Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 30. " Just, Merciful, Humble...Is that You?"

" He has shown you, O mortal what is good. And what does The Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy , and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 Q. How does God want us to live? What are some practical ways to live this way? This would have to be one of the most well known, compassion and justice igniting verses in the Bible. We hear it used in reference to missions and social justice issues, but how often do we hear, or apply it, to our every day living? "But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It's quite simple; Do what is fair and just to your neighbour, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don't take yourself to seriously- take GOD seriously." The Message God actually says that He " requires " - (to call for as suitable or appropriate, to regard as obligatory; to demand ) this of us. It's not an option for us to live in any other manner. If we are to call ourselves Christian , to love and honour God, then we must walk this out in our daily interactions. In being JUST, we are to be morally upright, treating all others fairly and in an appropriate manner. In LOVING MERCY, we are to show compassion to those who offend us, and be the first to provide assistance to those who are in need. And in WALKING HUMBLY with our God, we are to know our place, not trying to impress God with our own self importance . So why do so many of us find this so hard? It requires submission to God and a relinquishing of pride. If we are honest, I think we can confess that we all struggle in this area at times. Allowing Him to give us the strength to live beyond how we feel, because often ,we just don't feel like living these qualities out. The world implores us to put ourselves first, how contrary this is to Gods plan for our lives. Imagine, if as Christians we purposed each day to this, to be the men and women God is looking for.....Imagine! Lxx

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 29. " Constant "

"Then The Lord came down in the cloud and stood before him and proclaimed his name, The Lord. And he passed in front of Moses proclaiming, " The Lord, The Lord , the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger , abounding in love and faithfulness ......"Exodus 34:5a,6 Q. What does God reveal to Moses about Himself ? After all Moses had endured with his rebellious people, God comes to Him to reassure him of who He is. He states that He is Yahweh , He is God. He then goes on to express His qualities. This same quality of character that afforded the Israelites so much is still bestowed upon us today. Because He is constant, we can be assured that His love for us is never ending, He is true to His word , His patience goes beyond understanding and even though we, like the Israelites, are so undeserving, He understands us and has made a way for us, sacrificing His one and only Son. What an amazing sense of security this gives us , to know that God, Yahweh is same today as He was thousands of years ago. Steadfast in times of trouble and need and ever forgiving of our failures and inconsistencies . And the more we get to know Him and grow deeper in relationship with Him the more He reveals to us about Himself. Lxx

Monday, October 29, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words - Day 28. " He did that for me ? "

" But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 Q. Have you reflected recently on the price Jesus paid to bring you peace? I have actually been engaged in a lot of reflecting lately. During the last 3 1/2 years life has been challenging , tough and at times I wondered how I would keep going. I walked away from God, I was so angry with Him. I lost sight of who He was, I couldn't see past people and my church hurt. I ran from Him and everything connected with Him. My heart hardened, unforgiveness and the sorrow from the circumstances within my family weighed me down. I have never felt as lost and lonely as I did during this period in my life. BUT, He never left me, He kept knocking, and finally I opened the door to my heart again. I am so very grateful that He did not give up on me, for the beautiful people He brought into my life, for the events that He orchestrated. So when I reflect and ponder on what it cost Him to give me the peace I now walk in, and it most certainly is a peace that surpasses understanding as life is still scattered with many a hurdle too high for me to clear, emotion overwhelms. " For the mountains may move, and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken, says the LORD, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:10 Words cannot fully express the beauty within this promise, the richness of its meaning. I stand in awe. Lxx

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words - Day 27. " Beyond Imagining "

" He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." Revelation 12:4 Q. What are you most looking forward to when you think about your eternal life to come? Being the inquisitive person that I am, after finally meeting Jesus face to face, having my myriad of questions answered would have to be right up there. I 've often wondered how I would handle the emotions of not seeing some of the people that I love. But he promises that there will be no more sorrow, crying or pain. All the painful memories of past experiences and feelings of loss, banished from existence. I can only begin to imagine the beauty of sound and sight that lay in store, the feast for the senses. To walk and talk with Jesus, to even think of it! To worship directly at the feet of the Father, I find it all a little difficult to get my head around. There is one more thing that I am looking forward to, a hug from my nana. She was eagerly awaiting seeing Jesus and she would share that love and anticipation with me, I miss her so. I don't think that I can really single out any one expectation, the more one dwells upon it, the more one realises that the possibilities are endless.  " No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him " 1 Corinthians 2:9 What an incredible surprise that lay ahead, what a beautiful promise. Lxx

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 26. " Walk the Walk "

" Anyone who claims to be intimate with God, ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived " 1John 2:6 The Message Q. How important is it that Christians seek to live like Jesus did ? Anyone can claim to be or do something......" I'm a vegetarian...and then you see them out eating a big juicy steak......." I'm on a diet...... And they consume a big piece of ask a person what they do and they give you a big impressive story which you later discover to be a stretch of the truth!  There are so many examples, of varying degrees, as to how people say one thing and do another. But how does it make you feel when you see the hypocrisy ? Usually you may then have a lower opinion of that person. Jesus lived an life of integrity, He practiced what He preached. He lived what He asked us to live. He didn't ask us to pray and then not pray himself, He didn't tell us to love one another and then turn His back on those around Him, He didn't tell us to love the Father and then not have an relationship with him, himself. We have the perfect example to look to in Jesus.  I believe as Christians we have an huge responsibility. Many will look to us to find a glimpse of Jesus, what will they see? In observing us will they want to know more about Him. It's not about us being perfect, people just want to see honesty and integrity. It's no good us just talking the talk.......we have to walk the WALK. Lxx

Friday, October 26, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 25. " Growing Up "

"Like newborn babies crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation , now that you have tasted that The Lord is good." 1 Peter 2:2-3 Q. Are you seeking to "grow up in your salvation" or are you staying the same person year to year? Sometimes it can appear easier to stay put, rest in the comfortable and familiar. Growing up can seem a little daunting and the prospect of greater responsibility can be a little scary. But just as in life, if we don't step out and move forwards with our spiritual walk we miss out on all that God has to offer . The more we learn about Him, the more we grow in ourselves. There is so much that He has for us to experience. He knows our true potential and wants us to grow beyond our " baby christian " status. I'm glad I'm not the same person I was last year, God has brought me through some really difficult times. But during it all , the stretching and refining, the " growing up ", he walked with me. That's the wonderful thing about growing up in Christ, we don't have to do it alone, he is there right beside us, through the whole journey, guiding and leading the way. There is no cut off date with God, no miraculous age that signals you have arrived , no limit to our capacity to learn, our journey lasts a life time.  Lxx

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 24. " Putting Feet on Faith "

" Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works." James 2:26 Q. How important do you think it is that a Christian shows what they believe by the way they act ? This would have to be on the top of the list. People don't always listen to what you say but they do however watch what you do and how you behave, especially if you are flying the Christian flag. We are supposed to be Christ's representatives , it's no good parading around sprouting about His love and acceptance if we are not behaving in that manner ourselves. Our actions will always speak louder than our words. I like to call it " Putting feet on Faith " it's not about going to church meetings and busying ourselves with " programmes ", its about being the hands and feet of Jesus. Jesus walked His faith, talked His faith, lived His faith in everyday life. We should be known as people of integrity, people who go above and beyond for our fellow man. " Faith is dead without good works" let us be mindful that when we put feet on our faith our works are to serve others, to be an example of Him, not to earn us any accolades or to make us right with God. " How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news of peace and salvation...." Isaiah 52:7 Let's be a people of beauty, in the way that we live, in how we speak and act, in how we treat one another, so that the feet on our faith will lead straight to Jesus. Lxx

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 23. " The door is Open ! "

" Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16 Q. Do you find it difficult to approach God when you are tempted or burdened with sin, or when things are going wrong in your life ? How does this verse encourage you? One of the images burned into my memory as a child was that of God's hand stretching through the clouds reaching out to multitudes and Jesus with children on His lap and people sitting around Him. He with an expression of love and they with admiration and awe. When we were young it seemed so much easier to come to Him, we were not marred by the world, we saw things simply, we were yet to complicate faith. I believe that is why He said " unless you become as little children ". Children approach those they know and love with energy , they don't stop and analyse as to whether they are good enough to be in your presence. They just know and accept that you love them.  I think God wants it to be like that with us. He wants us to receive His grace and mercy. He has invited us to His throne. If we really meditate on this, take it into our heart we will realise that we do not need to hesitate to come to Him. When I am feeling overwhelmed or discouraged the temptation is there to believe the lie that I am unworthy to be in His presence, it is then that I draw upon my childhood images. His outstretched hand holding mine, leading me into His place of love and acceptance. I can be confident, you can be confident that we are always welcome and will never be turned away by Him. Lxx

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words-Day 22. " Join the E-Team! "

" But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today", so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13 Q. Who is a Christian brother or sister that you can encourage in living for Christ today? I love this question because it is something that I am passionate about!  Encourage, this is a beautiful word, with rich and deep meaning; to inspire with confidence, spirit or hope; to spur on; to give help, support or approval to. How incredible that so much positive influence is packed into one word. And we are told to do this daily, yes every day. As Christians we should be an encourager to all we meet, and when God places someone on our heart we must be diligent to act upon it. This is something that He has been speaking into my life in recent times. I have been overwhelmed by the response from those whom He has prompted me to encourage. A card, a small gift, a text, a call, it doesn't really matter, as long as you do something to nurture that person. Now there's another beautiful word, nurture; to encourage and develop. It is not a coincidence when we randomly have a thought about someone. When we are obedient those small acts of kindness may well be the encouragement that person needs to make it through their day, that uplifting word may be the only positive affirmation they have received, that text may pierce the loneliness of their day or that gift may tell them they are special and valued. Encouragement comes in all shapes and sizes. To be void of it causes humanity to be hardened. To live in the midst of it one can only flourish. " Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God"s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." Mother Teresa  Lxx

Monday, October 22, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words -Day 21. " TRUST"

" Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take"  Proverbs 3:5-6 Q. How can you lean on God more, trust Him with all your heart, and "submit to Him in all your ways"? Trusting can be one of the hardest things to do. I know this has been one of the most difficult lessons I've had to learn. Often our experience with trust comes through being let down by people. But God isn't people, I struggled with separating Him from those who had disappointed me, especially Christians. I leant on my own understanding, seeing and feeling the temporal. I missed the path because I wasn't looking to Him. When you trust someone emphatically, where ever they lead you will follow even if you are unsure. "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do and everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track" The Message Instead of going to others with my problems, or searching their experience for advice, I need to go to Him first and He will bring wisdom across my way. The world says that you must earn ones trust, prove that you are worthy to be trusted. If this were so then God certainly fits the bill as one to be trusted. He is the only one who will never let us down, never fail us. He is faithful to His word and to those who love Him. Leaning on Him, and handing Him my burdens is an daily exercise, but the peace that comes with trusting Him surpasses our earthly understanding. Lxx

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 20. "Grab your joggers, it's time to Train"

"Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." 1 Timothy 4:8 The Message  Q. How can you train yourself in godliness? Godliness, exactly what does this mean? Well I went to my trusty dictionary to find out. Godliness. n >> pious; devout. Hmm, pious. That word doesn't bring positive thoughts to mind, so back to the dictionary, what about the word Devout 2 sincere; genuine; a devout hope. There are many things in life that we can be devoted to. Work, family, sport, church, but I love the analogy here of a workout and our fitness. "Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God- no spiritual flabbiness please!"4:7 Any fitness guru will tell you that in order to maintain and sustain an healthy level of physical fitness you should exercise daily. There are all manner of new ideas, often extreme and a tad crazy ways to go about this. Never the less, it requires a daily commitment. Looking after our earthly bodies should be one of our priorities, however even more so our walk with God. Walking daily with Jesus develops our spiritual fitness which is of eternal consequence. When we embark on a training programme in order to be successful we must be sincere and genuine about our intentions, setting out a clear goal.  I can't imagine any better training partner than Jesus. Exercising every day with Him, developing our spiritual fitness, the Holy Spirit coaching us along, encouraging us towards our goal- to know Him better, to develop a deep and lasting relationship with Him. So what equipment do we use in our spiritual training ? The Word- read daily, Prayer- conversing with God, Worship- both in our praise and in how we do life. Training can be gruelling, but it's always rewarding especially when the goal is forever with Jesus. Lxx

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words-Day 19. "Goals....Earthly or Eternal?"

" Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honour at God's right hand"  Colossians 3:1 Q. What difference does Jesus make to the goals of your life; to what you are looking forward to and working towards? For me Jesus changed my whole perspective as to what was the purpose of my life. As a mother , a wife, a friend. I became passionately aware of social justice issues, my heart enlarged. Sometimes I find it's a little overwhelming. The realities of heaven and what that means not only for me but for those in my world, I am sometimes lost in the enormity of it all. My goal as a mother is that my children would know His love and know Him personally , as a wife that I would be all that He meant for me to be to my husband, to those in my world ; that they would see Him in me. That my life would not just be about what I achieve in the worlds eyes. I want to make a difference of eternal consequence. What will my felt benefit be? Will I be known as one who loves unconditionally, who is compassionate, honest, trustworthy and faithful in all that I do! "Let the message about Christ in all it's richness fill your lives.............And whatever you do or say, do it as representatives of The Lord Jesus......" 16,17. If we allow these principles to permeate all aspects of our lives, how can our goals be anything other than those of eternal value and purpose. " The things of earth shall grow strangely dim, in the light of His Glory and Grace " Lxx

Friday, October 19, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 18. "The D Word"

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life." Philippians 4:6-7 The Message Q. What are you anxious about today? When, what and how should we deal with our anxieties? Anxiety and depression, many of us are familiar with the debilitating consequences of these afflictions. As Christians we often suffer alone and in silence, because we are supposed to have Jesus in our life, how can this be possible, and those who have not walked in this cloud just do not understand, often judging those who do as being weak or of little faith. I have walked under this cloud, experienced the loneliness and isolation. I was angry with God, angry that He had allowed the circumstances to which I bore. Angry that people in my life faded from sight. The events which brought this about were significant, traumatic and I lost sight of Jesus. I looked to my own strength which was never going to be enough, anxiety and worry took the place of prayer and praise. It truly is wonderful when Jesus displaces worry at the centre of your life. Emerging from the darkness was a choice, in order to deal with it I had to make a conscious decision to place my trust in Him. Philippians 4:8-9 says it beautifully, "Summing it all up friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst, the beautiful not the ugly, things to praise not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realised. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies." The Message Circumstances may or may not change, but it is a choice as to how we manage them. To purposefully choose His most excellent harmonies, to live beyond our feelings and in His reality. It's not easy and I still struggle at times, but I am learning to cast ALL of my cares upon the One who will always be more than enough. Lxx

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 17. "Unseen & Defeated"

" For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places " Ephesians 6:12 Q. How does this reminder of our opposition, help you in your journey as a Christian ? I think often we misunderstand what this means in our day to day life. I have met Christians who proclaim that every untoward event that occurs in their life is an attack from the devil. This may very well be so in some circumstances, my perspective is a little different. Life's curveballs, unfortunate events, the bad stuff, is just that Our enemy doesn't necessarily cause these things to happen however he does take advantage of how we choose to deal with difficult periods in our journey. I'm certainly not saying that as Christians we are not a prime target, but I do think that we give the enemy a little too much credence, instead of relying on the fact that " He that is in me is stronger than he that is in the world." Our battle is not with one another but with the unseen. The awesome fact is, that the battle is already won! Whether it just be life or a direct assault to prevent us from walking in the victory that is promised us, we must be ever mindful that " In our weakness, He is strong." There are many and varied ways to battle physically, here in our earthly realm, but the Real battle is fought in the spiritual realm. How do we fight an unseen enemy......PRAYER......WORSHIP.......and THE WORD. Against these things our enemy is rendered powerless. Lxx

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 16. " Sweet or Sour ? "

" But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!" Galatians 5:22-23 Well if this isn't an recipe for a wonderful life, I don't know what is! The Message version expands on these verses, in direct application to our daily life. "But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard- things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about, it only gets in the way." Q. What will living like a Christian look like for you today, this week, this month? Which fruit of Gods Spirit would you like to bear in your life? I'm going to have to be greedy here and say all of them. Who wouldn't want all of these things in their life. To have the capacity to lavishly love on those in my life, to face each day with an positive expectancy, to walk calmly in the face of life's inevitable stumbling blocks. To have the staying power to finish the things I start, to act upon the promptings of my heart and to first see and believe the best of people. To always be a friend with integrity and honesty, to be prepared to do the hard yards and not expect things, just because. And to wisely share my time and myself. Yet the most amazing thing about all these gifts is, that they are just ! No amount of striving will produce this fruit in my life. By choosing, loving and following Jesus, allowing Him to flood my life daily with His Spirit, this is what being a Christian will look like. Fruit takes a little while to grow, and some fruits take longer to mature than others but that's ok. Each season as we stay connected to the source our harvest will sweeten and multiply. Lxx

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 15. " Head...Toe....It doesn't matter! "

" Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it " 1Corinthians 12:27 Q. You are part of the same body as your Christian brothers and sisters; how can you better work together with them? When ever people get together, there is the inevitable clash of personality, the differing of belief, the tousle for position and competitiveness . Unfortunately the Church body is often prone to the same issues. So how then can we better work together? There is no need to compete with one another as God has uniquely gifted each one of us. He has placed in our hand, something that is in no others. There is a place prepared for each and every one of us and our position is assured. God reveals understanding to each of us in His own timing, as we are able to comprehend. Those closest to Jesus did not always see eye to eye. But He admonishes us to be forgiving, patient and tolerant of one another and our differences. Because it is these same differences when brought together as a whole, complimenting one another, that allow the body to function in its full capacity. I need to be diligent with what is gifted to me, to not allow pride to creep in, and to find my strength , worth and confidence in Him, not in what I can do or the importance that others may wish to place on me. We are all special and important in Gods Kingdom. "The first shall be last, and the last shall be first" Lxx

Monday, October 15, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 14. "Time To Fess Up "

" Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. " Psalm 139:23-24 Q. How often do you ask God to show you the sin in your life, and to lead you away from it? Is this something you can pray today? Asking for the less desirable aspects of our behaviour to be pointed out is probably not on the top of most people's prayer lists. Oh we pray for others who are struggling with sin, we ask God to fix our woes, to change those around us and to bless our endeavours. But how often do we say " God, search the deepest part of me, bring to the surface and expose my short comings. Make me aware of the things in my life that do not please you." It takes courage to face our offences and obedience to follow the path to eternal life. Thing is, He knows what we are like, He knows what we do and will struggle with. He asks that we confess it, and then grace takes over and He leads us forwards. To pray every day " Lord show me where I can do better, and help me to do it ", knowing that he has been both behind us and prepared the way before us, can only lead to wonderful things. For His thoughts about me are precious and innumerable . How awesome is that ! Lxx

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 13. " Are you of any earthly good ? "

" Don't copy the behaviour and the customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know Gods will for you which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 Q. In what ways, today, can we seek to not conform, to the pattern of this world, but rather let God transform you? There is a very fine line here that an awful lot of Christians step over. There is an old saying " too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good". Some people become so focused on not conforming that they become so far removed and are no longer able to relate or communicate with non Christians. I really do not believe that this is what God intended. He wants us to choose His ways, which lead to a rich and fulfilling life but He also wants us to be able to share this with others. Jesus didn't hang out with the " Good " guys all the time. He socialised with the people of his society, He wasn't all weird, He didn't avoid people. They saw that He was different, they were drawn to Him. He met them where they were at. I want others to see a difference in me , to know that I may have differing beliefs but I can still relate to them. When God begins to transform our thinking the areas in our life that change are ones that do not benefit us. It's often stuff that does not endear us to people anyway. In our endeavour to not conform but to be transformed, let us not become so far out of this world that we have no appeal to those that are of the world. Lxx 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words-Day 12. " BELIEVE, It's really that Simple

They replied, " believe in The Lord Jesus and you will be saved- you and your household " Acts 16:31  Q. If someone asked you what must I do to be saved, how would you explain The Gospel to them? Believe, it's that simple! " For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that everyone who believes in Him, will not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16 He asks us to believe, that's all, it's not complicated. It's we Christians that put all the conditions on salvation . You don't have to measure up to a set of standards, you don't have to get your act together, you don't have to be good, you just have to believe. Then He changes your life! Once you have opened the door to your heart, Jesus comes in and your desires and dreams begin to change, as you get to know Him better the things that were holding you back will begin to fall away. It's a journey, and not always an easy one, but worth every single step. Why ? Because He knows who you were really meant to be. Lxx

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 10 " Live Like You BELIEVE It "

Today's verse is John 16:33 and I love The Message version; "I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." Q. What can we expect as we live in the world as Jesus' disciples? Just because we believe in Jesus and are "Christians " it does not mean that life will be all smooth sailing with no rough and treacherous seas, quite the contrary. We are no different to any one else, trouble and trail, sickness and sorrow will come our way. But there is one significant attitude that should set us apart. The assurance and trust that, no matter what we must travel through, Jesus will carry us. That isn't to say that we won't flounder at times, but we have a peace available to us, a peace that the world does not understand. Have you ever gone through an incredibly stressful time where you have totally relied upon Jesus and others have stated " I just don't understand how you have coped and functioned through all this!"  Being a disciple is not so much about what we's in how we live our life. Jesus said He has conquered this world, how about we take up the challenge and live like we believe it! Lxx

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 9 " The ULTIMATE "

" I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep." Q. What sort of a leader is Jesus, how far is He willing to go for His people? He is the Ultimate leader. He sacrificed Himself, suffered humiliation and died an horrendous death, on a cross. All for us, all for you, all for me. He wore the sins of each and every one of the human race in order that we might have eternal life. He gives us the option to choose Him, and as a leader He offers to carry our burdens and to carry us when we most need Him. He is just and fair and He does not turn anyone away that seeks to follow Him. His love knows no end and His Grace is ever flowing. He is trustworthy and true to His word and He will never let you down even if you turn your back on Him- He will wait for your return. There is no other like Him, none can compare. He is THE ULTIMATE LEADER. Lxx

Monday, October 8, 2012

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 8

"UNFORCED RHYTHMS" I love today's verse, it's one of my favourites. Matthew 11:28,30 "Come to me , all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.......For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I especially love The Message version of this passage, it has spoken so clearly to me on many an occasion . "Are you tired?Worn out?Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." It's interesting that today's question is- How would you explain what it's like to follow Jesus to someone who doesn't know Him yet? Why, because I think this verse has it in a nut shell. Life and all it's expectations, commitments and ups and downs, can really wear you out. The confines of religion and its zealots can become a deterrent and distraction. Jesus offers me a place of real renewal, He offers me a way to real rest and life as intended. He knows what I need and what I can handle, and He doesn't expect of me any more than He equips me for. He knows my heart, He knows my thoughts , He knows my dreams, He accepts me and His grace continuously flows no matter where I'm at. The more that I get to know Him, the deeper my relationship develops with Him, the better my ability to navigate all that life throws my way becomes. He's always there, He never changes and I will never be turned away from His presence. Following Jesus isn't meant to be complicated, it's quite simple really, look to Him and He'll change your life. You can leave all your baggage behind, no matter what it is. Lxx

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 7

MY ALL " Let all that I am praise The Lord; may I never forget the good things that He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases."  Psalm 103:2-3 It's easy as time goes by and troubles come our way, or in simply living life to forget the good things that God does for us. It seems to be a part of our human condition to be drawn to and focus on what's not going right or what we don't have. MAY I NEVER FORGET, when we are reminded of the good stuff, no matter how small, we are drawn towards Him. I purchased a prayer journal just the other day to record my prayer requests and more importantly, the many ways He has blessed me. It's good to have a reminder, especially if you are a little forgetful like me :) LET ALL THAT I AM PRAISE. All that I am, what does that really mean? all-2 to a supreme degree. supreme-2 greatest, strongest or most important The greatest, strongest and most important part of me, all the fibres of my being are to praise Him. I know that feeling it comes from deep within, often an unexplainable innate desire to worship, it's how we were created. But all too often we try to stifle it for whatever reason. Sometimes it's fear, fear of what may happen if we let go and let God or fear of what others may think. Today's question was " what will you praise God for today?" Actually there are a lot of things, answer to prayer, life changes, there is so much happening at the moment to be thankful for. But today, I praise Him for teaching me to bring Him my All. Lxx

Live Light in 25 Words - Day 6

" There's God......& then there's Me!" Do you ever wonder who God is, how can I relate to Him, what is He really like? How do I make a connection with someone I don't know ? I've read the stories of this wondrous God parting seas, feeding millions with food from the sky, bringing the animals to the ark, miracle after miracle. But how do I, me , just an mere human possibly come to an understanding of who, He ;God , is. Let alone what He's really like? " No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known" John 1:18 Q. What do we learn about Jesus from this verse? Jesus was a man, he loved, he worked, he mourned, he was a friend, he was a teacher, he was compassionate, he was just, he suffered and he sacrificed himself for all others and He is God. This is how I see God, through the man, Jesus. All of His qualities are the Father. The more I get to know Him, grow in relationship with Him, the more I understand who God is. It's actually a lot simpler than we think. We humans like to complicate everything . The more I read, the more I understand and come to know, not just in my head but in my heart who Jesus is, the more amazing and totally relatable I find God to be. It's one of those experiences in life that changes everything . Lxx 

Live Light in 25 Words-Day 5

" Do I REALLY have too?" "But if you are willing to listen, I say , love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you." Luke 6:27-28 NLT Q. Are there people in your life that you find difficult to love, and what will you pray and do for them in response to this challenging verse ? Well I 'd be telling a lie if I said no. I think we all have THOSE people in our life. The ones we avoid spending time with or can barely tolerate. Usually because of some offence that has happened in the past. But if you knew what they have done to me you wouldn't be asking me to love them! Every time I see her she says something derogatory! "To you who are READY for the truth. I say this. Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person." The Message You've got to be kidding, that is possibly the last thing I'm going to feel like doing. I know I'm not the only one thinking this, and that is why this is an challenging verse, it goes against all our natural instincts. But it is possible, we have to be WILLING and READY to FORGIVE. Sometimes it is a really tall order but that is why we are told to pray. Imagine if we not only prayed for those who have offended us, but also treated them with kindness, a smile costs nothing, nor does a kind word. I want to share the best of me, because that's the part of me that bares witness to His goodness and His love. Lxx

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 4

LET YOUR LIGHT BE A WELCOMING ONE Today's verse is Matthew 5:14&16. I often like to read The Message Bibles interpretation and that is what I'll share today. To me it really speaks into our time in history. "Here's another way to put it. You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you ? I'm putting you on a light stand- shine! Keep open house, be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven" Q. How are you endeavouring to be a light, to be an example of who God is? There are different types of light that shine, warning lights that say stay away, danger, lights that say caution, and lights that shine to invite you to a happening place. I've met many Christians who are emitting a danger and caution signal, that's not the light I want to be. It's all about how we live! Are we generous and welcoming, prepared to make real connections with people, as opposed to Sunday superficial, because people see right through that sort of behaviour. I want to be the light that shines and says " this is who I am, what you see is what you get, I'm real, I'm genuine, I'll have time for you, and when you ask why I am different, I'll tell you it's because of my generous Father in heaven" Put it out on a stand, be the happening place that draws others in, a welcoming light. If all you have to offer is a genuine heart, then that is more than enough. Lxx

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 3

WHERE DO YOU PLACE YOUR PRIORITIES? Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 Q. When Jesus was busy, focused on His work and in demand, what does He take time out to do? How does this impact you? This was a time where Jesus was certainly in high demand. He was healing the sick, healing troubled spirits, preaching and traveling, a very hectic and busy time. He didn't whinge and bemoan about how little time he had, He didn't make excuses, He prioritised, He rose early in the morning to spend time in relationship with The Father. The most important part of His day, time out to re-energise, equipping Himself for the task ahead. How often do I barrel into the day, taking on all my tasks with an low battery? Lately, well actually for quite a while, just about every day. How can I expect to navigate my day if I haven't prepared, prepared spiritually, spent time in relationship with the One who will carry me through. The periods in my life where I have been diligent in doing this, rising a little earlier, having a cuppa and spending some me time with God have proven to be the most inspirational. Life wasn't necessarily easier, but manageable. There was an underlying strength and resilience to face whatever was thrown my way. I am so thankful to be re-discovering that again. Lxx 

Live Light in 25 Words- Day 2

ARE YOU SUNDAY SUPERFICIAL ? Matthew 14:13-21 Loaves and Fishes Q. Have you stopped today to ponder Jesus' power in your life? Reading the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand today, I realised something I had not really ever thought about before. I have read this story many times but always related to it more along the lines of " feeding the hungry, supernaturally", spiritually and physically. Today however I saw Jesus as grief stricken at the violent loss of His cousin, John. He needed to get away and be alone to deal with Johns death, He needed a human moment, yet in His mourning He was moved by the thousands seeking Him. He put His own needs aside, compassion overwhelmed Him, He fed them, fed their physical need and their spiritual need. How does this relate to the question of Jesus' power in my life? Do I rely on Him, trust in Him, lean on Him, draw on His strength in times of duress and trouble. Am I able to function and put aside the stresses of my own life and be compassionate to others, my friends, my family? This is Jesus power out working in my daily life, to rise above my circumstance, and be His hands and feet. Lxx

Live light in 25 Words- Day 1

Recently I committed to the Bible Societies Live Light in 25 Words challenge. I'ts all about developing a lasting daily habit of spending time with God through reading The Word. I'd love to share my journey with you. Psalm 34:8-10 The Message Bible Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see- how good God is. Blessed are you who run to Him Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all His goodness. Young lions on the prowl get hungry, But God seekers are full of God Q. Is God the place where you find true satisfaction? Wow, this question really challenged me today. If I am to be truthful, it is really only in recent times that I have begun to come to an understanding of this. SATISFACTION, what does it mean? The Dictionary states- 1. the fulfilment of something that is necessary, expected or desired, or the good feeling that is experienced when this happens or is achieved. Is He necessary in my life?Worship God if you want the best. What do I expect, what do I desire?Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see how good God is. What do I feel, what do I experience?Blessed are you who run to Him, God seekers are full of God. I want the best for my life. I've tried it without Him and that didn't go so well. I'm now in the process of rediscovering Him, experiencing Him through worship and it's true, the doors to His goodness are opened in many and varying ways and it feels great. It's exciting to be filling the void with all that He has to offer, it's limit less. My worship is in how I live, what I do with each day I am given, the relationships I forge, the deepening of my understanding and connection with Him. In an age where no one is satisfied, it is a welcome relief to be able to rest in the One who will fill you up. Lxx