Elevated Eyes

Look above: Fix your eyes on Jesus and see life from a different perspective

Author: Andy Haddow (page 2 of 2)

Give your Boat to Jesus

Do you ever wonder if you’re doing what you were called to do. I think this is something that we often struggle with in life.

Am I with who I’m meant to be with?

Am in the job i’m meant to be in?

God calls us to live life to the full with Him, to do what we were built for, which I believe is to live every day with the Spirit of God inside.

If you are ever questioning your purpose, calling or direction ask, am I allowing the spirit of God o flow through my life.

In Mark 4:35-41 where Jesus demonstrated what it means to live life with the Spirit of God

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Now let me ask you a question, what is a boat built for? It is not built to be tied to the shore it is built to be pushed out into the ocean.

It’s not built for the shore, but it is built to sail it’s built for adventure.

You weren’t built for the shallows, you were built to be the boat in the deep.

Life with Jesus is meant to get your adrenaline pumping.

Sometimes we need to let go of that rope, we need to push of from the shore and allow the Spirit of God to take our life and guide it in the direction He has for us.

God longs to take you deeper. He says follow your heart, surrender to me trust my way. The boat was not built to be tied to the shore but it was made with a purpose it was made to sail. Invite Jesus into your boat, push off from the shore and life will never be boring again.

Now the bible doesn’t say that Jesus owned a boat so it is probably safe to assume that someone leant Jesus the boat that day.

I want to encourage you, hand your boats over to Jesus. Give Him all you have.

Give Him your gifts, your time, your talents, your future, your hopes, your dreams.

Give Him your all and your life will be host to the miracles of the king of kings.  Just give your life to him and watch what He can do.

If you notice in the  story the disciples are fearing for their lives, they are fighting to stay alive. They are bailing water out of the boat. I wonder if you ever feel like that in life, just trying to stay above water. The most you can hope for is that you can somehow survivor this.

Like the disciples you cry out to Jesus in the middle of the storm you are facing and with all the tender strength of his heart He stands majestically to his feet and the creator of the universe commands the elements back into order and the waves to lie down.

Jesus commands the waves that are surrounding you to lie down, and peace returns. Your lake is calm and you survive.

But you see in verse 36 of the passage that they weren’t the only boats on the sea that day.

On that lake and in that storm there were other boats, sailing to the left and to the right. That day who got blessed? The people crying out to Jesus yes, but the people on the left and the people on the right. When the blessing fell, it fell to the left and to the right. Some might have been friends some might have been strangers but they all got blessed.

God’s plans for your life are bigger than your life,

God’s plans for your boat are bigger than your boat,

God’s plans for your journey are bigger than your journey.

The plans are bigger than you think. Because there is a world caught in a storm, there are frightened people everywhere and they need Jesus. Every boat on the lake got to enjoy the blessing because some cried out to Jesus.

The miracles are for everyone you come in contact with, His love pours from our lives.

Through His love practically worked out in your life others can navigate their stormy sees. We reflect His love to others so that they can find their peace in Jesus. You are not the only boat on the sea today. Make sure that you surrender your boat to God so that His blessings can flow to others because of you.

What area of your life do you need to completely surrender to God? 

Who do you know around you that is in the middle of a storm right now and what can you do to help? 

 

Open Heart Surgery

When we look at the news it is really easy to see the pain, devastation in the world.

There are some terrible things happening in the world and as Christians it is hard to see what is God’s heart for people that do these things.  Do we serve a short-tempered angry God, or is God a loving father even to those that are evil.

I’ve been thinking about the Heart God has for people. Because as Christians it is so often the heart that God works on and changes.  Maybe God wants to open our hearts up again to love.

Have you ever read the book of Hosea?

In the book of Hosea God begins to paint the beautiful picture of love. Hosea has suffered and faced rejection and God has drawn this parallel to himself and the nation of Israel’s rejection of him.

Hosea 11:8b 

My heart is torn within me,
    and my compassion overflows. (NLT)

It’s almost as if God  is saying  “I’m torn, because I am just and righteous, and sinless but I am merciful, and long-suffering, patient, forgiving and sympathetic. I’m torn.”

Many scholars believe this is similar to the covenant He made to Noah when He said I will not flood the earth any more.

God is still just, God is still righteous, at the end of this life because of who God is there will be a judgement, but because of this illogical and irrational love that pours out of our king, God desires that all are saved.

When God said I love the world. He meant it.

In sending His son He was saying, “I love all of you. I am sending my son not to judge the world but that the world through him might be saved.”

He is not the great critic but the great cure. He is a God of Love and His heart’s moved by His children.

There is evil adulterous behaviour in the heart of the Israelites, yet God is looking at them and saying, I chose to love. In the midst of the darkness He shows mercy.  In the middle of rejection He shows forgiveness.

We need to be a people who emulate the heartbeat of our heavenly father, where mercy triumphs over judgement every time. 

So what does this Heart of God look like for us

1 John 3:16-17

 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? (NLT)

I love how John just brings this home. He speaks directly into our day-to-day lives. We have just made this leap from the son of God laying down his life for us in verse 16 to if you have a bit of money and see someone in need then help.

It’s powerful stuff. He just says if that is you (that shuts up your life to those in need) then how can the love of God be in you?

I believe that through this passage we can see that God’s love is not shut up, but God’s heart is open to all. If there is a being in the universe that has a right to shut His heart to some it’s God. He would be right and just to say my heart is open to one and it’s shut to another.

But His mercy and His grace and His love push through and His heart remains open to all humanity.

John writes, He died for you, He opened his heart for you, and He gave His son for you. If you see someone in need don’t you shut your heart up.

Maybe as His ambassadors as His representatives here on this earth we could be a people of an open heart.

We need to look at the father, because He had an open heart He goes to extraordinary illogical lengths to demonstrate His love even though He knows many will not take notice. He was a God of the open heart.

What is it that you can do today that will demonstrate the open-hearted Love of God?

Father,
perform open heart surgery on us,

expand our hearts,

expand our prayers,

Help us to love the least, the last & the lost.

2016 Refresh

This is a very personal post, I want to get back to blogging in 2016 with a new look site and plenty of new material & ideas to share with you. So I thought I would start 2016 with a personal post sharing a bitabout me and some of my dreams and aims for the 2016

This time of year is amazing for looking back & reflecting and looking forward and dreaming.   As I look forward to 2016 I have faith & hope that God is going to do even more in my life & in the lives of those around me.

I wanted to share with you some aims, dreams & goals for 2016.  There are three key areas I want to focus on this year.

Firstly, I want to look after my Physical Health. Throughout 2015 I began running again, it’s been great.  I love running & the difference it has made in my health, body & mind. I want to continue running in 2016 increasing the mileage, training for a half marathon & a Tough Mudder. Keep updated with my runs on STRAVA & NIKE+. I am also changing my diet this year, I’m not set on exactly what yet, but I know I want to move to a partially vegan diet.

Secondly, I want to look after the Mind. I have read a book a month in 2015 & I want to continue doing that through 2016. I will review books on my blog  & if you’re interested in what I’m reading check out my Good Read & my Amazon Wish List. I want to read the bible in a year again in 2016. This time I’mgoing to do it chronologically in the message translation, stay updated with my Youversion Account . I am also aiming to blog regularly. I know I haven’t been on here recently, but my goal this year is to be more  open, to share my thoughts, beliefs, opinions & ideas. Honestly & regularly. Make sure you sign-up to get the latest posts sent to your inbox (SIGN-UP).

Finally, I want to look after the Soul. I want to minimise & de-clutter, I find I am far more anxious & stressed in the middle of clutter & possessions. I am cutting back on possessions, I believe simplicity brings balance, freedom & joy & I want more of that in 2016 .  I want to pause more, enjoy more, laugh more & be less distracted by possessions & more focussed on who I’m called to be. In 2016 I want to be more ME.

What are some of your aims for 2016?  

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