Sojourner Living Pt3

I have not blogged for a while, we have been busy moving home again… like we did this time last year. Just before moving I was asked to share a message with the church in our evening service. I felt led to share about the whole subject of Sojourner Living which was a striking confirmation of the morning Sermon which I missed due to Sunday School duties.

You can watch the message here, I hope it helps you to be a better Sojourner.

Thanking God for 40 Years

Today is a big milestone for me, I’ve left the 30s behind and hit the big four o. I’m thanking God for his goodness to me over the years, I really feel blessed and know everything that happens in my life is by His grace and mercy.

My wife, Michelle really pulled the wool over my eyes with a lot of help from my brothers, sister and some very special friends. I was led to believe we were going to keep it low key with a restaurant booked for me, Michelle, Hope and Josh in the evening… I was going out with my friend Mike to Surbiton Raceway for Go Karting in the afternoon and would be back in time… but that was a rouse to get me out of the way…well played.

Go Karting was amazing, it was so cool to see my Cousin Phabian there… had no idea he was joining us… also had no idea that the birthday boy had to wear a pink jumpsuit… breaking all kina man rules.

Turns out Michelle and Chris had arranged for a large group of men, all family and friends to be waiting to surprise me at the church where I thought me and Mike were just dropping something off. I was blown away and really feel blessed.

Thanking God for a great evening and for the amazing family and friends he has given me.

I got a Card with the following scripture, which is so true. Take time to delight in God and all he has blessed you with today.

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way;” (Psalm 37:23, ESV)

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Thanking God for Women

Today is International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate Women and thank God for their lives.

My Grandmother on my Mum’s side just turned 88 and has been an inspiration to so many. She is a Widow now but continues to work as a Minister in the church her and Grandad have run in the community for so many years.

My mum never gave up on us despite many disruptive and difficult years, mum kept praying for our salvation and God heard and answered her prayer.

My wife Michelle is one of the strongest, sharpest and most beautiful women I know (yes I’m biased). She continues to be an amazing ambassador for Christ, loving daughter, wife and mum. My life would be seriously diminished without her.

When I wrote Sacred Places I dedicated it to the co-founder of our church who we affectionately call Mother Greenidge. She has left an amazing legacy and is a true place maker.

There are so many more women in my life who I thank God for including my Sister Cheryl who became a Doctor against all the odds, my Mother-in-law Maria who always puts others first, my sister in laws Danielle and Nicole who have been a blessing to our family and Reverend Taylor who has been a huge encouragement, example and teacher in Christ.

There are even more who I do not know that we should be grateful for too. Let the women in your life know what they mean to you… not just today… make love and appreciation for each other a regular part of your life.

As Jesus taught us in John 13:34–35 let us love one another.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

Be a producer

March is here. The last month of the first quarter has begun. When a month is coming to an end it usually triggers my mind to think about productivity and tangible results from my efforts at work and in the rest of life with family and ministry.

Yesterday I released my second short book of 2018. It’s based on a message I delivered about Jesus earlier in February. You can pick up a copy from Amazon today… just in time for world book day.

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I want to encourage you to be more than a consumer, to actually go and make stuff. Do something, be a culture maker by producing rather than only consuming. Do not be crippled by trying to do something big or perfect…just do something as God leads you to bring him glory and bless the world around you.

For the month of March commit to being a fruitful servant of God in this good world he has created.

The Response: Homework with Jesus

Looking at Jesus, part 5 of 5. What is our response to Jesus?

1. Look for Jesus in the Bible

The entire Bible points to Jesus and it is in context to him that we understand the entire story of God redeeming his creation and find our place in this grand narrative. So read the bible and apply it to your life in fellowship with other believers as you grow in relationship with God through Jesus the Christ. See Luke 24:27 ESV and John 14:23–24 ESV

2. Pray in the name of Jesus

We pray in the name of Jesus. it is in the power and authority of his name that we can pray to God the Father and have confidence that God will hear and answer our prayers. See John 14:13–14 ESV and John 15:16 ESV

3. Call on the name of Jesus

When you are in trouble and need you can call on the name of Jesus. These are so many times in my life where I have called on his name and he has come to my rescue. See Philippians 2:9–11 ESV

4. Think about who Jesus is

Turn your thoughts towards Jesus. Studies like this one can help you but also just taking time to think about what you have read in the Bible and who Jesus is will be really beneficial. Take time to listen to your Pastors when they preach and then go away and think about what you have heard.

If you are battling with negative, unproductive thoughts, stop and think about God and his Word. See Hebrews 12:2 ESV and Hebrews 3:1–2 ESV

5. Praise Jesus

It is in the name of Jesus that we sing praises to God, don’t just wait till you get to Church, praise the name of Jesus today. See Ephesians 5:18–21 ESV

This is the final post in the series. If you want to see the message these posts were based on you can see it below.

https://subsplash.com/+f10d/embed/mi/+p7f7wn4?video&audio&info&embeddable&shareable

The Call: What does Jesus ask of us

Looking at Jesus, part 4 of 5. What is Jesus’ call for us as his followers?

1. Reign as Kings

Jesus has called us as his people to take up the place he has won for us in the spiritual realm. He has called us to walk as royalty, endowed with true worth and value from him. He has called us to walk in the authority he has inherited and given to us. He does not want us to walk in self-hate and loathing but as adopted royal servants in his kingdom. I came up with the term Humble Majesty to help us understand that although we are to reign as Kings we should do so in a spirit of humility. See Ephesians 2:6 ESV and 1 Peter 2:9 ESV

2. Serve as Slaves

Jesus has called us to service. He has called us to serve as slaves rather than hired hands. This can be difficult imagery to swallow especially for those of us whose recent ancestors were victims of the abhorrent transatlantic slave trade but the fact is our lives and behaviour are enslaved to either sin or God.

In the ancient word Slavery could work out really well for the poor when the master was good, the slave would be covered, provided for and protected and have a productive purpose in their life. Many times salves became a part of the household like family too.

We were bought with a price, the blood of Christ. We do not belong to ourselves but belong to God and should freely serve him and his purposes in joy. See Galatians 5:13 ESV and 1 Peter 4:10 ESV

3. Love as Brothers

Jesus has called us to love one another. Jesus said that this is how people would know were were his Disciples, by our love for one another. Love is a word that has been abused in recent times so I want to make the point that God’s love is never separated from his holiness. We are called to holy-love. See 1 John 3:14 ESV

4. Preach as Ambassadors

Jesus has called us to be representatives of him and his kingdom in the Earth and to proclaim the message of the Kingdom which is the Gospel. See 2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV and John 3:16 ESV

5. Live as Children

Jesus has called us to live with the right perspective and attitude, to live humble lives driven by childlike faith in God and his Word. See Matthew 18:4 ESV

The Reign: What is Jesus doing

Looking at Jesus, part 3 of 5. What is Jesus doing today as he reign’s from his throne in Heaven?

1. Making our case heard

Jesus is right now making our case heard in the courts of Heaven. He stands as our High Priest as a mediator between us and God but he is also our Advocate, making a legal case for our good against the accusations of the enemy and the demands of God’s Holy law which he fulfilled in his life and paid for on the cross. see Romans 8:34 ESV and Hebrews 7:26 ESV

2. Commanding Heavens Armies

Jesus is the great champion of Heaven and the Saviour of Earth. He alone has the authority to command the armies of Heaven to go to war with the forces of the enemy for the sake of mankind and God’s good creation. see Revelation 5:11–13 ESV

3. Expanding his Kingdom

Jesus is right now expanding his kingdom through the spread of the Gospel and the growth of the church to the ends of the earth. see Matthew 28:16–20 ESV

4. Defeating the Enemy

As his kingdom spreads, the enemy’s kingdom of darkness and sin diminishes. He has given the believers as his representatives, authority over all the power of the enemy. see Luke 10:18–19 ESV

5. Changing his People

Jesus is actively changing his people. We are adopted as God’s own children. When we put our faith in him, God the Holy Spirit helps us to grow and become more like Jesus as we listen to his word, and serve in fellowship with other believers. see John 1:12–13 ESV