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?

Give What You Want

To lead well in life is to not get stuck being someone pointing out problems and becoming someone who chooses to become a part of the solution. If you want something, then instead of pointing to others and asking them to ‘sort it’, why not start and try to give it yourself.

Here’s how it can work…

Need more friends, then be more friendly. 

Want people to listen to you, then begin by listening to others. 

Feeling you’re being overlooked, then start noticing people. 

Never receive any thanks, then give some. 

Want to be more connected, then be the one who makes connection. 

Aspire to be a leader, then show a greater willingness to be led. 

Believing for a great future, start believing in a great now. 

Hey, you might add others to this list. It’s just a thought that follows on from my others this week about how to lead well in life. Check them out and tell me what you think…

Leading Well in Life

Be Willing to Learn

Stretch Yourself

Reflective Mode is Good

The last few weeks have had me focusing on the cross, what it represents and how I should respond to it with my life.

God has definitely been on my case, challenging me to be honest and to be willing to answer the question about myself and my walk with Him. How am I doing? How am I ‘really’ doing?

When I’m asked that by others I might just say ‘fine’. None of us are particularly great at being completely honest with others. Yet God knows what’s happening with us.

When God asked Adam where he was in the garden, He wasn’t asking it because He didn’t know where he was.  It was more an opportunity to be honest.

The same would be true for us. If God asked how we were doing, He’s not asking to be told by us that we are fine, He knows what we need and exactly how we are doing. I think He just wants us to be open and vulnerable enough to answer in complete truth. When I can do that, I position myself better for God to work IN me and THROUGH me

So how would we answer? And how willing are we to let God shine the light of His presence on our lives and reveal where change may be needed?

 

My Christmas Focus

Christmas can be a good reflective time. The end of one year and approaching a new one provides us with the opportunity to draw a line and start with a new sense of optimism and purpose.

As Christians, the need to be doing this is as great as it has ever been. It’s time to focus. To pay attention to what is going on ~ not just in our own world but also in the world of those we know and love, and around the world too. If we don’t then others will. In a world that many consider is getting darker, we have to be focused on being people of the light and bringers of that light every day.

Maybe we have become too flippant with our faith. Maybe we can take it or leave it far too easily. There will always be the challenges that life can bring but maybe this Christmas time we should be honest with ourselves and look at how we are treating our relationship with God.

  • Is it really the most important relationship in my life?
  • What have I allowed to become a distraction to that relationship?
  • Am I really giving it my best?

At Christmas let’s take time out to focus. Jesus came from heaven for us. He gave up all that glory and splendour to become a man, to live as a human, to give himself for us. His love for us, if we ponder on it, is totally overwhelming, difficult to comprehend, it is incredible.

He did this for what He saw in the future. For you and for me. His disciples. His followers. His church. His bride. And when I think about it like that, the way I approach my relationship with Jesus changes completely.

Perhaps it’s time to ask the question as to how the relationship we really want with Jesus should impact our lifestyle, our own relationships, our choices, our attitudes, and how we approach Church, His bride and all that he gave His life for.

Where are you this Christmas? How will you be making your relationship with Jesus the best in can be, in 2016?

Set Apart

“But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” ‭Psalm‬ ‭4:3

To be set apart to God is to be different.
To be set apart to God is to be favoured.

To be set apart to God is to live life in a way that others may describe as peculiar.

Be angry but don’t sin. We can have complaint but it must not drive us. To be angry at injustice is not sin but to how we respond may be.

Ponder things but stay silent. To have an opinion is alright however it doesn’t mean it should be shared.

Give the right things. Be generous with what God has given you. Be encouraging in your speech.

Trust in the Lord. Know that He is with you and in being set apart for Him that He will answer you.

Sometimes the simpleness of Gods word can confuse us in to thinking there must be more. Yet I think more often than not it is that simple. God doesn’t complicate things, I’m more than capable of doing that myself.

My pray, my hope even, is that I not only know that I am set apart to God but that I also live based on the truth that I am set apart to God and that my life demonstrates this reality of being set apart to God to any and all who are around me.

Walking With God, Still

Heading back to one aspect of my writing for this month and what the Word of God has to say about my walk with God. One thing I am absolutely certain about is that God desires to walk with me through every aspect of my life and has given me a book full of helps in how to walk that walk the best way I can.

It’s amazing how easily we can wander off.

It’s amazing how easily we can begin to walk after other things.

It’s amazing how complicated we sometimes make things when it comes to walking with God.

Jesus put it well when he said, ‘Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace’.

So, please excuse me the luxury of sharing some thoughts during this month. It’s a selfish thing, as it’s mostly for myself to note some things down as I read my Bible that might just keep me focused, help me recognise the rewards and along the way it might help others too.

[Thanks to all my followers, the likes & the comments. Keep the coming]

Real Always Win

But Jesus put it right back on them. “ Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands? …..Isaiah’s prophecy of you hit the bull’s-eye: These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it. They act like they’re worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy.” [Matthew 15:3-9 MSG]

Big show is not what God wants. Fancy words, clever talk, making things sound grand, these are not the things that God is really interested in.

Walking with God is at its very best when we are just ourselves. Open, honest, vulnerable, true, and real. Real always wins. Fake doesn’t fool anybody, least of all God.

Real is about respecting God in all that we do. Not pretending. Not covering ourselves. Not wearing our masks anymore. Not playing fast and loose with Gods commands.

Real is about what is going on in our hearts. Honest in our pursuit of God. Loving Him with all we have and all we are. Not perfection but doing the best we can. Reading His Word and applying it to our lives, no longer chasing what we fancy.

Real is what attracts others to Jesus. When we don’t mean it, when we are half-hearted towards God, we don’t fool anyone. People are looking for a genuine faith. People are wanting us to demonstrate how a real faith can make a difference in our lives.

Big question then: How real are we?

Original

You are.

Stop trying to be someone else. The world needs you.

Your original gifts, talents, performance, quirks and all. Don’t fight the originality. Don’t settle for being a copy. Stick with the God who made you you and allow Him to bring to the foreground those  original aspects of you that others need to ‘bump’ in to.

Go for the original plan. Let’s not just make do but instead be people who make the most of this life we have been gifted.

Think some original thoughts. Make time to hear from God who has a Word just for you.

Contribute in an original way. Pick up the dreams and begin to go after them again.

Live life with your original God. Reconnect with Him and all that He has laid up for you.

Be the best original you that you can be. Keep learning. Keep improving. Keep praying. Keep reading. Keep seeking after God. Enjoy the adventure that through the Holy Spirit God desires to take you on.

What does it mean to you ‘to be original?’