The World

Watchman Nee says that the three definitions of the world are 1) the material earth or universe, 2) the people on the earth, 3) the things of the earth.
Each of these three contribute to the whole picture of the earth, some are tangible some are intangible. They need each other to function.
Scripture gives us some understanding of the world around us, and explains why it functions as it does and how the intangible effects the tangible.
Jesus tells us “My Kingdom is not of this earth”. Adam opened the door for sin to enter, making our world hostile to God. Creation tries and in a way, can’t, know God, and the human race pulls against God. Even though Adam allowed sin in, Jesus overcame sin. He was of this world and not of this world, he was human and God. He was born of the world, but was fully God, so overcame and allowed creation to be drawn back to God. At the Lords return there will be a Kingdom. This world will become part of that Kingdom. It will know no sin then, it will return to the beginning when first made.
We are in the world, but not of it. We belong to God as soon as we give ourselves to Him. We grow more and more like Jesus. We live in a fallen world, a world if sin and death. We need to make sure that how we live in this fallen society, we radiate the love and power of God. We are a witness. No one is too small to make a difference or work for the Lord.

Centrality of the Coss

Keeping what is sure and certain through our times of worship is essential. The Word is at the core of how we worship, but also the Cross of Christ.

Matthew 12 v 34. Out of the overflow of our hearts our mouths speak.

The more we take on the Word, the more it will flow not just out in our worship, but in our daily speaking. It affects the way we talk to our kids, fellow workers, our church family and strangers we meet on the bus. If we are taking in the Word and keeping the Cross central, what comes out of us will be based in the Word and the Cross. We will be bringing more and more of Christ into our daily lives.

Worship can lead us to keep the truths of God and His Word close to our hearts. Our minds will never be far away from praise if it full of His Word.

Who I am

I know a lot of my failings, and there are many more that others can see in me or that God can see that I don’t recognise yet. They will be shown to me at the right time, or at Gods timing for my life. It amazes me that He uses me with all my failings, warts, sins and all. God loves me and uses me for His kingdom as I am right now, and not who I will be 10 years from now, because who I will be then will be a different person. I know I am on a journey, but if I stop learning and growing in God, then I won’t be any different, but will stand still. To be different, I have to grow, learn and change my attitudes and heart to be more like God, then I will change into a more Christ-like child of God.
When I look in the Old Testament at some of the old “heroes” of the faith like Samson, Solomon and perhaps David, they were never super spiritual. God used them as they were for His kingdom and His purposes. They didn’t change for God to use them, they didn’t change who they were in God. We have consequences of living a sinful life, but God made us because He loves us.
We need to pray and ask God what He wants us to do for Him; who He wants us to speak to; how He wants us to live for Him; how we follow Him.

God is Sovereign over all

God gives us a calling on our lives, and what we do for Him is a calling. No one can hold God back, He is sovereign. He is love and His grace is new every morning.
What better reasons do we need to praise and worship our Lord and Heavenly Father?
We fail every day. Our lives get in the way, our pride, our minds. He never fails, never lets us down. How much of what we do is an offence to God? Maybe we need to sit and think about how we do things or how we speak to ourselves or others. Our flesh is strong, and we seem to battle all the time. Gods sovereignty is being watered down within our churches and how we view Him. He is God, He is our Maker.
Nothing can surprise God or shock Him. He knows all and knew us before we were born. He knows what we go through and weeps with us. He feels what we feel. He is there, and never goes away.
Praise is what I can bring. I can worship because I have nothing else to bring sometimes. I can praise when I am in a place where I am low, happy, content or in despair. Praise lifts us out of the mire.
Faith is believing when we dont see God, or dont know what to do. Keep your faith in Him who created dust into His child. He created you because He loves you.

Which Heart?

There are so many ways of describing our hearts and attitudes towards God. Looking into it, I have seen four types of heart that I have seen or experienced.

A calloused heart, one that is hardened to God and His Word.

A shallow heart that has no roots and no depth spiritually and possibly in life.

A distracted heart that is pulled many ways or is torn about what to do.

An open heart that is receptive and responsive to God and His Word and Spirit.

We need to keep a daily intimacy with God, and base ourselves in His Word. If we live more in prayer and the Word, we have a better grounding when the trials and troubles come our way. We will be able to put on our spiritual armour and battle knowing from the Word that God is always there. We can fight with the Word and use our sword to cut through doubts and distractions.

God changes us if we let Him. He gives us a hunger for the Word and lets us live in a new way so we put ourselves under the ownership of our Father. We begin to see new habits forming that make us more like Jesus every day.

The Word of God is our direction. Use it. Change my heart Lord to an open heart for you and what you have to say to me.

Praise at all times

Psalm 150 is a psalm full of praise to the Lord. David was probably looking at this as something personal. It was a normal way of living to praise his God in all circumstances.
We are not asked here to praise God, but it is a commandment to praise. We are told to praise God in whatever we are doing and wherever we are. It is kind of expected for us to be doing this anyway, as it was for David and his son Solomon early in his rule of Israel.
David didnt care if his praise was loud or full of instruments or even if it was just him on his own singing and worshipping his Lord. As long as he was praising he was happy. As long as he had breath he worshipped. He wanted to praise his friend and Lord, so why dont we? Do we want to worship our Maker, our friend, our God? if not, then why not?

When we let Him arise

As a worshipper, I love to praise my Lord. I love the closeness to Him, and how after I stop singing or praying, I can still feel Him close to me. Its like being in a cloud of light, soft and still. It can carry me through many a bad night when even though there is no sleep, there has been a night of being with my Lord and Friend.

God lives in our praise and worship. He inhabits it. He desires to hear our praise and the worship of His children. He waits for it, and is there with us during our day, still and sure.

Worship is our relationship and intimacy with God. He created Adam and even before Eve was created from her husband, there was a close and intimate relationship between Adam and God. Our Lord was looking for the worship that could restore what was lost when Lucifer was banished. We restore what was broken there, and Christ restores us back to His Holy presence. We can be with Him forever because of Jesus sacrifice for us.

God has a purpose for us all as well as our worship. He has a plan for us. We don’t see the plan if we sit around waiting for it to come to us. We have to make the decision to push the doors to see through prayer, if they are the way we are to go. Just because we maybe can’t see the plan yet, doesnt mean it isn’t there. It is like a seed that is in the ground. Just because we cant see it until just before it gets harvested, does not meant it is not there. We need to position ourselves in Him to see the plan. Prayer, worship and praise bring us in the right place with Him and all He has for us. He wants to bless His children, all of them.

Let God arise in your life. Let Him do His awesome work, and purposes that we cannot even imagine.

My Guide

When we look to Jesus and keep our eyes fixed on Him, we never lose our way or our bearings. He is our guiding light and guiding star in all the darkness of the world and our lives. He shines bright in the murkiness, showing us the right way to go. The safe and straight small lane to eternity with Him.

As we look back over our lives and especially over this last year, we can see how His hand has been on us, our lives and our actions. We can see where the decision we have made has led on to amazing things. The right person to talk to at the correct time. The phone call that has encouraged at the exact time and place we needed. We can see how He has shaped events or our reactions to those events. It gives us an idea of how to live in the future. Looking back and seeing His hand guiding us can help us to nurture thankful hearts.

We need to discipline ourselves to be thankful. Its not an easy in a world that is based on Self and self motivation way of life. Learn to “count your blessings”. At the beginning we may seem childlike or unsure of how to start to be thankful. Start small, and practice. God will honour any attempt even for the small things. Its not something most of us are taught to do. Keep being thankful as much as you can. Nurture it and help yourself grow into new depths with our Lord.

Psalm 100

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!

Worship the Lord with gladness.

Come before Him, singing with joy.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!

He made us, and we are His.

We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving;

go into His courts with praise.

Give thanks to Him and praise His name.

For the Lord is good.

His unfailing love continues forever,

and His faithfulness continues to each generation.

Victorious

Jesus is Always victorious. He won the battle on the Cross. No matter where we are or who we are, the battle has been won. He walks with us in victory, but how many of us do not live victorious lives? How many of us are battle worn, down or low. We can live a life showing the victory of Christ by walking ever closer to Him. Life throws all it can at us and Satan will use everything in his power to keep us from not living in Christ.

Letting go of the past is one good way of a life full of victory. Every one of us has stuff that lingers from things that have happened. If we allow it to, it will affect us for the rest of our life, and personally I don’t want to let old hurts ruin a future that is God given through His own sacrifice for me. Forgiveness is not as easy as it seems. It is something we are called to do though, and even if it is hard, we are to forgive and love in place of hurt or anger.

Jesus cant fill dirty cups. Our hearts and soul are like cups we hold out to Jesus to fill with His Spirit with blessings and love. If our hearts are filled with dirt and sin, He can’t fill them with His blessings. Our cups need to be washed with love, forgiveness and repentance. Jesus is standing next to us waiting to fill us. Our cups, our hearts get cleaned at the Cross, and cleaned with the most precious treasure we have. His blood.

Dont let things get in the way of who we are in Christ. We are His family. His children. His bride.

Live the victorious life we already have.

Advent and waiting

As we begin Advent, we begin waiting for Christmas and all the festivities to begin. We wait, a bit like creation, but creation is waiting for its liberation. God has delayed His return, which makes all creation wait. It waits for its purpose. Restoration. We all wait for our full liberation to our Lord God who loves us. He created us and the earth for Himself for our relationship and fellowship with Him.We and creation worship Him, and if we fail to worship, even the very stones praise Him in our place!!

Our hearts long for our Father and our soul cry out to Him. That longing and desperation can only be filled by allowing His love in and letting it flow through the whole of us – soul, mind and body.

Our Father Creator brings life. He is Life. We are alive in Him. Death is gone and holds no fear for us.

Our greatest need is for God.

We wait for Him and in Him.

We wait for the time we will be with Him and the longing this brings. Maybe this is the time to reflect on what we are really waiting for. We pray and I pray that we have the patience to wait for Gods perfect plan for us to be revealed as we begin this Advent season, and hold in our minds the lost, broken and desperate.

Bring them home to you Dear Father.

Open yourself to Him and please Lord give us the hope we need to keep waiting.

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