Author Archives: Stu

No More Procrastinating

Matthew 4:19-20   Approaching Peter and Andrew while they were fishing

“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!’ And they left their nets at once and went with Him. A little further up the shore He saw two brothers, James and John, sitting in their boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their nets. And He called out to them to come, too. They immediately followed Him, leaving the boat and their father behind” (NLT)

How often have you thought or said you would do something today, only to put it off ’til tomorrow. ‘I’m too busy now’, ‘I’ll worry about that some other time’, ‘Someone else can do that’… the list of excuses go on and on. God leads us to many forks on the paths of our lives, allowing us to choose to go with Him, or against Him. He teaches and refines our character and mindset so we can learn to make the decisions that conform to His will for us. However when His voice calls out to us, how often do we choose to ignore it? How often do we make excuses not to obey or respond to His call?

Procrastination has been an enemy of mine at times. I allow myself to get caught up in issues and excuses instead of making the active choice to faithfully obey God and boldly follow Him NOW! I lose sight of the bigger picture and the privileged, vital work God has for me to do and the person He would have me become. When Jesus called the disciples, did they make excuses not to follow straight away… no! They left what they were doing and trusted that Jesus knew what was best for them. Delayed obedience to God is disobedience. When we choose to put off responding to God now, we are choosing to disobey Him. We may try to cover up our disobedience with seemingly valid and noble excuses to ease the burden on our consciences, but in not following God straight away when He calls us, we are saying He is not faithful and doesn’t know what’s best for our lives. God is omniscient. He knows all the details of our lives. He knows when is the best time. He knows when we are ready. He knows our struggles. In refusing to not act on God’s calling immediately, we are saying He doesn’t know what’s best. We are saying we know better and would prefer to do it our way. Well, if we choose to do that, then we mustn’t expect to be blessed and walk closely with God. We are choosing to walk a path foreign to what God has for us, allowing our consciences to be deadened to His voice, and inevitably missing out on His riches and blessings. How tragic a life of missed opportunities is.

What’s causing you to ignore God’s calling on your life, leading you to disobeying Him? Are you afraid of not being ‘equipped’ to follow, what you might lose, or the struggles you may face? Are you using your family or the people around you as an excuse?

Obedience will be costly, but it will bring us a life of satisfaction, joy, peace and eternal significance (Matt 10:39)! We only need to look at Jesus’ life to see the ultimate cost of obedience and the resulting glory! How will we feel when we die and are asked by Jesus what we did with our lives? Will He say ‘well done good and faithful child’ or ‘why did you ignore all that I had for you to do?’ God created us to make a difference in this depraved world (Eph 2:10). Our earthly lives are precious and filled with God-given purpose. We only get one crack at it! We will only make a difference by responding to God in faith, trusting that He knows best, and knowing He will give us all we need to live for Him (Matt 6:32-33). We don’t know if ‘tomorrow’ will be an option, so let’s make the most of ‘today’ and respond to whom God has called us to become and the work He has for us to do!

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Should Christians Feel Guilty?

We are slowly working our way through 1 Corinthians at church at the moment. It’s a challenging book, addressing some very hotly debated topics within the Christian community today. When it came to studying the Lord’s supper I thought this passage would be a little more straight forward. However we should never under-estimate the depth of God’s word, even from the passages we think we know well.

Part of the message addressed how some Christians consider not taking communion some weeks because they feel guilty or unworthy of doing so. We may be struggling with a sin in our life or generally not feel as close to God due to some disobedient act. Knowing the significance of the Lord’s supper and what it represents in Christ’s sacrifice to us, it’s easy to at times feel we are not worthy given our tendency sometimes to rush into disobeying God in our daily lives. However to feel that way is to forget what has actually happened to us when we become a Christian and what is at the heart of the Gospel message. Continue reading

The Mystery of God

In an earlier blog I spoke of some of the qualities and characteristics of God as depicted in the Bible. However as we learn more about God so that we may grow in our relationship, appreciation and adoration of Him, there is one fact that seems to always raise its head – there are some aspects of Him and His plan/work/nature that we in our finite thinking and understanding will never fully grasp.

We shouldn’t be surprised at this. Although humans are made in God’s image (Gen 1:27-28), and thus have the privilege of representing God on Earth, we are not God ourselves. We are not all knowing (Omniscient). We are not the creators and sustainers of all creation. We are not eternal in our existence. Yet despite these obvious limitations, it’s not uncommon for people to fill in the blanks based on our own perception of what we think God should be like and how He should operate. Rather, we should accept there are some aspects of God we will never fully understand.

Two examples of the mystery of God at work, both in His nature and how He operates are as follows:

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What is God Like?

When asking this question we need to be aware of how we, and others, come to an answer. If we are going to worship and marvel at who God is, let alone develop an authentic relationship with Him, we need to do all we can to understand and appreciate who He is. The question is, how do we do that?

Often we focus on the key characteristics of God that we connect with most or feel best show His qualities. Although this can be valid, the problem is it can become subjectively tarnished or influenced by what we think is right or wrong as opposed to what is true. The primary method to knowing what God is like is to read about Him in the Bible, as it is the Word of God without error. What it teaches is not dependent on what we think is right or wrong. Being God’s instruction to us, its teachings have authority over us, not the other way round.

My bible study group is working through a Video series called “Christian Beliefs” by Wayne Grudem. We are never too mature in our faith to study the key teachings of the Bible.  If we don’t it’s easy to succumb to other fine sounding, yet wrong thinking. Over the coming weeks I am going to review some of these topics with you. This week’s reflection is, “What is God Like?”

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