Posted by: lepages | December 3, 2009

More reflections….

It’s snowing…. well on my blog…. for just a few weeks…. or until I get fed up with it…. whichever is sooner….. impressive out in the snow in a short sleeved shirt. 😉

Monday was a great day as we reflected on the ‘mystery’ of the gospel – the glorious good news of a living relationship with God, available to us through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ – and yet the fact that it is a mystery – it makes no sense – and yet God chooses to come and to rescue people and bring them to himself – the continuing amazing thing is that the whole gospel continues to be a mystery until such time as the Holy Spirit brings revelation about it to those whom he is calling and adopting into his family. You might like to explore the word ‘mystery’ through the New Testament but here are some of the verses we referred to that you might like to reflect on as I have been doing…
Romans 16:25-27
Ephesians 3:1-10
Colossians 1:24-29
Colossians 2:1-3
Colossians 4:3,4
1 Timothy 3:16

In the afternoon we looked at Philippians 2:5-11, which was described as Paul’s narrative spirituality of the cross, his master story of the cross; and we did so with the aid of an image labelled ‘the parabola of redemption’ which I’ve attempted to reproduce as a pdf below. It was really moving to reflect on what this meant for us. We are encouraged to ‘have this mindset of Christ among you’ as v5 was expressed. Jesus poured himself out for us (Isaiah 53:12). We are called to do the same. Its part of being his disciple; its part of being made in the image of God, because it is in Jesus that we see God revealed. And it is as we give of ourselves, as we are humbled, as we make ourselves nothing and are identified with Christ in his death, that God can raise us up and seat us with Christ in the heavenly realms.
Parabola of Redemption

Thank you Lord Jesus for your sacrifice on our behalf. Thank you for revealing the mystery of the gospel to me by your Holy Spirit. Help me to walk in your footsteps and be an effective servant to bring blessing to others as you have brought blessing to me.
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On to some scriptures, reflections, notes, prayers from my personal time with God, reading and prayer over the last few days…

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you too, may fall into the same sin. But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”

1 Corinthians 10:12,13 New Living Translation

Its good to be reminded. Having been reminded of having a clean heart, a new heart, a pure heart a few weeks ago, its been a blessing – not that I’ve never failed – but its meant that I’ve been better able to walk away from temptations. Its good to be reminded too that the struggles I face are faced by others too – and the struggles you face are faced by others too. And what follows is true too – God always provides a way out or a way to stand up – and because in Christ we have a new, pure, clean heart, we can! But sadly sometimes we feed our flesh rather than our spirits and so we fail.

Lord, help me to be careful. When temptation comes, help me to recognise that’s what it is, to remember that I have a new, clean, pure heart and to stand strong and say ‘no’, or to look for your way out. Thank you for those times when I have known you helping me say ‘no’, and those times when you’ve helped me take the way out.
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“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”

Acts 20:28-30 English Standard Version

Interesting. Never noticed that before. The command to church leaders is first to pay careful attention to themselves, and out of that, to then look after the body of God’s church that he has entrusted to our care – isn’t that awesome – the church is God’s, and yet he entrusts it to the care of those whom he chooses to raise up – no sign of democracy here!

Why all this?
Because he knows how quickly Satan will seek to destroy the church, and left to our own ends, we will so easily follow after the latest bright idea, or seeming revelation which will take us away from the body of the church.

Its wonderful to see how the whole Trinity of God is involved in care for his church – its the Holy Spirit who raises up the leaders of the church of God, obtained through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, who is himself God.

Praise you Lord for the greatness of your love and mercy. Praise you for the privilege of being a part of your plans and purposes. Help me to guard myself well, and to guard your people well; to teach them well, to equip and enable them well, so that they are not drawn away by whatever gets thrown in – whether from outside or from within. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
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The last few days have seen some very precious extended times with the Lord. More to follow soon….

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