Loving What You Do

To be honest I’m stuck in the whole ‘are we in?‘ thinking at moment. Together, fully committed and engaged in what God is doing, we can be a part of something great.

We can put our energies in to building many things but there is no greater reward than to put our energies in to what God is building. I am a firm believer that if we are about building Gods House, He will build our house.

It’s not just about being on a team, although it might be.

It’s not just about being in church every moment. although it might be.

It’s not just about giving everything, although it might be.

Jesus served. So I will serve. Jesus identified with the church. So I will identify myself with the church. Jesus gave. So I will give.

I am always mindful that this can seem a very simplistic approach, especially amidst all the challenges of life. We need to put our energies into some things. I am not saying that we shouldn’t do that. Of course we should. Family. Work. Friends. Space. It’s when those take our best and our first that we may have to consider our priorities are skewed.

Seek first the kingdom…and all these things will be added to you [Matthew 6:33]

Here’s a Monday challenge….don’t think it won’t work. Don’t dismiss what God is up to by trying to work it out in your own mind. Instead, lets learn to trust Him.

Think about this…what if it did work? 

Think about this…what if it did work and we chose not to be a part of it?

Are you in?

Risk or Safe

Had a thought the other day about not playing it safe. Wish I had read these verses then. Luke 19 tells the story that Jesus shared about the individuals who were left in charge of particular sums of money and how on the return of the master, two of them had increased what they had been given, while the other had just hidden it.

What a great example of the dilemma many of us face. Should we take a RISK or should we play it SAFE. Rewards come to those who RISK. Not stupid risks, but intentional, purposeful risks. Taking hold of what God has given us and doing something with it.

‘Risk your life and get more than you dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.’ The Message I think I know which one I would rather have – how about you?

Eager or Lazy?

‘Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don’t enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don’t be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire’. [Mark 14:38]

Stuck thinking about how God doesn’t want us to play it safe.
Interesting how I can show eagerness but still be lazy.
Challenged that my spirit is willing but the flesh is often weaker.
Good intentions v actual actions.

God never asked anyone to play it safe. [Just check out your Bible for more information]
Yes, He calls us to a place of safety.
Yes, He is our refuge.
Yes, we can be rescued.
However, that is not an invitation to settle down. It is an opportunity to refresh, to be put back on track. We are then sent back into the world, with a new message, one of hope for people who are overwhelmed, distracted, lost, confused by all that life can throw at them. That is not a safe option.

God’s danger zone is by the fire where the lazy dog sleeps.
We avoid it by praying.
We avoid it by staying alert.
We avoid it by not being naive.

Eager or lazy? Make sure you are not both. You will never accomplish much if you are eager but lazy. What do you think?

We Shouldn’t Play it Safe

We do all we can to stay safe.
We are extremely risk averse.
Culture is shaping us this way.
You are more likely to injure yourself from a paper cut filling out the risk assessment forms for your events than from any event itself.

This is a challenge then to any Christian. I don’t think that safe is in God’s dictionary.
Safe is comfortable.
Safe is familiar.
Safe is easy.
Safe keeps me still.
Safe sees me contained.
Safe says no.
Safe doesn’t change anything.

Safe is dangerous. It can keep me on the fringe of where God really needs me. It can push me to the outer edge of where the real action is. In Matthew 26:58 it says that ‘Peter followed at a safe distance’. It was in the safety of distance that he was able to compromise, to disassociate himself from Jesus, from what he knew was right.

When you read through the Acts of the Apostles you don’t read about people playing it safe. In fact, they seemed to head to where the danger was. The individuals, many unnamed in Hebrews 11 who endured immense hardship, pain and trials for a prize that they didn’t see. Paul headed to places where he knew he would be arrested.Now, I’m not saying we need to go and deliberately put ourselves in danger but that maybe there are some things we could do if we were only a little bit more willing to let go of our ‘safe’ places and put our toes in the water of risk more often. If I’m honest, I have a low pain threshold in comparison to these legends of the faith…maybe that’s why we consider them legends.

You may have some suggestions but here are some of mine…
…get involved in a community project
…go on an overseas missions trip
…downsize your house to give financially into the kingdom
…sacrifice some time to serve somewhere – not just on a Sunday (although thats a good place to start)
…take some young people under your wing and invest in their lives (and not just the good ones)
…spend less so you can give more
…have some people round for a meal (and not just people who are like you) – expand our worlds a little bit more
…investigate whats going on in the world (follow amnesty on twitter) and do what you can – pray, give, support

Again – these are not things I’m necessarily doing either. It’s part of the journey that I am on too. All I’m recognising is this…moving into a lovely new building is not the prize, there’s not much danger in that. Stepping up into a new larger room as we will be doing in Darlington soon is not the prize. What I do to help fill it, pay for it, grow it…that’s where I need to play it safe a little less often. How about you?