Category Archives: Observations

Look and Live!

When Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again,” this Jewish scholar didn’t get it.  So Jesus explains that in a birthing process, the infant allows the parent to do all the work.  “There must be more,” thinks Nicodemus.  Using this visiting professor’s favorite book, the Torah, Jesus says “As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life” (John 3:14-15 NLT).  Nicodemus got the point!

When God had heard all the complaining  He could put up with no more, “…sent fiery serpents… and many of the people of Israel diemoses_snaked” (Numbers 21:6 NKJV).  The survivors pleaded with Moses to ask God for mercy. “The the Lord said to Moses,”Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and…everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he shall live.'”  (Numbers 21:8 NKJV).  The snake bitten Israelites found healing by looking at the pole; and sinners find salvation by looking to Christ.  Look and live!  The simplicity of it troubles us.  We expect a more complicated cure.  Moses and his followers might have expected more as well:: manufacture an ointment, treat one another, or at least fight back.  We say ” God helps those who help themselves”.  But Jesus says “only believe”.  You believe that the chair will hold your weight, so you sit on it.  You trust the work of the light switch so you flip it.  You regularly trust power you cannot see to do a work you cannot accomplish.  Today, Jesus asks you to do the same.

Be Encouraged.

Respect your temple

“…God bought you with a high price.  So…honour God with your body” 1 Corinthians 6:20 NLT

One of the things the Bible tells you to do is honour God with your body.  But what does that mean?  And what the heck has it got to do with temples?  OK, time for a quick history lesson the temple was a place where people went to meet with, and worship God.  It was a place of respect, and pretty ornate too; which is a posh way of saying it was nice to look at!

God made you to be like that, He calls your body ‘a temple’; how awesome is that?!  God wants to live in you, and He wants you to live out Him, so that when people look at your life, they see Him.  It says in the Bible that you’re made in the image of God, so that basically means there’s a bit of God in you.  If you think about it, treating your body like a temple kind of makes sense.  It’s basically about not abusing your body, but instead, using it to glorify God.  So how shosleepuld that affect the way you treat yourself?

Well, have a think about what you’d do if Jesus came to stay, and you were in charge of His well being.  I’m guessing you’d make sure He ate well, got sleep, exercised, and kept generally fit and healthy, wouldn’t you? So…if you’re made in the image of God, why should you treat yourself any differently?  So, we have three things to consider; exercise, eating and sleep.  Here we go:

Firstly: an hour on the Wii or PS3 doesn’t count as exercisenintendo-wii-console!!  It’s easy to get some exercise – especially whilst you’re young.  Join a netball or football team, or if you are not really sporty, go for a walk with your mate at lunchtime instead of staying in the dinnerhall!

Secondly: you need to eat well.  Yeah, we all have days when all we want is chocolate and crisps, but honestly you’ve got to get a balanced diet.  That doesn’t mean you 6a00d8342d4c7053ef00e54f59795c8833-800wibalance a mars bar with a bag of quavers, but means you need to eat fruit and veg as well as protein ( meat, cheese and nuts) and carbs (bread, pasta and rice etc).  If you struggle with this, why not try a smoothie; it’s a great way to get loads of goodness in you, and pretty yummy too?

Thirdly:  staying up late isn’t the be-all and end-all.  We need sleep.  If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t focus properly in school, college, work or uni, and you won’t achieve your best.  So try and get 8 hours most nights; it really is good for your health! Remember; you’re a temple!!

Be Encouraged.

Grow Up!

“Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established.” Proverbs 24:3 NKJVghgcalee46icat5pgblcaxvrslkca9vvueycaaajrh6canqtvpgca8l7npycanojgzrcajiasekcafrcrqecave26ppca8wqvpkca7nwx6rcabuubb1ca0xg45fcau6uhpbcaqvul7qcapjsqghcad2ogmt1

Annoying, aren’t they.  Those brats from hell you see on ‘Supernanny’.  All that kicking and screaming, and award winning temper tantrums makes you want to wrap the kid in its soiled nappy and send it for recycling.  Thank God we’re so over the ‘spitting the dummy out of the pram’ phase, eh? Or are we?

We can all have our moments  of dragging our feet because we feel like God isn’t playing fair or because we’re so stubborn in wanting out own way.  But get this:  ” God wants us to grow up…like Christ in everything” (Ephesians 4:15 TM).  You see, a Dad may love a screaming brat but he’s more likely not a fan of the outburst; well, it’s the same with our Heavenly Dad.  That’s where the discipline comes into play.  Supernanny’s legendary ‘naughty step’ isn’t designed to toture a child, it’s there to get the child to change how they think.  Well, guess what; ” we are no longer to be as children” ( Ephesians 4:14 NAS).  To change o072discipline_468x351ur spoilt-brat ways we must change the way we think.  In fact, we are urged to “…think the same way that Jesus Christ thought…” (Phillipians 2:5 CEV).  Imagine Jesus pulling a strop because He didn’t feel like healing a leaper today.  Doesn’t add up does it?  Little kids, by nature, think only of themselves, because they’re immature.  Don’t just think of yourself; think like Christ.  Grow up!

“Train up a child in the way he should go…” Proverbs 22:6 NIV

‘Growing older’ and ‘growing up’  is not the same thing.  You can be forty and still wobble about in spiritual nappies.  ‘Growing up’ isn’t just something that happens.  It takes work.  You must want to grow, choose to grow, make an effort to grow.  When you first decided to follow Jesus, something in you was drawn to His invitation.  That’s great, that’s all you need to get started.  But where do you go from there?  How do you ‘follow’ Jesus?  Do you simply put you feet up until Judgement Day, thinking:  ” well, that’s my ticket sorted for the afterlife.”  Well, you could, but you’d miss out on the full ride that God has planned for you.  Following Jesus means trying to make Jesus-like choices and then asking His Spirit to help you stick with it.church_logo_small

The Jesus blueprint for choices always focuses on putting others first, not yourself.  This kind of thinking is alien to our culture, where we are told ‘chase OUR dreams’, or ‘make a name for OURSELVES’, it comes unnatural to us.  But it’s the core of  Jesus’ lifestyle, it sums up His ‘Love God; love people’ attitude.  So where are you at with your thinking?  Ask yourself now: where do I need to stop wanting my way and start wanting God’s way?  Where can I grow up?  Then ask the Holy Spirit to help you stick with it.

Be Encouraged