Culture Of Unity And Love 

  

Unity and Diversity in One Body

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
The church that the apostle Paul started on his second mission trip was having some issues as the body of believers. We see Paul writing in regards to the body and spiritual giftings. He uses the illustration as a body made together in unity as a symbol to illustrate how gifts are used together to make a whole. 

Paul makes four point about giftings : 

(1). The unity of the body

 ( 1 Corinthians 12:1-27 ).

Vs 15 – all knowing the gifts and talents so to complete the body 

Vs 18 – in FACT…. God has placed the parts of the body, everyone… Just where he wants them 

(2). The variety of its members and functions

 (1 Corinthians 12:27-30 )

Vs 27-31 – roles, giftings and everyone’s part in the body

(3). The grand principle for the right exercise of the gifts, namely, love ( 1 Corinthians 12:31 , 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 )

(4) The comparison of the gifts with one another ( 1 Corinthians 14:1-40 ).

Paul says, “I don’t want you to be ignorant. I don’t want you to be agnostics. I want you to understand this subject.” Why? The church can’t function without the operation of spiritual gifts.

We all have gifts that make up the GBA body. We have been gifted with distinct gifts to use together to impact the world around us. All gifts are needed to complete the body. So reflection for us is … Are we using the gifts God has equipped us with to build up a culture of unity and love through the mission as we serve together in ministry.

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The Call To Be Courageous 

  

 Genesis 12 
Reading the passage in Genesis when God calls Abram to go, leave his country in order for him to follow Gods directions into a new territory. 
Abram encounter God in UR where he is called to “Go leave your country, Go from your family” and I will show you where to go. A encounter where Abram had to choose to walk by faith into a unknown future, a unknown journey and a unknown destination. We see the beginning of God’s plan for a chosen nation all in a simple calling of one man’s faith to follow. 
Abram who becomes Abraham, is a man who has great faith and in Hebrews 11 we see he makes the cut of the faithful followers of God. This passage in Genesis 12 we see three core components of his stepping out in being courageous.
1. Calling- God called Abram to Go, leave everything you know that is familiar and comfortable to follow the calling of your life. 

2. Challenge – God challenges Abram to Go, and I will show you where to go. The challenge of walking a journey not knowing the end destination… Faith in action

3. Covenant- God commits to a covenant with Abram, to show he will provide, supply and is committed to the nations future.
God called Abram to be courageous to leave what he knew was safe and reliable to venture into the new covenant of blessing, future and the unknown mystery of Gods grace and provision. 
So what does this mean to me? 

God is calling us to leave what we know as safe and secure to have bold faith to journey into the new promise land that God has for us. We are called to leave by faith and follow into the unknown adventure of Gods plans. 
He is challenging us to leave the past behind to adventure into the new, while he shows us the direction,route and paths to take. We just have to simply follow in faith. He is challenging us to walk by faith, and he will guide and provide. 
So in a nut shell…

1. Calling – leave all and follow

2. Challenge – go and I will show you

3. Covenant – I will do it.
So what do you feel God is calling you to do? How can u apply Abraham’s calling and challenge to your life and leadership and be courageous today? 

 

Light to my path

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Psalm 119:105 likens the Word of God to a “lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Have you ever felt in the dark? A time where you needed guidance on a decision, answer to a question answer to that desperate prayer?
In life and leadership we find that we have times of searching for answers to our many questions. We pray and we seek advice from others as we learn, journeying the road we are walking on.

One great truth that always comes back to me, reminding me is that the Bible is the all-sufficient guide given to us by God for navigating our lives in a dark world. Not only does it guide our steps in the right path, but it shows us how to avoid the wrong way, and we should never set out without it.

When we open the word of God, it illuminates our minds, heart and soul to show us Gods words to us. The word of God speaks into our situations, questions and directs us in the ways we should go. The challenge comes… when we are seeking for advice, do we seek the word of God first?
Let the word of God light up your life and leadership and help you guide you on the path God wants you to walk on.

Make it a point today and every day to spend time reading the Word and meditating on it. It will guide your way.

Weary and Burdened

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Matthew 11:28-30
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I don’t know about you… but this time of year I feel the tiredness, the pain and the lack of energy. A busy year of lots of planning and preparing is now coming to the closure of what was 2015.
This year has seen many changes, challenges and character building moments of life and leadership. I come to the time where I feel I drag my feet and feel all that was building comes to a finish, as I try and finish the year well. Don’t know about you but 2015 has been a year where God has been dealing with the inner life of my soul and my leadership of serving.

Matthew 11:28-30 speaks to the heart of life and leadership. We see in this passage That Jesus “The Father Revealed in the Son” is showing his deity and his relationship to his father. We see the referral that Jesus addresses the people of Israel who were burdened and weighed down with the externalism and the legal do’s and don’ts of the Pharisees. Jesus continues to proclaim a promise for those who are weary and burdened with all the extra laws. His promise complete with a blessing that He will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, learn from Me, and you will find rest for your soul.

So how can this apply to my tiredness, the pain and the lack of energy in my life and leadership?
1. See the gracious invitation to experience the relief, joy, and the blessings of His life through a grace/faith relationship with Him.
2. See the call of discipleship where we totally relay and depend on Jesus for our learning, needs and resources.
3. placing our life and leadership into the yoke, learning, leaning and experience Jesus love to find rest for our souls.

So in applying this I see that I need to more than ever have those quiet time with Jesus where I sit at his feet and learn and listen. Soak in the word of God, and pray continually. Develop the spiritual disciplines and hand over all my weariness and burdens. Take on his yoke and let him lead me, let the control go and trust in the saviour who did it all for me.

So how can you this week take on his yoke?

Expectant in seasons of preparation

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— The Word For Today —

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Ephesians 2:10
It is through trying and testing that we are prepared for great work He has called us to do
If you were to ask Moses how he became who he was, he would remind you of his trials and his times of testing in the wilderness. Ask Joseph, he would most likely refer back to his years as a slave, the false accusation and his imprisonment in Pharaoh’s dungeon.
If you’re in a season of preparation, trust your precious Savior and know that He will lead you to victory.

What is God preparing for you to do?
How is he preparing you?

Still Small voice – EXPECTANT in hearing

 

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John 10:27

As Christians how do we know that we are hearing from God? Many times in my walk with God I have asked for him to show me, guide me and speak to me his will and plans for my life and leadership.
When my friend calls me up, I can instantly recognise her voice as I know her and hear her clearly from spending time getting to know her. Sometimes hearing from God might not be as clear and times when we even feel we cannot hear God. God wants us to spend time with him so we to can hear his voice clearly.

In John 10:27 we see that the sheep know his voice and they follow him. How can we know his voice and follow him? Well I think of the man Elijah and his time out in the wilderness where God speaks to him… “Did someone whisper?” Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-18 we see how God spoke to Elijah and connected with him. God spoke to Elijah at the lowest moment of his life and leadership and we see the encounter unfold… “ “Elijah, why are you here?” the Lord asked.

Elijah was burnt-out, exhausted and deeply sad, but Elijah explained, Lord, God All-Powerful, I’ve always done my best to obey you. But your people have broken their solemn promise to you. They have torn down your altars and killed all your prophets, except me. And now they are even trying to kill me!” Elijah was ready to walk away, call it quits in the ministry God called him to do, but what did the Lord ask of him? He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain. I want you to see me when I pass by.”

Elijah in his weakest moment of leadership / Ministry, we see that he obeyed God.. Stepped out of the cave of darkness, and he saw a thunderous wind hit the mountainside, shattering rocks in all its fierceness. But the Lord was not in the wind, or the violent earthquake that followed. He wasn’t in the fire that rained from heaven after that. No doubt Elijah wondered what would come next…. In the silence Elijah heard a gentle whisper. He knew it was the Lord. He got up, stood at the opening of the cave and hid his face with his coat.

A still small voice, a gentle whisper God engaged Elijah with the same questions he had asked before…Elijah, why are you here?” Elijah repeated his earlier answer. Then, the Lord gave Elijah specific instructions and told him he wasn’t the only one Instead, in the still silence, Elijah heard a gentle whisper. At the time of his ministry lows and feeling alone… God simply whispers a calming reassurance that He is in control and is not alone. God speaks to us in that still small voice. Just like the sheep know his voice, so to we should condition our hearts to always hear that still small voice. So how do we hear the whisper?

1. Have a seeking heart – (Psalm 63:1, CEV).If you want to hear God’s voice, you need to seek him like David. Be honest with him.Ask him for the ability to recognize the difference between his voice and your thoughts.

2. Read your Bible. When you study the Bible, you open yourself up to the very heart and personality of God. God speaks through the word of God, so pray that he speaks to you directly through the Word.

3. Be a good listener. Hearing God’s voice requires one major thing: listening It requires a quiet heart. It means becoming still enough on the inside despite the craziness on the outside.

4. Practice patience. All of this takes time, effort and patience. Learning to hear, recognize and understand the ways God speaks doesn’t happen overnight. It may take several years before you’re completely comfortable with hearing and recognizing God’s voice. No matter how long it takes, be confident that he has heard your prayers and will respond.
5. Obey God. Hearing from God doesn’t mean much if we don’t obey. But many people constantly wonder if what they hear is really from God. This keeps them from taking action. The fear of being wrong prevents them from ever having the opportunity to be right.

Reflection…
* Do you know the shepherds voice?
* Are you listening to the still small voice?
* What noises in your life and leadership are drowning out Gods voice?

Woman’s EXPECTANT Faith

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Luke 8:43-48
43 And there was a woman who had had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians,[a] she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter[b] said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

In this passage we see a woman who was beyond desperate to find healing within her body. An illness that made her ceremonially unclean for 12 years meant that she could not worship God at the temple. A women who would not be touched by the world as she was unclean felt the isolation from mankind. But in the single touch we see the women “EXPECTANT” in faith, that she reached out and touched Jesus fringe of his garment.

I get the feeling that this woman had enormous faith in Christ’s power and merciful ways towards the sick. The women, a poor and fragile person was made timid by her long-term illness, disappointed hopes of a cure and by poverty. We see that she doesn’t venture to stop Jesus, as she could see he was going to help heal the important officials daughter at the synagogue, but she creeps up in the crowd behind Jesus, puts out her trembling hand to touch Jesus fringe of his robe… at that moment she was healed.

We see this women’s “EXPECTANT” faith in Jesus and that a simple touch would heal her. Talk about faith in God. Her faith was very imperfect, but she had faith and that is living proof of genuineness is the key to simple faith.

What lessons can we learn for this woman of faith? That we need to approach Jesus in “EXPECTANT” faith, reach out and touch him. The simple faith and reaching out to Christ will be the beginning of transformation and healing in our lives. Only Jesus can be the true healer in our lives.

Will you in simple “EXPECTANT” faith reach out to Christ today? Will you be like this woman and touch the fringe of Jesus Garment and find healing?

Being EXPECTANT in trials

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James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

As we are journeying in the vision of being “EXPECTANT”, I see many ways we can be expectant in our life and leadership. During times of leadership we have trials and testings that refine us and define us. Here is James ch 1 we see James exhorting them/us to adopt a counter cultural attitude and thinking process when we encounter various trials. “Consider it all Joy” (ch1:2). We do this if we see the reassuring truth, “That the testing of your faith produces endurance” (Ch1:3) . The defining key is to submit to the refining process “Let endurance have its perfect result” (ch1:4). The main factor is that we need to endure the trials joyfully through Gods wisdom and perspective. This is where we see the “Expectant” part in the process.

Wisdom is what we need to endure trials with God’s Joy. When we have wisdom within our time of trials, we endure with Joy and see the true perspective that joy is not based within happiness of the situation, but within the true sovereignty of God. Wisdom is seeing the truth within our situations and circumstances and being joyful in and through our almighty God. We need to ask God for wisdom and be expectant that he will give us the wisdom needed to face the trials with complete joy. Do you see the connection of being expectant in trials? Expectant is the wisdom that God will give to deal, cope and endure trials of all kinds.

So are you asking for wisdom to face your trials and testings? Are you being expectant in the wisdom that God will give you to deal? As James 1: 5 states “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Will you ask God today for wisdom and be expectant that he will give you all you need to endure within your trials of life and leadership.