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Dayle's Blog

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December 2013

AOK – Acts of Kindness

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Why are Acts of Kindness – or what we call AOK’s at South Central Church (www.southcentral.org.au) so powerful?

Jesus reveals to us why Kindness and Love in action are so impacting. 

In Matthew 14:1-14 the Bible says that even when John the Baptist was brutally murdered and Jesus went away to be alone with his grief, he didn’t strike out or deviate from the way of love. The people followed Jesus not giving any time or space to be alone at such a painful time, yet He was moved with compassion as the crowd followed Him, and healed their sick.

There is an important lesson to be learnt from Jesus’ actions.

Jesus overcame evil with good! He overcame the works of Satan, who is the author of death and destruction, with compassion. He defeated hatred with love. He attacked Satan in the spirit realm by destroying his works of sickness and disease.

That’s why Acts of Kindness #AOK are so powerful. Wherever love and compassion is being demonstrated it destroys evil, and cultivates Love!

The Bible tells us that we are able to live this way because His love has been shed abroad in our hearts (Rom 5:5). We all have a huge God given capacity for love, compassion and kindness. 

As we spend time with the author of Love and value and keep his Words in our minds and hearts, our hearts are moved just like His heart is for those around us.

1 John 2:5 says “His love is perfected in us as we keep His Word”.

The Bible, which is God’s word to us, is full of Love, kindness, and compassion!

Let’s spur one another on to AOK ‘s and overcome evil with good, changing our world!

 

 

 

 

 

Running

I was thinking this week about how we go through life often just plodding along. I’ve even said it on a not so good day when some one asked me how life was going “Oh I’m just plodding along”. 

The thing is I don’t think we are really made to be “plodders”. God says we are made in His image and He doesn’t seem to be much of a plodder. He does say that we will soar on wings like eagles and run and not grow weary or faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Have you ever wondered about Peter who walked on water? (Matthew 14:22-23) What if when Jesus had called him to “Come to me” and on stepping out of the boat Peter hadn’t started walking on the water but had started to run?  Perhaps he would have forgotten all about the wind and the waves and just focused on running to his goal – “reaching Jesus”. Perhaps he would have made it and be known as Peter who ran on water and didn’t sink!

What if David when he had approached the giant Goliath had walked up to fight him instead of running into battle.   The bible says that “as Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.” (1 Sam 17:48) I think the fact that David run at Goliath was part of his success. He’d made a decision and ran to achieve it.

The bible says “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize”. 1 Corinthians 9:24 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” Hebrews 12:1-2

To be runners and not plodders we have to know why we are running and who is before us.

David knew that the battle was the Lord’s and he knew God was before him. He was simply running towards God’s plan for his life.

Paul knew the race that God had set for him when he said we are all runners and to run our race focused on the prize – Jesus and His plan and purpose for our lives. 

Isaiah 40:29-31 reminds us that “even youths grow weary and faint but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength”. Not only that it says that “God gives power to the faint and to those who have no might he increases strength”.

We are made to run, to run well and strong and with endurance until the finish. God has given us all the capacity to be “spiritual marathon runners”, and we even had a great cloud of witnesses in heaven cheering us on! 

Come on let’s RUN;

  • Knowing that God is before us.
  • Keeping our focus on Jesus and not the wind and waves of life making “noise” around us. 
  • Keeping our hope in the Lord, turning our faces towards him when we grow weary and faint, remembering He promises to increase our strength and power.

 

 

 

Making Lemonade

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I was reading this week the parable of the Unforgiving servant (Matt 18:21-35) 

We too are debtors before we ask God into our lives. It’s His mercy, just like the merciful master, that releases us from the consequences of our debt and guilt. Unfortunately we can forget that so quickly when someone wrongs us and instead we end up behaving just as selfishly as the servant in the parable.

Our faith works through love and forgiveness. When we have unforgiveness in our hearts it clogs up that faith channel.

I was asking the Holy Spirit to reveal any unforgiveness that might be hidden in my heart, and that might be clogging up my faith channel. I ended up with a list!  A little disappointed I said “God just heal me from hurt and offense so that I can show the same mercy you’ve shown me”.

God is so gracious with us. Very gently He spoke and said “ What did I learn from each person on my list that I can be thankful for” Instead of trying to just “forgive and forget” my perspective was suddenly changed. I now have a “new list” beside the old one. It lists what I’ve learnt about God, myself and others through that person and the hurt they caused.”

God wants us free – a big part of our freedom is about forgiveness and showing that same forgiveness to others. And yes we do get opportunity for lots of practice but I’m starting to realise how much I’ve learnt and can be thankful for. There have been some real “lemon” moments, but God actually does turn things into “lemonade”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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