He Cares and He cries

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem… How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings…” (Luke 13:34 NLT)

Think upon these things…

What have you cried over?  Maybe you’ve never thought of this before but Jesus was filled with sorrow over Jerusalem.  As you read through the Gospels you can clearly see Jesus’ compassion.  Scribble down a couple of examples of Jesus being moved with compassion.  Maybe it’s just me but when I read through some of the stories it’s as if I can almost see tears in His eyes.

Summer 09 brought with it Enniskillen 360. It’s a local mission run by Scripture Union that I‘ve been involved in.  Enniskillen 360 had been birthed the year before and even though it was still taking baby-steps I could see it striding at the same time. I have to say that I was absolutely over the moon when Rick Hill, our team leader, threw around some thoughts on setting up a prayer room. So we went for it. It went well. God was Present, and it was powerful. God was not silent. His Presence seemed to speak louder than words… Just remember, even if you don’t hear from God it doesn’t mean that He doesn’t answer. I hope this speaks to you…

Prayers that have the power to change the Church amazed me. Some scrawls begged God to not stop moving in Enniskillen, which He will keep to. Prayers that overflowed with thankfulness spoke of hearts filled with love for the kids gathered downstairs. One of the things I took away with me that week and have carried in my heart since is that we can pray and pray and pray, but at the end of the day all we can do is leave our loved ones in the care of God. We have to unburden ourselves in the Throne Room. We cried out to God for those kids and that’s all we can do. We don’t have a right to hold anything back; it’s our God who holds everything in His hands. We have to leave our cares with Him, “casting all your care upon Him” (1 Peter 5:17 NKJV), kids included.

Ask yourself?

Do you ever have trouble unburdening yourself?  Bring this before the Lord.

Never forget that our loved ones are under God’s watchful eye. God cares for the kid who hasn’t any time for Him. He cares for the young mum who isn’t quite convinced that He’s out there; He cares for the alcoholic who turned his back on Him. He cares. “The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows” (Psalm 146:9 NLT). He cares for your sister who has gone wayward. He cares for your mother who’s breaking her heart and He cares for your granddad who’s all alone. He cries over them; He longs to hold them to Himself. Sometimes I worry myself sick, pouring my heart out before God to save souls, but I shouldn’t hold onto it. I should just accept that God’s in control, believing He will draw them to Himself someday.

Think upon these things…

Who do you want to leave in the care of God today? Go grab paper and pen and start writing! Tell God everything that’s on your heart… open up; don’t hold back!  As you do pray over those you hold dearly, have the confidence that God holds them even more dearly! You can leave them in His care.

Heart-cry…

Heavenly Father, I’m leaving my loved ones under Your watchful eye. I thank You that You’re more than capable of caring for them. I pray that I wouldn’t hold onto my baggage. You hold everyone in Your hands; help me to accept it…

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In and Out of Character

Do not be conformed…but be transformed” (Romans 12:2 NKJV)

I LOVE Sir Alan Sugar! I have to ask, am I the only one? Whether you like him or not you have to admit that he’s a bit of a legend! Here are some of the wise words he’s come out with, “Don’t worry about reputation, if you look after your character, your reputation will look after itself.” You can’t argue with that, can you? Well I don’t quite agree. I think that a person’s character and reputation can be poles apart. Here’s my spin on things. Someone can ruin your reputation but they can never ruin your character; only you can. So true?

Before we go any further I think I should clear some things up incase you’re confused. Your character is your core being. It’s who you are and how God sees you. On the other hand, your reputation is what you do and how others perceive you to be. These two can conflict at times so make sure they match up! Who are you behind closed doors? Who are you when no-one else is watching? This may be hard hearing but that’s who you are.

You can’t keep on going in and out of character as a Christian. It will not only ruin your reputation but it will corrupt your character as well. When you act up or put masks on to try and impress other people they won’t fall for it. Sooner or later they’ll see right through it. They’ll see that you aren’t who you’re making yourself out to be. More importantly God won’t fall for it. He handcrafted your character, so if you aren’t living up to it and living it out, He knows.

Ask yourself?

Who are you behind closed doors?  Who are you when no-one is watching?  This, my friend, is who you are.  Maybe it’s not who you want to be but thank God you don’t have to stay that way!  Ask God to help you make a change.  Ask yourself this; in what ways can you change so that your character mirrors Jesus?

Years ago I was not content to be Connie. I would go as far as saying that I tried to change my character, my core being.  When I was in high school I was pretty uncool, whereas my brother and sister hung around with the cool crowd. I hated it; I hated the way it was. I wanted to fit in desperately but I never did, so I tried to be someone I wasn’t. Where did I go wrong? What was my problem? My problem was that I was a people-pleaser. I cared far more about what the girls and guys in my class thought of me, instead of what God thought. Don’t do it; you’ll regret it.

Galatians 1:10 (NIV) puts it plainly, “Am I trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I was still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” At the end of the day God’s opinion of you is the only one that matters.  Just think about it, on Judgement Day God won’t be asking anyone else to approve you.

Bible-bones

Write out Galatians 1:10 in whatever version you want.  Stick it in your Bible or wherever. Make sure it sinks in.  Memorise it if you can.  Remember that your main aim is to please God, not people.

I have a wee scribble book that I jot down my prayers in. Ages ago I wrote “God, help me to be the best me I can be, for You!” He has helped, I’ve embraced my identity. I don’t care so much about my reputation. I care so much more about my character. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould. “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude]” (Romans 12:2 Amplified). As Christians we’re called to be of constant character, concrete character.

Think upon these things…

You can’t keep on going in and out of character as a Christian. You have to make an end of it. Your identity has to be of integrity. Live up to your character as a Christian; live it out!

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