Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First

Matthew 5:23-25
23“...if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25“Settle matters quickly with your adversary…”

Why is it sooooo easy to offend one another?
Why do believers seem to get sooooo offended so often.
I hate it when I do!
I hate hurting people! Offending them.
As much as I try not to, I fail every now and then.
It makes me feel stink inside.
Kind of like butterflies that are so angry that they plotted to torment my stomach until they get bored...

So this is what I try and do…
I try and sort it out as fast as I can.
The last thing you or I need is to have things like this hanging over us.

The Bible encourages us to keep short accounts!
That just simply means to deal with it asap.
If someone has hurt you...deal with them directly.
If you have hurt someone else...apologise asap.
If you know me at all, you will know that I am not the sort of person who wakes up thinking...“who can I hurt today”!

I have also learnt the hard way that pressing into God and hoping the issue will just go away by magic doesn’t work and will ultimately frustrate you to pieces.
It will never go away...because time has no healing effect on hurts and offence. It may dull down, but something will eventually bring it back to the surface.

Pretty challenging thought for the week I know, but we all need to practice Jesus advice.
Please forgive me if I have ever offended you!
Please forgive others who have done the same…

Something challenging to think about…

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Switch

So I see this guy I know again…
I ask myself... “why do I have to keep bumping into him?”
To be really honest I don’t really like him that much.
And I am pretty sure he doesn’t like me either.

At this point you might be asking yourself what is wrong with me?
To which I would reply...you are probably more like me than you might want to admit.

You would think that Christians would never have any enemies because we are all about love.
You would think we would all like each other no matter what because of Jesus doing whatever it took to save us. But the reality is that we are still human. We still have a human nature, a sinful nature that we are trying to crucify every day.
It is normal then, that during this process in life, that some relationships won’t always go to plan.

I actually think Jesus is not as concerned that you have a few enemies, but rather how you handle your enemies.

Check out what he says here...

Matthew 5:43-44 NIV
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

As I was looking across to him, something happened...
I prayed for him. I really did. I prayed like I meant it.
I prayed that God would bless him and help to work through all that he is struggling with.
I prayed that God would heal him completely.

And guess what?
I walked away somehow changed.
It was like a switch was flicked inside me that meant I could look at him with some affection. And none of it was manufactured!
If I bumped into him again in the next few days it wouldn’t bother me that much at all!

Taking God at His word...doing it His way works!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unexpected

Most of you will know that we had some snow around New Zealand this week.

It has been pretty exciting.
It was also pretty unexpected.
I mean unexpected in the sense that it is not normal for our country to get nationwide snowfall.

Unexpected can be pretty cool.
It certainly can make life a lot more interesting.
For us as believers I think you need some unexpected.
You need some pretty cool God unexpected moments!

Here are some thoughts on that:

It is exciting
God does not save you for ‘normal’ or average.
It is supposed to be an adventure.
Adventure always has exciting as part of its mix.
If your life doesn’t have some of this, some of the time...ask God for some unexpected.

It is scary
When the adventure gets exciting another feeling normally comes along with it...the fear factor.
It really tells you that you are alive.
But what it should do is drive you closer to God and your trust in His ability to bring you through the unexpected.

It is stressful
I read today that Wellington in particular had problems with their electricity supply. It was stressed to near breaking point during the snow storm.
When the unexpected does happen, you can’t rely on your own strength and power. That is when the power that God can supply comes into its own.
God’s strength is perfected in our weakness.

So here is the deal my friend.
Go after some unexpected this week.
Milk this adventure God has for you for all that it is worth!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Song

We quote something a lot when we are wanting to help people to worship God...we say that the Bible says to sing a new song.
This last Sunday was no different.
We sung a new song and I mentioned that passage as we introduced it.

This morning I am still thinking over what that means.
It is very easy to hear something like that verse and take it on face value.
“Sing a new song...ok I will sing a new thing” vibe.
But you have to ask yourself why so that you know why.

Does God get bored with the songs we sing?
Well I am not sure God can get bored in the first place?
Can we get bored with the songs we sing?
Well of course we can if we do the same thing too many times without thinking about it.

Like I mentioned on Sunday, it is all about heart!
When you are bored with a song, you simply can’t put your heart into it. Then that song just becomes like any other song. Not really what God is looking for from His people when we get together...

Take this a step further now.
What about life away from Church on a Sunday morning?
Does ‘new’ need to fit into that equation as well?
Or do we just need to find something that works and keep doing just that?

I have learnt that God likes new and old.
But I think he ultimately likes lots of new.
He is described as a creator first and foremost.
That is all about new.

If you want life to have its ultimate meaning for you, then I think you need ‘new’ in there on a regular basis.
That’s what helps make it exciting and ‘good scary’ at times. That’s what will stretch your faith and help you to grow more.

Do something new.
Meet some new people.
Study something new.
Cook something new.

Whatever it is...I am sure it will challenge you and grow you!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Deserve?

By the time you read this, it will have already happened.
What I did was write a little note to each of my boys about how I feel about them. I included a little treat and left it on their pillows for them to find when they came home from school.

Why?
Do they deserve it?
Well not really!
They haven’t been that great at getting ready for school, in fact they have been a little challenging with their behaviour lately.

I did it for one inescapable reason...I LOVE them!
That’s what love does.
It does things that people don’t expect.
It goes beyond what you deserve or they deserve.
It goes beyond ‘normal’.

For me, a big part of how I see God and how He does things is all about opposites
I believe that God chooses to love us even when we don’t love Him.
I believe that God forgives us, reaches out to us and blesses us beyond what we deserve or what would be considered normal.

And God takes it all a step further, if that was even possible...and invites us to get in on the game.
To love others. To bless others.
And all unconditionally.

Maybe today you could do something random and loving for someone else in your life?
Or maybe today you would like to find out what this God is like and experience His love?

Please don’t settle for normal!

That’s something to think about…
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