Sunday, 10 August 2014


Authentic /ɔːˈθɛntɪk/ adjective: of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.

A couple of weeks ago, Alex and I had a conversation with friends of ours about what we think 'good' worship is.  A key word that came up in this conversation was authentic.  We all came to an understanding that good worship is all about ones heart towards God in that moment of worship, as well as in our daily living worship - what are your motives for singing praise or for doing anything else at all really?

At a worship team meeting earlier this week, the notion of authentic worship was echoed by many of us there.  After a discussion about authenticity in the act of worship, we looked at what the root of all of this is, what spurs on genuine worship or genuine love for God and people?  There are many things that were said, but what stood out for me was the ability to surrender your thoughts, your body, to sacrifice and put aside your worries and the stuff in your life and focus on the Lord of lords, giving everything you are to Him.  And this comes from an intimate relationship with Jesus - spending time with Him, listening to Him, discipline in drawing closer to Him... 

After contemplating the two previous Sunday posts by Jordan and Alex, I felt it fitting to continue the golden thread of reaching out to our immediate communities... Now Alex and Jordan both touched on what role the church plays in helping the poor and I would like to touch on something a little different:

What are we individually, genuinely doing to reach out to neighbours?

What are we doing to help the poor in spirit, the emotionally broken, those in need of a friend? I'll be honest - Most of the time, I am so tied up with trying to sort out my own relationship with Jesus, that I trick myself into thinking that I don't have time to spend praying for those around me, or take out time to listen to someone and get to know someone new, even my actual neighbour.

But how do you see the work of God in your life if you are not sharing your joy and your journey with others?  Yes, we have our close friends, our life groups, and we should treasure those precious friendships.  But what about acquaintances, neighbours, or even close friends who are going through tough times, or who need a hand, a prayer or some time to offload? How seriously do we take this commandment from Jesus? - Mark 12:31 "The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Wow... Loving another person in the same way, with the same amount of care you invest in yourself. Boom!  

Do humans even have the capacity to love with that intensity?  Nope.  But with God, with prayer, it is so very possible! The strength in which to do this is only found in Jesus, and the reason can only be Jesus.  If there is another reason, a reason of questionable origin, for reaching out to someone, be it pride, self-righteousness, whatever, our strength fades.  It doesn't work and we end up hurting those we're trying to 'help' and we hurt ourselves too.  This reason for reaching out needs to be 'of undisputed origin'.  God has shown me that this is a destructive way to go about loving your neighbour... And that the only motive for loving our neighbours can be the Love of Jesus Christ, for His Kingdom.

I want to challenge everyone who reads this, as I have been challenged by my God to grow and broaden my shoulders, to stretch my faith and do more for God's Kingdom: I would be willing to bet that we all know someone or know of someone who needs a friend, someone to show them the love of God, someone to laugh with them. Be that someone to them, even if in the smallest way.

This is an awesome song by Leeland that ties in with this post. What Dayton mooring says before the band starts playing is so wonderful. Do it!

So much of love,

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