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Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

Two Lists for Peace

Renew and Reconcile

List of the bad stuff:
Have you noticed that if you don’t do those things daily, like read your bible, pray, worship music, whatever keeps you close to God, you tend to drift to a default position of worry, fear, anxiety . . name your own weaknesses here . . temper, anger, lust, lack of self control, jealously, unthankfulness. Or even just being over busy, ‘for Him’, you find the same happening in your ‘doing’ . .stress leading to being controlling, gossip, taking comfort in bad mouthing people, etc, etc

Hold on a sec though 2 Cor 5:17 says ‘This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!’

New means kainos in Greek, ie new, unused, fresh, novel, new in regard to form or quality . . Christ’s love now controls us! (verse 14), but as it says in 2 Cor 6:1 don’t accept this marvelous gift then ignore it!

In order to nurture this new life we must first be being renewed ourselves, then as God’s partners (6:1) work for reconciliation between others and God . . one from flows from the other and back again . . this can be a hard discipline sometimes, yet it does become a joyful process also

Renew Romans 12:2 tells us, ‘don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect’

Renew Short prayers throughout the day . . let anything be the fuel that starts a prayer even if it’s from the list of the bad stuff above . . recognise them and make them a trigger for a short prayer. For example, every time I get (my weakness here), I’m going to pray ‘O Lord help me!’ even if it’s with a huff and a puff! Reconcile recognize the bad stuff in situations more outside of yourself and say short prayers for the people at the time . . this will lead you to loving actions, ‘how are things’, ‘how can I help’, ‘can I pray for you’ . . . and keep at it, taking a further small risk each time, be on the lookout and thank God for these opportunities . . we have to be prepared to take wounds, this will sometimes happen . . yet He will Renew and heal us when we spend time with him. So you may need a quiet place to be with Him . .this will be different for us all . .worship music in the car, getting up early, last thing at night, making Him our first thought when we wake even if only for a few minutes

Then we will start to see in our own lives and others a list of the good stuff:
We will bring peace in situations and we will have peace, we will see healing and know God’s healing hand continually at work in our lives bringing wholeness, our doing will often be in Joy, we will see joy restored in others, we will be encouraged as we encourage. As we partner with God, life will seem brighter, more positive. A thankful heart will keep us in a state of knowing how blessed we are and how much we are blessing others.

2 Cor 5:11 –  6:1

We Are God’s Ambassadors
11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
6: 1 As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.

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Identity of a Warrior

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Identity of a Warrior 

Blessed be the LORD my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; Psalm 144 v1

Do we realize we are living in a war zone? Sometimes we live as if we are in a time of peace seeking only our own comfort and security, yet the bible teaches us we are at war

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“Attached to each dog rope was a picket-pin [used to tether horses]. The pin was driven into the ground as a mark of resolve in combat. When a Dog Soldier was staked to the ground in order to cover the retreat of his companions, he was required to remain there even if death was the consequence. The Dog Man could pull the pin from the ground only if his companions reached safety or another Dog Soldier released him from his duty.” From Cheyenne Dog Soldiers

Would we be able to stay in place and not remove the picket-pin and run? What would hold us there to the death?

Identity is the answer to this one and identity is something I want to work on with Father God. Because I don’t want to find when it comes to the crunch I am not secure in my identity and I do a runner! Very good Joyce Meyer article here on our identity 

Lord, in a world where we are taught our identity rests in our sexual identity or our possessions or our success in our career or as a lover, mother, father, friend – please help us remember that we are sons and daughters of the King! That you are pleased with us and love us unconditionally. May we allow you to train us for war! Amen

We step forward, He steps in


How many of us know that if we are messed up or feeling weak and scared, that qualifies us for doing something for God?

Doing it scared . .
Well first of all there is no shame in feeling weak and nervous about doing something, Paul even says he took pleasure in his weaknesses!
‘… For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ Corinthians 12:9-10
Of course we mustn’t stay in that place just holding onto that as an excuse. It’s as we step forward, ‘doing it scared’, that God steps in with his strength.

‘The only way to overcome your weakness is to rely on God’s strength. To do that, you have to stop focusing on your weaknesses. You cannot look at everything you are not. You must look at everything God is. Focus on His strength and all He is willing to do for you.
The weaknesses of the world are not your inheritance. Jesus did not come to earth, die on the cross, and rise again on the third day for you to be weak and defeated. He went through all that to give you an inheritance, authority in this life and His strength to rule over your circumstances.
In any area where you stumble, God is ready and willing to provide you with His strength. So the next time you find yourself confronted by your weakness, remember and declare that where you are weak, He is strong!’ Joyce Meyer

We do our bit, God does His (giant enormous big) bit
About three years ago I began chatting to two ladies on the train to work. We got quite friendly talking about work and this and that. On occasion I did talk to them about my faith, sharing stories, I think. Anyway, I really built myself up and asked them both to come to the alpha course at church . . they both politely said no. 😦  About 18 months ago, one lady took semi retirement and the other lady left work to have a baby, so I didn’t see them anymore. Just a couple of weeks ago, the lady (with the baby) popped up in church, very enthusiastic and promising to come again! So how did that happen? Well I did my bit and honestly I thought I’d been a total failure, however, God did his work! After not seeing the lady for a couple of weeks I said to my wife that maybe I should pop round to her house and she was like, ‘No, No, God has shown you what he is doing, at least for now, let Him carry on doing it!’ 🙂

God works in our messiness
Also even in our ‘messed upness’, God does his work. On first appearances the Samaritan woman Jesus speaks to at the well, seems the opposite of anyone very spiritual  . .she’s had five husbands and is living with someone who is not her husband . .yet she says that when the Messiah comes he will tell us everything. So the least likely person in the village, the least respectable, the ignored and immoral person, actually had something in her heart and despite seeming like the most messed up person, Jesus chose her to tell all the village about him! And he chooses you and me! In our messy, busy lives God chooses us to bring His love to people!

God not only brings strength to help us, also beauty and delightfulness in the, ‘doing’, as we look to Him. His ‘favor’, makes what we do amazing, in a way we could never expect!

‘And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands–yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.’ Psalm 90:17 (AMP)

As we think about these things let’s make the verse above into our own prayer

I pray you are encouraged this week

Thanks for reading

Andy