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some of us are naturally wired to connect and talk with strangers and friends about what God is doing in our lives.  but others of us are not so comfortable stepping out and sharing.  regardless of who we are and how we work and are wired we are called to be witnesses and to share the gospel, with our lives and actions and with words.  the awesome thing is that it is GOD THAT SAVES and the HOLY SPIRIT THAT DRAWS AND REVEALS but we are the SEED PLANTERS.  we are called to share and witness and be ambassadors for Christ.  and God has lots and lots and LOTS of promises that can give us confidence that as we step out His power ENCOMPASES US and STEPS OUT with us to ACCOMPLISH great things.  when you step out His power is available and He empowers us.  when we step out He can give us the right words to say.  These promises are for stepping out.  they come into effect when we step out.  you get my point. 

so be confident.  be secure.  be encouraged.  be inspired. 

God’s is ready and willing to empower you to tell the Good News of His love and grace.

 

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50 things God promises you as you step out in evangelism today (a very partial list):

  1. He will go with you, sustain you, and strengthen you. (Psalm 89:21, 22)
  2. You are His beloved, He believes in you. (Rom. 1:7)
  3. He will be your confidence. (Prov. 3:21, 26)
  4. He has set you apart from the world. (Psalm 4:3) 
  5. He will deliver you—no matter what. (Psalm 18:19)
  6. He will increase you mightily. (Deut. 6:3)
  7. He will hear you if you ask for help today. (Prov. 3:21)
  8. Even if chaos abounds, you will experience perfect peace. (Isaiah 26:3)
  9. The waters may rise; but they won’t overtake you. (Isaiah 43:2)
  10. You do not labor in vain. (Isaiah 65:23)
  11. He will reward you. (Psalm 18:20)
  12. If you are called to wait on Him, you’re gonna be okay there. (Isaiah 30:18)
  13. He will fill you when you need it—just like He always has. (Psalm 81:10)
  14. Your barn is going to bust open with blessing. (Prov. 3:9-10)
  15. You can’t imagine the mercy ahead. (Psalm 18:25)
  16. You will have the things you need. (Psalm 34:9)
  17. God will restore your soul. (Psalm 23:3)
  18. You will keep going and not grow weary. (Isaiah 40:13)
  19. Your words will extinguish anger. (Prov. 15:1)
  20. You will find happiness as you share. (Prov. 14:21)
  21. Your reward beyond today is heaven—wow! (Psalm 23:6)
  22. If you mess up, He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7)
  23. If you are wise, you will win souls. (Prov. 11:30)
  24. You’ve got blessings waiting around the corner. (Psalm 24:4-5)
  25. He’ll guide you through the rough spots and help you do the right thing. (Psalm 25:9)
  26. Your soul will be at ease amid the storm. (Psalm 25:12-13)
  27. You’re stronger than you think—because He will strengthen your heart. (Psalm 27:14)
  28. Angels are encamped around you. (Psalm 34:7)
  29. The troubles of this day can’t stand up to His power. (Psalm 34:17)
  30. You will experience supernatural peace. (Psalm 37:11)
  31. He will be the order that covers your disorder. (Psalms 37:23-24)
  32. He will deliver you from wicked, conspiring people around you. (Psalm 37:40)
  33. His Spirit will teach you and fill your gaps. (John 14:26)
  34. He will bless those who declare His name. (Psalm 89:15)
  35. He will hold all the pieces of your life together. (Psalm 46:1)
  36. He will keep you safe under His mighty wings. (Psalm 91:1)
  37. Nothing needs to offend you today. His Spirit in you is bigger than all of that. (Psalm 119:165)
  38. Carry on through sadness. He will replace your tears with joy. (Psalm 126:5)
  39. He’s going to tame your doubt and fulfill that dream in your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
  40. He will provide everything—He’s your need-filler. (Psalm 23:1)
  41. Have confidence. He will make His words known to you. (Prov. 1:23)
  42. Surrender your view of things and people—He will give you spiritual eyes. (Psalm 146:8)
  43. If you seek Him, you will find Him. (2 Chronicles 15:2)
  44. With each day, you are growing stronger and stronger. (Job 17:9)
  45. He will pour out His Spirit on you. (Prov. 1:23
  46. God will put a new song in your mouth—and many will put their trust in Him.  (Psalm 40:3)
  47. He’s got wisdom ready for you to use. (Prov. 2:7)
  48. You will lay down tonight and have sweet sleep. (Prov. 3:21)
  49. He loves you to eternity and back. (Psalm 146:8)
  50. His covenant of Love to you will never, ever fail. (Psalm 89:28)

list used with permission from @stickyjesus50 promises God gives you as step into the digital world today

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the possibilities for the Kingdom in the online world are real, they’re here, and they’re now. @stickyjesus

YES!  this is our time!  FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!  this is the challenge every day and every moment! 

our opportunities are now, in our ordinary lives.

today.

not when we make it.

not when we’re called into ministry.

not when we have a title.

but now.

today.

as a Christian.

as an ordinary person.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all- surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 corinthians 4:7

the world is crying out for truth. hope. love. grace. reality. purpose. 

the world is moving and morphing at warp speed and the meaningless, dead-end chatter and enemy-crafted banter is piling up online like rush hour traffic.  Christ is being discarded.  biblical values are being marginalized more and more.  influence is the currency and increasingly, Christians are broke.  if you choose to roam aimlessly and blend into the online world, some pay perish – eternally.  @stickyjesus

if we blend in we dilute the testimony we have.  that we WERE lost, but now are found.  that we know salvation and hope and grace and love.  that God IS real.  and that they can too.

if we keep silent how will they hear?  if we live silent how will they know?

God calls each one of us to live our lives out loud, to shine.  to be the light of the world, just as HE is The Light of The World.  to be a lit lamp shinning brightly in its right place.  to glow in the dark like stars in the darkened sky. 

we are witnesses, ambassadors.

in our real lives. and online.

online isnt our real life.  they’re the same thing really.  funny how we think just because its words in an electrical box that its not our real life.  it is.  and what we say has consequence and meaning and can be used powerfully to be involved in someones story of knowing God.  we can do this – its how we’re made, transformed, wired!  this is God’s glorious plan.  flawed broken people who are undergoing grace and love shinning the reality of God’s love and healing and forgivness.  wow!

sharing God’s truth online goes way beyond microblogging in 140 characters at at ime.  when i tweet, post on fb, or blog, i know the Holy Spirit is working through me.  i believe He can use 140 characters – or no characters – to achieve His purposes, so i just show up and pay attention to His lead.  @thesolidrock @stickyjesus

the testimonies of grace, forgiveness, redemption,  and new life are echoing through cyberspace, if you listen.  @stickyjesus

the goal is to communicate the message of freedom in christ @stickyjesus

the great commission doesnt get turned off when we turn the computer on.  its on all the time. 

and sometimes i think people can be more open online because there is that degree of anonymity.  you dont really know me so i can speak more freely.  i dont have to see your face tomorrow so i can open up about my pain and my loss and my fears and my hopes.  i wont bump into you in the supermarket so i can ask fro help. 

what a gift we have with the internet.  an opportunity.

so this is it, believer: a moment in history in which your life is centre stage for all to consider. @stickyjesus

this is our time to shine.

this is our mission field.

this is our day of harvest.

will we rise up and be intentional about living for jesus 24/7 in all we say and do?

will we be open for the Holy Spirit to lead us and speak through us?

will we partner with God to reach this generation for Christ?

you are no different from the disciples, evangelists and great communicators of the gospel who walked the earth before you.  no different than queen esther, whose knees were shaking before the king, no different than the apostle paul or the fire-hearted evangelist billy graham who both dove headfirst into their cultures with a  message so contrary, that shiny, jaded hearts turned inside out.   @stickyjesus

@stickyjesus is a book to fire your heart up about the mission of God… not just online but in every day life.

we are ordinary people given the opportunity to do extraordinary things through the power and grace of God.  our words can be His words.  words that speak into hearts and breathe hope and life into situations, can draw someone to God.  what a priv.  what an awesome privilege.   but isnt it so right.  one day someone spoke to us about jesus.  one day someone invited us to church.  or said something that lit up in us.  one day someone loved us and cared about us and shared the gospel to us.  we were lost.  but now we are found.  we were sinners but now we are saved by the grace of God.  i love God’s glorious plan, that those who EXPERIENCE His love get to share the message of it.  what an audacious and bold plan!  lets live it out!

this is my time!

 

 

join the group read here: http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/06/06/stickyjesus-15-you-a-witness/

this post by @stickyjesus totally resonated within me.  i LOVE the Word of God and what it can accomplish and of course, that it reveals WHO God is.  so i had to pinch these parts from their most recent post You Cant Out Tweet God – go read the whole post, its awesome and encouraging and inspiring!

 

bible-reading

We can speak of life. But God’s Word creates life.

We can speak of love. But God’s Word accomplishes Love.

We can speak of hope. But God’s Word produces hope.

We can speak of justice. But God’s Word achieves justice.

We can speak of heaven. But God’s Word opens heaven.

 

God’s Word:

Nourishes the hungry. Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matt 4:4

Wins every time. For no word from God will ever fail. Luke 1:37

 

blogging

because you believe, you speak @stickyjesus

that so sums me up.  because i believe, i speak.  because i believe, i blog.

i blog, because i have something to say.

i’m a talker.  and a writer.  i love to use words.  i love to communicate.  i believe it is in my DNA to talk and speak and communicate the gospel.

when i was little and in primary school i dreamed of becoming a writer. 

significant moments and memories involve writing.

publishing books in class.

special stickers on my writing.  i love gold stars! 

locking myself away in my bedroom with the typewriter creating a new fairy tale.

as i got older i wrote for the school page in our towns newspaper and (geek i am!) loved writing essays for classes.

and then i wrote lessons for housegroups i led.

then about 6 or 7 years ago i heard about blogging.

its writing.

with people to read it.

because if you’re like me, you write, but you want people to read.

what a gift!  i love blogging! 

blogging is the ordinary person having an opportunity to share their story, to teach and preach, to given opinion and insight.  and ordinary people anywhere in the world can do this.  me, a sahm in auckland, new zealand – the ends of the earth – can be read by someone in Hawaii, Helsinki, Haifa, Halifax, Hamburg or Hollywood. 

writing is a voice.

blogs generally echo the personality of the author, church or company @stickyjesus

i use my voice to declare the good news of what God is doing and has done in my life.

i use my voice to share His goodness and faithfulness.

i use my voice to point to a way of living and doing.

i use my voice to encourage.

well that’s my plan and purpose.

blogging is simply a new way of telling stories.  in the same way that we seek out new modes of worshipping, preaching and reaching out, we must find new methods of sharing stories.  brian bailey, the blogging church @stickyjesus

my mission statement is to KNOW GOD and MAKE HIM KNOWN

it is my mission statement for every part of my life

my writing, my blogging is an expression of making God known.

its an extension of my speaking voice and the way i live my life out for jesus.

the name of my blog comes from this quote here:  I have but one passion—it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field & henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ. … Count Zinzendorf

i blog because i love jesus and i want you to know His great love for you too.

my prayer is that people that stumble across my blog will hear His voice resonating through my words.

that they will see how God’s work in my life is real – and that He wants to work in their life too.  theres something about that “if it works for HER, then it may work for me” premise!

 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all- surpassing power is from God and not from us. 

We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.

However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.

2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV, MSG, AMP

i’m always amazed that people come to my blog and read.

and that they comment!

and i’m humbled when what i’ve said is something that blesses them and encourages them and challenges them.  yesterday i reposted something i had posted a year or so ago.  it came up on my radar and i just had a nudge to repost it again – Never Never NEVER Give Up.  and people commented that it was just what they need to read at just the right time.  wow.  what a gift that is for me too.  that God would use my words and my blog to communicate His great love to those who need to hear HIs voice and feel His presence.  blogging isnt just about what I have to say but about what HE has to say.  through me.

blogging creates communities and connections.  i have friends who i have met through blogging – i read their blog or they read my blog and then all of a sudden conversation begins and continues.  i’ve seen blogging do amazing things – one blog i read connects mothers of trauma kids and is a lifeline of hope, encouragement, strategy, humour and love.  they even meet up in real life.  awesome.

i confess dont follow many of the blogging rules.  i have some long posts. i post my preaching notes here.  i use my blog to file quotes and songs i love.  i sometimes abandon punctuation (which one of my friends who reads my blog said was the weirdest things!)  i care about people but i am not driven by numbers or popularity.   if people find me, they find me.

but i pray that everything written will glorify God and make Him known.

let me take this time to say that i so appreciate every comment and everyone that subscribes – i love conversation so please do comment or say hi!  i’d love to know how you “found” my blog and what you like (or dont like)  your encouragement is a great gift to me!  

we all have a voice.

we all have a story.

we all have things God shows us and teaches us.

we all have encouragement to give.

we all a testimony of transformation and challenge and surrender and sacrifice and success.

your voice is your voice.

use it.

make a difference.

 

 

join the group read and conversation here: http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/06/01/stickyjesus-13-demystifying-blogging/

 

 

ps some of my fav blogs that i love to read are:

steven furtick

Perry Noble

A Beautiful Mess

A Ragamuffin SoulCarlos Whittaker

Stuff Christians LikeJon Acuff

Church Leaders – Small Groups

The Resurgence

 

and of course @stickyjesus

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when i first started on facebook about 3 years ago it was fun.  just a fun thing to try.  i had resisted the “pressure” to join, thinking it was a more of a juvenile time waster than anything.  but wow.  i quickly discovered it was a great way to reconnect with old friends, keep connecting with friends now, a fantastic way to connect in ministry with our housegroup and share awesome resources as well as information (housegroup details of what was happening that week), and to make new friends on the way.  i love facebook.  some may call me an addict.  i love to connect and communicate.  facebook for me builds bridges.  it uses words.  it can be a platform to shine and encourage other people.  to say “i care” with each “like”. 

this year my perspective on facebook changed.

on 22.02.11 christchurch – the 2nd largest city in New Zealand, where i live – suffered a major earthquake.  facebook was the first to tell me.  i follow both our news channels and they put up BREAKING NEWS reports.  it was also my main source of information about friends.  i have between 30-50 friends that live in christchurch and some family members, cousins.   i dont know how people survived BEFORE facebook in events like this – with each status update from a friend to say “IM SAFE” i rejoiced and embraced the peace that comes with that knowledge that someone is okay.  soon i had most people ticked off my list.    unfortunately other friends have not been so lucky, and my heart hurts with them.  facebook is a place i can communicate with them to say “IM PRAYING and I CARE” whereas pre facebook such messages of support would have been difficult or slower.  to send a letter takes time.  to ring was impossible because on the first few days there were issues with phones, with lines down and over usage.  we were asked to use our phones – nationally – only for emergencies.  if you look at my facebook page today it is filled with shared information about the earthquake.  a way to connect and process and communicate what is going on.  i have a friend, a New Zealander, who lives in america with her husband and children.  they have family in Christchurch and he also worked in the CTV building where so many have been lost.  they were finding getting information hard and at that stage livefeed from our tv stations was not working.  facebook was the way for her to find out good and sad news.  it was a way for me to reach out to her and hug her hard, even online! 

i have had many conversations about prayer and God because of the earthquake.  the young man whose workmate i prayed for (and is on page 124 of @stickyjesus) mentioned on a status update i had written that HE was praying too, and that that was a change in his life because of “me” (because of God really!)  another friend i have – a facebook friend – who recognized that i was a praying person, and asked for me to pray.

facebook has brought people together. 

facebook has brought people together to pray.  and practically help.  and connect.  and care.

i have also been totally humbled at the messages that have been left on my wall of support for me and my country.  people overseas who are praying.  that does bring such comfort.

more personally, i also saw the power of facebook in action.  my 5 year old daughter has severe food allergies, particularly to dairy and nuts.  she had a bad reaction to something she ate and i dashed off to the doctor with her.  my husband used facebook, in my account, to ask for prayer.  by the time i had got home, only an hour later, she was mostly 100% fine – an amazingly fast recovery, and i had 15+ messages saying people were praying.  i felt the love.  and i credit God and prayer with her fast recovery. 

facebook is awesome.  thank God for facebook.

 

twitter glow

so i resisted facebook for so long, did i really need ANOTHER social networking “thing”… esp one that seemed so fast paced and random… yes, they were my initial impressinos of twitter…

but then i grew to love it…

i love the sharing of quotes (i LOVE words and and quotes and collect them like how some people collect stamps, rocks or rugby cards)

i love again the genuine connections i have made

i love again the opportunity to connect with strangers and to shine some love their way

i love the #hashtags

i love how i could find out the play by play score of the rugby first, before “traditional” news media

and then pike river happened. 

24.11.10 – New Zealand’s worst mining disaster

twitter was where people gathered, so to speak, to share information, and responses, to speak their heart and share support

twitter had a new meaning and a new purpose

it made the world aware of what happened in our small corner of the world

and again on 22.02.11

the christchurch earthquake, where many of my friends live and where many died.

twitter again, and facebook, was the hub of connecting, sharing, weeping together, raising support, calling out for prayer, caring – as well as news and information.  complete strangers would physically go and check on someone because of a tweet shout out for help.  it directed people to where they could get clean water and food.  i’d imagine that for those in christchurch with iphones and the tweets hooked up that way that it would have been a lifeline to information assistance – as there was no power.  some suburbs STILL have no power.  twitter became the new way to share civil defence information.

when i last posted about this chapter i shared this tweet that for me put it in perspective:

Matthew Prewett matthewprewett Matthew Prewett: If it wasn’t for twitter and @fireball3316 I would know hardly anything about the Christchurch earthquake. We need to keep NZ in prayer.

 

it humbles me.

i felt to tweet lots about the earthquake – the more people praying the better i always think

the more people caring the better the world will become

and because…

its happening here.

this is my land.

my people.

my friends.

and i want the world to know.

i’ve made new friends because of the earthquake.  people have asked me to pray.  people who dont know jesus yet but know that i pray and are totally shaken.  its such a priv.

jesus is using twitter.

to connect His body all around the world.

to connect His people in serving Him and building His Kingdom.

to show love.

twitter has a darkside.  people can misread what you say.  140 doesnt give a lot of wiggle room to convey tone sometimes.  you’re putting yourself out there and not everyone is full of light and sunshine.  even in the christianity those who should be on the same side can be so divided and then act even more dividing by their words and accusations.  think before you tweet.  read what you’re writing.  apologize if need be.  have grace.  take a deep breath.  relinquish your right to be right.  have a guard on your heart and your words.  speak with gentleness.  dont get into bizzaro arguments and the like.  we dont need to defend jesus.   its also not all about the quantity – its not a numbers game or a popularity contest.  for me its quality of connection that makes the experience worth it.  dont fall into a trap.  dont build your worth on the wrong thing.

this chapter of @stickyjesus is really practical to demystify what twitter is.  all those hashtags and #FF and RT?  its another language.  but really this chapter inspires you to be in the game and to be taking the opportunity to be yourself and share the gospel in your 140 characters…  extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.  listen to the Holy Spirit and be led by Him and He will lead you to post things that will speak to peoples hearts.    twitter and facebook are gifts from God to us, lets use them for His glory and the expansion of His Kingdom.  lets use them to demonstrate His love and grace to a lost world.

 

 

go join the group read:

http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/27/stickyjesus-11-demystifying-facebook/

http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/30/stickyjesus-12-demystifying-twitter/

jesusbackpiece

our christianity isnt about rules and regulations.  we do have the Bible, the alive, active, powerful revelation of who God is and how to live for Him, the guidelines for how to live a holy life, with some very black and white instructions, but there is no checklist for holiness because it goes deeper than that.  its a heart thing.  its a relationship thing.  God designed it that way because He’s not interested in robots – or pharisees – but He wants friends and followers, He wants lovers and children.  its about being LED by the Spirit of God (Romans eight – a moment by moment following and being in tune with Him.  we are living in response to His love – living from the inside out – living out the inward righteousness that is the free gift of salvation from Christ – making that our outward experience and reality.  being a christian is more than going to church, wearing a christian tshirt, wearing a wwjd wristband… its a relationship with our Father God, brought and paid for by the brutal execution of Jesus Christ on the cross.  we have the challenge and the call and the privilege to live that out as a demonstration of the love and grace of God – glowing in the dark – shinning His light – to the world around us, on and offline.

when God sent his son to absorb the sins of the world, it cost Him everything. @stickyjesus

as pastor paul washer says, “we are not called to build empires.  we are not called to be accepted.  we are called to glorify God.”  @stickyjesus

We are in a battle for the souls of mankind. We war against Satan and all of the forces of evil in the universe. Satan has established his kingdom in the hearts of men and women. That kingdom must be destroyed and Christ’s kingdom established, no small task for the church. But it can be accomplished.

One weapon God has placed within the church that can tear down the strongholds of Satan was used mightily in both the Old and New Testaments and throughout the history of the church. It’s the life that is totally yielded to God. That person holds nothing dear to himself except Jesus and His glory. That life will contradict the culture of the day.

God is looking for men and women who will not be conformed to society but rather transformed by the Holy Spirit into the image of Jesus. This life will cry out, “I want Jesus more than I want anything!” Where are the men and women in the West willing to lose everything to gain God’s glory on earth?  Too many of us think we can have God’s glory at little or no cost. Our tendency is to seek miracles rather than God. We seek to bask in the comfort of blessings rather than focus on “the old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame.” – Sammy Tippet

i love the end download of this chapter of @stickyjesus:

– the gift of salvation is priceless

– the cost is nothing compared to the reward

– you are either hot – or not what He has called you to be

– you can count on adversity, so when it shows up rejoice in it

– you will grow as you continue to “go” toward the life He’s called you to

so often the gospel is presented as a happy happy joy joy thing (remember ren and stimpy), a life of ease and comfort.

tell that to the persecuted christian in the middle east.

or the teenager rejected and bullied at school.

or the wife forced by her non christian husband to not go to church and stay silent.

in everything we face Jesus is with us and for us and we can pray and seek Him and find Him and He gives peace.

but its not an easy life.

He gives joy in the midst of the difficulty.

He gives us comfort because we need comforting.

we overcome by His power and become overcomers because there are obstacles that need overcoming.

i love 2 corinthians 1:4 – He comforts us so we can comfort others.

our life is lived out on the world stage to show the reality of God.  raw. real. honest.  broken.  flawed.  hard.

but in that we find peace, hope, love, grace, power, strength, joy.

in the midst.

in the flood. in the fire.  (isaiah 43:2)

that’s part of the cost.

God is more interested in our character transformation than our happiness.

difficulties will rub the sharp fleshly edges off us.

they will refine us into the character and likeness of Jesus.

the cost says NOT MY WILL, BUT YOURS LORD.

the cost puts Jesus firmly on the throne and surrenders to His leading.

the cost follows the leading of the Spirit, not the desires of the flesh.

the cost is to walk on the narrow road.

“Don’t live under the control of your sinful nature. If you do, you will think about what your sinful nature wants. Live under the control of the Holy Spirit. If you do, you will think about what the Spirit wants.” (Romans 8:5, NIRV)

its a lifetime of following Jesus.  taking up our cross, denying self.  salvation – “its not just a one-time decision, it’s a lifetime pursuit.” mark driscoll

when you really understand God’s work in your life, your natural desire will be to surrender your life to Him.  to obey Him unconditionally.  that posture of surrender will result in radical steps of faith, and a confidence that flows from a heart that’s fully devoted to God’s plans. steven furtick

William Barclay, in commenting on the above verse, said, “To deny oneself means in every moment of life to say no to self, and to say yes to God. To deny oneself means once, finally and for all to dethrone self and to enthrone God. To deny oneself means to obliterate self as the dominant principle of life, and to make God the ruling principle, more, the ruling passion, of life. The life of constant self-denial is the life of constant assent to God.” (The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2, p. 167).

“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” Jesus, john 14:23.

challenging eh.  love is expressed in obedience.  willingly choosing to obey shows love.

“There is a cost, but when you are in love with God, it seems like no cost at all.” -Damon Thompson

fix your eyes upon Jesus.  our saviour.  the lamb that takes away the sin of the world.  the one who laid His life down for us, willingly, to rescue us.  the one who paid the ultimate cost.

i think i could use colossians 1:20-22 in almost every message i preach and every post i write.

And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.

 

it says it all doesnt it.  the price.  the cost.  paid by jesus.  that i may be accepted and loved and saved.

join the group read here: http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/25/stickyjesus-10-cost-everything/

humility

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you  Isaiah 26:8-9

my mission statement in life is to KNOW GOD and MAKE HIM KNOWN

i am dreaming of revival and of making God famous

so that people will SEE Him and FIND Him and have their eyes opened that He is real and that they will come to know Him too

my life is a demonstration of His love and grace.  my life story is HIS STORY.  my every day is an opportunity for me to know Him and trust Him and make Him known. my every day is an opportunity for me to live as show and tell for Him.

 

my daughter loves show and tell.  its her favourite thing of the week.  she thinks about it all week and plans it.  and of course changes her mind often.  but the things that she takes are always special and precious to her.  last week she had a newspaper cut out about my brother.  another time it was a book.  another a picture she had made.  show and tell reveals her heart, it reveals what she considers valuable and important.

do we live our lives like that?  showing and telling the great things of God?

 

the psalms are often filled with declarations of the goodness of God and the intention to speak and show and say and sing of His greatness.

  • Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no-one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.  They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.  They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.  Psalm 145:3-7
  • I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.  I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.  Psalm 9:1-2
  • But as for me, I shall always have hope; I will praise you more and more.My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.  Psalm 71:14-16

john3_30

 

its not about ME but ALL about HIM

 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all- surpassing power is from God and not from us.

We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us.

However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

2 Corinthians 4:7 – NIV, CEV, AMP, MSG, NKJV

i am JUST a jar of clay.

i am JUST a vessel.

its not about ME but ALL about HIM

i must decrease and HE must increase

i want to reflect the glory of God

that people will see HIS love and reality

this includes my presence on twitter and facebook.

its another opportunity to lift HIM up.

its another opportunity to present Christ to the world.

its another opportunity to connect and care.

yet sometimes social media can all be about generating the most followers or the most likes or the most whatevers. 

it can stroke the ego and make us purr with popularity.

it can take our eyes off jesus and onto ourselves.

it can distract us from HIs calling and mission, and who we are really meant to be as we bend for the audience.

it can make us introspect and live to make a greater social impact instead of a greater gospel impact.

Kim Walker-Smith, worship leader of Jesus Culture had a revelation while watching Lady Gaga on tv: “We as Christians, are not the only ones looking for ways to influence society…”

isnt that so the truth.  the world out there is promoting its message and having its say.  it holds up its ideal and preaches its own gospel of self. 

but we are called to counter that with the truth and reality of God.

Kim Walker-Smith goes on to say: “But if we could deepen our intimacy with Jesus, if we could move with Him and learn His heart for this world, we could be unstoppable!  To love with His love and to see with His eyes, to walk within the parameters of His divine Word…..that leads us into a freedom like no other. He alone can answer that cry in our hearts for freedom and He wants to do it in every heart. We weren’t designed to do it alone. God not only promises to be with us always, but also refers to us as one body-the Body of Christ. Part of His excellent plan is for us to be partnered with each other.  The condition of this world should only inspire us to get our game face on! We must understand that we are not the only ones out there who want to influence hearts and minds. We must “seek first His Kingdom… and everything else will be added” unto us (Matthew 6:33). He has a plan.”

its not about me.  its all about Him.

i am just the vessel, the jar of clay, the tool.

“it takes absolute intention and diligence to guard your heart in this world.  if you let pride in, it will seize every opportunity to separate you from others and, more importantly from God.” @stickyjesus

by staying close to the Famous One you can guard your heart against pride and keep so much of you from dominating so much of everyone else.  @stickyjesus

mercifully, God gives us His Word to remind us that our most noble endeavours – while impressive to this world – will never draw heaven’s applause if they lack the heart of humility, which is love.  @stickyjesus

 

this chapter of @stickyjesus reminds us that there is a bigger picture.

and that though we’re important its not about us.

He must increase

 

our pastor, Peter Morton, preached an awesome message on humility last year and challenged us that pride and also introspection (thinking about ourselves LOTS – making us the focus of everything) can be a dangerous path to take and that it takes our eyes off the focus (GOD and HIS plans and purposes) and distorts our perspective of who we are and who we are called to do.   humility is not thinking about ourselves too much, too often, or too little – its about not thinking about ourselves really at all.  we live to serve and to shine. 

last week he said “we live not for the audience but for the glory of ONE.”  we live not for everyone and we live not for our own glory but for the glory of God.

our lives are not our own.  we are loved and cherished by God.  His grace is sufficient for every weakness.  in His strength we can do all things. 

pride puffs us up into self reliance and introspection and low self esteem can restrict us from pursuing the call of God because we doubt our ability aka HIS ability to use us. 

confidence is a good thing – when it accepts and lives in the zone that says God is God and God calls me and God empowers me, not because i am special but because i am ME and He will demonstrate His love and grace and power through me, human as i am.

you are who you are.

a child of God.

now live it.

make God famous.

live for His renown.

 

 

join in the group read and conversation here: http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/23/stickyjesus-9-quiet-the-humility-zone/

iStock_warning_tape_CROPPED__1234281031_9929

 

life is more than breathing – more than we can touch and see and taste and feel on this planet.  there is more to life than the earth and the 80 years or so than we live.  the reality is that there are two kingdoms.  there are two realms – this physical planet and the spiritual realm.  the world and God’s Kingdom. in the 21st century we’ve become so adjusted to the physicality of life that we often forget the spiritual realm – or we lump it in the same category as fairy tales and unicorns and rom coms.  even us christians…

the world says that God is dead and not real and or that He’s santa’s 2nd cousin tucked away on a cloud somewhere having bacon and cheese toasties, grooming his long white beard, listening to the latest harpist on his ipod… but the world is blinded by a demonic strategy by our enemy who covers up the greatness of God and shuts Christians down so that people stay captive, stay sick, stay lost, stay in the dark…

when life is over, we can not take anything with us into eternity, except a life that was lived in love and obedience to God. This world is not real, Jesus is ultimate reality. We don’t live for that which is seen, but we must daily live for that which is unseen – the kingdom of heaven and release heaven into this earth through our words, actions and purpose. How awesome is that!

because eternity is real, because God’s Kingdom is real we can be confident there is purpose and strategy for our lives.  and also contention. 

the great purpose is to demonstrate the love and grace of God – to glow in the dark and show that God IS real, so that people dont miss out and spend eternity without Him. 

the contention is to keep people blind and lost and condemned.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

as christians we live in a war zone.  we are saved and sent.  redeemed and recruited.  we are part of God’s glorious plan to see people come to know Him.   anyone that wants to be used by God will face contention and battle.  the war zone touches evey area of our life.  the great strategy of the enemy has always being the same, right from the beginning.  God isnt who He says He is, and He doesnt mean what He says.  He aims to distract and diswade us from knowing God and living for Him.  he hates that we are children of God. 

his goal is the same as it was in the garden.  he exists to silence God’s message of hope and genuine relationship with His children.  don’t pick up the lies the enemy is putting down.  @stickyjesus

the enemy knows that if he can capture your thought life, everything else will soon tumble down around you.  Christ died to give you holiness, but the enemy aggressively and enthusiastically bets against your holiness before you’ve even had your first cup of coffee.  life on this side of heaven is hard.  @stickyjesus

while your message as a follower of Christ is grace, hope and healing, there’s a power that works equally hard online (and off-line!) to cancel out your message by generating a perpetual flow of despair, hate and evil @stickyjesus

but in this war we are not unarmed or weak.  we are not the losers.  we are children and heirs of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who one day will return and breathe upon the enemy and destroy him.  the enemy is defeated already at the cross.  

God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.  Colossians 2:13-15

we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to stand and overcome

Greater is He in you than the one who is in the world.  1 john 4:4

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.   Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Ephesians 6:10-13

remember the cross and how it defeated the sin in your life for good.  you are no longer the underdog or a slave tot eh strongholds that left you helpless.  jesus came as your escape route from all of the things you fear.  @stickyjesus

as long as there are people on earth, evil will always find his way in and put his flag in the ground.  it’s why you need to get serious about infusing the Light and shaping this global meeting place for God’s glory – sooner than later. @stickyjesus

part of the strategy we need as christians to have victory – in the big picture – and in our own personal lives as we live out for jesus is to be intentional and aware.    we need to know we’re in a battle and that we are fully armed.  we need to know WHO we are serving and WHY.   we need to be watching and alert.

Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 peter 5:8

this isnt just a observance mode.  its not just a looking out for danger but its a choice to live our lives aware and living according to the Word of God.

every choice is a choice between light and darkness, between obedience and disobedience, between the flesh and the spirit, between the world and the Kingdom of God.  choose God.  choose obedience.  choose to pick up your cross and deny self and follow Jesus.  this is your offensive attack.  make choices to avoid evil.  make choices to not compromise.  make choices to overcome.

this chapter of @stickyjesus gives some really practical strategies for overcoming the onslaught of the enemy who seeks to distract and destroy us and our purpose, thus switching the light out – esp online.

  • take a heart stand – abide in Jesus
  • connect with Him – prayer, worship – 1 peter 1:13-15, 1 corinthians 9:27
  • know your content – know what the Word says and promises – it was jesus’ weapon of choice
  • trust God to transform you – romans 12:2
  • worship – prioritize God’s presence
  • go digitally dark – rest, be refreshed
  • protect the family bond
  • pursue and honour fellowship – real life people matter!
  • establish accountability
  • value your personal time
  • be alert – 1 peter 5:8
  • declare war
  • be safe online

you really cant relegate danger to a “zone” online.  an alarm wont go off if you get too close to a danger zone, nor will a crossing guard wave you through when the coast is clear.  Danger is everywhere because we live on a broken planet. @stickyjesus

we are flawed broken people.  yet we are forgiven and cleansed.  we are being transformed daily.  the Holy Spirit is our guide.  the Word shows us how to live.  we are greatly loved. 

we are children of God.  citizens of God’s Kingdom. 

protect your relationship with God.  don’t let sin creep in.  don’t compromise.  there is always a second chance.  and a million and thirty seventh chance.  jesus died to make the way for us to be free from sin.  His love is everlasting and His grace covers all.

And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.  Colossians 1:19-22

lets today rise and shine.  lets overcome. 

 

continue the group read over at: http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/20/stickyjesus-8-warning-danger-zones/

 

HM History Maker Fr Page

throughout history, game changers have stepped forward in the faith to affect the way people communicate god’s truth in the culture in which they live. @stickyjesus

are you a game changer?  sounds like it would be someone radical, cool, out there.  the one who makes the moves and sees all the action.  james bond.  jack shepherd in season 6.  batman.

but really a game changer is someone surrendered to Christ and open for Him to use them here, there, everywhere – at any time, in their real lives.

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all- surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

my life has influence because God is at work in me and through me to the world around me.

i am uniquely positioned to be involved in peoples lives, shining God’s light, glowing in the dark, a visible representation of God.

i can pray.

i can have conversations.

i can live my life with love (ephesians 5:2)

if we’re breathing we’re called.  if we’re saved, we’re sent.  if we’re rescued and redeemed then we are recruited.

i can live my life for people, not myself

i can live my life in a way that shows people who Jesus is.

 

 

for all of us the call is the same. 

 

know God and make Him known.

our rally cry:

get up on your feet (move)

you’ve been appointed (chosen)

share what you’ve been shown (communicate)

i will rescue you from humankind (courage)

open their eyes (influence)

i am sending you (authority)

it is a message bigger than you (salvation)

from Acts 26:16-18 @stickyjesus

 

i loved the sense of destiny this chapter of @stickyjesus stirred within me.  reading the following passage made me recognize that at the right time God ignites a generation – ignites a PERSON – to step out and step up and declare His Word and His ways in a unique designed for the times way.  God communicated to cultures and times in history in unique ways.  God is the ultimate game changer.  And now, in our times, He is using social media and the internet again to revolutionize the communication of the gospel.  He raises up people to be leaders in this new direction and sends them out like the point of an arrow to break ground and seize territory and make a way for others to follow. 

communication channels have radically changed since Moses walked down the mountain, stone tablets in hand.  OT scribes wrote on parchment made from the treated skins of sheep or goats, and they used pens fashioned from reeds.  the prophets preached in synagogues and countrysides.  later, paul wrote his letters on scrolls of papayas and gave them to slaves who would deliver them ot the churches in other cities… in 1440 the printing press changed everything as bibles went from locked archives to retail.  in 1517 martin luther nailed the 99 theses on the door of the university church in Wittenberg and changed the game.  religious literature tracts were used as major channels throughout the turbulence of the protestant reformation in a movement that became known as “Tractarianism”.  john calvin wrote, debated and preached tireless during the reformation.  in the 18th century, john wesley travelled 250,000 miles by horseback in his efforts to spread the Word, and he preached in open fields to as many as 20,000 at a time. in 1922 aimee semple mcpherson preached what is believed to be the first radio sermon.  television and revivals catapulted the reach of billy graham’s ministry.  his first televised crusade generated 1.5 million letters to teh television station… @stickyjesus

i am confident and secure that God will speak to THIS generation.  to THIS time.  to THIS age. 

He will use the best methods and the best forums to spread His message of Good News to THIS generation.

and He uses His children to be at the forefront of that.  its not about methods or programmes or gadgets and gimmicks.  its about people.

the message is usually spread through people.

extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary steps of obedience.  steven furtick.

are you ready to be used by God?

you can be a history maker.  you can be an eternity changer as those around you come to know Jesus. 

your life WILL be used by God to demonstrate His love and grace and power.

the way you live makes a difference.

like paul, you can share your life and how God is moving in it.  you can mobilize people to pray, to give, to rebuild, to extend hope, and to step forward with the fresh revelation and power that God promised every one of us.  @stickyjesus

join the group read: http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/18/stickyjesus-7-christ-followers-the-game-changers/

Faith-and-Holy-Spirit

i especially love this chapter of @stickyjesus because i love the Holy Spirit and His work in me and to me and through me and for me.  i love how God chooses and uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things for His fame and glory.  i live to know Him and make Him known.

one of my most favourite verses in the bible is 2 Corinthians 4:7  i call it a life verse – its a life that shapes my life and who i am and how i live.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

the all surpassing power of God IS GOD – IS the Holy Spirit who lives within us!

Ephesians 3:20 puts it this way: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…

the Holy Spirit lives in me.  wow.  that’s huge.  audacious.  awesome!    He lives in me as a guarantee of the promises of God for eternity and He’s in me to empower me to serve God and shine for Him.  He is the potter and i am the clay and He is in me shaping me and transforming me and making me who God dreams me to be.  He’s in me to enable me to walk with God and know God. 

again another most favourite passage:

But as it is written:
“ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.  1 Corinthians 2:9-11

i love the BUT GOD HAS REVEALED THEM TO US THROUGH HIS SPIRIT.

The Holy Spirit reveals to us who God is – His ways, His heart, His love, His guidance, His comfort…

to understand the character of God, study His Word and align your words and actions with HIS attributes, shedding the “stuff” in you that runs against the grain of His holiness.  Remind yourself daily of who God is and what He expects you to be and become.  @stickyjesus

  • God is LOVE – 1 john 4:8
  • God is HOLY – psalm 99:3
  • God is GOOD – psalm 136:1
  • God is TRUTHFUL – Numbers 23:19
  • God is FAITHFUL – 1 thess 5:24
  • God is RIGHTEOUS – Psalm 71:19
  • God is COMPASSIONATE – lamentations 3:22-23
  • God is WISE – romans 16:27
  • God is FORGIVING and KIND – 1 john 1:9

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