Build Church: Know Your Comfort Zone

Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace [Matthew 28:29 Message]

There’s a lot of talk about getting out of your comfort zone and I get that. We fill our days with so much stuff which in reality is of no eternal purpose, both individually in our Christian life and corporately as the body of Christ. We are very comfortable in our faith.

A better focus might be to know our comfort zone. To learn the unforced rhythms of grace Jesus wants to walk and work with us in. To find our best fit. To discover our unique calling and to then ride this wave with all of our effort and determination.

Anyone who know me well enough should know that after Jesus, other than my family, there are two main things which have my heart – raising the next generation of leaders and building local church. I am on the journey of discovery still, even after so many years that to be fruitful for God in both of these will no doubt involve the following…

To get into my zone I first have to get out of my comfort.

I have to give the Holy Spirit permission to convict me to move me.

Once I am in the zone, only I am the one responsible for putting the right kind of effort in to it.

To bear the best kind of fruit, the God-given destiny kind of fruit, my life has to be about more than just the fruit of my own labours.

I am not there yet. Let’s be honest, there have been good days and not so good days. I have frustrations. Yet the only person getting in the way of me building anything of eternal significance with my life is me. So best get over myself, repent, remind myself that my preferences are for laying down and just get on doing what it is I feel God is asking me to do.

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Walk With God: 7 Words to Help You Discover True Rest

Rest is not about doing nothing.

When the Israelites were instructed by God to take a Sabbath year for the land every seven years, it didn’t mean a year off, becoming lazy and just sitting with their feet up.

They were aligning themselves with a God-created rhythm which would bring blessing into their lives. As they rested the soil it would gain strength and ensure its future fruitfulness. In the meantime they would continue to build their home, look after their flocks, care for each other and take some intentional time to draw close to God.

For us then to rest has to work the same way. It is a rhythm of grace we are invited to walk and work with Jesus. It is a true rest which brings blessing to our lives.

As we rest our souls we gain strength and ensure our future fruitfulness.

As I withdraw from the day to draw close to God I have found these words helpful.

PAUSE: We can be so busy doing that the hardest thing to do to withdraw is to actually stop and make time just to be with God. We have to remember that however driven we may our true identity is never found in what we have accomplished but found only in knowing whose we are.

THINK: Meditate on God, thank Him for the journey so far. Like the Israelites were being reminded about their past, we were once slaves to sin but now we have been set free. Think about all the good things God has done for and thank Him for them all.

REFLECT: Take a scripture, read your word, worship and reflect on what God is doing  and saying right now in your life. Don’t over think it but all the Word of God to speak to you.

LISTEN: This goes with the reflect. Having tuned out the noise and removed the distractions, we will be better able to hear what God is saying. We can be very quick to bring all our requests to God, yet make no time simply to listen and hear His voice.

CAPTURE: When you hear something, feel something, see something, then capture it. I use a notebook on my phone and the Evernote app for noting down particular scriptures and thoughts that go with them.

RESPOND: We have to be willing to be obedient to what God is saying to us. Through obedience is where the blessing comes. That was key for the Israelites and the rhythm of the Sabbath. In keeping it, God would bless them, prosper them and provide for them.

TRUST: Ultimately, acting on the word of God requires faith, which is simply us choosing to trust God is more than able to do what He has said He will do. Having paused, taken time to think on God, reflect on all He has done in our lives so far, listened to His voice, captured what He is saying and then responded, trusting Him should begin to come much more easily.

What do you think? How might this help you when taking time to truly rest with God?

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?

 

Influence 2017: Session 3


Great session ith Pastor John Greenow from my own church, Xcel taking about roots and being established by them…

God wants us to be realigned because we have an assignment. God wants to relocate our soul in preparation for the next season. 

That we would be rooted and established

It’s from the root that the fruit will ultimately grow. Our roots really matter (Hebrews 12:15)

Hold on to the grace so we don’t become bitter. If worries about the fruit then go back to the source, to the roots.

God has deposited in us, rooted in us – gifts, righteous frustrations, things we are to use. 

Do not dismiss them because they don’t look like much or not glamourous enough

Love the deposit God has made is us. Not comparing ourselves with others. To be happy with your calling. Think of the difference that could make. 

What one word would you use to describe yourself? After all, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Pull away from the dirt of discouragement or from the soil of failure. 

Get our gifts out of unemployment and use them. Grace is the humility which provides the opportunity to use our gifts. 

By faith we use them because the way we use them is important. Use them by love. That is the filter. 

Strengthen your roots. Protect your roots. Stay under grace. Don’t downgrade, deny or drift from your roots. There is fruit coming. 

Jesus Was Full of Grace and Truth

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. [John 1:14 Message]

Jesus moved in, was one of a kind and lived a generous life. We are now called to live these out in our own lives. Yet one more thing is needed.

Jesus led with grace while never compromising the truth of Gods word. And this is not an easy way to live. In a world that can often be all grace and no truth or all truth and no grace, as Christians we need the Holy Spirit to help us navigate this well.

Jesus had grace for sinners but not for sin. He didn’t judge and condemn the woman in John 8 like everyone else was ready to do. Instead he led with grace but acknowledged the sin and need for change by encouraging to ‘go and sin no more’.

This Christmas lets be slow to judge and quick to love and have a willingness to walk alongside people as they journey through the consequences of what ever decisions they made. Always good to remember to deal with the ‘log’ in our own eye before we comment on the ‘speck’ in someone elses.

The Power of Grace

O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? [Psalm 15:1] 

Who am I to think that I can come before God?

I am nothing special. I am on the journey of knowing God better and walking well with Him. Some days I get it right. Then I have those other days.

I am a thankful recipient of grace. The undeserved, unmerited favour of God. I cannot be the kind of person that God needs to be without grace. It’s the only way I can walk and live in the presence of God.

Without grace I am not made right.
Without grace I cannot walk blameless.

Without grace I only have self-righteousness.

Through grace I have been made the righteousness of Christ, made perfect and made new.

Grace is what enables me to come before God. He doesn’t see my sin anymore. He doesn’t see my past. He just sees me, set free, He sees Jesus.

Grace changes me.

Grace changes my tongue. Grace protects my heart. Grace removes any reproach. Grace helps me to honour God. Grace is to be displayed in my dealings with others.

Grace makes me strong. If I live from a position of grace, under the cover of grace, then I will not be moved. Nothing can destroy me. Nothing can conquer me. Nothing can separate me from the love of God.

Influence 2015.5

Today has been phenomenal. Thank you Pastor Ray Bevan for your teaching today…

We need to silence the bully of sin in our lives. Don’t underestimate the power of sin in our lives as Christians. The other side is for fearful Christians – don’t overestimate the power of sine. 

Sin will bully you with the threat of contamination, condemnation, separation, limitation. 

Contamination – we focus too much on sin and not enough on grace. Where sin is grace abounds more. 

1 Cor 7:12-16 Don’t be concerned about the sin in your home but rather the grace that is inside of you. 

Condemnation – we feel accused by sin. How long will we allow Satan to accuse us of our sin as a believer? There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. The judgement has been paid. 

It’s not about my unfaithfulness but Gods faithfulness even when I am unfaithful. 

Grace always gives you a score that you don’t deserve.

Influence 2015.2

Listening to Pastor Ray Bevan this morning…

We need to recapture the wonder of the Gospel.

You don’t leave the presence of God the same way you came in. 

Luke 18:35-43 ~ Time to silence the bullies:

Self righteous call out for Jesus of Nazareth while the sick call out for Son of David. Self righteous cry out for credit not mercy. 

To you Jesus is just from Nazareth but for Bartimaeus Jesus was the Son of David. The one who could heal him and the world. 

Christian is not a sacrifice we make but a sacrifice we trust. 

We are not called to plant fruit. Repentance is a fruit. Holiness is a fruit. The goodness of God leads to repentance. Grace of God leads us to ungodliness. 

We are living under a new covenant that says ‘done’. Not under the old one that says ‘do’. Old covenant was conditional ‘if my people’ while Jesus said ‘it is finished’.

Rev 4:2-3
We don’t live under half a rainbow. Jesus has completed the rainbow. We live under a full rainbow. It’s not ‘if my people’ now it’s ‘only believe’. 

Now it’s ‘walk with me (Jesus)’ Matthew 11:28

It’s not how good you are at Spiritual disciplines but how could you are at trusting Jesus. 

Christians are so afraid of sin. Our focus should be on the finished work of Christ. Where sin abounds grace abounds much more. 

Old covenant is when clean touched unclean then clean becomes unclean. New covenant is when clean touches unclean then unclean becomes clean. 

Grace of God operates in the darkest of places.