Monthly Archives: January 2015

Be The Rock – Part 3

Here we start off with a rather controversial topic in my 3rd post in this series. The ladies don’t usually like this verse, but it does tell wives to submit to their husbands. Now, I think that there are two main reasons why this verse is so controversial, wives don’t understand it, or husbands use it to ‘rule’ their wives. My wife has no issue with this verse. She has no issue with submitting to me. In fact, when she teaches on marriage, she actually stresses how important it is. You see, she understands what it means, she understands that it is not about being inferior or doing what I tell her to, it is about spiritual authority. I believe that there is a spiritual authority that flows through a family, and I believe that it flows first through the husband. Go and google statistics on the chances of a child becoming a Christian if the mother or father is a believer. You’ll be surprised. The chance is much larger with a Christian dad than mum. I think that this has to do with that authority. I also don’t use this as an excuse to govern my wife. I do sometimes tease here (like we husbands like to do) and tell her that Jesus left me in charge, but then she reminds me that Jesus left me in charge, and asks me what am I doing about it. Sobering thought. There is actually more responsibility when you are ‘in charge’. If husbands really understood this, they would take it more seriously, and if wives truly understood this, they’d breathe a sigh of relief that they are not the ‘head’ of the home. Anyway, it also says that we are equal partners, so there is no excuse for trying to use this to stamp your dominance.

This passage then goes on to say how we should treat each other. This is hard. I’m guessing that it is not too much of a stretch to say that we have probably all had some or another issue with another Christian at some point. It is even harder when it comes to people who don’t share our faith. Take a look at verse 9. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. This is really hard to do, I know. I can muster up the grace to forgive someone who wrongs me, but to go and bless them after they have wronged me. Very difficult. I need to work on this if I am honest. The verse also strongly hints that our blessings from God is based on how we bless others (that wrong us). If you read this in the New King James version, it is even more blatant. Food for thought. The next part elaborates:

“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”

The passage then goes on to say that we are to do good, even if it causes us to suffer. It is better to suffer for doing good than to suffer for doing wrong. If you’re going to suffer, I think that it is better to suffer for something that you have done that you know to be good. If you have done something wrong, and suffer for that, the guilt that the enemy lays on you is added to the suffering. This, in my opinion, is so much worse. There is an up side to all of this, verse 14, “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.”

Until next time, do what you believe is right.

Richard

Be The Rock – Part 2

Here we continue to take a look and 1 and 2 Peter, today we read through 1 Peter 2. This is not a particularly easy chapter to read, as there is some quite demanding scripture. As always, it is very encouraging, but this does contain some scripture that demands an action from us. Let’s take a look.

The chapter starts off by continuing (from the last chapter) to warn us against sin and disobedience. God has called us to do things (which actually benefit us), and He has also called us to leave some things well alone. This is not opposed to grace. We are told that we are living stones in the temple, and that we are all priests. We have a responsibility. Here is more of what is required from us in verses 11 and 12 – Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbours. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honourable behaviour, and they will give honour to God when he judges the world. As much as Jesus’ grace is enough for us, we still have a responsibility for action.

Here is a passage that, quite honestly, I would prefer it it wasn’t there. Verses 18 – 21 – You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. Now you may be reading that thinking, yes, but I am not a slave. OK, replace the word ‘slaves’ with ’employed’ and ‘master’ with ’employer’. Now it is a bit more difficult to swallow. I have had money stolen from me, and I have been very unfairly treated by employers. It is not easy to ‘suffer in silence’ and forgive. Even if we do, we love to go and tell everyone that we are doing it. This passage is quite clear and we need to get our actions in line with this, however hard that may be.

Why should we do this, what will it achieve? Verses 15 – 17 explains – It is God’s will that your honourable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king. If I retaliate against my previous employers, it completely erases my credibility. It is important that I do nothing wrong. If I am wronged, God will sort it out, I just need to concentrate on what God is calling me to do, not go out seeking revenge. Please note that this is not telling people not to stand up for themselves if they are being abused, it is just warning us against ruining our credibility because we react in an incorrect way against someone who has wronged us. This is a lesson for me.

One last thing in this chapter is one single verse that I use quite often. I differ to many Christians, as I believe that God wants everyone healed, and does not sit up in heaven deciding who to heal and who not to. I believe that He has already healed us, and we just need to receive that healing. The end of verse 24 supports this – By his wounds you are healed. Not will be, maybe, should be. Are. If this confuses you and you’re not sure why you are not being healed, I have just finished a series about this, take a look at ‘Why We Don’t Get Healed – Part 1‘.

I look forward to the next chapter with a certain amount of concern. I look forward to being more like Jesus, but getting there is often uncomfortable. Peter has a knack for not holding any punches.

Walk the walk. God’s power, our actions.

Richard

Be The Rock – Part 1

This blog is called ‘Walking on Water Ministries’ because I am in the process of stepping out of the boat and walking on water toward Jesus, and I want to encourage others to join me. This is a scary time for Christians, but it is an exciting time. Peter was the person who literally stepped out of the boat and walked towards Jesus, and he was also the one that Jesus said would be the ‘rock’ on which He built His church. I think that Jesus could do with some more ‘rocks’ today, so I thought that I would hear what peter himself has to say. This series I’m going to work methodically through 1 and 2 Peter, starting with 1 Peter 1. Join me in reading this, and let’s step out of the boat and be the rock (not literally, as rocks sink, but you know what I mean).

Let’s start with 1 Peter 1:3-6, which says, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.” I’m sure that you’ll agree that this is quite a positive verse, very encouraging, even with the part about enduring trials. The trials are temporary, and they define and refine us. There are two things that caught my eye here though, take a look at the end of verse 3, Now we live with great expectation. That is not about heaven or our inheritance, that is about this world now. Yes, we have a priceless inheritance in heaven, but we also have great expectations here on earth too. So many Christians are convinced that we need to just ‘get by’ until Jesus comes back or we die. This is not the case, we must live with great expectation, AND have an inheritance in heaven. Win, win. Yes, we will have to endure hard times, but the idea is to learn from those hard times and move on. Easier said than done though. The second thing that I noticed was the beginning of verse 5, it says that God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, now this doesn’t mean salvation as in giving your life to Jesus, this means salvation as in going up to be with the Lord. That is not what caught my eye though, look before that, And through your faith. Now what do you propose that means? Is that because you had faith in Jesus once, or your ongoing faith? Does that mean that you may not be protected if you don’t have faith? I’m not sure, so I’m not going to decide just yet, but it is food for thought. Maybe this is why Jesus said to people that their faith had healed them, maybe us believing and having faith is more important than we may think? Food for thought.

Verses 13 to 16 go on to explain how we need to live holy lives, not as we used to live, but as God has called us to. This again is something that we don’t really like to hear. We like to hear all about God’s blessings, but we don’t like to hear that we also have to behave ourselves. Verse 17 sums it up nicely – And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favourites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” We are rewarded on what we do? What? What happened to Paul’s gospel all about grace? I believe that there is a place for grace, and a place for works. Let’s not use one to try and disprove the other, they are both important and we as believers need to be embracing both. Take a look at verse 22 as an illustration of this – You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Works and faith, both important.

I think that this is going to be an interesting series, the books of Peter do not always make pleasant reading, but it does show the ‘good news’ of the gospel, I hope that like me, you can also learn much though these books.

Richard

New Life, New Start

Welcome to my first post of 2015, I hope that you have had a wonderful Christmas and an exciting new year.

I don’t usually like jumping on the band wagon and writing about topics that the media almost expect of us, like Christmas, New Year, valentines day etc. This time I do want to write a ‘New Year’ type post, because that is what God has put on my heart to do. I hope that this sets you off on a new adventure with God. If not, I hope that it at least gives you a fresh perspective.

At the end of 2014, my church did a short series called ‘Believe’. I think that this is such an important part of our spiritual walk. The Bible talks so much about faith, believing and trusting. All of these come down to belief. Do you believe? What do you believe? It is not enough to believe in Jesus, we have to believe that what He said (and says through the Spirit) is true. When we believe, our words and actions follow. If there are no words or actions, you should question if you believe. If you say that you believe that the chair will hold your weight, but you refuse to sit in it, do you actually believe? I used to say that I trusted God for my finances, but I didn’t tithe because I though that I couldn’t afford it. Did I really believe? They say that actions speak louder than words, what do your actions say that you believe? Now this is some pretty heavy stuff, and there is so much more to it. I will surely write much more about this in the year ahead, but hopefully this is getting you interested.

The other thing that I am working through at the moment is body, soul and spirit. I’m listening to some Andrew Wommack teaching on it. Very interesting. You can’t listen to this, put it into action, and not have it impact your life. When we are born again, we receive a new spirit. That which raised Jesus from the dead. Now our soul (mind, feelings, emotions etc) and our body is still the old one, but our spirit is new, and like that of Jesus. Perfect. We then spend the rest of our lives trying to get our soul and body into line with our spirit. The more we do this, the more results and breakthroughs we will see. When we receive our new spirit, we are saved, but then it is up to us what we do with it. I’ll go into this in more detail at some stage, but it is very exciting to think that we have the Holy Spirit within us. It is not about getting God to do stuff, but releasing what we already have from God. It is in us, it is now time to let it out. I am on a mission to get my soul and body more in line with my spirit this year. Instead of being driven by my soul and body, I want my spirit in control. This is why Jesus was so successful (that and Him being God and all). This is why we are told to renew our mind. This is why we fast, read the Bible and do just about all other spiritual disciplines.

Even just taking those two points, to be lead by your spirit and get the other two in line, and to believe. If I can even get my head around those two things in 2015, I look forward to huge results, and major breakthroughs. Watch this space. I ask that you join me in doing this, and let me know your testimonies as and when they happen. This is where my journey starts this new year. I believe that God has many good things in store for me this year, and I look forward to walking more in line with my spirit. I’ll try and teach you guys as I learn, so please don’t think that I have this all sorted, but I am on my way. I’ll kick the year off from a look through 1 and 2 Peter, if it helped ‘the Rock’ it should help us.

Keep an eye out for my posts!