Sunday, September 25, 2016

Namby Pamby

Why is that the title?
I read this quote again the other day from a cool dude by the name of CT Studd!

This is who I want to be and want to encourage you to be with me.
Radical followers and copiers of Jesus.
People not looking for the perfect faith platform and Church, rather people passionately wanting to live by faith.
Masculine (grunt grunt) holiness. Spine of steel and a heart of flesh.
You can do this!
  1. “Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past!...Should such men as we fear? Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God...and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts...we will have the real holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have the masculine holiness one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ”

    CT Studd 
Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Time to rip the band aid off?

Some time ago I scraped my hand on a door frame when I was carrying something through it. So I slapped a band aid on it and carried on with my life.
A few days later I noticed a red trail going up my arm, leading into my armpit. Thought that looked a little weird. Was I morphing into a some mystical creature or would I become one of the new X-men? Nothing that exciting in reality.
It was at this point I ripped off the band aid to discover that what was hiding under there was an infection. Yucky. Hiding it under a band aid actually wasn't helping me...

Many of us when we have been hurt look for a band aid to cover that hurt. And with that band aid fully in place we try and get on with life.
Never wanting to remove it, hoping that was all that is needed and thinking all that it would do is remind us of the pain.

Injuries are injuries, whether they be physical or emotional.
And injuries don't heal properly when concealed and by trying to pretend they haven't happened.

I have to admit there is something uncomfortable about being honest with God. But in the end it is sometimes the only way to get whole. Confession is good for the soul they say.
Honesty can be a cathartic experience.

Jesus shared a story about 2 men praying to God one day.
The first was very religious and even picked on the guy next to him in his prayer. He thanked God he wasn't a screwed up mess like 'that guy'.
The second one for whatever reason with head bowed, came to God acknowledging that he had issues and needed God's grace.
Jesus wraps this story up by telling us that the second guy was the one who went away different from that experience.

So what I am trying to get across to you today?
Very simply this - that as hard or as scary as it might seem to you - be honest with God about your hurt, your pain, your struggles. Let His grace come to your rescue. Time won't help. Jesus will!
Please don't hide from you ultimate opportunity for healing. Rip that band aid off...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What is Spiritual Warfare?

In Christianity today you will get every answer under the sun, including what I have read today, lots of dribble about not engaging in it. The other end of the spectrum can be just as wrong, so let's have a wee look together and see what we come up with?

Ephesians 6 tells that we are all in a battle. No one is able to stand on the sidelines of faith.
Paul explains things in terms of battle armaments simply because he knows it is a battle that we face.

The devil tried to trip up Jesus and he will try and do the same to you and yours.
But don't worry - do this thing God's way - and you will win!
Whatever battle you are in, it is always the Lords battle. He is the one who goes before us!
And if God is on you're side, what do we have to worry about?

Submit to the side you want to win
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 niv
If you want to win the battle submit all of your life (good, bad, struggles, hopes) to God and watch the devil run away. Resisting God is what the devil did and it hasn't worked out too well for him...
Don't hide from God when it gets hard, run to Him.

Pray with faith and declaration
It is ok to pray those "God help me" type prayers at times. But I have found that fighters choose to pray with fighting words. Using the authority God has given us, we can stand on His Word and declare His goodness and victory over whatever we are facing.

Worship in the force of insurmountable odds
Joshua lead God's people around a town they could never fight and win against. All He asked them to do is worship and shout and because they did, He tore down the walls and gave them victory over their enemy.
You can do the same. Worship God with your life.
Corporately we can worship together.
And the result will be the same - victory!

Choose action that flies in the face of logic but is Holy Spirit inspired.
I have always loved the stories of battles fought and battles won. They are ones you can learn victory for yourself from...
Like the time God got Moses to hold a staff over this head. When he did they were winning the battle.
When we do the right things for the right reasons. When we do what God asks us to do and the strategy for battle he readily provides, victory is sure.
What has God asked you to do? Do that!

So paint your face with blue (Braveheart).
Pick up your sword, up your shield.
That's fight together and see what only God can do!

Something to think about...

Extra References:
Ephesians 6:10-18
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Matthew 18:18-19
Romans 12:21
Joshua 23:10
Deuteronomy 3:22

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Preached it - Experienced it

Sometimes good surprises do happen.
Sometimes God shows up when you actually lest expect it...

On Sunday I preached a message about Honour.
Messages like this are kind of funny to me on some level. I firmly believe in the biblical principles of honour, of it being given and received. But I was very conscious that I didn't want anyone to think I had some weird agenda to garner honour for myself. Maybe I am being too sensitive, but hey, I admit I can be a little sensitive sometimes...

So here I was trying to paint the whole picture of honour as I have discovered in scripture.
Step by step explaining who God asks us to honour as we follow Him. I even had some fun getting to single out and honour some fantastic guys in our Church family.
Little did I know something God had planned, was brewing away nicely behind the scenes.

At the end of the service I spent some time enjoying a coffee, talking and praying with people.
Eventually it came time to start packing up the venue we hire and that is when I noticed something strange. On the stage, on top of my guitar case, I saw another guitar case.
It stood out initially as I knew no one else played guitar that morning and I definitely only brought in one guitar to play that day.
As I wandered back onto the stage I then saw a card sitting on top.
A little taken a back I approached a little slowly, trying to figure out what was happening. Opening the card I then see someone filming me on their phone. They knew what was happening!
That card explained that a whole bunch of people appreciated me and wanted to give me a new guitar to show their appreciation!

Here I was preaching on honour.
And at the same time God was planning to honour me...

I want you to know 2 things today:
1. When you do things Gods way you invite more of Gods ways into your life.
If you choose to do what His word says, then He does even more to show you just how trustworthy His word can be. I chose to honour and then God honoured me.

2. Sometimes God will do something so quickly in response to our faith, that we can nearly believe it is happening. God is actually poised ready to respond in your life!

May you be encourage today...