On the 3rd June our pastor Marc Poree preached and awesome message, and it really was something that resonated with me as it was something that God had already laid on my heart to dig deeper into (see my previous post about knowing God). Here are some of the parts that really spoke to me.
The series we have been doing in church is called Proximity. So I will start with the first point that jumped out at me.
‘If you are worried about being influence by the world, the answer is not to withdraw from the world the answer is to step closer to Jesus!’ (Marc Poree)
Wow! Lets be honest if we feel intimidated or like we are starting to slip in our faith we choose to step away from those friends or stop going those places. But when we do that do we also choose to step closer to God? Do we also choose to spend more time with God when we spend less time with those friends or less time going to those places that ‘influence us’? Maybe some of us do, I know I have not always done that. Which brings me to Marc’s next point…
‘To shine a light in the darkness you need to shine brighter. Full yourself with Jesus so your light shines brighter in a dark world’. (Marc Poree)
You cannot shine that light unless the light is in you! So how do you get that light to shine? The answer is easy, spend time with Jesus! Not just at church on Sunday or home group Wednesday. Spend time with Him constantly. Choose to listen to worship music (there really is some powerful music available now). Talk to Him. Talk to Him in your car while you driving, at your desk while you are working.
We cannot grow in a relationship with someone if we do not spend time with them. So talk to God and choose to invest time in your relationship with Him. Now relationships involve two people so we can’t expect our relationship to grow if we just talk, talk talk and we don’t give God a chance to speak to us. So spend time in the word. Study the word and make time for the word. Allow God to speak to you through his word. It is a unending conversation with God, so take the time to listen to what he has to say.
So now you have done all you need to do to allow the light to shine out of you, what do you do next?
Spend time with those who do not know Jesus. Let them question what it is that you have that makes you, shine like you do. We always tell our girls that clothing or hair or having all their teeth (Jasmine just recently lost her first tooth and thought she looked ugly) does not define your beauty or make them beautiful. What makes them beautiful on the outside is their Jesus light shining out from the inside. So when ever you ask our girls what makes them beautiful, the will tell you ‘Im beautiful on the outside because I am beautiful on the inside, and I am beautiful on the inside because Jesus is in my heart.’
We cannot change the lives of those who do not know Jesus if we never spend time with them so they can see our Jesus light shining out of us.
‘We are all meant to go out into the world to shine, but we all battle with this. What are your reasons? To shy? To busy? To intimidated? Not knowledgeable enough?’ (Marc Poree)
In asking all this questions you find yourself asking how real your relationship with God really is. So take all the excuses away and allow your relationship with gOd to grow.
‘In sharing your Faith you will have a greater understanding of this life we are living.’ (Marc Poree)
That one really stuck out to me. In sharing my Faith I will understand my life better. When I recently wrote about chatting to my uncle about religion, I realised I am not here to drive a fancy car, wear fancy clothes, go to dinners and lunches with friends, go on over seas trips. Those things are all awesome and we want to be able to enjoy those things, but that is not why I am living, that is not my reason for living. My reason is to share my Faith and let people know about the amazing God we serve.
‘The more you share your Faith the more you will experience God.’ (Marc Poree)
I am by nature a shy person until I get to know you. So for me to openly share my Faith takes a lot of courage, and even with people I know, it still takes a lot of courage for me to share my story, to share my Faith and why I believe and know God is real. Why? Maybe it is fear of judgement, fear of being mocked, spoken about when I leave. But that should not stop me! I also do not always have the biblical knowledge to back up my statements and that will come when spending more time with God and more time in the word, but that brings me to Marc’s next point which is so real and true.
‘Have the Faith to test the knowledge you have!’ (Marc Poree)
Have the Faith to test the knowledge you have! Do not always think you are not worthy of sharing your faith because you are not a ‘pastor’ or a charismatic character. God places you in situations because He needs YOU to shine your light! You do not know what God is doing in the unseen so trust yourself, trust God and trust the light that is shining out of you. Have the Faith to test the knowledge you do have!
‘You will not speak confidently about something you do not know about. Spend time with Jesus to grow your confidence in your knowledge of Him.’ (Marc Poree)
‘You speak about what you are passionate about’ (Marc Poree)
I know absolutely nothing about the stock market so I am not about to sit down with someone and give them a lesson on how to trade in different stocks. I would probably loose them a lot of money. However I did teach grade 000 for 10 years and I do know a lot about the development of a 3 and 4 year old. I can sit with you for hours explaining what milestones they should be reaching and different age appropriate activities to do with them because it is what I know and what I am confident in, because it is what I know.
I will not sit for hours and chat about how snake sheds its skin or hunts for food, because snakes are my least favourite thing and I have absolutely no passion or desire to learn about them or speak about them. Start talking about my children and being a mom, then I can talk your ear off, because I am very passionate about being a mom and my 3 beautiful babies.
When we spend time in the word and spend time with God we will naturally become passionate about Him. We will naturally be drawn to converse about Him and our Faith Journey with Him. By getting to know every trait of my children, the things they love the things they hate, the new things they learn, I am excited to share it with others. Now take that same effort you use as a mom spending time with your children, or a guy going surfing or playing sport, or spending time with friends and spend time with Jesus and watch your passion towards the things of Jesus grow.
‘If God is not real yet, there is nothing standing in your way but your commitment to spending time with Him and drawing closer to Him.’ (Marc Poree)
‘If you struggle to share your Faith the secret is not some formula or unlimited amount of knowledge, the secret is to spend time with God.’ (Marc Poree)
So when you start asking yourself why am I here at this job, why am I in this school, why am I in this marriage, why am I in this church, why am I in this relationship? Ask God why He has placed you were you are, start spending time with Him growing your relationship with Him, and He will start opening your eyes and answering all your questions. Be intentional in not only your relationship with Jesus but your relationship with people.
So do not be afraid to share the knowledge you do have about Jesus. By doing this you will not save people, that is what Jesus will do. Just spend time with them and share your Faith, share your knowledge, share your story. Not only will you open their eyes to your Jesus light, but it is like a fuel that will just make your light stronger and help you shine brighter.
And in doing so make sure you spend time and invest in your relationship with Jesus, because if He is not real to you, you will not share your story or your Faith. If He is real to you, He will be inside of you, shining out of you, and you will have the confidence to share your story.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its savor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”
“Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”
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