The work of God

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Arejourney you called? Do you feel and have a urge to do something great for God?

My advice is to stop there and pray. Not just talking to God but listening to what God is saying to you. Spend time in silence. Maybe ideas and a direction will form in your mind, showing the way you are being led.

Read scripture daily, and let God speak through the words.

If a time comes and you step into your calling. Keep praying and increase it. Find answers through prayer and reading the Bible. Push the doors open

It’s so important to keep this going. Failing to do this then your calling becomes your own and not God’s.

May all you do bring praise and glory to God.

 


Organisations at War

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home_officeThere is a struggle which I observed in Christian campaign organisations which took years for me to understand.

I am struck by the hatred on both sides, the rigid views, the hurt done in the name of Jesus.

Turnover of staff is high as people are constantly undervalued, overworked and pushed into jobs they do not enjoy. They eventually are replaced and pushed out.

I read a book called ‘A Farewell to Mars’ by Brian Zahnd. It spoke to me on how we are either waging war or making peace. Jesus is a peacemaker and to contribute war like qualities to him is wrong. He was for peace and because of this they crucified him.

This I see is the problem with campaign organisations. They have a vision and they do all they can to win the fight. But this is at the expense of people and the gospel they proclaim.

If we value people, love them, take care of them, we are bringing about a peaceful resolution. To argue, to fight, to force, to devalue is a war like spirit which is not Jesus. One of Jesus’ teachings was to love our enemies. Only when we start here will it be possible to win peoples hearts for Jesus.

Looking back. I think if you feel strongly about an issue, campaign in a way that promotes peace between the different sides. Maybe this is not possible. Perhaps instead of fighting the cause, maybe follow Jesus’ core values and care for the victims. We might just change things we feel strongly about from changing their lives.


Christian Cafe

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latteI like to find a place for my lunchtime, where I can write and perhaps have a cup of coffee. I also would like a place where people are friendly, perhaps talk to me and maybe find similar people to connect with.

I was hoping for this in a Christian cafe that is just around the corner where I work.

But when I entered it there was no friendliness, no welcome and full of people in their own little groups.

A member of staff passes me and speaks aloud of how tired she is, and whole place seems cold, and full of moaning old people.

What an opportunity to reach the community, but it really depends on first impressions. People are turned off by a commercial venture run by Christians. For that is all it is.

A successful public business is surely based on the relationship of the owner and staff has with the customers who come through the door.

Yes I agree that people just want to have a quiet drink on their own or with friends, but there is initial contact between staff and customer when buying say a cup of coffee which will determine that.

This got  me thinking about the Church and our organisations.The whole basis of the teaching of Jesus is of service, the servant King, and Jesus encourages us to do the same, with all people. Jesus will have no impact on peoples lives unless we follow his example. And this means getting involved with the people around us and the people who walk through our shops, organisations and churches. A Christian organisation that doesn’t welcome people through it’s doors is not following Jesus, it just another organisation often  doing it because they think they are doing something good or even just for money.

 


Salt and Light

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bulbSpeaking and Action. Important aspects of our walk with Jesus. For it shows the outside world who Jesus is. How have you done today? With our love and study of Jesus we hope that we do become more like Jesus, and in turn bring others to him.

Jesus was in complete control of both Speaking and Action. He had the right reaction with every situation.

He must have been quite a character to be attractive enough for hardened fishermen to drop their nets immediately and following him. Can we image the same happening today with hardened people. If not what has gone wrong?

Jesus was no different in his private and public life, quite a challenge for us, for we all know how difficult it is for us.

We find ourselves speaking words but our actions let us down, or our actions are good, but we hurt other people with what we say, or just fail at both!

Jesus loved all people and his speaking and actions proved this. Oh to be like this too. Too often we allow our thoughts to ponder on something and a negative is produced which is displayed in our actions or in our words.

Tough to love, especially for our enemies. It is so easy to criticise or condemn.

How have you done today with say these as examples:
•    A late train.
•    A car pulling our in front of you.
•    Meeting someone who has hurt you and perhaps choosing to ignore them or be rude.
•    Constructive criticism.
•    Someone getting promotion before you.
•    Ignoring the needs of those around you, public and private.
•    You child keeps waking you at all hours of the night.
•    Confrontation.

Those who are in the public life who follow Jesus need to show care as they find themselves under much more scrutiny. Having strong, wise friends or colleagues is very important to keep them accountable and in line with what Jesus said and did. Reading and studying the Bible especially the gospels, and praying should be a daily routine. And keeping themselves free of trends and words of the latest celebrity, scholar or preacher. Without Jesus at the forefront of their lives they may become extreme, hard, legalistic, and full of themselves. All you hear is what they have done. Surely we do not want to be likened to the pharisees of Jesus’ day. Love needs to be at the root of everything that is done, or our behaviour to others especially enemies will show a different type of person.

The opposite is also possible where words and actions do not reflect Jesus at all. It will show that Jesus is not important at all, just an add on when we choose to allow ourselves.

But we do find preachers latching onto this, making us all feel guilty. Like ‘you cannot be a true follower of Jesus if….’ Being able and good at speaking with other people is a gift which we all do not have. For those who are quiet this is a hard one to do and may lead to a life full of guilt or just wanting to give up. We need to really examine this, as just saying ’thank you’ or allowing someone in their car out of a junction is just as powerful as the spoken word. We could look at what Paul says in Galatians 5 about the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). All of them display something of the character of Jesus maybe without saying anything, a very powerful message to the world.

What seems to matter most in the life of a follower of Jesus is for people to come to know the authentic Jesus. And we need to use our gifts wisely. One false move or word could put someone off for life. We need to put Jesus in the spotlight in peoples lives for them to decide. And if they decide yes then we need to allow it in a way that is best for them. We stand by them guiding, caring and loving them as Jesus did.


Anger

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How we view the world is often determined by our relationships. Those that are close and those that are not.

All through our lives people come and people go. How we handle this can affect how we treat people.

If there is a feeling of being let down by each passing person, we sometimes become frustrated and angry, and maybe close ourselves down to having any close relationships.

But we do have a responsibly to those around us especially family. Do you actively put effort into a relationship which is hard work. Do you care enough to put aside your own feelings and opinions. Perhaps if something is not working then you change your approach.

Jesus had a good relationship with those around him who believed in him. So much so that he would lower himself to that of a servant or slave. This is demonstrated when he washed his disciples feet, and telling us that the love we have for each other demonstrates that we truly follow him. Within 24 hours Jesus was tried, crucified and died. What kind of things could have gone through his mind. He could have got very angry, but he did not. One of his closest disciples Peter denied him 3 times, and the rest of the disciples apart from John ran away. But when he was risen from the dead he came back to Peter and reaffirmed his love for him 3 times. What an example and a hard one to follow.

Angry at the world

We often get angry at the world. Things get out of hand, and so called evil people get their way. We want justice and we believe God is on our side. But one problem is what at the heart of us. We get angry at the world and we do all we can to preserve something. But in our personal lives we are difficult and cause people pain. We often forget those around us, and justify it by saying it is a sacrifice for a larger cause. But really can this be right. If someone is unhappy close to us, surely we need to tend to that, and bring them back to stability. How can we possibly stand for something when those we love are struggling. For perhaps tending and loving those closer to us, we will have a positive affect on the world around us. People will see we love Jesus by caring for those close to us, or an insignificant person who has never been shown any love


God with us, Saviour

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jesusWhen Jesus was born he was given two names. He was called Jesus meaning Saviour, and Emmanuel meaning God with us. Matthew 1:21-23

God with us describes that God comes to live among us, experience what we experience. The good times and the bad time. It also allows us to see what God is like, Gods reactions and have an example to live by. God is referred as being perfect, so we can see how to live like God.

He is also a saviour where God saves us from a possible lifestyle that is destroying us. Following Jesus we can put aside bad living and there is power there that gives us the strength to do the right thing. When Jesus lived here on the earth people enjoyed his friendship. They received healing and caring. He taught on how to live our lives to make us more fulfilled and contented. Today when we acknowledge Jesus and follow his teachings we are given what we call the holy spirit. The holy spirit is like having our own personal Jesus, a comforter, a teacher and a source of truth. John 15:26-27.

What is it like to have Jesus among us?

We see people out and about. They speak about what they know and they have an opinion. When we believe something do we really need to know what we are talking about and are we being true to the belief we hold dear. When it comes to Jesus we need to study his life and his character. By doing so we get some kind of idea of how Jesus would act in the situations we face

So if we ask the question, what would Jesus do? Then we start a journey on who he is. If Jesus came to earth to dwell among us and be our saviour, would he always looking at us and saying how bad we are, and how we need to conform and be like him. Is there any evidence looking at the writings on Jesus that he was like this. There seems to be more of a person who sits with us, listens, challenges, teaches and then leaves us to make the decisions. He is concerned for you, but he is not going to force anything on you. It is your choice.

When you see Christians saying you must or else, it is a real turn off for people. This does not really fit in with Jesus and does not care for the person who we are saying it to. Jesus says, here it is, take it or leave it. Many of the stories of Jesus describe an encounter with Jesus, there is a change in the person, and then we are not told what happens after to these people.

That is not to say that we introduce people to Jesus and then forget them, Jesus did say ‘Go and make disciples’ (Matthew 28: 19-20). Surely this is where people have decided by themselves to find out more about Jesus, and we take them through a process of teaching, guiding and enabling them to follow Jesus for themselves. No judgement, no condemnation, just loving them into the Kingdom.

To involve ourselves in confrontation will do nobody any good, and if there is a disagreement then surely it is better turn the conversation back to Jesus, or what we do agree on.

What the world does is what the world does, and if we are in a minority then we probably cannot change it, and our methods might make them worse. Perhaps it is time to let God do the work in the lives of those who are searching, and we just care for them.

When we see the world falling about us is it any surprise? Christians often stand up and moan and say this must change back to what it was. But they fail because they are trying to inflict on the world what they want and an opinion that may not be in line with Jesus. If we want to change the world we need to introduce Jesus and let people decide for themselves. We need to get our hands dirty in living like Jesus and bringing a different example, by really caring through our actions. Maybe it is time to put away our opinion and care whether that person has a positive picture of Jesus. A picture that will make them wonder more about Jesus.

When there is injustice in society, then maybe we take up a battle. But we must be so careful with Jesus, because there might a possibility that he wouldn’t support it. Fight battles in the name of the battle.

Maybe as a community we need to ask real question of ourselves and see people as God sees rather than something that is threatening. A revolutionary story Jesus taught was that of God as a Father waiting patiently day by day waiting for his long lost son to return. And when the son returned the Father did not give the son a lecture, or get angry or want any explanation, he just embraced his son, overjoyed with his return. Is this really being portrayed by those who follow Jesus.

 

What is it like to have Jesus among us?
Could the delivery of the gospel message be improved to be more caring for the person?
Are people who represent Jesus representing him correctly?
Does the Christianity we see today save people or just make them angry and frustrated?
Have you researched Jesus to know what he would say in the conversations you have with others?

 


Introduction

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This is a series of comments on the Life of Jesus and whether it fits in with the world of the Christian. We see many voices in the Christian world that says it represents Jesus but do they really? They use the Bible to support their voices but they do not look at the spirit of what is being said. Sometimes they just call themselves Christians but have nothing to back it up with.

The author is not trying to prove wrong and right but open up questions and the chance to debate the nature of Jesus rather than what we think. Chapters will very short but they may expand depending on whether the subject of the chapter has resulted in comments and debates.

The author would like you to meet the person of Jesus and see him in the light of what the Bible is portraying rather than an opinion by a specific person.

The author is not an expert in writing, and the language, grammar and structure may not be up to those who are more learned. Please read what is being said and hope it will enable you to think more on the person of Jesus.

If you do feel led to comment please be thoughtful and kind, and be open to what is being said. The author may get it wrong, please be forgiving, as we are all on a journey whether we believe in Jesus or not.