Messages of the Moment collated by Rev. E.Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

Maximise Your Life with Paul Benger – Part One

By Paul Benger

The first extract from Paul Benger’s book ‘Twelve’ which was written to highlight key principles which will help you on your journey as a Christian. You will be challenged to rethink why you think what you think! Confused?!

Paul Benger has put pen to paper to pull out the main areas of thinking which if applied can result in you becoming more assertive and more determined than ever about making the right choices to help you live life passionately and effectively for God.

…’and God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.’ Ephesians 1:22-23

Imagine a church full of God. Go on, think about it! Of course, the results of your imagination will depend upon your image of God. For me a church full of God is glorious. It’s a house of praise and thanksgiving; a house of opportunity; a house of activity and life; a house of love and acceptance; a house growing and prospering; a house of answers; a house of forgiveness and grace; a house of service; a house passionate about people and their destiny; a house of peace; a house of freedom and liberty; a safe house; a house of sacrifice; a house of beauty; a house of prayer; a house of salvation. Like me I am sure you could go on and on. The reason we could go on and on is because there is no end to God. His goodness and love, the bible tells us, is everlasting, endless, eternal. God wants his house to reflect him.

God isn’t bored yet

I have to admit, I hog the TV remote. I recently bought my wife a card on our anniversary that said, “I love you so much that I would give you anything.” This message was on the front of the card but when you opened it up there was a picture of a hand holding a TV remote and the caption said, “well almost anything.” I hog the remote because TV easily bores me (unless it’s sport we’re watching ). If I am finding a program to be boring then I will flick through all the available channels to find one that looks less boring. When the adverts come on the same process is followed just to make sure there is nothing more exciting on another channel than what I am currently viewing. (Psychologists feel free to analyse me).

Some Christians act as if God were bored. Bored with the church they are in, the location they find themselves in, their current ministry vision, the sermons etc.. The truth is however, God is not bored.

God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” …”So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”             Genesis 1:26-28

God’s original purpose was to create people just like you and me in his likeness and image so that we could reflect God on this awesome planet. We may be tempted to think that God’s bored with this so now he’s into something new, but the truth is he’s still on course, he’s still on task. He’s out to populate the planet with men and women that look like him.

Let’s not fly away Oh Glory

As a teenager in church the songs we sang began to get a little more lively. Because I was the church’s drummer I thought this was fantastic. However, when I look back at many of the songs and hymns we used to sing I realise that many of the ones we loved the most were about heaven and the prospect of heaven. “I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop” was a line in one hymn that was a real goer in our church and “I’ll fly away Oh Glory, I’ll fly away” was easily in the top 10 for a record number of weeks. Whilst our heavenly, eternal hope is awesome and the awareness of it is great, much of our enthusiasm was linked with the possibility of getting out of here.

We are never told once by God to escape the world or run away from it, rather to fill it and subdue it. The church’s destiny is not to cower in fear and hide waiting for the rapture, but to be a glorious church full of God.

For those God foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. Romans 8:29. God loves this planet so much and the people on it even more that he is determined to have a great church that exists to represent him well, bringing the knowledge of his grace to as many sons and daughters as possible. Bobbie Houston, a person that my wife Jeannie and I have come to admire greatly, has coined the phrase “We are to wear God well.” I think that really says it.

As he is, so also are we in this world. 1 John 4:17 (NKJV). Whatever we worship we ultimately become like. The Apostle John, who opens thisfantastic letter with these words; ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim to you,

It is saying to the believers that our revelation of God is how we are to represent him. As he is, so are we! We will only wear God well if we have a well God to wear. If we see God as being mean and ugly, mad and angry we will be in danger of taking on those characteristics ourselves. I’ve met christians whose God is like this. “Watch out or God will get you,” they say. “Get you” means some tradegy, illness or judgement is on its way. Through the wrong image of God people have become mean, judgmental and prejudiced. Church, we can change this. We must change this. Our house is a house full of riches a house full of God. To me that means there is hope. You may have stuffed up big time and you may be paying the penalty but where you are right now is not your final destination. God is for you and everything you need to get you to where God wants you is in his house. All the love that you need, all the vision that you need, all the wisdom that you need is in the house of God.

Builder or Magician

God can do miracles, right? I agree, but in our quest for the miraculous, instant answer to our problems we have forgotten that God is a builder. We have forgotten that God transforms things, including people, through process. The house of God is full of the riches that facilitate this process: the wisdom of God; discipline; submission; authority; love; care, just to name a few. Sadly the human heart wants the microwave version and much progress and growth has been stunted or even abandoned through a search for the instant cure.

A man approached a friend of mine saying, “I became a Christian several weeks ago now and my life is still in a mess. I’ll give you one more week and if my life hasn’t turned around I’m off.” The wise Pastor replied, “Look it’s taken you fifty years to get your life into this mess, you can’t just think that a few weeks is going to turn it around. Give us one year, listen to our counsel, and I guarantee your life will never be the same.”

The bible says, “God planted a garden”. Jesus said, “I will build my church”. and “Go and make disciples.” All of these suggest a process, a process which is still impossible without the working of God’s Spirit, but nevertheless still a process. I believe that God wants you and I to submit to the process of his working in our lives, believing for miracles along the way and determined to see the end product.

Absolutely stuffED

A house full of God is a house filled with all the riches that we need for every season and circumstance in life. This is the church God sees. Have faith in the house where you are planted or more importantly in the God of the house in which you are planted. As you worship and listen to the word of God expect the Holy Spirit to be speaking and working in you.

REMEMBER:

We’re not flying away, there’s a job to do
The kind of God we worship determines the kind of people we become

God is a builder
The house of God is full of the riches that will build God’s work in our lives

Paul Benger is the Senior Pastor of Chesterfield Christian Life Church. He and his wife Jeannie have three sons – Nathan, Josh and Sam. These articles have been taken from his first book called 12. He has a passion to resource the church so that she becomes the glorious house that she is meant to be.

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