To Know God better, to make Him better known

relationship with God

In today’s Explore service, I said I feel God’s wanting to reveal Himself more to us throughout 2015, and nurture our relationship with Him.

What ways can you already note that God has been deepening your own relationship with Him, or our relationship with Him as a congregation?

Are there any ways that God is revealing Himself to you at the moment so that you can know Him better, or us as a group to know Him better?

What are your hopes for 2015 that God will draw you closer, or us closer to Him?

Why work matters to God.

Why is our work significant to God?
Let’s begin with at the beginning with God’s own work of creation.
So here’s a question? Why doesn’t God create Adam on Day One?
Because if God had created Adam on Day One, it would have been dark and there would have been nowhere for him to stand.
God is love, so everything God does is an expression of that love. God doesn’t plonk Adam down in the middle of a sweltering, arid desert, or on top of a windswept Himalayan mountain, or on an iceberg floating nonchalantly in the North Atlantic; God puts Adam in the garden of Eden, in a fertile garden of delight, as Eden means in Hebrew. Eden is not only beautiful, but comes complete with clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink, delicious, nutritious food to eat, animals to look after, and God’s presence to enjoy in the cool of the evening.
What has God done? God, like a parent preparing a room for their first baby, has created a perfect environment for Adam. God has created a perfect environment for human flourishing. And one of the ways they will continue to flourish is by working, to release the garden’s potential. Eden was perfect but it was not mature. There was work to be done. And work is an instrument God uses to get things done that He wants done.
God is still concerned to create a context for human flourishing. Eden was perfect. And there was work to be done. Our world is far from perfect, and there is still work to be done. Our work is meant to contribute to creating a context for human flourishing.

Mark Greene
Fruitfulness on the Frontline

Does God really care about the little things we do every day?

All our tasks certainly do matter to God. On that the Bible is startlingly clear: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Whatever you do. Not some things you do, not 47% of the things you do, not the things you do in the Church, but ‘whatever you do’. And God would hardly ask us to do whatever we do with all our hearts, if it were not of some significance to Him, even if we ourselves may not think it significant at all.

Mark Greene
Fruitfulness on the Frontline

In my ballet class as in heaven…

When my daughter was younger, we used to read a Bible story and pray before she went to sleep. And quite often, as you might expect, we’d pray the Lord’s prayer. And then one evening, when she was about nine, I suddenly began to wonder what some of those oh-so-familiar, oh-so-rich words might mean to a little girl of nine: ‘Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’
It is a prayer that is global in scope: That God’s Will would be done on earth as God’s Will is done in heaven. It’s a prayer that says Your Will be done in my church and in the local council, in the homegroup and in the swimming pool, in the Sunday school and in the school, in the soup kitchen and in the hospital, in the factory and the queue for the checkout… Nothing is left out.
And what could these words mean to my nine-year-old daughter?
Not very much, I concluded.
So from time to time, we’d pray it differently: ‘Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done in my school as in heaven, in my classroom as in heaven, in my ballet class…’
Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven and in the bit of the earth you’ve placed me in, in my street, in my town, on my frontline.
God teaches us to pray this prayer and to live in ways that contribute to its fulfilment – wherever we are.

Fruitfulness on the Frontline Mark Greene
Fruitfulness on the Frontline

The invitation.

Colossians 1:9, 10: We pray that you will also have great wisdom and understanding in spiritual things so that you will live the kind of life that honors and pleases the Lord in every way. You will produce fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:20: And through Christ, God has brought all things back to himself again—things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace through the blood of Christ’s death on the cross.

The invitation to follow Jesus, then, is not just an invitation to spend eternity in His presence, not just an invitation to others to spend eternity in His presence; it is an invitation to cooperate with Him in making His world as much like He intends it to be before He returns. That’s His invitation to you. Which frankly sounds like something worth giving one’s life to.

Fruitfulness on the Frontline Mark Greene
Fruitfulness on the Frontline