Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am not sure what you may pick up from what I share next...but I think it is cool anyway!

As a family we were sitting around the table the other night having dinner. Just the usual things happening.
Kids not wanting to eat certain things on their plates.
Talking about normal things families talk about.
Then Alex asks us all a question…

“Am I a Christian?”

Now a little background.
We have never said to our kids that they have to become a ‘Christian’.
Our heart for them, is that they make that decision themselves. It is about them deciding they want a relationship with God. Not about inheriting our ‘religion’.
We have done everything we can to live out what we believe with as much integrity as we can. We want what we believe to be attractive to others including our kids not just by what we say, but what we do…

Back to the conversation…

I simply asked Alex if he had decided to live for God, to do his best for him. Whether he had asked Jesus to be his savior and friend.
To which he said “No”.
I asked him if he wanted to do that.
To which he said “Yes”.

So as I tucked into bed that night, I led him in a simple prayer so he could commit his life to God.
That was so cool! And something I will never forget!

Apart from the ‘feel good’ factor of this story, there is something deeper I want to share with you…Don’t worry about having the right things to say to people about the hope that you have.
Wise words and arguments may feel good for a moment, but very rarely do they change lives.
What changes lives, what helps bring people you know come closer to God is all on how you represent him.
What you do.
What you say.
By being how God created you.
Those things are so powerful that eventually it becomes attractive to those around you.
They start to ask questions…And God will give you the answers!

1 Timothy 4:16 says
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

This week, just live.
Live like you live for God.
It is the best form of outreach you could ever do.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

“If I was God…
...I wouldn’t let you choose!”

A little while ago I shared on another “If I was God…” statement.
Thought it was time to share with you another?

If you or I were God, I don’t think we would give people choice in life.
In our human thinking, it makes sense to just make people do what you want them to do.
To give them the right path and make them stick to it.
You could argue that that would be loving.
Simply because you want the best for your creation.

I wouldn’t let people hurt themselves by making wrong choices.
I would wrap them in ‘cotton wool’ to protect them from the ‘bad things’ that this life can throw at us.

But if you think about it a little begin to realise that it doesn’t seem so loving to make people live out a ‘puppet type’ existence.

1 John 4:8 says
...God is love.

God never forces, otherwise we couldn’t say that he is love.

Deuteronomy 30:19 says...
I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

God always gives us choice.
Yes he is biased, but he is also right.
He knows which way we should go because he knows how good it will be for us.
But he never forces us.
He always gives us choice.

Joshua 24:15
...if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

I have come to realise that God has put me and you in an amazing position.
He always gives us chose...and he always will.
So this week...what is your choice?
How will you live?
Who will you serve?

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sometimes different opportunities pop up in life.
Things you weren’t expecting.
But they turn up just the same.

I have found that as you start getting older...yuck...that you have this natural ability to shy away from what is new. It is like some cosmic force trying to stop you take advantage of new things.
Little voices telling you not to bother.
You get nervous because it is not what you normally do.
It is exciting. But it is also uncomfortable.

In the last few weeks I have found myself with some opportunities that I never expected.
Even last weekend I got to be a polling place manager for our general election. This isn’t something I expected to be doing. It wasn’t part of my life long dreams for my life.But I got to do it just the same.

My advice to you is make the most of every opportunity!
You never know where they can lead.
Or what other door may open to you.

Ephesians 5:15-17 says…
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

Yes you have to be wise.
Not every thing you get put in front of you is good for you.
We need to hear from God, be lead by him, and trust where that takes us.

But I have found that many of us shy away from the new.
We want safety.
We want ‘normal’.

I have found that nothing will age you quicker that getting conservative with your life.

As soon as you have it safe and sorted you get old.
You can get boring.
And you wake up one day wondering what happened.

So this week...take some chances!
Make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
And enjoy the life God has given you!

Something to think about...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

You can read about a guy who suddenly found out you can talk to God in a book you might all have…
This seemingly crazy idea that you can talk to God, and that especially he can talk to you, that you can hear him...

One day God spoke to this young guy through a angel, but because this was all new to him he asked God for several tests to check it was really him speaking.
God didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
He passed the tests this young guy set, and the course of his life and that of his country radically changed.

The story goes on from this encounter to him hearing from God and making decisions rather quickly and efficiently. No record of needing to test this out again and again.

This story illustrates what it is like to be normal.
Getting to know the voice of God is sometimes a little unsettling to start with.
You wonder if it is just your thoughts?
Just your desires?
You wonder why God may speak to you.

The deal for God is that he designed with two sets of ears.
One set that sit on the side of your head.
Another set that are spiritual.
They don’t have a fixed location I can tell you about...they are just part of the spirit that God has placed inside each of us.

Maybe this concept of hearing from God is new to you, or maybe you don’t know his voice all that well yet. Don’t panic.
God is totally comfortable with that.
He is not upset if we question his voice as we get to learn its sound, it nuance.
He is love.
He is graceful.
And his heart is to help you learn.
That as you grow in him it becomes more normal and natural.

So this week…
Take some moments out to ask God to speak to you.
Explore this part of this relationship.
Give it a try.
Have fun with it.
Because God wants to have fun with you….

Something to think about...