Build Church: One Thing

The obvious thing to say here is we don’t build the church, after all, Jesus did say He would do that. Yet, in my amazement, He chooses to partner with us and use us to help make it happen.

Everywhere we go we represent our Saviour. Doesn’t matter if we do it well or do it badly, both will influence others in how they think about or want to get to know Jesus. One helps, the other less so.

Playing my part in building local church needs just one thing…involvement. 

Actually, this is problematic and could be considered simplistic in approach as I can already hear people saying what about His presence, what about prayer, what about sharing the good news, what about caring for others, what about worship, what about serving, what about the Word, what about fasting, what about hearing from God more, what about…[insert own thought here].

Other than God showing up, although we have to be there and respond to Him, the key aspect for us in all of these is this one simple thing…INVOLVEMENT.

God is building a home. He’s using us all – irrespective of how we got here – in what he is building. [Ephesians 2:19b The Message].

Raises 3 questions then for us to think about…

How is our involvement with God? Is it healthy, is it close enough, are we spending time in His presence?

How is our involvement with His church? Are we only attending or are we contributing?

What one thing could we do to improve our involvement with God and with His church?

If we all just raised our involvement by 1%, I wonder what a difference it may just make. It is through involvement in all which God is doing that His Church will built. And it will be built through unity, faith and done in such a way as to honour Him and represent Him well to those who do not know Him yet.

What do you think?

Lead Well: Repair Your Integrity

Lead well in life: keep your integrity intact.

But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever [Psalm 41:12 ESV]

In Psalm 41 David lets us know how God has upheld him because of his integrity, which allowing for how David behaved at times may seem a little incredible. Or does it rather point to a different way to view of integrity.

Integrity is not about perfection. Instead it’s about how we deal with situations when we don’t behave with perfection. Wholeness is difficult to attain and even harder to maintain. So when things break that, how we respond will either preserve our integrity or if we are not careful, maybe damage it beyond repair.

David messed up. But when confronted, he responded. He prayed. He called on God. He wept. He repented. He repaired his integrity. And God upheld him. More than that God set him in His presence forever. I can definitely relate to the messing up part and am a thankful recipient of Gods endless grace

Repair your integrity.

It may not come naturally. Be willing to be honest. Things happen, so let’s learn to respond well. To ask for forgiveness. To forgive. To repent from patterns of behaviour. To work hard at lining your life up with the Word of God. Integrity is hard won, easily lost. When a chip appears, fix it. Otherwise, a chip becomes a crack, which if left untended becomes a break which could be impossible to close.

The world needs people who are willing to work at protecting and maintaining their integrity. The world especially needs Christians who are able to stay strong, and who when they make a mistake, deal with it, get right with people and with God, and by doing so, protect and maintain their integrity. God rewards those with such a heart and sets them in His presence forever.

What do you think to todays thought?

 

Make Time This Christmas

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Over the next few days let’s take time to focus on the actual reason for celebrating at Christmas time.

Let’s get past the food, although that’s good. Let’s get past the presents, although I am hoping for some. Let’s get past the tv, although I’m hopeful for some half decent programmes.

Instead let’s pause, reflect and consider the reality of Jesus. Why he came from heaven to earth and how embracing the good news of a Saviour can change everything for ever.

Let’s push all the ‘stuff’ most people associate with Christmas aside and make that deliberate effort to thank God for sending His son. That God would be born as a baby, with all the risk involved in such a move. All so he could be here, dwelling amongst, Immanuel, God with us. 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel [Isaiah 7:14]

7 Kingdom Thoughts

Been reflecting today on all we’ve been talking about in respect of the Kingdom of God, what it is but more importantly, how it should impact our lives. 

1. Living like a Kingdom person isn’t easy. 

2. Just because I’m a Kingdom person doesn’t mean I’m perfect. But I’m on that journey like all of us. Some stuff takes time. Israel came out of Egypt in a day but it took a generation to get Egypt out of Israel. 

3. If I’m letting people know that I am a Christian, and therefore by decision, a Kingdom person, I better do my best at not making a hash of it. 

4. Kingdom people wear the badge of grace with honour understanding that without the grace of God we are nothing. We are careful not to wear the badge of lifestyle, pity, bad behaviour, self-righteousness or anything else with the same kind of honour we should be giving to God. 

5. We are now writing our Kingdom story, one which is being added to all the Kingdom stories written by individuals before us, including Jesus. 

6. To be a Kingdom citizen is to make Jesus is King of my life, which means that I no longer am. 

7. Wondering what is stopping me from actually living like the Kingdom of God stuff is true, real and works? What if I lived like God is good, wants the best for me and is most definitely on my side?

Just my thoughts and I am certainly challenged by all that we are teaching and speaking about at the moment. One simple thing I have learned is this: the first and most important walk with God I need to give my attention to is my walk with God.

If you are part of Xcel Church, what have you been learning from this Kingdom series?

The Kingdom View: Connection

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We have been talking about the Kingdom for a few weeks now in church. From the big foundational aspects through to how being a citizen of the Kingdom influences our every day.

In my messages I have been giving the congregation a gentle push, a call to action, to not just be ‘ready, willing and available’ but to actually DO SOMETHING. It doesn’t need to be grand, just something. And I’m not going to ask anyone to do anything that I will not get involved with or do myself.

So last night we had a quiz in one of the local Community Halls and it was great. Simple. Uncomplicated. Meeting people we didn’t know. A good laugh too. Turns our being Kingdom citizens isn’t as difficult as we make it out to be.

Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen, baking cakes, having conversations and just being normal people who happen to have Jesus in their lives.

What’s your story of connection? What shall we do next?

My Sunday Reflection

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Yesterday in talking about becoming our kingdom self to church I talked a little about faith. To be faithful to what God is calling us to do is be someone who is full of faith. The incredible thing is we don’t need to be full in the sense of a good meal full when it comes to faith, we just need faith the size of a mustard seed and then mountains can be moved.

To be faithful is to be putting our faith into action. Faith is the currency of the kingdom. Without we cannot please God. Faith honours God. Faith puts God first. Faith gives Him permission to be involved in our every situation.

Which begged the question – what are we believing for?

So we took a moment and wrote one thing done. 67 prayers of faith. On my office wall. Things that in reality only God can do. Every post-it note represents a person. Behind each prayer there is a story. They are a cry from the heart to see salvation come to friends and family. For restoration. For help. For guidance. For wisdom. To see the kingdom come on earth as it is heaven.

My commitment now is to pray. Not that my prayers are any more powerful than anyone elses prayers. I just have a little bit of faith to see God move. To see some turnaround. To see some breakthroughs. To see some people come to Jesus. For us to be ready to be the answers to some of these prayers. That we depend on God but get involved too.

I am asking God, what can we do to help one another. How can we as Xcel Church reach these who have been named with the Gospel? How can we resource and equip the church so they are ready, full of courage, full of the Holy Spirit?

When I read these I think I caught a glimpse of Gods heart and was reminded of the line from a song a few years back: ‘Break my heart for what breaks yoursBreak my heart for what breaks Yours, Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause’.

How Can I Help You Best?

You read my blog, some of you even know me personally, so I am asking you a question, one that could just help me shape the pages of this blog for the future.

Allowing for how well you know me or what you have read here – what do I know? If you were coming to me for something, what would it be? What problems would you come to me to for help? If you had a question, what would it be about?

I would value your feedback. Please complete the simple 3 question survey by clicking on the link below…

How Can I Help You Best?

Thanks for helping me as I look to make changes to this site of the next few weeks.

This Kingdom Life [3]

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

Matthew 6:33 is a scripture we have held on to as a couple and a family at different seasons in our life. The reminder recently though is that when it comes to being the best kingdom person I can be, then this verse is not just for a season, it’s for all time.

Actually, isn’t this really obvious. All the Bible stands for all time but sometimes what it is saying resonates louder because of circumstances.

Yet this is the simple and powerful call for those who desire to live the Kingdom life.

To seek first the kingdom of God. To look for it, go after it, place it in a foremost position, above all other things. To seek the kingdom above all other things.

I’m curious about the word ALL. When we consider the benefits of living in the kingdom we want the ALL spoken of in this verse because it comes to us. Seek first the kingdom of God…so that ALL these things we have need of will be added to us. That’s our favourite kind of ALL.

The other ALL, where I am called to give my ALL to Jesus, this is the one I like a little less. Surely this ALL doesn’t mean ALL. In other words, I want the ALL for me from Jesus without giving my ALL in return.

Even if I have confused you, we can’t live like that.

Seek first the kingdom. It is a journey of discipleship. Having entered the kingdom, we learn about the need to seek first, to lay aside our own kingdom and focus on a life of righteousness with God. Then, we are well positioned to be blessed by God, with all the other things He knows we have need of, being added to us.

This kingdom life is a faith life, a trust life, a disciplined life and a rewarding life.  And like I mentioned the other day, maybe that’s why there is a fight on. We just have to let God win.