Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Culmination

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 1 Corinthians 10:11 niv

I read this today and it got me thinking about how truly blessed and honoured we are to live in the time that we do!
How it appears from what Paul was telling the Corinthian Church, of the truly privileged position as followers of Jesus we have. Following on from his explanations of what Gods people have been through, Paul wanted to encourage the Church with their current position...

We live in a time where we can learn from God's people - the good and the bad.
All the stories, accounts and traditions handed down to us are there for our benefit.
We keen learn from the mistakes of others if we want to. History can help us as we press into Jesus.

We live in a time where we are not waiting for the fulfilment of God's big redemption plan - we are in the middle of it.
Many people over thousands of year longed for what you have access now in your faith.
Once upon a time one man would carry the anointing of God...now we all can.
Once upon a time people had visions of the future after their death...we live in their vision now.

We live in a time where we feature in the final chapter - and aren't the final chapters the best?
This is why I excited to follow Jesus.
I am expectant because I live in the culmination.
You and I feature the grand finale of all the ages that have come before us.

Something to think about...


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

You can learn a lot...

I think you can learn a lot about a person based on what they appear to be willing to sacrifice.

Over the weekend and the weeks leading up to an event called Easterfest, I watched this play out in front of me.
I watched with much pride as different leaders and volunteers gave a lot of themselves to pull together a vision birthed around 2 years a go. Their sacrifice spoke a lot about the type of person they are or maybe even want to be...

You see what someone values based on what they are willing to sacrifice.
More than the words they speak and the social media posts they share.

To the level you sacrifice shows what level of value you place on it:
The level your sacrifice for your family.
The level your sacrifice for your relationship with God.
The level your sacrifice for your Church.
The level your sacrifice for others...

God shows how far he values you and me with being willing to sacrifice His one and only Son.

God presented Christ as a sacrifice Romans 3:25 niv

As followers of Christ we also get to show what we truely value through our sacrifice...

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1 niv

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16 niv

you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 niv

Sacrifice yes is hard and sometimes painful - hence the name sacrifice.
But I am one who can testify to the value of it. I count it an honour to sacrifice my life for the cause of Christ. It is the greatest honour you can have and biggest gift you can share.

Something to think about...

Friday, April 07, 2017

Looking to stir things up?

Here is one of the reasons I continue to read as broadly from scripture as possible...
Because I need my theology challenged on a regular basis!

Theology for me is important.
But I have also found that for me and many others I have witnessed, it can become a firm box in which we hold fast to ideas and ideals.
It has the danger of becoming for me the filter by watch we test God out and His ways.

Theology by definition is ...
“the study or science of God.” Millard Erickson
“The science of God or of religion; the science which treats of the existence, character, and attributes of God, his laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice. . . the science of Christian faith and life.” Webster Dictionary 

I believe theology is the label by which you summarise your current understanding of God based on your own study and your own experiences.
Theology for me should be a basis of my belief, never the totality of my belief.
If I truly believe God wants to mould me, grow me and more over an entire lifetime I need His input all my days.

That is what I love about His Word.
I read it many times and it challenges the theology I have created for myself.
When I pendulum swing toward justice and judgement based on what I see in this world, His word reminds me also of His grace and His mercy.
When I think I have God all sorted in my theology, I read an account in scripture where God doesn't match the theology prevailing at the time.

Be brave and be humble.
Get your face into His word as much as you can and let God challenge the snot out of ya!

Something to think about...

Monday, April 03, 2017

Maybe this is for you right now?

I think it is funny how we think that doing the right things should always be the easiest thing to do...
I have also discovered that doing the right things for the rights reasons, tends to give you the best results ultimately - it is just that the right thing is sometimes the hardest thing...

As disciples of Jesus, our best and most dramatic example of this in action is actually at the worst moment of Jesus life! While he hung on that cross the words, "Father, forgive them" were uttered. 

To be honest I am not sure if Jesus was 'feeling it'? 
In the middle of His pain, He was offering something profound and far reaching!
What He did do was very hardcore, an example that is definitely not easy to follow, but maybe the right one to follow for each of us?

Where I am most definitely just like you is that I have lived enough life to have discovered pain.
There is a long list of people who have caused me hurt that I could justify myself in sharing with you.
But that isn't the right thing to do is it?
The right thing to do, is in the middle of what is uncomfortable or even downright painful, is to give out forgiveness.
It doesn't have to be pretty, be poetic or professional...it just has to be presented.
Jesus didn't look pretty, sound poetic or come across professional on a bloody cross. He just choose to love above the pain, with everything He could muster. And ultimately He was trusting His father with the outcome. It didn't have to feel right to be right...

Some people say they will forgive when they feel ready to forgive.
I do agree that timing is important. But it is not the most important!
The danger is that the more we look for excuses, the longer we hold onto something that is actually doing us harm. The quicker is it dealt with, the quicker the resolution.

Scripture backs this up...We forgive because he first forgave us!

Something to think about...
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