Thursday, July 31, 2008

God's Heart for the World

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I have been praying over the last week, 'Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours...' I didn't think much of it, and a couple of days past. Then yesterday we had a Spiritual Day at the College. In the first service I found myself at the mercy seat, kneeling before God, crying out for the visions and dreams on my heart to become a reality. That's God Kingdom would be established in every Country and in the life of every human being. The afternoon came and I found myself again strongly touched by the call to share the message of Jesus to people outside of the Church's four walls. I cried, and cried and the tissues were helpful.

Then I realised what I had been praying earlier. 'God, break my heart for the things that break yours.' I found in my spirit a deep grief for those without the understanding of the love of God. I found myself yearning and praying for Countries in which the Gospel of Jesus doesn't penetrate. I believe God is developing in me, his heart for the World. Sure, God's is loving, and compassionate, and full of grace and mercy... but God also grieves and longs for creation to be reconciled back to himself, a reconciliation that requires a response from humanity.

Some misunderstand my recent feelings as 'emotional instability', or 'Pete must be going through a rough time'. Not at all. Win the world for Jesus is the catchcry of The Salvation Army and what a good start it is to begin with capturing God's heart for the World.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pete's Ponderings

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You probably know the verse, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength... (Mt 22:34-40) I was thinking about this:
Heart - We should worship God from our heart - with a inner desire to honour God
Soul - We love God from the deepest part of who we are
Mind - We connect with God on an intellectual level- seeking to understand who God is, our role in worship, mission discipleship, etc, etc...
Strength - We are empowered to love God with our actions, our life, our personality, our all.
We need a radical balance of these four concepts Jesus teaches us. We cannot merely love God with great passion and zeal, and let it become mere fanaticism. Conversely, merely following God from a purely theoretical position without a heart felt connection with the creator becomes dry intellectualism.

I read some of Zechariah this morning. Have a read of these great verses:
"'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty" - Zech 4:6
"Who despises the day of small things?" - Zech 4:10
"Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other." - Zech 7:9-10

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Preaching up a Storm

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Famous Last Words was a challenging night recently as Commissioner Brian Morgan shared his 'Famous Last Words'. He shared passionately about the gospel of Jesus being URGENT, and that we should go for it! He asked the question, 'Since when did the gospel become more about maintenance than about Mission'? Ouch!! Love it! Captain Danielle Strickland inspired us to worship and she mentioned for those gathered at that time, you don't need to find the latest evangelism conference to go to, just find someone and talk to them about Jesus! (Not rocket science).

Cadet Scott Ellery preached up a storm at South Barwon Corps (Western Victoria) this morning, preaching about God's glory being revealed in creation (e.g. the Grand Canyon, or a sunset on the beach), God's glory is revealed in the Scriptures (where we learn more of who God is), and God's glory is revealed to others through our witness (Maybe people can see God in us?).

I know of a few friends signing up for Training College next year. Are there any people in leadership you need to release for them to fulfil this calling?

To God be the glory.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cheeseburgers, Holidays and World Youth Day

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Jo and I had the privelege of leading through James and Sarah Thompson's Wedding the other week. These guys are passionate for God and seeing lives transformed through Jesus! I shared a message following the Wedding Vows and the signing of the register. I said to everyone with a confident look, 'A Marriage should be like a cheeseburger. A good uneaten Mc'Donald's cheeseburger. There's something in that cheeseburger, that 20 years from now that cheeseburger is still going strong. It doesn't matter what environment that cheeseburger finds itself in, it goes on...'

Well, holidays were relaxing. We spent some time at Hillsong Conference in Sydney recently. The Hillsong team seem to be catching on to Salvationist theology when it comes to justice for the oppressed, food for the hungry, and caring for the unlovable. Praise God for this focus during the week.

I understand there are many theological differences between our Catholic friends and the Protestant churches (of which The Salvation Army are a part), yet recently on TV I've seen young Catholics singing songs about Jesus, young people gathering together because they want to set their 'faith on fire' as one girl put it. World Youth Day brings these Catholic young people together and gives them a renewed sense of purpose and passion. Maybe there's more that unites us, than divides us?

Keep an eye out for TACO Trivia Nights (in September) coming to a venue close to you! (If you're in Australia at least!)

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