Pastor Keith’s Blog

If You Would Play Football, Would You Not …

Many years ago I was challenged by God.  My response to that challenge significantly impacted the rest of my life.  Watch the clip below, you too may be challenged.

As a church we are taking the next five weeks to focus on the benefits and practical experiencing of praise and worship to our Lord Jesus Christ.  Join one of the “40 Days of Praise” small groups – you can even participate on-line.  Your heart will be challenged and your spiritual life will be transformed.

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Right Actions, Wrong Heart

 

In 2 Chron. 6:8,9 the LORD said to David, “Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well in that it was in your heart.  Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.”  In 1 Chron. 28:3 David declared that God told him that, “You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood”.

David was anointed to be king.  Under God’s direction he brought the enemies under subjection and brought peace to the nation.  He was known as a man after God’s own heart.  Yet in fulfilling the purposes of God, in establishing the kingdom and overthrowing the enemies, there were flaws in the way in which he lead the nation.  These flaws were exposed when it came to the next phase of David’s life, i.e. building the temple for God.  Though the intentions and the plans were appropriate, there were limitations to the extent to which God could work through David.

Though David had been called to rule and he was called to overcome the enemy, yet there was an aspect of human forcefulness that was not in keeping with being a child of the “Son of Peace” (Lk. 10:6).  The scriptures are clear that we are to be people of peace.

  • Gal. 5:22 “but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, …”
  • James 3:18 “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace…”
  • Col. 3:15  “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”
  • 2 Cor. 13:11 “live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

In some ways we are all called to be leaders.  We are all in positions of authority and influence, whether it is on the job, in the church, in our family, in the community, or in the political arena.  Though called to lead, I keep wondering how many of us have put limitations on the extent to which we can progress in God’s “building purposes”.  Our leadership in the family, the job or the kingdom can be stifled because we are overly sharp, critical or aggressive in our responding to the situations and people around us.  Though we can be right in addressing the situation, yet if we were humanly forceful in the way or attitude in which we acted, we may have failed to function in the Spirit of Peace to which we are called (1 Cor. 7:15).

We can excuse ourselves by saying, “Well, this is the way that I do things.” or, “This is the way that I am.”  But God does not want us to act or respond in our natural way, instead, He would want us to do them, in the Spirit and nature of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Take a moment to reflect on the attitudes that are present within you as you are challenging, confronting or addressing the needs around you.  Then ask our Lord Jesus to help you function in His Spirit and truth.

 

 

 

 

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A Life Of Silence

“I don’t hear well, so when others are talking I miss out on most of the communication.  Others watch movies or are involved in games or activities but I just watch from the distance.  Sometimes I feel so alone.  Since my husband passed away the feeling of loneliness has increased, his companionship is deeply missed.”

These were the thoughts behind a conversation with an elderly partly deaf woman, who in some sense was alone in life.  “But I am not alone!” she said.  “Years ago I asked Jesus to come into my life.  He is always with me.  At night when I feel the most lonely I picture myself in the arms of Jesus.  I visualize Him hugging me and I know that everything will be all right.” “Jesus is my husband now and He will never leave me.”                      The presence of our Lord Jesus, is not to be something which is only theoretical in nature.  It is to be real, effective and tangible in our lives.  This aged woman, though she could barely hear the voices and communication of others, could clearly sense the affirmation, touch, and words of her beloved Jesus.  We too should be sensing His closeness to us.

It is unfortunate that, though we can hear clearly the voice of many of the people around us, we can rarely hear the voice of the most important one, our Lord Jesus.  Could it be that our ability to hear the noise and voice around us actually drowns out the voice of our God.  In focusing on what others are saying we fail to hear what our Lord is saying.

I am not advocating that we should wish to become deaf, but rather that we would pull aside to the quiet place of solitude and prayer,  where the sweet and comforting  words of our lord Jesus can be heard more clearly.

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The Best Gift

Thinking back, what was the best gift that you have received?  Was it your first bicycle, a doll, a diamond ring, the love of a spouse or a child?  No doubt there are many good gifts.

In John 3:16 we have a very familiar verse which many can quote by memory.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  When God considered what was the best thing that He could give to us, He chose to give us His Son.  Jesus Christ coming down to earth, with the option of Jesus Christ then living within us.

It is interesting that many times we would think or complain because “if God really loved me He would”: heal my body; give me a better job; provide money for the bills; work more in the situations around me; etc.  But instead of always doing those things for us, He gave the best thing which He had, He gave Himself.

The implications behind this action are phenomenal.   In the giving of Himself, God is not saying that the things we want and think that we need are not important, but rather that there is something better.  It also means that when we are feeling that perhaps God is not answering our prayers, or that He has been unjust or unfair in His working around us, then perhaps our disappointment is a sign that we are looking or focusing on the wrong things.   For in the midst of every situation God has more of Himself to give to us.  This is the best gift.

It is unfortunate that we can easily focus upon what we get from God, the promises of God, or the change that we want God to bring about, but we fail to focus upon the most important thing which we and all people can have, that is God Himself.

In the times of pressure, distress, loneliness or fear don’t look at what you are missing, but rather see what you have, Christ in you the hope of glory (Col 1:27).  Take a moment to reflect on how Jesus is the best gift and how that can affect your responses to situations around you.

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