Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The most 'over used' words of our faith #3

I wanted to do a little series of simple thoughts around some of what I have seen as some of the most overused words in our faith today.
What I do want to make clear is I truly believe in each of the words, the concepts they convey, 
and the life change they can bring.
My observation though is that many have become christian catch phrases on the altar of cool. 
And because they have the can lose the power they should have they for each of us.


There is a clip that gets shared around that always makes me cringe a little...
In it a preacher is going for it at his Church.
He isn't coming across very well I don't think. One minute he is telling someone they aren't worth 15 cents and in the next breath telling them how much he loves them.
"I am a big deal" he yells, like he has worked everything out and he is the expert on everything. Yuck! No wonder people get confused over the use and meaning of my next word - Love

Love is in fact pretty cool.
Being "in love" feels pretty unbelievable.
Experiencing love is one of the greatest pleasures we can have.
There is not anyone in this life who doesn't need it and deserve it.
While I am not a 'Beatle' I believe they were right when they penned the phrase "all you need is love".
I would prefer a world filled with real love than filled with most anything else you can come up with.

And I am not talking about love like in the "I love my shoes". I am talking about the true and purest form where it is giving, unselfish and amazing!

The Bible is actually filled with teaching on the topic.
Some would say that God's Word is all about His love for us.

The most common passage at weddings I hear is the 'Love Chapter' in 1 Corinthians 13.
The irony for me is that this famous passage is easily said and harder done. It is easy for many to let the "I love you" roll of the tongue and yet it not be true, which I find a little  disturbing.


Love is not a word with power.
Love's power is from action because of it.

The best examples of love are actually based on action.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His Son"
"True love covers over a multitude of sins"

The challenge I have for myself is that my life reflect love more than my need to declare verbally.
I want my verbs to match my actions.

I am so tired of saying it...I would rather display it.

Let's not prescribe to the type of weirdo love that idiots like that preacher I mentioned portray.
I think you and I can do so much better than that...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The most 'over used' words of our faith #2

I wanted to do a little series of simple thoughts around some of 
what I have seen as some of the most overused words in our faith today.
What I do want to make clear is I truly believe in each of the words, the concepts they convey, 
and the life change they can bring.
My observation though is that many have become christian catch phrases on the altar of cool. 
And because they have the can lose the power they should have they for each of us.


I have been a huge fan of this word for many many years.
Inspired by stories of the past. Even where my denomination began.
I've read the books, watched the videos and prayed a few prayers.
I am a fan of Revival.

Today I see people talking about it a lot, and I mean a lot!
Apparently revival is breaking out all over the place.
At youth groups, prayer meetings and even Church services...and that gets me excited hearing that...
I mean doesn't revival mean some pretty special things?
God doing the miraculous.
Many getting saved.
Sign and wonders all over the place.
And yet many people reporting revival are talking about a great experience.
"The worship was going off - feels like revival"
"The front was filled with people dancing - looks like revival"

Now I am nervous on sharing my thoughts here because I am all to conscience that I don't know everything that God is doing.
I don't want to say God isn't doing something when He is.
I don't want to blaspheme the Holy Spirit because I think I know more than others.
And I don't want to come across as some modern day Pharisee or religious leader who think they have our faith cornered and fully understood.

When I look at what revival is and all that it implies, this is what I see :

Something happens to your heart.
I get inspired with the stories of events like the Welsh Revival. Where a group of people met together to pray for God to move.
These people didn't plan a nice 90 minute experience where everyone felt comfortable and had their needs met. They prayed and prayed and prayed. Many times all night long - WOW!
Their expectation was God could do it and revival began in their own heart. Never content to wait for someone else to make the move towards revival, they went there first.
One account I heard was one night as they prayed people walking along the roads who didn't even know Jesus were overwhelmed by His love and fall over...some into ditches.

Something happens that can't be explained.
All revivals documented so far have had similar components.
High levels of interest in God and in people meeting together as much as possible.
Mass conversions and miraculous healings.
Huge shift in morality.
A moment doesn't do that. Revival does.

Something happens that changes everything.
If people go home from a revival event the same as they came or are 'back to normal' within hours, I wonder if it truly was revival and not just a great time with God?
Every revival I have researched totally changed things. Bars emptied and people flooded to meetings. Crime dropped. Churches were planted as fast as they could mobilise. Peoples lives became all consumed with what God was doing and nothing else seemed more important.

Here I suppose is my heart in this...
I want to see a new revival happen in my life, my Church, my City and my Country.
I don't want a moment or a day of revival. I want to see God do in my generation something we can only describe as a something God did. I want the awe and wonder of seeing God move.
That is the revival I am praying and hoping for.

Something to think about...


Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Psalm 85:6 niv

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The most 'over used' words in our faith #1

I wanted to do a little series of simple thoughts around some of 
what I have seen as some of the most overused words in our faith today.
What I do want to make clear is I truly believe in each of the words, the concepts they convey, 
and the life change they can bring.
My observation though is that many have become christian catch phrases on the altar of cool. 
And because they have the can lose the power they should have they for each of us.


Let's start with a personal 'favourite' of mine...and I say that a little tongue in cheek.
Being a human means you are predestined to be around others of your kind.
When it is going well it is a truly a rewarding place to be.
When it is not, life can get a little uncomfortable!

The reality is that as humans we are good together and bad sometimes.
We do lots of good for each other and also have the propensity of being able to hurt one another, either on purpose or by mistake.
And that is where this first over used word of our faith gets thrown around.
When hurt has occurred by us or to us...
Forgiveness.

Can I just say this from personal experience?
I love forgiveness. It is the most freeing thing that can ever happen to you!
When I have made mistakes and seek it out, when it is given to me, man what a feeling.
Guilt, burden, disappointment are all gone. It is a freeing word!
The opposite is true. When I withhold forgiveness for whatever reason and whatever length of time, once the period of self justification ends, I am left tapped in my unforgiveness.

Many years a go I had issues with a leader. He lead a group of people away from the Church I was attending.
For many years I couldn't say a good thing about them.
I wasn't doing a campaign against them on social media because the internet had not been invented, but that didn't stop me sharing my self justified opinions of them to whoever asked.
One God tapped me on the should via a prophetic word from a good friend.
Told me I needed to forgive them. I was shocked as they had done the wrong. So armed with that 'word' I drove over 100kms to seek their forgiveness.
They were shocked I would do that.
We had lunch together.
We prayed.
We are all good now.

That is the power of that over used word.
When you don't just talk about or expect it from everyone except yourself.
Forgiveness will change your world. Set you free...

Christians love talking about forgiveness.
But I also see a growing number simply unwilling to go from saying it to doing it.
Please don't just be about giving lip services to this powerful, grace filled word of our faith.

When is too far? When don't I have to forgive?
I can not find a single example where God doesn't ask us to forgive.
He doesn't ask us to be best friends with whoever hurt us, but He does ask us to follow His example and forgive even when it is the hardest to do so.

You didn't deserve God's forgiveness.
And yet He gave it to you through Jesus His son...

Something to think about...



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How should I behave?


I love watching lots of random clips on youtube.
It suits my short attention span and desire for variety I guess?

The other day a particular clip was suggested to me (to be honest I am not sure why) and I clicked to see what the fuss was about.
Very simply a reporter is waiting to do 'his report' on something, we don't actually discover what.
While he composes himself, a lady appears in the camera shot to which you are maybe thinking "who cares, that probably happens a lot". But what happens next I have to admit disturbed me.
And it got me thinking about my life, my faith, and how I choose to behave around others...

This dear lady as she is walking around the reporter and camera man, thinks that is ok to spit and sniff. Now she doesn't do it once she does it again and again. All the while explaining she has a cold and it is apparently not contagious.
Continuing to walk around sniff, spit, sniff spit...
I thought it was gross.
It bothered me that she thought it was ok to behave like this.

Now here was the challenge to me...
How do I behave in front of others? What do I think is acceptable?
In the world we live, there are as many opinions on this as there are options.
To this lady sniff and spit is acceptable behaviour. To others it is not.

You know what? I love how God helps me out on this.
His Word is filled with practical instruction and advice on how I should behave.

1 Peter 2:12 tlb
Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors; for then, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when Christ returns.

Philippians 1:27 niv
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ...

I have been reading through 1 and 2 Corinthians recently and it speaks the same.
It is filled with how I should behave.
I find it challenging and I want to live up to the challenge.

In fact Paul summed it up for me when he says this...

2 Corinthians 5:15 niv
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

How do you want to behave? It is indeed a choice.
Let's all live our lives for Christ in a manner worthy of what He sacrificed for us.
Let's behave how He would love us to behave. Nothing else matters.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

I am a storehouse!

You might think that this is a strange statement to make about myself?
But I firmly believe that this is what God has in part made you and I to be.

This verse has always intrigued me...
“Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” Matthew 13:52 niv

You see for the longest time I was always focused on my faith being about leaving behind and moving forward. Letting go of the old and embracing the new. Forgetting the past and only looking to the future. And those things are right and true. But I believe there is more...

In regards to our sinful and forgiven past - yes we leave that behind.
In regards to what we have discovered about God - don't box Him in, and expect to discover more.

When I read that verse I think God is asking me to be a storehouse.
Someone who keeps and catalogues all I have learned and discovered in God.
Someone who is looking at add to my storehouse of experience and discoveries.
Someone expecting fresh revelation in due course.
And ultimately to be a storehouse that is ready to give out to others.

You see a godly storehouse is not a crypt or a grave for past revelations.
What you have learned was there for you, and then to be a store for others to draw from.
You are a living storehouse that should be continually looking to add to the store of the goodness of God.
The more you have in your store, the more you have to offer.

I think God wants me to be a great disciple who gives out when is needed, from my storehouse life. Sometimes from what I have learned in the past and also what I having revelation about right now...

Something to think about...
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