In my late teens and early 20s I started to wonder if there was more to this life. I started to wonder if there was more to this life than just go to school, get a job, get married and have kids.
The more I thought about it, I realised there was something missing. Like there was a hole inside me or there was a missing piece that I was looking for? Something was not there but I did really know what it was or where to find it.
Thankfully I made some friends where I worked that were Christian. When I talked to them I realised they had something that I didn’t. They had a peace and a solidness about them. It didn’t matter what happened to them in life, they just seemed to remain rock solid.
One day I asked one of my friends about it and they told me it was Jesus. Jesus was the anchor to their soul. In the midst of the storms of life that seemed to buffet others around, Jesus kept them anchored firmly to Him. He enabled them to weather the storms with a sense of peace. He was their solid rock.
One friend told me that when we ask Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Saviour, then He fills the hole inside us. The hole that makes us feel like something is missing or there is more to life, is for Jesus. We are created with that space inside us that is meant for Him.
After thinking about this for a while I realised I needed Jesus too. I spoke to one of my friends and they gave me a short pamphlet that explained how to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. It is similar to the one that I have on my main website. It helped me to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
Today I would encourage you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour too. If you are feeling there must be more to this life or you have a hole inside you, I want you to know that the answer is Jesus.
Please take a few moments to visit my “peace with God” page on my main website. My prayer is that you will find Jesus and you will allow Him to feel the hole inside of you too. You can find it here www.passionaustralia.org/salvation.html.
Two of the images I like to hold in my mind for undertaking any ministry tasks are bridges and ladders. It doesn’t matter if you are a Sunday School Teacher, a Pastor or a Chaplain. It helps with all of them.
The first image is that of a bridge. Bridges help us to get from one place to another. It is usually over the top of something that is hard to go through. As a minister I try to imagine building bridges to help people cross from where they are to somewhere else. If I am in a school it might be a relationship bridge from a student to a teacher so they can better understand each other. If in the church it might be a teaching bridge that helps people understand one aspect of our faith. If I am talking to a person who does not know Jesus, it might be a salvation bridge so the person can understand how much Jesus loves them and wants to be in relationship with them.
The other image is that of a ladder. In the natural ladders help us to climb higher. In a career sense people use them to climb higher and often climb over people to get what they want. Years ago I decided not to climb the ladder, but to be a ladder builder. Rather than use the ladder to climb up the career ladder, I decided to build ladders so we can all rise up together. If it is in a school I want to build ladders so the students can grow and learn. If it is in church I want to be a ladder builder so people can grow in their faith, become closer to God and become true disciples of Christ. This is always at the forefront of my mind and helps me to keep focused on the task of Matthew 28:18-20 to go and make disciples.
Often when I am praying I am asking God to show me the bridge that will help a person to move on. Or I ask for help building the ladder that the person needs to climb higher in one area of their lives. It is two simple images, but they help me a lot.
How about you? Have you got any images that help you with you ministry tasks? Perhaps that is worth reflecting on today?
When I first started going to church I heard about Lent but did not really know what it was. The churches I attended did not really talk about it much either.
More recently I have been attending a church that does talk about Lent and celebrates it each year. This year some of the blokes from our Men’s group “Who let the blokes out?” are giving some things up and we are doing some things to help us focus more in God.
Here is a really good description of Lent from a devotion I am doing…
“The basic purpose of Lent is to create space in the middle of life’s responsibilities to appreciate what’s always been there—God’s presence. Lent is a 40-day period leading up to Resurrection Sunday. Based on Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, Lent is a tool that can help you become more aware of God’s voice and His sacrificial love. Although Lent isn’t actually mentioned in the Bible, it was discussed at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD because it provided a rhythm of reflection and repentance for Christians as they entered spring—a season often associated with new beginnings.”
So what am I giving up and deciding to do? Here are my things…
I usually grab an iced coffee and maybe a snickers bar when I get fuel. I will give that up. That will be a little bit of donation money for the Lent Event that funds missions. I am going to listen to an audio book called “40 days with the Holy Spirit” by KT Kendall. It is a short audio of 5-8 minutes each day.
If you have never celebrated Lent or taken part, maybe you could try it this year? I pray that if you do, you will hear God’s voice more clearly and be reminded in a deeper way of God’s sacrificial love for you.
I saw this image recently and it reminded me that sometimes we wait a long time for the things God has in store for us. We see that Moses, Abraham, Joseph and even Jesus waited a long time!
When I saw this I was reminded of how God first spoke to me about school chaplaincy 30 years ago. I went and did some Bible college to prepare and thought it would be in a year or two.
Little did I know that after Bible college I would marry, raise my family, do more Bible studies, work as a Pastor, work in a hospital for 10 years and work in a few government departments for 20 years before I became a school chaplain.
The reality is that God knows what we need before the role He calls us too comes about. I was not ready to be a school chaplain in the 90s. I needed to grow and learn more about my faith and generally mature in life.
I wonder what God has spoken to you about in the past? I wonder how long you have been waiting? Know that if God has called you to something, it will come to pass. Even if it seems to be taking a while.
As the picture says above, “If God is making you wait, you’re in good company”.