Monday, February 24, 2020

Blind Faith

Have you heard of the phrase "Blind Faith"?
I have many times!
And according to many it is not a good thing...

Over my lifetime I have noticed that the meaning of things seems to change even from one generation to another.
What was considered a swear word to one generation is no longer considered course language by another.
Naming something "wicked" when I was a kid meant something was bad. By the time I was in my twenties "wicked" meant something was really cool.
When I was a teenager if you were called a "spunk" by a girl, that meant they thought you were attractive and was an indication they might be interested in you romantically.
It apparently comes from use in naming fungus many years ago.
And now no-one says it like I grew up with. It has gone back to having a less flattering meaning.

Now let's go back to that phrase again..."blind faith".
Today I hear people saying "blind faith" is bad.
It means you are trusting in someone or something you can't see and that is apparently silly and unwise.
It means that you are kind of having wishful thinking about a matter.
The mantra of many today is "I will believe it when I can see it."

If you are like me in anyway in the sense that you want to follow Christ, to live your life for Him, faith and really "blind faith" is actually a huge key to it.

I can't see a physical Jesus to follow but I do. My faith by definition is blind.
When I pray for someone to get healed even though they are sick. My faith is by definition blind once again.
When I ask God (who I can not see also) for what myself and my family hope is once again placed on who I can not see.

My friend faith is not based on what we see but on what we don't see right now.
"Blind faith" is actually the right type of faith if you want to see God move in our generation.

Of course I am not talking about presumptive faith where God is some sugar daddy to our every want and desire. I am talking about Kingdom Faith where we take the little we know and add faith to it believing God is bigger than we can ever hope dream or imagine. Where God's word and His ways have influenced so much that our "blind faith" causes us to act differently from the world around us.

Hebrews 11:1 NIV says is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Jesus even said to His disciples one day...“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 NIV

So today, how about joining me in some good old fashioned "blind faith"?
Let's pray some big prayers. Believe in God's power and goodness.
Let's not let the world redefine the Kingdom on us!

Something to think about...

Friday, February 14, 2020

Have you got 13 spare minutes?

If you do, please take those spare minutes and check out a short message I shared recently.
Click on the graphic for something to listen to...

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

What's your motivation?

Some movies impact me not because of their amazing story lines, life changing message, or calls for a better world. Sometimes they have simply entertained me and the lines from some of the dialogue have stuck with me.
In our home it is not uncommon to quote movies lines as part of our conversations, and mostly just for the fun.
But sometimes they point to something else.
And sometimes they get me thinking like one did again recently...

In the corny Star Trek inspired movie called Galaxy Quest, the Captain is about to be pulverised by some sort of a rock monster on a strange planet.
Via an intercom link to his orbiting ship, a super unhelpful crew member asks "what is its motivation?"
It is a corny joke that my wife and I quote from the movie many times. You can catch a glimpse of it here.

It is a question I felt I should ask each of us today...thankfully without the need of a rock monster threatening to pulverise us!
"What's your motivation?"

Can I suggest that a lot of frustration in life, in ministry, can simply be avoided by being motivated by the right thing?

If you are motivated by honour, glory, attention or some other pathological need, you are going to come unstuck.
If you are motivated to do what you do to atone for your past, earn favour, prove yourself, again you will come crashing down at some stage.

Here is some great advice for you today from scripture!
Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Colossians 3:17 NIV
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23 NIV

I learned a long time ago that doing anything in the Kingdom of God for any other motivation leads to disappointment - every single time!
Doing anything that I do, knowing I am doing for my King, is motivating, sustaining and right.
I can keep on keeping on when I am motivated to did it first and foremost for Him.

So what's your motivation for what you currently do?

Something to think about...

Friday, February 07, 2020

Two Mountains

I don't know if we do this more than another time in history or whether it is just easier now?
People love to share their "considered" opinions on whatever they are involved in or what they see.
Reviews on meals, accommodation, movies, books, businesses, relationships, sports teams and even Churches.

I have been thinking about this recently...
Wondering whether just because we can, should we?
Wondering if we have to be maybe more "considered" about what we critique?

There is this account in scripture from many years ago where God's people stood purposefully before 2 mountains.
From one they read out all the blessings from God.
On another the read all the curses.
There was a very real and distinct differences between the 2 mountains and experiences.
From one there were blessings.
From the other there were curses.
And you do not need to be bright or a theologian to work out what was better...

Back to today...

I think we have maybe got our 2 mountains a bit confused.
It is like our culture has brought through a bunch of powerful excavators and flattened the mountains to create a level playing field. Where people freely bless and curse seemingly within one breath at times.

I have lost track of the number of times I have seen this recently...
Couples in a marriage facing challenges speaking the very worst about each other to each other. Getting friends and family to join their side. Cursing what on one hand they say they want better.
Employees sometimes face challenging situations and relationships in a work place. Their default strategy it seems is to curse their boss, workmate, even the very place they are employed.
Christians are sometimes really good at this...unfortunately!
They visit another Church for whatever reason and then curse it because it doesn't have this or that, doesn't match their expectations, offends something in them.
And yes, I have even regularly heard people curse the Church they are in, in some vain hope that cursing it, might motivate something cosmically to change it to the way they want it to be.

Sorry to be so heavy in these comments but I have a goal for you and me today!
I want us to seperate our comments back to potentially 2 mountains.
Maybe something is wrong and needing attention.
But maybe also we are adding fuel to the problem fire by speaking a curse over it.

If you want your marriage to be better - bless it and not curse it.
If you want your job to be better - bless it and not curse it.
If you want your Church to be better - bless it and not curse it.

Which of the two mountains is God asking you to stand on today?

Something to think about...

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

What's the deal with all this right hand, left hand stuff?

What is the deal with all this right hand, left hand stuff?
Because for many years I have read the following and wondered many things...

29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5:29-30 NIV

For many years I have looked and relooked at this passage!
All this gouging and cutting really bother me...

Jesus has just told people that adultery is bad. To avoid it.
He sets the bar higher than the culture allowed naturally by explaining that even thinking about having sex with another women other than your wife was not cool. 
Our culture is the same now. In general you hear that is "ok to look but not touch". Sometimes I have heard people say that "God created sexy bodies so enjoy the view..."

But is the answer to literally pluck your eye out or cut off an appendage?
Maybe what I read this morning might help you as it seems to have helped possibly explain it to me?

Jesus refers to appendages again in a slightly different context...
You need to understand that both chapters are actually all part of one recorded conversation.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Matthew 6:3 NIV

Again here we have reference to 'hands'.
Thankfully not about chopping them off, but reference none the less.

It got me thinking. 
I think in the context of Matthew 6:3, Jesus is talking not about literal hands but those close to us. To not share with our friends etc what we do in regards to our generosity like a public service annoucement.
Maybe Jesus is saying to be careful especially about having lustful thoughts about those close to us?
Maybe Jesus is saying that it is better to severe relationships with people we are tempted by?
To cut them off! Not just cut your hand off...

The challenge you might discover after reading this is that the Holy Spirit reminds you of a relationship that is not appropriate for you and that maybe you need to cut it off?
If He is doing that, it is not to tell you off, it is actually for your protection.
It doesn't make you bad, it actually shows His love for you. 

I hope this helps someone as it has helped me?

Something to think about...