Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Corporate v Personal God

Many times we say as a Christian can have a personal relationship with God. That's what is on offer and is what salvation brings. Often I think we can exchange the wonder of a PERSONAL relationship for a second class CORPORATE relationship with God.

God's intention was that through the church he would make his wisdom known to mankind, not that through the church you would know Him.

The Church is a glorious entity but it was never supposed to come between us and God or worse still become our God.

10 ways to you have exchanged the PERSONAL for the CORPORATE.
  1. You recognise your pastors voice but not God's voice.
  2. Reading the Bible off the screen at church is one of the few if not the only times you connect to it all week.
  3. You feel closer to God in a church service that you do at any other time.
  4. You often talk to church leaders and other Christians about your problems but seldom talk to God.
  5. You celebrate with other in church at answered prayer but are not really sure if God is listening to you.
  6. You speak up in a prayer meeting but seldom or never pray alone.
  7. You attend a Bible study but never study alone.
  8. The main reason you go to church is to be blessed rather than to serve and bless others.
  9. You can't remember that last time you heard God speak to you outside a church service.
  10. You say the word Church way more that you say the name Jesus. (Seriously think about it)
  11. OK I lied there is more than 10. You expect to see Spiritual Gifts in action on a Sunday in church but it wouldn't cross your mind in work on a Monday.
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings - Phil 3 v 10 

Any more?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stapling Rose Heads

I recently had the opportunity to preach in our UGRADE series at MKCC. My subject was "Loved People Love People". The Bible gives us clear commands to love people but often we find it difficult to obey that command.

One of the keys is to understand how much we are loved by God. Often guilt brought about by religion can drive us to show small acts of love but long term sacrificial love can only discovered by a realisation of the constant love of God.

Here is a short part of the preach, watch the rest of it here.:

Click here if you cant see the video.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trust in God

Often in the middle of difficult situations we are told to Trust in God. Today someone asked me what that meant.

Often I think what people are saying is trust God everything is going to be OK. Trusting God means that eventually God will work things out the way I want.

I will get the Job
I will be healed
I will get a husband or wife
My marriage will be saved
My child will be well
The list goes on....

This often goes along with us claiming a promise in the Bible with seems to confirm I can have what I want. So we live proclaiming the verse. (I do believe God can speak to us through his word and when he does we can take it too the bank) But often we presume what God is going to say instead of listening to what he has to say.

Maybe trusting God is trusting is more about trusting that he really knows what is best for us with the view of eternity. Trusting who he is rather than what he does for us. Trusting in his nature and character.

Trusting when I don't get the job.
Trusting when I don't get healed.
Trusting when I am single.
Trusting when our spouse walks out.
Trusting when my child is ill.

That does not make it easy. But as Paul says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - Phil 4 v 13. Unfortunately we have quoted this verse out of context so many times where it is used only as an exhortation to say we can do all POSITIVE things.

Clearly Paul was saying from the context he could do: being in need & having abundance, facing hunger & plenty, in bad as well as good circumstances.

If trusting God only extends to trusting him to work something out the way we want Him to then I may be in for a shock and disappointment.

I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain. - John Henry Newman

Monday, November 14, 2011

Extravagant Love in Community

42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosityActs 2 v 42 – 46

On Sunday I had the privilege of continuing the teaching series UPGRADE at MKCC. My topic Loved People Love People.

In my studies I was fascinated by the expression of community that is described in the early church following their encounter with the gospel.

What an incredible picture of explosive love. The NLT has a heading over those verses that says “The New Believers Formed a community”. Now the headings are not inspired by God. But what I do know is that the natural expression of salvation by Jesus is community.

Luke chooses to mention leadership, teaching, prayer & even miracles but what he repeats over and over again are expressions of community.

Often we seem to elevate miracles to the zenith of christian life and experience but they are easy for God. What I think excites God is that one of his creation is so in love with Him that he would choose community over selfishness. That they would choose to sell up EVERYTHING they had and because of a love for Jesus give it all to the poor.

It would seem that the queue for the miraculous is always popular but the line for extravagant, unselfish, radical even crazy acts of love for the community does not have a long wait time.

Friday, November 11, 2011


for·ev·er : For everlasting time; eternally, At all times; incessantly

Man God invaded my small world today as I listened to this new song: For the Honour, By Elevation Church.

Somehow the truth of this came crashing into my finite mind in a fresh way today. I get to bring honour to my God - FOREVER. Simply AMAZING.

Thank you Jesus

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Blindness of Pride

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you. - C S Lewis

HT Pete Wilson

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Upgrade - Saved People Surrender

We recently launched a brand new teaching series at MKCC - UPGRADE. Well its not quite that new. We are restating some of our values at MKCC and being helped by asking everyone to read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

Yes I have read it twice before but yet again it challenges me to the core to make the main things the main thing in my life.

This week Mark taught on our first value:

Saved people surrender.

Here is an illustration he gave about getting our whole life on the table for God. Great stuff.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

You are who you are for a reason

HT The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

by Russell Kelfer

You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb.
You're just what He wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones He chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into His likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!