What can we conclude from your behaviour?

Romans 15:5 – May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had

What a great prayer.  Firstly, an acknowledgment of the endurance and encouragement God gives to us and secondly asking for him to give us the same attitude towards others that Jesus had.

What attitude did Jesus have towards others?  Words I would use include: humble, positive, encouraging, loving, considerate, selfless, loyal, persevering, respectful, compassionate, patient, forgiving

I’m sure there are many more words we could use. Looking at these traits it helps me to see where I need to change to become more like Jesus.  Do I encourage enough, am I patient enough, do I show compassion in every situation?  Certainly food for thought!

CHOOSE

Choose your attitude, do not get upset with people or situations, change your thoughts and just maybe you can change the world, don’t be afraid of what could go wrong, focus on what will go right, let Jesus be your example, are you humble, do you live with positive thoughts, do you encourage as much as you ought, do you look around and yearn for others to succeed, does your heart leap when the seeds they have sown start to grow, are you happy in their happiness, relentless in your support, are you patient?  Do you show compassion in every situation, are you loyal to those who are around you, do you persevere despite any fear or worry, do you hurry to the aid of others at your own expense, selfless in giving your time, your gifts, your strengths, and do you respect others even when your ideas differ, are you prepared to sit there and hear them out, relate to them in cheerful debate, are you forgiving?  Do you forgive easily, showing mercy, big hearted in your attitude and most importantly can we conclude from your behaviour that you are the child of our loving Saviour?

Commit your attitude, your words to God’s ministry

Taking time for others, sacrificing, giving of ourselves or of our possessions, all part of God’s calling on us.

Luke 6:38 – If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.

We don’t give to receive but we can be mindful that God loves a cheerful giver!

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 – Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

GIVE

Give not to receive but because you believe in your cause, give not just in part, but in whole, generosity, part of your growth strategy, give because you love, give because your heart tells you to,  be alive with God’s power, full of zeal and enthusiasm, not some random act of kindness but something that takes single mindedness, as you offer your mind, your thoughts to the Lord, as you commit your attitude, your words to God’s ministry, start to think differently, what would Jesus do?  A good barometer for your actions, a reminder to consider all your reactions, giving becomes a way of living, give your time, your gifts, your money, and God will lift you and treat you abundantly

Now I grieve for I have no label

Having some problems seeing where I fit in. I am blessed in so much as I know I am a daughter of God and as such I have an identity.  But what I am struggling with is that I don’t fit into a particular sector or group in society.  I looked round my ladies group last night, every one of them a Mother or Grandmother.  Regrets there for me, where do I fit in?  I look at my non-church friends, those from my past, I no longer relate to being gay.  Where do I fit in?  When I’m at church I sometimes feel like the “misfit”.  I know that is more my thinking than the thinking of others, I suspect it’s Satan having a pop at me.  I have written about God restoring the years the locusts have eaten, I embrace that wholeheartedly, but part of me cries out, how can I be restored to become like everyone else.  I can’t go back in time and get married, have children, I can’t change my past.  My counsellor reminded me yesterday I should not be ashamed of my past because it’s what’s shaped me and God is going to use it for his glory and I accept that.  I suppose my message today is to ask you to be gentle with people in your church who may come from a less conventional background, sometimes they may be hurting and feeling a sense of disconnect, do what you can to help them feel loved and accepted.  (I’m sure you already do!)  Reaching out and checking people are OK costs nothing yet means so much.

  • Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:14 – And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
  • Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

NO LABEL

I had a label, it wasn’t permanent, it came off with some help, but now I’m left on the shelf, no label, no sense of where I fit in, I know that I have turned from my sin and from that perspective I am selected as a daughter of the King, my label “princess” maybe?  But look around, I see no crown, no dress, not like the rest, the girls who share their stories of Prince Charming who swept them off their feet, the children, the family, the love, the sense of belonging, today that’s what I’m longing to find, and as I write I want to underline the word lost, lost opportunities because of my sinfulness, lost love because of my frivolous lifestyle, and while I understand that I can’t turn back time, I find that my mind wonders to the “what ifs” of life, my mind rife with accusation because I succumbed to temptations that took me away from normal living, and yes I am grieving, grief for the life God had chosen for me, the husband, the children, the family, for some sense of normality, and now I grieve for I have no label, yet I still have my invite to God’s table, I still have a place laid for me, his banner still flies over me, and yes I grieve momentarily but now I must shake this off at all costs and see what God has chosen for me, no shame in a repented past, no disgrace because God’s grace has favoured me, I am part of his family, no greater honour so I must be stronger, draw on the inner strength of this new creation, stop trying to conform, be transformed through renewing my mind, be kind to myself as God helps me process.

Permit God to choose the way

I read a Kris Vallotton quote today:

“Promises are like the rudder of a ship. Rudders determine the direction of that ship”.

We have so many promises from God, but we have to receive and believe in them.  God blesses us when we have faith, when we surrender all to him and allow him to determine our direction.  Right now, I don’t know what direction God is taking me, but I want to allow him to direct me.  I relinquish the rudder of my life to him and draw near to him in excited expectation.

Luke 1:45- The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep his promise

James 4:8 – Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind.

THE FUTURE

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds my future.  Dream big, God will go beyond your wildest dreams, become intimate with God, not intimidated by man and God will reveal his purpose.  Are you open and ready to receive God’s abundance, are you a woman of substance, prayerful, absorbed in God’s word, are you ready to launch into the unknown?  You may not be sure where you’re heading but you are never alone, allowing God the say, permitting God to choose the way, drawing closer to him, letting him in, like really in, not just saying I turn from my sin, but repenting and then presenting yourself to God, here I am Lord, send me, instantly forgetting your plans for your life, becoming a living sacrifice, loving God so much that you bless him in all your ways, nothing can faze you, nothing can scare you, you are strong and courageous and the Lord God is with you wherever, whenever, however you go, for as you forego your own plans and hold onto God’s hand, he directs your path, he lights up your way, let him be the pilot of your life today.

He opens the doors of his heavenly storehouse

One of our sermon texts today was Deuteronomy 28.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 -If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.  All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God

Reading it and then thinking some more about it, I just came to the conclusion, it’s not rocket science is it, we don’t have to make it harder than it is?

Fully obey God, follow his commands and God will set you high.  You will be blessed if you just obey the Lord our God.  Why do we find that so hard to do?  Granted, one of the issues is hearing from God and that was partially what our sermon was about.  But, some of the things God tells us to be obedient to are clearly written in his word.  Unfortunately, even some of the obvious things that God tells us to be obedient to can still be a struggle to us.

If we want the best from God, if we want all his blessings there is one rule and one rule only, be obedient to God.

PAY ATTENTION

Pay attention to that voice, diligently obey, listen to what God has to say, if you’re unsure then seek his face, his grace is sufficient if you would but listen, God has made it pretty clear, draw near to him in obedience, live in accordance to his Laws and he will open the doors of his heavenly storehouse, he will pour showers of blessing on your life, expressing his immense love and pride in you his child who walk his paths, this is our God who does nothing by halves, honour him and he’ll honour you, glorify his name in all that you do, fully obey, fully surrender, and I guarantee your life will get better.

 

Don’t sit there and say it’s someone else’s battle

Was struck by two things this morning.  Firstly, a social media post from The Passion Translation, which was based on 1 Timothy 6:11-13, entitled I hear his thunder, “I am calling the men back to me” and secondly my daily reading from Joel 3:

Joel 3:9-11 – Say to the nations: “Get ready for war! Be eager to fight. Line up for battle and prepare to attack. Make swords out of ploughs and spears out of garden tools. Strengthen every weakling.” Hurry, all you nations! Come quickly. Ask the Lord to bring his warriors along

The theme of both was similar, we are called to God’s army, we are called to arise and follow God, to claim the victory.  This is a war and we need to be ready to serve under God.  The Joel reading made me sit up and take notice as it states the opposite of Isaiah 2:4 which promises us a future where we will make ploughs from our swords and we will never war amongst ourselves again.  It’s the hope, the future joy that we are fighting for, the day of victory when all will be free.

BE EAGER TO FIGHT

War, a war to end all wars, be ready, be eager to fight, line up for battle and prepare to attack, don’t be settled in your ways, don’t sit there and say it’s someone else’s battle, don’t allow the shackles to be reapplied, Satan is real and Satan tells lies, do you hear God’s thunder?  Do you hear God’s call?  That call not for some, that call is for all, arise, put on your armour, don’t risk becoming a foreigner in your own land, stand up, stand tall, be prepared with your all, that’s what God desires, a nation of people with fire burning inside, a tribe of warriors, followers with no fear of the barriers strewn in their way, victorious in attitude, committed in pursuing the truth, standing up for Jesus, claiming his promise of triumph and victory, overthrowing the enemy, marching together into his land of plenty.

Restoration, healing, a pledge that you are my new creation

My bible readings this week are based on Joel and today I read:

Joel 2:25- I, the Lord your God, will make up for the losses caused by those swarms and swarms of locusts I sent to attack you

Restoring the years the locusts have eaten is a reality to me.  This verse which was given to me very early on in my walk with God has come to mean so much to me.  It is a promise I hold dear, a promise from God which I can see him answering over and over again.  God is faithful and good, he bears no grudges and will use each and every one of us as we desire to draw close to him, regardless of how our years may have been wasted.

RAPID GROWTH

I made some mistakes, I left it quite late to fess up and speak to God, I’d made some bad choices, listened to wrong voices, my track record was not something to be proud of, but as I laid it all on the ground at the foot of the Cross, I received a promise that affected me profusely, I will restore those years, the years where you were fearful, angry, tearful, those days of hurt and sorrow, of wishing that tomorrow would never come, I vow that from now on as you draw close to me, have faith in who I made you to be, you will be restored.  Restoration, healing, a pledge that you are my new creation, nothing you have gone through will ever be wasted, let me do this new thing in you, love me and let me love you, let it go and I will show you all that I have planned for you, acceleration as you spend your time in worship and adoration, rapid growth as you soak in my presence, blessings upon blessings as you confess your sins and repent, the life you dreamt of a reality, perfect peace and harmony, knowing who you’re meant to be, living life expectantly