Walking With God: Examine Yourself

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” [‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:5‬ ‭ESV]‬‬

If we want a strong and healthy walk with God then it’s important that we make time to examine ourselves. Paul encourages us to do this in regard to our faith.

This is not a general observation. This is more than a look in the mirror and giving yourself a once over and declaring that you are ‘looking good’. I like to think this is more like a proper MOT.

I recently went to the Dr’s with a chest infection. I had my blood pressure taken, bloods done, ECG, chest x-ray and even an abdominal scan. All of these to discover if there was more than just an infection, maybe there was an underlying problem which had caused this.

Any purposeful examination has to go beneath the surface. Like a CT Scan that takes internal images, layer upon layer upon layer, giving the clearest picture possible of what’s happening on the inside. Can we be willing to do the same in our own lives?

There are 2 basic reasons why such natural examinations are important. To discover you are in good health or to discover you are in bad health. Then the right treatment can be prescribed. A spiritual examination will do the same.

We will remain strong in faith and strong in the Lord. And Paul prescribes 5 actions which may just help us…

Rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you [2 Corinthians 13v11‬ ‭ESV]

If we were to complete the right kind of self-examination today, what might we discover? What areas in our walk with God are not as healthy as they could be? What will do to improve them?

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Jesus Was Generous

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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 [John 1:14]

Jesus moved in to the neighbourhood. He was one of a kind. Jesus came as a Messiah not in power and authority but rather in humility, to serve rather than to be served. He would lay down His life instead of elevating Himself. He would give Himself willingly for us who could give nothing in return.

This is generosity at a whole other level.

This kind of generous was an inconvenient kind of generous.

This kind of generous was an any time kind of generous.

This kind of generous covered all aspects of His life. And now as reflectors of the love and light of Jesus we are call to this kind of generous. To be people of kindness, compassion, encouragement, forgiveness. People generous with our time and our resources.

Let’s take a moment this Christmas to be generous. To be the right ‘one of a kind’. Look for an opportunities to make a difference. To notice people. To invite and include them in our worlds. After all, when we care, we are blessed. In fact, when we care when we can care, we are sowing the right kind of generous seeds that one day may well reap a harvest of care when we need to be cared for.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for [Matthew 5:7 Message]

To Pioneer…Do Something Ordinary


Following on from yesterday two more thoughts in regard to pioneering. 

Do we really need to do something crazy, epic or extraordinary? I don’t think so. That’s quite a challenge and maybe out of reach for most of us.

I’m more of an advocate for just doing something. 

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. [‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:1 MSG‬‬]

Maybe it’s more about just doing something simple, small and normal. Taking what you have and putting it to use. Just making the most of an opportunity in from of you is probably a good place to start. 

Love your neighbour – cut their grass, put the bin away

Invite someone to church

Be a good friend

Encourage someone



The Presence & The Practical

We need both. 

We need the presence of God. We need times of just standing in His presence. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to minister to us. We need the overwhelming sense of God and His transformational presence. 

We need the practical too. We need to take that presence and bump into the world in which we live. We need to love on people, encourage people, pray for people and going about doing good.   

In the Acts the Apostles we see this working at its very best. We read about how the early Church met together praying and worshipping in the temple. We read about how they ran a programme of practical help for those who needed care. 

The presence and the practical working together. A working of harmony. The rhythms of Grace bein experienced and then put to work too. 

More than that, those helping in the practical were to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to have an awareness of the power of God which was within them. 

The presence and the practical is a powerful combination. When it comes to kingdom building you possibly can’t have one without the other. Together they truly can change the world. 

Hard Work and Rewarding

Helping and loving others is hard work, maybe that’s why we choose the other option. Saying yes to others takes time, effort and if we are honest, a change in routine and some inconvenience too. 

 Yet this is the battle I’m in right now. To ‘unlearn’ my approach to life and the calling to which I am called. For me it’s mostly about not giving way to personality, selfishness or just plain laziness. 

Some early observations…

  • I need to get fitter. 
  • It will help get me fitter. 
  • It doesn’t need to be big stuff. 
  • To others it is big stuff. 
  • It needs to be more normal. 
  • It’s great fun too. 

Join me on this ‘unlearn’ journey and share yours along the way. Don’t applaud me, it’s only what I should be doing anyway. I recognise many of you already live this way and I salute you. I’m merely playing catch up. 

#unlearn

Love Does by Bob Goff [Book Review]

Finished this book recently. It is about what the cover tells you ~ love and how it can make you live.

The stories are great. I don’t have stories like them which, upon reflection, I had to admit is mostly due to the fact I probably don’t live with the right kind of ‘love does’ attitude.

If I want to have stories like Bob then I have to put myself in the right place for them. Or at least be prepared to go with whatever happens. Love is the secret to making a difference in others peoples lives.

  • Love does mess up
  • Love does words well
  • Love pursues
  • Love says yes
  • Love makes room
  • Love makes friends
  • Love encourages
  • Love does it big
  • Love is palms up

It’s a good read making an excellent point. LOVE DOES. The bigger question is ‘do I?’ The answer is yes, to a point, but I could do better. I’m on to it and here’s to some stories for me to write about soon.

Get your copy here

Honour Someone

Today I went to an investiture for a local person receiving an MBE. It was great to listen to the citation of all that this person had accomplished. 

A number of things came to mind…

1. You never know everything about people. In over 50 years you can get involved in quite a lot. 

2. Everyone has the potential to make a difference. You just have to want to. 

3. You have to be willing to put the work in. There will be challenges and obstacles along the way, no one says making a difference isn’t hard work. 

4. Not everyone will understand why you are doing all that good stuff for others. After all, we are not all into the same things. 

5. It’s good to honour. Find someone and tell them well done. It doesn’t need to be a big occasion, just genuine. 

6. I could probably do more to make a difference. It’s not a competition, nor is it healthy to compare but maybe I need to be more about making a difference where I can

Who Brings You Back to God?

Relationships IN that will make me better when giving OUT in relationships. That’s what I’ve been thinking about today.

To help me be the best I can be at reaching out to people who are outside of my comfort, out of sorts, or without faith I need certain mix of people in my world.

It’s probably a long list but the one I have been most conscious about is the need for someone in my world who is in touch with God. More specifically, someone who can bring me back to God. Someone, as Leonard Sweet puts it, will protect my Jesus voice.

What type of relationships do you need IN your life to help with the relationships your give OUT to?