Reflection – 2018
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” Colossians 1:9-10, 12 NKJV
To be as pleasing and fruitful as God desires, we need to be very intentional in living for Jesus every day. How can we make our homes, work areas and spheres of influence, a place where it is evident that we love God and live for Him? How can we live lives that are evidently fruitful and overflowing with God’s love?
We can build an environment that is conducive for others to grow, develop and become fruitful in God’s service. Bringing the presence and fragrance of God’s love wherever we go exemplifies a life which is connected to the Vine. The loving warmth and sincerity you bring to all relationships will bless those around you. Love and trust the people you lead. Let them feel God’s love, security and acceptance. When we allow others around us to feel that they are not judged but are accepted, loved, appreciated, acknowledged and trusted, they will respond by giving the best they can.
Pray that each member of your team may be of one mind. Do not be critical and judgemental. God commands us to speak the truth in love, so treat each person as Jesus would. He accepts us as we are but that love does not mean He will leave us where we are. His love will transform and change us to be what He wants us to be!
Create an environment where others feel secure, safe and appreciated, as they are in the process of growing to be like Jesus. Trust God to give us, as leaders, the wisdom and patience to guide others to give of their best. As we continue to abide in the Vine, Jesus, we will be able to call forth from each one their best and build that healthy environment one needs to grow and lead like Jesus. We must speak kindly, and lovingly, show respect for each other and prayerfully work together. We will surely bring the presence of God into each life and this will be evident in the joy and happiness we will all experience. We will together be blessed with much fruitfulness and overflow with God’s love.
Spring in New Zealand happens about October or November. This is the time we get into our gardens weeding. Some gardeners find enjoyment in this task, others not so much! I find it very satisfying to look back and find precious plants standing tall and proud, with the weeds all gone!
Jesus told a wonderful parable of the wheat and the tares-(weeds). Read Matthew 13v25 and then 13v38 where Jesus explains the parable to His disciples.
In short Jesus is the gardener who plants in the world: the good seed is the people of the Kingdom: the weeds represent the people who allow Satan into their lives. Satan plants his weed seeds among the good seeds and they grow together until ready to harvest. When harvest time comes the weeds will be separated and thrown into the furnace to be burned.
Jesus is saying that when He returns His angels will sort out all who do evil in this world, separating them from those who belong to His Kingdom.
The prophet Hosea said, “these people spout empty words and make promises they don’t intend to keep, so perverted justice springs up among them like poisonous weeds in a farmers field!” (Hosea 10v4). Does this sound familiar with the times we live in today? Our world is becoming more corrupt with every decade. But we know the end to that story Jesus told. The righteous will in the end times be saved to shine in the Fathers Kingdom.
In GB we rejoice in the fact that we have girls & young women whose lives are witness to their personal faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour of this world.
This is the GOOD NEWS.
Reflection – 2018
Our task is to plant and nurture the seeds in whatever way God reveals to us. So how do we do this? Well, of course, we have to talk about Jesus. We will doubtless do this through our epilogues and devotional times. Then we also need to ensure that we do not neglect the spiritual parts of our programme. But perhaps more important than either of these things, we need to live out our Christian lives before our girls.
Someone once said ‘the only Bible some people will ever read will be YOU!’ The challenge to us as leaders is to ensure that while we are busy with our projects, our games, our crafts and cooking we gently but consistently drop seeds of kindness, forgiveness, acceptance and love. As you leave your meeting place, each week, stop for a moment and ask yourself;
‘Have I sown enough seeds tonight or have I left any part of the soil barren?’
We may not know the results – that is in God’s hands. What we do know, however, is that we are inspired and motivated by His Holy Spirit and all our works are constituted under God’s divine power. Will you go out and plant seeds? God gives us the strength and resources: we just need to be willing to trust and go!
Reflection – 2018
As I write this reflection, it is Spring time in Australia and in other countries around of the Pacific. Spring is a time of renewed growth. The flowers are all budding and showing off their glory to the world. As the bulbs and seedling were waiting to bring forth their beauty, in Spring, they were taking in the nutrients of the soil, preparing themselves for their entry into the warm fresh air.
During Autumn and Winter, as I travel around the countryside of New South Wales, you can see the farmers ploughing up their fields to plant their crops. You see them feeding their soil, as it is important to get the right nutrients for the crops that they are sowing. Then in early Spring the fields are full of life.
We are just like the farmers preparing the girls, in our care, for the day that they will blossom into beautiful Christian young women. We prepare the way for these girls as they come to know the Lord, through Bible study, encouraging them to read their Bible, taking part in Church, Girls’ Brigade and Community activities and teaching them how to pray. We walk with them through many difficult times where they feel that there is no purpose to life, nurturing them, the way that our past Leaders and Officers nurtured us.
I’m reminded in 2 Timothy 4:2 which says, ‘Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct; rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.”
This is part of our preparing the way (land) as we direct, encourage, support and instruct the girls in their Christian growth.
Blessings as you transform girls’ lives to enrich God’s world.
Reflection – 2018
I am sure we all know the parable of the sower. In this story the hard-working farmer wanted a harvest, so he planted his seeds. The seeds, all fell in different places – in the good soil, on the path, in rocky ground and amongst the weeds. Now it is true that not all the seeds brought forth fruit but that did not deter the farmer.
You and I, as workers in Girls’ Brigade, have a prime task ‘to help girls to become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.’ In order to do this we, like the farmer, have to faithfully plant the seeds. The soils we are working with are the hearts and minds of our girls and young women. These young people, our soil, will all be different. They may be confident and self-assured or reserved and low in self-esteem. They will be affected by many influences from a materialistic and often troubled world. They will be influenced, for good or ill, by peer pressure and family traditions. They will be surrounded by secular demands and media manipulation. But when they come to GB, we can ‘be different’ we can surround them with love, care, support, a different perspective of life, sound values and a secure environment.
Each one them will receive the message differently. Some will respond to the gospel seeds with enthusiasm; some will reject the message without a second thought; some may go away and reflect on what they have heard; others may challenge and question. Sowing gospel seeds on so many ‘soils’, may be frustrating but the farmer didn’t give up on any part of his field. Let’s pray for our ‘soil’ the girls and young women that God has given us to work with and let’s see what God will do within their lives!