Category Archives: Purpose

There’s Wisdom in Silence

I’m getting sick and tired of Christians slating other Christians. Over the last few days we’ve had Mark Driscoll resigning from his position as Senior Pastor of Mars Hill Church, and outcry because Pastor Brian Houston didn’t specifically say that gay marriage was wrong during a media interview. He later released a statement clarifying Hillsong Church‘s position.

In both cases, before even the mainstream news media outlets could give their spin, Christian bloggers were pulling both men apart. Why is it that we find it acceptable to ridicule others?

Matthew 18:15-17:

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

I understand that if we see our brother failing, then it is our responsibility to go along side and help them. Unfortunately what I see across Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other mediums is neither going alongside the person, nor helping them. Rather, it appears to be an open field for shooting people down, because either they have failed, or we disagree with their theology, amongst other things.

Do people ever stop to think how this looks to those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus? Why would anyone ever want to choose to follow Christ, when a lot of those we see following Him, don’t even get on with each other, and always shoot others down.

What is our calling in life?

Matthew 28:16-20:

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

I believe that there are 4 things we are to do in life:

  1. Go into our world
  2. Make disciples
  3. Baptise those disciples
  4. Teach them in the ways Jesus taught

Nowhere in that list, does it say, “Shoot down those who fall, or those we disagree with.”

Tonight, thankfully, at the Gateway Conference 2014, we did see that through the whole process with Mark Driscoll, he has friends who have been speaking into his life, and giving him guidance. This is the biblical model for correction, not some keyboard warriors wanting to pull everyone down who they disagree with theologically.

A lesson I am learning, and at times failing in, is that there is wisdom in silence. Perhaps we should learn to be silent about others, and more vocal about Jesus.

The world needs more Jesus, not more condemnation.

An Ass With A Purpose

When they were nearing Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany on Mount Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never yet been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘The Master needs him, and will return him right away.'”

So Mark 11:2 talks about a colt, or a young donkey, also described as an ass, that was tied up, never having been rode upon, that Jesus was going to ride into Jerusalem. Now I don’t know if Jesus was familiar with riding donkeys, but even if he was, taking an untrained ass and riding it into Jerusalem wouldn’t have been an easy task. Have you ever wondered why it was an ass upon which no one had yet sat? Surely it would have been easier to sit upon one that was familiar with people, and was used regularly for such trips?

Some people have explained that it was a pure donkey, and that Jesus was looking to ride upon something that was pure, and while that could hold true, we need to look deeper. If Jesus was about only using people and things that were pure, then he would have been short a few disciples! No, the donkey was about purpose.

Each one of us have been created with a purpose. That donkey had been created by God, with a purpose in His mind. That donkey didn’t know what it was going to do with it’s life, but Jesus did! Does that sound familiar to us? Do we drift through life sometimes, seemingly doing very little, wondering what it’s all about. God has purpose for you! You have been created with a job, a task in mind, that only you can carry out. That ass had been created for a specific purpose. All that ass had to do was keep being an ass, and it’s day would come. All we have to do is keep focused on Jesus, and He will call you out, and reveal His purpose to you!

So the next time you wonder why you are here, just remember the ass with a purpose!

Performance-related blessings? No Way!

For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20

Just a simple thought before bed! For a long time we have been taught, or at least thought that blessing comes when we are good, or when we do something that pleases God. That has been modelled to us through school based rewards systems, or parents who reward good behaviour with treats or gifts.

In the Old Testament when God promised something He followed that with an “if”, meaning that to receive the blessing the people must first do something. When Jesus came to this world, and died on the cross, it was a finished work. We have been made righteous not because of our behaviour, but because of the ultimate price that Jesus paid for us. Our position in God’s eyes is nothing to do with what we do, rather what Jesus has done!

So when this letter was written to the church at Corinth, it was to let them know that God’s blessings were not related to their performance! Performance-related pay maybe a concept in the work place, but it’s not a term used with in God’s economy! God’s promises to us are fulfilled in Jesus, therefore we are in Him, and because of that then we can receive all that God has for us!

So are you striving to do as much as you can to receive God’s blessing and feeling like you aren’t quite getting it? Accept that blessing is not related to what you do, rather in the fact that you are in Jesus. His grace is sufficient for all, His death on the cross has meant you don’t need to keep trying to measure up, relax in the knowledge that God wants to bless you.

Live Blessed! :-)

We’re all cracked pots!

A waterbearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the mistress’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to her master’s house.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your mistress’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in her compassion she said, “As we return to the mistress’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.

But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?

“That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my mistress’s table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house.”

Maybe you think you are imperfect and have no purpose – God’s got different ideas on that! Remember you were created on purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose!