Who God says we are

This weekend I will be looking at who the Bible says we are. It is a subject that as Christians we need to be reminded of every so often.

For many of us we hold a picture of ourselves that has been generated by what others have said about us over the years. It might be a teacher at school, a former boss or maybe a family member. Some of the pictures might not be that good.

For others the person who has been saying the wrong things has been ourselves. Sometimes our self talk is very negative and quite condemning. For some the things we think or say about ourselves is very wrong.

For this reason I want to look at who God says we are from the Bible. God as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe has so many positive things He says about us in the Bible, so this week I am going to let Scripture speak.

I believe that when we have a right picture of ourselves, through God’s eyes, we truly become alive to our potential and we are able to step out and be all God has created us to be.

I am hoping that we will be reminded of who we are in Christ.

God Bless,

Dave

Be still

I am thinking about and meditating on the first part of Psalm 46:10 today. It says, “Be still and know that I am God”.

It is a great verse that calls us to stop and focus on God and who He is. It is especially good when you read it as part of the whole chapter.

I love some of the imagery of God being our fortress in the midst of chaotic world events like nations in uproar, kingdoms falling and of mountains falling into the sea.

In the midst of this God tells us to be still and know that He is God. He has an eternal plan. He shelters those who love Him. He is an ever present help in times of need. He has it all under control. Be still.

He tells us that He WILL be exalted among the nations and on the earth. He tells us that He IS will us.

If you are struggling today with chaotic events in your life. Take time to be still and reflect on an awesome God who holds the world and all its events in the palm of His hands.

He is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end. He is also the God of the in between too.

God Bless,

Dave

The believers prayed for courage

My wife and I were just reading Acts chapter 4 where the Apostles were told by the Jewish High Council to stop talking about Jesus. We see they went back and told the other believers the news and then they prayed.

I loved the way they prayed and what they prayed for… especially the section in bold below…

23 As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. 24 When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—25 you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying,
‘Why were the nations so angry?
Why did they waste their time with futile plans?
26 The kings of the earth prepared for battle;
the rulers gathered together
against the Lord
and against his Messiah.’

27 “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. 28 But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. 29 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

I love it. They prayed and asked for boldness in preaching the Word and asked for signs and wonders to be done in Jesus’ name. The result? The building shook, they were filled with Holy Spirit and they preached the Word with great boldness.

I wonder what would happen if we all prayed like that tomorrow in our churches?

God Bless,

Dave

Mustard seeds and yeast

The last few days I have been reflecting on two parables that my wife and I read in our morning Bible readings. In the NLT they are titled, “The parable of the mustard seed” and “The parable of the yeast”.

The first one is found in Matthew 13:31-32 NLT and says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

Jesus uses this parable to say that in its initial phase the Kingdom of Heaven [on earth] was relatively small, but in time it will grow into a huge Kingdom that God intends it to be. It is about small beginnings compared to spectacular future glory.

The second parable is found a few verses later in Matthew 13:33-35 NLT. It says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”

Jesus further illustrates the point using the ratio between yeast and flour in making bread. You use a small amount of yeast by comparison, but rather than growing, the yeast permeates the rest of the mixture. Again we see that while the Kingdom is small in its initial phase on earth, eventually it spreads all through the earth and effects everything.

As I read and reflect on these parable I am greatly encouraged. I like that what I see around me Kingdom wise (in the natural) seems small at the moment, but in time it will grow into something very very substantial. Like the yeast it will permeate all parts of this world that we live in.

As I type it gives me hope for our region and it gives me hope for our new fellowship that we have planted recently. Out of small things do big things grow and out of small things are many things be effected!

God Bless,

Dave

Veggies and good soil

Several months ago I decided to plant some vegies for our family to eat and to give away depending on how the crop goes. We put in baby carrots, broccoli, cabbage, red onions, tomatoes, beetroot and more.

As I had been thinking about it for a few months I made sure I did some work on the soil beforehand. I dug in some good soil, some blood and bone and other good stuff from the hardware store. I also set up the retic to water it automatically.

After I planted all of the seedlings and they started to grow well, I noticed some of the baby carrots didn’t really take off. After a closer look I realised it was right at the end of the garden bed where it didn’t have all of the good soil additives.

I was surprised by how much of a difference it really made to the plants. The ones planted in good soil really grew well and look really healthy, the ones at the end withered and basically died.

As I reflected on it I realised that our spiritual life can be like that too. We can be planted in good soil at our local church and have good people around us. We can be planted with people who pray for us, encourage us and teach us God’s Word.

When we do this we give ourselves the best chance to grow in our faith and trust in God. Like the veggies planted in the good soil in my back garden, we can grow and be all we can be for God.

Jesus even talked about this in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23). The seeds planted in the good soil produced a harvest many more times that what was sown. It is just so important to be planted in good soil.

God Bless,

Dave

 

The longer I follow Him the simpler it gets

This week I have really been reflecting on my journey of following Jesus. It has been more than 22 years now.

The overriding feeling I have had is the longer I follow Jesus, the easier it becomes to follow Him. As I grow and learn more about Him, the more it makes more sense to follow and following is natural.

In the same way I find the key overriding principles of my faith are easier and simpler too. I have three principles that govern all I do as a Jesus follower and a Pastor of a new church plant.

These principles are found in the verses are Mark 12:30, Mark 12:31 and Matthew 28:18-20.

Mark 12:30 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Mark 12:31 says, “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Matthew 28:18-20 says, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

As a Jesus follower and a Pastor I find that if I am loving God with all my heart, loving my neighbour as myself, and helping people to become disciples of Jesus, then I am doing what God calls me to do.

It really is as simple as that 🙂

God Bless,

Dave