Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Are there days you just want to quit?

Everyday there are leaders who’ve responded to God’s calling that find themselves tempted to give up. The thing that once stirred passion in their soul somehow became a burden, a chore or an anxiety they could no longer endure. Quitting isn’t always a bad thing, in fact there are times it’s the wise thing to do. But other times a leader finds himself in a dangerous place spiritually, emotionally or physically where he feels he just can’t go forward.

Elijah reached this point in 1 Kings 19 when Jezzabel was seeking to take his life. He said, “I have had enough Lord take my life.” 1 Kings 19:4. He had hit a quitting point.

So why do we sometimes find ourselves tempted to quit?
There are lots of possibilities….

1. We get… tired, discouraged, criticized, opposition
2. We run out of…time, money, opportunity, resources
3. We lose… support, confidence, faith, passion, vision Regardless of what got us to that point the fact is we find ourselves in a place where we’ve lost hope.

So how do we reduce the temptation to quit?

1. Get rest – An angel came to Elijah in his depressed state and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:7). When a leader is physically drained he becomes emotionally weak and finds it easier to give up. Get rest, eat right and exercise and you will regain the energy to keep going. A wise leader pauses regularly to rebuild his reserves.

2. Get Perspective – Elijah moaned that he was the only righteous one left and was feeling isolated and abandoned. So God told him, “Go out and stand before me on the mountain.” 1 Kings 19:11 It was there God spoke to him and gave him a whole new perspective. Most of the time when we’re tempted to quit we’re looking at our situation from a wrong perspective. It’s easy to find ourselves looking through the lens of discouragement or criticism. Instead we must discover God’s perspective on our situation.

3. Get a Fresh Direction – God spoke to Elijah and gave him instructions for what was next, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. 16 Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.” 1 Kings 19:15-16. Sometimes simply getting clarity on our next step is all we need to gain the strength to move forward.

4. Get Support – God directed Elijah to find Elisha and anoint him as his understudy. “So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat…then he went with Elijah as his assistant.” 1Kings 19:19,21. When discouraged it’s essential that we surround ourselves with others who’s faith is strong. Leaning on someone else in times of discouragement is a sign of wisdom, not weakness.

What helps you push through quitting points?

Friday, 12 February 2010

Radical devotion comes from an accurate view of Jesus

This blew me away today and I hope it challenges you all!. By Perry Noble

Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina, spoke about radical devotion at this week’s Radicalas. Here is an excerpt from his message:

Radical devotion begins with an accurate view of Jesus. I don’t think we would speak to Jesus the way we speak to Jesus sometimes if we just understood who he was.

‘Jesus, I’m over my head!’ I know.

‘Lord, God, I’m so powerless!’ Duh.

‘God, I don’t know what to do.’ I know; that’s why I called you.

I think before we can discover what Jesus wants, we’ve got to see who he is … I believe when we discover who Jesus is, our hearts will beat for the same things that his heart beats for and we will understand what he wants us to do.

We don’t have a resource problem in the church today; we don’t have a staffing problem; we have a Jesus problem and, if we will take the church and bring it back to Jesus -- because it is his to begin with -- that’s when we will see some supernatural things take place among us -- like the Bible says can and should be happening in his church.

Pastor, let me ask you a question: do you want you people to see who you are or do you want your people to see who Jesus is? You can tell by how many pictures of you are in the church vs. how many pictures of Jesus there are. If it’s all about Jesus, pastor, why don’t you go back to your church and take all the pictures of you down and instead point people to the cross -- because if they believe in you, they will go to hell.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Forsaken that we might be forgiven

Wept today as I was impacted by God's love for me and you!

Read Luke 23:32-49

If you are like me, I have heard and read this story many times. Yet the significance of this heart wrenching scene is often missed. This was not just a good teacher or a prophet being crucified for his beliefs. It was Jesus the messiah, God in human form who hung on a cross, bridging the gap between sinful people and a holy God.

Matthew's gospel tells us when Jesus hung on the cross he cried out, 'My God my God, why have you forsaken me?' Many Bible scholars believe that this marked the very moment at which God placed the sins of the world upon his son. A Holy God had to turn his face and pour out his wrath upon his own son! Jesus, received the wages that were due us. In those moments Jesus was alone and the ear of the father closed so that it might never be closed to us.

Thank you Jesus. I am ruined by your grace forever!

Monday, 1 February 2010

The greatest demonstartion of love

Blown away today!!

The necessity of the death of Jesus on the cross shows just how radical our situation was and is as fallen people. I heard it once said that you can tell the depth of a well by how much rope is lowered into it. When we look at how much rope was lowered from heaven, we realize how grave our situation really is. It wasn't the Roman soldiers or the Jews alone that put Jesus on the cross we are ALL guilty, it was our sins that made it necessary for Jesus to volunteer for this torturous and humiliating death.

Rom 5:6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Jesus didn't die for us while we were his friends but while we were his enemies - opposing him by our sinfulness! Yet in spite of all this, God demonstrated his love for us by dying on the cross. He died for you and for me! Gal 2:20 says that Christ loved ME and gave himself for ME. This is where it gets personal. You need to know this for yourself a personal revelation and life changing encounter with Jesus.

Listen, whenever you are tempted to doubt God's love for you, take a LONG look at THE CROSS on which Jesus died. Know this, I do not think it was nails alone that held him there on the cross, but HIS LOVE FOR YOU AND ME.

We sang on Sunday, 'I will fall at your feet, I will fall at your feet and I will worship you here' I think that is our ONLY response to Jesus.