Archives For Thoughts about Life

The Fire of God Part 2

Ben —  April 27, 2017 — Leave a comment

The Church, like a burning bush in the desert of this world, was chosen by God to attract those who wanted to live more than just a routine convenient life. He intended for the church to always be on fire, to never die out or burn out – that is to be a passionate atmosphere where lives are convicted by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

It was fire that God chose as a symbol to signify the start of the Old Testament Church. Although brittle and dry, He chose an unattractive thorn-bush to reveal Himself by fire.

Exodus 3:1-2 [NKJV]One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up.”

Even so God used the symbol of fire to signify the start of the New Testament church. This time the fire was closer, sat on them and was CARRIED BY THEM. It is He who chooses us, and it is His fire we carry.

Acts 2:1-4 [NKJV] “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.”

God chooses to reveal himself in the humblest of places; like the old dry brittle thorn-bush having nothing naturally attractive, God chose the church, not impressive or attractive to the world to reveal Himself. To be an instrument through which He speaks, to attract people’s attention and cause them to turn from their routine lives and bring a sense of conviction and fear of God.

I encourage you to reflect this week and ask the question: “What kind of a person (Christian) or Church am I? Dry, brittle, burnt out, a heap of ashes or on fire for God?” God is here to rekindle and re-light the fire in your heart and life. The fire of God burning on the altar of your heart is not to be put out or let go out. It is never to die out, but be ever burning.

The Fire of God

Ben —  April 7, 2017 — Leave a comment

Complacency is a subtle yet powerful tool of the enemy that keeps us from carrying out our destiny and living a fruitful, spirit-filled life. At times during our Christian walk convenience can lead us to become neutral, unstirred or unmoved, with no emotion to a greater purpose than our everyday lives. Rather than settling for convenient routine, we as followers of Christ must remember that we are temples of the Hold Spirit. Called to be on fire for God because the Holy Spirit, given to us as a precious gift, lives in us.

Matthew 3:11 “I baptise with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.“

The fire of God is all consuming; not only does it elevate our worship and prayer life, but also burns away the weeds or habits in our lives that stagnate our spiritual walk. We must be careful to never let this fire burn out [Leviticus 6:12–13], to be more than spectators in our daily walk, to show passion in an age of indifference.

Living in these times with so much information and very little emotion, how can we Christians maintain our passion, enthusiasm and excitement for God? I challenge you to make the choice to apply these practical changes below to keep God’s fire burning in your life:

  • Be Committed to and Belong to a Local Church 
A place where you are fed spiritually, a place where you are joined together with other believers
  • Be a Person of the Word Read, read, read!
  • Be a Person of Daily Devotional Prayer
A place to feed your spirit, a place to renew your mind
  • Be a Fervent Worshipper of the Lord Jesus 
Worship with passion
  • Worship with emotion and heart. Worship with spiritual understanding
  • Worship with faith. Worship with joy
  • Be a Person with a Clean Spirit
  • Be a forgiving person – no offenses, no grudges, no bitterness. Let it all go!

A Healthier You

Ben —  January 22, 2017 — Leave a comment

Good health is a blessing from God, and it is His will for us that we are healthy in every area of our lives.

3 John 2 [NKJV] “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers”

If you’ve lived long enough you will know that health challenges are an inevitable part of life. Reflecting on my own church experience, I am astonished to realize that we so often hear messages about healing, but never about healthy living. Prayer for healing is an important part of the Christian walk, and we are fortunate to have a God we call the Great Physician. But should we accept the inevitable, or do we have a part to play in the area of maintaining our health?

This week, I challenge you to reflect on your habits and environment and ask the question “…is this healthy?” so you may progress towards changing for the better.

Beloved, as we begin the New Year, my prayer for you is to have a fresh perspective on health, that will help you prosper in all areas of your life. It is important that we don’t neglect our health, for when we are healthy we are more productive, go so much further and everyone around us is blessed.

Here are some “Health Truths” that I would like to share with you for 2017, and onwards as you journey through life:

• A healthy life starts with a healthy spirit
• If you are healthy, your world is more happy
• Healthy life happens in community
• God wants us healthy
• Committing to doing my best physically is a spiritual decision
• Don’t wait for a crises – make a change now
• Physical health is a long term investment
• If my pantry and fridge are not healthy I will not be healthy
• Exercise is good for your soul

Dwell Together in Unity

Ben —  October 17, 2016 — Leave a comment

The enemy wants to divide people in any way, whether that is based on race, age, status or culture because wherever you see unity you tend to see progress. God is a unifier! Psalm 133 describes a blessing (God’s touch of opportunity, increase and provision in our lives) that we are promised when we are unified together with others. Being “together” means much more than being physically present, but means upholding a certain spirit and culture of protected values.

Psalm 133 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing – life forevermore.”

There are two images presented in this scripture – the oil and the dew. The oil represents a spiritual blessing in your gifts and ministry. In the Old Testament when people were set apart by God, they were anointed with oil by a priest. The dew represents a natural blessing in all areas of your life such as your health, relationships and finances. The amazing thing about dew is that it can still fall, even when there has been no rain, so you can expect God’s blessing in spite of your current circumstances.

But what does it really mean to build unity? Unity is more than just not fighting with others. To be unified in Jesus takes intentionality, it’s no accident. Jesus is what brings us together, and He is bigger than any of our differences.

Building Together What Lasts

Ben —  October 10, 2016 — Leave a comment

I think that everything of value in life is not so much discovered, but intentionally built. Every day we build on attitudes, actions and habits that influence our friendships, our families, physical health, careers and our faith. God calls us to be builders, to create and not criticize, to be involved and not stand back.

Isaiah  54:2–3 (NLT) “Enlarge your house; build an  addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! For you will soon be bursting at the seams. Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities.”

This scripture really defines were we are as a church, as we build a second campus in our city. It’s just an empty building today, but we are building in anticipation of the eternal impact that Jesus will have on this community.

Six keys to building together with Jesus

  • Build something bigger than just you – 1 Corinthians 3:10 – 17
  • Build what Jesus is building – Matthew 16:18
  • Have a long term view – Jeremiah 29:5 – 7
  • Find a place of involvement – 1 Corinthians 12:18
  • Build something eternal and spiritual – Exodus 20: 24 – 26

Don’t just be a church attender, a church maintainer or a church critic. Be a church builder, like the apostle Paul. Step up and contribute your time, talents and treasure to build something that lasts!

Family is Built, not Discovered

Ben —  September 26, 2016 — Leave a comment

In a world of division, separation, disunity and isolation, a spirit of togetherness is a beautiful and Godly thing. 1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”

One of the reasons I believe in the local church is that we can do more together than separate. It is our togetherness that determines our capacity. Church growth is not about getting more people from outside in. Instead, it is having those that are in the House, take on the responsibility to build a family community that is so healthy and so full of life, that it bears fruit and grows naturally.

I think there is this myth out there of finding the ‘right church’. It is this mythical place that we hope we will stumble upon that will love us and meet all of our needs. What if instead of hoping to discover it, we decided to build it? Genuine community is intentionally created, it can’t be achieved by a single pastor or a church program – it takes all of us.

So how do I go about building this family? It has to be a priority that finds its way out of the pages of the Bible and into the pages of our schedule. To get really practical, this means
• You come together for church events and meetings beyond a Sunday. Sunday to Sunday church makes it very hard to build long term family. I have found it takes one more event during the week too.
• You make time in your calendar for people outside your biological family (expand your definition of family)
• You value important moments in other people’s lives (birthdays, anniversaries, funerals)
• You intentionally always have someone you are building a new friendship with.
• You open up your home and your heart and eat food. Let your kitchen get messy!

Stop waiting to discover the perfect church and begin building the church family God has placed you in!

The Woman at the Well

Ben —  September 22, 2016 — 1 Comment

John 4 records a conversation between Jesus and a lone Samaritan woman. We don’t even know her name but her particular one-on-one conversation with Jesus is the longest one recorded in all Scripture. The setting for their conversation was at a well where Jesus stopped to rest midway on a journey. Jesus asks her for a drink as she draws her own water into a bucket, and then uses this moment to illustrate an important lesson on where we each draw on, in our own lives.

Often without realising it, we drop our buckets into wells in our lives to draw contentment and purpose. Often these wells are filled with pain, regret and consequences. For this woman, men had been her well – trying to find satisfaction in relationships. At the time she spoke with Jesus, she had already had five unsuccessful marriages. Success, careers and money are other common wells that we can try to draw from to sustain our lives. A life lived together with Jesus is the only well that will bring an eternal quenching of the thirst for hope, fulfilment, identity and contentment.

The last image that John leaves us with is that the woman leaves behind her bucket as she and Jesus leave the well. The earthly vessel that she had been using was made redundant now that she had found true life in Jesus’ words. Have you left your bucket behind?