hvis du er i stand til det« Ordsprogenes bog 3:27.

Hvor karitativ diakoni handler om her og nu-indgriben over for et medmenneske, er den profetiske diakoni rettet mod at tale de svages sag, og stå op for retfærdighed, for at skabe en ny fremtid for dem, der ikke kan forsvare sig selv. Det kan være en politisk handling, eller andre måder hvor vores stemme bruges til at protestere, demonstrere og adressere strukturer, der skaber ulighed og fattigdom. Fx er et kendt eksempel på profetisk diakoni Martin Luther Kings borgerrettighedsbevægelse. Når Esajas profeterer om Jesus som Isajs rodskud, Davids søn, i Esajas’ bog, er det bare et af mange steder, hvor Jesus forsvarer de svage: »Han forsvarer fattiges rettigheder og dømmer de svage retfærdigt« Esajas 11:4.

Hvorfor kalder Jesus hver af sine efterfølgere til at udleve de her former for diakoni over for vores medmennesker? Her kommer fire grunde.

1) Troværdighed

Som Jesus-efterfølgere ønsker vi, at vores ord og handling går hånd i hånd – både det, vi siger, vi står for individuelt, og hvad vi bekender, vi sammen tror på som kirke. Derfor kan diakoni ikke bare uddelegeres som statens opgave, for troværdigheden af vores budskab vises gennem det levede liv hos hver enkelt troende: »I viser med jeres liv, at I er et anbefalingsbrev fra Kristus« 2 Korintherbrev 3:3.

Apostlenes Gerningers sjette kapitel beskriver den parring af ordets forkyndelse og diakoniens udrakte hænder til samfundet, der giver troværdighed til evangeliet og skinner et lys i mørket for udenforstående:

Efterhånden som flere og flere kom til tro, begyndte de græsktalende jødekristne i menigheden at beklage sig overfor de hebraisktalende, fordi de mente, at deres enker blev tilsidesat ved den daglige maduddeling. Derfor indkaldte de 12 apostle alle lederne til et møde og sagde: »Det er ikke godt, at vi forsømmer forkyndelsen af Guds ord for at tage vare på maduddelingen. Derfor skal I finde syv erfarne og åndsfyldte mænd iblandt jer, som har et godt ry. Dem vil vi give ansvaret for maduddelingen, så vi selv kan koncentrere os om bønnen og tjenesten med at forkynde ordet.«

De syntes alle, at det var et godt forslag, og de valgte derfor syv mænd: Stefanus (en mand, som var fuld af tro og Helligåndens kraft), Filip, Prokoros, Nikanor, Timon, Parmenas og Nikolaos fra Antiokia (en græker, der tidligere havde sluttet sig til jødedommen). De syv blev så fremstillet for apostlene, som bad for dem og indsatte dem til tjeneste ved at lægge hænderne på dem og velsigne dem.

Guds ord nåede ud i stadig videre kredse, og antallet af disciple voksede stærkt i Jerusalem. Også en del af de jødiske præster kom til tro" Apostlenes Gerninger 6:1-7.

Her i den første kirke begynder en diakonal afdeling, hvor næstekærligheden bliver systematiseret, for at kunne afhjælpe behovet om enkernes tilsidesættelse ved den daglige maduddeling. Den første kirke forstår vigtigheden af, at den praktiske tjeneste ikke går ud over ordets forkyndelse. Derfor udpeges nye ledere til at stå for maduddelingen. Hvad der skete efter denne beslutning, er fantastisk; frugten er ikke til at tage fejl af. Antallet af disciple voksede stærkt og flere jødiske præster kom til tro.

Det er den effekt, vi kan have tro for, når vi skaber muligheder for medkristnes næste skridt i deres vandring med Gud. For mange vil næste skridt være at blive involveret i diakonalt arbejde, og bruge deres gaver der, hvad end deres gaver er at lede, tro, opmuntre, administrere, helbrede, hjælpe praktisk, udøve barmhjertighed, trøste, give af sit eget eller andet (Romerne 12:6). Ved at udleve evangeliet i handling og aktivt bruge egne gaver, går vi fra kun at være forbrugere til også at være bidragere, og det skaber modenhed og troværdighed: »Hvis troen står alene uden at give sig udtryk i handling, er den død« Jakobs brev 2:14.

Når vi står sammen som kirke i at elske vores næste, og i vores udadrettede arbejde også giver udtryk for vores indbyrdes kærlighed til hinanden, er det et fantastisk, troværdigt vidnesbyrd for dem, der følger med i vores liv fra sidelinjen. Og dem er der flere af end du tror – også andre end dem, der følger dig på sociale medier.

2) For din egen sundheds skyld

»Den, der giver til andre, får mere igen, den, der afhjælper nød, bliver selv hjulpet« Ordsprogenes Bog 11:25. Der er noget forfriskende i at tjene andre. Når vi får øjnene væk fra os selv og tjener en anden, der har det svært, er det fantastisk, hvordan det hjælper vores egen situation og hjerte. Min egen oplevelse med at blive involveret i diakonalt arbejde for 7 år siden var, at jeg gik fra at være selvoptaget til at blive selvbevidst. Før var jeg selvabsorberet og det satte mig i fangeskab at fokusere på alt, der var forkert med mig. Gennem diakonalt arbejde blev jeg i stedet selvbevidst og opmærksom på, hvordan jeg kunne bruge mine styrker og min frihed til at tjene andre i kærlighed (Galaterbrevet 5:13).

Det var en vigtig lektie at lære for mig, at jeg kunne bruges her og nu i et andet menneskes liv. Det kræver ikke perfektion at afhjælpe andres nød. Gud bruger os i vores svaghed. Paulus udfordrer os med, at det er i vores svaghed at Guds styrke fremhæves (2 Korinterbrev 12:10). Derfor er vores egen brudthed ikke en hindring for at blive involveret. Når vi er i kontakt med vores egen brudthed, får vi et mod til at træde ind i andres lidelser og bære deres byrder, fordi vi kan relatere til dem. Hvis vi ikke er bekendt med vores egen brudthed og hvordan Jesus møder os og lyser vores mørke op, er det svært at have håb for, at det kan ske midt i andres (ved første øjekast) håbløse historier.

Vær opmuntret! Diskvalificér ikke dig selv. Alt det kræver at lede et andet menneske (til Jesus, til håb, til liv, til visdom) er at være et enkelt skridt foran – hvad end det så er at være rigere på en oplevelse, rigere i modenhed, erfaring, ressourcer, venskaber, økonomi eller noget helt andet.

Ved at fortsætte på rejsen med at blive sat fri fra vores eget mørke, og vandre i det lys vi er blevet givet af Jesus, kan vi lyse vejen op for andre. Han er en lygte for vores fod og et lys på vores sti (Salme 119:105). Vi får privilegiet af at opfylde kærlighedsbuddet om at elske vores næste som os selv – i Helligåndens kraft – og proklamere over mennesker, “Bliv fri fra dit mørke”.

Et sundt legeme ånder både ind og ud. Det samme gælder for Jesu legeme; det både modtager og giver.

3) Fordi Jesus viste vejen

Korset viser os Jesu ubetingede kærlighed. Jesus viser os at ægte kærlighed er at ofre sig for og frivilligt forpligte sig til andre mennesker, som han gjorde for os på korset: »Jesus gav jo sit liv for vores skyld, så han kunne løskøbe os fra al ondskab og umoralitet og gøre os til sit ejendomsfolk, et folk, der ivrigt søger efter at gøre det gode« Titus 2:14.

På korset elskede Jesus os tilbage til livet, og når den kærlighedsgerning modtages på et personligt plan og bliver gjort levende, er det naturlige biprodukt at vi ønsker at omfavne folk midt i deres brudthed, ligesom Jesus fortsætter med at omfavne os. Denne usædvanlige kærlighed driver og opfordrer os til at ydmyge os selv og følge i vores Frelsers fodspor. Vi lever ikke længere for os selv. Vi lever for ham, og vores hjerter bevæges af, hvad Guds hjerte bevæger sig af – en brudt menneskehed.

Kristus udfordrer vores menneskelige natur, når han viser os at tjeneste ikke er en vej til storhed. Tjeneste er storhed. Det er en fantastisk byttehandel Gud tilbyder os. Som vi giver til andre, modtager vi. Når vi tjener, bliver vi kaldt mægtige. Når vi dør til vores egne ambitioner, bliver vi levende i Ham. Vi udøver diakoni, fordi Jesus viste os vejen.

Må hvad Jesus gjorde for dig blive levende (på ny), og må dit nye liv, der udspringer af Guds nåde og Helligåndens virke, vise andre vejen til Jesus.

4) Mission

»Prædik evangeliet. Om nødvendigt brug ord«. Sådan skulle Frans af Assisi efter sigende have sagt. Ord er nødvendige, men hvis der ikke er nogen handling bag, bliver de hule skaller. En del af befalingen om at “gå ud i alverden” er også befalingen om at gå til de brudte, de oversete og de forkastede. Gud kalder os med et “GÅ”, der trækker det ud af os som vi bærer på, så vi kan uddele det til andre.

Hvis du ikke ved, hvad din særlige mission er, er mission gennem kærlige, strategiske handlinger til velsignelse for andre mennesker et godt sted at starte. Gennem dem er vi jordens salt og verdens lys (Matthæusevangeliet 5:13-14): »På samme måde skal I lade det lys, I har fået, skinne for folk, så de kan se, at det, I gør, er prisværdigt, og så de kan give jeres Far i Himlen ære« Matthæusevangeliet 5:16.

Karitativ og profetisk diakoni koblet med sjælesorg er kraftfuldt, fordi det giver ære til Gud ved at fokusere både på menneskers fysiske, sjælelige, åndelige og fremtidige behov.

Esajas’ bog beskriver Jesu mandat herunder, og dét mandat er også dit. Jeg vil opmuntre dig til at læse det højt og minde dig selv om, hvordan du er kaldet til at følge i Jesu fodspor:

" Herrens Ånd er over dig, fordi han har udvalgt dig. Han har sendt dig for at bringe godt nyt til de afmægtige og genoprette dem, hvis hjerte er knust. Du skal forkynde frihed for de fangne og løse de bundnes bånd. Det bliver en tid, hvor Herren tager imod alle, som kommer til ham, men han vil også straffe de ulydige. Han vil trøste dem, der sørger. Ja alle, som sørger i Zion, vil han give festdragt i stedet for sæk og aske, glæde i stedet for sorg, lovsang i stedet for tungsind. De skal kaldes de retfærdige egetræer, og de skal stå som vidnesbyrd om Herrens herlighed" Esajas 61:1.

Må vi som kirker i Danmark bevæges til handling for vores næste ved intelligent og strategisk at kigge på behovene i vores lokalområde, og respondere hvor vi kan.

Gud velsigne dig.

Sandra Hultén er gift, venter sit første barn og er nyuddannet cand. mag. i diakoni. Hun er aktiv i Hillsong, hvor hun er opstarter og leder af den diakonale afdeling “Citycare”, der rækker ud til hjemløse, flygtninge og ældre på deres fire kirkelokationer i København, Malmö, Aarhus og Aalborg.

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Retreat to advance

Have you ever felt stressed with the thought of Christmas approaching?

I think most of us have! I know I need heart and soul-prep for me to step into the lead-up to Christmas with a healthy mindset amidst the busy. I need small spaces for my soul to breathe. I need to retreat in order to advance. The definition of advance is to move forward in a purposeful way. That's what I want; purpose in my every step.

The challenge to tackle is, Christmas has been the time of year with most ministry activity and outpouring the last five years for me. For three years, it looked like December night shifts and Christmas dinners for women working in the sex industry. The last couple of years, it has been through leading our social justice department of church, Citycare, and setting the Christmas table for vulnerable people in our backyard.

Through trial and error, I've experienced how it can be a season not overwhelmed with the schedule, but overwhelmed with Jesus!

If you have the same experience of Christmas being an intense season of outpouring for others, this might help you:

Firstly, devote yourself

Have you settled in your heart that you are devoted to this season of your life? Have you counted the cost and the pain and discomfort that comes with sacrificing your own comfort momentarily so that others can be comforted?

As my pastor Thomas Hansen so wisely says, it is easy to find excuses for why it's not worth it. For me, a few obvious excuses not to make it a season about others would be that it's exam season, it's "hygge" season, I just want to focus on my own family etc. However, that's not how I want to live my life, 'cause there would then always be an excuse to find.

Therefore, it's important to settle your personal why before stepping into a new season of intentional, increased outpouring, whatever that looks like for you. What's your personal revelation of your why? Count the cost.

Each one on our Citycare team has their personal why. Our collective why this year is our belief that we are paving the way for generations to come to be part of a healthy church that have a natural overflow of love and care for others in our cities. Our collective belief is that our 'yes' will shape church history and set an example of church that's about rising up and daring to care for our backyard.

That kind of faith and vision is something worth devoting ourselves to.

Jesus modelled ultimate devotion when he went on the cross for the vision of being in unhindered relationship with YOU. He suffered great momentary pain on the cross, and  volunteered to do it! Mind-blowing. Therefore, I know I want to follow His example and volunteer myself and sign up for helping others this Christmas despite the excuses that are easy to find. I can give up my comfort momentarily to comfort others this Christmas ❤

Secondly, put on the armour of light

Be prepared spiritually and practically for the warfare that comes with advancing and going forward. Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and put on the armour of light! (Romans 13:12 NIV)

What weekly routines are you planning to make the Christmas season good? Is it a weekly one hour walk, daily journaling, a morning smoothie, getting your sleep in, remembering a Sabbath day? What does your prep look like? 

Part of being prepared spiritually is protecting unity if you're part of a team you're serving with.

We recently gathered together as a Citycare key team, knowing that unity is key to what we're trying to accomplish at this time of year, and any time of year really. God commands a blessing where there is unity, and we need His blessing. Knowing we've been put together for such a time as this to serve the lost, hurting and broken and put the love of God on display through our kindness in action, we also know ahead of time the enemy will try to come against our common pursuit. When we are aware of his schemes, we can navigate through the small foxes that tries to spoil our bond of peace. We can do what's in our power to not give the enemy a foothold by quickly clearing out misunderstanding and offenses amongst the team, and we can fiercely protect unity by praying over one another.

Thirdly, keep on running
 "Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack keep on running to win, but only one receives the victor’s prize? Yet each one of you must run the race to be victorious" 1 Corinthians 9:24 TPT.
We are committed as a team to not stop halfway through Christmas and then think our race is won. We will refuse to celebrate before the victory is secured and our task is done. We want to keep pressing and knocking down the opposition and obstacles until we are out of the racetrack.
No races last forever. No battles do either. Just see history. Even the world wars had a beginning and an end. Your battle season will end too. Just don't celebrate your win before the battle is over 'cause that will get the enemy an upper hand. Don't be fooled thinking you getting one knock-down means the battle is finished. That was just a win on the way. Stay in it 'till you get the prize... and obviously our Christian sanctification is for a lifetime, not only for a Christmas season. Here I am using the scripture and illustration to drive home the point that there is hope in the midst of an intense season, and that other seasons will come around as they always do, if we stay in step with the Spirit.

My prayer our own team & yours is that we will not entertain what compromises our choice to:

"Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing our labour is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV.

My prayer is that we all think about: "What can I personally do to contribute to a sense of unity where I'm planted?"

My prayer is that we will endeavour to see the individual through the eyes of Jesus, and knowing our sacrifice, when done in obedience, and placed in the hands of Jesus, will be worth it:

We will not grow weary in doing good 'cause in due time, we will reap a harvest if we don't faint (Galatians 6:9 NIV).

Let's be these prudent people Passion translation describes:

"A prudent person with insight foresees danger coming and prepares himself for it. But the senseless rush blindly forward and suffer the consequences.

 Laying your life down in tender surrender before the Lord will bring life, prosperity, and honor as your reward" Proverbs 22:3-5 TPT.

In the commentary to these verses, it says wise people solve problems before they happen. Let that be our endeavour. There are beautiful promises attached to and unlocked with our surrender to what lies before us in the steps ordered by the Lord - life, prosperity and honour as our reward.

Your labour is not in vain, dear one. Be encouraged! Jesus paved the way for you and I. Let's pave it forward with Him this Christmas.

Let's devote ourselves, put on the armour of light & let's keep on running 'till we get that victor's prize. When we retreat, we can prepare to advance rightly with purpose in every step.

His steadfast grace will keep us firm and fixed.