Wednesday, October 28, 2015

who can do it?

I am reading this part of the Bible I have read plenty of times before and it leaps out at me...
Don't you just love how God can do that? How He can take some of this 'living word' and prove it is really 'living' in a single moment and make something alive to you - even if you have read it before!

It is the account of Nehemiah and the whole building a wall thing...
Yes many of us have heard messages on this and even preached a few ourselves.
But this is what leapt out at me. The question of who was actually doing the work of rebuilding?
You can be forgiven for thinking it was either the masses or the qualified. Because that is how things normally go isn't it?
Either a whole group got stuck in with no distinction between each other. It is like the mob (in a good way) decides to do something and makes it happen.
The other extreme is where the most qualified are left to do the so called 'best job'. Makes sense if they do it and the rest watch. That way it is 'done right'...

God doesn't work to this rigid of design or agenda.
When you ask "who can do it?", "who can do something special for God?" - God shows us here something special...something I think that is about how you and I are called to be.
Check out some verses with me a moment. All based around Nehemiah's account of who actually did the work. Yes there were priests and other so called qualified people. But others got a special mention. There is something we can learn here I think...

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. Nehemiah 3:8

Goldsmith and Perfumes-makes building a wall!
Reminds me that qualification is not a 'God-term'. As the phrase goes, God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called! It doesn't matter what you do for a crust, God can use you to do anything if you want Him too. Forgot if you are qualified or not for...if God puts it on your heart to do something then you are more than qualified on that point alone.

Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters. Nehemiah 3:12

Referring to the daughters is such a biggee - especially coming from this culture.
The women were never allowed to do the most important things. But here they are taking responsibility for the most important thing of the time.
Reminds me God doesn't care about gender or position in society. He cares about heart and willingness. They are the people that God picks everytime!

The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors. Nehemiah 3:5

Here are the so called 'qualified' not wanting to help. The people who thought getting stuck in to the work of God was beneath them. That they had some how grown past this role and it was for others.
Reminds me that we never should think this way. You never graduate from 'the work' to simply 'the watch'. There is always something we can do to contribute. Our world doesn't need more supervisors and/or critics. It needs love with hands on, hands willing to be part of building whatever God wants to build at the time.

...Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest. Nehemiah 3:20

Baruch was just another name on a list of names. But he has the distinction of being recognised for his passion for the task. It is noticed by God and given recognition.
Reminds me the God's people should be the most passionate for the ministry we have been given.

Maybe there is something in this today that has stirred you in some way?
Maybe today you want to join up with God and build something for His glory?
Who can do it? You can, that's who!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What it reminded me of

Inspired by an article I read online early this week...

Some people just like you and me decided to build a Church long ago.
A pretty impressive place it seems it was as well!

Unfortunately after some time things didn't go well for this building...
It was reported to have been abandoned after a plague decimated the area two centuries later.
The final blow to its existence it seems came in 1966 when it was buried due to the damming of a river.

Pictures are now floating around the internet of the Church rising from the depths. Slowly it is coming back to the surface due to a drought effecting the area. The locals are apparently so happy this is what one man said...
“The people celebrated. They came to eat, to hang out, to do business. I sold them fried fish. They did processions around the church.”

I have keep a tab on my web browser open all week since first seeing the article.
The more I keep looking at it with my intrigue in the story growing...the more it actually reminds me about what God can do for a Church, a group of people, a family or a life...

It reminds me that...

  • That no matter how buried you feel, God can always rescue you?
  • That when we feel like we are drowning, we can be raised up again? God can even cause us to rise above the waters!
  • That no matter what man plans to do to bury us, God is always bigger and He will always rescue!
  • That if God wants something, it will happen!
  • That the gates of hell will never prevail!
  • That we are seated on the rock, and that rock is Jesus!
  • That we have a firm foundation!

Both you and I are destined to rise.
As a Church we are destined to rise, far beyond our current circumstances!

What does this account remind you of today? What is God reminding you of or telling you about?
May it stir your heart, stir your faith, and may you rise...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Good things happen when you... (Part 4)

When I think about my faith and what I truly believe, there is a tension sometimes...
What I mean by that is that there can be a difference between what I want or what I think God wants and what I see as my current reality.
There is a difference.
A gap.
And something inside says..."this needs to change!"

Good things happen when you expect breakthrough!

If we say follow Jesus, if we have decided to make Him Lord, then we are signing up for breakthrough. It goes with the territory...
Contact with Jesus and making Him your No.1 has the power to change any life completely.
Simon the sometime naughty, sometimes presumptuous fisherman became Peter the fisher of men.
Lydia the businesswoman became Lydia the house church leader.
The untouchable leper got healed and was able to return to society.
The blind man on the side of the right expected Jesus could heal him.

When I see those examples and think back to my journey so far, I am reminded that 'in Christ' I can expect breakthrough.
The opposite is always true. Take Jesus away from No.1 and breakthrough comes to be even more elusive, even more frustrating.

I want to encourage you this week to be a man or women 'of faith' ahead of gifting, charisma or mere effort.
That you embrace who Christ is completely and pray for and expect breakthrough in your life.
Breakthrough is what God has always done and who He has always been.
We are invited to be part of His family and live in that reality.

Let's expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.
Because good things happen when we expect breakthrough!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Good things happen when you... (Part 3)

A common criticism I have heard over the years about our faith is that it is irrelevant...
When I hear that one I actually get excited!
Because the person telling me how irrelevant Christianity is, probably hasn't discovered what it truly is yet. It then my opportunity to show them how relevant it actually can be!

Good things happen when you are relevant!
It has the potential to change not only your life, but their life and even influence history!

If you are wondering how to make it relevant keep it simple...
Tell people about what faith in Christ means to you.
Tell them about the difference God has made.
Share about Him more than your opinion of the world.
Be clever and strategic and help them to see how Jesus could make a difference for them, a difference in their life right now!
If they are sick, tell them He can heal and offer to pray for them.
If they are struggling with something, offer the same.
If they have graceful, honest and humble.

Being relevant is being relatable...

When you read the Gospels you see Jesus modelled it again and again.
To the lady caught in adultery he was graceful and honest.
To the women at the well he acted the same.
When the people were hungry He wanted to feed them.
When He saw how many felt lost, His heart was moved...

Can I encourage you to live a relevant faith this week, not only for you, but for those around who don't truly know Jesus yet?

Something to think about...