Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Be what you want to see

I have noticed a lot of people strongly demanding others to be a certain way.
To live up to their ideals of what is right and wrong.
They want others to be as moral as them.
Some want others to have the same culture as them.
And some want others to think exactly the same as them.

You can write blogs. You can share thoughts on Facebook and engage in online debate.
You can join a march. Maybe even start a political movement.

Here is what I think could make all the difference?
Simply be what you want to see.

If you want your world to be more compassionate...then be that person.
If you want your world to have genuine love...then be that person.
If you want your world to be honest and shaped with integrity...then be that person.
If you want morals. If you want people to treat others and their bodies with respect. If you want equality. If you want all manner of things...then be that person.

Lamenting the fact some things aren't right won't change much.
Being what you want the change to look like probably could...

Jesus told us to be "salt and light" to the world.
Jesus is encouraging us to lead the way.
Shine a light of hope. Paint the picture.
I wonder if one of the reasons our western world is rocking with fear, angst and utter frustration, is that it knows things aren't the way they should?
As a follower of Jesus you have the divine invitation to show the world they way Jesus would like it to be.
It begins with you.
It begins with me.
Be what you want to see...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What tree is that?

At our old home we had a selection of trees.
Some we could identify when we first moved there, while others caused a lot of debate.
What exactly were they? It was only when they blossomed and fruited that we discovered what they truly were.

One tree in particular didn't look very good.
Once it fruited we discovered that it was a mandarin tree. The tree never looked that great and the fruit to be honest was even worse...
Another tree was large. It was only when it fruited we discovered it was a red plum tree...and they tasted amazing!

Jesus taught this...
Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. Luke 6:44 niv

We can call ourselves a Christian or a disciple, a believer or a follower of Jesus.
We can wear the 'right things' whatever they are.
Show up at all the 'right places' wherever they are.
But what really tells everyone around you who you really are, well it is actually your fruit.
Fruit is the defining characteristic. Fruit ends the debate...

So what fruit are you producing?
Is there a harvest of juicy goodness coming from your life?
What does the fruit you produce tell others about who you really are?
When people look at you, do the recognise what is coming from you matches what you say you are?

Challenging isn't it!!!
Maybe even a little scary for some of us if think about it...

I have learnt that is not hard to generate great fruit.

1. Feed yourself right
Fertilise your spirit with time with God. Talk to Him and try and listen back. Study scripture for yourself expecting to learn and hear from Him. Be with other faith filled believers as much as you can not just when you have spare time.

2. Act like what you are saying you are
Be doers of the Word and not just thinkers/studiers/critiquers. Jesus said that. James said the same thing. When you put what Jesus teaches us into practice your fruit begins to match. Sometimes we overthink it instead of doing it in faith.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

All Things New

I have always been fascinated with how God does things...
Even what He puts in His Word fascinates me, the placement of certain words, ideas and promises.
Many times I keep looking at the parallels between the bookends of the Bible. Genesis & Revelation.
On one hand they seem like they should be different. And yet they same many of the same things.

One of the final statements attributed to God is this powerful phrase.
And yet in Genesis God starts by making the 'new' that we celebrate.
When Jesus walked the earth He spoke at length about the 'new' that God wanted to do for His people. 

When I consider all this, I truly recognise that God is about 'all things new'.

I am looking at what God can make new or renew in my life this year...
Because God's nature is to make things new, I have faith that He can make new even what has become old / stale / dry in my life new and full of life again. It is all things that God can renew, not some things. God can renew, restore and heal any part of our lives.
When He says "I am doing a new thing", He is desiring to do a new thing in me and through me.

Does that strike a chord with you?
Is your heart to let God make all things new in your life and faith?
That is a prayer worth praying. A hope to hang on to.
He has already begun the new in your life...let's press on into this year together...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Great Passage for a New Year

3His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

10Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-11 niv

I have been thinking about this passage for the last day or so.
Wondering exactly what it is speaking to me about my 2017 and maybe even yours?

It starts with encouragement...
You and I, if we have decided to follow Jesus with all that we have, well my friend, God promises that we will have everything that we will need!

God has made humanity promises.
He also makes them to us as individuals.
God keeps His promises. So may you hang onto that extra piece of encouragement? Whatever God has promised you - that is the promise that He will keep!

Now because of all fantastic 'God coolness', I get to play a part on seeing that because my reality.
Peter is telling us that while we live out of faith day by day knowing that we have everything we need to do so, we are then encouraged to add to our faith - not to simply sit back on our faith.
We rest yes from the work of salvation which Jesus took care of. But we need to take hold of our faith relationship with God and add to it.

I don't ever just rest on the previous year.
This a new year. A new time of opportunity. A new time of growth.
So I make every effort to build on what God has already given me.

As Peter points out, there is probably something we can add to faith walk right now to keep from being 'ineffective and unproductive'.

I love how it finishes with yet more promises.
By adding to the faith we have right in this moment we can make our election sure, our calling confirmed, keep our feet from stumbling and receive a warm welcome home.

Something to think about...