Day 37 (31 Mar 2020) – Sharing your life message

1) 1 John 5:10a (GWT); 2) 1 Thessalonians 1:8 (MSG)

1) Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them. 2) Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message!

The verses today are quite powerful to think on. We have the testimony of God in us. How often do I think of my story as not that impressive, or not enough, or not particularly exciting or inspiring. How much have I missed the truth of 1 John 5:10. I don’t just have any story to tell. I have the testimony of God Himself to tell the world around me. And I have that testimony at work in me.

This connects so strongly to 1 Thessalonians 1:8 in The Message. As I embrace the testimony of God in me, and at work in me, I surely become the message of God to my world. I carry the most impressive, the most full and complete, the most exciting and inspiring story that I could ever carry in me. The testimony of God Himself. The testimony of God, becoming in me, and being declared through me. In my heart, in my words, and in my deeds.

Oh God, may you cause your testimony to dwell even more richly, and deeply, in me. May the fruit of this rich dwelling in me be the transformation of my heart and mind, and the easy and free telling of the testimony of God to the hungry and needy world around me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

5 replies
  1. Jen says:

    What great verses! And I remind myself, at this time of social distancing, that God’s testimony is in me – and that He is the one who gives opportunity to display it!

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Day 36 (30 Mar 2020) – Made for a mission

1) John 17:18 (MSG); 2) Acts 20:24 (NCV)

1) In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. 2) I don’t care about my own life. The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me—to tell people the Good News about God’s grace.

The Blues Brothers told everyone they were on a mission from God. They meant people to take their plan seriously.

Jesus has sent me to continue his mission on earth – now that’s powerful! God gave him a mission and in this verse he dedicates his followers to that mission. This verse reminds me that it is an outward focused commission. My faith is not self focused and a searching for enlightenment. Rather my mission is to introduce people to God.

My secret weapon is the gospel of good news of the life and death of Jesus Christ for you and for me. And the end of the story is life! But God has spoken to me afresh about the impact of this message of life because it is a message of light, love, hope and healing. Jesus’ ministry was characterised by these things. He brought light into the darkness – how do I do that? He brought God’s love to a desperate people – do I do that? He brought hope to the broken, and to those waiting for the Messiah. Jesus brought healing, of the physical, emotional, and spiritual – am I available to God to bring healing?

What a life changing message, from the heart of God. And I have to be listening and tuned into the heart of God to be an effective messenger, to discern what the message means for the person God brings into my life.

I believe I am sometimes held back by a fear of ridicule, as well as a fear of being challenged about what I believe.  What if I can’t answer every question? What if I am rejected because of my views? When people believe something passionately they will be ready to defend it! I want people to take what I believe seriously. That demands I am ready to explain and defend it.

Dear Jesus. Help me to tune into the loving heart of the Father through the Holy Spirit. Help me to make those introductions to Jesus.

Amen

Written by Claire Moore

5 replies
  1. Kerrie says:

    Thanks Claire. Such an important message for this time in particular. I’ll head off to school today ‘on a mission’.

  2. Sue says:

    Reminiscing of the Blues Brothers “on a mission from God” makes me smile.
    Thank you for the reminder that we are all on a mission from God.

  3. B says:

    You had me at Blues Brothers Claire . Love the thought if I’m passionate about something I’ll be ready to defend it

  4. Mandy says:

    Thank you Claire for your reflection and words. Amen as we understand and step into ‘our mission’ from God.

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Day 35 (29 Mar 2020) – God’s power in your weakness

1) 2 Corinthians 13:4 (NCV) 2) 2 Corinthians 12:9a (TLB)

1) It is true that we are weak in Christ, but for you we will be alive in Christ by God’s power. 2) I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.”

It is counter-cultural to think that we are not meant to show ourselves in the very best light. People ‘tweak’ their CV’s to make things look possibly better than they are, we hide our weaknesses and showcase our strengths, we applaud confidence and good self image. Yet in Christ, in ministry we are called to service and obedience – not a life trying to impress the Boss. We have to separate ourselves from thinking like the world. If we are to live honestly in Christ, then the ministry we are called to may be only part of a plan – just as Paul planted the seed, Apollo watered but God grew it in the early church.

So many times I have felt called to do things in my faith, I felt I was not ‘strong’ enough to do (insert faith filled/bible verse savvy/prayer warrior etc.). The beauty is I don’t have to be any or all of these things. My weaknesses require me to be honest, open and willing before God. He will do the rest. And the strength of this will be the testimony of God at work because I know it isn’t me. We are all called to play our own unique part – a part that God has for us, not one we create for ourselves.


Heavenly Father thank you for the life you have chosen for me. Help me to be honest about my strengths and weaknesses. Use them all for your Glory. I give my self to you. Use me in the name of Jesus. Amen

Written by Christine Knight

2 replies
  1. Sue says:

    Thank you Christine.
    One of your greatest strengths is that you are real.
    I have loved this about you, my dear friend and frontier woman.

  2. Claire Moore says:

    Being part of the plan – what a privilege and a reassurance – I don’t have to be able to do it all. He takes what I have as he created me and brings about good works. How’s my willingness?

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Day 34 (28 Mar 2020) – Thinking like a servant

1) Numbers 14:24a (NCV); 2) Philippians 2:5 (MSG)

1) But my servant Caleb thinks differently and follows me completely. 2) Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.

I enjoy period dramas and historical fiction, and in these types of novels and films, servants are quite common characters. The ideal servant is fiercely loyal to their master/mistress, dependable, trustworthy, full of integrity and highly skilled in their role. It is this combination of qualities that makes them hard to replace. These servants have learned the ways of their master/mistress and are able to predict what they will want or need. Oftentimes, these servants take a healthy pride in serving with excellence, and the satisfaction of their master/mistress is highly gratifying. 

God wants me to know Him as Father, Friend, Saviour and the Good Shepherd… but He is at the same time Lord of the Universe and the One I was created to serve. 

Am I seeking to serve God with the kind of loyalty, dependability, trustworthiness, integrity and skill that means God can rely on me? Am I growing in my understanding of God’s ways and am I better able to partner with Him in His work? Am I deriving joy from serving God with excellence? 

Holy Spirit, where I get focused on task or caught in details, please help me to see the bigger picture and to remember who it is that I am serving. Help me to grow in my capacity to serve God with integrity and skill. Amen. 

Written by Ps. Bethany Waugh 

4 replies
  1. rnw says:

    Quite a challenging question.. that all the “Am I’s?” could be confidently be met with an “I am!”

  2. Richard says:

    With all that God is to us this is a great reminder that we also need to respond to Him in varied ways – not only as children to a loving Father, but servants to a merciful, all knowing Master – yet none the less a Master to be obeyed – even when I am not convinced He is leading me well! I love this – thanks Beth!

  3. Mandy says:

    Thanks Beth for this reminder. I want to be found faithful in God being able to rely on me in all circumstances. “Not my will but Yours!”

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Day 33 (Mar 2020) – How real servants act

1) Mark 10:43 (MSG); 2) Matthew 7:16a (CEV)

1) Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. 2) You can tell what they are by what they do.

James and John have come to Jesus asking for positions of honour in the kingdom of God. The other disciples became angry when they hear about it. (Perhaps they wanted same thing.) So, Jesus corrects their thinking, turning their concept of greatness on its head. He shows the way: the one who truly is the greatest has come to serve and will go even further in giving up his life for us.

I’ve no such ambitions for greatness, but I still fall into wrong thinking.

I have two people in my family who need a lot of help coping with health problems and with issues of life in general. It’s taken lots of my time recently. I’ve found myself thinking that this time is being taken away from more significant things I should be doing for God – that the simple things like cleaning, searching for hearing aids or even just spending time are less significant than “more spiritual things”. God’s had to pull me up. For now, they are my gift. Serving them is not a distraction.

My other wrong thinking has been the flip side of James and John’s mistake. Far from thinking of greatness, I’m struggling with adequacy, with feeling responsible for them. God’s had to remind me that he doesn’t give me jobs to do on my own. He’s doing it with me, and he’s doing the hard bits. The creator or the universe, the saviour of humanity is working in their lives. Whatever he does is greatness. My small part is an honour even when it just feels like hard work.

Jesus doesn’t say to do the job of a servant but to “become a servant”. God’s not fooled if I just act as a servant. I need to pull my heart into line with him, not just my actions.

Written by David Cornell

8 replies
  1. Justin says:

    It’s been so true in my life that the greatest sense of felt purpose has come when I’ve genuinely helped other people. I wonder if this is the sort of greatness that Jesus was talking about in Mark 10?

  2. Jane Keong says:

    Great thoughts David so helpful as the level of support for my family members increases. Jesus’ graciousness he gets that its a process of becoming . Great reminder “I need to pull my heart in line with His, not just my actions.”

  3. Mandy says:

    Thank you David for your insight into these passages. I sense that a lot of us struggle with this balance.

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Day 32 (26 Mar 2020) – Using what God gave you

Romans 12:5 (MSG)

So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be.

What a great work the Lord has done in our lives.  We are fashioned by Him for His glory and some of that glory comes through our service.  Each with a unique set of gifts, talents, temperament and personality so that we can bring Christ’s light to those in our communities.  To be honest there are times I feel I need to have a few rough edges rubbed off, and He is at work.  I find it a little hard to think of myself as “excellently formed and marvellously functioning” but then again that thinking relies more on my view of myself than God’s and His creation of me and His empowerment.  For when I am reliant on Him, empowered by Him, then I am an able minister of His Spirit!  And so I can walk in victory and “go ahead and be what I was made to be”.  God is not holding me back, if I am held back it is myself doing that deed or the enemy of my soul the devil.

Do you use such superlatives and adjectives as you describe yourself as you find here in God’s Word describing you?  In your attempt at humility have you only reduced yourself to less than God’s creation in you?  May you meditate on this verse today to bring new light and love from God to you!

Father, work Your Word deeply into our lives that we would live, “Fashioned”; “Excellently Formed”; “Marvellously Functioning” and “be what we are made to be”.

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

4 replies
  1. Howard says:

    Thanks Richard, quality perspective, as always. I really like the different perspectives that come from so many “reflectors” across our church in these daily reflections. It was a great decision to open up the authorship to a largish group!

  2. Mandy says:

    Amen Richard.

    I love watching all of us step into what God created us to be. Aligning our passions, gifts, temperaments,… to reflect the love of Christ.

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Day 31 (25 Mar 2020) – Understanding your shape

Psalm 139:13 (MSG)

You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.

Nobody else can be me.The older I get, the more I think how significant this statement is. Over the years I have watched as God has guided my life and crafted a path that fits so well with how uniquely He has made me.

I think when I was younger I was looking for God to use me in some dramatic earth-shattering fashion. And yet as I look back I can see more and more how a simple word here, or a kind act there can make a difference over the long haul.

Perhaps no one thing I do or say will be the definitive moment of my life.  But a daily series of kind actions and thoughtful, empathic words over the course of a lifetime will add up to a life of significance. I don’t have to do it all perfectly. I just have to keep trying and leave the rest up to God.

I’ll finish with a quote: “And yet I decide, every day, to set aside what I can do best and attempt what I do very clumsily–open myself to the frustrations and failures of loving, daring to believe that failing in love is better than succeeding in pride.”
― Eugene H. Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society

Written by Shelley Witt

6 replies
  1. Kerrie says:

    Thanks Shelley. So important especially right now…..
    “But a daily series of kind actions and thoughtful, empathic words over the course of a lifetime will add up to a life of significance. I don’t have to do it all perfectly. I just have to keep trying and leave the rest up to God.”

  2. Mini Cherian says:

    Thanks Shelley for those thoughtful powerful words ” I don’t have to do it all perfectly. I just have to keep trying and leave the rest up to God”. Yes when we fall in love with God, we see there is not reason for us to be proud of anything. God bless you Shelley.

  3. Mandy says:

    Thank you Shelley. This is a reminder to continually thank God for how He made us to be, and to just get on with what He has placed in our hands.

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Day 30 (24 Mar 2020) – Shaped for serving God

1) Job 10:8 (TLB); 2) Isaiah 43:21 (GNT)

1) For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 2) They are the people I made for myself, and they will sing my praises!”

When I became a Christian in August 1984, such a love and relief consumed me.  I was then baptised in the Holy Spirit in May 1985 and my heart and passion changed.  I didn’t care what anyone thought about me, I wanted to serve Jesus till the day I die.  In 1986 I joined Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and spent the next 3 years (for me Bible College) – learning about God, learning how to hear from the Holy Spirit, and learning how to sacrifice my personal desire for “His Kingdom”.

I came to the following conclusions:

Begin – serve in something and God will reveal your gifts, purpose and passion along the way.

Everything is an opportunity.  If you are asked – say yes.  Along the way God reveals what you are good at and what you need to work on.

As we give (financially and in service) – God gives back to us.  He reveals Himself to us.  He reveals our Heart within us.

AS WE DO AND BECOME – GOD REVEALS.

It is a discovery of ourselves and a discovery of God Himself

God gave me a scripture in 1988 when I left YWAM Hong Kong.  John 21 v 15-19 – “Susan feed my sheep, Susan feed my lambs, Susan take care of my sheep”.

In 2004 – I felt the Lord lead me back to this scripture and He said to me:  “I called YOU to be a Pastor, not because you married Richard.”

16 YEARS!!  A similar time to Joseph imprisonment.

I discovered WHAT I AM HERE FOR.  I discovered that I AM Loved.

Lord for everyone who reads this may you give them a scripture – a life scripture.  Help everyone to discover the meaning of their lives along their journey.  Reveal it to them we pray.

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

4 replies
  1. Kerrie says:

    Thanks Sue! What a beautiful story of God’s love and direction you have. I love that each one of us can have a special life story steeped in God’s love and direction, as we trust in Him daily.

  2. B says:

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬
    One of my life verses. Thanks Sue – great reflection today

  3. Andrew says:

    Sue
    I love your life story and that God gives you that special passage of scripture again. He knew what he was saying then and now. But also isn’t it interesting how WE can change, so that same scripture can have even more meaning and depth after our “bible college” and life journey.
    It is such a living, evolving relationship.
    Thanks Sue.
    Rgds Andrew

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Day 29 (23 Mar) 2020 – Accepting your assignment

1) Ephesians 2:10 (TLB); 2) John 17:4 (MSG)

1) It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. 2) I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do.

We are the only creature that God made twice! Can you believe that? How valuable to God must we be? The first time I was made was described beautifully in Ps 139 – “you knit me together – I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” The second time I was made (rebuilt) it took the death of His son. How important must my mission be, that God has for me to complete, if it cost Him that much? I need to take a good hard look at the time and effort and cost God expended to build me and then RE-build me! 

I am fully equipped, by God Himself. I am made on purpose – for a purpose. 

I am fitted out for the adventure of a lifetime. 

I just need to begin!

Written by Boudy Van Noppen

3 replies
  1. RobWise says:

    RE-built..wow!!
    ..and now, after retention and retirement, feel now going through a process of repurposing. God give me the strength and capacity to trust you in this process when no inklings of the outcome…

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Day 28 (22 Mar 2020) – It takes time

1) Ecclesiastes 3:1 (CEV); 2) Philippians 1:6 (TLB)

1) Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. 2) And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.

Christian discipleship and growth is an interesting thing. I actually have to remind myself that I am in God’s hands, which means I’m in His timing and following His lead. Often it’s seems that I like to disciple myself – that I think I know what I should focus on or fix or improve in my life.  I want to concentrate on getting it right, the first time. But this is a hard pace to keep and wears me out.

Thankfully, this is not what God asks of me. Jesus invites us on the path of discipleship and growth with Him: “walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (Matt 11:29 Msg). This means I don’t have to race ahead (forcing growth) nor lag behind (resisting growth) – instead Jesus wants me to live and learn and grow and develop according to His timetable, at His unforced gracious pace.

Holy Spirit help me to walk in step with Jesus. Help me to remember the best pace and place is right by His side, following Him through the seasons of life.

Written by Gab Martin

2 replies
  1. Mandy says:

    Thank you Gab. A great reminder for this current season we find ourselves in. We’re in God’s hands.

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