Elevated Eyes

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

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?  

Threads part 1: Jesus.

The bible is like a massive tapestry, it is so vast, complexed, sophisticated, unique, beautiful and powerful.  As Christians we spend some much time focussing in on little stories and areas, we focus in on individual chartaters and events this is great, though in doing this we can sometimes miss the over-arching threads, storylines and pictures that run through the bible.  Over the next few posts we are going to be look at different threads that run throughout the whole of the bible, I encourage you to take a step back, see the bible as the vast story that stretches across humanity. God longs for you to join him, to take up the threads in the bible run with them and have incredible God adventures as well.

 

Ultimately the bible is His story, and it is now also our story. The bible is about God and it is about us. It is a story of Jesus relationship with humanity, it has the highs, it has the lows. It is a story about God’s never ending pursuit of those he loves. He is never going to give up because he is hungry after you. He is desperate for you to experience His love.

Throughout every page and every story we can see the person of Jesus lovingly outworked.  We see pictures of Jesus the whole way through the bible.  I encourage you to look for Jesus in every area of the bible.  Look for him, as you read the stories how can you see a picture of Jesus and what He did for us in it.

You can see here in the story of Abraham and Issac in Genesis 22 an amazing picture of the love, mercy and grace of Jesus.

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

How could God command someone to sacrifice there own son, yet ‘For God so loved the world that He gave his only son John 3:16  God asked no more of Abraham than He himself was wiling to give.  God gave up His son Jesus who He loved very much out of chose because of His love for us.

Just looking at the picture here of Jesus, the area called Moriah where they traveled to is actually now where Jerusalem is built, it is interesting to see them traveling in on a donkey, then hundreds of years later Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey as well. In little subtle ways we can see that God is making hints for us laying down the ideas that this God of the heavens is coming, a Son so much greater so much more faithful a son which will be the sacrifice for the whole world.

We see in the story that the wood for the sacrifice was placed on the back of Issac, can anyone see any other similarities between this and Jesus?  Later the father placed the cross, the wood for the sacrifice on the back of Jesus and He carried it.

Later after God has provided a ram for the sacrifice we see Abraham saying in Genesis 22:14 ‘ So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”’

Thousands of years later on the same mountain range, the Lord did provide again, He provided eternally when the son of God stepped in. He didn’t provide a ram or offer a lamb for the offering but He provided the lamb of God the son of God Jesus Himself.  The provision of Jesus for us and for our sins was something that He had planned before we were even born.

This story of Abraham and Issac, just shows us that God knows what it was going to cost him, yet He went ahead with it anyway. God helped Abraham and Issac understand something that day.

God wanted His people to live and not to die.

God wanted to rescue His people and not to punish them.

But they must trust in Him.

God promised Issac and Abraham that one day someone would be born into your family, and He will bring happiness to the whole world.

God was getting ready to bring an amazing gift to the whole world, it was going to be Gods way of telling His people ‘ I LOVE YOU ‘

Many years later another son would climb that hill, he wouldn’t struggle or run away, He would trust his Father He was the lamb of God.

We can see the person of Jesus in all the old testament hero’s we see Him in Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David.  We need to remember that this isn’t neat joining of dots to together, this is a rich and glorious truth, it is the salvation plan of Jesus being worked, in the lives of individuals in the old testament. Just like Jesus is weaved into the lives of these individuals in the old testament He is being weaved into our lives

God has laid messages, a love letter throughout the whole of the old testament about the fact that one day God himself was going to come. He was going to come not to punish his people but to rescue them. God was getting ready to wipe every tear from every eye, the true party was just about to start.

How today are you letting the story of Jesus be outworked in your life?  In everything we do we must let the love of God, the grace of the king and the power of Jesus flow out of our life. We carry the king of all with us into the darkness of the world. Just as the story of grace and truth outworked in our old testament hero’s was just a shadow of the king pointing to Jesus to come, our lives are meant to be the light that points people to life.

 

‘Christ in you the hope of glory.’ 

You are a friend of God

In the old testament we read a story of two brothers Moses and Aaron. Most would say that these were pretty great leaders, leading a people out of slavery and into freedom.

It is interesting why God calls Moses instead of Aaron. If you look through the story of Moses in Egypt throughout the plagues you can see that it is Aaron that does most of the talking, not Moses. Aaron performs the wonders, he holds up Moses arms as he prayed for the battle to be won (Exodus 17:12). He was there on top of Mount Sinai when the law was given (19:24). He represented Israel as her first chief priest (28:4) and he even saw God (24:9-11). Aaron the communicator, passionate preacher, powerful miracle worker must have seemed like the star over his mumbling brother Moses.

But why was it that God picked Moses initially? We see the answer to this in the tragic story of the gold calf. Moses leaves Aaron in charge of the camp and heads off up Sinai to meet with God.

‘When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Exodus 32:1

Despite all that he had seen Aaron leads the people in bowing down to the new image, the man that became Israel’s first priest makes them bowl to their first idol. It is clear that Aaron cracked big time, it lead to the death of 3000 people and almost the destruction of the nation of Israel. The cause was people pressure. As you walk your Christian walk you will know that people pressure can be something we all have to face. People will try to pull you in different directions, they will try to pull you in a direction that is not good, healthy or right for you. We can be doing okay most of the time and then like Aaron at the crucial moment when there is a choice between pleasing God and pleasing man, we crumble. Unless we deal with this it could seriously damage our walk with Jesus.

Moses manages to show us the solution of pleasing people. It is being a friend of God! The solution is to draw closer to God so we care more about what he thinks than what others think. Moses has the incredible habit of taking a tent outside the camp setting it up and spending time chatting to God.

 

‘The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. ‘

Exodus 33:11

Time and time again we see Moses and God talking as friends. Aaron followed man’s opinions Moses looked to God’s. Our steps to a great walk with God begin with being a friend of God. Take time out this week to pitch your tent. To sit and talk to God. Find a space this month where you can step out of your usual routine and just spend time being a friend of God. Take some time today to sit with God and just be a friend of the king of the universe.

Investment

‘I believe in you’ Is a powerful, encouraging and gracious sentiment to speak over each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.  But that statement of belief in another should be backed up with investment in them.  If we love and believe our football team is going to be successful we invest time in watching them and invest money in going to see them.  If we have genuine believe in something we invest time in it.

Time is an un-renewable currency.

It is incredibly valuable. God calls us to be good stewards.  ‘As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace’ 1 Peter 4:10

God has given each of us a gift, a gift of time.  God’s call on our life is to be wise steward of time and invest well.  We want to be people that are building for the long-term, as kingdom people we cannot be short-sighted.

If we want to change the world we need to think like kings, kings are big picture, long term thinkers, they look to leave a legacy and invest in future generations.  We are called to reign in life (Romans 5:17) value time highly, believe in people and invest generously in them.

We see so many characters throughout the bible say ‘i believe in you, I value you and I am prepared to invest in you and leave a legacy that will change the world’.  We see Eli investing time in Samuel, Miriam in Moses, Moses in Joshua, Elijah in Elisha, Jesus in the disciples and Paul in Timothy.  In Genesis we see an amazing story of God saying because of your faith in me, I also believe in you, and I am expanding my name and my kingdom in you.  This is of course the story of Abraham, where God made a covenant with Abram. This is what it says in Genesis 17:3-8

‘Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: You’ll be the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, meaning that ‘I’m making you the father of many nations.’ I’ll make you a father of fathers—I’ll make nations from you, kings will issue from you. I’m establishing my covenant between me and you, a covenant that includes your descendants, a covenant that goes on and on and on, a covenant that commits me to be your God and the God of your descendants. And I’m giving you and your descendants this land where you’re now just camping, this whole country of Canaan, to own forever. And I’ll be their God.”

God invested in Abram by making a covenant with him.  He promised, protection, land and a legacy that would last for generations.  God believes in leaving a powerful legacy, He sees you as a king and kings invest in the future.  Use your time wisely, don’t waste it.  Find somebody this month who you can invest time in, speak to them words of life, truth, faith and encouragement, always looking to build them up in Christ.  Invest in the next generation, think like kings and leave a powerful legacy.

Newer posts »

© 2017 Elevated Eyes

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑