Monthly Archives: June 2013

Live as children of light

You might have heard it said: ‘A Christian is to be in the world, but not of the world’; or ‘The church is like a boat – the boat is to be in the water, not water in the boat.’

At times it can be tricky engaging with the world without compromising the gospel, or yourself being compromised. It is easy to be shaped by the attitudes, values, and beliefs of our world rather than by God. This has long been a challenge for the church; we owe much of the Bible to this struggle.

In Ephesians 5:8–14, the Apostle Paul says Christians ‘now are light in the Lord.’ Though we live in a ‘dark’ world, we are to ‘live as children of light’.

A Christian has waken from the dead and dark, and so now is to live as light. Living as light exposes the darkness, and may even bring it to light itself.

So in a strange twist, we are most useful to our world when we are most different to her. Living as light is the most loving thing we can do. Let’s engage with God through his Word so we reflect his light, for the glory of God and the best hope of our dying world.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

How is your hearing?

Men often have hearing problems. But once an elderly man was concerned his wife was getting hard of hearing. And so he asked his doctor how he could show his wife she has a hearing problem, in a sensitive and loving way. The doctor’s plan was simple: ‘From a long distance ask her a question. If she doesn’t reply take a step closer, and ask again. Get closer until she finally replies, then make a point that you’ve been asking from far away and it was only from this close that she heard. That will make the point.’

So the man went home and asked his wife: ‘Darling, what’s for dinner tonight?’ When she didn’t reply, he moved closer and asked again: ‘What’s for dinner tonight darling?’ No reply. He moved closer again. ‘Darling, what’s for dinner tonight?’ Still no reply, and so a step closer he asked the same question. No reply. Finally, he stood right beside her, and at last her reply came: ‘For the fifth time, ROAST LAMB!!!’

There is hearing, and there is really hearing. We all appreciate being listened to, but in truth, good listeners are rare. Often we think we know what our wife or friend is about to say, so tune out. Other times we appear to be listening but are just thinking of what we will say when they’ve finished, if we let them finish. At times we don’t even bother talking because we know it all. Poor listening can destroy relationships.

This year’s theme of NAIDOC Week – the Yirrkala Bark Petitions – came because of poor listening. The Yolgnu people from northeast Arnhem Land petitioned to the government to be listened to. Sadly, no one had talked with them about mining their land. I say with personal sorrow, it was the Christian Church managing the local mission who failed to listen… ‘We know what is best for them!’ The church and government allowed a mining lease without really hearing the significance this would have on their lives. The Bark Petitions were the Yolgnu simply asking that they be listened to and have some input in the plans for mining. History shows they were not completely opposed to mining. Unfortunately, they were never listened to.

Taking the time to really listen does wonders. Whether in marriage, the parents, at work, or even between Indigenous and Second Australians, active listening can avoid broken relationships and heal broken relationships. When someone says: ‘How many times do we have to talk about this?’… it’s a good indication that person is not really listening. Many relationships become stuck in a rut simply because one party is not being listened to. Even if you don’t think you are in the wrong, work hard at listening… really listen. Show you are listening by saying what you hear, or by putting what you hear into practice.

For the Christian we must be good listeners. God speaks through his Word the Bible, we listen. Our ears are the two most important things we have. Jesus said: ‘My brothers and sisters are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice’ (Luke 8:21).

How is your hearing?

Show your team colours

It hasn’t been a good year for my beloved Parra Eels footy team (actually, not a good 20 years). I dream that a star player like Greg Inglis would leave the South Rabbitohs and join the Eels.

Imagine if Inglis moved to the Eels but kept wearing his Rabbitohs jersey!? It would offend his new team-mates and sponsors. Inglis has signed with the Eels but is still trying to live like a Rabbitoh? That’s outrageous.

God calls all Christians to start showing their true colours – to put on the new team jersey. In Ephesians 4:22–24, we are told to take off the old self and put on the new self. The new one created to be like God.

The old self might seem attractive at times, but is going down like a sinking Titanic. The new self is re-made to be like Jesus Christ, and will take us into eternity. It makes us like God himself – what a privilege and joy to share, what a team to join!

So let’s pull on the new team colours…. for God’s sake, ours, and the sake of those around us.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Live a life worthy

In the epic movie Saving Private Ryan, Private James Ryan is saved by a special mission team that paid the ultimate price to bring him home alive. Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks) was the last of the soldiers to die. As he dies he says to Private Ryan: ‘James… earn this. Earn it!’

The very last scene is James Ryan as an elderly man at the grave of Captain Miller. In tears of uncertainty and guilt he asks his wife to tell him he led a good life, and so ‘earnt’ the sacrifice of Captain Miller.

James Ryan knew what it cost for him to be alive. But he lived a life of uncertainty and guilt, the burden to live a life worthy when you have to ‘earn it.’

The Christian must live a life worthy of our calling (Ephesians 4:1). We live a life worthy of God’s grace that has saved us. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our salvation because we cannot ‘earn it’. Jesus sets us free from guilt and uncertainty and the burden to ‘earn it’.

In the Bible book of Ephesians we will explore what it means to live a life worthy of his grace and sacrifice. Keep coming back over the next few weeks!

In his grace, Tory Cayzer.