When you don’t want to serve

God put this topic on my heart a few days ago and I have been thinking about how to approach it…

This seems to be one of those “no go” topics within Christianity because we don’t like “our choices in life” to be under a microscope.

But, Churches are under so much pressure because of the needs within every community, and I believe it’s because so many of us choose not to serve or use our God-given talents, to help others.

Scripture says:

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. (Philippians‬ ‭2:5‬)

That, Jesus came to serve others, not be served (Matthew 20:28)

And above all, we must love others, as God loves us (John 13:34)

A non-serving Christian is an oxymoron because it contradicts scripture and as the Church, it’s not about “one or two” members of the congregation helping, but as the whole body of Christ, we all play an important part in being the light in darkness.

The old saying, “many hands make light work,” shows why the Church is struggling to meet the needs of our communities.

I would love to see the Church of today to get back to the principles of the early church:

“All the believers were united in heart and mind.” Acts‬ ‭4:32

There are some churches who have many members serving and that’s amazing, but the scripture above shows that all believers were on board.

How do you serve within your Church and/or community?

The Storms

Have you ever had a time in your life when you thought you weren’t going to get through?

I can certainly think of a few hard seasons. Although, some didn’t feel like a season, but more like my life in general.

Yet, during those stormy times, I look back now and see that what I thought was going to destroy me, God used to clear my path.

Bad choices…

Violent relationships…

Financial implications…

Life-threatening illnesses…

All these storms I have weathered, and all these storms have shaped my character and given me strength.

More importantly though, as soon as I now feel a storm brewing, I have learnt to drop my anchor (Hebrews 6:19) into the depths of the sea because that is when my soul feels secure, knowing that whatever happens, God is in control.

Understanding that God will use all things for good because He is the God of making the impossible possible and we are His.

Therefore, He alone, makes a way when there is none.

Following Christ

There is always a “cost” to following Jesus.

For most of us in the Western World, it is merely the cost of obedience, but to others, it can mean life or death.

I used to think that the western world had it “easy” until I went to a Mission Trip to Vanuatu. There, a woman said to me that she prays for “us” (Westerners) because of the hardship we face every day with the choices and temptations that we face in life, that changed the way I think.

Reading Deuteronomy this morning, there are so many degrees and laws because of the temptations the Israelites faced to sin.

The Bible reiterates over and over that, if we were chosen to be His, then we need to be consciously obedient to bring honour to God (1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 1:4; Titus 2:14)

My prayer this morning is that we will seek God first, to walk beside Him always, and glorify Him daily because from our obedience, comes His blessings, blessings of eternal life – just as He promised

The life we lead

No one deserves to be saved, and yet God freely gives us a choice anyway.

I woke up this morning with gratitude in my heart and a love for God that I cannot describe because God loves me, He chose me, and sent Christ to die for me – as He did, for you.

Jesus broke the power that the enemy had over us when He conquered the grave. I love that Jesus defeated death and so, we are free to live the life that God created for us, as individuals.

Faith in Christ allows us to walk into our God-given purpose.

Faith in Christ allows us to move forward into the unknown because we understand He is for us and not against us.

Faith in Christ allows us to see past our circumstances and stand firm in God’s promises.

Faith in Christ allows us to lead a “Holy life,” that reflects God’s moral attributes and therefore, love like never before

The body is weak

This verse literally sums up the struggle between our body and spirit.

In the natural there is always a reason not to spend time with God…tiredness, sickness, running late, that deadline to meet etc.

Yet, the supernatural is where the miracles reside. It’s where breakthrough happens and atmospheres shift.

So many times, I have gone through my day and realised that I haven’t given God the time or allowed Him to move in the circumstances I faced.

The warning to Peter from Jesus was simple. The body will always come up with an excuse not to spend time with God but “our drowsiness” is what will ultimately be our downfall and how the enemy picks us off one by one.

Temptation to skip time with God sideswipes us because it is in prayer that we become equipped and strong in Christ. It is in prayer that God’s strength oversees the body’s weaknesses and defend us against Satan’s power

Haters will hate but we can love anyway

We may not be able to keep people from slandering us, but at least we can stop supplying them with reasons to.

As long as we do the right thing, people’s accusations will be futile.

The Bible says that “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35)

There will always be one person, who will want to speak against you but how about you be “the one” that Jesus died for and said “follow me.”

The wisest thing my Mum ever said to me was, “Two wrongs don’t make a right!”

Today I pray, that we will all show the love and grace to others, that God freely gives, no matter what actions others show towards us.

Being attached to Jesus

Cut a branch off from the vine and it dies, because it no longer has the ability to grow or be nourished.

This is a simple but powerful reflection of Christian living that tends to be forgotten.

Many people are good, honest people, who do what is right towards others. But Jesus says in this passage that the only way to live a truly good life is to stay close to Him – like a branch attached to the vine.

Remaining in Him, sees fruit in our lives such as, prayer (15:7), joy (15:11), and love (15:12). Thinking about other scriptures from Galatians 5:22-24 and 2 Peter 1:5-8, they too describe additional fruit but it is always to do with our character.

When I think of “bearing fruit,” the natural tendency for me, is to think of souls won for Jesus. Yet today, this reminded me that God is more concerned with our individual journeys and relationship with Him than the outworking of our ministries.

We shouldn’t be so busy to forget this beautiful truth – that Jesus came to save the one, so our relationship with Him is the most important vine of all.

Resting like God

The Bible doesn’t say that God “needed” to rest; it simply says that He did.

God was not tired or weary – it was a choice He made to, “cease” work and so, He stopped.

How many of us struggle to stop working?

To rest. To simply, be still.

We always seem to have a desire to continue to “do one more thing.” Or help “one more person.”

God created us with a day of rest in mind. To not only reflect on the past six days but to honour Him. To show that we want to glorify God by trusting that He knows what’s best for us and if our Creator took a day to rest, then so should we!

I was taught this years ago and it has served me well. I hope it blesses you too. To avoid burnout we must:

  • Divert Daily – Spend time with God and do something that relaxes you
  • Withdraw Weekly – take a sabbath
  • Abandon Annually – disconnect completely from the “normal”

“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” Psalm 127:2

The struggles we face

The struggles in life, are so real for most of us these days…

Is it just me, or does it always feel like there is something going on?

Some hardship, some drama, some circumstance that always wants to pull us in the direction that is not God’s will for our lives.

Some days are easier than others but I was reminded today that if the devil tempted Jesus for 40 days, immunity will never happen for us!

Paul gave a strong encouragement to the Corinthians that temptation and struggles in our Christian walk happen to everyone, and therefore we shouldn’t feel that we have been singled out.

After-all, the day that we gave our life to Christ – we became an enemy to this world.

This scripture is comforting because God is faithful and when we turn to Him in the midst of any temptation, He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear AND He will provide a way out.

So many Christian’s feel that they are doing something wrong when temptation comes their way but Jesus was tempted and He did not sin. That’s because temptation is not the sin but only when we act on those feelings.

We need to remember that:

“You, dear Children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

There is always a way out, we just have to focus on God to get there.

Hope in prayer

Have you been praying for something, that you know is God’s will, but it has not happened yet?

Keep praying!

Continuous prayer keeps our hearts directed toward God (and his blessings) and the conversation of prayer deepens our love for Him

I have found that the things that I stop praying for, are the things that I have put to the back of my mind – I no longer desire to see the fruition of that circumstance, that breakthrough, that healing, their salvation, that job etc.

I encourage you to keep praying and keep seeking God’s will because it’s where we develop the hunger and desire to see change in our lives and that of others.

Prayer is where our purpose and destiny are stepped into and when God moves powerfully because we continue to hope in Him.

What are you hoping for?

The cries in dust

This is such a beautiful reminder of humanity’s fallen state and the curse put upon us, from Genesis 3:19.

This verse is both a confession of the psalmist’s own struggles and his prayer for the Bible to breathe life back into him.

How powerful is this verse?

The Psalmist knows his Creator, because God breathed life into Adam’s nostrils and that the Psalmist is aware that all scripture is God-breathed.

It goes against our very nature to read the Bible when we are down, struggling with life, or in despair, but Psalm 119 reminds me that we breathe in the breath of life, when we turn to God’s Word. It revives, restores, and re-establishes our connection with Him.

My prayer today, is that we will all stay true to God’s truths and that He moves us from crying in the dust to delighting in His Word!

The unlovables

I have been mulling over this passage of scripture, since reading it yesterday on my Bible app. It’s one of those scriptures that we can quickly read and think that we “get it,” because we all know that we’re supposed to “love each other the way that God loves us.”

Yet, we seem to only apply it to the loved ones that we are comfortable with. The people that agree with our viewpoints or moral standards.

The unloveable people are ones that rub us up the wrong way. They are the type of people who go against God’s principles. They might be involved with rioting, starting wars, or treating animals cruelly. They might be individuals that agree with the pro abortion, who are LGBT, or feminists that believe in equal rights. They might be individuals that campaign for the death penalty for murderers or rapists. Or the people that have different political or religious views compared to our own. Everyone is passionate about the things they believe in.

Jesus was the complete expression of God in human form and He revealed God and His love to us.

He is the standard we look too and anything other than what the Bible talks about, means we except a lesser value. When we love one another, the invisible God reveals Himself to others, through us, and that is when love is made complete. That is when chains break and we realise that God’s standards are not the worlds standards.

Since when did we box ourselves in, with picking who we should love or show compassion to?

When did God say that not one of us has sinned so we can throw stones at everyone else? It’s so frustrating humanity is still so judgemental because it shows just how far we still have to go.

The world changes when the expression of God’s love is revealed in its true form and not a sub-standard one that we pick who we show it to. God is waiting for us to fulfil our purpose because He does not want anyone of us to perish. We are all children of God – chosen and loved.

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3:9

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