Good morning to you all! How are you doing?
I am sharing with you all, the message I shared with your church this Sunday. It is in a different format to how my blogs normally are but I hope you will enjoy it all the same. I did say in my first blog of this year, I would be doing a series on 1 Peter. I have been trying to make it work but it is not coming together at this moment in time. For the rest of January it will be blogs supporting us all for continuing into this new year; then February should hopefully start with a new series.
I leave you now with the message. I pray that wherever you may find yourself this week, you would continue to know hope and trust in our faithful God.
A life led by the Spirit.
How we walk through this new year is important!
For some of us we find it easy to be led, we feel safer and more comfortable when someone more equipped or knowledgeable is before us.
Others of us like to lead, we feel we are good leaders and are able to help people to get to where they need to be.
How are we walking through this year? Are we doing it all in our own strength and however we may feel we are gratifying those desires? Or are we allowing our lives to be led by the Spirit this year? As we walk by the Spirit are, we seeing the natural product of the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives?
In a year in which there is already a lot of anger, loss and upset. Where it is easier to look after yourself and your own safety. May we keep seeking our Faithful and Good God. In a world which tells us how to live in a way which ultimately gratifies the flesh, can we choose today to allow our lives to be led by the Spirit.
Because a life led by the Spirit enables us to walk in…
- One of the most familiar passages in the Bible on love is (1 Corinthians 13v4-8).
- The love it speaks of is the love God has for us.
- It is contradictory to the love the world promotes, which is a love of one’s own interests and requirements.
- It is a love which humbles rather than exalts. It takes sacrifice and a willingness to put other’s needs before our own.
- As God has loved us in our brokenness and mistakes, we are taught to share the same love with those around us
- In a time when people are really hurting. People who have lost so much and feeling like they are continuing to lose. Can we continue to extend love, even when we feel like we are getting nothing back. Can we love sacrificially?
- We cannot do it in our own strength because the love of this world is broken. By being led by the Spirit and offering all things up in prayer. We are more able to pursue and love those around us.
- Joy will be a tough one to find when our joy is placed in the external circumstances around us. There is not an awful lot to be joyful about.
- Where do we find that joy?
- (Romans 15v13) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- (Proverbs 17v22) A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
- (Psalm 71v23) My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.
- We find joy in trusting and obeying the Lord. ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’ is a true joy, which is not easily extinguished when our plans and purposes fall through. It is a joy which is a blessing because it can weather any storm because God’s faithfulness does not change.
- How easy it is for our peace to be disturbed when our circumstances are out of control.
- When we react to everything that happens, we find ourselves tied to whatever our circumstance may bring.
- Where do we find our peace?
- (Philippians 4:6-7) Do not be anxious about anything, but in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- To have the blessing of peace even when everything feels so crazy and terrible around us, enables us to serve and bless differently.
- We are not leading other people into fear and worry but seeking to lead them into the peace we know. What a beautiful gift to be able to give someone this year, it is a gift you can help to sow into someone’s life.
- It is easy to become irritated and annoyed with people, especially when you are with a certain group of people constantly.
- In knowing patience, it enables us to show grace and understanding to others. We all need it at time like this because all of us are struggling in one way or another.
- It takes a lot of prayer and denying the right to fix everything.
- It enables us not to lose hope and calls for us to be faithful in prayer, especially for those who are struggling and suffering around us.
- Healing takes time and we cannot fix it instantly.
- Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12v12)
- Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick- tempered displays folly. (Proverbs 14v29)
Kindness and goodness:
- Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God. (2 Corinthians 1v3-4)
- How abundantly we need to be sharing kindness with others at a time like this. To show kindness. maybe even in the simplest form of a text message can be supportive for someone’s life.
- To keep showing goodness, even when life is not good is a huge testament; a life lived in obedience to God.
- I am always so inspired by the people who have lost so much but are able to reach out and support those struggling around them. It is a sacrificial giving they don’t do it to earn anything back but they do it because they care.
- To know goodness, is not dependent on the ease of our life and the things that we have, but it will allow us to know freedom from the dependency we have on perishable things.
- To show goodness and kindness to those around us in these troubling times is a testament of God’s faithfulness and love for his people.
- Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1v17).
- Whatever this year may bring, may we not allow it to sow doubt into our head that God will not be faithful because God is faithful. God cannot lie. God has and always will be faithful and we can be found faithful in him.
- Our perspective this year is important, what are we choosing to focus on. Are we choosing to focus on God and seeing his faithfulness this year or are we choosing to focus on the changing truths of the world?
- May we be faithfully found in prayer this year, trusting all areas to God.
- (Hebrews 13v8) Jesus the same yesterday and today and forever.
- I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. Max Lucado.
- Be gentle and gracious with yourself and those around you. You do not need to have everything figured out, unless you are really desiring to do life in your own strength.
- For it is God who sustains and provides for us.
- There are many things our flesh will desire and sometimes the easiest thing to do is gratify that desire.
- Not thinking about the impact and harm it may do.
- In walking by the Spirit we are able to know self-control over many of the desires that tempt us. Not by our own strength but by the strength and the grace of the Lord.
- Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5v24-26)
- To know self-control enables us to live in peace, knowing that no temptation we face is too great for our all-powerful and good God.
Application: How are you going to walk through 2021? Who are you going to let lead you?