Who Am I?

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? [Psalm 8]

It is quite incredible that God in all His majesty would choose to be in relationship with us. That He would decide to go to such great lengths to bridge the gap. To pay for the price of our sin with the life of His own son.

Who am I?

In the midst of all the grandeur of creation I’m not anything that special.

In the timeline of history and all those greats who have gone before me I don’t really match up.

Yet to You God I am worthy.

When I feel like nothing I remember that You God have already done everything to make feel like something.

When I feel like quitting I am reminded that You God never quit in Your pursuit of me.

When I feel lost in a whirlwind of feelings, emotions and circumstances I am encouraged and comforted that You God are in the whirlwind with me.

Who am I that You would be mindful of me? I am everything to You and I would do well to never forget that.

Be encouraged to day. God has His eye on You. His hand is moving in Your life. His care for You is constant. He is for you, with you and right there with you.

Love the Word of God

I absolutely love the Word of God.

It’s so full of everything.

Truth. Comfort. Encouragement. Leading. Wisdom. Challenge. Security. Salvation. Future. Eternal Life. Promise. Answers. Direction. Safety. Deliverance. Cover. Forgiveness.

Whenever I open it, I am never disappointed. I am always drawn closer to my God, my heavenly Father, to my Saviour Jesus. Whether life is good or life is a struggle the Word lifts me, reminds me and sorts me out.

Be encouraged. Do the same. Open the Word and allow God to speak to you, to comfort your soul and remind you of His greatness. To remember all that He is to you, every day, wherever you are and whatever is going on in your life.

He is my shield. He is my answer. He is my sustainer. He is my protector. He is my saviour. 

Surely that is enough to remember each day as we walk through life. That because of these words we do not need to fear but instead can have a confidence, not built on our own ability but on His abilities.

When life comes at me, He is my shield. 

When people speak hurtful words towards me, He is my protector.

When difficult situations confuse me, He is my answer. 

When I feel tired and overwhelmed, He is my sustainer. 

When I am lost and feeling helpless, He saves me. 

Above all, remember that He is for you, not against you and that is love for you can never be overwhelmed by anything.

Lift Up Our Eyes

When suffering comes, in all its different forms, it’s natural, without even realising sometimes, to let our heads drop and our eyes to look down.

Yet the word of God encourages us to lift up our eyes. It can seem counter-intuitive, the hardest thing to do, yet as we manage to lift up our eyes our perspective can be changed. 

Lift up my eyes to the hills – Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth [Psalm 121]. 

He will watch over me and you, He will shade us, He will keep us safe, He will always be there. 

Whatever you are going through, do what you can to lift up your head, look to Your God, your ever present help in such times. 

What’s Your Question?

So we are continuing the God is… series at Xcel Church and we need your help. 

We are spending a little time unpacking aspects of the character and nature of God – that He is good and great, that He is my Father, that He is love, that He is with me and that God is holy. 

Preaching a series like this can bring moments of revelation which can change our view of God forever. 

Preaching a series like this can answer some of those tricky questions but can also bring more to our mind. 

Well, as a team we want to do our best to help you so tell us your question and then as part of UNITED on 29th March the panel can discuss it. 

Don’t be shy ~ leave a question as a comment. 

Great Day

I am fan of local church. I agree with Pastor Bill Hybels when he says it’s the hope of the world. So I loved today, in my local church, worshipping God and being built up by the Word.

God is…good and God is great. He is BIG enough to handle our problems. All that we need Him to be, He is that. He is great and does wondrous acts. He is great and greatly to be praised. It’s about trusting His character above our experiences of Him.

God is…my Father. That’s a revelation that doesn’t come easily to everyone but one we need to get. We can be disappointed by our own Father but without realising it not notice that God has filled our lives with many Fathers. Thanks to Rachael for sharing her journey in this in such an honest way.

Plus the worship tonight was just incredible. There was a real sweet atmosphere and I believe that God was doing some work in peoples lives.

All I can do is encourage you Xcel to be in Church these next two Sundays as we continue to unpack the nature and character of God. God is…love, God is…with me, God is…holy.

And Separate

If we cling to our life, we lose more than we think. If we release it into Gods hands then we gain much more.

And release. That can be difficult for many reasons, the need for control being one of the strongest. Yet I am challenged by a possible subsequent call. One that will help me to live in the fullness of God.

First there is ‘And release’. 

Then there is ‘And separate’. 

More than I have felt for a long time I feel the call to separate. Not in a legalistic, religious fashion. Not in a pious ‘I’m better than you’ kind of way either. Just in a simple manner, in deliberately spending more time with my Heavenly Father, a greater awareness of Him, being in constant conversation with Him and knowing a clearer leading of the Holy Spirit. 

Not sure what that looks like. Switching stuff off more. Creating some space for intimacy. Being careful what I attach myself to, what I allow in, what I put time and resource to. 

I desire and need Gods continuous guidance. I want and need an authentic, vulnerable, Spirit led life with my God, my Father. 

I’m not becoming a monk or heading off to a cave somewhere for 6 months but I don’t think the time spent in front of the TV is going to help me experience the fullness of what God has for me. I need His presence for that. 

I know I won’t get it right all the time. Just looking to crave God more, love God more, know God more and live for Him more. It can only be a good thing, right?

Your thoughts? What do you do to stay intimate with God?

Reasons to Never Assume

Interference.

Interference messes with the signal.
STORMS, PEOPLE, THINGS – they can all have an effect on your signal with God. With your ability to hear from God. To recognise His voice.

All are legitimate.
All happen to everyone.
All are normal in doing life.

But here’s the thing. We don’t know what interference people are dealing with, so never assume that just because people look okay that everything is okay. Never assume that they are NOT at Church because they are on holiday…maybe there is some interference. Maybe a STORM is hitting them hard, maybe PEOPLE are pulling them in all kinds of directions, maybe THINGS are becoming a distraction for them and filling their life.

If we don’t learn to recognise the interference for what it is then we will get knocked off course. We will find ourselves somewhere and wonder how we got there. Interference undealt with can see an individual end up in a DEAD ZONE and eventually SWITCHED OFF to God completely. Mature Christians should have enough about them to cope with interference. To hold on to their faith. To stand on a strong foundation, using the Word, moving forward, staying close to God. Younger Christians may struggle.

So here’s the challenge:
Watch out for others. Make a call. Send a text. Notice that people are missing. Never assume that someone else will contact them…YOU DO IT!! Help people travel on the journey. This is the responsibility of those further on in the faith. You may not be leading many to the Lord but you can help those who have made that great decision to stay on course. Think of someone who you haven’t seen for a while in Church and give them a ring.

I think if we do this the stories of people’s lives made stronger in God will demonstrate the power of such a simple act of connection. I wonder what the knock on effect to the local church might be…share your experience here.

How Strong is Your Signal?

Stood in the worship last Sunday morning at Xcel Darlington and a thought dropped in my spirit. As I looked at the flat-screen tv – instead of seeing the words of the songs I saw two small words, jumping about. NO SIGNAL. And it was almost like a nudge from God…that’s the issue with too many Christians, I’m trying to get a word to them but there is NO SIGNAL.

3 reasons why your signal can be low?
INTERFERENCE
DEAD ZONES
SWITCHED OFF

Here’s a thought: there is nothing wrong with the phone. It has everything it needs to fulfil its function. The problem is US, we are in the wrong place, or just not paying enough attention to our surroundings. Move into the right area and suddenly your phone is going crazy receiving texts & emails.

Maybe the same could be said of God. It’s not that He is not working, not listening, not there. God has not moved. It’s NOT God…it’s US!! Going to unpack this on Sunday. There is a challenge in here for each one of us as Christians…to make sure that we keep the signal strong.