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“The point of your life is to point to Him. Whatever you are doing, God wants to be glorified, because this whole thing is His. It is His movie, His world, His gift.”  — Francis Chan
The big idea today is that the depth of your character will determine the vertical depth and horizontal reach of your influence.
The further and faster your influence extends, the deeper your foundation of character and conviction must be.
Public service requires private submission.
Build who you are off the stage and behind the stage and beside the stage way before you start thinking about getting on the stage.
Have you ever met someone and they talked a good talk but didnt walk the walk?  How did you feel? Disappointed?  Let down?  As a youth pastor and as a person I am always thinking what is it like to live on the other side of me?  What do people see when they see my life?  Am I living in such a way that those who see me will want to know God more?
We all are growing credibility accounts with people – and our character will either make deposits or withdrawls in that account.
Spiritual maturity isn’t based on how much truth you know, but on how much truth you live.
Jesus is interested in our heart and our behaviour.  His mission is to transform us  The good news is we dont have to clean ourselves up ever to come to Him but that He is at work in us to make us willing to be transformed.  Christianity isnt a bunch of rules but about a relationship but the way we live our lives does matter and make a difference, first with our vertical relationship with God, and secondly in the horizontal relationships with the people in our world.
 

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-25

i love the phrase LET US KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

my prayer today is that i will keep in step with His leading and His loving and His ways

that i would be a fruity fruitful christian

that the characteristics that God delights in would be evident and growing in my life

and that i would always walk with Him

drawing closer

knowing His love and mercy and faithfulness and goodness

to and through me

let me not walk my own way

let me not walk to the left of the right

but in step with the Holy Spirit

"I need my own set of default procedures for when selfishness, pride, impatience, anger, or bitterness rear their ugly heads. Because in the moment I feel them, I feel justified in feeling them and find them hard to battle. But God’s promises – His truths and examples from Scripture – are powerful enough to redirect me to the divine nature I’m meant to have." ~ Lysa Terkeurst ~ Unglued

267330927851005672_XXQ1KmrT_c

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-25

 

i love the phrase LET US KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

my prayer today is that i will keep in step with His leading and His loving and His ways

that i would be a fruity fruitful christian

that the characteristics that God delights in would be evident and growing in my life

and that i would always walk with Him

drawing closer

knowing His love and mercy and faithfulness and goodness

to and through me

let me not walk my own way

let me not walk to the left of the right

but in step with the Holy Spirit

the other night we had our housegroup christmas party – complete with an oh so christian gift giving game. stealing allowed.

with my kids having the pox and other events going on i confess i wasn’t as planned as i usually am.  i had to go to shops where i could safely leave the kids in the car, so they wouldn’t infect other kids.

so went to our local christian bookshop.

and found the perfect funniest christmas gift ever.

fruit of the spirit lip gloss.

yes.

fruit of the spirit lip gloss.

even funnier was what fruit it was.

you can get a flavour for each fruit but our local christian store only had apple flavour.  which is funny in itself.

and the spiritual fruit it represented.

self control.

it was a real wmp moment.

so it went with the funky cup i had put away in my gift cupboard (for those just in case moments!)

and yes, we all laughed when it was opened by one of our young single guys!

still giggling about it….

spiritlipgloss1

this is my new favourite blog – Helen Has A Blog . the theme is Psalm 27:4 “One Thing do i desire…. to behold the beauty of God…” every post i have read so far i have been “snap, ditto, amen – yes me too Lord!”

… it’s a work in progress. But He makes all things beautiful in their time… inwardly He is renewing me day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). And I don’t want to keep it on the inside (hehe if that’s possible)… I want to overflow. All the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that He is cultivating in me (Galatians 5:22-23)… I want it to flow unhindered outward. That is beautiful. I am definitely not there yet. But He is. He is so beautiful… I don’t even know. I just know that there’s so much more than the little I’ve already seen (1 Corinthians 2:9)… and I’m hungry for the ‘more’. And I want to be part of a generation hungry for the knowledge of God… and generation with a divine dissatisfaction… a holy hunger (yay for alliterations!!). A generation captivated by the beauty of the Lord, with hearts set on seeking Him out (Psalm 27:4).

your thoughts influence and shape and dictate how we act and react in life…

Fear… the fear that paralyzes begins with a thought.
Hatred… the hate that destroys beghins with a thought.
Anger… the anger that damages begins with a thought.
Apathy… the apathy that defeats begins with a thought.

Peace… the peace that calms begins with a thought.
Joy… the joy that brings victory begins with a thought.
Love… the love that heals begins with a thought.
Kindness… the kindness that changes lives begins with a thought.

Warrior Chicks by Holly Wagner

i find this is so true as a wife and mother. how i act and react begins with how i am thinking. in a grumpy bum day i often react with anger and quick words instead of grace and kindness. as a wife and mother i must train myself to be the boss of my thought life and words.

i must try:
to speak wtih grace
to remember love
to be gentle
to believe the best
remembering that my children are just human
and my husband is just a man
and that i too am human
and that listening can solve a great deal of problems
and assumptions miss the point
and these things begin with my thought life – not just about the situation but in general. bad hair days do happen. bad hair days can be made worse by the tangles of our mind more than the cirucmstances around us.

as i write this i am reminded of hte prayer of st francis… it is a good prayer to remember and show us not only as parents and spouses how we should live but as humans and as demonstrations of God….

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.

galatians 6:1 Brothers, if a man is overtaken in a fault, you the spiritual ones restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.

I like this verse. Because it is so real and restorative. We ALL make mistakes and sin – we all give into temptation sometimes. One persons temptation may “seem” bigger than another, or have “bigger” consequences, but all the same it is a fault. God asks us to restore and love gently such a person. It is the way I know I want to be treated. In the same light God asks us to think – we can all be tempted and give into it. We need to consider how we want to be restored and treated – with shame, with ostracizing??? No with friendship, understanding, wisdom and love. We need to help one another to carry the things that worry us and discourage us. We need to help one another carry the things that cause us to fall. Talk, real talk, is part of that carrying. A phone call can help. Hanging out watching a rugby game or going out for hot chocolate can help. Praying for that person definitely helps. Gossip doesn’t help. Cold shoulders don’t help. Avoiding the issues doesn’t help. Lets be real people in a real family…. As humans we often want to knock the weak down… ‘its their fault they’re down’, ‘they made their bed…’, ‘some people just cant’…. BUT that is not how we a Christians should act. Paul tells us to support each other, helping in all ways possible. we are to restore and bear, not isolate and incriminate. this fulfills the law of loving one another. a good reason for this is that one day we might need support ourselves.

 galatians 6:8 But he sowing to the Spirit will reap life everlasting from the Spirit. 9 But we should not lose heart in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not faint.

sometimes we look at the ‘spirital’ good things we do – bible reading, prayer, fasting, worship, giving etc – and wonder is it really doing any good? does it really matter? is it seen and appreciated? is it worth it? God sees the good we do and the time/money/energy we sow through our spiritual disaplines and habbits. sometimes we can press on in prayer and reading the bible and feel we are hearing nothing from God, not being aware of his presence, or sensing any awareness of being heard. God hears EVERY prayer and rejoices when we spend time wih him. even if we do not “see” anything happening in our lives we CAN be SURE and CONFIDENT that as we sow through our actions so we will reap one day – in due season..

Galatians 1:16 …to reveal His Son in me….

Here is the fuller context… Galatians 1:15-16 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and having called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the nation…

I want the Son revealed in and through me to. So that people see my Father in Heaven in praise Him and come to know Him. I want them to see the love of God, the grace-fullness that God is and has, compassion, forgivenness, freedom, wisdom, power, authority, healing, prophetic, radical tranformation-ing, prayerfulness, relationshi with God.

galatians 6:24 But those belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.

which means the flesh and all its desires is dead too, so we can remember that while that side of us can try to influence us it doesnt rule us. we belong to Jesus. we have a new life. and the Holy Spirit enables us to live htat life free and pure.

Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if a man is overtaken in a fault, you the spiritual ones restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Good practical advice. Good advice on how both to act and think…

Act; pray, restore, listen, befriend, share own life stories, include, invite, encourage, accept, welcome

Other good words in this verse = overtaken – sin sometimes does creep up on us one step at a time, and before we know it the thoughts that invite it closer turn into thoughts that give permission for action.

 galatians 5:16 I say, then, Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do. 19 Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you before, as I also said before, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 But those belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

To me this is a self explanatory passage. When we follow God we will not satisfy our own desires of the flesh. The things that often wan to do either by choice or reaction are often things that displease God. These things must not be characteristics in our lives. But God works in us and grows in us good characteristics that please Him – and that we can do freely and often!

 galatians 5:7 You were running well. Who hindered you that you do not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from Him who calls you.

I think these verse can be applied and real for everyone. We all have seasons in our Christian life where we get distracted away from God. We get hindered and our love can grow cold. When our love and passion for God is cooler we do not obey as readily or naturally. We choose to gratify our own desires and thus sin. This is not the plan or purpose of God. Sometimes what hinders us is those who do not believe God. They challenge our beliefs and make us doubt God. They attract us away from God. People that are in the church may hinder us – by false teachings, by conduct. We must keep our eyes fixed on God. We must follow Him and only Him.

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