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.

Leading Well Throughout 2017

I wonder where we need to lead better in 2017. If you’re like me and can be honest enough too, then there’s probably a decent list. 

Let me suggest 3 areas to start. In fact these are not mine really, I’ve stolen them from Jesus. 

Jesus talked about the greatest commandments being as follows…

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. [Matthew 27:37-39 ESV]

So a good place to start when it comes to leading well in life throughout 2017, in whatever sphere of life could be in these 3 areas which will help fulfill these commands…

Leading myself well – keeping a healthy soul

Leading others well – watching how I think and speak about others

Leading with God – keeping a strong walk with God

Do you agree? Where would you say you need to lead well in 2017?

Power and Authority

power-001-001When it comes to leading well in life we must use our power and authority in the best and most appropriate ways. It is wrong to think that to be a leader is to be someone who can yield power and authority however we want.

Being a leader is more than being in charge. It is knowing when to do and say the right thing at the right time.

The right use of power and authority can change our world and the world of those around us.

The story of the Centurion in Luke 7 demonstrates this…

The Centurion never actually met Jesus. People loved him so much they spoke to Jesus on his behalf. He didn’t ask them to so why do this for him? Possibly because he treated them well as friends, he led himself and others in the right way. He had a powerful position but he did not use this to his advantage.

This was a more about who he was rather than what he was.

He understood authority and power and how when people with both use them well then those things you desire to be done, will be done.

This recognition of how power and authority work were a enough for him. Just say the word. It was a sign of great faith. He never sees Jesus. He just knows that Jesus has power and authority which used in the right way is enough to bring the change that he desires.

My prayer is that I would have the same faith-filled confidence in Jesus. To know without doubt that all it takes is a power-filled word from Jesus to change my world and to know this same power and authority is now in me, enabling me to bring change to others on Jesus’ behalf.

How do you feel about that?

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.

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.

How Would You Review 2016?

Between Christmas and New Year ~ isn’t this just the weirdest time of year? Christmas Day has come and gone. Now, it can seem like all we are doing is simply waiting for the New Year especially if you are not at work. 

It can test my patience by not really being focused on anything. I am naturally a doer and don’t do ‘nothing’ very well. 

To counter this I thought over the next few days I would post some blogs to help me help you. To ask some questions to cause us all to reflect, be thankful, but also to look ahead with purpose and challenge too. 

Question 1: Looking back on 2016 ~ what 3 things are you most thankful for? Maybe reflect and use this time to give God some thanks for the things He has done in your life during the last 12 months. 

I look forward to reading your comments and your stories.

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.