“To this end…”, more to follow

Moulded in the potters hands

Moulded in the potters hands

28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature inChrist.

29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

(Col 1:28-29)

The Next Step, which is the second on this topic is SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES 

Turning my inner person to God and giving time, over the years many have used different names to call for this process such as “Devotional time” or “Quiet Times”.    Some even have seen liberty as a reason to be free form a discipline and used the thinking not to develop the intimate times with God.       Let me say from the onset without developing these regular, intimate moments with God one will not advance, neither is it a religious action but a real love, developing an adventure of hearing the Father.

The natural progression of fellowship leads you to a disciplined development of intimacy through spending times away, aside with God, the Psalmist said evening and morning he did it, quiet times.     Now all our faith is learning that the Father wants responsive followers,  not people living by the letter of the law, so this ‘quiet time’ is not a duty but an outflow of deep thanks, manifest in time given to be intimate, never due but an appreciation and response.       As for me, if I do not create these moments I feel starved and hungry.      My children, when younger, would say it was evident in my ways or life’s conduct towards them if I had neglected that time with the Father.    Let me re state it again although daily times when followed as routine or obligation have been discredited as legalistic, it is nevertheless true that the absence of seasons of quietness with God will eventually lead to poverty of soul and vulnerability.

Again, looking back over the years I see the practice of a daily time of meditation as one of the greatest strengths in the development of my spiritual life.      I look upon it not as a time to get something to say or preach but a conversation between me and the Godhead for us together.    For these times to be seen as necessary as eating, taking in nourishment to the body so these times of discipline are to my whole being.       Over the years I have looked upon it as times of just filling up a kit bag for a long journey, storing insights, Holy Spirit utterances and directions, never knowing when or what the Holy Spirit will draw from that resource we placed into the kit bag for life some time ago.    For the Father to mould me more and more into Gods image.    Although in recent years I have modified my approach, I remain convinced they were vital to fellowship with God.

The reading and marking of the Word of God

God’s life works powerfully in those who love the Word.     It reads, speaks, grips and provokes you. There is so much that the word of God does in you that nothing else could – preachers could never produce what the Spirit does through the Word.     It is this opening of my life and mind to its truth and challenges that has proved indispensable to personal development.

I turn to the word of God as I turn to a person knowing that this person wants to talk with me, I love 1 Cor 2:9, 10 that says for me, God is searching God, to bring out the deep things of God to show and present them to me.   Therefore every time I turn to word it is an adventure and excitement, I feel the thrill, what about you, revelations come when we do, honestly, try it is a promise.

I read the Word simply, in an attitude of faith.      I don’t look for it’s difficulties or problems, I don’t concern myself with the arguments of author ship or authenticity of historical detail.    I first read the Word to let it read me.    I take what is obvious from the surface, apply that and rejoice in it.     My marking system – underlining etc., reinforces its impact on my mind.      Today I have hundreds of notes daily devotions in my computer stored for either me or some one else in later years may wish to mull over them.

When studying the Word more earnestly for a given purpose, I give myself to research as to the authorship, the background of the principal parties concerned.       The circumstances of the nation at the time, the issues that are primarily being addressed etc.      But my first approach to the Word is to get to know God by allowing its revelation to minister to my life.    It is God the Father making known his nature, it is the ever arriving God, a self-reveling Father eager to make known to reward and give gifts.        Choice of emotions?????? this is not what you are considering….

Step Three – You CHOICE OF FRIENDS is vital to ongoing spiritual progress.      

It was the awareness of this that made me face up to my first series of difficult choices.     These were to affect my relationship with my former friends in the world.

Their way of life was now so different from my own.     I had witnessed effectively amongst them to the point where those open to Christ and change had already been converted.      Finally I was faced with the difficult choice concerning those who had no intention of changing.      I became convinced that continued companionship with some of them would eventually lead to the compromising of spiritual values, and that meanwhile  I would be under constant pressure to conform to their behaviour and activities.

From early days I had to make the decision, I recall some who helped me, that after deciding to follow Christ they used to cross the road directly in front of me, in order not to entertain meeting me, once passed they would cross back to the original side, it was challenging at the time as we all like being wanted or liked but then it helped me to see choices in relationships are so important.    Let me add a caveat, it is not rejection or exclusivity we cannot do that in the gospel of the Kingdom, we are not to be exclusive, the Kingdom of God makes us at every hand inclusive and I must demonstrate that, it is just knowing where and how I grow through the relationships around me, while accepting and loving every one.

Then there were the “carnal Christians”, not sure what that means any longer some times?      You understand those who seek their own, those who have themselves at their centre only, those who are looking to add the things of the present to themselves for positions or stature, not seeking the Kingdom of God as predominant view.   I met many in my early experience.    It became clear to me that continued company with these would prove almost as damaging.      Fellowship was based upon the sharing of discontent, mutual grumbles, ill-feeling, gossip, argument, contentious discussions and soulish issues such as “preacher for lunch”, and “destructive sermon analysis”, running people l down in the light of “being honest”, being divisive and colouring my view of others, Inflicting their personal agenda on people

Alternatively, there was the prospect of companionship with those whose heart was towards God.     Who loved God as I loved the Father, who were intent on making progress in their spiritual lives while pursuing their destiny.

I decided these were the companions I should cultivate, for their fellowship would help sharpen my spiritual insights and provoke me towards maturity.

I am told which I am sure its true that less is best for a blog although I don’t know how to lean this or better still practice the lesson today however I am going to head the encouragement allowing you to mull my comments on adding and advancing your journey into God.

I pray that you will develop deeper in 2013 your Spiritual Discipline along with wisdom, not emotion in your choice of friends while recalling Part One of “To this end…” with developing that fellowship with God who is eager for the relationship.

Happy journeys into Christ, great adventures of the Holy Spirit and deeper into God in 2013

Effected by a child’s birth

images-4 The incarnation and its effect

He became that we might become the Ultimate Transformation, this season of celebration, the incarnation must be about this.   Ultimate Transformation when the process arrived in life, when Christ became flesh as a means of our transformation.  – life poured to life completed, one emptied the other filled.   One poured out that many might be filled.

The answered prayer of Jesus later spoken but a life lived as a prayer the desire of the Father accomplishes God’s Purposes in our lives, incarnation is about God’s purpose.     Consider the greatness of God as the move is towards purpose and Jehovah is the Highest of the high and the Greatest of the great, but He is also willing to become the Lowest of the low and stoop down to meet us where we are and humanities needs.

To “look upon the lowly” means to pay attention to them and regard them with favor (11:4; 113:5–9; Isa. 57:15 and 66:2; Luke 1:47–55).      The ultimate proof of this is the incarnation of Jesus Christ, for He became poor that we might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9) and became a servant that we might be set free (Phil. 2:1–12).

He was lowly in His life and in His death, for He who is perfect was treated like a criminal and nailed to a cross, and on that cross, He became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21).

King David gave thanks that the Lord knew his need and came to his aid.    In His covenant with David (2 Sam. 7), God revealed that He had a great purpose to fulfill through David’s life, and He would not allow the enemy to thwart that purpose.     This is true for you and I that might believe today (Phil. 1:6 and 2:13; Eph. 2:10 and 3:20; Col. 1:29), and He will not forsake us.

It has well been said that the purpose of prayer is not to get man’s will done in heaven but to get God’s will done on earth, let us set 2013 to demonstrate this and be actively involved in bring Gods purpose to earth


To this end…

Donkey power

28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

(Col 1:28-29)

Paul seemed to have been so radical impacted by a short fall during his life, he was so foundation-ally affected, transformed by his falling off a donkey encounter.   As he travelled about his business he lost his grip of the reigns, slipped off the back and wham hit the floor.   Hitting what ever part of his body first on a hard dusty well trodden roadway.   It was not stars he saw around his injured head  but he saw an arrival of God, that is as held within the name Yahweh the “ever arriving one”, the God who came and introduced him not to a theology or r even religion and its forms, but to his very own nature the seeing of the nature of God.   Just as God is introduced to us in Genesis his very nature rushed into Paul’s void in his life.    You might asked how do you know he had a void, let me suggest any one who required  a letter to give him the right to conduct himself indicated he had not found himself, maybe?

Light and sound, a voice God nature arrives, Paul on hearing the sounds of God just as creation heard the sounds of God “light be”, so Paul’s short fall some 1 to 1.5 meters off the shoulders of a short animal was a huge distance in his inner being.    It’s amazing to some such a small incident for some can be so huge for others.   I wonder what was your short fall into a whole new life?

Paul heard the voice of Christ asking, “Why do you persecute me” and some 20 years on, the impact was so evidently foundational to his life that it comes across in him testifying before King Agrippa, the encounter was still powerful to him, still living as the narrative shows, there was still life communicating and conviction pulsating from it to the point in “nearly persuade” the king zeal communicated raise zeal in another.

It certainly was not a take it or leave it approach, Paul said, I have based my whole life’s action, my decisions and direction were all moulded from the foundation of his encounter with Christ and not by his own life’s development, his encounter developed his life!   Now that’s a choice for us, can we bring our life, relationships, money and how we use our resources, our focus and priorities, in line with our meeting Jesus, can we choose to be transformed by our onward encounters?

The narrative of Paul’s life indicates to us that something should happen to every one of us, when we truly encounter Christ.   The narrative emphasizes that it is certainly not about the emotions or ecstasy of the moment but about what is impregnated into our lives, causing us to change.

It is not just about capturing or thoughts or intellect but impregnating deep within us, who we are, if you and I have met Jesus, that is what actually happened, a “light be” exploded in us, for some it had immediate implications, while for others it might take a period of time for the light to make its course to transform our foundation.

There is an impregnating of seed of life, in a word, in a donkey fall, or what ever is yours, the seed of the restoring of the image and likeness to bring about a burden and a breakthrough.

Each one of us have our own “burden”,  we sometimes refer to this as our “call” or “vision”.     That which radically changes everything, that which first asks of us, then demands that our every decision and direction aligns towards the vision.   In this way it will fill out your understanding and conviction as to what God has destined you to pursue in life.

What I am seeking to give to you written here as principles of life in God, are merely a packet of seed.   Seed for you to plant and nurture if they are to become fruitful in your life.  Following are simple steps to feed, take hold of the burden that has impregnated, come to reside to bring our live sot a place to make it matter to make our lives count


My enjoyment of fellowship with God started in the initial wave of gratitude for forgiveness which resulted in great joy within me, I was full of praise and adoration for God OUR Father,

In retrospect I see that openness to God and emotional spontaneity were two of the most vital aspects of my early life that have continued to prove fruitful and cause me to progress.

By “openness to God” I mean an attitude of:

  1. Expectation – God can do anything, at any time, in any way, in any place that I am.
  2. Hunger and thirst for God, that is pulling on God, doing all I can to set my hope, my desire, my focus, my thinking on God.   Many older Christ followers would use the term your “first cause”, to hunger and thirst is to make God my first cause and shape my life according to the first cause I see
  3. A heart ready and willing to respond obediently to anything God might do or say.

I experienced enlargement of my expectation as a result of what God did in response to my openness.     It has become an endless cycle of blessing and increase.

By “emotional Spontaneity” I mean learning to laugh and cry, rejoice and repent, pray and praise, which has developed in me a responsive heart to God.      Our emotions are to be cultivated even though they are still to be controlled.      People respond to emotion more than to exploitation.      This is why, if there are two able preachers in the same vicinity, one excellent in teaching the other very caring and feeling for the people, it has been noted the one who is most likely to have the people deeply joined is the person of emotion rather than explanation.

Developing the emotions makes us sensitive to God’s workings, and leads to knowing God intuitively (in the heart). As yet the mind remains largely uninformed, and although this is not desirable as an ongoing thing, it is certainly our initial experience.

Having said this about the emotions, it is equally true that we need an informed faith.      Paul prayed that the “eyes of your understanding be opened” (Eph.l :18).      Feelings will change, whereas understanding will deepen convictions.        As understanding is built-in so we are built up, which leads us now to spiritual discipline.

It is the cultivation of a disciplined way of life that prepares us for a revelation of God.

Next time we shall visit the thoughts of Spiritual Disciplines.            In the mean time let me encourage you to find some donkeys to take a short fall to let the ever arriving God arrive and light fill you again and again.

Love of the Father – Why?

father's loveMy reason for writing today is purely as an appeal that our world might be overwhelmed by the LOVE of God.   That our society might be transformed by the LOVE of God.   That the church might demonstrate “that all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NASB)

We have all become recipients of the Love of the Father, the Love of God, the Fathers Love which ever way we say it, it really does not matter as long as we are affected and transformed by this LOVE and continue to transform our world through this love.    A Love that brings security, love that brings belonging, love that so imbibes my being that overwhelms us, accepts, propels and is making us like God.

May the love of God overwhelm us daily and enable us to be so impacted, putting us the right way up in order that we become the Love of the Father to our neighbours, friends, family, society and world, being the love of God in the streets of life.

We are introduced in Genesis 1 to “light” this light, the light of God is seven times brighter than the sun, the scriptures tell us, it is the essence of the Father God.  A light that was there days before the orbs of light, sun and moon were created, this is God.  Light breaking into formlessness and void making itself known when there was no essence, transforming all it touched.   This is a specialty of God to pour into empty, nothingness, a dark soup of lostness, God’s essence!   By Matthew 5 the people of God are to be the literal LIGHT on a hill never to be hidden, we have become the very essence of God in our world.   Light carriers, so it is to be with the essence of God in every term,  as God is LIGHT and LOVE, the LOVE that its seen in us and through us,  extending out from us.   Love is expansive and ever-increasing, perhaps we can see this in this instance, when we are told in Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,”  his government, is his love extending just like God.   This Father the God of all is the ever arriving God, Gods love is ever arriving and so we are to love with an ever arriving love.    Perhaps that is a better way of looking at Romans 5:5 “…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us…”, it is ever arriving to us and through us towards our created world.

I am challenged with what is seemingly happening today the popularising of the flavour of our day in our Christ following walk in making Jesus and his Gospel of the Kingdom part of our consumer society.   It is becoming what I can get, MY feelings, MY destiny, MY wants. MY needs and MY stuff.

I think it was Eugene Peterson who once wrote in Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading” on the trinity of our modern world and saw it  as my needs, my wants and my feelings  he went on to say

“My needs are non-negotiable. My so-called rights, defined individually, are fundamental to my identity. My need for fulfilment, for expression, for affirmation, for sexual satisfaction, for respect, my need to get my own way – all these provide a foundation to the centrality of me and fortify my self against diminution.

My wants are evidence of my expanding sense of kingdom. I train myself to think big because I am big, important, significant. I am larger than life and so require more and more goods and services, more things and more power. Consumption and acquisition are the new fruits of the spirit.

My feelings are the truth of who I am. Any thing or person who can provide me with ecstasy, with excitement, with joy, with stimulus, with spiritual connection validates my sovereignty. This, of course, involves employing quite a large cast of therapists, travel agents, gadgets and machines, recreations and entertainments to cast out the devils of boredom or loss or discontent – all the feelings that undermine or challenge my self-sovereignty”.

It seems agreeable to be the consumer, being a consumer with the love of God rather than being consumed by the love of God, of the Father, the Fathers Love.      The Love of God presented in order that I have an inner feel good experience, it gets my self loved and its all about my inner feelings rather than being about the maturity of the whole body.    This Love is to come to each of us, to go through us so that is might extend out from us as the LOVE of the Father, touching life around us, loving humanity, loving creation.

What a great lesson of love, Jesus is to us, he explained love fully, what a great attitude he displayed as he was the love of the Father, Fathers love, the love of God, a lesson for us to be just like him.      I think of John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”     Maybe it’s not just talking about our physical life.      Perhaps it is the life we know, the friends we have and loose.      Maybe I show love when I lay down the life we have together to be the bridge for you, to be the servant that enables you, while you walk over me to reach your maturity, it is the love I have to be a friend in helping others when I see a wrong attitude or action.    May be this love shows when you bring a confrontation to me of my wrong ways, may be it is the forgiveness I freely give when you let me down or show unkindness.   Maybe we show no greater love than when we are counted with people who others consider tainted. 

Becoming friends with those who have been cut off, those who we say are judged for their life style.   Being the love of God to the down-and-out, the ones who don’t have anything, the prostitute, the destitute, the sexually different, the social law-breaker, the nobody.   To love here is a defining moment of our life, ministry, and career.       Sure, you may lose a few relationships, unfortunately, but I can’t find a better way of extending or being the love of the Father and loosing relationships for loving like God?   These friends so-called, even these we are to love, as we love all, I doubt they would have cared for me in my failures and spoken in love?    So really, I lost nothing.     If being the love of the Father, being the friend causes some to hate and reject me what can I do but continue to LOVE and extend the essence of God into the fabric of life

The love of the Father says to me and compels me to lay my life down for the fringe, for it is in the fringe God works,  often we think That god is at work in the centre, with the celebrity, those who command, but, I see the scriptures  narrative saying God is in the fringes of life, and seems to be there in greatest power – Love of the Father, the Fathers Love what ever way you say it, extend it into the fringes of people’s lives, and to people who are on  the fringe.   The Davids, the Gideon’s, the Paul’s, the disciples, Jesus himself born in a cave, laid in the feeding trough, being the bread to all.    The Love of the Father from you to others it’s not just about me being but it’s about me extending love of God through me.

Consumer of love or lover of all?   

Consumed by the Father of consumer of ???


images-4Chose Life is the direction of the scriptures, more than that the Spirit of life causes us to ‘chose life’, the passage in Deut.  30:19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 

 The desire of the Father for us all is that we “CHOSE” and that choice is “LIFE”.   “Chose Life” the shout goes across time and through creation into the hearts of mankind.   Chose, make a right choice, the grace of God enables us.

We must have all sat in examinations some time or another, I recall  schooldays with the invigilator, the one who wandered between lines of the desks  making sure you did not cheat in any way, whilst you had notes written on your arm, little slips of writing paper with answers on slipped into your pencil-case, with words so small that by the time you needed them in the exam you could no longer read them, by what ever way by whatever means people attempt to get themselves ahead.   Perhaps you are one who did not need anything but could recall all at the appropriate moment.    The invigilator strolling between the lines of order, pressuring the children.   But this Father of ours , the God of all creation does not allow any one to become pressured, for as the Father of Life passes by and sees your pressure he reaches over your shoulder and points at the correct choice.   So he sets before us choice, life or death and points, just incase the question is too difficult for us, LIFE to enable us to make the correct decision.

Life is a series of choices. Our present circumstance and status in life is the consequence of the choices we have made & have refused to make in life.

The most difficult choices are not the ones between good & evil, but choose between multiple good. Phil 1:9


Choices, Life is full of them they roll in every day, ever hour, they stand before us daily.     God wants us to make choices and through choices we are schooled, God will always present choices for our maturing.   Consider Adam right from the word go humanity is presented with a choice ‘this tree or that one’, a moral choice, a choice of life, a choice of obedient response.   Humanity even following being instructed not to take of one tree, humanity is even show which one was full of life and humanity should continue to taking from it, yet a choice stood in the centre of the garden two trees to begin the process of maturing.   Through the choice made immaturity along with a way of life that all humanity has struggled with, an orphan way of life overwhelmed at that time and we have being dealing with provision and protection ever since.

A choice made that brought all mankind to be defensive and protective in life along with taken up in gathering and amassing all kinds of provision, in making providing for self a central feature of life yet Choose Life the direction was to be.

In making a sound choice, freedom from 2 enemies of the present age is necessary.

  1. Possessions material goods and  the pursuit of them
  2. Positions status, what others think of us, protection.