Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Roller

I have a little friend who lives in my office cupboard.
Sometimes I just find I need him to keep going.
His name is Foam Roller. First introduced to me when I had some leg problems from simply doing the same things week after week.
I wasn't doing anything wrong. It is just that I needed this foam roller to roll out the kinks in my leg muscles.

You and I can be going along in our faith and assuming just by keeping on going, everything should be ok. But at the same time you recognise some issues. You are not quite sure what to do about them.
The good news for you and me is that God certainly knows how to get the repetitive kinks out...He sometimes uses a little pressure, a little stretching...to help us on our journey.

The idea behind the foam roller is that I roll it up and down my legs using my body weight.
The pressure while uncomfortable on sore muscles, actually brings about some release.
I have discovered again and again that God uses pressure from somewhere or something against my faith to actually help me. Whether it be an test or a trial, a challenge or a crisis...God promises to use everything for my good.

Maybe this week you feel some 'spiritual tightness'?
Maybe after a season of repeating good things, you sense a change is needed?
Don't throw away your confidence by stopping your 'good doing', but simply trust God to help get the kinks out.
Please don't run away from allowing God an opportunity to help you and grow you.
Stay close in prayer and relationship and let the 'God Roller' be your friend...

Something to think about...



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How is it supposed to work?

I am asked regularly how this 'Christian thing' is supposed to work?
Like what are the most important things for us to do or focus on?
What does it really look like to follow Jesus and what does God want to do for me?

Check out what Paul teaches us here in scripture...
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”
Colossians 1:9-12 NIV

What was the reason? Paul is so excited to write this to people who have begun their journey of faith. And he is super passionate that they don't stop with a decision to follow, but that the reader realises just how big and amazing this relationship with Christ can be!

Never stop praying. You have leaders praying for you. In fact each Sunday for over a month before each service the elders at Elim here in Taupo have been doing just this. Make sure you are around leaders who care enough to not just pray, but leaders who never stop praying. Maybe this challenges you to pray for those you minister to as well?

Continually ask God. Don't ever be afraid to keep on asking. Ask, seek and knock is what Jesus taught and this prayer strategy still exists for us today.

Seek His will and divine understanding. God's will is key to living this faith life well. It goes beyond th opinion of friends, family and well meaning social media acquaintances. His will is discoverable if you truly want to discover it for yourself.

Live different. We are called to be 'in the world and not of it'. Salt and Light not 'same and samer' to everyone, every popular opinion and pop culture expression. 

Seek to please the One. When we seek to please God, we have the balance right.

Bear fruit. We are branches designed to glorify Him with fruitfulness. Use your gifts, talents and resources to bring Him glory.

Grow in knowledge. No matter how long your have known God there is more to know. Yesterday's revelation and understanding belongs to yesterday. Continue to learn, study, wrestle with God's word and with things you discover. Sit under great teaching, study for yourself, read books...

Be strengthened with His power. Nothing amazing happens in your Christian walk without the Holy Spirit. Period. Keep asking God to anoint you and fill you with His very power and presence.

Keep on going! Galatians asks us specifically to never give up. You will win if you keep on going.

Be thankful. And finally just be thankful. Thank God for what you have learnt, have etc. Gratefulness is beautiful and attractive to others but especially to God.

This is not a complete summary of our faith, but my hope helps you a little more in your understanding and growth.
My true heart for you today is this...
To encourage you to embrace all this relationship with God can entail for you.
Don't be robbed by thinking it is one thing or another. It is everything in every way.
Let's be people who embrace faith in Christ in its entirety.
It will change your life!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hiding

Maybe it is a human nature thing?
Maybe part of some inbuilt strategy to try and deal with things in our own way?
Whatever it is, many of us when things aren't the way we like or aren't going well, try and hide from God.

I hope this doesn't come across as too harsh...
But how does that work to our advantage?
How has that strategy really worked for you lately?

Check this passage out with me...

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139:7-12 niv

There is no where you can truly hide from God!
And that is not a bad thing at all, it actually fantastic news...
You see God is desperate to love on you, minister to you, heal you and restore you.
Hiding doesn't get you there at all. In fact all it does is rob you of any form of hope.

Take a moment with me today to say this...
"God, I am not hiding from you - all I want is You and what you want for my life"
Let His peace come and bring something good to your soul.
He loves you and you and I know that we need Him desperately...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Ingredients

One of my favourite things to consume and the share are my Chocky Chip Cookies!
Since tweaking a recipe for a cafe over 10 years ago to suit, I have just kept on making them.
They always taste great - just have have to ignore how naughty they are...

The key I have found is having all the right ingredients.
You have to get the proportions just right otherwise they aren't right, they aren't consistent and the making process becomes frustrating.

The same thing applies I believe to being a disciple of Jesus.
If you get the ingredients right in your life, it is truly a wonderful thing.
Get the proportions wrong or inconsistent and it can be a frustrating relationship at times...

To paraphrase Psalm 37:23 a little - God has your steps and processes for following Him all worked out! We just have need to go with the recipe He has for our lives.

What are the ingredients you need to be a disciple?

1. Trust
Trust is key for the best relationships. How much do you trust God? Have you truly given over all of your life to Him and His Lordship.
2. Faith
Without faith it is impossible to either please God or to do the things that Jesus said you should be able to do.
3. Heart
God judges our heart far more than our appearance. Is your heart right with him and with others?
4. Love & Forgiveness
We are told in scripture that without love we are nothing. It is what we need to receive and accept from God and also pass on to as many as we can during our lifetime.
5. Prayer
The lifeline to any relationship is communication. Speaking, listening and processing it right.
6. Word
As the psalmist said, we need to hide His Word in our hearts. It is also your spiritual food and without it we starve ourselves.
7. Worship
The lifestyle God is looking for you is based around a lifestyle of worship. Where you see your life as a living sacrifice. Where you desire to express worship to our Father in Heaven whenever possible and in all sorts of ways.
8. Service
You are created by God to do something very special. Discovering what that is is part of the process and doing it should become part of your joy.
9. Rest
You are a human being not just a human doing. You need to balance your work with your rest. You need to 'enter' the rest that He has for each of us.
10. Presence
You can experience some of heaven here on earth before we go there. Seek His presence and you will find His peace.

Have you got all those ingredients in your life?
Anything you need to add? Do you need to adjust some proportions?
Simply begin right now by praying this a little through, letting the Holy Spirit point the way to getting your ingredients list right.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Hosanna

“Break my heart for what breaks yours 
Everything I am for Your kingdoms cause”

I am still thinking about these words after mentioning them in a message I preached recently.
They if you don't know, make up some lyrics to a song we used to sing in Church a few years ago.

It is dangerous to say things to God. Why?
He is always listening.
Our words are important to Him.
Your prayers are as powerful as Elijah's were several thousand years a go

I have recognised lately that a lot of my prayers are based on these to thing:
1. What I want
2. What I don't like

Something seems to happen after walking with Jesus for a while.
We can go from wanting to do anything we can for Him, so grateful for His saving work and grace in our lives, to wanting God to meet every need...and now!

Maybe it is circumstances, sometimes teaching we have received, maybe even a season in life?
Whatever it is I love the challenge we have been presented with over these last few weeks...
How much are our prayers revolving around what we want as opposed to what God might want?
What would happen if we prayed Search Me, Break Me or Send Me?

Can I encourage you to take some time this week to really consider praying these powerful and ultimately dangerous prayers with me?
Then I need to you be 'strong and very courageous' and follow through on whatever the Lord shows you, speaks to you, opens up to you...
You will change and grow more doing that than many other activities in your faith!

Something to think about...
There was an error in this gadget