One body but many parts

1 Corinthians 12 v 12-27

12 There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. 13 We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. 14 So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.

15 Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. 16 And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? 18 God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. 19 If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? 20 As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body.

21 The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without. 23 The parts that we think are less important we treat with special honor. The private parts aren’t shown. But they are treated with special care. 24 The parts that can be shown don’t need special care. But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. 25 In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy.

27 You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it. 28 First, God has placed apostles in the church. Second, he has placed prophets in the church. Third, he has placed teachers in the church. Then he has given to the church miracles and gifts of healing. He also has given the gift of helping others and the gift of guiding the church. God also has given the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages.

So then each with our own abilities and giftings God wants us to work together as one body of Christ each of us using the giftings He has bestowed on each of us.

God determines the times and seasons

“It is God who alters the times and seasons, and he removes kings and promotes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. “Daniel 2:21ISV

The sun and moon were created to give light to the earth, to separate day from night, and serve as signs to mark seasons, days and years. Time, is a temporary interruption in eternity. It is a commodity that can neither be bought nor sold. The only thing you can do with time is use it. If you don’t use it, you lose it. If time doesn’t work in your favour, it will work against you. Time and seasons are instruments of measurement, assessment, planning and perfection. Time is an effective tool in the hands of God in planning and executing his plans. In time, everything that has a beginning must have an end. If God did not create time and seasons, there will be no end to terror, sickness, disease, misfortune, misunderstanding, quarrels, poverty and illiteracy, failure and disappointment, corruption and wickedness. In fact, there will be no end to evil.

If the earth was designed to be like heaven – a timeless realm, then, there will be no end to evil and unpleasant circumstances, poverty, sorrow and sickness will never end. Nothing will change. Change is impossible in eternity. Anything in eternity stays on. Time is a temporary interruption in eternity. It is an instrument in measuring, assessing, planning and perfecting the inhabitants of the earth. In time, change is possible. Anything you don’t want, can be eliminated. In time, nothing is permanent – no condition is permanent. In time, a failure can become a success. In time, a child can become an adult. In time, the sick can become healed. In time, the imprisoned oppressed, afflicted can become delivered and reign in life. In time, what you cannot see in your today can be seen in your tomorrow. You can take advantage of time and seasons to change your circumstance and put in place what you long to see that is not in existence. Use time, don’t waste it. Redeem the time and don’t let it slip through your hands. Make most of every opportunity and don’t let your God given opportunities slip through your hands. Eph 5:16

Change is inevitable
Therefore the most powerful realities on earth are time and seasons. The most predictable truth on Earth is Change. Change is inevitable. Everything in Creation will change, nothing remains the same. Change is the greatest challenge of our time. One thing is certain, the scriptures make a distinction between the “temporal” and the “eternal.” Paul says that the things that are seen are “temporal” but the things not seen are “eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). “Time” clearly does not relate to God and man in the same way. In describing God, the psalmist declares: “. . . from everlasting to everlasting, you are God . . .” (Psa. 90:2). Eternity is endless, but time is measured by a “beginning” and an “end.” The Bible commences with these words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

Over the last 3-4 years Christian Fellowship for Disabled Auckland has had a strong solid committee with Ges, Geoff, Jean, Ian, Mitchell, Vanessa and Viv. During that time we have had some amazing events and activities that may not have been the same as in previous years and with previous committees. This was due largely to the creative input of Vanessa Creamer who was on our committee for 11 years. That season of CFFD Auckland has now come to an end and we now are at the crossroads of change and a new season ahead for CFFD Auckland. So where to from here?

We now have 2 new committee members joining us: Blair Wooley and Bonnie Pascoe. This will obviously bring about a new dynamic to our committee and new creative ideas, input and events in the future.

There will inevitably be more changes to come with our committee and CFFD Auckland in the future. While we have run some amazing events in the past like Picnics, Pancake breakfasts and dances, one I remember where we had over 100 people come to a dance at Greyfriers, we cannot continue to be the same as a committee or as CFFD Auckland to be what we have always been and do what we have always done.

Philippians 3:13-14 New International Version (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

We need to look to the future of CFFD Auckland and seek God’s will for this ministry and the new things He has store for us.

For me personally God started speaking to me last year at a Church I visited in Wellington and a couple of times since then about 2015 being a new season and making some changes in my life. One of the changes in recent months has been leaving a large Church I was involved in for nearly 11 years and moving to a brand new smaller Church where I’m still involved in doing audio-visual like I was in my previous church. I have also moved to a new longer term more stable living situation at the beginning of this year.

Change is not always easy and I know some people don’t like change or find change to be different and scary. They would rather keep status quo and not rock the boat and keep things the same because “that’s the way we’ve always done it and we want to keep it that way”. Here’s the hard truth: If we don’t change, WE DIE. We need to change because if we don’t change, we don’t grow personally or in God or in God’s plan and will for our lives or for this ministry.

One example of this I read recently was Churches that are shrinking that keep some ministries in their Church going past their end date that have been going for 50 years but the ministries themselves have been pretty much dead and ended for the last 15 – 20 years, even if there is now only 2 or 3 people there to try and keep something going because it’s someone’s pet ministry instead of changing and letting that ministry die a natural death. An example here in New Zealand was the long running Parachute Music Festival which finished last year and now that it has died something new called Festival One run by another group has taken it’s place.

John 12:24 New International Version (NIV)
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

What are we prepared to let lay down and die? What new seeds does God have in store for CFFD Auckland this next year and the next season ahead? God is doing a new thing and he has new things in store for us.

As CFFD Auckland and a committee as we look to the future and changes ahead we need to make sure that we keep Jesus at the centre of everything that we do and keep our eyes focused on Him and remember that although we change Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has great and amazing things in store for CFFD Auckland. The best is yet to come.

Anger

I was thinking about anger when I got very angry recently. I won’t go into the reasons, but it left our family deflated and I felt really bad about it.

It’s not the first time this has happened, I tend to have a short fuse at times, which upsets others as well as myself. I prayed about it, and yes, I know God has forgiven me one more time, after many times. Then I decided to look on how God and His son Jesus handled anger. Did you know that he displayed anger many times?
Not my sort of anger, but it was always in context and there was always a reason for it.

Lets look at how God handled his anger against his chosen people, Israel
(a) The golden calf episode
(b) Against individuals who sinned and practiced deception

Jesus displayed anger many times, here are just a few
(a) Against towns and areas that rejected Him and His message
(b) Against the Pharisees and teachers of the Law
(c) Against the money changer’s and those buying and selling in the temple

And how might we be encouraged, and also warned.

From all this there is encouragement and warnings for us. Jesus was fully human yet fully God, so he exhibited the traits we exhibit. But there was difference- Jesus’ anger was always righteous and God inspired.

And God had a right to be angry. What we know from His word is that there are two major things that arouse his anger
(a) Worshipping idols rather than the living God
(b) Willfully disobeying his commands

So I guess we must learn to deal with our anger,  if it falls outside of God’s ways, which in fact, is most of the time. We are a poor reflection of Jesus, but thanks be to God, forgiveness is ours when we do fall into the trap of anger and are truly sorry..

Bible references to the discussion above follow…
God’s anger against Israel
Exodus 32: 7-8
Joshua 7: 10-12
Isaiah 5:24 -25

The righteous anger of Jesus
Matthew 11:20-24
Matthew 23:13-29
Mark 11:15-17

Encouragement and warnings for ourselves
Psalm 103:8-10
Psalm 7:11-13
Proverbs 15:1
Colossians 3:8-10
Matthew 5:22

2014 – Missions

It’s a new year, 2014.  What does this year have in store for you? Is it a year filled with hope and expectation that God is going to do something great in your life or is it going to be just another year.

In 2014 we celebrate 200 years of the gospel being preached in New Zealand. Christmas day 1814 was the day when Samuel Marsden conducted the first Christian service on our shores.

A lot has changed in our country since that time and we now have many Churches of varying sizes and forms of worship spread throughout many cities and towns in New Zealand.

The theme of our Camp in May this year is Mission: Not Impossible where we will focus on Missions. Ruth Beale from CFFD Philippines who is based in Wellington will be our guest speaker. We will look at not only missions overseas but also look at how God can use us to be missionaries in our own city and country.

It’s quite fitting that we are focusing on missions at our camp this year since it is also 200 years of the gospel being preached in New Zealand.

We pray 2014 will be a great year for you.

Christmas Symbols – meaning of them

At Christmas time we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and spend time with friends and family. [Read more…]

Prayer

Ges Carter shared a devotion at our July 2013 committee meeting about prayer:

Why do I believe so much in prayer and yet do so little of it?

Why does God speak to everyone else but not me?

Why can’t tell what is God and what is from me?

Why is God so subtle, when He used to be so obvious?

Why should I try again when I tried so many times?

Prayer