Herod and John the Baptist…

Quiet Time – 13.10.2016 [Mark 6:14-29]

Hey homie just read Mark 6:14-29. It’s this super side story about King Herod, his wife and John the Baptist who ends up getting beheaded.


WHO IS JESUS?

“King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known.”

Jesus’ been doing heaps of stuff all over and the rumours are starting to spread and the hottest question of the day is WHO IS JESUS? Some were saying that it was John the Baptist raised from the dead. Some were saying that it’s Elijah. Others said a prophet, just like the prophets of old. It seems that everybody who has seen or heard about Jesus has formed their own opinion about who Jesus is but the truth is that:

NOBODY really knows who Jesus is!

I think this is pretty similar to nowadays. Most people have heard of Jesus and have some conception of who He is regardless of whether it’s actually true or not. I want to make sure I don’t get caught up in different arguments about what Christianity is or isn’t but instead want to help people focus on looking at the person and character of Jesus as shown in His Word. People will then be able to make their own decision about Who Jesus Is for themselves. Praying that the Spirit might work in many people as they see who Jesus says He is and that they might respond in repentance and faith in Him as their LORD.


PEOPLE ARE SINFUL AND MESSED UP

“For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to…”

This story is full of huge amounts of question marks and stuff that makes you sad :( Herod has taken his brother’s wife for himself which is already super messed up in itself. Essentially John the Baptist was telling Herod that it’s totally not okay to marry your brother’s wife and Herodias (Herod’s wife) totally gets offended. She then starts hating him and tries to kill him. It ends up with Herod throwing a birthday party and things start going pear shaped. Herodias’ daughter dances for Herod and he likes it so much that he offers her anything up to half his kingdom. Herodias tells her daughter to ask Herod for John the Baptist’s head.

Herodias uses her daughter to seduce and trick her own husband… It’s just messed up.

What a display of what our sinful nature looks like. Whats more on top of that is that the law that John said over Herod OFFENDED Herodias. John ended up being hated and killed by sinful people who were OFFENDED by what God’s LORDSHIP meant over their lives. They hated hearing the Law that John gave them so they killed him.

This reminds me a lot of Jesus. The King who was so good that people had to find any excuse to hate, mock and kill Him. The fact that there is a King who demands all of our lives offends people. Our sinful nature is selfish and refuses to back down to any King other than ourselves. As we preach the Gospel we need to remember the reality and truth of persecution.

Preaching the Gospel invites persecution and hate.

Let’s keep being bold knowing that as we preach the Gospel the Spirit works in people’s hearts convincing them that He is LORD over their lives.  Let’s keep being bold knowing that many might repent and turn to Jesus in faith.  Let’s keep being bold preaching the Gospel because if we don’t do it, who will?


“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”

– 2 Timothy 3:12

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The Extraordinarily Ordinary Twelve

Quiet Time – 6.10.2016 [Mark 6:7-13]

Hey homies, today I read Mark 6:7-13.  We see Jesus sending out His Twelve Apostles out to various places to preach that people should repent whilst also casting out demons and healing sick people as they anoint them with oil.

Today was a story of twelve ordinary people used by an Extraordinary God.


The Twelve

“Calling the Twelve to Him, He sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.”

This verse sort of comes out of no where because all we’ve really seen of the twelve disciples is that they haven’t done much.  They’ve left behind their jobs and follow Jesus around everywhere but we haven’t seen them do anything really that awesome.  That’s the first thing that really struck out to me from this passage.  They’re 12 extraordinarily ordinary dudes.

Jesus is calling, sending and equipping 12 absolutely ordinary dudes.

Jesus’ Instructions

Now as Jesus sends these ordinary dudes to go do hectic stuff He also gives them a set of instructions.  He essentially tells them to travel super light, no bread, no bag, no money, no extra tunic.  Just hop from village to village, find a place to stay and stay there til you leave!  Oh… and if no one welcomes or listens to you shake the dust off your feet as you leave as a testimony against them!  You’re travelling light but travelling far.  What I think Jesus means when He says “shake the dust off your feet when you leave” is about preaching the Gospel and once they’ve done all they can, (i.e When they don’t listen or welcome them) they have freedom to move on and preach the Gospel elsewhere.

Preach the Gospel, get rejected, move on.  God will provide what you need. 

The Result

“They went out and preached that people should repent.  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”

A short and simple conclusion for how this section ends.  It really is pretty interesting how God takes absolutely normal people and uses them to do extraordinary things because honestly before this they’ve done nothing special!  And now they’re preaching repentance, driving out demons, anointing and healing sick people!  Talk about zero to hero!

Twelve normal people did awesome things not because of how awesome they were but because of the awesome God who empowered and sent them out.


Application

My first application point is follows on from most of what I’ve shared already.  I’m just like the twelve disciples.  I’m just plain, regular old Popo, not amazing or wonderful in any way but God’s Spirit dwells within me and He has equipped me with His Word as my guide and tool.  I can now have confidence because my God has called me, sent me and equipped me.  I can have confidence because the ministry that God has put before me does not derive it’s success from how awesome or unawesome I am but instead is grounded in the One who has sent and empowered me.  Be bold Mr Extraordinarily Ordinary Popo!

We are ordinary people used by an extraordinary God.


My second application point goes on from the way Jesus instructed His disciples as they went out.  There are times where similarly I also won’t be welcomed or listened to as I share the message of Jesus and that’s okay.  That’s actually normal.  I need to do all I can and move on.  Of course this is not an excuse to not be patient and faithful with the non Christians I minister to but there is a place where I am freed up to move on and preach the Gospel elsewhere.  I need to be actively praying and trusting God that He will lead me to effective places where He has been working in the hearts of those I talk to about the Gospel.

We will preach the Gospel far and wide.  Not everywhere will welcome and accept us and that’s okay.  Keep moving on and keep preaching the Gospel.


My third application point sort of comes from a round about way of understanding what Jesus says about moving on.  The disciples didn’t bring anything so they needed to rely on the people who took them in.  But the problem that I naturally see is what if EVERY town doesn’t take you in?  Then you’re stuffed!!  Rararara fear, insecurity, I want my control back!  But that’s not what happens, they return back in v30 and they seem totally fine.  That implies that there were enough towns that DID take them in and DID provide for them.  God was clearly taking care of them in that time providing all they needed.  Similarly I need to trust that whatever ministry God gives me, most likely in a full-time vocational capacity He will provide the people who will support me in my Gospel ministry  prayerfully and financially.  This is totally something I’ve been wrestling with recently since I totally feel awkward about asking people to financially support me in ministry.

Let’s trust that God will provide exactly what we need for the ministry He gives us.


“Calling the Twelve to Him, He sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.”

– Mark 6:7

Responding to who Jesus is…

Hey there WordPress!  I haven’t posted anything up for a while because I haven’t had the time to write poetry/devote much of my head space into keeping this blog constant BUT I normally share some of my quiet time reflections with some of my close homies and realised that it wouldn’t be hard to just copy and paste some of them onto here!  This is the reason why most of how I will be talking in these blog posts will be super casual and often use my own weird colloquial language.  I apologise to all of you in advance :)

So I’ve decided to be posting up my quiet time reflections onto this blog and God-willing it would be an encouragement to some of you guys!  Hope you guys enjoy seeing this kid try to love Jesus.  If you’re encouraged by anything I share please encourage me back by letting me know in the comment section!


Quiet Time – 29.9.2016 [Mark 5:1-20]

Hey homie! I just read Mark 5:1-20. It’s about Jesus encountering Legion and it was super encouraging for me! It was really apparent how the character and person of Jesus demands a response from people. You can’t encounter Jesus and not have a response.

Legion

This homie is nothing short of badass. He lives in the tombs, no one can bind him, no one can match him in in strength. Everyone around is scared as beans of him. But as soon as he sees Jesus he runs to Him and falls on His knees in front of Him. He knows exactly who Jesus is, that He is the “Son of the Most High God.” He responds to who Jesus is in absolute terror. He pleads that Jesus would let him go into the pigs on the hillside. He knows his place before Jesus.

The dude who everyone is terrified of is not even slightly a match for the power and authority of Jesus.

Villagers

The villagers see that Jesus’ power absolutely trumps Legion and that the man is now freed from Legion and in his normal mind. This TERRIFIES them. The dude we couldn’t even hope to beat was quivering in front of this Dude? They respond to Jesus character in FEAR. They end up pleading for Jesus to leave their region.  Holy beans this Dude is nuts.

The character and person of Jesus demands a response from people.

Demon-Possessed Man

This dude is totally g now and BEGS Jesus to let him go with Jesus, but…. Jesus doesn’t let him. Jesus says “Go home to your family and tell them how much the LORD has done for you and how He has had mercy on you!” Jesus wants him to be a witness of His goodness to those around him!   “So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”

Jesus wants the man to follow Him by staying here as a witness of His goodness.

Myself

So it was pretty clear to me that the character and person of Jesus forces people to respond to Him. My question for myself was how do I respond to Jesus’ character? I need to let who Jesus is, shape the way I live in every aspect. Clearly shown in this section is that He has an incredible amount of power and authority that I simply can’t ignore.

– I personally doubt His power in my life with my parents and family. I find myself basing their likeliness of salvation dependant on what I see. This doesn’t make sense because in the story if I was to bet on someone to win a power struggle, I’d bet on Legion and well… we all know how that story finished :)

The cross is big enough, even for the salvation of my parents and family.

– I personally doubt His authority in my life with the way I see purity. I’ve been finding it more difficult recently keeping my mind on things above and holding on to God’s call on my life to be “Holy as He is Holy.” I find intimacy and satisfaction in things not of God, and they all leave me feeling empty and disappointed.

Jesus is MORE than enough for my cravings of intimacy. Jesus is LORD and I need to submit to His LORDSHIP over all of my life.  He is King and He alone!

– I wish to respond to Jesus’ character just like the demon-possessed man. Would I be BOLD and TESTIFY to all of God’s goodness to me in my life! Particularly for me right now, I have a lot of birthday parties, battles and events with a lot of my dancing friends! Pray for me that I would be bold and courageous in talking about God’s goodness to me intentionally as I interact with them and all those people in my life just like the demon-possessed man!

Pray that I would boldly testify of God’s goodness towards me, to all around me!


“The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man – and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.”

– Mark 5:12-17

Reflection | Poetry

Reflection, that’s the name of the game
Put my words onto paper before I go insane
Just tryna share my thoughts and  what I feel inside
So please come on board, and please enjoy the ride

So coming out straight I’m bringing my perspective
To encourage and uplift is my directive
Opening blind eyes and awakening souls
To go against the flow of society’s mould

So first things first I think I move too fast
But funnily enough I’m actually ending up in last
So even though I do so much in my life
I can’t focus, so don’t have the right sights

Everything gets blurry when you don’t stop to think
Stories, emotions and knowledge go by in a blink
So please take your lens and switch it to corrective
Stop for a second and start to be reflective

Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Just take a second and just stop to think

And don’t get me wrong, I love to hustle
But the symptoms it shows, man it ain’t subtle
Like long, dark eye bags and sagging cheeks
Fatigued and drained, definitely not at my peak

Producing and creating again and again
It’s a real big drain and just hurts my brain
People say “work hard, it’ll be for the best”
But honestly sometimes, the best is in the rest

You get to stop and see the good and the bad
You get to stop and see what makes you glad
You get to stop and see your art grow
Improving each day as you learn to flow

So I’m pleading to you and I’m saying it again
You gotta reflect and make sure not to neglect
The time you have to just stop and think
Before you get pushed straight to the brink

Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Just take a second and just stop to think

Now I’m bringing it home, with the third and last verse
Gotta share my opinion, gotta keep it diverse
Cause with a God so big, I can’t help but say
That I live for Him, cause He lights the way

And I’m being really honest, I’m being really frank
Gotta give Him all the glory, gotta give Him the thanks
And that ain’t gonna happen, without stopping to think
He’s the pen to my paper, He’s my spiritual ink

He’s the words I write
He’s my source of life
He’s the one true King
And the beat kicks in

Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Just take a second and just stop to think

2016
Popo
Blazo
Reflection

Rain | Spoken Word

Today it rained…
It actually poured
As the drops hit the roof
It sounded like applause

And it caught my attention
As I left the bus door
Silently I watched
As if it was an encore

Fascinating really
That water rains from above
But then hits the ground
Journey stopped abrupt

I walked back inside
So the sound did die
But as I close my eyes
It’s like the song’s reprise

Down on my bed
As I begin to lie
Just like a lullaby
Given and supplied

That it soothes my thoughts
My fast life, it caught
Reflection it brings
And brings my heart to sing

Of how this rain
Reminds me of Him
Who soothes my soul
And with me, does stroll

He’s like the rain
When I use an umbrella
Instead of embracing Him
I rush straight through the weather

So right now and here
In this very endeavor
I’m gonna stop and sing
To my God forever

That every single thing
That this world does offer
From the sun to the moon
And the cloud storms that loom

Has a reflection of God
Because He made it all
So stop and listen
Just relax and pause

To hear the rain
As it pitters and patters
Because it’s telling you
Of the One who matters