Seek first his Kingdom, Matthew 6
From a young age I was seen to be different from my peers and different from my family. Not only did others see it but I saw it too. They would say I was the black sheep, but I would say, I was the white sheep! I had an internal life that no one had access to other than my closest friend whose name I didn’t even know at this point. People would limit me and tell me that ‘you will never amount to anything’, there’s something not right with her!’ However, my internal life was much different to the life that my ears were hearing. On the outside, I was a mess but on the inside, I was soaring with eagles and in places of rainbows and Christian soldiers. I was invincible.
In my early teens I left home and was put into looked after accommodation. Yes, I was still weird to others but beautiful to my friend. After some time I began to lose track of my internal soul mate, probably due to hormones, until the age of 18 when we were re-united, and I actually found out his name. His name is Jesus!
When life’s storms came He was the only one who calmed them, when I had turmoil, he was the one singing ‘onward Christian Soldiers’, when all people could see was limitations and barriers, he was the one who sat me on wings of eagles and allowed me to dream dreams that I am actually living out now!
I’m 41 now and me and my friend are closer that we’ve ever been, we dance, we cry, He corrects me, he allows me to make mistakes, he breathes promises from heaven over me. His kingdom reigns over our land and so when the Bible says in Matthew, Seek first His kingdom…’ I have first-hand experience that, His kingdom knows no bounds and as children of God neither do we.
Believe and be blessed for we are homeward bound.
I'd like to introduce you to Embrace Challenges which started from a day dream where God showed me a rusty engine in my mind. I felt a sadness when I saw this and then a sense of threat for me personally and a threat to us as the body of Christ that we can become just as ineffective as this rusty old engine. A bit harsh you may think, but I find it to be true, I can already see it happening. This engine (see below) has been exposed to the elements, it has not been looked after, it is not effective as a usable engine anymore. In fact, it may be absolutely useless now.
We can become just like this engine as we are regularly exposed to our elements, aka life. We can become disaffected by life’s tribulations and the worldly obsession with one self. If we are not careful and not vigilant we can become rusty in our walk with God and, indeed, in our hearts to journey with others. A rusty old engine needs some good oil. A rusty old person needs some Jesus and some stimulation to get back on track. As the book of James tells us: 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
This is where the challenges stem from 😊 they’re very simple but extremely effective in seeing God move through our simple acts of obedience in being doers of the Word thus becoming effective in our society.
Challenges info: There are 2 types of challenges – ‘being’ and ‘doing’
Challenge no. 1 was to ‘be’ thankful about the very thing that is stirring you up and causing You stress.
The feedback from this was interesting in that everyone who participated felt God allowing an alternative perspective on the very thing that was stressing them, a perspective they would never have had, had they not stopped themselves and purposely went to God with thankfulness.
Challenge no. 2 was a ‘doing’ challenge where we are to physically make effort with someone who we have not made an effort with for a while. Talk to them, take an interest with them, repair the relationship if possible etc. Be a friendly, social person like Jesus 😊
The outcome of this was fed back on Sunday where Paul shared with us that he spoke to the lady at work who was crying about her personal issue. He was able to display the love and care of Jesus to this lady. Praise God! The other was when a gentleman visited his grandparent and was reconciled back to him.
This week’s challenge is a ‘being’ challenge in that we are to monitor our responses to others and ourselves and work out if we are responders or reactors!
Responding is the preferred method of communication because it engages our brain before we speak, whereas the latter bypasses the brain because it is stimulated by fight or flight reactions. By being aware of this we can adjust ourselves to respond more like Jesus. However, if we are unaware then we would just carry on seized, captive and potentially dysfunctional as a child of God.
There is a section on our website now so that you can follow the progress of our challenges and take part...happy reading!