“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.'” John 3: 3

Two main issues have dominated the Australian parliament over the past few months. One is the same-sex marriage debate and the other is the question of members of parliament having dual citizenship, which is illegal under our constitution.

Last night Australia voted to legalise same-sex marriage. There was much rejoicing in the streets and people proclaimed that it was a historic day for our nation. It was indeed a historic day, but nothing to celebrate. It was a clear indication that Australia has turned its back on God and voted to be a heathen people.

I am not just talking about the people who don’t know God. I feel sorry for them because they don’t know any other way. They follow what they think is the right way, and naturally get lost. What really upsets me is those who claim that they know the truth and yet deny what God has said.

I heard this morning about a lesbian lady who belonged to a church that supported same-sex marriage. She said she was thankful that she didn’t have to choose between her faith and her identity. I felt so sorry for this poor lady. I could tell in her voice that she clearly wanted to serve God, but she didn’t want to give up her own identity to do it.

I also felt angry at the minister of that church who left his denomination and became independent in order to promote same-sex relationships and encourage people to seek God without being challenged to change who they are. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Matthew 23:13

Right from the start, it is clear that God’s plans for marriage are for a man and a woman to get together for the purpose of intimate relationships, which fulfils our need for companionship and procreation. Anything else is outside of his plans.

Since the fall we have taken on different identities, which are not actually helpful. Most of us don’t even realise that the way we see ourselves is not the way God sees us. He wants us to take on a new life and a new identity. If we call ourselves a Christian, then every day we must choose between our identity and our faith. This is not just in the area of sexuality, it is also for those who find their identity in the money they earn, their family, their job, their intellect, or anything else that might stand between themselves and the Kingdom of God.

Like the row about dual citizenships, we can’t belong to two countries at once. Even if we are not actually aware we have a conflict of interest between us and God we must check anyway and make sure that we have denied all rights and claims in our own kingdom before we can serve in the Kingdom of God. Otherwise, we too might find ourselves disqualified from taking our seat in heaven.

Take time out today to look at those things that you consider fundamental to who you are. If you are not prepared to lay them down and take on a new identity, then you will not be able to enter the Kingdom. The good news is that once you do make that choice to deny yourself and follow Christ he partners with you to make you into the person he wants you to be. All you have to do is make the choice.

I am saying this because many leaders in the church tell people they are okay and don’t need to change and you can be whoever you want to be. But God says you have to repent and turn from your old way of life. You can not continue to identify with who you once were. That way of life will lead to death, and because God wants the best for you, and loves you so much he wants to give you a new life and a new identity, all he needs is your permission.




Seek the Lord

“The lion may grow weak and hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34 v10)

You may have noticed that I have not been posting in this blog very often this year. This is not a matter of omission, it is is simply a season I am going through in my ministry and God’s calling. I have been seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness as I have mentioned in previous blogs, but this journey has not been at all like any previous one I have taken.

As an ambassador of the Kingdom of God, the words I speak can no longer be mine. I can no longer speak just because I want to. I can no longer speak about things I don’t fully understand and things I have only read in books and not experienced for myself. I can no longer speak about what I want to talk about, or from thoughts that reside in my head. As a spokesman of the Kingdom, I am now restricted to God’s words, in his understanding, in his time.

For most of this year I have felt like a young child, understanding nothing, and unable to articulate even the small things I have started to understand. Whenever I have wanted to speak, I have been denied the opportunity through one means or another, and often when I have had the opportunity and the words, and I have been about to submit it I have been told ‘No, not today’.

However, through Grace, God is allowing me to share this small revelation I have understood from this passage today. I can only assume it will mean something deep and life changing to someone who reads it. If this is you, then praise God, for he really wants you to hear what he has to say.

The strong may seem to have all good things. The wicked seem to prosper, and those who lie and steal are the ones who seem to be getting ahead in the world. But this is pure deceit. For these people the price is still to be paid. All they have is merely on hire purchase, with a debt that we can’t see, and which is mounting up waiting for the day when it will need to be paid.

On the surface these people appear to be lions, Powerful, strong, something to be feared. Yet even lions may grow weak and hungry. Their large jaws, impressive body, and supreme hunting skills are worthless when there is no prey to catch. The lion is as vulnerable in a drought as any other creature, perhaps more so.

But here is the secret to success. The fail proof way to get an advantage in life. Seek the Lord. Just that and no more. Seek him at all times and in all circumstances, where ever you are. Seek the Lord. Enquire of him. Seek him the way a lover might seek their partner, or a mother might seek a lost child. Desperate, helpless, and with nothing left to lose.

Don’t seek him for answers. Don’t seek him for miracles. Don’t seek him as a way out of your situation. Don’t seek him because he will supply all you needs. Don’t seek him because of what he can do for you. Seek him because of who his is. Seek him because you love him. And if you don’t yet love him, seek him because he loves you!

Seek him. Then seek him some more. Then continue to seek him every day. “All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but could not find him. I will get up how an go about the city, through it’s streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him. The watch men found me as they made their rounds in the city. ‘Have you seen the one my heart loves?’ Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go…” (Song of Songs 3 v1-4)

You will be rewarded for your seeking. You might not get what you want, since what you want might not be a good thing, but you will not only get what you need, you will also get every good thing, far more than you need, far more than you expect, far more than you can even imagine. “…’What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard and what no human mind has conceived,’ – the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2 v9)

Seek and you will find.


‘At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” ’ (Matthew 11:25)

Those who have been following my devotions regularly may have noticed they have been less frequent. Indeed it has been a couple of months since my last one and I know some of you may be wondering why. I want to share with you what I am learning in the hope that you might also be inspired by my journey.

As I said in my last devotional, this year for me is about seeking first the Kingdom of God. The reason I have not been posting daily devotionals is quite simple. I don’t know anything about God’s kingdom, and the more I am learning about it the more I realize how little I know. How can I share about God’s kingdom in all good consciousness if I have no idea about it.

I know about Jesus and who he was and what he did, his death and ressurection. I know his role in returning a second time and restoring all creation to it’s former glory, as well as his role in creation at the begining of time, and his role in my own life in making me a new creation after his image.

I know my Father in heaven, his compassion and love. I know his role as creator and ruler of the universe. I know his grace and mercy, as well as his righteousness, holiness and majesty. I also know the feeling of being surrounded by his loving arms and being embraced by him in times of trouble.

I know the Holy Spirit and it’s life giving power. I know the gift’s he gives to help me do the work I am called to do. I know the fruit that my life produces when I learn to operate in it. I also know how he helps me become a spirit being as well as a human being. I know of his comfort and his role in helping me understand the things of God.

But about God’s kingdom I know nothing! This is the thing I am supposed to care about and desire more than anything else in my life, and yet I don’t have the first idea what it is. It is as mysterious to me as the deepest oceans or the furthest planets. In all my life spent as a Christian I have never been taught about the Kingdom of God. In all my time reading the Bible and listening to God I have ignored this concept completely.

If I thought about it at all, I just assumed that the Kingdom of God referred to heaven, and that until I died I would never understand it, so I should just move on and work with what I did understand. After all there are lots of things I won’t ever understand so why bother about these things if they don’t have an relevance to my life now?

How foolish I am. So many blessings, great joy, and incomparable wonder, and I was prepared to let them go in complete ignorance. The very things God want me to be passionate about, and to strive for – the very purpose of life, the good news Christ came to preach, the pearl of great price, the storehouse and supply of every need, the place in which a thousand years is but a day, the one place where we can find God’s perfect will being done – this is the Kingdom of God.

The problem for me is that it is something I can not see. It is something beyond natural comprehension. It is something that can only come from a revelation of the heart, and is beyond any study of the mind. It can’t be taught, it can only be caught. Only by faith can we see the kingdom.

‘And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ’ (Matthew 18:3)

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

I am not a huge fan of new year’s resolutions. A few day ago I heard someone on the radio describe my own feelings perfectly when they said, “If I need to change something in my life, why wait till the new year. Now is the perfect time to start.”

The new year does give us a chance, however, to reflect on what has past and look forward to what is to come. With this in mind, I have decided to take this opportunity to refocus. And is there a better passage to refocus with than today’s scripture?

It is a verse that is well known and for that reason is often overlooked. But today I am asking myself what it means to seek first the kingdom and his righteousness.

To get over my preconceived ideas of what Jesus was really saying, I want to first point out what the passage is doesn’t say.

It doesn’t tell us to put Jesus first. It doesn’t tell us to do the right thing. It doesn’t tell us to give away all our money, or pray, or read the bible, or become a missionary, or an evangelist. It doesn’t tell us that everything will be fine and life will be easy. It doesn’t even say you will get what you want.

There is nothing wrong with these things, of course, and if you have been asked to do any of these things then you should do them and trust God to provide for you as you do them. But this is not what this passage is talking about.

Seeking his Kingdom is not about full time ministry, or winning people to Christ. It is not about prioritising church events, or spending hours helping out with a church clean up. It is not about spending time in prayer and daily devotionals. It is not about reading the bible from cover to cover.

These may be the results of seeking the Kingdom and his righteousness, but they are not the starting point.

The starting point is an encounter with the King. You must desire to see what his Kingdom is all about. You must know in your heart the plans God has and realise that there is no better place to be.

When you meet the true citizens of this kingdom you come to understand what it is all about – a single purpose, a single mind, love, peace and unity. All brought about by the king’s own son, Jesus.

He has opened the gates of the Kingdom for us to come in. Let’s not hesitate to enter through those gates and discover that within those walls we will find everything we need and so much more.

Let’s not just follow Christ, let’s seek out the Kingdom of heaven and find our true home. Let’s renounce our citizenship of this world and instead become a citizen of heaven. It is only there that we can find all the resources we need to live life to the fullest.

God bless,


In the last devotional I mentioned that each day we need to learn to rejoice. When we do this it will help us to overcome our circumstances during difficult times. But what exactly does it mean to rejoice in all circumstances? We need to rejoice when times are good and when times are bad.

Surprisingly some Christians I have met seem to find it hard to rejoice when things are going well. They are often worried about what might happen when things turn bad, or even worse they become complacent and stop doing the things they should be doing. They seem as miserable with a life of plenty, as the people are who have none.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6 v17)

How about you? Do you have food in your stomach and a roof over your head? Then you have much to rejoice about, a lot more than many others. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the things God has provided for us. Everything God has provided for us should be enjoyed in the way the God intended, with thanksgiving and grace. Indeed there is a warning to us if we don’t take joy in the things he has provided.

“Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.”

Why would a loving God do this? Because he wants us to live happily ever after. This means he wants us to have joy in all circumstances – good and bad. This can only happen if we learn to find joy in what God has provided, using them to serve the Lord with joy and gladness. If we don’t and he lets us go on that way then we will never be happy. So sometimes he takes away the things we have so that we learn to recognise that our abundance comes from God and is provided so that we are able to serve him with joy and gladness.

There are other reasons why suffering help us to eventually discover and appreciate true joy. The passage we are studying tells us “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12 v12). Our joy is in hope. When we are in a position of despair we are forced to learn some harsh lessons. But if we maintain our hope then these lessons, in whatever form they take, will eventually strengthen us and build character.

Our hope is not just that God exists or that things will get better, it is also a sure and certain knowledge of who God really is – a God of restoration. He wants to bring us new life, new joy, and a new hope. He made us in his image, and he wants us to return to that state.

Our example is Jesus. Through suffering, he gained the glory of God. Through suffering, we too can gain that same glory becoming like Christ. “And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5 v 2b-5)

If you are suffering – take refuge in God. Learn the lessons he might want you to learn, be patient and prove that your faith is strong. Never lose hope and in the process develop all the characteristics of God.

If you are not suffering at the moment then for God sake (and yours) appreciate what you have and ‘ serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything’.



“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4 v4)

In the last devotional I suggested that Romans 8 v8 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” is a very useful and practical way to deal with troubles and difficulties in your life. Today I want to look in more detail at the first of these three – “Be joyful in hope”.

I have known for a while that I have a tendency towards depression. For me it is quite easy to find myself thinking that life is pointless and nothing I do will change that. I know that this attitude sucks the life out of me and is the beginning of a very large spiral that takes me to places I just don’t want to go. But in these experiences I have learned a thing or two about life and how to deal with it.

I know first hand how important it is to be positive, or to be more precise to have an attitude of gratitude. But I also am very acutely aware that when I am in the middle of my depression there is no way that any amount of positive thinking will help. People often try to cheer me up by telling me to think about all the things that I can be thankful for. But when you are depressed it is almost impossible to think of anything positive, and even if can think of something, it doesn’t arouse any grateful feelings at all, no matter how wonderful the thought might be.

So what is the solution? I have learned that if I wait till I am depressed before I deal with my depression then I will fail. I have to deal with it before it becomes a problem. Like medication that has to be taken every day, I have been training myself to develop a thankful heart every morning. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5 v16-18).

This passage always reminds me of a sermon I once heard which emphasised the phrase “in all circumstance”. The preacher made it clear that there will be situation we find ourselves in that are not conducive to rejoicing and giving thanks. Terrible things do happen to everyone, and it would be very wrong to give thanks to God for these things. But we are not told to give thanks for all circumstance, instead we are told to give thanks in all circumstance.

Each day, no matter what terrible things we encounter, we have no excuse not to give thanks. It is not about thanking God for what happens during the day, instead we need to thank God that he is who he is. Even when situations look bleak, God is God. This means he is in charge and no matter what happens, he will see us through.

Our joy must come from nothing else but our hope. This is the secret I am learning. If I try to rejoice because of my circumstance then when things go bad my joy will disappear. This kind of joy is useless. I don’t need joy when things are going well, I need joy when things are going wrong. Nothing in the world can give me this joy. I need to look beyond my circumstances. I need to rejoice in something that will not dessert me or leave me no matter how bad things might get.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31 v8)

Every day I need to develop my habit of rejoicing in the Lord. If we build a habit of rejoicing and being thankful in the good times, it can sustain us through the bad times. “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9 v1-2)

Like all good habits, it is not necessarily easy. Which is why we must be told again and again. It is the only way we can protect ourselves from depression during bad times. “Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” (Philippians 3 v1)



“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12 v12)

Are you struggling to find purpose in life? You are not alone. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or not, life is full of difficult times and a lot of suffering. Unfortunately from the moment Adam fell into sin in the Garden of Eden mankind has been under a curse. It is a curse that exists for everyone, and although Jesus death has removed the curse from us, we still suffer it’s consequences until the day when Jesus returns and does away with sin forever.

God does not want us to suffer, but suffer we must if we are to achieve God’s will. This chapter of Romans makes it clear that our suffering is for a purpose. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” His priority is not to change our circumstances, it’s to change us.

In a writer’s workshop recently, it was emphasised to us as budding authors, that everything that happens in life is good. Either it teaches us a lesson or it tests our resolve, or both. Whatever the case it is good because when we pass the test then our confidence increases, and when we learn the lessons, our knowledge increases allowing us to be better equipped to pass the tests the next time they come.

I think this exactly what the bible means when it talks about suffering in the following passages:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8 v28)

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1 v6-7)

“…because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” (Hebrews 12 v6-7)

But what do you do when you are faced with such a test? It is not an easy thing to deal with, and in the end a lot of people fail because they can not overcome their circumstances. But we are called to be more than weak victims of life. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8 v 37).

How is this possible? Today’s passage summarises it beautifully. If you read the preceding words in Romans 8 you will see the principle that is captured in Romans 12 v 12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

It all starts with an unshakable belief that “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 12 v 31b), then our hope, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 12 v18); our patients, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Romans 12 v 22); and finally our prayers (even when we don’t know what to pray), “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 12 v26).

Armed with these weapons, we can face our difficult times with confidence. We may still suffer, our situation might not improve, and indeed things may even get worse, but the purposes of God will come to fruition, because in being joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer, we will be transformed into the people God wants us to be.

God Bless,