Friday, 26 February 2016

He Had It All

The Rise And Rise And Rise And Fall Of Uz
¶ And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.
Second Chronicles 26:1
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) with a gift he received from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah during a meeting at the king's farm outside Riyadh June 3, 2009.    REUTERS/Larry Downing (SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS ROYALS)Uzziah had it all! Wealth, women, power, and fame were all his to enjoy. He was made King at the ripe old age of 16 and perhaps unlike most teenagers who are the recipients of instant fame and fortune, he sought out an older and wiser advisor to help him rule. Under the tutelage of this advisor Uzziah went from strength to strength…
¶ And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.
Second Chronicles 26:5
But something was growing in his heart as his success grew. It was dark but it was the kind of darkness that only the light of success can reveal. Eventually his success exposed his dark heart and led to his very sudden and tragic demise.

And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
Second Chronicles 26:4
Andrew CorbettIn his early days, Uzziah maximised his pastoral relationship with Zechariah. He was humble enough to trust his pastor and implement his advice. This is a great formula for taking advantage of God’s gift of a pastor to your life (1. Humility, 2. Trust, 3. Implement). Uzziah was able to achieve success in his life and work beyond anything he could have imagined.
¶ He went out and made war against the Philistines and broke through the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod, and he built cities in the territory of Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabians who lived in Gurbaal and against the Meunites. The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread even to the border of Egypt, for he became very strong.
Second Chronicles 26:6-8
Any wise advisor is a valuable contributor to your life – but particularly if their advice is implemented. For those who have learned to increase their reception of God’s preached Word there is great value added to their life. For the church attender who has learned the art of attentiveness when the Word is ministered there is the oft and timely deposit of wisdom gems to deal with clear and present life-challenges. This most frequently transacts without the preacher even being aware of it. Then there are the advisors whom God gifts to us in a more direct and private manner. To these people we can present our large or small dilemmas and receive their counsel. One of the traits of a humble person is that they receive and implement such trusted advice. When Uzziah did he succeeded.

In Jerusalem he made machines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and great stones. And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong.
Second Chronicles 26:15
Success has been the ruin of many people. There is something profoundly unwelcome yet beneficial about struggling. The person who has learned to struggle for what’s right, for what should be, for what must happen, is the person who has become all the stronger for it. The parent who is frustrated and fed up with their children for not doing the right thing, or what they should be doing, or what must happen, and ceases to struggle to change this, is the parent who denies themselves strength and delight – not to mention that they deprive their children the blessing of boundaries (which they crave). Life’s richest treasures can only be acquired on the road of struggle and toil.
Conversely, whenever someone achieves without struggle or toil, it almost invariably leads them to become at least somewhat conceited and proud. Perhaps this is why many lotto winners end up financially worse off within three years of winning their millions than they were before they won the lotto!
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Proverbs 13:11
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”
Romans 5:3-4
King Uzziah’s success had come about because he sought God, was humble enough to receive his pastor’s guidance, and walked in the wisdom of Biblical counsel. But when he became successful he became infected by its curse.
¶ But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
Second Chronicles 26:16

Bad things happen to good people. Many of the Psalmists puzzled over this (Psalm 73:3ff). But bad things also happen because of bad choices. King Uzziah had been blessed more than most other Kings of Judah or Israel – yet he made some horribly bad choices toward the end of his life. It seems that the older we get the more difficult it is to finish well by continuing to remain humble, teachable, and correctable.
But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the LORD who were men of valor, and they withstood King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the LORD God.”
Second Chronicles 26:17-18
When the ministry team attempted to correct King Uzziah, his pride triggered his anger (pride and anger are closely linked). An angry person (as distinguished from a person who gets angry occasionally) is rarely a humble person.
Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the LORD, by the altar of incense.
Second Chronicles 26:19

King Uzziah’s rise and rise and then fall is an all-too-common narrative throughout history. The Apostle Paul wrote to son in the faith, Timothy, and set before him a goal to finish the race (of life) well (2Tim. 4:7). The choices you make today determine how you will finish life’s race. Will you finish life well and be prepared for eternity and the eternal consequences of the choices you made in this life?
¶ He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
Romans 2:6-8

Last night in our Bible Study group we opened with a two-part question, “Describe how God has recently blessed you.” Each member of our group described an incident where we had prayed for something and God had answered. The second part of the question we left toward the end of the study, “What is a blessing?” After thinking this over with some sharing and discussion we realised each of our answers which described how God had made us more comfortable or happy may not necessarily have been what constituted a blessing. Surveying the Scriptures it can be deduced that a blessing is anything God orchestrates in our lives to bring us closer to Him in devotion which causes us to grow in holiness (Christ-likeness) and our joy in Him.
When we steward those things in our lives which make us more comfortable or happy so that we and others are drawn closer to God in devotion and holiness so that our joy is found in God, we are not only blessed, we are more importantly, a blessing to others.
Let’s learn the lessons from Uzziah-
  1. When he sought God, God blessed him.
  2. When he humbled himself he was open to pastoral guidance.
  3. When he began to succeed he saw it as a means to bless others.
  4. When he reached the pinnacle of his success he became proud and no longer took advice.
  5. In his arrogance he felt he no longer needed the Word of God, the House of God, or pastoral guidance.
  6. Uzziah became an increasingly angry man and this type of anger is an indication that a heart is no longer humble.
And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead! And they rushed him out quickly, and he himself hurried to go out, because the LORD had struck him. And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death,
Second Chronicles 26:20-21a
If you're successful, thank God - in fact, seek God as to how He might want you to use your success to bless others. Guard your heart from pride by seeking the advice of trusted pastoral voices. Choose to live simply. I wish you success, but more importantly, I pray for your blessing by God.

Ps. Andrew

Friday, 19 February 2016


Keep Calm And ComplainA man wanted to become a monk so he went to the monastery and talked to the head monk. The head monk said, “You must take a vow of silence and can only say two words every three years.” The man agreed and after the first 3 years, the head monk came to him and said, “What are your two words?” “Food cold!” the man replied. Three more years went by and the head monk came to him and said “What are your two words?” “Robe dirty!” the man exclaimed. Three more years went by and the head monk came to him and said, “What are your two words?” “I quit!” said the man. “Well,” the head monk replied, “I am not surprised. You have done nothing but complain ever since you got here!”
Most of us complain but too few of us complain enough or do it particularly well. Literally hundreds of thousands of lives and thousands of marriages have been ruined but could have been saved if there was more and better complaining! One of the essential skills every person – and especially every leader – must have is the ability to complain. Learning how to do this well could save your life, your marriage, your business, and open up amazing opportunities for you.
Complaining For DummiesOne of life’s great injustices is that we often learn its most valuable lessons too late! Many of us can look back over our lives and see how we could have done things so much better if we had only known then what we know now. The Christian band, Mercy Me, capture this sentiment beautifully in their song – Dear Younger Me.
Dear younger me
Where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far
Then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be
Dear younger me, dear younger me
Dear younger me
I cannot decide
Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life
Or do I go deep
And try to change
The choices that you’ll make cuz they’re choices that made me
Even though I love this crazy life
Sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride
Dear younger me, dear younger me
One of the most painful examples of this late-in-life-lessons is the rate of Christians who divorce and remarry. According to Gallop, some 40% of Christian marriages in America are ending in divorce (this of course means that 60% last a life-time). Curiously though, 70% of these divorced Christians who have remarried have coincidentally deepened their spiritual life and consequently their commitment to their local church. Perhaps many of these people would, with a sigh of regret, tell us that during their first marriage they made some big mistakes. Among the biggest, they would say, was that they neglected to put God first in their relationship (Matthew 6:33). It’s easy to do of course. Married life is an adjustment. Then children come along and those things that make for an Acts 2 type of Christianity get put off for a day, then a week, then a month. Prayer, Home Group, Bible reading/study, and attending Church worship become too inconvenient and less of a priority and an all-too obvious indicator of where they are at spiritually. Yet all of this damage could be avoided if someone had complained.
“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.”
Job 7:11

An expert complainer is not necessarily someone who does a lot of complaining (although most expert complainers do a lot of complaining). Rather, an expert complainer is someone who avoids the common mistakes of lower-ranked complainers and has learned how to use positively use complaining to bring about helpful change. Expert complainers complain because they care. Lower-ranked complainers usually complain because they are frustrated, hurt, angry, and want to let others know how upset they are. People rarely listen to lower-ranked complainers. They sound like whiners, whingers, moaners. Whereas a higher-ranked complainer sounds like they are trying to help.
Shortly after I arrived in Tasmania in 1995, our little church grew rather rapidly. You would think that everyone in our church would have been happy about that. But I received a lot of complaints from many (not most and certainly not all) of the 17 members who were in the church when I arrived. One of them took it upon themselves to write a letter to me telling me how arrogant I was, how all I wanted to do was to bring fancy “mainland” ideas to our church, and how everyone in our church was so unhappy with me. It was (un)signed ‘anonymous’. Top-ranked complainers don’t do things like that. They’ve learned that the best complaints happen eye-to-eye.
Kim is a great complainer. The other day as we were hosting our guest from Missouri, Kim and the girls took him into our city to buy some souvenirs. She got into town just after 4PM and went to one of the major souvenir gift shops but the lady had just shut and locked the door. Kim thought this rather strange especially since their closing time was 5:30PM. The lady yelled out from behind the locked glass door that she had to have a restroom break and that there was no one to mind the shop. “Come back in ten minutes” she told Kim and our guest. Kim did. But this time not only was the door still locked now the lights were turned off. Kim knocked at the door and the lady behind the counter yelled back, “We’re closed and I’m just counting up the till so I can’t let you in.” In our attempts to show off our city to our American visitor this small-mindedness was extremely embarrassing for us. The next day Kim went back to complain and the rest is now history.
I remembered God, and was troubled;
I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.
Psalm 77:3
If you want to be a better complainer you have to learn to become a better carer. The reason many lower ranked complainers don’t get heard much is because they moan rather than care. They make their complaint more about them and their feelings than the other person and how they can be helped.

We see both types of complainers in the pages of Scripture. The children of Israel complained in a moaning fashion when they came out of Egypt into the Sinai Wilderness.
¶ And the people complained in the hearing of the LORD about their misfortunes, and when the LORD heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.
Numbers 11:1
But we also read of King David complaining to the Lord in prayer and seeking God’s help for his predicament (Psalm 5). And in the closing book of the Bible, we read of King Jesus declaring His complaints against several churches.
I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Revelation 2:3-4
A careful reading of the Lord’s complaints in the second and third chapters of The Revelation will reveal a First Class Complainer – because He cares like none other. His complaints were not mere criticisms. His complaints contained hope, and a positive remedy. Ours can too.

STEP 1 – Start to ask for permission from the one you want to complain to before making your complaint.
STEP 2 – Start to make your complaints about the behaviour or action of a person, rather than the person (distinguish the behaviour of the person from the person themselves). Don’t ever say, “The problem with you is … !” Rather say, “When you do this [insert particular behaviour here] it irritates me because …. “
STEP 3 – Be more selective in who you complain to. First Class Complainers don’t complain to everyone, rather they complain to the one who needs to hear it and could make the necessary changes.
STEP 4 – Before you complain, be open to the fact that you just might be mistaken. Therefore, ask some clarifying questions to determine whether you have the whole story and have it correct so that your complaint is at least justified.
STEP 5 – Be prepared to help the one your complaining to. As followers of Christ, this at least means that we pray for this person to be blessed before and after we make our complaint.
Follow these steps and it just might save your marriage, your job, your business, and maybe even your life. When I worked for Kmart we were always taught that our best customer was our complaining customer, because they could help us improve our business, whereas the dissatisfied customer who didn’t complain not only didn’t continue shopping with us, but usually told seven other potential customers to stop shopping with us as well.

But what if someone complains about you or to you? A wise person will listen to their critics and treat constructive criticism as a gift.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Proverbs 9:8
A lot more marriages could be saved if more husbands understood that when their wife complains to them, it has the potential to make them a better husband and give them a better marriage. And perhaps more churches could avoid splits and schisms if everyone put Philippians 2:14-15 into a practice, which would ultimately make our world a better place.
¶ Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.
Philippians 2:14-15

Friday, 12 February 2016

Some Problems Need Triaging Rather Than Solving

I was struck the other day when reading F.W. Boreham’s, WHEN SWANS FLY HIGH, as he discussed an apparently unsolvable problem he was facing, by his observation about many of life’s problems: “But the problem soon solved itself.” (p. 112) Shortly after reading this I was doing my morning devotions and had come to the story of Jehoshaphat in Second Chronicles where he too was faced with an overwhelming problem. But the gravity of his crisis and the urgency and enormity of its dire consequences if left unattended meant that this problem would never solve itself. If it is granted that some problems certainly do solve themselves, and it is similarly true that some other problems are solved by our diligence, there is surely yet another category of problems and King Jehoshaphat’s problem was definitely in this category.
Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). Then Jehoshaphat was afraid…
Second Chronicles 20:2-3a
It is of course one of life’s guarantees: problems will happen. The late David Cartledge once said to me that the capacity of a person’s leadership was measured by the size of the problems they deal with. The bigger the problem, the bigger the leader needs to be to deal with it. If this be the case, as I think we can agree it probably is, then I shamefully confess that I have not always been a very big leader. Too often I have let relatively small problems fluster me. And because practice makes perfect I can testify on behalf of Dr. Boreham that many of life’s problems do indeed seem to solve themselves.
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Matthew 6:27
But Jehoshaphat’s problem was never going to solve itself and, quite frankly, there will be a few problems you are confronted with that will never solve themselves and like King Jehoshaphat’s problem they will never be solved by our diligent efforts either.
Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.  And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
Second Chronicles 20:3-4
Some problems get worse if they are incorrectly assumed to be the type of problem that will solve themselves. The ancient masters of problem-solving all started by categorising problems into either of three categories (“triage”) :
(i) Problems that solve themselves,
(ii) Problems that are solved by diligent attention and efforts,
(iii) All other problems.
Distinguishing our problems into on of these categories is like triaging our problems. Jehoshaphat was quick to triage his problem into the third category. But how does anyone deal with a problem so big, so overwhelming, so grave that no amount of personal effort could ever resolve it? People we work, study, live with, face these type of problems and despair. The doctor tells a nervous mother the news that her young child will not be coming home today as they have found something concerning in the blood tests. A teenager has a moment of consciousness and feels a jolt of pain. The only thing they can recall about this day was driving off and looking at their phone after receiving a message. They then notice they can’t move their arms or legs and the shock takes over. A man drives home to his double-mortgaged house and wonders how he’s going to tell his wife that his business partner has fled after cleaning out their life-savings from all of their joint bank accounts. Yes, some of life’s problems are category (iii) problems! And Jehoshaphat gives anyone overwhelmed with Category (iii) problems a strategy for how they can be dealt with.
¶ And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
Second Chronicles 20:5-6
I currently have problems in all three categories. My category (iii) problems at times overwhelm me. I take great heart from the way Jehoshaphat responded to his category (iii) problem. There is a lot to learn about leadership from this chapter of his life. As I consider how we as a church have to raise an additional $300,000 over the next six to nine months to fund our building extensions, I look to the principles this beleaguered King of Judah used for his overwhelming problem.
  1. He led his people in worship of God in truth and didn’t try to solve his problem on his own. (2Chron. 20:4-6)
  2. He reminded everyone of how God had provided what they needed in times past. (2Chron. 20:7)
  3. He reminded God of His promises to them and prayed the Scriptures to God. (2Chron. 20:9)
  4. He presented their precise need to God in prayer. (2Chron. 20:10-12)
  5. He opened his heart and mind to God by heeding the voice of God. (2Chron. 20:14-17)
  6. He led Judah in worship of God. (2Chron. 20:18)
  7. He made the House of God and the worship of God a top priority by having the Levitical singers and musicians set the tone of each day. (2Chron. 20:19-21)
  8. He then acted on what God’s Word said and waited for God to do what He promised. (2Chron. 20:22-30)
And the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.
Second Chronicles 20:14
No matter what number your problems can be categorised as, (i) (ii) or (iii), there is a God in heaven who longs for us to turn to Him in dependency with whatever need is overwhelming us. Your problems don’t need to be level (iii) before you can look to God to meet them. In fact, a great strategy for dealing with any problem is to ask for God’s help and do all we can within our resources, expertise and power to solve them. But there will be times when you have to tackle a category (iii) problem. When that time comes, remember King Jehoshaphat and what he did.
Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies. They came to Jerusalem with harps and lyres and trumpets, to the house of the LORD. And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.
Second Chronicles 20:27-31

Friday, 5 February 2016


New Changes
Pat Rafter was languishing in the world rankings well outside the top 50. Despite being an elite athlete who was well coached, hard working and motivated, he just couldn’t breakthrough into the world’s top 50 professional tennis players. Then someone suggested he change something. The suggested change seemed so unlikely to have any bearing on his game that it met with some initial skepticism and resistance. What he was being asked to consider was so different from what all the other elite tennis pros were doing. He made the change and even though he struggled at first it wasn’t long before he broke through well beyond his best expectations! New changes. Yes it does.

“Old” is not just relative to years of existence – and in some cases – is actually quite distinct from it. If “young” is the phase of adventurediscoveryrisk-taking, trying new things for the first time, then it becomes obvious that too many of us have become old before our time! Premature ageing has less to do with the amount of smile-lines on a face and much more to do with how open a person is to change and all things new.

Patrick Rafter of Australia pumps his fist to his family box after beating Mark Philippoussis of Australia during the U.S. Open men's final at the USTA National Tennis Center September 13. Rafter captured his second consecutive U.S. Open title in the four set win 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-0. Photosource: bps/Photo by Blake Sell REUTERS Photodate: September 13, 1998 Processed: Thursday, June 17, 1999 11:19:48 AMIn 1997 it was suggested that Pat try a completely different racquet string from a small start-up Belgian manufacturer called Luxilon. These strings were not natural or synthetic gut which were up until Luxilon came along the only category choices for tennis players. These strings were polyester. Players soon discovered that these strings did exactly the opposite to gut strings (which “ping” the ball so that it feels crisp off a racquet – I used to love playing with a fresh natural gut restring). Rather, these strings made a “thuuud” when striking a ball. The difference is that the ball is gripped slightly longer by polyester strings than gut strings. While most players using gut were hitting a ball at 1,000rpm, polyester players were now hitting balls with 2,000rpm – and Pat Rafter joined them! (Rafa hits between 3,500 – 5,000rpm!) It meant that players could now hit the ball much much harder and add topspin to have them drop in. Pat began to beat players he was previously losing to. At the French Open in 1997 he stunned everyone by making the Semi Finals. He broke into the Top 50, then the Top 20. He then won the U.S. Open – which John McEnroe said was a “Fluke!” and that Pat was “a one Slam wonder!” So Pat came back the following year and won it again! He also went onto become a two-time runner-up at Wimbledon. He went on to become #1 in the world. And it was all made possible because he made a small, but initially uncomfortable change.
André Agassi was also reluctant to change and in his very early thirties when most of his fellow pros were retiring and he was languishing at #104 in the world, he made a series of painful changes. First his training régime, then his coach (an Australian), then in 2002 his strings. As a result he got a second-wind for his career and won the Italian Open and another Australian Open Slam. He wrote in his autobiography –
People talk about the game changing, about players growing more powerful, and rackets getting bigger, but the most dramatic change in recent years is the strings. The advent of a new elastic polyester string, which creates vicious topspin, has turned average players into greats, and greats into legends. [Coach Darren Cahill] puts the string on one of my rackets… In a practice session I don’t miss a ball for two hours. Then I don’t miss a ball for the rest of the tournament. I’ve never won the Italian Open before, but I win it now, because of Darren and his miracle string.
“Open”, André Agassi
Change is uncomfortable. It is often painful. It can be annoying, It slows us down. But nearly all of us who have been advised to change and have done so have got over the hill of difficulties and then enjoyed a previously unknown downhill stretch that has made us wonder why hadn’t done this sooner!
God will give ear and humble them,
He who is enthroned from of old, Selah
they do not change because they
do not fear God.
Psalm 55:19
Our Enemy does not want us to change – at least not the kind of change that is positive and therefore often slow, new, challenging, stretching, different, uncomfortable, awkward, embarrassing. But change is the door through which someone comes out of darkness and into light and change is the path that must be trod to remain in the light. To follow Christ is to change and be changed. It is to embrace newness.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Second Corinthians 5:17

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Old is not a matter of years!

When we share our faith in Christ with someone and hope that they too might turn away from bondage to salvation we are hoping that they will make the most dramatic change of their life! We are summoning them to a life-time of constant change!  Therefore don’t be surprised if people are a little reluctant to accept the Gospel upon first hearing it. Such mammoth change in the way they live, talk, think, feel, can be daunting for most.
Andrew CorbettI’m coming into a stage of life where I yearn for the easy and the comfortable and find change a little frustrating. I must overcome this. I may be getting old but I don’t want to get old before my time – and the way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to embrace change. Let’s be open to the new, the different, the strange and let’s understand that this is most often an uncomfortable zone. But as a church we need to change. Where we are now is not where we were 20 years ago, and where we’ll be in five years is not where we are now – if we make positive changes. This will include our facilities, our leaders, our music, and one day our pastor. When something isn’t working we want to try something new. Some of us met this week with the Youth and Young Adults leaders and outlined the changes we are introducing this year. These guys are all young so it was very pleasing to see the positive reception of these changes.
And no one pours new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the skins burst and the wine is spilled out and the skins are destroyed. Instead they put new wine into new wineskins and both are preserved.”
Matthew 9:17
Change has a fragrance to it. When we spend time with Christ we smell of this fragrance. He causes us to have open hearts to new things generally but to His newness in our lives particularly. And as a church this fragrance comes not just from the new wine of His Spirit but the new wineskin for His Spirit as well. I dare say that if we will open our hearts to the new things God wants to do in us each and in us each together, Tasmania might yet see a demonstration of the kind of Church that Christ said He had come to build!
Ps. Andrew.