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Monday, July 31, 2006

Making the Most of Every Opportunity

Your time is one of the most important assets that you possess. As with everything else that we own, though, we are merely stewards of our time and one day will be called to account for how we used it.

It is up to us to invest our time wisely. It is our responsibility to learn strategies that enable us to work smarter and thus gain a greater reurn on the effort we invest in building our lives in a godly way.

Half-heartedness is not an option for success. Neither is cutting corners. We are called to be a people of excellence whose lives reflect the excellence of the Lord who redeemed us, gave us a purpose and direction and empowered us to demonstrate His wisdom and power in a world that desperately cries out for His intervention.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

A need to study

Whether we like to admit it or not, we are stewards of everything we possess. Nothing belongs to us alone. Instead, we have been entrusted with a responsibility to invest our time and efforts in the growth of God's Kingdom.

This includes our thought-life and the way we fulfil the potential of our minds. We have a sacred responsibility to be the best student that we can be.

The responsibility does not end there however. We also are expected to apply the principles learned consistently in our own lives, and teach others to do the same.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Teach to Change Lives

I recently found a nice short free email course on how to improve the way you teach the Bible. The author is Glenn Brooke. On his website, he also sells a more in-depth ebook on the subject. Click here for more information on both the free course and the $29 book. If you join his email list, you get access to some other nice free resources too.

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Men's Health

The Bible has a great deal to say about our physical well-being. We're told that by Jesus' wounds, received on the cross, we have been healed. This is not merely a future hope for an afterlife, but a blessing we can experience now in our mortal bodies.

Of course, reality sets in. We live in a sin-sick, warped universe - its brokenness is evident to us and everyone else around us. We don't always see an instantaneous, miraculous healing for our friends every time we pray for them.

But does that stop us from praying? By no means. It is discouraging. If we're asked to explain why, it's best to be honest - tell the truth. We just don't know. We could pontificate about hidden sin, a lack of faith, a spiritual battle against demonic forces or any other strategies used by Job's friends to make themselves look good while concealing their cluelessness - but in the end, we have to confess; we just don't see the bigger picture.

We may experience one dimension of reality. But there is a greater, richer, truer reality that undergirds and invades our experience. That is the source of the miraculous - and we have intimate access to the One who is in authority over it all, as He seeks to bring our world inexorably into line with the eternal.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006


Some reclaimed weblogs:

If I have the time, I'll see if I can post some thoughts related to each of these topics inspired by some Bible verses dealing with each subject.

The Greatest Commandment

What is the most important commandment. Not a trivial question. At the time when Jesus was asked this, scholars had identified over 600 specific commandments that the Jews were expected to obey.

Jesus' response was simple and to the point. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength - and your neighbour as yourself.

By putting the Father first, having a wholehearted, sincere love for Him, eveything else fits into perspective. Without that genuine afection and desire to please, we not only rob ourselves of true pleasure, but also make obedience an empy, unsatisfying experience.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A New Heart

Occasionally, I meet people who are a little bit confused by the purpose of the Old and New Testaments. Sometimes it is tempting to think that the entire Old Testament was rendered obsolete by the New. As if the Almighty decided to completely change his plans.

While it is true that the Law's purpose was served to bring us to Christ, helping us recognise our need of a Saviour, and to that extent it has now done its work; to think that God's purpose and plans have radically altered from before creation is to have a shallow understanding of the text of the Old Testament.

Ezekiel ch.36 v.26 illustrates this well. It speaks of the heart transplant that comes from a living faith in the Messiah - something that the writers of the Old Testament texts looked longingly forwards to: a complete internal transformation of your attitudes and desires, made possible through a radical encounter with the Holy Spirit.

To have the eternal, all-powerful creator of the universe taking up residence in the deepest recesses of our being, guiding us to a life of purpose, fulfilment and power. This was no afterthought. To see whole communities across the globe reflecting the radiance of a life lived in harmony with the divine was not Plan B - this was the goal all along.

Go on a treasure hunt. Search the Bible for further evidence that this was the Good Lord's original plan. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

For they shall see God.

The Beatitudes at the start of the Sermon on the Mount turn the natural order of things upside-down. The meek inherit the earth...

The pure in heart see God? But, if you were to look on His face, you would die!

There's the key! IN order to be pure in heart, you must die to your old life of self-centredness.

THen you will see the Almighty, recognise His hand on your life, see Him at work in others, experience his life-transforming power.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Who can ascend?

Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.

There is a false dichotomy in some people's thinking that attempts to subdivide a life of faith into either the pursuit of personal piety or social justice - as if the two are mutually exclusive.

In reality, righteousness and justice don't merely co-exist, they are both essential foundations for authentic spirituality to be lived out effectively in our lives.

A lifestyle that stresses one at the expense of the other is doomed to wallow in legalistic hypocrisy or antinomian irrationality. However, by embracing both streams: having our hearts cleansed so that we may live with an inward attitude to do what is right.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

In the beginning...

It seems a fitting way to start a weblog. John's Gospel opens up with a powerful statement.

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

It becomes clear to us later in the passage that the Word referred to here is none other than Jesus Christ - the Word became flesh ... dwelt among us ... we have seen his glory. But why the Word?

Words have power. They give meaning, demonstrate character - communicate emotion, express truth; they create and tear down. They judge and lift up.

John chose his words carefully.

How could he express the inexpressible?

With a word.

How could the Almighty communicate with us, translating the infinity of eternity into our material universe?

Through His Word.

The Word illuminates, defines, encapsulates who God is in a way that our fallible, finite minds can grasp at. We don't see it all, but we see enough to know, to be certain.