Too Busy to Rest?

If you’re constantly driven by ‘what needs to be done’, you’ll burn out, and fail to do what God has assigned you to do.
So here are some practical suggestions for pacing yourself:

  1. CHANGE YOUR EATING HABITS. The Bible says that it’s not smart to stuff yourself with too many sweets (Proverbs 25:27). You wouldn’t put sugar into your petrol tank, so be wise; educate yourself about good nutrition.
  2. BE CLEAR ABOUT WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Set specific goals, and have a plan and timetable for reaching them. Don’t be controlled by mindless routine.
  3. INSTEAD OF IGNORING YOUR PROBLEMS, RESOLVE THEM. Act before they become chronic and start sapping your energy.
  4. DON’T ‘VEG’ ON TV. Too much television dulls you mentally and lulls you into lethargy. “But they that wait upon the Lord….renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31).
  5. IF YOU’RE OVERLOADED, DON’T TAKE ON MORE. Don’t say “Yes” out of a sense of guilt, false responsibility, or the need to be needed.
  6. TAKE A BREAK. When did you last take time to get away? A change of pace and fresh scenery are great battery-chargers.
  7. GET TO BED EARLIER. When you burn the candle at both ends, you are the one who burns out. You say, “But I’m doing it for the Lord”. Notice what the Lord says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, sit up late…for so He gives His beloved sleep”.

The following Devotion was the very next day:
“My Yoke is easy and My burden is light.”..(Matthew 11:30)
His intention for you is to discover His will for your life, unlock and develop the gifts He’s given you, draw daily on His power, use your commonsense, and don’t live stressed out.

  • CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE – you can’t always control what happens to you, but can decide how you’ll respond to it.
  • GET PHYSICAL TOO – physical exercise has value too! Feed your mind with Scriptures too – meditate on them until they take root and grow within you.

A few days ago, I saw this Bible verse – Jesus said, “Are you TIRED? WORN OUT?… Come to Me. GET AWAY WITH ME and you’ll RECOVER YOUR LIFE. I’ll show you HOW TO TAKE A REAL REST. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. LEARN THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)
The Devotion: “Too busy to rest?”, in www.biblegateway.com is worth looking at also –
http://www.gospel.com/blog/index.php/2010/07/15/todays-devotional-too-busy-to-rest/

My Identity

I am Loved, Accepted, Secure, and Significant.

I AM LOVED

Father loves me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
I can experience Father’s love and affection (John 16:27)
Nothing can separate me from God’s love (Romans 8:39)
Father loves me as much as He loves His Son Jesus (John 17:23)
I AM ACCEPTED
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am a friend of Jesus (John 15:15)
I belong to the Father (1 Corinthians 6:19)
I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am chosen by God (Ephesians 1:3)
I have been forgiven (Colossians 1:13-14)
I have direct access to God’s throne (Hebrews 4:14-16)
I AM SECURE
I am free from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2)
I am assured God is for me (Romans 8:28)
Troubles don’t separate me from God’s love (Romans 8:35)
I am hidden with Christ in the Father (Colossians 3:3)
I am established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am a citizen of Heaven (Philippians 3:20)
I am filled with power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
I can find grace and mercy when I am hurt (Hebrews 4:16)
His perfect love casts out my fear (1 John 4:16)
The evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
Father wants to hold me when I am afraid (Isaiah 66:12-13)
I AM SIGNIFICANT
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I am God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 2:6)
I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
I can approach God with confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
I can do all things with Christ (Philippians 4:13)

The picture was from The Word for Today NZ

Disciplines for Christian Living

No.1: READ THE BIBLE REGULARLY

Do we have a Bible? Do we take our Bible off the bookshelf, where it might have been gathering dust, and open it? “Which Bible do I choose?”

GREAT ADVICE from -, the announcer on the Breakfast Show on Radio Rhema (1251AM), and a Pastor:
Look up a Passage in the Bible that you are familiar with/know well – in several Translations – find one in which God “speaks” to you, and start using that one. It is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, speaking to us.
Aaron Ironside

“How much of the Bible do I read?”
How hungry are you?
Its more than just “eating” God’s Word, but allowing it to “speak to our hearts” – praying about what we have just read – meditating/ thinking/ mulling over what we have read – and letting it change our lives.
For example Mary the mother of Jesus, in Luke 2:19, “But Mary TREASURED UP all these things and PONDERED THEM (thought about them) in her heart.”

Eating food signifies how much of the bible do you read?

It doesn’t matter how much – or how little – we read of the Bible, but that we read it regularly. Do you remember the Israelites gathering Manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4-36)? The Bible records that some gathered much, and some gathered little – but each had enough (Exodus 16:17). Interesting, eh.

hands in prayer

Hands in prayer

No.2: PRAY – Do we know how to?
Jesus’ disciples, in desperation, asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1). Jesus said to them, “Pray like this”. He then gave them what we call “The Lord’s prayer” – but it’s really “The disciples’ prayer” (see Matthew 6:9-13) (“The Lord’s prayer” – Jesus’ prayer of interceding for us – is recorded in John 17).
Mark records, ‘Very early in the morning…Jesus got up…and…prayed’ (Mark 1:35 NIV). Jesus made deposits each morning so that He could make withdrawals throughout the day. Many of us don’t, and it shows! (from Prayer (1))

No.3: MEET TOGETHER REGULARLY FOR FELLOWSHIP, TO ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER, AND FOR COMMUNION

Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (See also Hebrews 10:24-25).

No.4: REACH OUT TO OTHERS – ESPECIALLY TO SHARE THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL
See “The Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Do you regularly take a break? What is the source of POWER is in our life?

DEVOTION with the Notice of the Auckland Central/West Joy Ministries Sunday 14 April 2013 service

I (Malcolm Dixon) hope you all had a great Christmas and summer holidays during January. We have been blessed with lovely fine weather. My wife and I had 3 weeks holiday away from Auckland in January, the first 10 days spent with my sister Kathleen and her husband David, at their place in Otaki Forks (near Wellington), 14 km from the main highway
– no mains power, no phone, no internet, no mobile phone, no Facebook, no TV – “cold turkey” (that means – all access to what we think is important was SUDDENLY cut off!). So the holiday became a HOLYday.

  • God can speak to us in the little things.
  • We are more likely to be able to hear from God when we slow our life down.
  • Do we need to live life in the fast lane all the time?”

Question: Do you regularly take a break? The apostle Paul said in Hebrews chapter 4, we are to “enter into God’s rest”.
In their eco house, they harness energy from the sun (using solar panels), a small waterfall (with a small hydro), and the wind (with a wind turbine shaped like an aircraft propeller) – and store the power in batteries. When it gets cold, they have a wood furnace, heating water that flows through pipes in the concrete floor of their lounge.

Question: What source of POWER is in our life? – Jesus, the Bible (reading and meditating on what God is saying to you), prayer, the Holy Spirit, meeting regularly with other believers (church, home group, Joy Ministries), taking communion?

I SLEPT heaps. I didn’t know I needed so much, but my body did! It was catch-up time. Do I have to live life so close to the edge the rest of the year? Do I have to be involved in so many things? Do I have to go to bed so late when I’m at home?

I had very vivid DREAMS, and in colour too. I also read BOOKS, from David and Kathleen’s LIBRARY, written by well-known and respected Christian authors.

One book challenged me – about eating properly – for my “inner man”, my spiritual life. How does it get fed?

By JUST going to church, and hearing the sermon preached once a week, or a weekend conference at church?
By JUST reading or hearing a Devotion that someone has written – after meditating on some verses in the Bible?
By JUST going to the monthly Joy Ministries service?

I thought of a baby seagull being fed by its mother seagull – the mother seagull had already chewed the food (fish), then brought it back up to feed the baby seagull. Most of us have Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner – 3 meals a day.
After we got back from holiday, a pastor from Adelaide at a conference at Horizon Church said to me, “I see you have started eating properly again”. How did he know?

The “Blessed” Man and Woman

Dr Bob Grass wrote this, printed in “The Word for Today” for Sunday 24th March 2013:

Here’s a key (in the Bible) to being blessed:

“BLESSED is the man who WALKS not in the counsel of the ungodly… But his DELIGHT is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he MEDITATES day and night. He shall be LIKE A TREE planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its FRUIT in its season, whose LEAF also shall not wither; and whatever he does SHALL PROSPER (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV)

A BLESSED man or woman tends to STAND OUT because

  • their CHARACTER is deeper,
  • their IDEAS are fresher,
  • their SPIRIT is softer,
  • their COURAGE is greater,
  • their LEADERSHIP is better,
  • their CONCERNS are wider,
  • their COMPASSION is more genuine, and
  • their CONVICTIONS are more concrete
  • They’ra JOYFUL in spite of difficult circumstances, and
  • show WISDOM far beyond their years. And
  • they are FULL of surprises;
    you think you have them boxed in, but they turn out ot be UNPREDICTABLE
  • When you’re around them you feel slightly off-balance because you don’t know what to expect next.

Over time, you realise that their IDEAS and ACTIONS can be trusted. And why is that? Because they have a SPIRITUAL ROOT SYSTEM that goes down to STREAMS OF LIVING WATER. Consequently, what they put their hand to PROSPERS.
And you can live this way. How? By setting your SPIRITUAL PRIORITIES in concrete. The arch enemy of spiritual growth is BUSYNESS, which is closely tied to something the Bible calls WORLDLINESS – getting caught up with SOCIETY’S AGENDA to the neglect of WALKING WITH GOD.
Whichever way you look at it, a key ingredient to prospering is – TIME.
Not leftover time, not throwaway time, but QUALITY TIME.
TIME for MEDITATION (thinking, pondering on God’s Word that you’re just read);
TIME for COMMUNICATION (praying to god, letting Him talk to you through those versus; talking to HIM how your day has been, your hopes, visions, and dreams, what His desires are).
Unhurried, uninterrupted TIME with God.
from rhema.co.nz WORD FOR TODAY

The 10 Commandments

Monthly Central/West Auckland Joy Ministries service.

How are you getting on remembering them, and which NUMBER goes with which COMMANDMENT? Maybe there is a fun way to remember them – a song, a poem, actions, a story perhaps?

Did you notice that?

That these “Ten Commandments” can be divided into 2 groups – our relationship with GOD – and our relationship with MAN (People). Our relationship with God is up-and-down (vertical), and our relationship with Man (People) is side-to-side (horizontal). And the 2 together form the shape of a Cross.
Jesus summed up “The Ten Commandments” in the same way, didn’t He, in Matthew 22:37-40, when He was asked in v.36, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He replied: …………….>

Jan Bridgeman

Jan Bridgeman

Do you remember what it was that Jan Bridgeman spoke about in our September service? It was Commandment #8, wasn’t it, “Do not Steal”. We’ll never forget it – as someone dressed up as a robber stole Jan’s handbag, and ran off with it.
We can get used to stealing – such as:

  • Taking a piece of fruit without paying for it
  • Eating a block of chocolate in the fridge that’s not ours
  • Not giving back someone’s pen after borrowing it
  • Turning up late for work
  • Taking extra time for our lunch break
  • Being on Facebook during work time when we are on the computer [unless it’s part of our job]
    – God calls all of these Stealing.

But then Jan made it really personal – bringing it back to Commandment #1 (God wants to be #1 in our lives) – not giving God the best of our day (praying, and thanking Him, and reading the Bible early in the morning), or failing to meet with His people, and keeping the Good News of the Gospel to ourselves. LET’S SEE HOW TO.

Reminder

I have a word from God for you. It is one that Paul spoke to Titus to tell his people and I believe it is good for us as well. Paul said “remind them”. So I am reminding you.
We are to be:

  1. Subject to rulers and authorities. You will know who is in authority over you and we need to give them the respect the Bible instructs us to give them. It saddens me that often we whine about unbelieving authorities because they don’t behave in a Christian manner. Surprise they are not Christians. Our sad protest won’t help them become one. I believe we need to be creative and constructive in our efforts to bring change.
  2. To obey. Jesus in the Great Commandment told the disciples to “teach them to obey”. In judges everyone did that which was right in their own eyes. I see that today. So obedience is a good reminder.
  3. Be ready for every good work. I believe that we need to prepare for every good work. We have an evangelistic event coming with Greg Laurie. Lets prepare and be ready to help and invite someone.
  4. Don’t speak evil of anyone! Full stop enough said.
  5. Be peaceable and gentle. We know what that looks like and we just need to do it. Examine your actions and tones and ask yourself the question.
  6. Show humility. Be a sermon walking. Remember it is God that does the work through us. Give glory to Him.

Blessings Geoff

You’re Qualified!

The Word For You Today (Monday, 5 March 2012)by Bob Gass is:

You’re Qualified! (2)
In Matthew 23:12, reading from The Message, Jesus said, ‘…if you’re content to … be yourself, your life will count…’

Do you remember Rosa Parks, the famous black woman who refused to surrender her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus? There was more at stake that day than just a ride home from work. By simply being herself, Rosa Parks suddenly moved to centre stage. She wasn’t playing games. She was the real thing, and God shone a light on her soul that day that changed history.
That’s how it works: when God’s light shines on your efforts, little becomes much. Jesus said that everyone ‘…if you’re content to … be yourself, your life will count…’ (Matthew 23:12 The Message). Now, since God’s the only One who knows when your time will come, you’ve got to be prepared for it.
You say, ‘How do I do that?’. The Bible answers: ‘… be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. …’ (1 Peter 5:6-7 The Message).
Allow the Holy Spirit to be your agent and advance man. Don’t get ahead of Him. Just be faithful; and when the time is right, God will shine His spotlight on the next stage, and assign you an even bigger role. And when your moment comes for you to stride confidently into the spotlight and fulfil that God-given role, try to remember that there’s no room for self-importance and pretence.
This moment calls for 3 things:

  1. stripping away all lesser roles you’ve acted out and settled for;
  2. discovering who you are and what your life is really about; and
  3. – this is big – depending totally on God to give you the most authentic performance of your career.

http://www.rhema.co.nz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1876:youre-qualified-2&catid=65:the-word-for-today
More about Rosa Parks can be read in the website, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks
There was a 40 minute Documentary of her life – Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks (2002), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0353737/
Image from http://www.biography.com/imported/images/Biography/Images/Profiles/P/Rosa-Parks-9433715-1-402.jpg

HOW DO I BECOME A CHRISTIAN?

How do you become a Christian? First of all, you don’t become a Christian by joining a church, adopting a creed, or by believing in God. There are lots of false churches, false creeds. Even the devil believes in God.
Becoming a Christian means you need to understand what the real issues are. Let’s take a look.

Jesus

Jesus is the most important figure in all of human history. He is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9), physically risen from the dead (John 2:19-21), Lord (Luke 24:34), and Saviour (Acts 5:30-32). He came to die for sinners (Rom. 5:8) and to deliver people from the righteous wrath of God upon us.

Are you a sinner?

I ask you, are you a sinner? Have you ever lied, stolen, lusted, coveted, or been angry with someone unjustly? If so, then you have broken the Law of God. God has said “You shall not steal; You shall not lie; You shall have no other gods before Me; You shall not murder, etc.,(Exodus 20).
He has given the standard of righteousness, and if you have broken any of God’s commandments, then you have fallen short of that standard, and are under the inevitable judgment of God. When you die, you will face Him, and on the Day of Judgment He will punish all sinners.
This is the message of God’s Word – that Jesus came to die for sinners, and to save them from the wrath to come. God is Holy and Righteous, and He must deal with those who sin against Him.
Jesus is the One you need. Him alone. Not your works (Rom. 3:10-12; Isaiah 64:6). Not your sincerity. Not your goodness. You have nothing to offer God except your sinfulness. It is only by the love and grace of God found in Jesus and His sacrifice, that you can be delivered from the righteous wrath of God upon all who have broken His Law. Jesus saves you from God.

God’s wrath on the Day of Judgment is upon sinners

On ‘The Day of Judgment’, God will judge all people for their sins against Him. He will judge all who have lied, stolen, cheated, lusted, dishonoured their parents, etc. He will do this because He is Holy and Righteous. God must punish the sinner. God cannot and will not ignore the person who has broken His Righteous Law. The Law is a reflection of the Character of God. Therefore, to break God’s Law is to offend God, and deny the Holiness of His Character. He will be vindicated. He will judge.
The Bible says that “…all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). That means that your sins have caused a separation between you and God (Isaiah 59:2) and the result is death (Rom. 6:23) and wrath (Eph. 2:3). The only way to be saved from the wrath of God, is by faith in Christ (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 5:1). You must trust in what Jesus did on the cross to forgive you of your sins, and not trust anything else, not even your own sincerity. That’s right, sincerity isn’t good enough. Why? Because sincerity is an appeal to God based on the goodness of your own heart. If you’re appealing to God based on the goodness of your own heart, then you’re being prideful. Sorry, Salvation is either based on Christ alone, or it is not. This is why it is Jesus, and only Jesus, Who can turn away the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner.

The Gospel

The Gospel is that Jesus died for sinners on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4). His death was a sacrifice that turns away the wrath of God (1 John 2:2). This is the only way to be saved.
Jesus is the one who died for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). He is the only way to the God the Father (John 14:6). He alone reveals God (Matt. 11:27). He has all Authority in Heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). It is only through Him that you can be saved from God’s wrath (Eph. 2:3). He can forgive you of your sin (Luke 5:20; Matt. 9:2). He can remove the guilt that is upon your soul. Jesus can set you free from the bondage of sin that blinds your eyes, weakens your soul, and brings you to despair. He can do this because He bore sin in His body on the cross (1 Peter. 2:24) that those who trust in Him would be saved.
If you are not a Christian, and want to be delivered from the righteous judgment of God upon you due to your sin against Him, then come to the One who died for the sins of the world. Come to the One who died for sinners (Matt. 11:28). Turn from your sins. Believe and trust in Jesus. Receive Jesus, who is God in flesh, who died and rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4) as your Lord and Savior. Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins. Receive Him (John 1:12). Only He can wash you clean from your sins, and only Jesus can deliver you from the righteous judgment of a holy and infinite God. Pray to Jesus. Seek Him. Ask Him to save you.

He will

Here is a sample prayer you can offer to Jesus. It does not have to be exact, but you will get the idea.

“Lord Jesus, I know that I have sinned against You. I know that I am not perfect, and that I cannot please You through my own efforts. I know that I deserve to be judged according to my sins. And, I know that I have nothing to offer You. Lord Jesus, I ask You to forgive me of my sins. Please cleanse me, and make me right before You. I trust in what You have done on the cross. I do not rely on myself but only on You, and I receive You as Lord of my life, and as Saviour of my soul. Lord Jesus, save me. I look to You alone.”

Faith is only as good as the person in whom you put it… the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus is God in flesh, the Creator. God is a Trinity and Jesus is the second Person of the Trinity.

If you prayed that prayer, welcome into the Kingdom and family of God! Let Kevin or Jan Bridgeman know, or your Pastor, or a trusted Christian friend. (Source: HOW DO I BECOME A CHRISTIAN? by Matt Slick, http://carm.org/how-do-i-become-christian)

A New Birth

DEVOTION with Notice of Ak Central-West Joy Min 12 August 2012 service
This Devotion (complete transcript) is from “The Word for Today” by Dr Bob Gass for Friday, 13 July 2012

Needed – A New Birth!

The Bible says that 130 years after Adam first sinned, he was still fathering children ‘in his own likeness’ (Genesis 5:3 NIV). And as Adam’s descendants, we have all been born with the nature of fallen man. Sometimes people say, ‘He’s just like his dad.’ Or we say, ‘My dad was an angry man, now I’ve got his temper!’ ‘My dad couldn’t stay with my mum, now I’m going through a divorce.’ ‘My dad was an alcoholic, now look at my drinking and drug-taking!’ ‘My dad was a workaholic, now I put in 14 hours a day.’ ‘My dad wasn’t affectionate with us, now I don’t know how to be loving toward my children.’ History repeats itself over and over through our fallen nature.

Here’s a fascinating example: ‘Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her’ (Genesis 20:2 NIV). Abraham was willing to sacrifice Sarah to save his own neck. What would you have done? Before you answer, notice that Isaac wasn’t even born when his father did this. Yet years later, Isaac did exactly the same thing in the same place (Genesis 26:7). It’s genetic! It’s in our DNA.

But there’s good news. When you receive Christ as your Saviour, He breaks that cycle. When you’re ‘born of the spirit’, you get a new Father and a new nature (see John 3:3-6). You don’t have to walk in the likeness of your earthly father any longer; you can walk in the likeness of your heavenly Father and become more like Him every day. Fed up with your old nature and ways? Ready for a new birth? Turn to Christ!