Wake up! Wake up! Alarm bells are ringing, loud and clear!
Would we wrap a dose of poison in shiny paper and serve it as a tasty sweet to a loved one? No! But society is doing exactly that, by encouraging people to annually celebrate the “dead” during the festival of food, parties and games. Ask any parent about Halloween, they will likely say that it’s harmless fun.
Harmless fun, that advocates tiny children should wear a horror character’s costume, with blooded mask and hatchet. The child is not legally permitted to watch the 18-rated film that the character is actually representing. What is that teaching our children? Paul talks about the spiritual conflict, whereby the enemy has generated a spirit of open revolt against God which has filtered into cultures and traditions.
The purpose is to blind people to the Gospel and covers them in a blanket of deceit. I believe Halloween was intended
for this reason. God does not want us to celebrate the dead or death. In Isaiah 25 v 8, it is written “He (God) will swallow up death [in victory; He will abolish death forever]. And the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces; and the reproach of His people He will take away from off all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it”.
So what can we do, when a cute little Frankenstein or ghostie knocks on the door on Friday 31st October, this year? Let their “treat” be you being light and salt in their life for that moment. Jesus told us in Matt 5 v13, why we are here. “…to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of the earth”. This surely means that other worldly flavours
will be exposed and flushed out? Jesus continues in verse 14 “…You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world” and again in verse 15” I’m putting you on a light stand, now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand- shine”.
Practical ideas- share the Gospel and hand out a GFC invite, or coffee/muffin voucher to use on Sunday. Discuss Halloween truths with your children so they know they are not missing out, but are being blessed in freedom. Grab some “bags of hope”, available from GFC the week before Halloween and give them out to children who come knocking at your door.
We can get so busy living our everyday lives without knowing or realizing our purpose. It is sad to think that many people are living without knowing or realizing their purpose. They simply do not know that God breathes purpose into every living thing and has breathed purpose into you and me.
So how do you find your purpose?
Don’t confuse plans with purpose. The definition of purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. The definition of plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. An intention or decision about what one is going to do.
We all have plans for our lives, someday I will do this or that. That is not your purpose, those are your plans, but all our plans are meaningless if we do not understand our purpose! God first puts a sense of purpose into our hearts. We might not know what the plan is, but He will use our lives, our natural gifts, our sense of purpose, to help move us into His plan. If we knew the plan in advance we might run away. In the Bible God gave Joseph a clear purpose, he knew through dreams that he was to be a leader but did not know how to get to that point, he would face rape allegations, prison and isolation. If God had revealed the plan up front he might of run in the opposite direction but through all of those trials God was shaping (preparing) making him ready for the plan of leadership.
It is not about you!
When God starts to reveal His plan for your life, realise His plan is not about you at all, it is about Him using you to reach others. God wants to take your passion, your gifts, your finances and your sense of purpose and use them all to bring about His plan in your life but also help to release that in others’ lives. So many people in the Bible were used by God to bring about change for others. Mary was handpicked to deliver a Messiah who would save the world. Paul was given the task of leaving everything behind to carry the message of salvation across the middle east. They were not ‘special people’, they simply knew they had a purpose and allowed God to use them and their gifts to bring about His plan.
Can I encourage you today that you have a purpose, we each have a job to do. If you do not feel you do ask God to plant His sense of purpose into your life. He might not show you what is ahead but when you know deep down you have a heavenly purpose it changes your life. So, let’s work together as a church to fulfill everything God has called us to do and be!
When I was young the three words ‘back to school’ filled me with sadness that the summer holidays were over but also excitement of a new year, a fresh start, another year of possibilities. I loved having new shoes and a new hair cut ready to start the term. (Although some of my hair cuts were pretty awful to be honest!) I loved getting brand new exercise books that inspired me to do my best neat handwriting, and catching
up with friends again.
To start the next year right you will not only need to have some practical items in your back pack but you also need to carry with you some things that money cannot buy.
You may not know what this year will bring but God does and He goes ahead of you in every step that you take.
God says in Joshua 1 v 9; “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Be encouraged, remember God is always with you and go and
have the best year yet!
Put it in the diary NOW!
Tuesday 11th September
Doors open 7pm
For 7:30pm Start
Anyone venturing into the world of Entrepreneurship knows that it is no easy task. If you are fortunate enough to have a team helping you build your business, what a blessing, but most entrepreneurs begin with just you, passion, enthusiasm (at the beginning mainly) and a whole lot of uncertainty.
So What role can faith play in entrepreneurship? How does faith help entrepreneurs guide their ventures, their decisions, and their teams?
Sometimes in business, there is no choice but to Keep your head down and work hard without having complete confidence of the end outcome. This is what makes it exciting. Exciting maybe, but what keeps the entrepreneur sane in this insane environment? Their faith.
Entrepreneurship is not possible without faith. But for a Christian, it isn’t faith in their idea or even their ability, but in Christ that lives in them. It’s in the God that fearfully and wonderfully made them and their ideas. Everything finds its meaning in God, even your business. Having a solid rock in an industry that can be uncertain is essential.
Entrepreneurship is as much a process as it is a set of traits. However, certain traits are essential to success and play an important role in how the entrepreneurial process unfolds. These traits – faith, perseverance, sacrifice, and service–are integral characteristics of the Christian as well. God admires them and encourages us to admire them too.
A major note, as a Christian you cannot forsake time spent with God with time spent on the business. Sacrificing that can push you back and not further to where you want to be or where God intended you to be. We are God’s hands. God uses us to carry out the things we want to see on this Earth . . . It’s up to us!!
In conclusion Faith and entrepreneurship can and must mix, as you cannot be successful without this core foundation.
In this day and age with fear all around, how do we as believers hold onto hope? Put simply, we need to trust God’s love for us and have faith in the many promises He’s made in His word that cover any situation we face.
For example, Psalm 91 tells of his protection and his provision is seen in Luke 15:31 where God as Father says, ‘Son you are always with me and everything I have is yours’. Wow, think about that, everything the Father has He’s made available to us His children, and God lacks nothing. Jesus said ask anything in my name and it will be done. That’s because He knew we’re drawing from what the Father has already given us.
Jesus has also given us the authority to use his powerful name to speak to our mountains and overcome situations.
These are all great promises to put your hope and trust in. However, to trust someone and put your hope in them, you need to know them. Spend time with God in prayer and in the word and get to know and trust him. God is love and 1 Corinthians 13:14-18 shows his character. God is patient, God is kind, he keeps no record of wrongs, always hopes and perseveres, God never fails.
Finally, remember all that He’s already done for you, praise Him for it, keep it in your heart and faith, trust and hope will rise.