Posts Tagged ‘bible’

WAITING AND CREATING …diary of pregnant dad-3

It’s a bit of a wait to be honest.  I mean I’ve been married to a pregnant woman now for seven and a half months, that’s long time to be a pregnant woman’s husband. 
Never mind me it’s been a long time for Debbie to carry this bump and to be married to a hyper-active pregnant dad.
Why the big wait?
I’ve been reading Genesis 1 over and over again, trying to pick up it’s rhythms and hip-pop style lyrics.  It’s a bouncing passage this creation text, with it’s repetitive yet action packed schedule. 
Right, here’s the thing, God could have created the whole cosmos in a flash. He didn’t. He took a whole week.  The workings of this week are not rushed everything has it’s own place and time, God has a chance to see the morning and evening everyday and enjoy a full Sabbath.  And neither are the workings of this week lazy, each day has a good amount of action and reflection. 
Safe to say, Genesis 1 does not procrastinate nor is it in a rush. 
Now if God can make a whole cosmos in 7 days with time to marvel and what He has done, what could He not create in 9 months!
Gods not rushing the creating of my child but neither is He being lazy, He is knitting my child together with passions, making arms, legs, beauty, senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, abilities to love, show mercy and have compassion, knitting all this and more into my child.  But most of all, and this is what excites and scares me most about this whole thing. God is creating a home for Himself inside my child’s heart. A home with a door, a door only my child can open to let God in to make His home there.  My child will be God’s image bearer, for sure, but it will be his/her choice to become in-dwelt by God Himself.  And I pray with my whole being, and will do, think and say everything and anything within my wisdom and power so that they understand that they have been created to be a ‘home for God’ to be in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit because it’s only then they will become who they really are, and it’s only then I will be fully blessed knowing that I will be with my child forever in God’s sustaining eternal life.
I wonder what s/he will look like, will Debbie’s mangled toes get a tribute in God’s creating, will my love for music, will my asthma, what about Debbie’s love for family? I can’t wait to see what God will create for us, but I can wait, because He still has creating to do; hey, sure He’s still creating me.
Standing on Grace

time on hands

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Reblog from Gregg Stewart

great post by gregg!
it’s not our mission it’s Christ’s, but wait a minute… …didn’t i die and now Christ live in me? it’s mine now! and not because i’m special but because the one I handed my life over to is special!

the year of the Lord’s favour, it’s now and will be until the return of our King.
I with Gregg call believers in Ireland to: Eat the Bible, Live like Christ, daily ask for filling of the Holy Spirit and intentionally and collectively seek God and His Kingdom come!
And Christ will be with you always!

greggstewart

I am just back home from being away in Romania for two weeks on a missions team. While I was out there my friend found a few verses that he felt were speaking to him very strongly. Since I have been back home I have also had these verses on my heart, so I want to explore them and see what God wants to teach us from them. The verses are from Luke 4:18-19.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

The context of these verses is that Jesus is in the synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath and he quotes the above verses which are found…

View original post 659 more words

Belief vs Behaviour (thoughts on Titus)

What if my belief was my behavior.
What if my deeds were my doctrine.

Congregates can forgive a pastor if he is unattractive, if he is unacademic, if he is uncultured, if he is unfocused, even if he is unsympathetic. But one thing they cannot seem to forgive, is if he is untrustworthy, if his words don’t match his life, if he doesn’t walk the talk. Hypocrites soon get noticed in the Christian world.

Yet aren’t we all called to be God’s witness in this world, not just those in the so called ‘full-time’ ministry.
This is a thought that struck me as I was looking through Titus this week.
Listen to what Paul tells Titus when talking about such people.

“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.  They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”

You see more important than the passing out of tracts is the passing out of your life, the viewing of your days.
I believe this is part of what is meant by the phrase ‘living in the light.’ Having your life on show, don’t hide it in the darkness, let it shine.
A city on a hill, a lamp on a stand; so let your life shine to others.  

Jesus is calling us to a life where we are not embarrassed or shameful about any-part of our life. 
Why? 
Because the mistakes we’ve made brings glory to Christ, in His death and forgiving sacrifice.
And the good we do glorifies Christ, in His resurrection and indwelling power. 

To do Jesus’ will Jesus’ way is to live a transparent life. 
Keep the curtains open, don’t delete your browsing history, tell people how your week has been, tell people how passionate you are about something, actually be honest, talk to your family the same way in public as in private, if God shows you something in His word tell your work mate not just your church mate, if your frustrated with God tell them too.  People need to see that we’re in a real relationship with a real God, that includes all the joys and frustrations, hopes and concerns, but one that’s the best and leading to heaven.
We really need to live transparently with people.
Then they’ll be able to taste and see that the Lord is good.  That our God gives real life and hope, real faith and love.   
We should tell people, ‘live with me for a while and you’ll see what I believe.’  This should be our outreach program. 
It’s not about the new way of telling the gospel using only 3 elastic bands and paper clip, it’s life on life, it’s relationship, a transparent one.  

If we live in that light, how much more important is it to do good, as Paul goes on to say in Titus 2…

“so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.”

God’s made it clear in Titus (as well as other books) that we must not and cannot, for Christ sake, preach and not live, the two go hand and hand, it’s the two wings of the plane.

I think this could be the main verse of Titus.

“This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.” 3:8

Behavior verifies Belief
Deeds confirm Doctrine

Hope this helps
Standing on Grace

 

Jesus: From Genesis to Revelation

Jesus: From Genesis to Revelation | Bible Study Planet – StumbleUpon.

just re-bloging this, thought it was super.
Standing on Grace

In the Old Testament:

– In Genesis, He is the Creator God.

– In Exodus, He is the Redeemer.

– In Leviticus, He is your sanctification.

– In Numbers, He is your guide.

– In Deuteronomy, He is your teacher.

– In Joshua, He is the mighty conqueror.

– In Judges, He gives victory over enemies.

– In Ruth, He is your kinsman, your lover, your redeemer.

– In I Samuel, He is the root of Jesse.

– In 2 Samuel, He is the Son of David.

– In 1 Kings and 2 Kings, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

– In 1st and 2nd Chronicles, He is your intercessor and High Priest.

– In Ezra, He is your temple, your house of worship.

– In Nehemiah, He is your mighty wall, protecting you from your enemies.

– In Esther, He stands in the gap to deliver you from your enemies.

– In Job, He is the arbitrator who not only understands your struggles, but has the power to do something about them.

– In Psalms, He is your song–and your reason to sing.

– In Proverbs, He is your wisdom, helping you make sense of life and live it successfully.

– In Ecclesiastes, He is your purpose, delivering you from vanity..

– In the Song of Solomon, He is your lover, your Rose of Sharon.

– In Isaiah, He is the mighty counselor, the prince of peace, the everlasting father, and more. He’s everything you need.

– In Jeremiah, He is your balm of Gilead, the soothing salve for your sin-sick soul.

– In Lamentations, He is the ever-faithful one upon whom you can depend.

– In Ezekiel, He is your wheel in the middle of a wheel–the one who assures that dry, dead bones will come alive again.

– In Daniel, He is the ancient of days, the ever- lasting God who never runs out of time.

– In Hosea, He is your faithful lover, always beckoning you to come back–even when you have abandoned Him.

– In Joel, He is your refuge, keeping you safe in times of trouble.

– In Amos, He is the husbandman, the one you can depend on to stay by your side.

– In Obadiah, He is Lord of the Kingdom.

– In Jonah, He is your salvation, bringing you back within His will.

– In Micah, He is judge of the nation.

– In Nahum, He is the jealous God.

– In Habakkuk, He is the Holy One.

– In Zephaniah, He is the witness.

– In Haggai, He overthrows the enemies.

– In Zechariah, He is Lord of Hosts.

– In Malachi, He is the messenger of the covenant.

In the New Testament:

– In Matthew, He is king of the Jews.

– In Mark, He is the servant.

– In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.

– In John, He is the Son of God.

– In Acts, He is Savior of the world.

– In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.

– In I Corinthians, He is the rock that followed Israel.

– In II Corinthians, He the triumphant one, giving victory.

– In Galatians, He is your liberty; He sets you free.

– In Ephesians, He is head of the Church.

– In Philippians, He is your joy.

– In Colossians, He is your completeness.

– In I Thessalonians, He is your hope.

– In II Thessalonians, He is your glory.

– In I Timothy, He is your faith.

– In II Timothy, He is your stability.

– In Titus He is your reason for serving.

– In Philemon, He is your benefactor.

– In Hebrews, He is your perfection.

– In James, He is the power behind your faith.

– In I Peter, He is your example.

– In II Peter, He is your purity.

– In I John, He is your life.

– In II John, He is your pattern.

– In III John, He is your motivation.

– In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.

– In Revelation, He is your coming King.

Believing in the taste!

So I feel like one of the callings that God has placed on my life is discipleship in the NW Ireland.  So for the past number of years I’ve been thinking on how I can be more intentional in being this calling into movement, action, my diary, my life.  But for the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about the missional/reaching aspect of the churches mission, (see blog below as to why). 
The God who we serve longs to draw everyone to Himself, He wants to bring himself glory by permeating lives till they radiate His son’s likeness, un-till He calls them home to see and live in His glory (there a bit more to it I’m sure).  But on our level we want to bring glory to God by bringing others into His story; by through repentance bringing people stories into God’s story of redemption.  

The best words/phrases for this that I can come up with is belief, become, have Christ live in you, become a Christian, have faith, know the truth, call on the name of the Lord for forgiveness. 
The best I think is ‘believe’, a belief that’s active. 
When someone believes in the work, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God brings them into His story of redemption.
Work; that Jesus (as the son of God) had a job to do because of our sin.
Life; that the fullness of God and the fullness to be found in living can all be see in the recored life of Jesus. 
Death; that because Jesus never sinned, He could be the perfect lamb and the ultimate high priest, the only one able to creating a way in-which we could be rescued from God’s wrath.
Resurrection; that we can now live as forgiven people, when God looks at us, He sees His son who He delights to bless and that we have the Holy Spirit of Christ living in us, He’s alive in Heaven and in us through his spirit.

So this believing, becoming, beginning to have faith, beginning to have Christ live in, knowing the truth, being forgiven… Etc. None of that is an act of man, they’re all miracles, each conversion is an incredibly loving miracle from the God of great plans!
So as a church how do we try to increase God’s work, God’s miracles, the opening of eyes.  Because we are called to!! But we’re completely dependent of God to do the miracles.  Oh and I think I’ll just throw free-will into the mix here now, God has trusted man with free will, God breathed into adam, then He started a conversation with him, let him name the animals whatever he wanted, and gave him the option of obedience of refusal.
So we are called by our king Jesus, to preach the good news, to make disciples, yet we are to rely on God to do the miracle of conversion and relay on people to make the free choice, and it is a free choice. 
You will never argue someone into the kingdom! 
If we try and force belief like a salesman trys to force our money out of our pocket for the promised reward that his product will bring, we will end up striping, downgrading people to a level where they have no choice, we cannot take away the dignity which God gave all women and men, to make their own mind up to follow or reject.  So belief cannot be forced, it will either strip people of dignity or it will be un-genuine.  
However the Gospel must be heard everywhere, if there was a cure for cancer you would let everyone know but it’s up to the person to go to the GP and be seen.  

A very helpful phrase which I think Jesus modeled, is ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Ps 34).  How profound a statement.  I’m starting to believe once people ‘taste’ genuine fellowship they’ll see how Christ is at the centre, ‘taste’ the truth of the Bible they’ll realise it can be depended on and that it’s a living book, ‘see’ the change in believers lives they realise theirs can be changed, ‘see’ the love and justice of God explained they’ll realise their need of Jesus.  

In our reaching/mission/friendships may we invite people to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Amen?

Standing on Grace

Hudson Taylor’s notebook (Job – Part 3)

I genuinely feel sorry for Job, though I’m unsure if I should. The same God that loves us loved Job, and He who’s to say He wont show His love in the same way!  What great lessons there are to learn, in many ways I’m so glad God has given us the story of Job is in the Bible. It just reveals and teaches us so much like! Anyway here’s the final in the thoughts from Hudson Taylors notebook on the book of Job, if you haven’t read the other 2 I suggest reading them first (below) then this. Coolio!

Lessons Which Prosperity Could Not Teach.

“During the time of affliction Job learned lessons which all his life of prosperity could not teach him. The mistakes he made in the hastiness of his spirit were corrected; the knowledge of God was deepened and increased. He exclaims that he had heard of him previously, and knew God by hearsay only, but that now his eyes saw him, and his acquaintance with God had become personal knowledge.  And after all this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his grandchildren to the 4th generation.
If we are to say that Job’s prosperity was blessed prosperity then his adversity, likewise was blessed adversity? ‘Weeping may we remain for the night, but joy comes in the morning’ (2Tim2:13), and the night of weeping will bear a fruit more rich and permanent than any day of rejoicing.  

Light out of darkness is God’s order.

In this day, when material causes are so much dwelt upon that there is a danger in forgetting the unseen agencies, let us not underestimate our unseen foes.  It would be comparatively easy to deal with our visible enemies, if the invisible foes were not behind them.  We need to put on the whole armour of God, and not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. But let us not lose sight of the precious truth that God alone is Almighty. If God is for us who can be against us?”

Hope you’ve learned from Hudson’s insights as I know I did.
Standing on Grace

Hudson Taylor’s notebook (Job – Part 2)

Continuing our thoughts on Job, Hudson, a man who suffered similarly to the apostle Paul for the sake of Christ and the gospel in China reflects further on the book of Job.  If you haven’t read the blog below I suggest you to before this but it should make sense on it’s own anyway!  Though this is a harder pill to swallow.

Was Job Mistaken?

“God who sent the trial gave also the needed grace, and Job replied to his wife’s sneer ‘the Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ (1:21)
Was not Job mistaken? Should he not have said ‘the Lord gave and Satan has taken away?’ NO, there was no mistake.  He was enabled to discern the hand of God in all calamities.  Satan himself did not presume to ask God to allow himself to afflict Job.  He says to God ‘Stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and surly he will curse you to your face.’ and again ‘Stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and surly he will curse you to your face.’

Satan knew that none but God could touch Job, and Job was quite right in recognising the Lord himself as the doer.  Often we shall be helped and blessed if we understand that Satan is servant, and not master, and that he, and wicked men incited by him, are only permitted to do that which God by his foreknowledge has determined should be done.

Come joy or come sorrow, we may take it from the hand of God.

Job’s family and friend failed and seem to have forgotten him.  Those who dwelt in his house counted him as a stranger, and his servants gave no answers to his calls.  Worse than that, his own wife turned from him. No wonder that those who looked on thought that God Himself had become his enemy.
Yet it was not so.  With a tender Father’s love, God was watching all the time; and when the testing had lasted long enough the temporary trial gave way to songs of deliverance.”

Standing on Grace

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