Wednesday, July 26, 2006

“How was your day Locky?”
….I hear you asking…

Well thanks for asking, it has been very interesting so far!

Most of my day has related around talking with people.
And all those people had the same issue, it is just that they came at it from different directions.
Each one of them said they were really keen to come to church, but didn’t think they could.
When I pressed them for why, the same answer came out of their mouth’s…

“Because I am not good enough!”

Now I was shocked!
Where did this happen? Did we plan it for people to think this way?
Is this supposed to be how it works?
No Way!
Christ died for sinners not saints. Christ loves us as we are, not what we are.
He gave his life for us before we are so called right with him.

It scares me to think that people who want to follow Christ think they can’t spend time with other disciples just
because they don’t ‘meet the grade’.
The reality is that none of us do, myself included.
I am saved through grace, not by works, so that I can not boast about my righteousness.

Hebrews 10:10 says…
We have been made Holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

If you have struggled with this recently. Know that God loves you as you are.
The reality is that we all have issues. No one is perfect. No one is more special than anyone else...we are all God’s kids.
Church is great for you, because it exists so we can support each other through our struggles.

Catch you soon...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

People have a tendency to make things we call ‘blanket statements’.
While they may have some wisdom about them, sometimes they can also box you into ‘thinking’, that stops you from looking at other possibilities…

A common blanket statement is...“don’t worry what other people think”

The small element of wisdom in this statement will protect you from letting others put you off fulfilling a dream or a goal. The flip side, the danger side, is that it can also stop you hearing from God!

Wooo, what are you saying I hear you cry?

The 3rd key on learning to hear from God on big to listen to those around you.

Sadly I have watched many well meaning disciples spend all of themselves on a dream or a goal that has never worked. They were so focused on it that it consumed them, and eventually wore them out when it didn’t come to pass.
These people all had a similar trait. They didn’t like anyone questioning the dream or offering some guidance. They sometimes looked at everyone around them as enemies to the vision.
Therefore they miss out on God ordained guidance/support/help that was put there to bless them and help them get it right.

When I was new to Christianity people around me used to say crazy stuff like...I see the call of God on your life.
This motivated me to work out with God if they were right or not. They saw something with me that I could not
necessarily see myself at the time. It didn’t mean I was less intelligent. It was simply God’s design at work.
Also over the years I have taken great comfort from checking big decisions out with people I trust. I value their opinion and recognise the fact that God can use their speech to guide me, or to tweak me.

I have found that most people are not out there trying to destroy me.
The valued friends and leaders around me want the best for me. So when I talk to them, that is the angle I know they are coming from.
Other people have something we can never have personally. An ability to see us from the outside.
This is meant to work to your advantage not against you.

Job 15:8
Do you limit wisdom to yourself?

Is such a challenging thought…
Below is part of the answer...

Proverbs 13:10
Wisdom is found in those who take advice

So if you are facing big decisions this week...find someone to talk too and weigh up the wisdom they might share with you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I love the way God has designed us. It is so cool!
Built into each one of us is a component you can not see no matter what the machine or
technology. But it can be one of the most powerful forces to guide you in life.

Remember how I am sharing on how to make big decisions/hear from God
Well this force inside of you is put their at birth and develops through life to enable you to make right choices.
You can be like Luke from Star Wars and learn to use it or you can ignore it and suffer for it.

It is simply called your “conscience

Bible verse after verse mention conscience and adds words like clear and good to describe how it should be.

When I was 8 my parents returned from an overseas trip that lasted some months.
They traveled right around the world including a country called Italy.
From wherever they went they brought home little souvenirs of the journey including money.
As an 8 year old I was fascinated by the 10,000 lira note they showed us. To me I could not understand that it was worth only a few dollars in New Zealand currency. I believed it was worth $10,000. More money than I had ever imagined.
One day I was showing it off to some kids and ended up wrestling with can imagine what happens next!
Yes, we ripped it!!!
I was so upset. I thought I had ripped and destroyed $10,000 dollars.
So I hid the money and tried to pretend it never happened.

That night I could not sleep. My mum kept asking me what was wrong, but I could bring myself to tell her.
In fact many years went by before I did anything about my crime.
I lived with this horrible feeling in my gut for so long. Before I knew it was called a conscience.
Eventually I confessed and found out how silly I had been. But I learnt a valuable listen to my
conscience and not to pretend it is not there. Otherwise I just hurt myself.

The Apostle Paul commended his friend Timothy to keep a clear conscience.
To let that conscience confirm he is making right choices.

1 Timothy 1:19
holding on to faith and a good conscience

Paul wrote in Hebrews that the Spirit of God will cleanse our conscience, so that we will be able to make right choices for our lives.

So when you face stuff. Check in with your conscience. How does it feel?
If you feel sick about it don’t do it!
Let the Holy Spirit and your conscience guide you in everything.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I have been thinking again this week on something most of us really try to get our head around…
How to make decisions…on the life changing things.

The major difference for us who are disciples is that we generally want to do something we call ‘Gods Will’.
Therefore our decision making can be either easy or stressful depending on how you look at it.
We should be able to derive comfort from knowing we have someone bigger than us to turn to for help with this stuff. It should give us confidence that we will get it right, if God is leading us like we hope.

Unfortunately I bump into many people who have all the above but still find making the ‘bigger’ calls on life
direction, a horrible situation to be in.
So I thought I would help us all out (myself included) and look at this over the next few weeks.

There are some characters in the Bible that inspire me more than others.
One of them is Paul, who used to be called Saul.
Have you ever thought about that? The fact that God changed his name by only one letter!
Maybe God could change my name to Rocky or Jocky or Mocky...let’s hope not.

Sorry, back to what I wanted to share…

Paul was used by God in amazing ways. You can read about him in the book of Acts. How God met him where he was at, and how God used him to change/enhance the course of the early church.
He faced so many drama’s and issues. He had to make very important decisions that he knew would effect more than just himself. He knew he had influence and wanted to get it right.
But I don’t read anywhere where he stressed or panicked on what he thought God wanted him to do.

He wanted to do things...that seemed good but we read this…
Acts 16:6
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

Paul was like is and wanted to do things that looked right on the surface. But he always kept a check on himself by checking with the Holy Spirit. Seeing what he could sense God wanted him to do.
It wasn’t just all about opportunity.

I think we make it hard for ourselves sometimes.
Trust God!
Trust that he will lead you to make the right decision.
Heart is everything! If you do all you can that is all you need to do.
God has invested life itself into you. He takes his job seriously to lead you and nurture you to maturity in him.

Stay soft and let the ‘still small voice of God’ lead you.
Maybe a good idea for you is to find a quiet place and just listen.
Ponder what God may speak to you, and trust you will hear from him...