Is humble donkey a one trick pony?

Well yes kinda!

One of my passions in life is to see people become safe in God, from God and for God.

Safe in God – finding oneself eternally secure and without the gaze of the righteous judge looking at us – that is not a good thing. Being in God is the only safe place to escape this.

Oh! It is God himself who is the righteous judge. We need a rescue from his judgement. Otherwise what hope have we?

God for his own glory – that’s for the enjoyment and demonstration of his free flowing mercy and grace – provides that safety.

Get your head around that. You may have questions. Ask them. Ask and keep asking. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. Nice one Socrates.

So this passion is for people to encounter and enter into this safety through the Gospel of Jesus – the story of the eternal Father’s offering of the eternal Son so that whoever would believe on him and his sacrifice would not perish but have eternal life [John 3:16].

Most people who have grown up around some kind of church – Protestant or Roman Catholic have just enough knowledge of this to be innoculated against the wild crazy wonderful truth of it all. Our backgrounds domesticated, tamed and froze what God has done, is doing and will do. It becomes like so much music – playing somewhere in the background of life. Muzak. Church and faith as an add-on. An accessory. A cultural appendage. I remember when growing up, a rite of passage was the ease achieved in disrespecting the Lord’s name – Jesus this & Jesus that. An expletive. A stop gap of expression while saying something ‘more important’ (as if) or to use as a ramp to provide an ascent in exclamation of an amazing or awful story – used liberally by speaker and hearer. Maturity. And yet we had somehow taken the given name of the one who flung stars into space and accommodated it to our own ugly flinging of words and thoughts into thin air.

Think about it. Let’s say we loved a great Prime Minister or President – or even that we knew he had provided greatly for us. And then we began to take his name and use it in a way that paid little or no respect to him and often used it as an exclamative, even for expletive value and intent.  That’s what we have done to Jesus, his precious name which literally means God saves.

God saves us from God and for God.

So that’s my passion in life – to point – direct toward the one who flung stars into space and whisper into the inclined ear “did you see his wrists – weird weren’t they – had holes in them and also see his side – wounded. He looks like one who was crucified and is now risen.”

Why? Where? Who cares? And so the exploration begins or not. God is not tame. At our mercy or disposal. Is not a cultural appendage. Will not always be as merciful as he is at present. This is the era of the exploration. Get to it. Wake up. More importantly – pray to be awoken.

No conferring

Growing up in the 1970’s and 80’s you got to watch a lot of quiz shows on TV – many with a line that lingers long on the memory. Remember Sale of the Century – it was the “quiz of the week”. Perhaps my favourite was the intellectual gladiator-dome University Challenge with Bamber Gascoigne – way before Jeremy Paxman. At certain points he would say “No conferring”. That meant you are on your own – you must work out the answer on your own.

Some time back I had a very special opportunity do the exact opposite. A bunch of us gathered together to confer – work stuff out together – to progress together.

I was down south of Taupo (New Zealand) to attend a Leadership Conference looking at how to respond to the clear call on the Christian believer to be a bringer of the Gospel and a bringer of compassion for people. Two separate things. More on that distinction in an upcoming post.

Super conference – very stimulating, great time together, no hype, just a great time in God’s presence with God’s people.

I am linking to the resources generally on the Living Stones Leadership Training website but specifically recommending a special series of talks.

Malcomalcolm gilllm Gill (from Sydney Missionary & Bible College) did a wonderful series over three days on The Character of God, The Gospel of God, The Glory of God.

Click on his picture to get to their media section and then pop Malcolm’s name into the Search Archive box to source them.

I would recommend each of them and in the order delivered. Lovely wife and I had very energising conversation with him during the conference – great bloke.

Have a listen and grow. And please do confer.