Monday, November 29, 2010

Daily Journal for Tuesday 30th of November 2010

Sharing in Christ's Glory

S - He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:14

O - God called the Thessalonians and he called me. He called me through the gospel, the good news, the good news which calls for a response. It gives me great comfort and assurance that God called me rather than me calling myself. God called me and he doesn't make mistakes. I did not save myself, God did. I am secure.

The reason that God called me here in this verse is 'that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.' God saved me to share in Jesus Christ's glory. Ultimately there is no other glory but his, but I get to be a part of that as Christ lives and works in me.

A - I will have confidence in my salvation today! God called me. He saved me. I cannot be snatched out of his hand. Because of this I will be bolder, stronger, standing firm in faith.

Today I also will be aware of the mystery that is why God saved me - to share in the glory of Christ. I will be more aware of this today. I will find out more about how I share in his glory. I will rejoice in bringing glory to God.

P - Father, thank-you for saving me. I will seek to live for the purpose for which you saved me by bringing glory to your son. Amen

Daily Reading - 2 Thessalonians 2-3

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Church Meeting Tonight!

Daily Journal for Wednesday 24th of November 2010

No Grumbling or Arguing!

S – “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.” Philippians 2:14

O – Paul knows that we are prone to grumble. We get in our heads an idea of how things should unfold, how God will help, how the ministry challenges will be met. And when they do not unfold how we thought, when God doesn’t intervene on time, and when our challenges aren’t met – we grumble. “Do you see what I’ve been doing!” “It’s not fair!” “Don’t you care!” Underlying all of these responses is a much deeper problem. I am revealing by my grumbling that that I am not really trusting God to do be faithful to his promises in his timing. I am showing that I think I know better, that I know the big picture when I don’t, that I am wiser than God.

Paul also says, “Do everything without… arguing.” There are many issues where people have a difference of opinion. Some want things done one way, others insist that it is done another. Who is right? On most occasions both are right. It’s just opinions. To spend a great deal of time arguing over opinions when our clear and agreed upon urgency is clear and undeniable seems silly. Paul would have us spending a great deal of our time practically worshipping, loving, serving, preaching,  teaching, equipping, praying and sharing the gospel far and wide. Arguing takes time and energy. It often is one ego against another. It often stops us from focusing on what God would have us do.

So don’t grumble and don’t argue.

A – Instead of grumbling and arguing I need to pray and dialogue.

If pray to God when I am feeling like grumbling I am letting him know my fears, my needs, my expectations, not to try to convince or control God but to give to him and trust the outcomes to him. When I pray I am trusting that our sovereign God is in control. This is far better that grumbling.

If through dialogue with others, I share my thoughts on an issue not to get my way but to express my own feelings and to listen to others thoughts and their ideas, then the final outcome will be much better that when I just shared my own thoughts to get my way. Two are better than one (Eccles 4:9a). Especially when the other people in the discussion are followers of Jesus who are seeking to hear and discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Solomon (the wisest man who ever lived) said, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

Today I will take my grumbling to God in prayer and give them to him, trusting him to do what he wants not what I want. I will also steer clear of people who only want me to listen to their opinion and who discard the thoughts of others. I will seek to listen intently to others to come to a wise decision rather than arguing.

P – Thank-you Father, you speak through your Word to me. Help me to put into practice the truth you have shown me today. Amen.  

Daily Readings Philippians 2-3

Monday, November 22, 2010

Belonging Together

I love golf. Well, I really like it at least. I wish I was better at it. But I know that in order to get better at it I will really need to do a few key things. I will need to upgrade my old set of clubs and I’ll need to play more regularly. Both of these cost money. A new set of clubs and a year-long membership at the local golf club will set me back quite a lot of money. So I guess I’ll just remain an ordinary golfer who likes golf but can’t really pay, I mean play.

God wanted me to be part of his family. So much so that he paid my entry fee. Jesus died so that I could be forgiven, be united with him and live the life he created me to live – life to the full. As a teenager at Boronia Baptist Church I responded to God’s invitation and became part of the family of God. My membership was free even though it cost God greatly. Through Christ I belonged to a family, the family of God.
Paul wrote in Romans 12:5 “…So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”  When I become part of God’s family, I not only belong to God through faith in Christ, I actually belong to other believers.

In this new family my belonging is ‘in Christ’ and in Christ I am unified with other believers no matter how different we may appear! We are many. There are hundreds of Baptist Churches in Victoria, and they are all vastly different, but in Christ we are one body. We are many here at Wodonga, old and young, farmers and business people, early risers and night owls, New South Welsh people and Victorians but in Christ we are all one body.

We have a great church building, but that is not what unites us. We have many really good programs, but they aren’t what unite us. We live in an amazing part of Victoria but even this is not what unites us. We are one in Christ.

I was talking with a couple who have been a part of our church community for just over a year. They had noticed that the church was different to anything they had been a part of. “We’ve been in community groups, volunteer organisations, sporting clubs for my whole life, but this is different,” they said. What they were identifying was that people genuinely cared for them. They had received cards in the mail. People stopped to talk to them and showed interest in them. They were beginning to really experience God’s love and they felt like they belonged. This is priceless. This is the church.

I love the church. God has gathered us together, different, but united. Do you celebrate this? Instead of sitting back and complaining from the sidelines, decide to become wholeheartedly committed to those who in Christ you are one with. Instead of lurking in the shadows why not become a member? Make a decision to worship regularly and consistently. Use your gifts for their good. Give to support the mission you all share. Love deeply those who you are one with in Christ.

When other people see this they’ll notice and want to belong too!