Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The world is about to end...

That is what many of us believed back in the late 1980's!
Yip, last century when I was really young, many of us were convinced that armageddon was just around the corner. The USA or USSR in a moment of trigger happy apprehension about their enemy was about to pull the trigger on their nukes.

When I watched a recent episode of 'The Goldbergs' they portrayed what many of us were worried about. All around the world we watched in horror a movie called "The Day After".
It showed our possible and very near future.
Nuclear war destroying us and the world around us.

My reaction was to freak a little.
When the first Iraq war was added to the mix my anxiety rose.
I even wrote songs about it in the vain hope they would salve me and maybe change the world?

This week I heard that a study has been released reporting this teenagers are now more anxious, stressed, depressed than ever in recent modern history. Even more than during the nuclear proliferation of the 80's and even more than the great depression of the 20's.
At the same time many have said of this generation that they are the most enlightened, educated and intelligent. With the all the 'woke sensibilities' of today people are struggling even more.

Personally I don't think the world is about it end at all!
Yes we have issues and problems and dramas, but the earth is still spinning on its axis and you still have breath in your lungs.

Even back when Jesus was walking the earth people were very very concerned about the world and especially their place and part in it.
If you read through Matthew 24 you see it clearly and then what Jesus recommended...

6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

So what is Jesus advice if you worried about the world ending?

  • Stand firm in your faith and hope in Christ (v13)
  • Be wise, develop your spiritual understanding (v15)
  • Have a prayer life (v20)
  • Hold onto wisdom it will help you (v25)
  • Take note of his Words because they will not fail (v35)
  • Keep watch (v42)
  • Be ready (v44)
  • Stay faithful (v45)

Please don't think that is a just big list you have to wrestle with.
You have a "blessed assurance" the old hymn goes, if you keep Jesus first and trust in Him alone.

We have hope and are not hopeless.
Grab a hold of that for yourself. And maybe find someone else who needs to hear these words and share them with them...

Something to think about...

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Put a stake in it!

Maybe this could be what you need to hear today?
I would like to encourage you to put a stake in it!

What I mean is this...
That if you have a past you are not proud of or happy about, a season of life you want to move past, something that just hasn't been working for you...put a stake in the ground today. Thrust a spiritual marker post in the dirt and create a demarcation from the old and move step into the new.
The moment you do this in faith and add the most important component, Jesus Christ, you can become what scripture promises - you can become a new creation, the old is gone, the new can come.

I truly hope this isn't coming across as to simplistic?
It is just that many struggle to let some key things, moments, hurts etc go...
I am not saying to walk away from a difficult season to simply escape. We have to be careful not to run away from a 'work' God might be doing in us.
My 'simple thought' is that if right now your history is not helping but hindering you, make that history history!
Find your identity in Christ.
Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you with words and opportunities.
And keep that stake in your rearview mirror...

Peter had to put a stake in the ground and move past being a denier of Christ to a preacher of the Gospel. Maybe becoming Jesus most vocal defender?
Paul had to put a stake in the ground and move from destroying the Church to being key to building the Church.
What will a stake in the ground do for you and who you are destined to become?

Something to think about...

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

What are you waiting for?

Paul is pretty famous in the Bible! But the beginning of his faith journey was pretty dramatic and not at all that smooth and comfortable.
After meeting Jesus supernaturally on a back road, where he actually ended up blind, he finds himself not long after in the home of very godly man.
Check out one of the things this man says to Paul...

And now what are you waiting for? 
Get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, 
calling on his name.’ Acts 22:16 NIV

As I was thinking about what to share with you this week, that phrase was in my spirit.
What are you waiting for?
So right now I wonder what you might be waiting for?

I have noticed many don't have a major issue with being part of a faith based family like a Church or a youth group.
In our christian culture you can many times find it to be a safe place, a place to enjoy, to find meaningful social engagement, even find some entertainment.
As part of this group many then identify as being a follower of Jesus.
Again many don't fuss too much over this "christian thing" during the other 6 days of the week, but come Sunday, if life and opportunities don't attract them elsewhere - they will be back into a Church.

Paul didn't just meet Jesus.
His life was totally transformed by Jesus.
And he wanted nothing else but to be part of Gods big plan!
The last thing he wanted was a safe place, he wanted to respond!

When Ananias uttered those words to Paul he didn't hesitate.
In fact for the rest of his life he continued to repsond.
He spent his days in glorious adventure with God.
God didn't seem to need to remind him to stop waiting and get up...cause he was already gone in a very good way!

So again today - what are you waiting for?
Get up my friend and enter into the Kingdom with everything you have. Don't wait.
People may not write about you like Luke did of Paul, but your life can have a lasting eternal impact if you stop waiting, get moving, believing, acting in faith.
I believe in you and God believes in you even more than that!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

5 words that WILL change your life!

Not so long ago, someone who professed to being passionate about Jesus, told that God had told them to get revenge on another believer for hurting them.
In fact they had a set number of days they believed God told them to seek this revenge.
When I as gently as I could reminded them that scripture (Hebrews 10:30) tells us to leave any revenge up to God, I was shot down as not knowing what I am talking about...

The reality of that situation and many others like it, was humility, grace and five small and yet infinitely powerful words could have saved us all so much grief.
Relationships could have been saved.
Good could have come from the bad.
With grace would have come growth.
Instead all we got was the worst that people can dish out to each other.

We live in a world it seems many times to me where we feel some need to defend ourselves. To make sure we are safe with being on the offence at best, getting defensive as the secondary strategy.
Maybe because we recognise there are it seems so many issues bigger than us, protecting ones self seems to many to be a priority.

The Kingdom of God shows another supernatural way.
Today I want to give you 5 words that WILL change your life!
They only work if you use them to the best of your ability and without over thinking, over analysing everything. They work because God honours them! And what God honours works!

The first of the five...
"I'm sorry"

For some reason I am discovering people are finding this harder and harder to say. They think those two words are a sign of weakness as opposed to strength.

We tend to fish for reasons for why not to say them instead of the opposite.
"I shouldn't have to because they started it"
"It wasn't my fault"
"They don't understand what I am going through"
"You don't know what it is like living with my spouse"
"People need to show me more grace"

I am always sorry. Why?
I recognise that I not as amazing and perfect and infallible as I might hope. Everyday I need to say sorry to someone at some point.

The second of the five...
"Please forgive me"

23“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NIV

Have a think about this for a moment with me...
They other person has the problem with me and yet I am seeking forgiveness...
Why is Jesus asking us to do the opposite of what makes human sense?
Because you show strength when you make the first move, even if it not your fault, others don't understand, they started it etc.
You get be to Jesus in that moment to bring healing to all involved.

Grace like forgiveness is a living thing. Everyday. In every way.
Living to the point where it should be the first thing we think of, not the last.
Maybe you could put those 5 words into practice this week?
Maybe make them a habit?
It will change your life!

Something to think about...