Monday, 31 December 2007

live deliberately

I can't believe yesterday was my last talk of 2007; where did it go? Looking back on 2007 I can say it was fantastic year both in our community of faith and in the Scott house. God has been so good to us in many ways. Though the highlight for me was having Dave and Anita Workman come over at the start of Nov for our outward focus conference. Dave has been a great friend and mentor to me, I'm blown away how God puts great people in our lives so that we can travel well.

Yesterday I talked a little on someways we can posture for purpose as we embark for 2008. The older I get the quieter I get regarding new year resolutions, especially when it comes to exercising. New Years day really isn’t all that different from another day, it’s a day and we can make it just like any day and slip into another year. Though we are seasonal people and it does help us. I love New Year in that it helps us or gives us a chance to posture our heart for purpose; to live our lives deliberately, on purpose; to suck the marrow out of life.

Mark 2: 21 - 22

"No-one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no-one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins."

Our lives should be like vintage wine, each year we walk with our Jesus we should become sweeter to those around us and our lives ought be richer because of the Christ. But the other lesson from this text is that we don’t become in love with the container. There should be no sacred cows in our lives or our churches. There are times when we will have to discard the old and that includes giving up what’s good for what’s great. In the text above Mark uses a parable to make a bigger reference than fasting, he is talking about the Kingdom come, Jesus’ presence with His people which was a time of newness (fulfillment) and signaled the passing of the old.

Allow the Kingdom to come and surprise you in 2008 and don't get annoyed when things don't happen as they did before or be surprised that God is asking you to lay down something old so that He can do something new in you.

It New Years Eve; party time!

Mt 9: 9 - 13
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Jesus calls the unexpected and unacceptable. We should never underestimate the longing in the human soul to connect with Jesus.
Levi throws a party and invites Jesus, Holy and unholy in the same place. The cool thing here is Jesus calls Levi, takes him out of his old life but goes back to his world. Looking back through this year who did you make friends with? Who did you allow into your life? It’s easier making friendships with other Christ followers and the longer we keep building friendships exclusively with Christians the harder it is to engage with people who are seeking the Kingdom. We become locked into our Christian culture and we forget or maybe choose to forget that there are people out there just like us who maybe use a different language but face all the same issues and pains as we do.

One last thing Levi engaged a relationship with God that was compelling; he had a relationship that meant something to him. You need to begin to enjoy your life with God, to begin to get into a party theology. I guess people showed up at Levi’s house because he was likable, maybe had a party reputation. Can I ask a personal question, are you likable? Are you fun? Do you have some % of joy in your life.

One of my memory makers of 2007 was the Snow Patrol concert in Bangor. We got a train from Belfast in to Bangor, that was an experience. What grabbed me was the laughter and enjoyment and I was was awakened to the fact that we Christ followers used to get accused a lot for being happy, so much so that it sometimes even irritated people. Do something this year that steers you towards people and joy.You need to begin to enjoy life so that life might become compelling.


ylmurph said...

to live our lives on purpose...

good stuff

Andy said...


Nice message my man, I like the are you likeable bit! We do worry a lot us humans, comparison with others makes us pretty miserable in fact, I really want to embrace Gods unique plan for my life and we should all do the same we're vibrant and different, let the colours blend!! Cheesetastic.

Take it easy.