Saturday, January 31, 2009

Unattractive Gospel 3

The Unattractive Gospel 3 – Love 1 John 2:1-14
Think about it:

A man, a Duke, on a cold, looks out of his window on a cold, snowing winters night and sees a poor man struggling out in the cold snow, looking for firewood. So the Duke goes out of his warm castle, into the cold outside and and goes up to the poor man. The poor man is struggling to stay alive because of the cold - but the Duke told him to follow in his footsteps and he would find those places a little less cold – thus easier to walk in. So the poor man followed the Duke back to the castle where he was given food, shelter and most importantly warmth.

A solider stationed in a POW camp during the Vietnam War who has been physically beaten repeatedly on a number of occasions, one night has his painful rope bindings loosened by his captor.

An innocent man, willingly taking the execution that another deserved, so that the other may have life.

All three are great stories, stories that inspire, storeis of true love. As we come to the end of our three week look at what I have called the “unattractive gospel” we are coming to look at the aspect of LOVE.

Over the last two weeks we have looked at how if we claim to be Christians, that is followers of Jesus and having Jesus the number one in our lives it is no good just saying it, but we need to live it our as well. In week one we looked at how we need to have the same attitude as Christ had, a selfless attitude putting others first, and last week we looked at the need to be forgiving. Just as we have been forgiven by God through Jesus we need to be forgiving. And this week we are looking at how we need to love which binds it all together.

Col 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

If we look back at the three stories we were just thinking about, in the first two stories the motivation for the men to show great acts of love and mercy their love for God and wanting to live His way. The first story was the story behind the famous Christmas Carol – Good King Wencelas. Wencelas, because of his desire to follow Jesus' life riskeds his own life to go out into the cold winters night to save the life of a poor man he saw.

The second story – the POW was former US presidential candidate John McCain. During the Vietnam War McCain, ann officer in the US army became a POW where he was treated harshly, being beaten on many many occassions. But one night one of the guards guarding him loosened the ropes that were holding him. The next time that the guard saw McCain, which happened to be on Christmas Day, the guard drew in the dirt a picture of corss to show that he was a Christian, and that linving and Loving like Jesus was what drove him.

And the third story – well that is the ultimate love story in my book. That Jesus – who in both the eyes of the Roman officials of the day and more importantly in the eyes of God was 100% completely innocent – never sinned at all, completely perfect – would give up is life so that everyone else can live. He gave up his life on the cross to take away the punishment that everyone deserves because of their sins – their ignoring God, their disobeying God. But Jesus didn't stay dead – he rose again to life, life forever!

And it is because of Jesus' great love for us, because cause God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life(John 3:16), that is why John writes with such confidence the first two verses that we read today on page 1371. 1 John 2:1&2 1 I am writing this to you, my children so that you will not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have someone who pleads with the Father on our behalf – Jesus Christ the righteous one. 2 And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone.

John has that confidence, the confidence that we all can have, that Jesus has not only died to take away our sins and rose from death, but Jesus, the RIGHTEOUS ONE, also pleads on our behalf with the Father so that we may be forgiven from our sin debt. And it is the same confidence that we all can have, and should have. Yes we should be living sinless, perfect lives for God, but we don't always do that – BUT through Jesus we have a way of forgiveness. It is through our faith in Jesus as the Song of God, the Lord of all that we can have our sins forgiven.

If we can also say with the same confidence as John that we have our sins forgiven through Jesus and if we can say with complete confidence that Jesus is pleading on our behalf, and if we say we live in Jesus – what does that actually look like? It is all good and fair to stand up and boldly say those things, but what does it practically look like?

The second half of verse 5 and verse 6 This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God: 6 if we say that we remain in union with God, we should live just as Jesus Christ did. Yes that is right we - who claim to be joined into new Life with God need to live as Jesus did. That doesn't meant that we all need to become travelling preachers in the way Jesus was, doesn't mean that we all need grow a beard, grow our heair long, and wear a tunic and sandles everywhere – NO – it means we need to share in the same attitude as Jesus – Sharing in his forgivness and Sharing his LOVE.

Last we looked at how sharing in the Forgiveness from Jesus also means that being a FORGIVEN person means that we need to FORGIVING PEOPLE. It may be that we find a little bit easier to forgive those who are close to us, and that we care deeply about, say friends and family, especially when they do stupid little things that annoy us – but if we truly are FORGIVEN people thus FORGIVING PEOPLE we need to be forgiving everyone just us we have been forgiven by God. And that isn't easy at all.

Maybe you are thinking the whole Loving thing is a lot easier. You know what Jesus loves me! God loves me! That is why Jesus came to die for us, and yeah for sure I love Jesus! I like to come to church, I like praying, I like to sing praise songs to Jesus – wow that stuff is so awesome and that is how I show Jesus that I love him.

But that isn't really the way we truly show that we love Jesus. It isn't the real way fo showiing love. Verse 9 If we say that we are in the light, yet hate others, we are in the darkness to this very hour. 10 If we love others, we live in the light, and so there is nothing in us that will make someone else sin. 11 But the if we hate others, we are in the darkness; we walk in it and do not know where we are going. Because the darkness has made us blind. If we truly love – and love in the way Jesus loves not some fuzzy feeling – we love everyone. John rights that if we say that we are folling Jesus – living in the light, yet we still hate people we are actually still living in the darkness. That means we got to be loving to all people.

As John wrote if we are in God we got to live as Jesus did, and Jesus didn't just share his love with only those who were friendly to him, or those that liked him – no he showed his love to the whole world. When he lived on earth he didn't just help out his mates, but he cross the boundaries. And when he showed his love for us – all of humankind – in his ultimate act of love, dying on the cross – he died for the sins of the whole world. His love went out to everyone.

And right through out the New Testement we are told by the leaders fo the early chruch, who are just really echoing the words of Jesus, that we too need to be lving out loving lives. And that means not just loving our friends or our family, but also we need to be loving even to those who hate us, those who are our enemies and try to bring us down. Mt 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Duke Wencelas did that. True the poor peasent man who he helped out probaly wasn't his enemy. But he was nothing to the Duke – he was just a poor man and there were probably plenty of them around, but the Duke showed Christ love to him. Or the Vietnamese POW guard. McCain was his enemy, his was at war with him, but he showed him love. He loosened his ropes, he showed love in a place where humanly you would not expect to see such love. But through God's mercy and grace we too can be shining examples of Jesus' love in any situation.

Jesus himself provided us with the challenge – who do we show our love to?
Lets look at Matthew 25 starting at verse 31
Mt 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Mt 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Mt 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
Mt 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Mt 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
Mt 25:44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
Mt 25:45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

That is the challenge – we if we say we are living for Jesus NEED TO LIVE IT OUT!

Unattractive Gospel 2

Unattractive Gospel 2 – Forgiveness Matthew 18:21-35

This is week two in a three week series of what I have called the “unattractive gospel”, where we are looking at the way we need to make our actually lives match up with the faith in Jesus that we proclaim. Just as Paul wrote to the early church in Corinth 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! But sometimes some of the things of the old creation seem a lot more attractive and easier than what it really means to be a new creation in Christ.

Last week we looked at how we need to have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. While I think we all would pretty much agree that selfless attitude and the selfless life that Jesus lived to bring us back to God was completely amazing and something we want to talk about and share, it is a bit less attractive for us to live out such a lifestyle, putting others first, but that I the challenge of the gospel. Today we are going to be looking at FORGIVENESS.

Lets look at the passage again on page 1073, Matthew 18 picking up at verse 23.
the Kingdom of Heaven is like this. Once there was a king who decided to check on his servants' accounts. 24 He had just begun to do so when one of them was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 the servant did not have enough to pay his debt, so the king ordered him to be sold as a slave, with his wife and his children and all that he had in order to pay the debt. 26 The servant fell on his knees before the king. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay you everything!' 27 The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go.
So here Jesus is telling a parable about forgiveness – so lets take a closer look.

In this parable King is just doing what kings do and checking out his financial position and seeing who owes him and how he can you know just increase his wealth a little bit more. So the king comes across a servant who owes him a large large debt, a debt that the servant can't possibly pay back. And what does the servant do? No he doesn't go to GE Money or the local bank and ask for a personal loan so he can pay it back, but he drops down on his knees and begs literally for his debt to be worked out. If he can't pay out this loan the king is going to make him a slave, but not only him, but his wife and kids are also going to be slaves. It is like he had defaulted on his home loan and is about to loose his house, but on an even bigger scale, he is desperate.

So the servant is on his knees begging, pleading with the king for mercy, that some sort of arrangement can be made to refinance the loan and alternate payments can be made. And what does the king do? Verse 27 The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go. Wow, that is an amazing outcome, the king forgave the servant the massive debt that his servant owed. The king didn't just agree to workout a way of alternate payments, or reduce the payment, the king FORGAVE AND CANCELED THE WHOLE AMOUNT!

What I am going to say today is that God is like the king in Jesus' story, and we are like the servant. We all owe God a massive massive debt that we can never repay. We are all in the same situation as the servant in the parable, unable to pay back what we owe and facing punishment – facing loosing everything.

Unlike the servant the debt that I have, that you have, that all humans have is the debt of sin, disobeying God, neglecting God, doing it all our own way. And because of our sin we are in debt that we are unable to pay off, and so we are facing punishment. We are facing death separation from God, both now and for eternity. It is not simply a case of we miss out on going to heaven when we die and having a good time and landing in hell, it is we are missing out on LIFE, missing out on BEING WITH GOD!

But like the servant in the story, if we too humble ourselves, get down on our knees before God and beg him for Forgiveness He will be like the king in the story and forgive us our full debt. And He does that on the Cross!

It was on a cross just outside of Jerusalem about 2000 years ago a man named Jesus was killed in a state approved execution. What looked like very bad luck for this Jesus – pretty much being found innocent by the Roman official of the area, but still getting executed – is the good news, the reason why God forgives our debt, our sin. It was because of Jesus, God become human, fully God yet fully human, dying on the cross that we can be forgiven. It was Jesus' bad luck that he died on a small hill outside of Jerusalem, it was all part of the plan of God so that we, you, me, everyone in the world, could have their sins forgiven! It was on the cross that Jesus took the punishment for the sin debts of the whole world. Jesus took the DEATH that we all deserve, even though he had never sinned – thus did not deserve it, but he took it for us so we could be friends with God and so we could have our sins FORGIVEN!! And God rose Jesus from death three days later!!

It is by putting your trust, your faith in Jesus that we can be FORGIVEN as and for all, and if you want to know more about this or Jesus just ask, because it is the best news – that we can be forgiven from all our sin that leads to death and separation from God.

Now that it awesome news! I am down with being forgiven, but if we look back at the story Jesus told that isn't where it all finished. Lets pick it up again in verse 28 of chapter 18.
Then the man went out and met one of his fellow servants who owed him a few dollars. He grabbed him and started chocking him. 'Pay back what you owe!' he said. 29 His fellow servant fell down and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay back!' 30 But he refused; instead, he had him thrown into jail until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. 32 So he called the servant in. 'You worthless slave!' he said. 'I forgave you the whole amount that you owed me to. 33 You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you.' 34 The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he paid back the whole amount.”
So we have the servant who has just been forgiven, allowed to walk free from a debt that we could never pay back – walked out debt free, not with a reduced payment, but nothing to pay at all! - and he runs into a fellow servant who owed him a small amount. And what do you think we would do?

No he doesn't forgive the small debt that is owed to him, instead he gets crazily angry at the other guy - started chocking him – and doesn't even give him time to pay back the debt, instead has him thrown into prison until he can pay back the loan. The king find out about this, and well I think we would all agree that the king is very much right in his reaction to the servant. 32 So he called the servant in. 'You worthless slave!' he said. 'I forgave you the whole amount that you owed me to. 33 You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you.' 34 The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he paid back the whole amount.”

After telling the story Jesus warns his listeners, and us, not to be like that servant. Verse 35 And Jesus concluded, “That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive other people from your heart.” Jesus isn't just saying that being a forgiving person is a good thing to be, he is saying that if we say that we are forgiven through is death, then we too need to be forgiving people, forgiving to all.

It is easy to stop the story at the part where the servant has been forgiven the huge, unpayable debt and go WOW we are like that servant, we too have had a massive, unpayable debt forgiven for as well – THAT IS GREAT NEWS!

But if we are truelly are Forgiven people we need to be FORGIVING people as well. It is very attractive to just look at the one side of the story, but we are called to live out what seems like an unattractive lifestyle in the eyes of our society.

Just like the servant in the story we have had an unpayable debt forgiven, so what right do we have not to forgive anyone else. Compared to the how much we have been forgiven by God anything else does not compare. But that doesn't mean it is easy to forgive. We see at the start of the passage that we read today that Jesus tells this parable because Peter raises the issue of forgiveness, most likely because he does not find it easy to always forgive himself. Lets take a look verse 21 Then Peter cam to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven Times?”

It seems like Peter is a bit like us, well me at least, finding it hard to keep on forgiving people who continue to wrong or upset him. It seems like Peter wanted a numerical cap on the amount of times he needed to forgive people. Like Peter I sometimes I wish that there was a magical number where you could go, 'Ok I have forgiven you x amount of times, and that is it', but that isn't the Jesus way.

In Matthew 6 Jesus said to his followers 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Jesus doesn't mince his words here. He makes it very clear that God demands us to be forgiving just as God his forgiving to us, we have no excuse.

If we are truly living the Jesus way, living the forgiven lifestyle we need to be forgivers also. And not just one forgivers, but we need to be always ready to forgive. As Paul wrote in Colossians Col 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. It is because we who are now joined to Jesus have been forgiven by God, that we need to forgive others. It is not like when you are buying a car and you can add being a forgiving person on as an added extra, it is part of the core of being a follower of Jesus.

So I want to leave you today with a challenge, and this is a challenge for me as well, but it is a challenge that is worthwhile. I want to challenge you to live the Jesus way, live out the unattractive gospel – and if you believe that through Jesus' death and resurrection you have been forgiven and you are following him – LETS START BEING FORGIVING PEOPLE!

And if you haven't yet got on your knees and begged for mercy from God and accepted his Forgiveness through Jesus I challenge to seriously think about it.


Unattractive Gospel 1

Over the last three weeks at Church we have looked at an idea I like to call the unattractive gospel:

Unattractive Gospel Part 1 – The Right Attitude Philippians 2:1-11

Who can remember back to the Bejing Olympics. Rememeber the openning ceremony? In the Openning Ceremony there was a little Chinese girl sing a song which caused a massive controversy. It came out a day or so later that the girl everyone thought was singing wasn't actually the voice that everyone was hearing. In fact the organisers had decided that the young girl, I think she was about 8 years old, whose voice it was wasn't attractive enough to be seen byt the how many billion people across the globe who were going watch the openning ceremony.

You see sometimes I think we treat the gospel a bit like this, well I know do. I am very quick to read, meditate and think about the amazing grace of God and his mercy and his love and his forgiveness, but very slow and soemtimes even hesitant to focus on the things in my life that I actually needed to change as well. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with focusing on the grace and mercy and love and forgiveness of God because they are all fundamentals, but as Paul wrote to the Corithian Christians 2 Corithians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! But it isn't really that attractive, well to me anyway, to think about the ways I need to change my life around to bring in the new being that I am in Jesus.

Lets take the passage we read today. See I don't know aobut you but this passage, Philippians 2:6-11 page 1312 completely blows me away.

Jesus always had the nature of God,

but he did not think that by force he shoud try to become equal to God.

Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had,

and took the nature of a servant.

He became like a man and appeared in human likeness.

He was humbled and walked the path of obedience all the way to death -

his death on the cross.

For this reason God raised him and gave him the name that is greater than other name.

And so, in honour of the name of Jesus

all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the the world below

will fall on their knees,

and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

We see that Jesus who shared the very Nature of God – who was God, freely gave it all up for us. That Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, Phil 2:7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (NIV). That is pretty amazing that Jesus would give up all his Godness to become a human and hang out with humans like us, humans who aren't fully perfect, who stuff up. But Jesus didn't come down to earth and leave it at that, as amazing as that is Jesus took it a step further - who lived an obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

We know why Jesus died as well. 2Co 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. It was through Jesus' death that we were able be made right with God. Through Jesus humbling himself beyond anything that we can imagine that we have been able to be put right with God forever.

And as a sign of his Promise and Jesus' obedience God raised him three days after his death just as he had promised to do!

And that is the Gospel - the good news - that we have. The Good news that we should be sharing with everyone. And one day everyone well be openly proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (PHIL 2:11). On the day when Jesus returns on the clouds of glory it will be impossible for anyone not declare that Jesus is Lord! whether or not they have decalred it before or not.

We could stop here and it is amazing to see what God ahs done for us. It is mind blowing - that Jesus would forfeit his Godness and then die so that we can be friends with God again. It is amazing and I hope that we all have accepted this Jesus as our own saviour, letting his death put us right with God.

But if we stop here are we just looking at the attractive part of the Gospel? Are we only looking at the bit of the passage that is easy for us to hear? Is there more here than just what Jesus has done for us?

Lets thing about what it means to declare Jesus as Lord now? What does it mean to make Jesus the King of our lives? What sacrifices do we need to make? What changes do we really need to make to put Jesus as number one?

Yes it is by grace that we are saved that we are saved as Paul reminds us in Ephessians 2:8 but when anyone is joined to Christ – that is made Jesus their Lord – they are a new being, the old is gone, the new has come (2 Cor 5:17).

In the passage we read today Paul is not just giving the early christians in Philippi a recap of what Jesus has done for them, but he is urging them to have the right attitude. This is not somehting the early Christians in Philippi need to be urged to do but it is something that us here just under 2000 years later who proclaim Jesus as our Lord also need be reminded and urged do as well.

Lets look at verse 3 and 4 of the chapter Don't do anything from selfish ambition or froma cheap desire to baost, but be humble towards one another always considering others better than yourself. And look out for one another's interests, not just for your own. That is a hard thing to do. It is had not too be in things just for yourself, hard not to boast about htings, and even harder to put pthers ahead of you in everything. We live a world where the media, advertising, even our own human nature tell us that we should be in it for ourselves. We should try and get the best out of everything for ourselves and don't care what others end up with. But that is not the way it is with God. When we make Jesus our Lord, our King, the number One in our life we are no longer living for our selves. We are living for Christ and thus have to live life the Jesus way.

Lets look at verses 6 – 11 again, but this time lets read first 5 first.

The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:

Jesus always had the nature of God,

but he did not think that by force he shoud try to become equal to God.

Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had,

and took the nature of a servant.

He became like a man and appeared in human likeness.

He was humbled and walked the path of obedience all the way to death -

his death on the cross.

For this reason God raised him and gave him the name that is greater than other name.

And so, in honour of the name of Jesus

all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the the world below

will fall on their knees,

and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Not only does Paul urge us to put everyone else first, to be humble in all we do and not to look for praise or to boast, Paul also gives us the example which we are meant to be following.

Paul says rightly that we should have the same attitude of Christ Jesus. That like Jesus we shouldn't hold onto position that we may think that we have wether that be a high position or a not so high position, but like Jesus we should humble to the point of considering everyth we have as nothing.

If we declare that Jesus is our Lord, that we have been made one with God through the death and ressurection of Jesus than we need to live it. We need to stop living selfish lives, but we need to be humble in all we do, being humble towards one another always considering others better than yourself. And look out for one another's interests, not just for your own.

In fact Jesus himself old his followers that to be great rather than being the “most important” one they needed to be servants. In Mark 10 when James and John ask Jesus if they can share in his glory when He sits on his glorious throne but Jesus' answer is failry straight forward – if you want to be great you have to serve. 10:42 So Jesus called them all together to him and said, “You know that those who are conisdeered rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. 43 This however is not the way it is among you. If one of you wants to be great, you must be the servant of the rest; 44 and if one of you wants to be first, you must be the slaveof all. 45For even the Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be served; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”

We have a great example to follow – Jesus. Jesus who had everything, he shared the very nature of God, it was through him and by him all htings were made! - but he did not hold on to any of it infact he humbled himself to death for all of us, for all the wrongs we have done and are going to do, so how can we not humble oursleves?

Well we are left with a challenge of how we are going respond. They way I see it there is only two ways that we can really respond.

Firstly we can read this passage in Philippians and be blown away by it. That Jesus would would not consider his equality with God to be held on to but made himself nothing to the point of death - in order to bring us back to God, and that God raised him up again, raised him from the dead!! Maybe you are just blown away, or maybe you put your hand up and say “Hey you know what I believe that Jesus did all that for me, I believe in him”. And to be honest I wuold say too often I find myself taking this option. Being blown away byt what Jesus has done and saying I believe, but that is all.


The other option, the other way to respond is to not only be blown away and declaring that you believe in Jesus and that he is Lord, but also living it out. It doesn't always seem as atrtratcive to put others first, to do things for others, not to be selfish – but that is the true Jesus way. Once you put your hand up and say “hey you now what – JESUS IS LORD!” then you also have to live it out, which I foound a massive challenge, putting other first, but if we are really putting Jesus as Lord he promises his spirit to help us do it!


Friday, March 2, 2007


Who am I to doubt
Doubt Your calling
Doubt Your power
Who am I?

A God who's power knows no end
A God who's knowledge has no end
A God who's grace surpasses all
Yet still I doubt

Nervous I stand
Hopeless and alone I feel
Scared to take the leap
Remind me You have my hand

Can it really be
That You call me
Unworthy I know I am
Surely You've got the wrong man

But seeing what You've done before
No wonder all knees will bow
And all tongues call you Lord

The men You've used before
Timid, scared and sinners like me
You used their lives
So why not use me

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love Poem

Love so deep
How can I explain it?
Love so amazing
How can I deserve it?

I tried to fight against You
Wanted to think You're not real
Turned my back towards You
And yet You still loved me

Was feeling lost and lonely
Yet You were here still with me
In Your arms You embraced me
And in Your love You restored me

Love so deep
I can't explain it
Love so amazing
I don't deserve it

Love, our world needs more of it
We try and try and still we fail
Flowers faded
Promises jaded

But in You love we see
Loving all humanity
In Your death comes life
Love Provided

On the cross
Forgiveness given
Open grave
Salvation born

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


A yellow skin
Covering the person
I am deep within
Painting over the discolouring
Hiding from you
The pain I feel
Yet still leaving
A bruise or two
To prove that I am still real
Bruised, battered and rotten
I feel
As I hide behind
My peel
Scared that
One look at me
And you'll hate
What you see
But the time has come
For the skin to be peeled
And who really I am to be revealed
No more hiding
Defenceless in the open
Naked for all to see
It's time for me
To be Me

Thank You

Without Your prayers
Would I still be here?
Your love has kept me
The only thing that could
Rip me from the hands of despair

Day after day
Year after year
Without Your faithfulness
Would I still be here?

An image of love
That means so much to me
If only I had the courage to tell you
There is only one thing I need to tell you:
Thank You