Posts Tagged ‘joy’

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.


This will make you happy

November 28, 2013 Leave a comment
Will this make you happy?

. . actually there is a difference between happiness and joy. I pray that thinking on this Psalm will make us joyful, perhaps it will make us happy too!

I led the worship at St Mellitus College NW on Monday morning and we looked at Psalm 126. The amazing new translation below is by Brian Simmons. I have ordered serveral copies for Christmas presents.

Three reasons to rejoice:
Look where we have come from!
See others and ourselves, stepping into our destiny!
Arms full of sheaves!

And one reason we are weeping:
We sow from our absolute poverty

Psalm 126 NKJV or read below

Think where you have come from! Without Christ you could be proper messed up, dead even! I know someone like that, now rescued when they cried out to God. At one point in their lives they were kidnapped at gun point!

And this same person, just like you and me, now has a unique destiny, a special purpose to fulfill. When we see this destiny working out in our lives and in the lives of others it makes us rejoice and praise God! Even if, in our own lives, we are wondering what God is up to and we can’t see any evidence of that destiny, we can still know and be sure that God is working out His purposes for us!

And finally we can rejoice because we have arms full of sheaves! Or if we don’t we see others with armfuls! This is an unusual time of both harvesting and sowing. If we are not harvesting right now, take encouragement from others bringing in a haravest

We are weeping as we sow because our children are at home starving. We are sowing the last of all the seed we have! This seed could be used to make a last meal of bread at home or it could be sowed. The challenge to us is: Are you making bread at home or are you sowing. We are ALL called to sow, not just those recognized as ‘Evangelists’.

Bless you and may our hearts be full of joy today as we seek the harvest!



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It’s ‘The Business’ !

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

The business of the gospel is what? We know it’s ‘the business’, but, really what does that entail? How does it feel living or doing the business in everyday life, moment to moment?

“The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”

In this Psalm the person realises he is close to death and calls out to The Lord to save him. In verse 13 we read of the ‘cup of salvation’, the Psalmist knows that God offers salvation. Those of us who are saved know that he offers salvation. Salvation from the Hebrew means full and whole salvation, ie deliverance, health, aid, saved. We live in New Testament times so we know that God offers salvation.Do we know that this is not just from our sins, ie sins we have committed? It is for any sin, because God operates outside of time, it is also for any future sin. It is sin that has caused sickness so the offer of salvation is also to redeem our emotions, our hurts, our physical bodies. So why is God in ‘the business’ of saving us?
Our Father is in the business of saving us because we are his greatest pleasure! Ephesians 1:5
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
And we were created to be in relationship with Him and for Him to be our greatest pleasure!
So, in our daily lives we should be experiencing, by the Holy Spirit, a great deal of pleasure, joy! There is nothing wrong with, as a first priority, seeking the joy of being in His presence every moment. We need to have our whole beings (body, soul and spirit) ever tuned toward our Father. So that, being ever more in His presence, we receive joy and our Father receives joy! So, ‘the business’, of the Gospel is first and foremost for us to enjoy God and Him to enjoy us, forever!
Everything else flows from this; enjoying God by His Holy Spirit. Just like Jesus did, when we have such a relationship, we hear the Fathers voice and seek to do what is on the Father’s heart. So then, why is it many Christians either fall asleep or enter a world of busyness? These are the two temptations, fall asleep, ie become a seeker after comfort, put our money on the plate, help out with church activities and expect that the vicar/pastor and/or his pastoral team will look after us in times of trouble. It’s what you might call the ‘comfort contract’! Or starting with and continuing with a right heart we seek to do God’s work . . for Him! ‘Don’t worry Lord’, we say, ‘I’ll get this one’ . . . and the next one and the next one . . ! What God is asking for is not our ‘doing’, nor a relationship where we treat Him as a recalcitrant genie in a bottle, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t! No, He is simply looking for relationship, we don’t need to earn it! Simple, He wants to spend time in our company, he misses us when we are busy, even if we are busy doing things for Him!
For example, last Thursday, I was walking toward Salford Central station, I had had a migraine all day. Unusually, I just prayed that I would meet someone on the train I could talk to about Jesus. And I did, It was brilliant, an 82 year old chap from Wigan wanted to know what life was all about, why was he here, etc. So I witnessed to him all the way to Bolton. As we were approaching Bolton a lady in front of us turned round and said, ‘that was amazing, I couldn’t help overhearing everything you said! And you know what? My migraine was gone.Relationship, lets pray we can get focussed on that, so that our whole desire, our longing is always for more of Him. Like the pearl of great price*, do whatever you have to do to have it! Because “Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Rest means, not having a rest, but, ‘resting’ in God

Dear Father, may our desire always be for more of you, more of your presence in our lives.May we always be seeking that deeper relationship and the joy it brings, through a greater infilling of your Holy Spirit. This day we invite you, Holy Spirit to fill us afresh. Amen


Make Them Glad

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

With Extreme Confidence and Extreme Hope!
Psalm 119:74

We bring joy to others as they see us struggle through difficulties trusting in Father God!

Practice the Presence of God

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment