Even I find myself more likeable

The fruits of the Spirit should flow out through us as the Holy Spirit flows through us like a stream of living water.  They should not have to be forced or worked upon, as we grow in the Spirit, as we receive the Spirit we become filled with the gifts and our lives are changed.

This should be an ongoing process, one that changes us for the better day by day.

Galatians 5:22-25 (CEV)  –  God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. God’s Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 1:22 – set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Isaiah 12:3 – With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation

LIFE CHANGING

Life changing, giving my life to Jesus, nothing more, nothing less, just life changing. Obsessed, stressed, an effort to live, searching for a direction, seeking correction, out of my comfort zone, hard pressed and challenged on every side, holding on by my fingertips, slipping, ripping chunks out of my skin, failing to understand that sin had me gripped, sin had me chained, but that all changed the day I gave my life to Jesus, he put his seal of ownership on me, freedom from solitude, freedom from living a skewed existence from following the path of least resistance, no longer distant, God loomed large and gave me life, his Spirit living in me, changing me, living water flowed through me, washed away the old me, created a new heart within me, I may not yet be the finished article, but the change is remarkable, and even I find myself more likeable, life more enjoyable, nothing impossible because God is with me, life changing, the day that God picked me.

Jesus died for you knowing that you might never love him back

I was watching the news today and saw an article on a girl who had opted to be cryogenically frozen in the hope that one day a cure would be found and technology would have progressed to the state where she could be brought back to life.  It just gave me a cold feeling inside (excuse the pun).  How must it be to have no hope, no future to look forward to, no promise of a new life. I know it’s less than two years since I myself was in that position but it seems like a lifetime ago.  I cannot imagine how it must feel to be that desperate for hope that you would go to those lengths.  Our only hope for a new life is in Jesus, our only hope of eternal life is in Jesus, no scientific wonder or discovery is going to come, but the solution is already here.  Jesus died so that we could live, period, end of.

JESUS DIED SO WE COULD LIVE

Jesus died so that we could live, period, end of, Jesus died for you knowing that you might never love him back, wow that is true love, dying for you was the most he could do, living for him is the least you can do, look at your life, look at what you’re living for, is it worth Christ dying for, are you living in the light, endeavouring to do what’s right, chasing dreams or chasing God who has even greater dreams for your life than you would believe, he never leaves you despite the fact you fail him every day, he won’t let that get in his way, his love knows no limits, he’s already nailed it, it’s the only story where the hero dies to save the villain, his death was not in vain he came to give us freedom, an escape from all that drags us down, Jesus, died so we could live, period, end of, there’s nothing to be scared of, Jesus has already saved you if you just choose to think it through, Jesus offers hope, not dreams, Jesus offers a certainty of eternity for those who accept him now, don’t stay in the darkness walk into the light, don’t fight it, receive the gift so freely given, walk with God now to see a small glimpse of heaven that awaits you when you die, you see this world is temporary we’re just passing through but heaven is eternal and we have a sure hope and assurance of eternal life, come now surely you want to join us?

Speak life, speak of God’s sacrifice

We ask for ears to hear, we often pray for others to hear, but if we are not prepared to step out of our comfort zone and talk naturally about God who is going to hear?  If we say nothing there is nothing to hear.  A good lesson for us and as a word of encouragement I learnt yesterday that by asking someone if I could pray for them I could bring a smile where before there was sadness, I can offer hope where before there was none.  So by offering to pray I wasn’t preaching but I am sure God can use the still, small voice contained in that gesture for his eternal glory.

Romans 10:17 – The Message – The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.

MOUTHS TO SPEAK

God gave us mouths so we could speak, speak now, speak love, speak encouragement not discouragement, speak positives, not negatives, speak life, speak of God’s sacrifice, his love, his grace, share the message, spread the joy, don’t be shy or coy, enjoy the pleasure of spreading his message, enjoy the opportunity to reach out to your community, to bring unity where there is disunity, harmony where there is disharmony, fervently seek to spread his word, don’t be absurd and keep your mouth shut instead be prepared to shout from the rooftops of Jesus your personal friend and how he came to mend the broken, to heal the sick, to set the prisoner free, to relieve you from poverty and dismay, so offer to pray for your fellow man, hold out your hand in friendship, help those living in fear to hear with their ears and feel with their heart that there is new life they can have a fresh start.

Empty words spoken as a token

Every end of term assembly at my secondary school ended with the reading of 1 Corinthians 13.  Back then it was just a reading but now, re-reading the passage it has so much impact on me.  I knew it was about love but never realised the impact that love has on everything we do as Christians.  What is the point seeking spiritual gifts if we can’t be kind to a neighbour or person in need and what point in praying for situations if we don’t feel love and compassion.  Just love this passage:

LOVE

Just sitting here thinking about life without love and that got me to thinking about God and his love, see to me the gift of life is without price and the act of sacrificing your own child is wild, on a scale of one to ten it kind of ranks at a zillion and one but how easily we take that for granted, an amazing love that God wants us to receive if we’ll only believe.  Do we conceive how massive that is? That gift of love, that special gift of sacrifice and God explains love like this; if I could speak a thousand languages but was heartless, if I had no love in my heart I would just be a loud noise, a voice reverberating in the darkness that made no difference to those who happened to witness my linguistic acrobatics, and if I was prophetic and gave a prophecy of epic proportions about all that will happen in all our tomorrows but didn’t love others who would be bothered?  If I had faith and could make a mountain move from here to there, who would care? If I didn’t have love it’s an empty blessing, like saying bless you to a stranger when they sneeze, empty words spoken as a token, if I give all I have to the poor but keep the door closed on my emotions my devotion to their wellbeing is still without meaning and if I go out on the street to preach but have no love each of my words is a meaningless jumble, a mumble devoid of meaning cos without love they are misleading.  So what is this love, I know it lives in me, it’s there in the heart of me and as I seek Jesus more and more it’s like the door to my heart swings wider as my Lord and guide teaches me patience and kindness, yes he really does remind me to be nice, he shows me that boasting and show-boating are gloating and I should only boast of his power and glory, he shows me that being selfish is kind of skewed and gets me nowhere, he helps me to give my concerns to him so I am not touchy or irritable but able to show compassion in all situations, he shows me to never think that I am better than anyone else, not to sit on the fence but be loyal to my friends, to seek justice and truth and not to be rude in any way, shape or form, he shows me that conforming to the patterns of this world is not necessary cos this world is momentary, and when I get to heaven the temporary gifts of tongues and prophecy will leave me but love will remain, so I will not be constrained and live life without love, I will mirror the love of our magnificent God,  I have outgrown my childish thoughts and don’t feel I ought to love, I choose to love, for love to be at the centre of my every action and reaction  and that love to be the foundation of all my interactions.

We have succumbed to the culture of more, more, more

So continuing my reading the Bible in 90 days I have been reading Deuteronomy over the last couple of days and oh so many verses jumped out at me.  But today 2 in particular stood out:

  • Deuteronomy 31:20 – When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant
  • Deuteronomy 32:2-4 – Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.  I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!  He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God

The first one struck me as very apt for Christians in the Western world.  I read it like we have our fill of all that is good, that all God provides and become ultra-comfortable and then gradually start to forget God and turn to other things (Idols) or just reject him totally, almost like lapsing in our faith.

The second verse was a wow verse for me, how we should desire wholeheartedly for God’s teaching and words, we should be seeking God in all things, I mean how awesome to have God’s counsel and guidance like abundant rain pouring over us.

  • Psalm 67: 6-7 – For the earth has yielded abundant harvests. God, even our own God, will bless us. And peoples from remotest lands will worship him.
  • Galatians 6:9 – And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 – There is a right time for everything: A time to be born;
    A time to die; A time to plant; A time to harvest;

 

LAND OF MILK AND HONEY

God promises a land flowing with milk and honey, for us that’s like endless money to spend on all the food we love, the abundant harvest that manifests itself on the shelves of all our stores but unfortunately we have succumbed to the culture of more, more, more, three for two, buy one get one free, Chinese takeaway for tea, we want for nothing in this western culture, like vultures we indulge and over buy, our food waste mountain is sky high but you know God’s word is alive and he warns us that when we eat our fill and thrive there is a danger we will turn our backs on him, rejecting his love because we think we have enough, forgetting that what we have is given in love by a gracious God, don’t let your hearts grow hard because of all you have, don’t lose sight of what is right because you want for nothing don’t grow tired of doing and I ask that his teaching will fall like rain, his words descend like dew, that we will be renewed, appreciate all we’ve been given, acknowledge that God our Father is the great giver, the giver of life who just wants us to see what’s right, let’s fight to yield abundant harvests, to reap a harvest of blessing and let’s get a move on cos  there’s no time for messing around, lost souls are on the ground, are you too tired to keep going, are you slowing down, has your crown slipped partially blocking the light if so then here’s what I say it’s time to stand up and fight  now is the time, the time to plant, the time to sow, the time to go out into the world and proclaim the name of the Lord, to praise the greatness of our God, it’s not so hard unless of course your life is too cushty and you are too comfy in your land of plenty to worry about those who are empty, now is our time God wants to bless us, so fess up, confess and repent, don’t be content with mediocrity you can change history, be the change you long to see.

Worrying’s like assuming that God doesn’t know what he’s doing

My Bible study this morning talked about the link between knowing, trusting and praising God.  I can clearly say that the more I get to know God the more I trust him and the more I want to praise him.  Maybe a simplistic view of the link between them but for me it couldn’t be truer.  Knowing God more intimately leads to a much greater level of trust which for me often leads to spontaneous praise because our God is so great.

Isaiah 30:15 – This is what the Sovereign Lord the Holy One of Israel says, in repentance and trust is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…..

LOVE AND TRUST

My life is full of love, full of great stuff since I met my God, since I got to know him and trust him, you see waking up knowing God’s on my side is enough, let’s face it David didn’t need to know Goliath’s strength cos he understood the lengths God would go to for his children, the giant in front of me will never be bigger than my Redeemer, I trust and am not afraid all it takes is obedience, God provides the power, just obey and he shows the way, I pray, I bring my hopes and worries to God,  leave them with him cos worrying’s  like assuming that God doesn’t know what he’s doing and that’s just rude, right now Heaven is having conversations about me, angels assigned to protect me, I align myself with God’s plans, stand firm with God, he holds tomorrow in his hands, let quietness and confidence be my strength, I can be living proof of a loving God so I trust in my deliverer and helper, believe that the creator of all that I can see has got his hands on his plans for me.

God this is your life

I have a business opportunity and have been praying for guidance.  I have run my own business for many years but this is really a first for me, a big decision to make now I am a Christian.  I feel it is so important to follow God’s plan in every aspect of our lives and as such I asked my prayer support group for prayer.  These are the 4 verses I got back, wise words indeed:

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
  • Proverbs 16:3 – Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.
  • Proverbs 16:9 – In their hearts humans plan their course but the Lord establishes their steps
  • Proverbs 19:20 – Listen to advice and accept discipline and at the end you will be counted among the wise

 ADVISE ME

God this is your life, your sacrifice for me freed me to be me, but see here’s the thing, I want to bring my every thought, care and concern to you, commit it all to you, trust in my Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding, for you have been planning my life since before time began and I understand that I have free will but still say your will be done on earth as in heaven, I listen to advice, I accept discipline, I submit to him who died for me, I ask that you will steer my course, establish my steps, make my paths straight, I wait for your direction, I ask for your protection, commit my decisions to you, trust you to guide me in the paths of righteousness for your name sake, trust you to take my life and let it be used exclusively for thee.