Who Are We Taking With Us?

The currency of heaven may be many things but in my opinion, faith and people are at the top of the list.

The Bible tells us without faith it is impossible to please God. Add to this the greatest of treasures we can store up in heaven, people, and we are on a winner. Begs the question then, as we work out our faith in Jesus, who am are taking with us?

Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land, eventually. They had to wait what may have seemed like forever, 40 years, for the moment to finally arrive. Yet they entered with the same focus and determination they had when the first opportunity had been provided them. More importantly though, they didn’t just enter for themselves, they took the next generation in with them.

These two men demonstrate 3 simple but extremely powerful qualities which in the busy way of life can so easily get lost.

TO WALK WELL WITH GOD

TO POINT PEOPLE TO JESUS

TO NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF GOD’S PROMISES

I watched an episode of Ambulance on BBC yesterday. The people being served were normal, every day people but they were broken people, some in desperate situations, others needing care, friendship, conversation, or even just someone to make them a cup of tea. Their stories were captivating and they stirred my heart.

Questions came flooding in.

Who am I taking with me?
How is my walk with God influencing the lives of those around me?
How is my people focus?
If my life is supposed to point people to Jesus, is it working?

This has to be the greatest of challenges for all Christians. We do well, we don’t do well. So maybe we need to be more vigilant. Is our belief coming through in how we live?

So here are some ‘top tips’ (for want of a better phrase) which I am committing myself to work on over the next few months and the rest of my life…

I will not let myself get bored with God.
I will work to keep my life pointed to Jesus.
I have to sharpen my people focus. To see people.
I won’t allow myself to become so easily frustrated with Gods ways.
I will always have people I want to take with me.

So who are we praying for, not preaching too? Who are we listening to, not just their voice but their heart too? Where are the opportunities to serve, not only ourselves but others too?

Maybe then, as we live out our faith in Jesus we will almost inadvertently be taking some people with us. And that will be AMAZING!!

Share your thoughts. Why do you think this is such a big challenge for us?

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Lead Well: Work on Our Character

A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. [Proverbs 6:12-19]

Nobody wants to be known as someone with bad character, yet this is the state many of us find ourselves in, if only for the lack of a little focus and intentionality. Such a state  brings calamity, demotion and in reality means people don’t want to hang around us.

Good character is not our default position.
Good character comes through purposeful design.

Think about it. We are inherently selfish. We give most of our attention to ourselves. We want to make sure we have what we want, not just what we need. We will bump people out of the way to make a way. We expect as much as possible for as little as possible. We praise and curse with the same mouth. The list of our character flaws is probably endless.

I have learned this lesson by getting it right and getting it wrong. Through awkward conversations and times of confrontation by people who care for me. I have discovered that to lead well in life is to be watchful and protective of the right kind of character. And such watchfulness takes concentration and effort. Start by avoiding the list of those things which don’t look good from Gods point of view…

Pride.
Lying.
Killing people.
Scheming.
Quick to do wrong things.
False witness towards others.
Bringing discord.

Then remember how Jesus took the standard higher on many of these in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, 6 & 7. Let’s be honest, we all have our weaknesses, those unredeemed aspects of our personality which we can use to quickly blame our words and actions on.

Instead let’s be those who are different. Living by design. Who lead well. Are above reproach. Live a life worthy of the calling to which you are called. Honour God in all things. Watch. Be alert. Sin and temptation are always at the door. Stay focused on Jesus. Keep your eyes on Him. Don’t allow yourself to drift. Hold fast your confession of faith. Do not be afraid. Repent quickly.

Walk With God: Unashamed

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” [Romans 1:16a]

Demonstrating our love for God always seems so much easier on a Sunday when we are surrounded by a bunch of like-minded people, worshipping and praising Him. No guilt or embarrassment when we are being a Christian in Church.

Today has been Monday. Back to work. For us all the kids are back to Uni, College & School too. The pressure of the working week gains traction and for some us we are back to sitting next to ‘those’ people. Let’s not be too harsh, most are okay.  But then there are the gossipers, the moaners, the difficult, the rude, the overly-friendly and whatever other title we may give them.

Yet this is the call of every Christian. To live the resurrected life not just on a Sunday but every day. Therein lies the challenge because not everyone loves God the way we do. Some just think it’s a bit odd. Others are vehemently set against it.

To live unashamed is to live without guilt or embarrassment. It is live with a willingness to be honest and open about the very fact Jesus is placed at the very centre of our existence, the reason we behave in a certain fashion and make decisions in the way we do.

In living this way we represent our Saviour well. Not perfect but showing off the growing of our Christ-like characteristics. Making a difference wherever we are, in every sphere of life. Praying for them every day too. And we do so that others may begin to trust us, call on us, to seek opportunity for us to serve them and then, when the timing is right to be able to share our stories.

This is the resurrected life. The complete life in Christ. It is the life Paul knew so well as someone who had been forgiven much and was willing to give his every breath for. The great exchange of the cross of Jesus Christ had set him free from his past. The shame placed on Jesus removed the shame we have placed on ourselves. An old life exchanged for a new one.

This week, take some time to thank God for all He has done for you, how he was unashamed and because of this our own shame has been removed. Pray and ask for His help to live your own life unashamed of this good news and see what a difference it can make.

Happy Christmas Everyone

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” [‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬]

Praying Gods incredible blessing over all who I know and all those who come and visit this blog. Thanks for passing by, for the encouragement and for the comments too. 

2017 is going to be a BIGGER year and the best year yet. Make it a year to become bigger on the inside so that all that happens on the outside will not defeat you. 

Make Jesus Lord of your life. Put Him first in all you do. Jesus never disappoints. He is faithful when we lack the ability to be faithful. He is loving when we can be unloveable. He is forgiving when we struggle to forgive both ourselves and others. 

May 2017 be a year of Gods favour for you and those you love as you walk with Him. 

Walk in faith. Walk in victory. Walk with a Godly confidence. Walk knowing you are never alone, more than a conqueror and that God is on your side. 

What are thankful for this Christmas? What are you believing God for in 2017?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from my family to you and yours.