What if God is For You, Not Against You

Yesterday at church I asked the congregation some questions, one of which could just change our life. After all, how we view God will either drive us ‘to’ Him or ‘away’ from Him.

Having spent the end of last year talking about the Kingdom – what it is, how it impacts us as believers – a bunch of what if questions have come to mind. What if the Kingdom stuff is actually true? What if Gods Word is really real? What if I lived as if I believed it?

What if God is for us and not against us? If we think God is against us then we may believe God is unjust, is waiting to judge us and that there is nothing we can do to improve the relationship. Because of this we can become driven by guilt, fear, resentment, anger, materialism and the need for approval.

If we can accept that what we know about God isn’t necessarily true then it opens up the possibility that God is for us. Then life gains new meaning, motivation and energy. We can know that God loves us, believes in us and has made the move Himself to restore the relationship.

The acceptance of this truth, according to Gods word, it can completely transform our life. It will shift us living just for the here and now, setting our minds on eternity instead.

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One Way to Step Into Your Calling

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Too often we make life about ourselves. How can I make MY year the best year for ME?

If you’ve read any of my posts then you’ll notice I am an advocate for goal setting, having a plan, aiming for something.

But more than these, I am a greater advocate for the presence of God, getting Gods view and lead on life’s big decisions. A good, strong walk with God can help us overcome more obstacles than the best laid plans.

How we approach the days ahead is more than snap decisions or how detailed the plan may be. That’s why yesterday I encouraged us all to prophesy over and into the future. To speak the right things. We should add to this Gods call for us, His heart to become our heart.

I read these verses this morning and was nudged by the Holy Spirit – why not make this your 2017 focus, your calling to step in to for the next 12 months and beyond…

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. [‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:18-19‬ ‭ESV]

Prophesy over your future. Then be about the same things Jesus was about. That can’t be wrong and we surely make a difference in the process too.

6 Ways to Speak to 2017

c333d6yehi0-aaron-burden“Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”” [Ezekiel‬ ‭37:4-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬]

2017 will bring all kinds of experiences and situations to our door. We cannot control what comes but we can control how we react to them and how we approach them.

We can make great decisions. We can remove distractions. We can build better friendships. But one thing has greater power. The power of life and death is in the words we speak. Don’t throw away phrases without a care. They make an difference.

So, let’s prophesy over it. Speak to those ‘dry bones’, those barren and dusty parts of your life. The power of life and death is in the words we speak. God created when he spoke. Don’t throw phrases out without a care. Speak carefully and thoughtfully over the next 12 months.

Speak love. 

Speak encouragement. 

Speak faith. 

Speak life. 

Speak the promises of God. 

Speak hope. 

Prophesy into the future. Speak the good things of God over you, your family and your future. When we do this I believe we set ourselves up for a God-filled, faith-filled, miracle-filled future.

2017 and God

You may not be like me but nearly every year for as long as I can remember I have always taken these last few days of a year to reflect and get ready for the new one. 

It’s not about resolutions, I can’t keep them and in reality they are (to me), a little boring. 

Here’s my focus ~ that my walk with God would be better. That I would start strong the next 365 days, digging in the Word, praying every day and living with greater intent in regard to the person I say is the most important to me. 

So let me ask some of the questions I ask myself to get me thinking about relationship with God. 

What am I most excited about for 2017 with God?

Where do I need to grow bigger with God in 2017?

What will I make my non-negotiables in 2017 when it comes to my relationship with God?

What I am believing God for in 2017?

Why not answer them and share your thoughts as a comment below. Thanks. 

Happy Christmas Everyone

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” [‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬]

Praying Gods incredible blessing over all who I know and all those who come and visit this blog. Thanks for passing by, for the encouragement and for the comments too. 

2017 is going to be a BIGGER year and the best year yet. Make it a year to become bigger on the inside so that all that happens on the outside will not defeat you. 

Make Jesus Lord of your life. Put Him first in all you do. Jesus never disappoints. He is faithful when we lack the ability to be faithful. He is loving when we can be unloveable. He is forgiving when we struggle to forgive both ourselves and others. 

May 2017 be a year of Gods favour for you and those you love as you walk with Him. 

Walk in faith. Walk in victory. Walk with a Godly confidence. Walk knowing you are never alone, more than a conqueror and that God is on your side. 

What are thankful for this Christmas? What are you believing God for in 2017?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from my family to you and yours. 


Christmas Changes Everything

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” [‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭ESV]

Christmas changes everything. 

Not the presents, the food or the fun. If we let Him, then the person of Christmas can change everything (and I don’t mean Santa).

Jesus changes everything. For Mary & Joseph. Parents who have their first child experiences a life changing moment even when they are not the Saviour of the world.

For the Shepherds. Busy at work, interrupted by a heavenly host. The excluded included, something Jesus demonstrates throughout His ministry and calls us to the same. 

For the Wise Men. Not fully comprehending all they were seeing in the sky yet willing to step out and go on the journey.

For all of humankind. There is a before Christ and after Christ moment. From BC to AD. Not just with time but in our individual lives this kind of moment can take place too.

Make Christmas 2016 such a moment. An after Christ moment. A life-changing moment, an included kind of moment, a begin the journey and see where God might take you moment.

Jesus Was the Bigger Person

grow-bigger-001-001To be salt and light is to be like Jesus. Look at his dealings with people and you will see what I mean. Jesus was always the bigger person.

In Luke 19 Jesus is passing through Jericho. Crowds come to see him. So much so that every vantage point needed to be taken. For a small guy like Zacchaeus this meant to catch a glimpse of this great teacher, climbing a tree would be the order of the day. Now climbing a tree can be a tough enough job at the best of times but wearing a tunic, surely this just complicates things.

In position and watching Jesus interact with the crowd, the last thing Zacchaeus expects is for Jesus to notice him, speak to him and most definitely not to invite himself round to his house.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector, the despised and rejected of the day. He would be known for taking what was due for the Romans and always a portion for himself. He lived well, but probably had few or no friends.

What a day then when the Rabbi invites himself to visit. Most people wouldn’t have even given him the time of day. Some would just want to punch or spit on him. But not Jesus.

Imagine the situation in John 8 when a woman is thrown in front of Jesus having been caught in the act of adultery. ‘She is guilty’ is the cry from her accusers. Watch Jesus. He is slow to comment, maybe collecting his thoughts before he speaks. He doesn’t condemn, he doesn’t judge, instead he his compassionate, insightful, full of grace and truth.

Being salt and light offered both recipients turn-around moments. Sin is acknowledged and then covered with grace. A new life opportunity with one instruction encouraging them to ‘make things right’ and ‘sin no more’. Salt & light.

To forgive when others would condemn takes a bigger person.

To include when others would exclude takes a bigger person.

To notice when others don’t takes a bigger person.

To be inconvenienced when others prefer ease and comfort, takes a bigger person.

This is a challenge. In a world where we are taught to be concerned about ourselves, to look out for ‘number one’ anything like these things mentioned above can only come from being the bigger person. And a lot of that bigness can only truly come when we invite Jesus in, to make our lives bigger and big enough to act in such a different way.

Let’s take time this Christmas and be ready and willing to grow and become the bigger person Jesus needs us to be.

Jesus was Salt & Light

untitled-001-001Last week I wrote about Jesus moving in, being one of a kind, being generous and how he led with grace while never compromising truth.

Matthew 5:13-16 are some of the most famous verses in scripture. The words of Jesus, part of his ‘Sermon on the Mount’

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. 14″Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. 15 If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. 16 Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

As a preacher I have included these two attributes many times for all Christians in the room to be ready, willing and able to do.

Be salt. Have flavour. Give life some flavour. Bring out the flavour. Be a great preservative. And all other salt-centred type analogies.

Be light. Shine out for Jesus. Be seen. Don’t hide. Be a light that leads. Be a light for safety. The list of light uses is possibly endless. I think you get the feel of what I am going for here.

Be salt & light. Easy to say. Harder possibly to actually do. What does it really mean anyway?

Jesus spoke these words so maybe the best person to look at for answers when it comes to being salt and light then is probably Jesus. He never asked us to do anything which He wasn’t already doing or going to do.

To be salt and light is to live like Jesus. It is to be Kingdom people. It is to preach the word. To bring a message with a different flavour that is distinct from all the others the world throws out every day. It is to reflect the love of Jesus and thereby bring glory to God through good deeds, acts of kindness and a counter-culture, Kingdom-based way of life.

Jesus is the ‘true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world’. It was a light that needed to shine then through Jesus and now through us as His followers  as ‘people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil’.

Jesus is our role model, our example. For a Christian there is nothing more obvious than to say that. Yet so many Christians are not being salt and light. They are not standing out and being in distinct, at least not in the way Jesus was calling us to. They maybe shining but not necessarily bringing out the best of shines for the one they say they follow.

Let’s choose to begin to be the kind of salt and light Jesus is instructing us to be. Why not begin this Christmas. Don’t compromise on the central message of Jesus this Christmas. While others dismiss or ignore it, we should speak about it. In doing so we will be distinct and stand out for the One we love, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus.