What kind of person

do you want to be, when you’re old and grey, sat in the armchair of your last living place?

Ungrateful, entitled, stuck in the past and filled with darkness?

Or thankful – to the point of being happy, humble to the point of being willing to serve, forward looking and filled with goodness?

It’s a no brainer, isn’t it… but here’s the thing –

Who we’ll be, is who we’re becoming now.

Disciple, Jesus’ goal for you really is transformation at the level of character.  Today is another chance to embrace that process.

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Critiquing the Good Samaritan

I’ve heard godly people raise very valid concerns about the ministry that the good samaritan exercised that day on the road in Jericho. Stuff about fighting systemic injustice, the short comings of ‘hit and run’ ministry etc

Points of view well worth wrestling with…

After we’ve actually got the guy off the side of the road and into the hotel.

Perfect doesn’t really exist, but good really is a blessing.

Perfect doesn’t really exist

but good really is a blessing.

Perfect ministry won’t happen through you.

And there isn’t a ministry out there that you couldn’t pick significant holes in, if you were of a mind to do so.

But today, you really can throw yourself into a good work, and be a blessing to those around you.

I think I’m slowly learning that being a real and imperfect blessing out there, is immeasurably better than having a clever critique stored in my head.

Go for it today disciple.

 

Welcome & Weigh

Part of walking in wisdom is both welcoming and weighing advice from different sources.

Solomon, having had the wisdom of God directly downloaded to him, then made one of his first acts not telling others what to do but setting up a team of advisors.  Remarkable.

The voices he welcomed included:

The priest – “This is what the Lord requires…”

The accountant – “We can’t afford to do a, and still keep doing b…”

The administrator – “That isn’t actually going to work unless we also…

The record keeper – “well, this is where we’re at compared with 12 months, and a decade ago...”

The prophet – “Forget all that, this is what the Lord is saying…

The warrior – “Look, there’s a threat over here, and an opportunity over there.  Don’t forget we’re at war!

In every endeavour we have responsibility for, whether just our own lives, or something wider, we benefit immensely from welcoming these voices. We wrestle with the tensions, weigh it all up, decide on our course and commit it to the Lord.

It requires more time and humility then simply going with what we reckon, but much more likely to lead us on a better path.

1 Kings 4:1-6

H/T – Corley‘s 4 Chairs

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Lawrence

I’m 33 years old.

On this day, August 10, in the year 258, a 33 year old disciple was martyred for defying the empire of his day.

A revival was happening in Rome, and the authorities were trying to clamp down on it.  They ordered Lawrence, who was the deacon in charge of church finances, to hand over all the church’s assets or face being killed along with all his colleagues.

He asked for three days to get everything together, which he then spent distributing all the church’s goods amongst the city’s poor.

When the moment came to hand over the assets to the state, he simply presented the the blind, poor, disabled, sick, elderly, widows and orphans with the assertion, “These are the treasures of the church!”

The authorities decided a simple beheading would be too soft an example to set in Lawrence’s case.  So they cooked him to death on a grid iron.

It’s alleged at one point during the ordeal he said to his executioners,

“you can turn me over, I’m done on this side.”

The setback served to really advance, and the revival in Rome continued to spread.

Today, I may already have the gallow’s humour, but I pray I’ll also have the steadfastness in suffering, concern for the poor, and conviction that 33 really isn’t a bad age to lay your life down in love.

martyrdom-of-st-lawrence

Sources:

Bible In One Year – August 8

Wikipedia – Lawrence of Rome

Gillett & Brims Podcast Episode 19 – Jesus forgives and heals a man

Gillett and Brims podcast_19

On this week’s episode we go for another bible study – a little look at Luke 5:17-26.  Tuck in!

The passage is Luke 5:17-26.

Question of the episode – what stands out from the passage for you?

For all previous episodes and all information about the podcast check out the podcast page here.

My steps are ordered

19 years ago I went to a Christian summer camp in Ledbury. I remember hearing the message of God’s love for us at one of the meetings.  Mark, who led the camp along with his wife Sarah, prayed for me and in some strange way at that moment, the gospel became not only true to me, but also relevant, important and liberating. It was a very significant stake in the ground in my walk with Jesus.

I stayed involved with the camp, which migrated from Ledbury to Ripon and changed leadership, over the next decade or so.

Last week I had the privilege of returning after another decade of not being directly involved. I was able to stand up at a meeting, give my testimony, and pray for many young lads in exactly the same manner Mark had prayed for me. It was a sweet week for me.

I then returned home and pitched up to church yesterday.  Who should walk in but Mark and Sara, along with their kids.  I was flabbergasted, having not seen them in years.

Everyday my steps are ordered.  Through detours, defeats and disasters, I know that Yahweh is with me, working for my good, and for the saving of many.

It’s extremely sweet though, when the curtains are pulled back a bit, and the ordering is so outrageously obvious.

Jesus is so kind.

 

Proverbs 20:24