Wednesday, March 27, 2013

example


Here is a thought to ponder today...
"If everyone followed your way of living, your standards, your morals, your level of commitment to whatever you value,
would you actually be ok with that?"
Because how you live your life, tells everyone about who you actually are.
What your standards are.
What your morals are.
What you values are.
And sets the example for others in life...

It is in part why Jesus did what He did I believe.
He came to earth to show us and not just tell us...and that is important for a number of reasons.
If it was all about verbal instructions He could have written them in the sky for the whole world to read.
Or written on some new stone tablets for others to hold on to and potentially pass around.
Instead He came to earth and showed us the way.
And because He showed us the way, he set the tone for what a life lived for Him actually looks like.
He set the bench mark for what our standards, morals and values could be.
He took it beyond ideas and debate to what it should be and what it could be.
One of the reasons why I encourage people to read the Gospels...because then you will know what you are supposed to do with your life.

When He washed His disciples feet, it was never about dirty feet!
It is was all about showing them that serving others was the highest form of humanity and even leadership.
When He did things that God told Him to do instead of what others expected...it showed whose opinion He valued more.
When He did anything, for any reason...it spoke volume upon volume of what mattered most and what He wanted others to micmic.
He is our example - nice and simple!

Our lives with Christ are the same.
How you live it tells everyone else how to live it.
In fact it shows people the upper limit or ceiling. You are a walking, talking, breathing example.
I have found that when we live to a certain level of whatever it is...others follow.
As a follower of Christ you are following His way. That is what a disciple actually does. And to what ever level you choose to go to...others will go there to.

If you have faith, don't be surprised when others seem to have more faith.
If you are generous, don't be surprised when others are more generous.
If you do the minimum, don't be surprised when others do the same.
If you look for reasons to avoid people, don't be surprised when it appears others do the same to you.

You set the tone for the world around you. You are that influential!
Because the same power that rose Christ from the dead lives in you.

You choose. You decide. You are leading the way for others around you!
Be an example of what you would like the world to be...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

catch phrase theology


Great quotes or inspiring catch phrases are fantastic...
I read them, get inspired by them and pass them on where I can.
I have noticed sometimes that quotes or little catch phrases while useful can also be dangerous.
Why?
Because if they are based on a segment of our theology, the teaching we want to embrace...sometimes they become islands to themselves.
When that happens, the catch phrase can become powerful and the rest of scripture from where it may have come, potentially gets ignored.

Sounds a little dramatic does it?

In the 90's people used to talk about 'winds of theology'. Used to explain that sometimes certain theology got emphasis over others. Was popular for a season in time.
Great examples were the faith movement or other experiential movements.
There was plenty of validity in them, but taken too far, your lose sight of the rest of our theology and follow a fad or a wind.

Today I read a catch phrase...
Sinners didn't kill Jesus, religious people did.

People are liking it on Facebook. Others will be sharing it around their friends.
But as I sat looking at it...I wondered if it was a good thing to say?
If you read the account of Jesus life where he actually gave it up, you don't read it quite like this phrase implies.
To me it makes it sound like Jesus was simply the victim of some conspiracy.
That the main reason He died even was because religious people are all jerks.

I would say this...
I am a sinner and you are a sinner...
Sinners killed Jesus.
And religious people were the tool for that to happen.

Because when I look at the whole of scripture as best I can, that first catch phrase while having some element of truth, just isn't enough to convey how amazing this Jesus is to me!
Jesus didn't simply die because some religious leader got offended.
Jesus died because of my sin!
It didn't sneak up on Him like He was unaware it would happen.
Jesus planned to give His life this way before I was even born, so that I could have forgiveness and relationship with my God now.
While religious people played a very sad part...my sin played an even bigger part!

Why say all this?
2 reasons...
One, to encourage you to examine all of our faith and all of our theology. Don't settle for catch phrase theology so that you grow in your faith, rooted and secure.
Second, to remind you that our Jesus is amazing! And I can never simplify His love and power to a catch phrase. God help me if I do!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

am i "gifted" enough?


If you have been around Christians and Church for more than a few minutes you will have heard people talking...
Talking about what "gifting" they have.
Talking about discovering their "gift" or "gift's".
It even seems that if you have more than one, then God really likes you or something?
Even the world around us talks like this. They see someone like a sports star and say they are very "gifted" in that particular field of endeavour.

God gives His people "gifts".
Each one is given by the grace He has for each one of us personally. And I am a firm believer that each follower of Jesus should desire them and use them to His glory.

The flip side of all this talk is actually how limiting it can end up being for God.
While these are something special from God, they were never supposed to be a limitation on what a follower of Jesus can be or do.
The gift or gifts sometimes become labels that some use as even an excuse. You might have heard someone say "that is not my gifting"...with as much sincerity as they can muster.

I am not saying that if you are not "gifted" musically that you should join the worship band. What I am saying is that if you are "gifted" musically then you shouldn't just limit your involvement in Gods Kingdom to just that...

Here is a great example from the Bible!
Nehemiah 3:8 niv
Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.

These people were "gifted" in working with gold and making perfume...but their desire to serve God went far beyond their "giftedness".
That help, that ministry, that service was in helping Nehemiah rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.
You don't see them saying, "wall building is not my gifting".
You do see them getting stuck into building something for the Kingdom beyond themselves and the "gift" they have.

I think a lot of us could learn something from this?
I think it is a huge challenge to the so-called modern christian...

Something challenging to think about...

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

do i have enough faith?


Jesus disciples were actually not that much different from you and me.
Please let me explain why I say that, because you are possibly not agreeing with me at the moment???

We tend to look at people in history with the end in view. We see how they finished up. What they achieved etc.
When we look at the special disciples Jesus had you see some of them referred to as Apostles.
You see what they achieved in ministry over a lifetime. And most of us feel that they can't match that.
I want you to know today you actually do match up.
If you didn't or had no way of matching them, then Jesus would not have picked you...

One day these same guys came to Jesus and said this...

"Increase our Faith"

And if you keep reading, Jesus didn't pray from them that it would happen as they asked.
He didn't wave His hand over them or breath on them or prophecy faith over them.
He actually ignores the request, because in essence it was silly...

Jesus knew that they already had a measure of faith in their lives.
And that measure was all they needed to grow in their faith.
He actually says to them that they only need faith the size of a mustard seed. And seed is an important part of what He said here.
Because in that moment they had a seed of faith. And by nature, seeds need something to happen to them to make them into something bigger or more.

Right now, inside of you as you read this Simple Thought, there is a seed of faith in you.
The issue is not how big or how much there is.
The issue is what you do next with it.

If you do nothing, then you still have faith.
It will just stay the size that it is right now.
If you do something with that seed of faith, it will grow.
It is a spiritual law that God is bound to I believe.
You have all the faith you need right now for all you need to achieve. For all you need face. For all you need to succeed in your walk with Christ.
When you go in the faith you have, God promises to expand it and grow it. It will appear after the fact that your faith has actually grown.

So if you are waiting for faith to reach a certain level in your life...stop doing that. I don't want you to be disappointed.
I want you to know that you have enough faith right now.

Come on my friend.
Take God at His Word and go for it this week.
Let faith arise because have risen to it.
Let faith arise and grow because you trust Him as you step into your future and your freedom...

Something to think about...
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