Monday, August 2, 2010

What stops us from being who we are?

Sunday saw me going to two services at our church – the 8.00am early Communion service and the 10.00am as I had jobs to do in both.

Our assistant Vicar preached at the 8.00am and the sermon was based on Colossians 3:1-11

Rules for Holy Living
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

We were challenged to think on this question:
Can others see the change in your life from what you used to be like before you became a Christian, to how you are now?

I gave my life to Jesus in my teens and that is a long time ago now!
It was hard for me to answer this question as really only my family would know if I was different.
So I looked at it in another way.
Can people who don’t know me (and those who do!) know that I am a Christian.
I know that for Christians we are often asked this and assumed that we show it but I was challenged to think if a stranger would sense or know it by what they see in me.

Living in New Zealand is comfortable with no threats to my race or religion but what if I lived in a country where it is not. Showing who I am would be a great risk; would I be prepared to do that for God.

Later the Vicar preached in the 10.00am service using the scripture from Matthews 3:17 – 4:22 .
The sermon focused on being Spirit let and although not a continuation from the 8.00am service, for me, it linked.
The Vicar preached that being let by the Spirit was an invisible thing, unseen by others, and I thought “until they see it in you”, the showing of my Christian life.

When Jesus was tempted in the desert after he had been baptized he used the Word of God in speech (unseen) to destroy the temptation of the devil.

Matthew 4:
4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" 

10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" 

11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him

The vicar then went on to talk about the calling of the first disciples and how they left their nets to follow Jesus when he called them.
You hear of people who go off and do things that may seem really odd or even that the thing they are going to do just won’t work as we see it in our eyes. But if God has spoken to them, He will provide when they are obedient to His call and the unseen will be ‘seen’ working.
When Jesus called the fishermen they left their ‘nets’ and their livelihood and followed Jesus not even knowing what the future held for them.

20At once they left their nets and followed him.

They became people who led others into a relationship with Christ and that still happens today. They left their ‘nets’, what would normally have held them back.

So I left with the challenge to think: What is my ‘net’ that holds me back from being all that God wants me do be and the witness to others a Christian should be.

As I wandered around the garden in the sun today, I found this little rose bud coming out and I thought "it’s the same with us." That rose will flower no matter what the weeds are like around it. We should not let the things of this world, that may stop us from being who we really are, stop God at work.

I still am pondering 'what my net is' and I am thinking of the 'thing' being something that distracts; uses up too much time; or prevents me from being true to myself.
I'm not liking the fact that it maybe the computer, not this blog, but more the silly games I play on it. I will ponder it more...

Edited to add...
Later today I realised some of my 'nets' are excuses, like having mental illness in our family means I can't always do what others do -
but -
God has a path just for me and it is not the same as anyone else's.

Another is fear of what people might say -
but -
If people comment on what I am doing they are seeing God at work in my life.

All scripture is from (New International Version)

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