Getting outside the walls

My theme verses for this year have been 1 John 2:5-6. It has been shaping my thinking and my involvements. It says…

But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” ‭1 John‬ ‭2:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The part from verse six about living as Jesus did has been in my mind all year. It has been a constant front and centre.

As I have thought about this it became apparent that Jesus spent the Sabbath at the Synagogue / Temple and then the rest of the week where the people were. He prayed first and then went where the Father told Him.

Translating that into my current life means spending Sunday with my church family and the rest of the week split between time encouraging fellow believers and time in my community.

For this reason I have tried to get outside the four walls of the church a lot more this year. I have tried to seep into the cracks of our town and reach into peoples lives. I have tried delberately to be Jesus hands and feet.

In the last week alone we have helped a number of families with food parcels and a number of other families with much needed furniture for their homes.

As we do these things it allows us to talk to people we would not normally be in contact with, hear their stories and offer encouragement. We have also given away Bibles and tracts to those interested and offered prayer to those who are open to it.

It is starting to feel like I am getting outside the walls of the church. It is only the beginning but I am hoping in time it grows into what God wants it to be.

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

Imagine if Jesus came to Merredin

This morning I was prayerfully preparing my message for church this Sunday. As I thought about the topic of being a disciple my mind started to wander and the words, “Imagine if Jesus came to Merredin” popped into my mind.

Imagine if Jesus came to Merredin. Wow that would be awesome! But then I started to think about the things He would do?

As my mind wandered I imagined Jesus starting His day on Merredin Peak. It is a solitary place overlooking town where He could pray to His Father.

When He came down where would He go? I suspect to where the people were. My first thought was Barrack Street where all of the shops are. I could see Him interacting with people. Preaching, teaching and healing like He did in the Bible.

Then I could see Him crossing Great Eastern Highway and going to Merredin Hospital and the Nursing Home. Praying for and encouraging people who were sick. Some would be miraculously healed and many would be set free.

After that I could see Him going to the western end of Barrack Street where the Christian Bookstore and the bakery are found. I could see Him encouraging the people in the bookshop then sitting across from the bakery waiting for the lunchtime crowd.

As people came and went I could imagine Him talking about the Bread of Life and having spiritual food that never runs out. People would forget their physical hunger and crave the spiritual food He would give.

From there I could see Jesus going to the primary school and shooting hoops and kicking the footy with the kids. When He was tired I could see Him sitting with all of the pre-school kids on His lap and even more gathered around. He would be sharing the Parables.

As day turned to night I could see Him looking for a place to sleep. I could imagine that rather than staying in the best hotel in town, I could see Him curled up in a doorway with one of the homeless people who sleep rough every night.

The next day He would wake and do it all again in Merredin… or move on to some other town that His Father in heaven showed Him.

If Jesus came to Merredin… I suspect it would be about people. It would be about blessing, encouraging, healing, loving and saving people – all people. It would be about showing God’s love and God’s Kingdom to everyone.

God Bless,

Dave