Don’t be jealous of other people’s stuff

Challenged today, how many of the ten commandments can I remember.  To be honest I remembered seven of the ten!  But when challenged in the new Testament, when asked which was the greatest commandment, the answer Jesus gave did not relate specifically to any of the ten.

Matthew 22:36-40 – Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments

But, when you think about it, if we did what Jesus asked, love God first with all our heart, soul and mind we would already be keeping half of the commandments, when we start to love our neighbour as ourselves we start to keep the rest of the commandments.

I don’t believe God wants us to get hung up with the law line by line, but I do believe that through our absolute love for him we will naturally desire to be obedient, through loving others as we love ourselves we will be compassionate, caring, tolerant and a source of strength and support to all we meet.

TEN COMMANDMENTS

Put God first, put him in first place, nothing to come between you and his grace, worship him only, for he alone is worthy of our praise, he alone is the one who saves, watch what you say, let your words be pure, don’t use his name in any way other than in reverence and love, set your mind on things above, all that is good and true and pure, and take a leaf from God’s book, after a heavy week at work, take time out, go to church, rest and enjoy all that he’s given you, recharge your batteries that’s what he calls you to, take time with God; and kids, I know that it’s hard but listen to your parents, respect and obey them, one day you’ll be just like them wanting the best for your own, take it from God, they’ve been there, they know, they’re pointing you in the right direction, and OK you may not like their correction, but listen to God’s instruction, and God says harm no one, it’s not big and it’s not clever to cause harm, whether a tiny hurt or murder, it’s all the same if you are no longer able to love because the hate has consumed you enough to do the things you do, don’t cheat, don’t cut corners, be honest and upright, let light shine into every corner so you can be seen to be free of deceit, and here’s a sound piece of advice, don’t steal, if it’s not yours don’t take it, doesn’t matter whether it’s a paper clip or you rob the bank, the action is frankly wrong, in the same way we’re called to speak the truth, don’t lie, don’t mislead, speak truthfully and you will see that the truth indeed does set you free, and finally, don’t be jealous of other people’s stuff, God has promised to give you enough, to prosper you in all areas of your life, don’t long for things that you don’t need, don’t be greedy, God provides, he doesn’t lie, so trust him in all these things, here’s what Jesus, King of Kings has to say about living life God’s way, firstly love God in all your ways, with all your heart, mind and soul, that’s the way to become whole, and the second part comes naturally, totally love your neighbour, love them as much as you love yourself, love them until their heart melts, love them until they beg to know what makes you so content, don’t relent in these two aims, love God, love neighbours and your life will change.

See the face of Jesus in every crowd

In our Christian lives we are called to cast off that which is unhelpful and to put on that which is holy and good.

Ephesians 4:24 – put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Romans 13;12 – The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.

It’s a call really to live by the Spirit, being producers of good fruit. it’s a call to be so full of God’s love and light that whatever happens you are still overflowing.  It’s a call to be purposeful in our attitudes and our actions, putting aside anything sinful and stepping into all that is good.

SO FULL OF GOD

Be so full of God that even if they take and take you will still overflow with love, see the face of Jesus in every crowd, love your enemies even when it’s a struggle, let all that you have praise the Lord no matter how hard life gets, have no regrets, live for God and when you get it wrong, seek his forgiveness, God knows that sometimes we get in a mess, he gets it, he sees that we’re broken, but he has pieced us together again with painstaking love and attention, we are a new creation, not perfect, we carry scars, but they are ours, a reminder of our fallen past,  a reminder of his steadfast love that pulled us past the chains that threatened to hold us down, so wear your crown on your head, be bold and never let the devil tell you you’re no good, that’s part of the old, and you are the new, evolving into something beautiful, each day a step into an exciting future, each day a new adventure, you and God, you and your Saviour, your friend, your love,  your counsellor.

Make sacrifices, raise your arms to heaven and praise

Exodus 17:11-13 – As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

I read this passage today and it kind of struck me that sometimes we ask God for victory in an area of our lives and expect an instant response.  Reality is, sometimes we need to keep praising through the storm, ask for support from others to help us in that, and be prepared to stick at it until the victory is secured.  Like Moses, sometimes I need friends to come alongside me and support my arms in praise, sometimes I need to trust God’s timing and I always need to give God the glory.

JEHOVAH NISSI

Jehovah Nissi, that means the Lord is our Victory, do you believe it?  Are you prepared to put in some time, give of your life, make sacrifices, raise your arms to heaven and praise him even when all around alarm bells are sounding, the enemy hounding you because he sees your potential, it’s essential you surround yourself with Christians to prop you up when your strength is failing, to stand by you as you are scaling the mountains, to support you until you reach the fountain where you can refresh and revive, God is alive, AMEN, the one true God, look through the mist and the fog,  don’t slog through your life, claim the prize, keep your eyes on Jesus, keep your hands raised in praise, your light ablaze, with God in your corner you are never afraid.

Come, walk with me in the cool of the evening

I was listening to a talk yesterday and the lady speaking spoke of this verse and how it made her imagination run wild.

Genesis 3:8 – Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden

I have reread it this afternoon, and I totally agree with her.  Adam and Eve heard the sound of the Lord God as he walked in the garden. WOW.  How amazing to think of God actually walking through their garden, ready to talk to them, maybe ask them about their day, chat about the flowers, the trees, the landscape, admire the surroundings and then just how they may have sat down and asked God questions, things that only God can answer, and had real quality time with the creator of the universe.

Oh for just one summer’s evening to stroll through the garden with God.  How awesome!

But then I stop and find myself thinking, I can do that anytime.  OK God is not physically present in so much as I can see him and talk with him as I may with my other friends, but God is real to me, he talks to me, he listens to me, why not just take some time this evening to stroll with God and have a chat?

Psalm 89:15 – Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord

Micah 6:8 – walk humbly with your God

1 John 1:6-7 – If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

 WALK WITH ME 

Come, walk with me in the cool of the evening, come walk in the light before the night draws in, you can talk or you can listen, ask questions if you want to, seek to know what I have to say on any situation, we can walk and talk, worship and pray, we can stay silent in each others company, you can sit, be still and know that I am God, you can enjoy fellowship with me, just walk humbly beside me, don’t worry I see your love, I see your passion to learn, and grow, to sharpen your faith, I know that you can’t wait to see the next chapter unfold, I love that you care, I love your desire, I never tire of walking with you, listening to your sometimes disjointed prayers, knowing that it’s because you care, you want my ear, you want to draw near, any time you need me, you know where you’ll find me, the garden is all ours, our special place, where you will always be able to engage with me face to face

God slipped that crown on your head and said, welcome Princess

We are a divided world based on so many factors.  Nationalism and our intolerance of other nations. Religion and our intolerance of other religions.  Even as Christians we have denominational differences which spark debate and divide.  If we Christians are not to conform to the world but be recognisable by our love for one another what a revolution that would be, what changes we could bring.

  • 1 John 4:7-8 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love
  • 1 Corinthians 16:14 – Let all that you do be done in love.
  • Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

WELCOME PRINCESS

Don’t conform, don’t let them change you, don’t let them bring you down, remember that day when God slipped that crown on your head and said, welcome Princess, remember the day you first fell to your knees, wanting to please your Saviour, don’t forget, don’t let them bring you down, don’t allow their negativity to affect your positivity, don’t become unrecognisable as you forget to pick up your bible and read from God’s word, don’t be one of those who heard but chose to conform to the world, don’t get drawn in to debates that berate others, attitudes of superiority, my way is better than yours, like playground banter, my God is greater, my God is bigger, stop using his name as a way to deliver condemnation, born again, preparing to reign, the chains have gone, the burden is light, so give God the glory and do what is right, stand up for Jesus whilst showing true love, be bold, be courageous, but do it with love, be open, be honest, trust in God’s love, be united in Jesus, keep your eyes fixed on God

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