Wednesday, January 20, 2016

If you Want to Change the World, you Have to Get Off the Couch.

No comments:

If you want to change the world, you have to get off the couch.

The problem is, life itself drags you to the couch.

We have a hard day at work, we sit on the couch. We buy new technology and we sit on the couch. We hear of a new show on T.V. and we sit on the couch. We have an argument at work and we slump on the couch. We get discouraged from seeing a lack of success and we find ourselves on the couch.

Life pulls us toward the metaphorical couch of mediocrity. When we fail, it seems easier to give up than to try again. When circumstances run contrary to our desires we can pull the pin.

Success doesn't involve a couch. Unless you were an entrepreneur who built the couch. And let me tell you, whoever did that, didn't build it by sitting on it.

The world is yearning for world changers. We crave leadership in an age seemingly bereft of courageous, visionary types who motivate and inspire. It is easier to slip into the background, not make a fuss, and wait for someone else to do the job.

And guess what? When we get kicked in the guts, one could well be excused from trying again.

Though I sense something is happening in these days. From a spiritual perspective something is stirring that I have not sensed before.

I see a bunch of followers of Jesus who want to change the world. Now, it's not that believers didn't want to change the world before, in fact, they've been good at it. The problem has been, some years went by and we went quiet and found ourselves snoozing on the recliner.

Though, God is raising up a generation who are characterised by tenacity and integrity, a relentless attitude underpinned by Godly character. A generation that won't give up. A generation that understands it won't be easy, but laughs in the devil's face nonetheless. Jesus won the victory through his death and resurrection.

God is raising up world changers who are Kingdom-minded and Kingdom-focused. These world changers don't sit on the couch while potential passes on by. They grab Godly opportunities by the horns and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to drag them through.

At the end the Lord will say, 'Well done good and faithful servant.' You took what I gave you and did something with it.

So, jump on board to all that God is doing and embrace the highs and lows of life, but remember, life can find a way to suck you back to mediocrity and couch-sitting.

If you want to change the world, you have to get off the couch.

Monday, January 11, 2016

25 Reasons Why Every Christian Should have FAITH!

No comments:

Faith is dynamic, that is something that is characterised by energy and effective action. That's how the dictionary defines faith. From the scriptures, the definition of faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you can't see (Hebrews 11:1).

The disciples cried out to Jesus, 'Lord, increase our faith!' Jesus replied that all they needed was simply faith the size of a mustard seed.

It's time right now, to allow your faith to be stretched. To grow a little. We want to allow God, the Holy Spirit to move in us and ignite a spark of a dream that will revolutionize our world.

So here's a list of 25 reasons why every Christian should have faith. Add your own reasons. Create the story God wants to write:

  1. I once had a Anglican Priest look me in the eye on many occasions and say to me, 'You will be a minister one day.' God spoke something into my life, even as a young boy. I have faith that God still speaks to people today.
  2. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death. He pleased the Lord (Hebrews 11:5).
  3. I heard a story of a man who had his stomach completely rotted away. He spent many months praying, and one moment, God healed him. Completely. He is probably unknown to you, but Warwick Marsh is his name.
  4. By faith Noah built an ark. (Hebrews 11:7). He witnessed God re-establish the people of the earth.
  5. By faith, Billy Graham has preached the Gospel to millions upon millions of people around the world.
  6. By faith, Abraham left the place he was living, into the promised land (Hebrews 11:8).
  7. Out of complete self-less ambition and a deep-seated faith, Corrie Ten Boon helped persecuted Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust in World War II.
  8. Faith was the main reason that William Booth believed he could bring social change to a wider audience with his strategy of 'In Darkest England and the Way Out.' 
  9. By faith, Sarah, who was past child-bearing age, gave birth to a son (Hebrews 11:11).
  10. With absolute conviction to serve the broken and forgotten of society, The Salvation Army started the first Prison Gate Ministry in Australia. Salvationists would meet prisoners and help them as soon as they were released from prison.
  11. By faith, Abraham became the father of nations, with descendants as numerous as the stars (Hebrews 11:12).
  12. By faith, Robert Raikes proposed educating children while teaching them the Bible. It began in the late 1700s. We call them Sunday Schools.
  13. By faith, when God tested him, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son (Hebrews 11:17).
  14. The week just gone, I prayed for a woman to be healed of a strong migraine. I laid hands on her head and prayed. Yes, it was healed. What did you expect? God still heals today.
  15. By faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future (Hebrews 11:20).
  16. A worldwide ministry of any sort does not come about without some faith - World Vision, Compassion International, Scripture Union...
  17. By faith, Joseph held on to the dreams he had about his future. Even when thrown in jail and wrongfully accused of sexual assault, he held true to the Lord.
  18. With faith I hold on to the promises God has spoken over my life. By faith, I hope you will do the same.
  19. By faith, Moses left the mountain areas, went back to Egypt and declared to Pharaoh, to 'Let my people go.'
  20. With prayer and faith, demonic spirits can be cast out. 
  21. By faith, we give generously to the work of the Kingdom of God. Have you ever given so much financially, that you now had to trust in God to provide for your needs?
  22. By faith, Moses led the people of Israel through the Red Sea (Hebrews 11:29).
  23. By faith, the walls of Jericho came down! (Hebrews 11:30).
  24. By faith, the prostitute Rahab was not killed, as she helped the spies in the promised land (Hebrews 11:31).
  25. By faith we can change the world. By faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, we can be world changers, for his glory and honour. Let's not settle for mediocrity. Let's not settle for less than what God wants to do in us and through us. 
Having faith that is dynamic is not for a select few. Having faith that moves mountains is for every follower of Jesus. These examples of faith, are reasons why you should have faith. God has moved amongst believers for years (and those who are yet-to-be believers), and their stories inspire US to have faith! Faith for greater things!

So... this is my challenge:

Grow your faith. Stretch yourself. Believe bigger. Risk more. Try again. Give it a shot. Change the world.

God bless.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Salvation Army - How to Forge Ahead in 2016

1 comment:

I'm sick of the same old, same old. Aren't you? The wheel keeps spinning and 2016 could end up just looking like a polished version of 2015. That's all well and good if you're completely satisfied with the year just gone. Though, if you're like me, you're not.

A new year always affords new opportunities. And one must say, to forge ahead in 2016, means we need to fix the bad habits of 2015 and tweak everything else. If we are hoping for different results and better outcomes, we cannot continue to do the same old thing. Same old, same old, with the same results. Don't be insane.

The Salvation Army has a great year ahead.

I have a couple of thoughts of how, God willing, The Salvation Army can forge ahead in 2016. We can forge ahead. To forge is 'to form or make, especially by concerted effort'. I like that. Salvationists are predominantly already busy, pragmatic, do-ers, who want to change the world. So the challenge then is to consider, what are we forging ahead with?

Let me offer you my thoughts, and you can add to it.

How The Salvation Army can forge ahead in 2016:

  • We need to better understand the mission of The Salvation Army. Why? Then we wouldn't get caught up in debates about worship styles and heated discussions about the colour of the carpets. I couldn't imagine Jesus unrolling the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and saying to the Nazarene community gathered, 'Hi folks, contrary to what you think, today my ministry is going to be about superficial things that don't really matter.' (See Luke 4:14-21). A better grasp of the significance of a mission of serving the last, lost and least of our global village will better prepare us in the year ahead.
  • We need to admit worship is more about our lifestyle than our music. We also should admit, (from what I understand), William Booth implemented Brass Bands as a vehicle for effective mission in his context. We must continually seek ways for our music, finances and resources to be mission-focused and make appropriate adaptations over time. I'm not going to say much more. Worship is about laying your life on the altar (See Romans 12:1-2).
  • We need to wrestle with people admiring The Salvation Army but not wanting to join it. I speak in generalities. People love The Salvation Army, but don't see themselves ever able to be a Salvationist. I don't know the answer to this. Do we need to radically re-think our organisational structures? How does Soldiership become more accessible to the world? How do we be not of the world, but still in it, and still effectively reach our world? I'm asking more questions than giving answers.
  • We need to write more provocative works. We need to pen better books. We need to communicate so people want to listen. We must find ourselves on the cutting edge of creative ministry. We must engage people with the exciting, hope-filled mission that we are a part, and call people to follow Jesus in the midst of a dynamically, changing world. One may say then that ministry becomes all about us and I sure don't want to go down that rabbit warren. Though, we are still called by God to do the best with what we have, the best with what we have in our hands, and the best with all that God will make us stewards of. So be the best in 2016. Don't settle for mediocrity.
  • We must pray like we believe that God answers the prayers of his people. Stop for a moment. This is critical. IF WE BELIEVED God actually changed the course of history, because one of God's Spirit-filled believers requested more of God and God's presence abided in a deeper way, we would PRAY MORE! We would pray with more intent and passion! The issue here is plain to me. We pray more like Calvinists, than anyone else. We pray like God has already chosen to bless certain people and God has already decided who will be healed and who will flourish. I want to say, No! I believe your prayers can change the course of the present and create a different future! God hears the cries of his people. Call people in 2016 to really, really pray!
  • We must hear from God. Yeah, yeah, I know you've heard that before. Sure. Great. I get the repetition. Though, this is another no-brainer, that needs re-iterating. Without hearing from the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, you're bound to simply do what most Salvationists do - fundraise, worship, serve, read, pray, serve some more and pastorally support others. All of it is good, absolutely, though we need to hear from the Lord. What is God is saying for you to leave everything and go to the Northern Territory? What if God is saying, it's time to pray for the sick on a regular basis? What if God is saying, take 20 people and go on a silent retreat? We must hear from God in 2016. I'm not saying we didn't in 2015, you understand that. But we must, hear from God. What are you saying Lord?
  • One more thought. We must not simply build buildings so that we can worship, and then fundraise to keep the building open so that we can worship. We must be wholly committed to embracing a risky, dynamic mission that reaches into the crevices of a broken world, and offers the hope of Christ.

The Salvation Army has a great year ahead.

Will you be led by the Holy Spirit, to fully participate in all that God desires to do through you this year?

Popular ALL TIME Posts