Posts Tagged ‘Evangelism’

Relationship_with_GodNow we’re nearly at the end of 2013, I want you to think about 2013 from a spiritual perspective. So to get started, I have a few questions for you to consider:

  • Have you prayed regularly this year?
  • Have you listened to what God has to say to you this year?
  • Have you said “yes” to all God has wanted you to do this year?
  • When times of difficulty have come along this year, did you turn to God immediately for help, or wait until he was a last resort?
  • Have you done your best to tell others about Jesus?
  • Has God been at the centre of all you’ve done in 2013?

If you’ve answered “Yes” to all of the above questions, well done, as it sounds at though you’re doing the best you can to be a good example of Christ to those you encounter.

Sadly, I think many of us will, if we’re being honest with ourselves and with God, will have answered either “No” or “Sometimes” to at least one of the above questions. Thankfully though, we still have time to change so that we can honestly answer “Yes” to all the above questions, all we need to do is trust God to help us in every part of our life, not just the parts we’re choose to let Him into.

So as the end of 2013 draws near, draw closer to God, and let Him into every part of your life.

You’re all I want
You’re all I’ve ever needed
You’re all I want
Help me know you are near

Yesterday in From Heaven He Came, I talked about how Jesus came to earth to servant God, and that we also should be God’s servants.

I’ve always found the word “servant” make me think of people who are treated more like slaves than servants, who are willing to serve their master. Is that just me?

Thankfully regardless of what I think of when I hear the word “servant”, being God’s servant is not about being His slave, it’s about serving His because we want to, because we love Him and He loves us unquestioningly.

If you are not already serving God, why not make that step this Christmas, by kneeling before Him and giving Him your all.

kneel-cross

From heaven You came, helpless babe
Entered our world, Your glory veiled
Not to be served but to serve
And give Your life that we might live
 
This is our God, the Servant King
He calls us now to follow Him
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King
 
There in the garden of tears
My heavy load He chose to bear
His heart with sorrow was torn
Yet not my will, but Yours he said
 
Come see His hands and his feet
The scars that speak of sacrifice
Hands that flung stars into space
To cruel nails surrendered
 
So let us learn now to serve
And in our lives enthrone Him
Each other’s needs to prefer
For it is Christ we’re serving

Christ came as a humble child, to serve His Father and to teach the world of His love for us.

He was God’s servant here on earth, and that’s just what God wants us to be too.

Are you God’s servant?

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

Do you feel you are living your life to the full, or are there too many distractions around which stop you from living your life to the full?

Whatever is stopping you from living your life to the full, take it to God, He will help you overcome those distractions and live your life the way He has planned for you.

He who carries God in his heart, bears heaven with him wherever he goes ~ Ignatius

Is heaven in your heart?

Can others see heaven in you because of the way you live your life?

Jesus is the reason for Christmas, so why not let God into your life this Christmas, so you can carry heaven with you wherever you go.

Jesus said this about God. “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” (John 8:29).

God never left Jesus alone, and He never leaves us alone either. Even when life seems tough and God seems to be nowhere to be found, He is still there, and will show himself at just the right time. Why? Because He has promised that He will always he there for us.

Tonight it is my turn to do the devotions in our band practice, so I thought I’d share with you the devotions I will be sharing with the band tonight:

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe we’re now more than half way through November! It’s been one very quick year, however it’s certainly been a year I will never forget after the death of first my Dad in February, Aunt Mae (Mum’s sister) in April and since I wrote these devotions, my Aunt Mabel (Dad’s sister) died on Sunday.

Yes, it’s been a very tough year, but it’s also been a year that has challenged spiritually – My Dad did not believe in God, while my Aunt Mae was a true Christian lady, a lifelong Salvationist. Therefore I found myself thinking about the afterlife, my faith and the promises I’d made to God, and in turn asked myself the following questions:

  • Had I done all I could to share my faith with Dad?
  • Did he find God in his final days when he was no longer able to communicate with us?
  • Am I doing all I could to share my faith with others, especially those I love and care about?
  • Is my own faith what it ought to be?

My Aunt Mae’s faith, even when her dementia meant she no longer recognised us or was violent towards us, still shone through as she still talked about the Army, and asked what was happening at Rutherglen, who was bandmaster, and the strange one, was the carpet in the hall ok?! She talked of people who had long since been promoted to glory, but couldn’t remember what day of the week it was…having attended the Army all her days, it seemed the Army and all it meant to her was the small part of her she never lost when her dementia took over her personality.

There’s one song O Jesus I have promised to serve thee to the end, has become particularly special to me this year, not just because it was one of my Aunt Mae’s favourites and reminds me of her faith right up to the end, but because it has challenged me to reflect on my own faith.

So whenever we play Guardian of My Soul which features this song, I find it very emotional as it stirs up so many memories for me, as well as reminding me of the promises, I like my Aunt, have made to serve God all my days.

promiseO Jesus I have promised
To serve thee to the end
Be thou forever near me
My Master and my friend
I shall not fear the battle
If thou art by my side
Nor wander from the pathway
If thou wilt be my guide.
 
O Jesus, thou hast promised
To all who follow thee,
That where thou art in Glory,
There shall thy servant be;
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my friend.

Each of us here tonight have promised to serve God all our lives.

I’ve been challenged this year to reflect on, and renew my promise to God to serve Him all my life.

How about you, is your promise to serve Him to the end, still as strong today as it once was?

Are you a soldier of Christ?

I know you may not recognise the term “soldier” in this context, so think about it this way, are you part of the army of Christ? If you answer yes to that question, that makes you a soldier of Christ.

For those of us in the Salvation Army, the word “soldier” is a term we regularly use and that is what got me thinking about being soldiers of Christ. I think it was again at our recent Salvation Army UK Congress when we sang the following song:

Soldiers of our God, arise!
The day is drawing nearer;
Shake the slumber from your eyes,
The light is growing clearer.
Sit no longer idly by,
While the heedless millions die;
Lift the blood-stained banner high,
And take the field for Jesus.
 
Refrain:
Storm the forts of darkness,
bring them down, bring them down!
Storm the forts of darkness,
bring them down, bring them down!
Pull down the devil’s kingdom,
Where’er he holds dominion,
Storm the forts of darkness,
bring them down.
Glory, honour to the Lamb,
Praise and power to the Lamb;
Glory, honour, praise and power,
Be forever to the Lamb.
 
See the brazen hosts of hell,
Art and pow’r employing;
More than human tongue can tell,
Blood-bought souls destroying.
Hark! from ruin’s ghastly road,
Victims groan beneath their load,
Forward, O ye sons of God,
And dare or die for Jesus.
 
Warriors of the risen King,
Great army of salvation,
Spread His fame, His praises sing,
And conquer every nation.
Raise the glorious standard higher,
Work for vict’ry, never tire;
Forward march with blood and fire,
And win the world for Jesus.

Lots of references in this song to military terms such as

  • Take the field
  • Conquer
  • Forward march
  • Army of salvation
  • Raise the…standard higher
  • Victory

All of which give us quite a vivid image of what the songwriter is trying to portray to us.

At the end of the day though, it’s all about winning the world for Jesus…it’s all about transformation again isn’t it!

So as a soldier of Christ, are you ready to arise and go out into the world and transformation the world for Jesus?

May now your church rise with power and love,
This glorious gospel proclaim
 

Following on from last weekend’s Salvation Army UK Congress when we were challenged to transform the world, the above words kind of sum up our challenge don’t they?

Ultimately though what we want is everyone to know Christ, and everyone to give their all to Him:

In every nation salvation will come
To all who will call in Your name
 

So how do we do this? Well first we ourselves must be transformed from within, then and only then can we ever hope to transform the world. So let God help us transform the world

Help us bring light to this world
That we might speed your return
Come, Lord Jesus
Pour out your spirit on us today
 

I pray your transformation is underway!

I consider myself to be a life-long Christian whose faith, despite having been at rock bottom a few years ago, is now stronger than ever. This hasn’t meant I’ve had an easy life since then. In fact, if anything I’d say I’ve faced even more challenges/difficulties of various kinds!

So what’s the point of having faith in God if He doesn’t make life any easier for us?

Just because I’ve still faced difficulties in life, is not a reflection on God’s impact on my life, as despite the challenges, I’ve coped better with them than I would previously have coped. Why? Because I’ve acknowledged that God is walking with me in every situation, and therefore have felt His love and peace around me.

Peace on the outside comes from knowing God on the inside.