Like what you read?

Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Easter 2017: Resurrection & Trust.

For me there is no Easter without Jesus' resurrection and furthermore there is no faith without complete trust.

I have been thinking about the importance of the resurrection and trust with Easter approaching. I am contemplating the truth of Easter holding no relevance for many when they don't understand or trust in The Resurrection.

You see, truly without Jesus' resurrection from death, we have no hope. We have no hope in anything after this life. So, we may as well continue to celebrate Easter in the pagan tradition of eating lots of 'fertile promoting' chocolate...You know, eat, drink and be merry because we're all just going to die anyway...

The Sadducees (a group of Jewish religious zealots in Jesus' time) tried to deny resurrection was a part of God's plan. They believed that this life was as good as it gets, and could not see God had a salvation solution. They tried to stump Jesus by asking an obviously preposterous question, regarding how marriage after multiple spouses would work after people are resurrected. Jesus simply told them they did not understand the scriptures or God's power...

Jesus never denied the resurrection. While many believe this is because we all will go to heaven, Jesus spoke of a resurrection consistent with the Bible. A resurrection of ALL PEOPLE for final judgement...A resurrection where we will pass into eternal joy or condemnation.

Now this may sound scary to you. And I will truthfully tell you, if we really understand that we can never measure up to God's holy standards, we may well panic. I really think this is why deep down, many people today struggle with anxiety...I believe they're stuck in their rebellion and sin from trying to live life without being forgiven and committed to Jesus, and when they're not distracted by life, their anxiety begins. I honestly can write this because I have personally experienced it, and know many who struggle the same way.

The good news however is, the anxiety can be replaced by God's peace when we confess our sin and need to God, and accept His gift of forgiveness and new-life through Jesus Christ! You see faith or a belief, that Jesus is the Messiah, or God's Saviour/Christ is still incomplete, unless we understand that faith requires the active-action of fully trusting in Jesus' death and resurrection being imparted to us. This happens when we repent and make the decision to give our life to Jesus Christ.

I have been thinking about how fully trusting God (whom Jesus is) is possibly the hardest thing for most people...

TRUST is really hard. I mean people may fully believe in Jesus. They may fully believe in His resurrection from death. But do they TRUST in it becoming their own???

I have been faced with the decision of late to trust or to not trust – and this has just in my own personal life, and truly it's hard, and it has me thinking...

We want the answer to everything we not? Yet if we understood everything it wouldn't it be hard to trust would it? Yes it would not be hard as trusting would require no faith, for faith is believing and trusting even when we don't see some parts or know some details.

Many people may say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus!” But do they really TRUST Him? Do they trust that His death and resurrection can be theirs? Do they trust that His death, (the loss of His life) can be the death their sins would have inherited and therefore His resurrection due to their sin being gone would also be theirs?

Do they TRUST in Him to be their Saviour – fully trusting that through Him they pass through final judgement, from death to life, because of His death and resurrection becoming theirs?

Do they TRUST Him for imparted wisdom from His Word, the Bible when the world says differently?

Do they TRUST Him to do a good work within them and to change their life when they surrender all to Him?

Do they TRUST Him to help them fight their sinful nature daily and to confess their sin when they stumble?

Do they still TRUST Him when they find themselves confused and hurt?

There is no Christian faith, or celebration at Easter without the resurrection and there is no Christian faith without complete trust in the final work of Jesus Christ; that being His death and resurrection being imparted to His followers.

TRUST is hard. But when I look in the mirror really honestly, or when I stop being angry and look at myself, I know I fall so short. I know I'm so limited and am so glad I can TRUST The One who always makes the right judgement, and has given me so much.

So I continue to believe and fully trust in Jesus' death and resurrection...

I pray you daily do too, love Melanie.

Let me leave you with "Jesus Paid It All" Being performed here by Newsboys.
"Oh praise The One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!"

Monday, 3 April 2017

To The Ends of The Earth...

Jesus told us we are to go out into all the world and proclaim the gospel of salvation to all people. With Him living inside of us, we as His children, are to go to the ends of the earth...

When we give up ourselves, handing our lives over to Him, He gives us a new heart and a new desire. This new heart is one which desires to live according to His will, and to live a life that serves Him because of the love we receive. We are transformed from autonomous, self focused people, into new creations who take love out into the world by His enabling power, and therefore fulfilling this great and wonderful commission.

But sometimes the world pulls us down...

Yes, pulls us down, for we are still in our mortal bodies while we await His return and we get tired and overwhelmed and confused...sometimes it seems this great commission must only be for the Super-Spiritual or the super-gifted missionaries...I think we believe we don't have the resources to fulfill this great commission. I think it's easy to look at what we have, or where we are, and only see what is lacking...

So I want to ask a question and it's a question for me, as much as it is for you.

What if we took the 'macro' perspective and drew it in more closely to contemplate what “the ends of the earth” may mean for us 'everyday' people? What if “the ends of the the earth” was not even our country or state or neighbourhood...What if we began to look at this great commission from a 'micro' perspective?

What if 'the ends of the earth' was our own home...Seriously...and if you think I'm crazy answer me this...Do you live anywhere near where Jesus spoke these words?

I want to be really honest, sometimes I think really 'macro or big' when it comes to this commission, and while there's nothing wrong with dreaming big, sometimes I just end up feeling discouraged.

I have always believed that my first mission or ministry is my own home.

I have had stirring on my heart of late, the desire to encourage others to simply act upon the 'micro' thoughts they have upon their heart for the Kingdom of God. To commit these thoughts and plans to Jesus, then step forth in faith and act upon them. Furthermore, to keep doing this faithfully and watching for what God will do with these acts-of-love.

I'm not saying God won't do big and amazing things through you or me...but I do think it's a scriptural principle that God entrusts more to us as we journey along, being faithful at first with the little...

We are called to be humble and self-giving just as Christ has demonstrated. Sadly when we forget about our own family this is the opposite of what Jesus did. Jesus began 'micro'. Jesus' first miracle was in the presence of His own family at the Wedding of Cana. Jesus began His ministry work by proclaiming to His own family, neighbourhood, and the Jewish people.

The Church needs to spread organically and grow disciples to live peaceful lives ministering to their own family first and community second (see 1 Thessalonians chapter 4;  1 Timothy chapter 2-3; Romans chapters 12-13.)

I was really encouraged today with a reading from 'The Word for Today', By Bob and Debbie Gass called, “Use what God has given you”. This reading spoke about the woman anointing Jesus with the costly ointment of nard...she did not hesitate to use what she had in worship of Jesus and Jesus said what she had done would be remembered wherever the gospel is proclaimed and indeed it is! This woman loved Jesus with what she had, where she was, in her own neighbourhood!

How are we worshiping Jesus with what we have, and where we are? What example are we giving our own families and then communities?

Sometimes I honestly think, what can I do? I am just an ordinary Aussie woman with limited resources and talents...But when I look for the 'micro' I see so much more...

I see a woman who is blessed to have children to love and show Jesus' love to. A woman, who by gender alone is therefore often trusted by other women. I see my functioning hands which can adeptly cook and clean to serve others. I see my laptop, instantly connected to the world at the press of a button by which I can then use to encourage others...hence this blog!

I really want to encourage you today to look more 'micro' at what is around see that God has brought 'the ends of the earth' to your own doorstep in so many ways and to act upon the 'micro thoughts' you have for His Kingdom and glory. To stop waiting for what you think is necessary and to simply do...

Let's all be more like the woman who anointed Jesus with the nard...Let's use right now what we have, right where we are in worship of Jesus, so that others may know what an awesome God we love and obey!

In love and service to Him, Melanie.