Tuesday, March 13, 2018

#blessed 05

Jesus actually taught on how to be #blessed.
Sitting on a hill and speaking to anyone curious enough to listen. Little by little, sentence by sentence, step by step, He paints a clear pattern and picture for us today.

"Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy."
Matthew 5:7 niv

Jesus words so well match the many others found throughout scripture....
"whoever refreshes others will be refreshed". Proverbs 11:25
"A man reaps what he sows". Galatians 6:7

There maybe will be a time for each of us where we will desperately want others to show us mercy?
You can prepare for that day by living for it today.
Showing mercy to others, whether they deserve it or not.
It is the Jesus thing to do. From the women caught in adultery to the lady at the well and the many "sinners" He choose to give the best of himself for...His life and ministry reflected His heart of mercy.

Could you show some to someone else today?

Something to think about...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Are you like this guy?

Each of us can reach that moment...
Where we are tired, worn out, sometimes from even doing the right things for a protracted length of time. As someone rightly said years ago, we are 'human beings not human doings'.

- If you find your thoughts are tilting towards more negative that positive...
- That your conversations with God are more about what is wrong than praying for what could be right...
- If deep down your know your heart has become weary...
- Maybe your mood is darker. Your nerves a little frazzled...
Can I share something from scripture that I discovered recently?

Elijah the prophet has just had a major victory! (1 Kings 18)
After what was arguably one of the most demonstrative battles between faith in God and another god, a battle between one man and nearly a 1000, God shows up and answers in the most dramatic and miraculous way.
And yet within a short space of time you see Elijah venting to God about how much he wants to die! (1 Kings 19)
Shouldn’t this be a moment to savour in victory?
Shouldn’t he be riding a wave of ministry euphoria?
Why can’t this be a momentum moment to springboard his ministry to a book deal, speaking tour and more?...

He is tired.
He is worn out.

What is Gods advice to him?
Rest and Eat.
Seems too simple doesn’t it? Maybe that is why people like me actually struggle with it.
I naturally want a supernatural importation of strength, a shundy bundy moment.
While they are awesome, maybe God wants to do it different for you right now?

God wanted him to rest and eat, because there was more to do.
Struggling on in his own strength was clearly never going to work. And it was going to stop him from being more effective in the kingdom.

So today how does this simple thought find you?
Emotionally, physically, spiritually well or maybe the opposite?
Has the weight of ministry and serving in your current finally got you a bit empty and flat?
Come on and rest and eat.
I give you permission to let God minister to your very soul...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

#blessed 04

Jesus actually taught on how to be #blessed.
Sitting on a hill and speaking to anyone curious enough to listen. Little by little, sentence by sentence, step by step, He paints a clear pattern and picture for us today.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled."
Matthew 5:6 niv

I actually have come to believe you will find what you are looking for...
Not some new age, woolly woofter kind of thing, but you will get what you go for in life and in faith.

If you are hungry, maybe even desperate to find God...
To see Him move in your life...
If you pray for and expect Him to answer prayer...
If your hope is firmly rooted and established in Him, it will never be left wanting!
Jeremiah 29:13 tells us we will find him if we seek Him. Meaning for me that God is not hard to find and is actually keen for us to seek Him out...

On the other hand, if you are tired and even cynical...the world and your faith we seem the same.
If you think the world is out to get you and there is no hope, you will probably be right. You are actually being prophetic over your life in a negative way.

My other observation here is that Jesus seems to be alluding to something related to eating, drinking and the natural order of sustenance?
In the natural and the spiritual things can be mirrored for us, so what are feeding yourself on today? Hope, faith, love and a healthy expectation of an amazing Father in Heaven or the opposite?

Something to think about...

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

#blessed 03

Jesus actually taught on how to be #blessed.
Sitting on a hill and speaking to anyone curious enough to listen. Little by little, sentence by sentence, step by step He paints a clear pattern and picture for us today.

"Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth."
Matthew 5:5 niv

Isn't this just like Jesus, to teach us to do the opposite of how every inclination of our heart would lead us?
People normally take power by force. But here is Jesus telling us to do the opposite.
I believe it is because He isn't looking for us to take over the world by power. Power comes and goes and the Kingdom God that God is looking for can not be sustained by human will and exertion.

We will inherit the world because of our love first and foremost for Him, then next by loving those around us.
That is the plan, the agenda, the supposed MO of all who see God as their Father in Heaven.

Remember we are called to Salt and Light and to influence the world by being who we are created to be in Christ.
Not taking force in human terms. But by being ambassadors for Christ and living it our in a supernatural fashion.

I believe God wants you to influence the world around by serving and loving those in the world all the while loving God with everything you have.
This goes along for me with the example all throughout the history of Gods people, by simply following His way, trusting in Him alone...having victory over this world.

Something to think about...

Friday, February 23, 2018

A little nod...

I was walking around our town heading to a coffee meeting and I bumped into some people....
The first was a lady promoting a religion I am not a fan of, so I walked purposely past her, gave her a smile and said hello.
Crossing the Main Street I passed a someone else I didn’t know and we acknowledged each other.
Finally I am walking past a restaurant with a name a don’t like personally and the owner and I give each a little nod, acknowledging one another.

Jesus talked about love and neighbours one day. (Matthew 5:43-47 niv)
As part of that talk He mentions that if you want to live like He would like, don’t just greet people you know and like. Remember you are salt and light and treat everyone well that you can come into contact with.

As I carried on walking I felt great.
Instead of the normal religious deal of avoiding those who aren’t with you or for you, I went out of my way to include more people into my world.
I am richer for it.
The Kingdom of God is hopefully better for it...
Could you give a little nod to those you encounter today?

Something to think about...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

#blessed 02

Jesus actually taught on how to be #blessed.
Sitting on a hill and speaking to anyone curious enough to listen. Little by little, sentence by sentence, step by step He paints a clear pattern and picture for us today.

"Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted."
Matthew 5:4 niv

Maybe I am a little simplistic with this one but I don't care!
Here the deal, in fact it seems to me to be a promise...
When you face the worst moments of your life, God promises to be the very best of comfort to you.
That is the simple part.

If you are mourning any form of loss right now can I encourage you to do a few things?
1. Come to God, your Father in Heaven.
Tell Him your struggles. He will respond to you very quickly!
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to come and help you.
His name translated from original texts actually means comforter or the one called alongside.
He is ready and waiting.
3. Trust that God is sending people and angels your way.
Be patient with yourself as your grieve, there is no panic to move past your grief. Let God send people to help and angels (the Bible calls them ministering spirits).

You will be comforted...so much so that it will feel like you are #blessed. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Please don't let me copy that mistake

I am so thankful that the Word of God is pretty raw and what we call 'warts n all'...
It never shies away from the issues we face. Good and bad.
God never hides struggles in some vain attempt to portray our living by faith as easy.
God, for His own reasons, shares the struggles of others in His Word to actually help us...

I read again this week of a cool king in Judah's history.
Well he stated out as a cool king and somewhere along the way forgot about God, forgot who gave him the role, forgot all the ways God likes to help when things seem impossible.
Seemingly full of his own accumulated experience and self importance he decided through his actions that he didn't need God quite same.

Asa lead Judah against the odds in the beginning of his reign.
Enemies more skilled and numerous pretty much guaranteed his countries downfall.
So Asa cried out to God. God rescued him.
His kingdom was firmly established and things went great for a long time.

Some years later another enemy came against them in a similar manner to the time before.
Did he cry out to God? No. He used his wealth to try and buy off the struggle.
Was God happy with that strategy? No.
In fact it signalled the end of his reign.

All Asa had to do it seemed was do what he had done before.
Have a total reliance on God...

You and I can learn from this cautionary tail (actual true story).
No matter how great your life has become. No matter how long you have doing this 'Jesus thing'.
Never and I mean never loss you total reliance on God.
It is not weakness or a sign or immaturity.
It is in fact the best way to navigate your entire life following Jesus.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

#blessed 01

There was something that became mockingly part of christian and entertainment culture in the last while...#blessed.
If something good happens you tweet #blessed.
If something opportunistic happens you tweet #blessed.
All this hashtag thing got me thinking after reading some things Jesus said recently.
How does a blessed life actually work?
If there something I can do to make it a reality for myself?
Or is it something that just happens because I am doing my best to follow Jesus?

Jesus actually taught on how to be #blessed.
Sitting on a hill and speaking to anyone curious enough to listen. Little by little, sentence by sentence, step by step He paints a clear pattern and picture for us today.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 5:3 niv

I think the Kingdom of Heaven is deliberately set up to care!
If your life is a mess?
If bad stuff has happened or is happening to you?
If you are struggling with your past?
If you are wrestling with your fears, thoughts or doubts?
Whatever is not cool in your life, the Kingdom of Heaven is ready to answer!

Over the 20 plus years of getting having the honour of ministering to others, it seems to me that the bigger the thing that is robbing your spirit, the bigger God shows up and acts on your behalf.
Invite Him...let Him...

If you are feeling "poor in spirit" in any way today, please know all of heaven is ready of you!
Angels are being sent to minister to you.
Opportunity to experience the goodness of God is at hand for you.
It is yours right now. Grab it!

May you be truly #blessed today!
Something to think about...

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Head wind both ways?

Alex and I cycled into town to do the Church cleaning this afternoon.
On the way racing to make it there on time we faced a head wind. So it seemed logical to us that we would have an easier ride home with a fresh tailwind.

To our surprise after carefully locking up the building the wind had changed direction. In the space of just over 30 minutes the weather had conspired it seems against us.
Now we were facing a head wind home instead of our expected supportive puffing from behind.
As strange as it may seem I found myself thinking "good". Now I get to cycle in a way that I know will make me stronger in the long run.

3 ...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 niv

I think if left to our own devices we will generally go for the easy route in life and faith.
Unfortunately easy never made anyone strong. And I want to be a strong person of faith.
In thinking more about it, I think I am fan of God building me through the things I face.

Try not to avoid the head winds of life and let God strengthen you.

Something to think about....

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What have I learnt lately?

I pondered that question this morning, as I actually think it is very important.
Life isn’t just something to endure.
Following Christ is not just about surviving another day.
I think that if you are open to it, paying attention, seeking God, there will always be something to learn from each day...

Recently I discovered where I was at again with my trust, when we discovered our bank account had been hit with some faudulent activity.
Other experiences revealed to me my actual emotional status and what I need to work on.
A seemingly random call which was never random to God, gave me a chance to reflect on what God has miraculously done with me, about when I was a teenager and making choices that had potential to damage my life.

Jesus taught this concept, of what we call having a 'Childlike faith'...
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” ‭‭Mark‬ ‭10:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

For me I think Jesus is saying to not be immature, but to have the same attributes as a kiddy to my life and faith.
Kids have an insatiable appetite for discovery, learning and experiences.
They love to take risks. Have adventures.
They never feel they have learned enough and aren't normally afraid to ask lots of questions.
I wonder how much I am still like a kid with my faith?

May you not be satisfied today with just staying where you are emotionally, experiential, spiritually - but always looking to grow in God.
So you can ask yourself "what have I learnt lately?" and follow that up with an answer.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Don't go over _____

If you have ever wondered if it was possible to 'over do' something...
Whether you can go too far with a good or a bad desire, motive or action...
Well according to scripture it is possible!

I know plenty of well meaning and not so well meaning people who either try too hard or keep flogging something that is dead for too long.
It can lead and I to frustration, and worse even burnout.

There is a pace, and ebb and flow to life and ministry we each need to find with God's and others help.
You don't "prove yourself" but destroying yourself.
No one wins out of that scenario.
We each need to find our place in God's Kingdom, each sharing in each others burdens and ministries.
Trust me that it all works out fine we will all work it out together...

Dear friends, find a balance in between working hard or getting working.
You already probably know which end of the spectrum you are sitting?
Just be honest with yourself, let God help you, enjoy your life in Christ!

Something to think about...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

This verse... #2

This verse got me thinking this morning...

15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
2 Chronicles 7:15-16 niv

I firmly believe that the accounts in the Old Testament are a type and shadow of what is to come for us today. And these few verses are no exception! In fact they should encourage you today my friend...

Solomon built an impressive temple (what we might call a church building these days) and after its completion and dedication, God made the statement you now have read.

Today God refers to our very bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
You are now the impressive place that God wants to pay attention too!
In fact without you having to make it happen, God actually is passionately paying attention to you.
He is right now looking at you.
He is listening to your words from your mouth and the cries of your heart.
And He plans to do this same thing forever!

Whatever you doing and whatever you are facing, your Father in heaven is ready for you right now.
Can I encourage to make the most of this amazing opportunity for yourself and those you come into contact with?

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

This verse... #1

This verse got me thinking this morning...

When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, 
but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.
1 Corinthians 15:37 niv

I wonder whether sometimes we don't get a harvest because we don't realise what the right seed is for it? We want the end result and miss the process to get us successfully there?

Paul was using a natural illustration to illustrate a spiritual principle.
You don't sow the tree, you sow the seed that will turn into a tree.
In fact your sowing is maybe a small part to a big result.
You can water the ground the seed for your tree is in, but God grows it out of your sight.

One of my kids recently has been having some fun with his own little garden. He planted some potatoes recently and was getting frustrated just watering them. At one stage he wanted to dig them up to see if anything was happening under the soil.
Now after a few short weeks he sees what only God could see after it has come to the surface.

As you begin your year, maybe you have a harvest in mind you would like from it?
Maybe you would like a relationship or maybe your current relationship to go better?
Maybe you would love to see God move in your life more and in the family of faith He has placed your in?
That is all really good! You probably just need to know what seed to sow now for that to happen...

Can I encourage you seek God by praying and asking Him what seed you need to sow?

Whatever it is, do it in faith.
Trust that when you do and even though the process maybe hidden from view for a time, it will indeed produce a harvest.

Remember my friend that you don't plant what you will finish up with but what it will take to get to what you want...

Something to think about...
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