Thursday, April 30, 2009

This is what I think…
I think that God wants us to get it.
For as much of our faith and why we do what we do to make sense.

Yes, there will always be some sort of mystery and unknown. But that adds for me the fun part of our faith.
I certainly don’t see that as a negative.

In Corinthians it says “we know in part and see in part”
Which gives me comfort that I don’t have to know everything right this minute.
It means as disciples we don’t have to have all the answers all the time.

There are some things though that need to be definitive.
Some things that really do need us to understand fully or for us to engage in completely, otherwise they don’t make sense.

If you asked Jesus today what he thinks about our faith, he would tell you that he wants you to get it.
To understand it. To live it out!
He wants us to give our all for it or there doesn’t seem much point.

And that is what I am trying to say.
I want to encourage you to dive deeper into our faith this week. To press further into God this week.
Because then it will make that little bit more sense to you.

To help illustrate this here are some links…
Click on them…
Watch them…
See what you think?

Clip ONE
Clip TWO

Almost is not enough in any area of life.

Don’t settle for almost with your relationship with God or how you live it out.
Don’t put things off.
Go hard after him.
You won’t be disappointed and it will make way more sense!

Something to think about….

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Have you heard of people being called “saints”?
Have you ever wondered why or how they got that title?
Did they ever want to be recognized like that?

The term has always intrigued me.

You see I grew up hearing of people like:
St Peter
St Patrick
St George
...and even St Nicholas.
They were extra special people by way of what they did.
Their act or service seemed to be above and beyond what other mortal men or women could realistically achieve.

Today I read about St George.
What an amazing story!
Many of us have heard about some guy fighting a dragon, but from what I have researched that part was just a myth.

This George was born a long time ago in a place called Cappadocia. Born to Christian parents who died while he was still young, he joined the army of the day under Emperor Diocletian.
He rose to a high rank by the time he was only 20.

Unfortunately this same emperor hated Christians and demanded that all serving under his rule should sacrifice to the roman gods of the time. George refused to do this.

They tortured him many times and even offered him bribes to get him to change his mind...but he simply wouldn’t.
One account even has him being strapped to a machine with rotating blades that shredded parts of his body.
Knowing that his time was nearly up, he gave away all he owned and the wealth he had a accumulated.

In the end the emperor had him beheaded.
But it doesn’t finished there!
The emperors wife and a pagan priest who watched all this were so impacted by what they saw, that they became Christians and were beheaded the same day.

Over time some have decided that he should have the mantle of ‘saint’.
In the Bible it actually uses the phrase quite a few times but not in the way the rest of us might expect.
In fact it refers to everyone who is a disciple of Christ a ‘saint’.
You, me and everyone else who says they are Christian is supposed to be a saint.

Know you probably won’t have to be as hardcore as George…
…but maybe you feel just that little bit more encouraged to live out this life for God with a little more passion.
To give your all for him.

Something to think about…St [your name here]

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I challenged myself over easter this year.
No, not to cut my chocolate consumption.
No, not to deny myself the simple things that I enjoy as some sort of religious observance.
No, I simply decided to make sure the season impacted me.

I have lived through lots of easters in my lifetime.
And with anything that you have experienced a lot, it can sometimes lose its meaning or impact in some way.
But I do not want easter to lose impact or meaning in my life. The whole story is what our faith is based upon.
If you take easter out, then you take everything that was the climax of Jesus life on earth away.
We lose that defining moment where Gods plan played out in bridging the gap between heaven and earth, in the most dramatic of ways.

As part of making sure I got the easter season a fresh into my life...I read the gospel accounts again...I came to church...I prayed about it...I listened to preachers from other parts of the world...
I don’t think you can od on this event!

My question for you today is…
Does our faith make sense to you?

I have been thinking about it over the last day.
And came to the realization that it can never make sense unless you dive bomb your way into it.
Unless you make this Jesus everything...
Unless Jesus becomes your biggest priority...
You will always have some struggle with this faith we
profess.

Jesus even put it this way...
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:44-46

The thing with God is that what you think you might lose for his sake is by far covered by what you gain.
Another guy says it so well…
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21

So this ‘post’ easter…
Can I encourage you to give God your all?
Take on board all that God has for you.
Give your all for him no matter what the cost.
One of the needs I think he meets in your life if you let him, is that it will make sense to you.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his
glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Just something to think about…

Monday, April 13, 2009

It is that time of year where people like me state the obvious…

Even though you have probably already guessed it, the season has changed.
It is no longer the balmy months of summer.
No more daylight savings.
No more shorts and jandals for most of us.

But I don’t want to tell you about a simple season change.
Just something that I realised the other day, while thinking about the autumn days that are now arriving.

It is one thing to recognise a season change.
It is another to be prepared for it.

Here I am chopping up the firewood that had just been delivered. Doing my fatherly duty in providing heating
material for the winter time I know is around the corner.
I felt good that I was being prepared.
Knowing I am a step a head of where we have been other winters.
And then I began to think about this in the context of our lives in general.

We have season changes all the time.
We have the being a kid season.
We have the school season.
Then possibly the study or work season.
The finding a mate season.
The keeping a mate season.
The having babies season.
Buying a house season…
And then add to that, that you have different seasons in God. Different spiritual seasons.

The reality is that you can prepare for a season change in life. The Bible even encourages us to think about this.
In Proverbs it talks about creatures that I have publicly declared my hatred for...’ants’.
How we can learn from them...

Proverbs 30:24-25
Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:
Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;


Proverbs 6:6
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!

So as you head into this new season…
What season are you personally heading into?
And what can you do to prepare for it?

If you are studying this year?
...you are obviously preparing for your working season.
If you are looking for a mate this year?
...you can be more prepared and come along to our real relationships night this week.
If you are wanting to do more in God?
...you can prepare yourself by building your relationship with him.

Just something to think about…
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