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claire dp 1When I was 16 I lived in Blenheim and would get awesome summer jobs at fruit farms over the holidays.  One year I worked for The Jones Strawberry Farm picking strawberries, a delicious but back breaking job.  I then worked for an Apricot farmer, as a picker first of all, but then in the pack house because as we quickly discovered being near the ground is an excellent quality for a strawberry picker, not so great for an apricot picker.   My day revolved around sorting the fruit, packing the fruit, stacking the packs of fruit.  Sort, stack, pack.  I was the only one in the pack house and so spent long hot days sorting, stacking, packing.

On Tuesday a friend of mine shared a hilarious take on the myers briggs personality types on facebook – The post begins with “They say that one man’s heaven is another man’s hell and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to the sixteen Myers-Briggs Personality Types. Each one is inspired, enraged and absolutely tortured by something slightly different. Here’s the destiny that would psychologically destroy each Myers-Briggs Personality type.”

Im and ENFP and this is what it said about me.  Every minute of the rest of your life has been scheduled for you – and it’s a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks.

Sort. Pack. Stack.  By myself.  Sort. Pack. Stack.   For 2 long months.  Thankfully not the rest of my life.   The first few days of the job were great.  Good time to pray and think, I’m by myself, I can contemplate the great mysteries of the universe and dream and plan my future.  After about a week of sort, pack and stack, by myself, a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks, I found myself going slightly cookcoo, because how many of you know, especially if you are an ENFP there is only so much deep and meaningful productive positive thinking you can do by yourself.. through another person in the mix and boom, you’re happy, but conversating with yourself, just isn’t the same. and contemplating what is the meaning of life.  The big questions.  What was I here for.  What is God’s plan for my life.  How will I get there.  Who am I, really.

Whether you’re in a job you hate or a job you love, whether you’re at school or uni, whatever stage of life you’re at these are important questions.  What does real living look like?  Because there is a difference between being alive and living, really living.

We can go through life, even successfully, ticking the boxes that define achievement for us, getting the great job, marrying the great person, having the great kids and the great cat and the great house, travelling to the great places etc etc but even that can miss the mark of what living really is.

 

Paul summed it up in 4 simple words in Philippians 1:21

To live is Christ.

This is one those rare times when Paul is brief.  Usually he has sentence with too many commas and plenty of detail and flesh.  But this one is 4 words.  To live is Christ.

 

In 2 Cor 5:15 he says  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him.

This is the standard he is living by.  This is how he defines his life.  This is the mission statement that wraps parameters and boundaries around not only the big picture but also day to day.  Paul is saying that everything he has tried to be, everything he is, and everything he looked forward to being pointed to Christ. To live is Christ.

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*** notes from church sunday morning 17th march // peter morton preaching

 

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:19-21

Waiting for the promise
Wait well
Thrive on the waiting line
Certain in the uncertain

What is it that enables a person to have hope when it seems hopeless?
= FAITH

Heb 11:1
Certain of what do not see

Faith requires the invisible

Faith is the active ingredient that keeps us pushing until we see it

How do we know when to keep going or what direction to take?
Will be let down by people, organisations, ourselves but God will never let us down
God’s word never fails

Heb 6:19
We have this hope as an anchor for our soul

V19 through your prayers
– prayer is the place of power

Paul is in prison – his past prison experience is pretty awesome eg angelic jailbreak

Prayer wins aren’t just for us, but is God revealing his goodness and greatness THROUGH us

How we pray for people is important:
1 pray for a change in circumstances (temporary change prayer)
But the most effective way is:
2 pray for a change in their heart

Sometimes circumstances repeat because we require a heart/spirit change

Most times when we read "I pray that" by the apostles it is heart/spirit prayers not circumstances prayers

God has a bigger plan than just making our lives better, he wants to make us like Jesus

Focus isn’t our circumstances but on our heart condition. Don’t equate only good things and easy seasons as the blessing if God

Live above your circumstances
Fix your eyes on jesus and off our circumstances

V20 I expect God to move
Praying that I have sufficient courage so God is exalted no matter what

V21 for to me, go live is christ and to die is to gain

Live or die I win

Pray for heart change
There is a greater thing than change in our circumstances

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