Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
So tonight i’ve decided to commence a new series on Ephesians. Each night i’ll read ephesians chronologically and see what the Lord has to say and where he’ll take me through this exciting book. Why? Don’t know i just hear it’s a good book so yeah.
Today we had our weekly church basketball game and this morning before church i woke up and chose my jersey for today. With all the hype surrounding Dwyane Wade and his free agency i decided i’ll go with D-Wade.
We rock up to our game, i’m wearing D-wade, Long is wearing Mo Williams and Minh and Steve are wearing Kobe Bryant. Today i was on fire in bball if i may say so myself haha and i remember hitting an amazing shot and someone calling out D-Wade!!! and me responding “I wish i was D-Wade”.
Christianity is similar to this exact scenario! Everyday we wake up and we wear the name of Christ, we are in his family, it’s the family name.
Paul demonstrates this by the beginning of this amazing letter, he basically states, that his name is Paul and who he is as a person is an “apostle” and not by his own strength or abilities but “For Christ Jesus” and “by the will of God”. Whoever we are, we are our name, and our call and our call should as christians be only for our Lord Jesus. He is the sole purpose of our lives, whatever our career, job or marketplace.
Paul shows us that he is not just Paul, but him being Paul and Apostle is on of Jesus and hence his life represents and therefore Glorifies God. We are who we are, not just for us, but as a representation of that name that we wear.
My question entering into this series for myself is who am i? D-wade??? mmm maybe not, i wish i was just in basketball though.
Ben … Physio? Leader? Mentor? Leader? Friend? Worshiper? Boyfriend? of Christ Jesus by the will of God.
At this point i guess i am still unsure, but my primary conviction is not just to discover who I am, but that ultimately i can be who i am for Christ Jesus by the will of God.
May our lives be an imprint of Christ Jesus, whether we’re an apostle, a businessman, a friend, a student, whatever it might be, let us represent Christ Jesus by the Will of God.
- Be who I am to represent Christ Jesus by the will of God
Having taken a week (or 5 days according to the prayer inserts, but i actually did a week) in prayer i would like to write my first return blog about my perspective after taking a week just praying.
Interesting turn of events over the past week in basketball we have experienced many ups and downs. Last week me and Peter topped the league scoring only to lose by 10 as a team. This week we had 1 player missing, one injured and one fouled out and we lost immensely. It was hurtful.
On the court i couldn’t help show my emotion, some may think i truly have a manly exterior but inside when it comes to basketball i am passionate. It hurt, i was worried and troubled. In the midst of this emotion i realised one thing, my reaction was a result of my inclination. I responded with annoyance with myself because i believed myself to have some sort of control over the situation.
I realised that i respond the same way in life… my fear, anxiety, and frustration is due to my pride, in thinking that i am the one driving my story. Maybe i had it wrong, and it took a week of prayer in God to realise it…
I began this prayer series with “6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philipians 4:6-8
and at the end of all this i have truly come to understand one thing. That God does not revolve around my world, but i am involved in his story. The sooner we realise this we can pray, prayer allows us to understand the story as we commune with the Story Teller and as the verse says only then will we find peace, as we realise God’s peace which transcends all human understanding guards our very hearts and minds in Jesus. Prayer shields our hearts, and minds from who other than ourselves. Our innate tendency to make this life our story.
Phil Baker of Riverview Church wrote it like this in his book Yahweh a Picture of God – “God is not on your road, He’s on His, but you can see His from yours”.
May we see that we have no story bar the one being told between God and mankind. May we realise that our purpose is planned and that we are honoured to be part of this epic love story between a Holy Perfect God, and his imperfect bride.
May we find our peace and hearts and minds Guarded in the revelation that in prayer we remind ourselves of a bigger picture than our own.
- Pray for 5 minutes prior to every blog from now on.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Can i just say that i am absolutely loving this series the Lord has led me on through 2nd Corinthians, i think it is closely becoming my favourite book in the bible. I happened to skip over the treasures in Jars of clay section but if you have time definitely read chapters 3-4 in 2nd Corinthians.
A few interesting things happened to me today that caused me to ponder, what is important to people? how can you tell?
Scenario 1 at work i was dealing with a patient who had been seeing a physio for 7 months with improvement but not complete healing. I wondered why so i asked her, so what exercises or things do you do at home to help along your recovery? the answer came in the form of a question… Exercises???
Scenario 2 after another crushing defeat in basketball afterward some of the lads (myself included) spoke about purchasing the vertical leap training program from the NBA and training to improve our jump.
As i lull over these 2 situations in my life i’m reminded of something a mentor once told me (as in told me a week ago), “once you have a child you begin to change your perspective about what is actually important”. We assign so many things such importance in our lives, but how can you tell what you are assigning as important? in scenario one, the individual obviously spent little time on her health and was therefore telling the world that her health was not something she deemed important.
In scenario 2 we clearly deemed basketball as important because we were willing to purchase and take time to improve our game.
A common denominator in both is time… Our most valuable resource. More than money, more than posessions, more than relationships our most valuable possession is time. Our life is composed of time, we don’t know the length of our life, but we do know that we have a limited amount of it.
Paul reminds us in this passage that yes we are wasting away, but inwardly as we die we get closer to becoming our holy perfect selves, so he inspires us by telling us, hey lets not look at our dieing body’s but at our heavenly dwelling (next chapter). That we should assign things of importance in our lives and use our time on these things based on an eternal world view not a temporal one. That the physical things around us are dieing, but what we do with the only resource we have is what we must hold an account for to the Lord, and shall determine how we spend eternity.
So where is your time going? Who do you spend it with? What do you spend it doing? Does it please the Lord?
May we realise that our lives are purposed as part of the biggest love story between God and Man. This story has been told for thousands of year and is still being told today. May we realise that our time in this story is so fleeting, and yet we have the opportunity to make a significant impact in the greatest love story of all time. May we number our days (Psalm 90:12) and use them for your Glory, to maximise our purpose.
- Invest my time wisely, in what will give me maximal return glorifying God
Basketball was indeed heartbreaking tonight with another loss by the “Brother bears” (our basketball team and yes i know the name is emabrassing).
I came straight after work and decided to warm up and man i was hitting my shots, they looked good and i started hyping up Moshan and Steve emphasising that i “felt” a win was coming tonight. Well the game started and long story short, we lost, although we could argue that the umpires were favouring the other team (serious!) but it makes us just sound like the losers who use the “umpire favoured the other team” excuse.
I notice a trend in myself as I respond when things don’t go my way, there was a moment where i deliberately decided to “drive” the ball in to draw a foul. 3 guys slapped my arms laughing and the referee just stands there staring at me and i yell at him at the top of my lungs “IT’S A FOUL!” – with 3 seconds delay he blows the whistle… Hmm anger not a pretty sight even just for a second.
How a person reacts under stress or when things don’t go their way i believe reveals a whole lot about who they really are. In fact this brief period of anger tonight reminds me of “spiritual desert” that all Christians go through at least once. Things don’t seem to go right, you struggle to love God, you don’t feel his presence and you don’t pray. Yes on the outside these struggling Christians can often hide this very well, but eventually it manifests in a break down, leaving church, or inspiration to stick to it persevere and start over.
In Luke 4 we see Jesus go through this very thing, he’s taken into the wilderness (spiritual desert), however is response is amazing and it sets the scene for the beginning of his story. We must remember that Jesus during this time was in a wilderness, struggling with Just himself and the HolySpirit (Yahweh is technically there) vs. the Devil. Hmm that sounds a lot like what God has equipped us with. The devil tempts him for 40 days and he passes, he remains obedient to what he knows is right based on the Word of God.
I think as we enter our times of wilderness, whether that be after losing a basketball game, or a more serious one in life we can take good advice from Jesus. Learn the Word of God in the good times so you’re equipped and be obedient to what you know is right even if you just aint feeling it.
May we get through our wild times unscaved, and stronger than before as we realise that Jesus Christ our priest could do it and in him so can we.
- Learn the Word daily
- Obedience unconditionally