COPING WITH BETRAYAL

COPING WITH BETRAYAL

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Betrayal is one of the worst things that can happen to us:  it causes great pain, anguish, disappointment, destroys trust and leaves us feeling vulnerable.  It causes us to question our own judgment and can induce feelings of anger and revenge, or cause us to slide into self condemnation and depression, none of which are godly responses. Many of the great figures in the bible suffered betrayal and to be honest it goes with the Christian walk.  Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, Abel was killed by Cain, Samson was betrayed by Delila and Jesus was betrayed by Judas.  Paul suffered it, many of the apostles did too, as people they trusted and discipled turned and tried to harm them. “The saddest thing about betrayal is it never comes from your enemies.”-  Unknown Betrayal in families, between friends or work colleagues, or in business can be as just as devastating as any betrayal within the body of Christ.   Friends in church, or a church leader even may have betrayed you?    Moses was betrayed many times as he tried to lead the people out of Egypt.   The Israelites turned on him time and again, even to the point of wanting to stone him at Mt Sinai.   His calling was so great, yet so lonely, because no-one really understood him.  It’s hard sometimes to find words to express what God has called you to do, especially in our modern secular Greek-thinking world.  God’s ways are so different to man’s, yet man thinks he know it all, when really he knows nothing.   God’s ways and thoughts are so...
DO NOT GIVE DOGS WHAT IS HOLY!

DO NOT GIVE DOGS WHAT IS HOLY!

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” – Matthew 7:6 Dear Friends, have you ever shared something of value in a home group, or with a church leader, or with Christian friends, only to have them turn on you and attack you, or even betray you? Have you been ostracised in your church because you have an understanding of something important to do with the Kingdom of Heaven, that others do not? The words of Jesus in Matthew 7:6 are a warning to us not to share such holy nuggets of wisdom with those who do not understand. For if they truly wanted to understand the Kingdom of Heaven, and hear what you do, they would also, as is written, seek first the Kingdom of Heaven by asking, seeking and knocking. Things that are holy are, as alluded to in previous letters, things that are set apart for a special mission, role, purpose or time. They are things that pertain to God’s divine will, Kingdom and purposes. Pearls are highly valuable and beautiful, and Jesus uses them as a picture to speak of pearls of wisdom. So when the Lord reveals to you certain things that are of great significance and value for the Kingdom, these are holy understandings akin to pearls of wisdom. Now the warning is this: that we should not give to the dogs or swine what is holy – Jesus is using dogs and swine to describe ‘unclean people’,...
THE GOD OF UNCONVENTION

THE GOD OF UNCONVENTION

(Download PDF Print-friendly version)   “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are My ways your ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 From beginning to end, the Bible is full of stories demonstrating God’s ways and thoughts frequently vary from our own, and even conflict with them. Sometimes it’s hard to understand, but God simply doesn’t do things our way, for He is the Potter who forms and shapes the clay, not the other way round: “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.” Jeremiah 18:6 He is the Lord and Father of mankind who created the heavens and flung the stars into space, He sees the beginning from the end. So dare we think we can put our expectations or sense of entitlement before His divine will and knowledge? “For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has become His counsellor?”i Therefore as we begin 2017, let us purpose in our hearts and minds to stay close to Him; to seek first His ways, His heart and His mind in order to know what pleases Him. Such purpose may bring us into conflict with our secular world, our church and even our families, but as Isaiah wrote, God’s ways are not man’s ways. We must grasp this very important point and seek first the kingdom of heaven and His definition of righteousness, not our own man made interpretations, because...
LET IT BE UNTO ME ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD

LET IT BE UNTO ME ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) At this time of year, many around the world will have cause to think of Mary and Joseph and the nativity story. But rarely is the price they paid considered, in submitting to God’s will. Mary was a young girl, possibly only around 16 years of age. Joseph was likely a bit older possibly mid to late twenties. Mary was a simple girl from an agricultural village in northern Israel, Joseph a local carpenter, both humble young village folk. Yet when approached by the angel Gabriel and told what was to happen to her, Mary’s response was; “let it be unto me according to your word.”i She humbly and obediently submitted to God’s will. But at what price? The law of Moses stated that if a woman became pregnant outside marriage the penalty was death by stoning, on the assumption of adultery. Mary knew this risk. She would have been ostracised by her family and community. Shame and dishonour would have befallen her father and the family name. Yet against this backdrop of potential consequences she still said “let it be unto me according to your word.” Joseph was also put in a very difficult position, so much so Gabriel also had to have a word, telling him to stand firm, remain faithful and protect Mary, which he duly did. This act of obedience and submission to God’s will was done, despite his understanding that the circumstances would be regarded as wholly unacceptable in the eyes of the wider community. “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife,...