Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Build Up and Encourage

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

The biggest part of being a leader is to teach. If you don’t think you are a teacher you are fooling yourself. You are teaching every day to those around you even if you don’t realise it. Some mistakes I have seen repeatedly in my life is not letting people you are leading fail. And when they fail not giving them constructive feedback or helping them grow. How fair is it to expect someone giving it a go to be perfect and succeed the first time.  Encourage, teach, give positive feedback and allow people to succeed in their failure. Give them second and tenth chances. So many people have given up because of the one chance they had that they blew and then never got chosen again.

It is like that one child that wants to play sports but isn’t as great at the rest but you stick him on the side-lines because he is no good. Does he learn to play that way? NO! You work with him and give him a little extra help and you believe that he can do it. You echo his dream and build him up to meet it. You allow the team to build him up to and you don’t treat him like a failure you treat him like a learner.

Failure and mistakes needs to be called learning because that is what it is. Learning because you don’t know how to do it yet but as you go and you see others do it you try and you try again and again until you have learned it and you have grown and embraced your dream and it is now a reality.

Come on people. The reason why we have a world full of people who have buried dreams is because no one believed in them. They blew their one chance and were never asked again. They failed which means they were gifted or talented enough for their dream. Disqualified by lack of faith and unbelief.

We need to trust people more and see their lives as an expression of the Creator. God made them and put that dream in them. He has given them that desire. Why not build each other up? Why not encourage and allow people to learn in their failure? Let God deal with the character and attitudes. Life will teach you enough without you jumping on everyone’s failures and faults.

People are painfully aware of their faults and the things they hate about themselves. Why add to that? Why point out failures when we were called to love each other and build each other up and teach, encourage, prophecy, edify and pastor? Be very careful who you criticise and belittle because that person has a call on their lives and could be on the verge of quitting for good. They may just have been criticising themselves for 10 year and your words could bring confirmation or it could break that mindset and spur them on to good works.

For years we have tried to control behaviour. Punishing people for their misdeeds and for stepping out of line. A world of rules and regulations that were meant to serve us has now only enslaved our minds and hearts. We have brought the lie into our lives that we are guilty until we are proven innocent. Yes there are some real criminals out there and my heart really breaks for those hearts that have been so hardened that they no longer feel anything for anyone and killing and harming is sport to them. We can only guess the reasons why they turned bad. I don’t feel like they were destined to be destructive and I think maybe the opposite was true that if they didn’t go very very mad then they may have been the very very best thing that happened to this world and maybe the enemy knew this and circumstances took over. It is just terrible seeing God’s creation broken and not functioning as it should. However let’s not treat each other as criminals first until they prove themselves.
We are desperate for unity in the church but can I suggest that we stop trying to hustle unity and start working from unity. We are all one in Christ, brothers and sisters, family. We already in unity. It isn’t something we need to attain but it is something we need to live.
Why do you think Timothy was told not to let people look down on him for his youth? It doesn’t matter how old you are there is always someone older than you, looking down on you and ready to either teach you or discourage you. Which are you going to be? There is always someone younger than you, looking up to you to see if you will be open to teach or open to judgement.

How will you teach and treat those around you today? Remember that God is judge and we are called to love Him and others as we love ourselves.

Challenge: Build up and encourage 3 people this week. Note the difference it makes in their lives and see if they grow more and step out a little bit more and become more courageous and brave. Come on you would want someone to do that for you too so why not let it start with you and maybe they will pay it forward.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Identity Theft

So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

We have all heard about identity theft. Where someone takes your details and tries to palm them off as their own. A person assumes your name and your identity is stolen and you are left feeling stripped of who you are.

What I am wanting to talk about today is another form of identity theft that is happening every moment of the day without you even being aware of it.
It may start off with being born a girl when your parents wanted a boy. It may be that you are teased and bullied at school and called names and mocked. Maybe you are have reached puberty and no longer know who you are anymore. You could be struggling with what gender you feel you belong to. You may be depressed and the words that are playing over and over in your head are not ones that you would say to anyone else ever.

Identity can be stolen from you through words and thoughts and unless you are aware of it you are fairly powerless to stop it but I am here to tell you that you are being lied to and robbed and that you are not powerless.

The enemy has been wanting to steal the identity away from mankind since the day they were created. When he lied to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden he took their identity into question. Mankind was made in the image of God and yet that snake decided to twist and distort this. He said to them that they won't die if they ate from the tree of good and evil but that God was holding from them that they would be godlike when they ate of it and that their eyes would be opened. Funny things they were already made in the image of God so they were already godlike. They could've asked anything from God and they even walked with God in the Garden. What happened instead was a real struggle for identity. Instead of finding themselves they found shame and they covered themselves and hid. They were so stripped of identity that they were too afraid to face God who not long before they had walked with and spoken to.

What is robbing you of your identity? What lies have been whispered into your ear? Who stuck that label on you? Do you not know that you are created in the image of God and that you are worth so much more than these words and labels that have been stuck on you.

I know it is so much easier to tell you to just shake it off than it is to actually do it. Believe me I have had so much of my identity attacked that I sometimes wonder how I am still standing but God.

The only way to understand your identity is to look to the one who gave it to you. The one who created you and made you awesome. He didn't just create us to look like just anything like the monsters on Monsters Inc, some fluffy, some with 2 eyes and some with 5 and scaly. He made us in human form to resemble Himself. If anyone knows what your identity is it is the one who gave it to you.

It so annoys the enemy that you have this identity that he will try and do whatever he can to corrupt it before you can even step out into the fullness of it. He knows that once you know your true identity you will be unstoppable and you won't be able to be lied to anymore. There is a battle for you mind and soul whether you like it or not and it isn't going to take might or power to overcome it but the truth of the Holy Spirit. You can not will it away and you cannot fight it in your own strength you need to look to your Creator and who he says you are. Then and only then can you be ready to face these issues.

You can't fight a lie with will power. They only way a lie can die is if we know the truth. Only then can we truly be free.

In the past the church have been really quick to judge those who have been stolen from. People have been using fig leaves, dirt, alcohol, drugs, anger and fear to hide their shame for thousands of years. There truly is nothing new under the sun. All have been lied to and those that believe the lie repeat the lie over and over in their minds every day. We will do whatever we can to get our identity back. We will starve ourselves and mutilate our bodies and even go as far as to end our own lives. We even try and get out identity from others or groups and gangs, all because we do not grasp the wonderful miracles that we are.

What are some of the things that you have believed that aren't true? Seek the truth at the Source of your identity and believe no longer the lies of the enemy because he only comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came to give us a rich and satisfying life. You were never made to live a broken and unfulfilled life. You were created for great things. Time to rise up and find the treasure that is buried under all the lies. You have gold within you just waiting to be found.

If your identity is in Christ then live like it. God has showed us how to put on the whole armour to fend off this attack on our identity. But don't stop there show others how God sees them. Stop judging the external garbage people are doing. Love who God created them to be.
I watched Wonder Woman last week and her final words were "It's about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world."

It is about what you believe and I believe in the greatest love. That the Father so loved us that He gave His only Son to die for us so that we may be reconciled to Him in our full identities. No more shame that we need to cover up. I believe in this love and it is only this love that can truly save the world. It is time to take our identities back and love the world as Christ loves.