Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How different would you like your life to be?

I read this offer that Jesus made to some young fishermen today and had some thoughts around it...

"Come, follow," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people." Matthews 4:19 niv

It struck that me that Jesus isn't just about giving people tasks, but more about changing someones life...

When He said these words to Peter, John and various other people He wasn't saying being a fishermen was bad. He was offering something even better.
He wanted to take them from where they currently were in their lives and offer them something better.

My question for you today is real simple - how different would you like your life to be?
If you want it to be the same, just keep doing the same, you will probably be very successful at it.
But if you are like me and hungry for God to continue changing me for the better, the answer is always found in how much I am willing to follow Jesus.
How much I want to believe Him.
How much I want to copy Him.
How much I want to trust Him.
How much I want to let Him challenge and change me.
The more you choose to follow Him, the more different your life will become.
Don't settle for religiosities 2nd best!
Go all the way and see what difference God can make...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Remind Him

I have been thinking about whether it is right to remind God...
Should we be telling God about what He has said?
And if we do remind him, what is that actually for?

Looking again today I am reminded that many of God's people prayed that way.
Nehemiah records his prayer he prayed in part reminding God.
Jehoshaphat was facing a battle and began by reminding God.
When the early disciples wanted to appoint a new leader they appeared to remind God of a passage in scripture.

When you read these many accounts you don't see God reacting like this...
Saying to himself "on that's right, they are talking about me"
Doesn't get on Facebook talking about the epithany He has just had, based our encouraging words to Him. "I forgot that I am all powerful, really grateful for Locky's encouragement!" #bestbuds

God has never forgotten anything about his nature, abilities or promises.
Reminding God is actually reminding you.
It is about faith and the declaration of who He is.
It is about trust and in His unfailing love for you.
It is about hope and resting on what He says over everything else.
You are aligning yourself with His dominion, His authority, His will, His way.

There is something far more spiritual and life changing going on when we dare in faith to declare what He has already declared to us.
Remember God answers faith filled prayers aligned with His will.
Declare His greatness, His promises and more and you are going in the right prayer direction.

Something to think about...


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Reluctant

I have learnt recently that in some areas of my life and faith I am reluctant.
Some of the issues that have hurt me in some way have actually come from me being reluctant.
When I am reluctant I am being hesitant, sometimes overly cautious.
It means I want to avoid the issue, even pretend it is not an issue because ultimately I am unwilling to deal with the issue.

I am a pastor so therefore you would expect me to be a good leader.
Sometimes I am reluctant to operate as a leader and want to avoid conflict, avoid dealing with difficult issues. It doesn't require much expertise to realise that being reluctant doesn't work well in that environment.

When God speaks to me about something exciting, challenging, faith requiring and I am reluctant, that is not the best mix. When I ignore or push past being reluctant, amazing things always happen.

Honestly that has been my experience a lot lately.
When I have been passionate and focused on my role as a leader it has gone better than I expected.
When I follow through quickly and without over analysing what God asks me to do it goes better than I expected.

Jonah discovered this to be true as well. His story while more dramatic than most of ours, still matches ours.
God asked him to do a task and Jonah was reluctant. So reluctant in fact he did everything he could to get away from the task. It was only when he turned from his being reluctant that he actually saw what God could do with his life.

In regards to your following Jesus.
In regards to your faith.
In regards to your serving.
In regards to your love and forgiving.
In regards to your giving.
Please don't be reluctant. It won't work for you...

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 niv

If you are going to run from anything this week run from being a reluctant "_____", whatever that blank is for you.
Be brave, trust God - see what He can with your acts of faith.

Something to think about...

reluctant
adjective
unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Round Tuit

On a friends family kitchen wall growing up was a thing called a Round Tuit.
After staying there a few times my curiosity got the better of me and I was keen to figure what it really was. From a distance all I call see was a title. The description engraved on it required a closer inspection. 
Leaning across the bench and the waiting dirty dishes one day, I began to read a little blurb. Even though I was very young I understood the idea being played around with... "I'll get around to it"
Some adult in the family was trying maybe to remind themselves not to live by that mantra.
I think it is great advice for us following Jesus as well!


A key I have learnt with God is to do what you might feel He is prompting you straight away.
When we say we will get round tuit, the reality is that we generally don't. That is because the longer you wait...
- The less intense the feelings of needing to get round tuit can become.
- Sometimes the guilt of not doing it pushes you further from God.
- When we regularly say to God by our words and / or actions we will do it later, we can create a habit of it by mistake.
- If you are not following through on His promptings you will deafen yourself little by little spiritually.

So, has God prompted you to do something recently?
Have you been possibly using a Round Tuit?

Don't lean on your own understanding. 
Base what you decide to do on your trust in His love and grace.
Remember that God responds to faith. Simple as that.
The more we remove the round tuits from our life the more real, the more big our God becomes. 
Be brave and go with what God asks you to do - I promise you that you won't regret it!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Jesus GPS

I needed to travel to a town called Paeroa recently...
Now the last time I had passed through there was probably close to 10 years ago and driven to from a completely different direction.
So after passing through another town that I did know, I decided to put my hope in some technology to guide me to my destination. Flicking on my phones GPS I dutifully took orders of left, right and how far from a slightly grumpy sounding computer generated lady.
To find my way back out of Paeroa towards home I did the same thing. I used my GPS.

What was weird to me was it took me two different ways there and back. To my surprise the GPS took me on roads that to me seemed wrong. Every turn didn't make sense to me. I wondered if technology had let me down? In fact the further I went the more and more convinced I was that it was wacky.
3 times I nearly stopped to reset it or check it or even give up and go back the way I came.
It was a uncomfortable journey because I wasn't confident.
I was struggling to trust what I had put my hope in...

When I finally arrived in a town I knew I was so relieved!
It was then that I realised that God was showing me something.
That the struggle I had with my GPS is the same that I have with Him sometimes.

I know where God wants to take me. I believe I know the ultimate destination for my life and ministry. But the journey there, while I am trying to let Jesus be my GPS, well that is another story.
Sometimes Jesus takes me on turns that I didn't expect.
Sometimes Jesus appears to lead me on roads that are strange or even bumpy.

Many times I have questioned whether I am in the right place, going in the right direction, doing the right things at the right time.
Then I am reminded that following my Jesus GPS is basing my everything on His direction not my logic. That this is the big faith and big trust stuff.
Not leaning on my own understanding.
Letting Him guide the next steps of my path.

Maybe you are on a journey with God today and the road isn't quite logical to you?
Maybe you have wanted to reset or restart because you are concerned God or you has possibly got it wrong?
If you are trusting each and every day to Christ then don't stop now. Let your Jesus GPS guide you to your glorious destination.
You and I will get there if we have the courage to keep on moving forward, to keep on trusting Him, and not lean on our own understanding.

Something to think about...


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