Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Being given the honour of leading in God's Kingdom is any guise is a great responsibility. It means that God has entrusted you with the welfare of his children. When caring for the children of a great God it requires truly great leadership.
So our leadership must have the characteristics of the greatest leader - Jesus.
Humility > Pride
Serving > Taking
Listening > Talking
Learning > Boasting
Example > Telling
Encouragement > Threatening
Character > Gifting
Empowering > Controlling
God's Word > Any leadership book
Following Jesus > Leading others
Transparency > Manipulation
Christ likeness > Charisma
Healthy conflict > Blind obedience
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 11:43 am
Thursday, July 17, 2014
I read this today by Seth Godin, as he talked about the the historic decision of the Swedish government over 200 years ago, to ensure all their citizens were literate.
I here much said around church world today about culture. It would seem each local church must have its own defined culture. Once defined each new believer connect to this culture and adopt it as their own. Anyone who doesn't buy in will eventually have to leave.
If this is important then I think the culture I'd like to promote is that everyone grasps this collection of books we call the Bible. If each follower of Christ in a local church will devour each word of scripture that leads to a ever deepening love with the author.
A culture of reading, meditating, studying and applying God's Word would be as revolutionary in the church as the ability to read was for a country.
Activated by a partnership of our reading and power of the the Holy Spirit, God's Word can build a dynasty of advancement and innovation in Jesus Church.
King David talks about God's Word in this way:
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! 13With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. - Ps 119:9-16
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 8:40 am
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Being a follower of Jesus is not for the faint hearted it is a call to be a radical one....
- who loves God with all his heart and soul and mind and strength (Matthew 22:37)
- who loves Jesus more than mother or father or son or daughter (Matthew 10:37)
- who knows he has died and is seated with Christ in heaven (Colossians 3:2)
- who sets his mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (Colossians 3:3)
- who is not conformed to this world (Romans 12:2)
- who does not love this world (1 John 2:15)
- who flees youthful passions and pursues righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2 Timothy 2:22)
- who seeks understanding like silver and searches for it as for hidden treasures (Proverbs 2:4)
- who does not account his life of any value nor as precious to himself (Acts 20:24)
- who is filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
- who rejoices when others revile him and persecute him (Matthew 5:11)
- who prays without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- who dies every day (1 Corinthians 5:31)
- who boils in the spirit (Romans 12:11)
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 5:17 pm
Friday, July 11, 2014
Towards the end of last year MKCC sent me of a health check up. Probably because I have reached that age when everything starts to fall apart. Thankfully, apart from my ever decreasing ability to read a book because my arms are not quite long enough to allow me to get the book far away to focus on, I got a clean bill of health.
Today I came across a spiritual health check posted by Dave Kraft. I wasn't so confident my answers to these questions gave me such a clean bill of health.
- Are you reading the Bible daily? If you adopted an annual reading plan at the beginning of 2014, is your reading up to date? If not, take time this week to caught up. You might choose, if necessary, to adjust your plan – but still read daily. If you did not adopt a plan in January, pick a strategy for rest of the year.
- Are you praying daily? Are you praying regularly and recurrently (1 Thess. 5:17)? Do you pray for those in authority, including government and church leaders (1 Tim. 2:2)? Are you praying by name for other believers to speak the gospel boldly and clearly (Eph. 6:18-20, Col. 4:2-4)? Do you pray for your enemies (Matt. 5:44)?
- How often have you shared the gospel this year? Is the gospel so striking to you that you cannot keep it to yourself? Have you reached beyond the church world to develop gospel-centred relationships with unbelievers? For what non-believers are you praying as Paul did (Rom. 10:1)? Ask God to increase your burden for lost people (Rom. 9:1-3) throughout the remainder of this year.
- Are you faithfully fighting sin in your life? Be honest – have you experienced victory over sin this year? Is there a sin that continually haunts you even though you’ve sought to overcome it? If so, what steps do you still need to take this year? Confess that sin to someone? Seek accountability? Simply repent?
- What scriptures have you memorised this year? Do you echo the desire of the psalmist: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You” (Psalm 19:14)? Based on your memorisation of God’s Word this year, would I conclude that you treasure God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:9-11)?
- Are you serving faithfully in a local church? The church is much more than a place to attend; it is a family that loves us and provokes us to good works (Heb. 10:24). Through the first half of 2014, have you used your spiritual gifts as a member of a local body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:1-11, 1 Pet. 4:10)?
- Are you supporting His work financially? Commit today to invest yourself in God’s church throughout the rest of 2014.
- Are you exhibiting the work of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:19-23)? Here, allow the Word to guide your self-evaluation: “Now the works of the flesh are obvious:sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy,drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,gentleness, self-control.” Which traits most characterise your life today?
- Who is walking more with God because of your influence this year? That is, are you making disciples? Have you purposefully pointed away from self to direct others to follow the Son of God (John 1:29)? Or, to ask the question in the negative, is there anyone who walks less with God today because of your example and influence this year?
- What steps have you taken to spread the gospel to the nations? The Great Commission is a global calling (Matt. 28:18-20), even for those not called to go to the nations full-time. Have you intentionally studied about God’s work around the world this year? Are you praying for missionaries by name? Are you fully open to taking a mission trip this year or next?
- How would your family assess you as a family member and a believer this year? Those who live with us are most equipped to evaluate our spiritual walk. If I were to ask your family about your walk with God, what would they say? Would they say your life – all of it, including behind the scenes – models Christ? If not, decide today what steps you will take the next six months.