Posts Tagged ‘disciple’

Where is God?

With so many suffering in the world today, it’s not surprising that many feel so alone, that God’s not here. However, the fact that you have wondered where God is, means someone else has too. I believe that it’s up to those of us who do believe God is here, to help everyone else also discover God is here.

In John’s gospel, just before Jesus was crucified, Jesus told His disciples about a comforter He would send, to remind them of all the things He had taught. Sure enough, that comforter, the Holy Spirit of God, came to them just a short time after Jesus ascended into heaven. We go on to read about the disciples being filled with His Spirit and declaring the Gospel message, in the first chapter of Acts.

Just as the disciples came to know the Comforter, confessing their sins and then accepting God’s forgiveness, so can we. If we have the holy spirit living in us, comforting us, we will gradually become more like Him. As we become more like Him, others will begin to discover where God is by knowing us.

So help others find God today, by accepting God into your life.

What is a disciple?

A disciple is a follower or pupil of a teacher, leader, or philosopher, so from a Christian perspective, a disciple is a follower of God.

To become a disciple of God we must first give our all to Him. When we give our all to God, we are doing more than just attending church – we are dedicating ourselves to living our life in the way God expects us to.

A couple of verses from scripture that really teach us how to be a disciple can be found in Romans 14:7-8:

For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honour the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honour the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Do you belong to the Lord?

Last week as I was driving along some of my local streets and was aware that there were a number of unwanted items piled up outside quite a few of the houses. At first I was wondering what was going on, but soon remembered that it in my area it was ‘uplift day’. i.e. the day that our local council collect items we no longer want, and take them to the tip for us.

My main thought was why are people “throwing out” items that appeared to be in pretty good condition, when they could be reused by someone else – Items included several sofas, a couple of tables and chairs, and a wardrobe.

One thing we’ve always done when replacing/renewing items in our home is to recycle items which are in reasonable condition – There is a local community church which helps rehouse refugees, so we know all items we give them will get put to good use. Places like our local church, are always delighted to take items that are in reasonable condition as they are inundated with requests for help, so are always in need of items.

I wonder why these people near me hadn’t considered giving their items away to help people in need, but instead were happy to pay the local council to take away their items to dump in a landfill site.

Just think how many more people could be rehoused and given items for their home if we all gave our unwanted items to organisations who help refugees and homeless people!

Did you know that the bible tells us to recycle?

And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” (John 6:12)

So next time you have unwanted items in your home, please consider contacting a local organisation who can make sure your items are given to people who need them.

 

 

There one particular song that we sing at Christmas that has always intrigued me, both why it was written and also what it’s really about, and that’s The Twelve Days of Christmas.

I know the Twelve Days of Christmas start with Christmas Day and end with the eve of Epiphany on January 5th, but what do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

So I did a bit of digging around and found the following detailed meaning of this song:

 

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.12 Days of Christmas Carol

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So hopefully this has been helpful to you, and helped you learn something today.

12-days-of-christmas

When you read the title of this blog post, what thoughts and images come to your mind?

Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and this takes discipline. We are to worship ”in spirit and in truth.” Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them ~ Elisabeth Elliot

How do you worship? When you worship, do you put your thoughts and feelings to one side and be God’s disciple, focusing solely on Him?

 

Have you looked around yourself recently?

I’m guessing if you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t, as we’re all so busy rushing around from one place /task to another.

Today though, please stop for a few minutes and just look around at your local area, your community and the people in it. What do you see? Do you see lots of happy, content people or do you see people struggling to cope with life, and struggling to make ends meet?

There are people in every city in the world of our who have little or nothing they can call their own, who go from one day to the next wondering whether they will make it through to see another day. These are the people who need us, because they need to see Jesus. They need us because we are the ones who can help them see Jesus.

Are you up for the challenge?

I get fed up at times when people I try to be pleasant and nice to, just ignore and/or hurt me. This world can be tough at times, and the people in this world can be even tougher and sometimes even hateful.

John 15:18-19 (NIV)

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

In the above verses from John, Jesus reminds us that it’s because we are different from the rest of the world, because we follow Him, that the world does not accept. However this should not worry or upset us, because God has called us, and chosen us to be His disciples, to be His witnesses in this world full of hatred.

So don’t yearn to be accepted by the world, because ultimately to be God’s witnesses we must be different, we must be Christlike in all we do.

Yesterday in my blog post I spoke about Mission Statements and the reasons why organisations have them. Today I want to look specifically at a particular mission statement…the mission statement of the Salvation Army.

Here’s what the Salvation Army’s UK website says in answer to the question, “Why does The Salvation Army do what it does?“:

Mission Statement

Called to be disciples of Jesus Christ, The Salvation Army United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland exists to save souls, grow saints, and serve suffering humanity.

Vision Statement

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we will be a Spirit-filled, radical growing movement with a burning desire to lead people into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, actively serve the community, and fight for social justice.

As you can see from the above the Salvation Army here in the UK has both a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement. But what’s the reason for the two?

Well the Mission Statement is, as I stated in yesterday’s blog post about Mission Statements, intended for those who are not part of/members of the Salvation Army, while the Vision Statement is the “vision” of each member of the Salvation Army…or at least it should be!

Are you a member of the Salvation Army? If so, be truthful with yourself and with God…do you live up to the promises in the Army’s Vision Statement?

Whether you are a member of the Salvation Army or not, many of the promises described in the Vision Statement are ones which I believe every Christian should strive to achieve. Therefore ask God today to help you become a true disciple filled with His spirit, and burning with the desire to lead people to Jesus by actively serving your community and fighting for social justice. God can and will help you achieve this!

OUr mission can be summed up in this song The Mission by Sydney Staff Songsters of The Salvation Army:

Teach Me To Pray

Posted: June 8, 2010 in music, pray
Tags: , , , , , ,

Do you struggle to know what to say when you pray? It may surprise you now that, despite being a lifelong Christian, I too find it difficult to know what to say sometimes when I try to pray.

But there is hope for us all because even Jesus’ own disciples needed to ask Jesus to help them pray – How do I pray? they asked Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray”

There is no right or wrong way to pray because what works well for one person may not work for someone else. So heres a few of my thoughts you may find useful:

  • When we pray we come before God with the world on our hearts. We are also offering ourselves to be in some small way channels of love and peace in God’s world. 
  • God already knows what is in our hearts and minds. We can be honest with God, and say exactly how we feel, or even just sit in silence, because God still knows what’s in our heart.
  • It might help to find a quiet space. You may want to be on your own, but you may also find that it helps to join other people, who may be gathering to pray in local churches and elsewhere.  
  • You may find that you can say just what you want to, using your own words, but many people find it helpful to use written prayers.
  • Use a prayer diary to help focus you on those you people and situations who need your prayers.

 

 

 

Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

As you can see from Jesus’ final commands to His disciples before he left this world for Heaven, He instructed them to spread the word of God throughout our world. This was Jesus’ final command to them, but it was also His command to all of us, how can we possibly say No to Jesus after all He has done for us, and all the pain and suffering He endured just for you and for me.

All that happened at Easter all those years ago, happened because Jesus loves us. We might think we don’t need Him but without Him we will never know true peace or have eternal life.

Say thank you to Jesus today for all He’s done for you, let Him know His suffering was not in vain – Say “Yes” to Jesus today, He’s ready and waiting to accept you today.