Do you think that Christianity today is a good representation of what God created it to be?
This morning, I have been mulling over faith, compared to the first century, and yes, there are fundamental differences within the standards of living, or the rulership (for example) but God has never said that Christianity is mediocre.
Why do none-Christian’s feel like they’d have to give up a ”fun-filled” life if they gave their lives to God? Why do people think that Christianity is not for them?
The answer is simple…because we, and those who have gone before us, have created it this way.
Sad, but true.
Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but mediocre Christianity was not part of God’s plan.
Humanity has gone through waves of revival and then a lull since Christ died, and yet, John 10:10 shows that Christ did not come to just give us life, but that we would also have it to the full!
Why do we except our faith to be like a half-eaten plate of food? Or that we have waited so long, that the food is now cold and mouldy. Would we ever except that in life? (Unless you are a parent with small children, then this is a bad analogy)
At some point, we need to WAKE UP and want more. We need to chase after God with everything we have. Pray for that burning passion that we read time and time again through Scripture.
Because life was never supposed to be boring, mediocre, or flat. God created us to do extraordinary things, in an extraordinary world. If we are children of the Most High, then our birth-right is to be anything but ordinary.
We were created to soar!
To be the salt and light.
For people to desire to know more.
For unbelievers to thirst and hunger to know God, because they see life in its fullness, before their very eyes, in us!
Have you accepted mediocre?
If so, ponder with God, as to why, as there is an alternative
It is said that we spend a third of our lives asleep. Add that to the amount of time that we are metaphorically Spiritually asleep, and life passes by before we know it.
I was speaking to Kieren (my husband) yesterday about people fulfilling their God-given purpose. As a parent, we can see the potential in our child, but God created us to soar above and beyond anything we can initially imagine.
There are still so many of us asleep. Afraid or fearful of the unknown – we’d rather sleep. Confused or unsure which path to take – we’d rather stay where we are, and sleep. Or perhaps we are the opposite end of the spectrum, and we are eager to try anything to not look back, yet, our gifts are still dormant that God created us to use, and so without realising, we are still asleep.
I want to encourage us, to seek God. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and He is the One who guides us through all circumstances…Who brings the light into darkness…He is the One who gives us the confidence to pursue our dreams…He is the one who makes the path straight, that we are destined to be on….and, He is the One who walks beside us, championing us every step we take.
Jesus WAKES US UP to pursue God, and for me, I don’t want to sleep another second, more, than I need to.
Today, let’s invite God into our outrageous dreams, our fearless goals, or our unimaginable fears, because one step could awaken us forever!
So let’s ask God, are we sleeping in life?
Nothing catches your eye more than Scripture declaring for us to do more than Jesus…
Let that sink in…
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works because I am going to be with the Father.” John 14:12 (bold italic added)
Jesus had only three years in His ministry, but in that time, He performed so many miracles, that they couldn’t all be written about – the ones we read, are what the Disciples deemed would help us to pursue Christ, encourage us, and build our faith, to do even greater things (John 20:30-31)
We have the same Spirit that Jesus did. I desire to be known as a person that God used mightily for His Kingdom. Where people are healed, miracles are seen, souls are saved, the dead rise, and much MORE…why?
For me, it’s because of John 14:12. I want to do even greater works than Jesus because Scripture tells us too. Imagine if there were people bold enough to go after everything that God gave to Jesus?
We speak of God’s Generals (there are even books we can read) These are the individuals that have chased after God with everything in them, and God used them powerfully
Yet, there are 2.3 billion Christians currently on this earth, and every single one of us has the ability to do better than Jesus. Even greater signs and wonders…imagine it…no sickness, no death, no pain, no fear…we shouldn’t be waiting to go to Heaven. Heaven needs to come to Earth (read the Lords Prayer!)
I laugh out loud at the thought of Heaven coming to earth. Can you imagine Satan? That would be a bad day for him, but I also imagine that this would have God on the edge of His seat, watching, waiting, for each and every one of us, to be bold, fearless, and to step out each and every day.
This is my life’s goal. To encourage and equip others to feel worthy of this. To lift each of us up, and all of us to go after God, for more.
The enemy wants us focused on our past, but God says look to your future, with Him.
Which one are we going to focus on today?
So many of us have given up on our futures. We feel that ”this is it”, but I want to remind us, that this Scripture brings a fire deep within. This Scripture reminds us that our past does not define our future!
I decided long ago that ONLY God would define me in my life, because I had listened to the wrong voices, for far too long.
Today, you need to draw a line in the sand, and then, step over it. Yesterday has gone. It can’t be changed, but my goodness, if you let go of what was, and focus on your relationship with God when you next look back, I guarantee, your life will have changed in ways you can’t even comprehend.
So, I encourage you to make a covenant with God, today. It’s You, Him, and the people He places in your life. Trust Him. Turn to Him…because God’s got this.
We know that this world is not all there is. The best is yet to come, and so, we cannot imagine all that God has in store for us, both in this life and for eternity
Yesterday, I went over briefly about Jesus crying out to the Father because He felt the presence of God leave Him.
What’s interesting is that Psalm 22:1 uses the same words that Jesus spoke on the cross:
”My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
This is because certain Psalms are Messianic. In other words, these Pslams speak of Christ.
It is no accident that Psalm 22 and Psalm 23 are placed next to each other, and today, I would love to show you why.
Psalm 22:1, it shows the depths to which Christ took, in order to save our souls. He took on all of the pain and suffering, to which it meant that God left His presence because of the Holiness of the Father. David writes this Psalm from his desperation of feeling alone.
Then, David rejoices in Psalm 23 about the Good Shepherd, who leads us into Eternal life. This is because Jesus knows the way through the valley of the shadow of death – because He is the way – He made a way when there was none.
He went before us, for us.
Jesus chose to die for each and every one of us – even though it cost Him to be in the presence of the Father, so that we could be restored back to an intimate relationship with God
And this is why Jesus says:
”I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Psalm 22 was David’s cry, as it was for Jesus, but Psalm 23 shows the promise when we walk through that path with Him.
Psalm 22 was the price purchased for you and me, but the promise in Psalm 23, shows the Good Shepherd will restore our souls, as He leads us to still waters
Today, I want to encourage you to read Psalm 23 and if you can, then reread Psalm 22 and Psalm 23 together. It will show you that although we may feel pain from Psalm 22 into the night, the glory of Psalm 23 will come in through, in the morning
”For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalms 30:5
There is one verse in the Bible that always breaks me, but in a way that I can’t think about it for too long, before I have tears streaming down my throat
I’m sure there will be many different verses for different people, but for me…
”Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Mark 15:34
…speaks to the deepest part of my soul
This is the only time in History when Jesus truly felt forsakenness from God because it was at the time when He felt the true depths of humanity’s sin…
Everything that Jesus had gone through before this moment, and even when He was in the wilderness for 40 days (and then He was tempted by the devil), nothing had compared to this…
This was the moment when Jesus felt the absence of God; and so, He cried out to the Father…probably scared, even confused, or maybe panicked, but He questioned God, before realising that His whole purpose had been fulfilled, and in the book of Matthew (chapter 27:50) it says that Jesus released His spirit. He let go. He died.
There are some of us reading this today that feel abandoned by God. You can’t feel Him. You feel alone. Nowhere to turn, or hide.
David in Psalm 22 felt the same way. He uttered the same words in the first verse of this Psalm, because He felt alone, and yet, David described the way that God would lead him out of despair, and He looked forward to the future when God would rule the earth once more
I encourage you today to read Psalm 22, which is beautifully powerful in the journey it takes, and then tomorrow, I hope to see you here again, because I want to show you just how amazing God truly is when we feel alone
It is available to each and every one of us, and yet, there are a few Christian’s that have yet to accept this gift from God
Worldly peace is simply deemed as an absence of conflict, but the peace that Christ gives, is so much more because Christian’s have peace in ALL circumstances – whether we look at back the past, or into our future – there should be nothing to worry about
God’s goodness is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but the world tells us that there must be more to receiving God’s peace? Surely we need to strive to attain this Gift, or at least, fear that we might lose it?
But, it’s given freely through the Holy Spirit, and therefore, if you are struggling with fear, doubt, or just the unknown, I want to encourage you this morning, to let go of what you think you know, and turn to the One who does, because life becomes so much more, when the Peace of God is in our hearts