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Archive for the tag “Churches of God”

Not by might, nor by power…

seed

Now there is a statement most of us are familiar with!

In a natural frame of mind we tend to think that in order to survive in this world, a person must be tough, strong, unbending, and harsh.  Then we get this little poke from God who says, no leave it to me and succeed because you let my Spirit reign as though you are few and weak and of course, we are.

You see, to the Spirit, He is interested in lasting value and really that is all He is interested in.  So when we are harassed, tired, discouraged and poor, we need to rethink – God is on our side.  As I live for God, I determine each day NOT to trust my own strength or abilities.  Instead, I depend on God and the work of the power of the Holy Spirit.

My success depends on this!

Looking for mountains to be flattened and ready to give God thanks for His mercy and grace.

How long must I call for help before you will listen?

Photosensitivity

For anyone who has a vision for changing the world, this seems to be a common theme in prayer.  It just seems that it takes forever for God to intervene.

This impatience of mine only gets into dangerous territory when I interpret God’s seeming snail pace movements as indifference in the face of evil.

We all can see what is going on around us and who isn’t saddened by the news we read in our headlines each day.  Worse still are the injustices that we never read about or the corruption that is hidden from our immediate view.  What about our Christian friends around the world that suffer for the very fact that they are Christians?

As rampant as injustice may seem to be, I am not called to allow my concern to cause me to doubt God or rebel against Him.  I am called to consider the message of God and to recognize God’s long-range plans and purposes.  God is doing it right, even if I do not understand why He works as He does.

Another danger sign for me is as the circumstances around me become almost unbearable, I begin to wonder if God has forgotten me.  That causes me to remind myself that He is in control.  He has a plan, He will judge, I am to stay humble and be willing to accept God’s answers and await His timing.

 

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Proud of your self-sufficiency?

self-sufficiencyOne of the things my father did when I was born, was to declare that I would be an ambassador to nations.  The one act he did to back up that statement was to purchase a set of encyclopedias from Compton in 1967 – I was 5 years old.

Almost 5 years ago, I gave that set to Goodwill.

With the rise of the internet, I had current information at my fingertips – what I did not know and could not find – I found out who did and who could.

I was self-sufficient in obtaining and understanding information.

Self-sufficiency is not bad, its being proud about it that messes you up.  I keep thinking about King Nebuchadnezzar and how God turned him into a mad person because he failed to honour God as the one who blessed Him.

When I think about all my strengths – which one do I feel most safe using and what if God took that safety net from me and I fell.   What if God orchestrated a series of events that would show my inability to be self-sufficient and I would be incredibly humbled.  What if my wealth defined me and thieves came in and stole everything I had.  What if my friends turned against me and what if I thought I had wisdom and discernment and really just ended up being confused more than anything.

Do I feel secure and proud of my self-sufficiency?   If I did, I would be just fooling myself because there is no lasting security apart from God.  If I ever felt secure in objects or people, I would have to ask myself what they really had to offer for possessions and people can disappear in a moment.  The all-sufficient God who provides everything I need is the only constant.  In fact, He is the only one who can offer the kind of security I really need.

As I contemplate my role as ambassador to the nations, my security is actually in my humility.  humility gives me incredible accuracy in providing perspective of myself and the world to which I am sent.

 

 

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I am your enemy

Very bad photo, but I just couldn’t pass it by as it reminds me of some of the arguments my wife and I have sometimes and just how I sometimes feel and look too.

I wonder sometimes just what it would take to make God, not just mad at us, but would turn Him into our enemy.  I think most of us are aware of the unpardonable sin – but that is not what I was thinking about.

More like, those who intend to harm followers of Christ in any way, shape, or form, those who worship other gods, those who side up alongside others who are wealthy or powerful or both because they are wealthy or powerful or both and ignore their relationship with God.  Double enemy status on those who are wealthy or powerful or both and they say they will help only to back out later after realizing that there is not much in this for them.

I am sure there are other ways of getting on God’s bad side, but probably just better to not worry so much on how to stay off His bad side and spend our time thinking more about how to grow our relationship with Him and getting to know Him better.

 

 

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He is still our God

In the midst of chaos, our minds race and we fret, worry and a moment or two of anxiety attacks, stop eating or eat too much, do not get much sleep and to others seem quite caught up in ourselves and what we are going through and always willing to tell the story of our struggles to whomever will listen.

There are times when we even think that our problems and difficulties are too much for God.

What makes our relationship with God even more unexplainable is that in the midst of the chaos, He does not shout, take charge, lead the way, or jump in to save the day.  He whispers our name in the middle of the night, calling us to come to Him and let Him love us.  You can almost feel His hand wrapped around our heart, pulling us gently to our knees, and in that holy, quiet moment, we are set free – He is our God.

There in that quiet time, we are refreshed, renewed.  We see the others around us that are hurting more than we are and God instructs us on how to bless them.  We see that this time is not a time that will hurt us, it is bringing us to a place of trust.  We see that no harm can come to us unless God allows it – and He is assuring us that this is not that time.

The whisper of our Lord is the most powerful voice in the universe – who can almost hear Him creating our world in that still , small voice – imagine if He thundered and roared – no evil could possibly stand before Him.  Thank you Lord for being my God.

http://youtu.be/2SoCB6E2JjA

http://youtu.be/r1-4YNnAo8A

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Without regard to age or training

Basically, I want to encourage times where not only do we not regard age or training, but we are also careful to weigh greatness with insignificance, especially with family names, place or position in life, a child verses an adult in a family, a rich or poor family.

The magistracy is an ordinance of God for the good of the Church, as truly as the ministry, and must not be neglected. I think there is not a soul in the world who would say that those employed or doing ministry are concerned about the outward business of their lives.

They have all but one duty – engage the whole person in service to God.

Wisdom, courage, strength of faith, holy affections, and constancy of mind in doing our duty, are requisite or useful for every station.

So I am fifty years old this year and am the youth pastor of group of 30  and am the Executive Director of a ministry holding only a BRE degree.

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Leader = Shepherd

I am always amazed at individuals who try so hard to be leaders.  They strive, get involved, are passionate advocates, look for nominations to Boards and committees and give huge amount of time to the church.  Unfortunately, when all their striving is not recognized there is a bit of depression that sets in and a slight antagonistic attitude.

There is only one piece of counselling I can give to such an individual – well, maybe two.  Thank God that you can now live the life He has called you too, and secondly, a leader is a shepherd first and does not need position, title or influence to fulfill this call of God on all of our lives.

King David encourages me in this matter.  He is anointed king in a private session and then continues to lead a life of a shepherd, literally and spiritually.  So when the day comes for David to take his position as king, the people declare that he take his role that he was already fulfilling even when Saul was king.

It is true – position does not matter, how you do ministry matters and if done well, many will automatically think of you as a leader as does our Lord.

The way to be truly great, is to be really useful, to devote all our talents to the Lord.

 

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Disobedience leads to…

…the right answer is death but we all know the journey that gets us there is a rough road.

Disobedience can be found both in the active and passive sense.  By that I mean not only doing wrong, but actually failing to do right.

We actively disobey by attempting murder, ignoring God‘s instructions and looking to understand the future through fortune-tellers.

We passively disobey by neglecting to ask God for guidance as we are called to rule the world God has given to us.

Obedience is also active and passive.  It is not enough just to avoid what is wrong, we need to actively pursue what is right.

Have I ever asked God for guidance?

Most definitely, however, the real litmus is asking at the start of the day for example as opposed to my frantic requests to God after I have tried doing everything my own way.  Basically, never going to God unless there was no where else to turn.

Guess I can’t be surprised when He doesn’t answer.  When we ask God for selfish reasons, they are just cover-ups for our stubborness and rebellion.

 

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Cry out to God for help

Success comes in many forms, usually from God only when we realize that we cannot do it by ourselves.  Our fear of failure is greater than our denial of our need for God or even greater than understanding His desire to do for us what we could not imagine.

Success, with God, comes because we trust Him – prayer is a form of that trust, the transfer of dependability of ourselves to God.

What I love about God is that He created within us the instincts and skills sets that enable us to do what we do.  He does not disregard His own creation.  He does however ask that we place those gifts back into His hand and allow Him to participate in our lives from time to time.

So each morning, I decide to do just that, praying and receiving my direction for the day.

My strength is only in this – my natural and developed abilities are given to me by God, meant to be used for Him and they should never replace my dependence on Him.

When I trust in myself, whether I think I am clever, skilled or strong enough on my own rather than with God, I am open to the spirit of arrogance.

So today, in difficult situations, what is my go to plan?  I pray that we seek God’s purposes and ask for His guidance and follow that by asking for His strength.

http://youtu.be/qtZX7a44fMI

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Doing it anyway

We know the right thing to do, we know what God wants us to do, we know what is best for us and yet we still do what we want to do anyway.

Why?

We have clear instructions so we can’t say we are confused when we chose to disregard God’s direction.  Ever notice that when we do our own thing that we do it in style – not just a simple, quick expression of rebellion, but we go all out.

There are the things that slowly take us away from the things of God.  God knows our human nature – our weakness and our strengths – and His instructions are there for our own good.

There are consequences for such actions too.  It brings up the point we have heard many times – it’s not enough to know God’s Word or even to believe it, we must follow it and apply it to life’s daily activities and decisions.

I think it is a decision we make each day to take God seriously for even the wisest man in the world messed up – for we are not as strong as we may think.

 

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