Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not even one!

I've been reading Romans 3 - and I just can't get past the first part of the passage.

Romans 3:9 - Well then, are we to conclude that Jews are better than others? No not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jew or Gentile are under the power of sin.

Swap the word Jew for Christian and see how it reads. Are Christians better than non-christians? Are Christians more righteous than non-Christians? Absolutely not!!! We are all under the power of sin! We are sinful creatures and we all sin, no matter what! We can TRY and be righteous and good, but we will fail. Romans 3:10 - No one is righteous, not even one

We must never be guilty of thinking that we are better than "all the other sinners" and smug in our knowledge that we are incredibly righteous and moral beings and everyone else are is dirty rotten sinners. Sometimes as Christians we can become guilty of segregating ourselves from the world, based on that we are oh so holy, and they aren't. Stand along side the sinner and show him the way to Jesus, don't judge him. You are no better than he is. Before taking the moral high-ground, remember where you have come from. Amazing Grace has saved you! Instead of judging and condemning the non-christian and sin, come along side them, love them and show them the way to Jesus. A non-christian deserves our compassion and not our judgement. They are prisoners to their sin but you have been set free and forgiven from yours.

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MY PRAYER
Abba Father forgive me for my judgement of others. Help me to be a shining light in the darkness and show love and compassion to those who don't know you. Help me remember that no one is righteous and that I am not a better person because of the Grace that you have shown me. Thank you for sending your Son to die and pay for all of our sins. It's because of Jesus I have been made right before you, and don't let me forget it!!
Thank you for your never-ending patience with me. Amen

Monday, August 8, 2011

K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple sweetheart!

Paul wrote an amazing letter to the Romans, and in the very first few lines he expressed a passion for sharing the "Good News" with everyone. He then went on to say what the good news was, in a nutshell. It didn't require a 40 minute sermon and an alter call afterwards. He said simply "The Good News is about his Son... and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 1:3-4) He kept it simple. I think today we have a habit of complicating the gospel. Because we think in these complicated terms, we can feel reluctant to share it with others. I think Satan loves the complicated version, because then we can often feel inadequate to share it with others. He also loves it because he is the author of confusion and likes it when the Good News cannot be grasped by those who need it.

Grace is pretty simple. The concept is pretty simple, but it has been complicated by legalism and theological arguments. My daughter gave her life to Jesus when she was 6 years old. I doubt the other child who shared Jesus with her filled her head to the brim with religious jargon. Jesus got it right when he said: "Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18:3) The people we speak to about Jesus need to be child-like. Children can't grasp theological theory, all they can understand is the basics, and the simple version. Forget the technicalities. They are no help to you when you are sharing the gospel.

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Not everyone understands the complicated version of the gospel and all the theological interpretations of Christ's sacrifice, but EVERYONE understands that someone loves them. We don't have to tell them everything all at once, they will find out all that later on as they attend church and read their bible. It's the simple Gospel of Jesus and his love, and his gift to us that wins souls, not the complicated, argumentative confusing to the listener Gospel.

Paul has made it so easy that anyone can do it. If a child can lead my child to Jesus, surely we can lead people to Jesus with the simple truth. So when the opportunity arises to share the gospel, don't shrink away because it's all to hard. Just keep it simple sweetheart!

MY PRAYER
Father, thank you for showing me the simpleness of something that has grown to be so complicated!! Even though I'm not much of an evangelist, please give me confidence to share, and the right words to say to the right people who come across my path. Help me remember what Paul said "Thought Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell... everywhere what God has done for them..." Romans 1:5

Friday, August 5, 2011

Be teachable.

Today I was praying and God really spoke deep into my soul. This is pretty much the essence of it -

"Skip, you must not let yourself become unteachable. You are so desperate to be used, but yet you aren't' establishing or developing the skills I gave you. The stuff you have already done was my confirmation to you that this is your gifting. It was not a launchpad into bigger and better things. Study my word, I have so many wonderful things to teach you. Learn more about me, so you can teach more about me. Unravel the mysteries. Hear from me. Let me teach you about me and reveal myself to you, so you can effectively tell others about me. You can't expect me to just give you knowledge about things in my Word - you have to help me out here! Study my ways. Learn more. Don't become unteachable. If you are unteachable, your gift will dry up like dust, unused and wasted. Your passion is great, but you need more substance than just passion. Get into my Word deeply. Be teachable. Be motivated to learn so then you have something worthwhile to teach. It's not about what YOU know... it's about what I teach and show you."


This is what I needed to hear. God hit the nail on the head.... as usual. LOL

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Let someone else do it..

"So David's fame spread throughout every land, and the LORD made all the nations fear him" (1 Chron 14:17).


My husband and I watch program on the ABC called "Gruen Transfer" which is basically critiquing television advertising and how effective it is, and how it works. Companies pay advertising people to come up with these ads to promote their businesses and make you feel or think a certain way about them. The ultimate goal is that based on their promotion, you will be moved to consider their product before anyone else. They wish to influence your decision on where you shop, what milk you buy, what takeaway you eat etc. They stoop to guilting you, tapping into your insecurities and use subtle subliminal messages to form your opinions.

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They are very clever. But they are also self promoting. I don't know about you, but I am more willing to try a product when a friend says "Hey Skip, I tried this and it was so awesome. I reckon it might suit you." When someone on TV says "try this" I'm automatically distrusting.

The same goes for self-promotion. Are you willing to hear "good gossip" "That guy is so amazing and has a real annointing on his life" or "I'm so amazing, I have a real anointing on my life".

Promoting yourself can also be pretty risky, because it means you are not willing to wait for God and you want to move ahead. When you boast about yourself, your skills etc in order to gain promotion, you have gone too far. I am guilty of doing this. I've gone too far. In my frustration I have acted hastily.

King David was famous because he was fulfilling the calling he had on his life. David never once boasted about himself - "I killed a giant, I conquored many nations etc.." He honored the Lord in all he did and gave glory to him, not to himself.

"Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips (Prov 27:2).

MY PRAYER
Lord help me to remember to be patient for you. Help me stay within my boundaries and move forward when it's your will. In the meantime while I wait, teach me your ways and your heart. Reveal yourself to me through your word as I read it and light my path with it. I repent of all the times I have tried to promote myself. I repent of all the times I have tried to subtley drop "hints" in an effort to self-promote. I will wait upon you in future.
Amen

Trust and obey, there is no other way



This song may be 130 years old, but the words are still powerful for today. There is no other way - for those who want a heart after the Father's. The phrase "What He says we will do, where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey." are life changing words. Do I really mean that? Will I go wherever God sends me in full obedience? Am I REALLY going to trust and obey? It's a very scary and vulnerable position, but we can trust in God's goodness and faithfulness as well as his will for our lives.

Trust and Obey
Words: John H. Sam­mis, 1887.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Refrain

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Refrain

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

Refrain

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Refrain

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Refrain


MY PRAYER
Lord, what you say I will do, where you send me I will go. I am placing myself in your hands, vulnerable, pliable and willing.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Handing over the last of it....

In 1 King 17 we read of the story of the widow living in the time of severe drought. She had come to the end of her own resources, she had a handful of flour and a few drops of oil left to make a small amount of bread with. Then along comes Elijah, and asks her to give him her last meal. I don't know about you, but I would be very reluctant to hand over the bread that was going to feed my children. Elijah promised her that the Lord would look after her, and their would be provision for her. To accept that would be really difficult, because how did she know that her child was not going to be one step closer to death because she handed this man her meal? She didn't know at all, but her faith rested in the faithfulness of God. The woman shows this faith by preparing a meal with the last of her food for Elijah. Her faith in God was rewarded with continual provision for the remainder of the drought. God multiplied her resources and she would not go hungry.

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God multiplies our resources in the same way when we hand it over to him. Ever single last bit of it. God took the only thing she had left and multiplied it. God has given us resources, sometimes untapped, but nonetheless we do not have nothing. We must be obedient and surrender the last of it to God in order to see his provision. God will multiply what you have and make it bigger and better than you ever could.

MY PRAYER
I believe in your faithfulness, My God. I believe that you can do amazing things with what I have. I want to give you the last of everything. All skills, whether it be small or large, I want you to use them and multiply them and allow them to be a blessing to those who need them. Thank you for making me a very capable and skilled person. I place all these gifts and skills in your hands, knowing that you are faithful and good and will use them well.
Help me to be like this widow, that sees the greater picture and believes in a the goodness and faithfulness of a Great God.
Amen

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