2017 and All It Will Bring

gxnyoltxcr8-jonathan-simcoeThis week between Christmas and the New Year has seemed extra long this year. If you’re like me then you are probably beginning to miss the routine, the normalness of life and are done with rest and the switching off. It’s starting to feel like laziness is creeping in.

So, how are the questions? Let me encourage you to grab a piece of paper, purchase a new journal or even use your phone and answer them. Take 15 minutes and think about them. Your 2016 review. What you would do. What would stop you. Your relationship with God. Put something in writing. Be brave and courageous. It helps.

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it [Habakkuk 2:2 ESV]

It’s amazing how the simple transition from one year to another can provide an opportunity for a reset. To get back on track. To refocus and begin again.

God is on our side. He is not about second chances, He is about new beginnings. Use 2017 as that new beginning. With God at the centre of all of our hopes, our faith, our dreams – nothing is impossible with God.

Three final questions then as part of this week…in readiness for 2017 and all it will bring…

What’s your biggest challenge? What’s bugging you?

I’d be happy for you to share your thoughts but understand you may not want to. How about you let me know if you have found them useful or otherwise. Like I mentioned above, just make sure you think about them. They are big, helpful questions.

Tomorrow I will ask you one final question.

Meet the Neighbours


Just thought I would let you know that even though the sun may not have been shining, the ‘front-yard’ BBQ was a success. 

Observations:

  • It was easy
  • People actually came
  • I managed to have conversations with people I’ve never met before
  • My Connect Group were amazing
  • We ate a lot of meat!
  • I would do it again
  • The neighbours want us to do it again

The question ‘why put on the BBQ?’ was asked. Funnily enough I didn’t answer with ‘Jesus’. Instead, it was just a simple one, ‘We wanted to meet our neighbours’. 

Here’s to doing it again soon. 

Be An Answer

I pray every morning. I have different things, people, topics and such that I pray for each day. I don’t share this to show off, only to say this discipline is important to me. 

This morning I got a nudge from God, a thought, just something simple, yet as always with God, very powerful. Here it is…

I might be the answer to your prayer. You might be the answer to mine. The key is that we are listening well enough to hear God and then brave enough to act on what He said. 

It has challenged me. It has got my attention. My ears are up, positioned to listen better. Ready and expectant for what God might be asking of me. 

How might this challenge you?

The Cross of Christ: Be Made Right

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new [2 Corinthians 5:17]

It’s not about what you can do. It doesn’t matter on our background, education, where we were born, where we live, nothing can make a difference to the fact that at the cross of Jesus, all were made right. All the work has been done by Jesus, we just need to accept it. 

Sins were paid for. The price paid for our sin was the broken body and the spilled blood of Jesus. Nothing we have done has not been covered. When we acknowledge by faith that Jesus is Saviour, God looks at us and doesn’t see our past or present mistakes, He only sees someone made right through the finished work of Jesus. 

Made right with God. The dissatisfaction that we can often feel is impossible to fill by chasing after a dream, the perfect job, the right relationship or through the purchase of certain stuff. Nothing on this planet can satisfy us completely. Only through the cross can that gap be filled. 

We need to admit we need to be made right. To acknowledge our sin and believe that what Jesus did was for us. Why not consider this for a moment and ask Jesus into your life. Find true rest and rightness with God through the cross of Jesus Christ. 

It is Finished

Final night of Influence 2016 and what a night. Thank you to Vicki Simpson for her ministry, her obedience to God and listening to His voice.

 

Vicki spoke a great little message about Jesus on the cross crying out ‘It is finished’. Here are my notes…

John 19:28-30

It is finished = completed, accomplished, a successful end to a season

What had actually finished?
He was declaring something as done which wasn’t done yet. He said it then breathed his last. He called it just before it was finished. 

What do we need to declare as finished?

  • Lack
  • Sickness
  • Reconciliation
  • Strife
  • Confusion
  • Fear
  • Unforgiveness
  • Spiritually stuck 
  • Living without God
  • Lukewarm Christianity

It takes faith to start something
It takes faith to declare a thing finished

To move on, you need to call it finished, over. 
And that’s what we did. We shouted at that ‘thing’ and called it finished. Now we wait in faith for the evidence of that. 

Then we enjoyed a special closer and gave into the future of Xcel Church in Bangalore.  


What has been your highlight of Influence 2016?

Use Your Goods

Thanks to Vicki Simpson for another great message and then a time of teaching about how to prophesy well. 

Here are my notes…

  • As we see in Matthew 25, He gave his goods to us. 
  • God never requires anything of you that He has not equipped you for
  • So, what do your goods look like? Whatever they are don’t underestimate them 
  • What is key to increasing influence of Xcel? By usIng what you have. Faithful in a few. 
  • Some of us are just not satisfied. We are not using our goods. We are just earthen vessels with treasure in. We just have to learn to step out in faith and use it.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 is a statement of insufficiency & inadequacy – but knows he is made sufficient by Christ
  • Just use the goods
  • To step out in faith, act like you have the sufficiency

Looking forward to the final session of the day with Mal Fletcher. Hope you will join us

God Will Answer

My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? [Psalm 22:1]

Doesn’t this verse demonstrate the frustrations we may have at times with God when we wonder where He is, we cry with a longing to see His hand move, we are desperate to have an awareness of His help in our lives?

I know that I have prayed that prayer. I know that I have spoken these types of words to God. I have been a Christian a long time and I know God is able. I have seen Him answer my prayers many times before in my life, yet, if I am brutally honest, my humanness can be difficult to ignore and those nagging questions reappear. Why? When? How?

In Psalm 22 David maybe speaking from his own circumstances but he is also prophesying about a future King. He is speaking about Jesus. Not a King who would overthrow with a great show of physical power, instead a King who would overcome by laying down His life. He would be a suffering Messiah. A Saviour who would unfold a victory of a different kind.

He would be poured out for us.
He would have his strength beaten from him.
He would be disrespected
He would be pierced for me and you.
 

That I would be like David, that although I have wondered where God is, I would be quick to acknowledge the hand of God and say these same simple words…You have answered Me [v21b]

What a victory to give praise for.
What a victory to give me confidence in God.
What a victory that overcomes for me.
What a victory to give me courage.
What a victory to tell others about.
What a victory to learn from.

What a victory that causes me to trust and no longer question.

Where is the victory in your life that would lead you to say, ‘God has answered me?

What Would a Win Look Like For You in 2016?

There are some powerful reasons why this question is important enough that means each of us should to take time to consider it.

If we don’t know what a win looks like, how do we know if we have won.

If we don’t know why the win is important to us then giving up when it gets tough will be easier.

If we don’t have a win to go for, then another year may be spent putting our energy into anything.

I recently tried to articulate some of the wins I am looking for in 2016 – more WOW moments, digging into the Word of God, helping my family flourish and other stuff too. Each represent one or more WHAT’S, each of which need a WHY to be attached that can help me connect more purposefully with them and then each need a WHEN to help me to focus.

There is no guarantee for achievement but I am going to give it my best shot. It needs to be more than just a bunch of good intentions, I have done that too many times before, this time I better prepared and focused. To work like it depends on me, but also to pray like it depends on God. To win ~ personally, as a family, within my roles, and spiritually too.

How about you? What does your win look like? Why is it important to you?