Sunday 20th March 2011
by Jean Packer
Penny brought us a refreshing word through Acts 23 this week. She spoke about how Paul was a humble man. He apologised for speaking against a ruler, yet he cared enough to speak the gospel message to all who would listen. He was bold and stood up for what he believed. He was an honest, God-fearing man. He was full of the Holy Spirit and fully himself! He trusted God completely and stepped out boldly in obedience. Signs and Wonders followed!
How much do we long to have this purity of heart? To see that the fields are ripe for harvest and be able to gather in the harvest freely and joyfully! What stops us? Penny expressed this as fear of man. What would others think of us? Fear that we may become stumbling blocks if we wavered in our own opinions in order to accommodate others? What would happen if the way things are, changed? We worry about being contaminated? We want to be in control of how things should be… the list could go on and God can show each one of us our own personal fears if we ask Him to.
Yes people watch, and criticise us sometimes. Yet we need to grow up in these times, weigh up what is said, and discard what is not true. Die to what people say about us otherwise we will just go up and down in our emotions. We are loved and protected by God. Jesus died on the cross for our, and their sins. The Pharisees spoke against Jesus (Luke 6:7), yet we are urged to speak boldly (Luke 6:22). Lets not be man pleasers but God pleasers. Luke 6:26 actually says “Woe to you when all men speak good of you”! Lets stand bold and trust God! Don’t compromise our faith… get into His intimate presence to hear His voice… and step out in obedience to whatever He tells us. Know what we carry inside us and reach out to people and share His love.
Jesus spent time with outcasts! He was comfortable with them! He fitted in and accepted them… just as they were, and they knew it! They felt loved! God wants to change our theology, which is sometimes religious… He wants us to be available to Him whenever The Holy Spirit prompts us to act. In whatever ways that may be. These may not fit into our mindsets and expectations and we may worry what others may think, but He wants us pliable and open. He wants us dead to our reputations! It doesn’t matter what others think or say. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all accusations! He wants our whole hearts….minds and soul for Him and for others. It is love that convicts … we don’t have to do anything else but love one another as He first loved us.
Lets get real! Be fully ourselves through Him! Love ourselves as we are… He made us… love one another… let’s be open and transparent, like Jesus. The world sees who we are. We are called to be mighty warriors for Him – Fearless in all we do and to step out in faith and trust. We need to get rid of poverty mindsets and trust that all our provisions will be met as we need them. God wants to remove our limitations. We can do all things in Him!