Friday, September 29, 2017

It must not go out

I was reading through the hugely detailed list of plans, rules and scenarios for the original temple as part of my Bible reading plan and came across a phrase.
It really lept off the page and I believe it is a 'rhema word' for me and maybe for you reading this ?

The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
Leviticus 6:13

Once you have a fire going the biggest shame is to see it wether and die.
After all the time, effort and resource to get it going it is always a downer to be d left with only dead embers!

Fires go out simply because they were not given attention.
No one tended to the fire and eventually it runs out of fuel.

For the fire on the altar of my life to continue to burn for Him, I need to play some part in it combusting continually. I need to discover what fuels that fire and then manage it from there.
For me personally I have discovered I have a few fuel sources that seem to make be burn.

In no particular order they are...

  • Word of God - reading scriptures and meditating on them
  • Prayer - talking as much as I can to God about everything and anything
  • Worship
  • Serving others
  • Being creative
  • Finding joy
  • Being in the presence of God
  • Reading great books
  • Sitting under inspiring teachers

Well that is me...
What do you need to do to keep the fire of God burning in your life?
Think about it for a moment because that is the fuel you need prepared to keep your fire going.
You fire will continue if you keep the right resources for it, tending to it purposefully.

Maybe you need a fire starter moment?
Where you recognise after reading this, that the altar of your life is feeling a lot like cold, grey and dusty embers?
I love the account in Acts where the disciples gathers, prayed, worshipped and in that moment something like tongues of fire came on them. Maybe that is for you right now?
Take some time to wipe away the embers and get ready to have your fire restarted.
Seek Him with all your heart. Scripture tells us, in fact promise us, that we will find Him if we do such a thing. God is actually more interested in your fire burning than you...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What Now? now that the election is sort of over...

So what do you do as a follower of Jesus now the voting is over?
This had been one of the things I have been considering lately and shared with our Church Family recently...
• Celebrate that your favourite has won?
• Panic that the result is not clear?
• Rant on Facebook?
• Hide in a hole for another 3 years?

I think scripture has some great advice for us all in this season.
So here are my practical tips you can take away with you today...

1. Prefer one another
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another
Romans 12:10 nkjv

Paul advice to these roman christians is the very same I would encourage for be kind to one another, to honour one another.
Would Jesus want us to gloat or get upset? I think He would prefer us to act in grace just as He did...
If you know someone who is struggling with the election result, have compassion for them.
Show some love, grace and compassion.

2. God chooses our leaders
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Romans 13:1 niv

That I can exercise my democratic right to vote, and at the same God is still in charge actually amazes me. God is still sovereign over all - even elections...
Because God chooses our leaders...we get to choose as well our response to them.

3. We choose to respect our leaders
It is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
Romans 13:5 niv

...give respect and honour to those who are in authority.
Romans 13:7 nlt

Back in 2008 the day before the general election that year I had the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House! While I wasn't a particular fan of their personal politics I was thrilled to meet them. To show respect.

When we moved to Taupo in 2009 I was struck by the reaction of people to our mayor at public events. People would boo and shout when someone he up to speak.
I was brought up differently.
You respect those over you!

If we want things to go well for us I think it is truly better to show respect to those over us.

4. Remember your hope stays secure
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people
Ephesians 1:18 niv

I want you to know today that your future is secure.
No matter what government, no matter what policy, no matter what position - you can have hope and be secure in it.
You inheritance is for here and how, and there and then.
You can feel secure that God will provide and protect now.
You can feel secure that God is preparing a place for you in heaven.

As a believer, as a follower of Christ, you can feel pretty privileged.
We don’t worry like the world around us worries.
Many put their hope in things and governments to make life better but we have hope in Christ and in Christ alone!

And by the way - it would probably be good to pray for our leaders...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Why do I give #6

I want a great heart

Show me what you, I, a Church, a City or even a Nation does with its money...and I will show what it truly cares about.
It reveals the heart. It shows what truly means the most...

I have discovered that few things reveal our hearts other than money.
When we don't don't have enough it hurts our heart.
When we have plenty there is potentially less stress on our heart.
Where and how I use the money I have, reveals my hearts motivation.
A generous person or a stingy person are both recognised by their decisions on how they use the money they have.

I wonder just how much God uses money to reveal to Him and us the true condition of our hearts?

Jesus shared these important words...

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21 niv

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Matthew 6:24 niv

If you took 5 minutes right now to review how and where you spend, what would it tell you about you?
Where is your treasure truly kept?
Do you need to make some changes?

As for me, I want a great heart.
And as part of that desire, I choose to keep looking to how God would like me handle what He has blessed us with.

Something to think about...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wagging Tails

When I was young we had the privilege of having lambs to rear by hand. They were orphans or lambs not bonding well with their mother.
So at this time of year here we were, multiple times a day making up milk bottles, nice and warm, and then feeding these cute little creatures...

I can still picture those lambs that were small and weak when they came to live with us.
I can also remember the way they grew and came to enjoy these feed times, their tails wagging furiously with every impassionaied gulp of the bottles we held for them.

How does this tie in with our faith?

I felt God remind me that we are all maybe like this relationship...
Either we are the lamb desperate for support and through that support being grown and strengthened.
While others of us are like the bottle preparer, bottle holder, having the joy of watching someone grow through our efforts.

Isn't this what our faith is supposed to be like?
Disciples making disciples?
Either we are are being discipled or we should be discipling someone else?

And I guess that is the underlying challenge with this thought today...
Which one are you?
Because I truly think you need to be one of the two.
I struggle to see a third option.
Because the only third option I can come up with is as a spectator, watching others grow, watching others help others to grow.

Before the end of today can I encourage you decide which one you need to be in this season?

Something to think about...

image copyright

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Love this Quote...gets you thinking!

"Christianity began in Galilee
as a fellowship of men and women
centred on Jesus Christ.
It went to Greece and became a philosophy.
It went to Rome and became an institution.
It went to Europe and became a culture.
It came to America and became an enterprise.
We need to get back to our roots."

Richard Halverson, former chaplain to the US Senate

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Why do I give? #5

I want a harvest

If you are a little cynical about some of the claims from preachers around the idea of "harvest", trust me, I totally understand...I am the first to admit that maybe some have taken the concept on a pendulum swing too far?
But, and I mean a big BUT...
Please don't throw away the spiritual principal based on a potentially misguided emphasis!

Scripture is actually pretty clear about how life works.
It reminds us that there are seasons.
It reminds us that there is a time to sow and a time to harvest.
And for me I find this easy to picture because of my childhood...

I grow up on a farm that included growing grain and seed crops.
Each year my Dad and uncle would pick a certain time of year to sow what they wanted to harvest more of at a certain date.
It was very calculated. Well planned. Our livelihoods depended on the process.

I can still picture going out in the fields after the seed and was sown and struck by nothing. That's right, there was just dirt and the tire tracks from where the machinery had been.
It wasn't until later you got a glimpse of a potential harvest when the shoots finally emerged.

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
2 Corinthians 9:10 niv

God wants you to have a harvest.
To get that harvest He supplies you with seed.
In your hands is the seed right now for your future harvest.
And you sow in faith, not expecting a harvest the next day, but at a time God blesses you with.
As seed is hidden for a time, so is the growth of the spiritual and material harvest you will receive.

Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 niv

I unashamedly sow for a harvest!
Yes I give to God for many other reasons, especially my love for Him.
But I would be naive to think I could ever reap a harvest without first choosing to sow...