Build What Is Unseen

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So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal [2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV]

Do you ever wonder what life could have looked like? I marvel at how God worked out so many ‘what if’ scenarios to get me to be where I am. How different could it have looked if at just one those pivotal moments I had chosen the other option.

Life is full of those kind of moment. We’ve all had them and, we will all have them again.

I may think that the substance of my life is based on what I can accomplish, how successful I am or what I accumulate along the way but I have come to recognise in reality, it’s not.

A life isn’t only built by all that we can see. Instead it is built by all that we cannot see.

I think this is why I love that I get to do what I get to, play my part in building local church. It’s too big for me to congratulate myself. In the breadth of eternity, what I’ve contributed is tiny.  And it’s not mine anyway – it belongs to Jesus, I am just a willing particpant, here to serve in the building.

When I get busy being someone who helps build Gods House, His church, my eyes are taken off the here and now, what I may think is important and they become fixed on what God wants. The things I can’t take with me. The things that are not temporary but eternal. Things like….

Faith exercised. 

People drawn to God. 

The making of disciples. 

Seeing lives being changed. 

A different kind of legacy. 

Treasures in heaven. 

I love Hebrews 11 where we read about a whole bunch of people who gave their lives for something they didn’t even get to see in the here and now. And they were happy with that.

They weren’t wanting to build something that could be seen now except to bring glory to their God. What they really built was an unseen future, one which others would get to enjoy in the here and now along with one they would enjoy for all of eternity.

Let’s be builders of the unseen. Less worried about what we have and give our lives to building others, building the church and thereby building our eternal future. 

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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.

The Lord Who Provides

provide-001-001In 2017 remember this…He is the Lord who provides.

In Genesis 22 we read the account of how God asked Abraham to prepare to make a sacrifice, and how the thing to be sacrificed was his only son, the son of promise too. This is difficult to work out and seems an odd thing for God to ask. It’s definitely a divine test at a whole other level.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” [v2]

However, I think it is a test God asks of us more often than we may care to acknowledge. This is not about sacrificing our firstborn on an altar. In some senses it’s much simpler than that but just as difficult.

God’s question: are we willing to give up what is most precious to us?

Think about those things which have our heart, our attention, our time and our resources. Those things we can elevate and give greater importance than we ought to. The things which can easily get between us and God.

God first. Then family. Then church. I think this is a good way to line things up. But we have to be like Abraham, be willing to let go of what’s most precious and have faith that God will provide and therein lays the test. To let go of what we think is best for something God may provide which is better.

Yet therein lays the wonder as to how much God knows what we need and can bring it us, seemingly from nowhere, out of the ‘thickets’, from the other side of the mountain even.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” [v12-14]

In 2017, remember…He is the Lord who provides.

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 Becoming Bigger

keep-learning-001-001The final question is simple but dangerous too.

After all the reflection and looking forward, the challenge to answer the difficult questions with honesty and getting ready for 2017, this question is all about me.

How can I help you in 2017?

How can I help you in providing the right kind of resource and what to talk about here on the site?

How can I help you as your Pastor? 

How can I help you grow bigger – in your walk with God, as a leader, in finding your fit and discovering more about God and all He has for you?

Obviously, it’s not all about me or on me. But as much as I want my own world to be ‘bigger’ in 2017, I am making space so I can help others. To say ‘yes’ as often as I can. To challenge. To ask the questions. To resource. To see all who want to become ‘bigger’ too. I don’t just want to be someone who asks a whole host of questions without providing the resource to go with them.

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears [Philippians 1:6 The Message]

Praying God’s very best over you and yours in 2017. Praying that it will be the ‘biggest’ and the ‘best’ year yet. Praying that whatever comes your way, your faith in God will keep you through it all. Praying that you know how much God is for you, with you and has given everything for you. Amen.

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. 


7 Benefits for Calling on God

Amidst the frustrations of life, the friends who may let us down, the noise of the world and the general ‘gubbins’ of life it is important to remember we can call on the Lord. My daughter has just written today about prayer – you can read it here

Psalm 55 reminds us to act in a certain way when others things which are happening may cause us to want to behave in another way.

But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and He hears my voice [Psalm 55:16-17 ESV]

Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved [Psalm 55:22 ESV]

Whatever is happening right now, be it good, bad or ugly, take time to call on God, raise your voice to Him, cast your burdens on Him and invite Him in to every part of your life.

He hears our voice, our complaint, our concerns, the cry of our hearts

He redeems our soul and keeps us safe

He sustains us

He does not allow us to be moved or defeated by the words or actions of others

He overcomes the noise of others

He willingly attends to us and answers us

He is better than the best of friends

What beautiful promises, straight from the Word of God. How do these encourage you?

7 Reasons to be in Church Tomorrow

Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do but spurring each other on [Hebrews 10:24-25 Message]

Wow, it’s Sunday tomorrow. Some weeks it seems to come round really quick. I pray you have/have had a fantastic Saturday, whatever you are putting your hand to today.

Let me encourage you to be in church tomorrow. What a great way to launch yourself into another 7 days by deliberately choosing to spend time in the House of God. Why?

7 quick reasons why being in Church is so good….

There is no substitute for the presence of God.

We can spur one another one.

We can pray for another.

We can celebrate with one another.

Our faith can be built up.

We can be equipped.

As believers, it’s just something we should do.

Plus, it’s just not the same without you there. In reality there are just too many reasons to list. 

I recognise that life may be difficult right now and being in church might seem like the last place you want to be, yet that is when it becomes the most important place to be. 

Let’s gather together. Let’s worship together. Let’s honour our God together. Let’s keep connecting and making a difference together. Let’s keep being inventive in how we do all of these. 

And whether you make it or not, have a blessed Sunday. Can I just ask that if you love God you give Him a moment, grab 5 minutes if that’s all you have to tell Him thank you and to give Him permissions to be involved in your stuff.