#spiritualtimeswithToby – 1

When I started at Totara Springs, one of my responsibilities was to write a brief devotion to send to our volunteers after each camp.  For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting one each Thursday.  I won’t change any of what I said – even if it makes me cringe re-reading it – however, I will remove the greetings.
Let’s begin, here’s the first one I wrote with the rather forgettable hashtag.

Autumn Volunteer Mailout 2015

Life isn’t always a box of fluffy ducks, rainbows, sunshine and frolicking unicorns.
Sometimes life is just hard.
But, there’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, and I think it helps us with what ever circumstance we find ourselves in. Whether it be the highs of life or the dreaded lows.  See, the more I think about it, the more I realise its true – the Gospel is for all occasions.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and write to you that the Gospel fixes every circumstance.  That if you accept it and believe in it, then Jesus will make your life only happy all the time.  That would be nonsense; that would be a lie.
What I am going to tell you is that the Gospel fixes you for every circumstance, every bump in the road and every heart ache in life.

You see, the Gospel isn’t designed to give us a better life; in the sense so many people today claim that it does.  It doesn’t give us new cars, new wealth, ridiculously good looks, better health and it doesn’t make all our worldly dreams come true!  It doesn’t do that; but what it does do is so much better!  The Gospel makes us forgiven of our sins (1 John 1:9), right with God (1 Corinthians 1:30) and a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), to name just a few things that it does to and for us!
Aren’t spiritual gifts so much more important than physical ones? Isn’t the Gospels promise of redemption so much better than money, health, clothes, cars and everything else that will one day fade away and not be important?  If you answer no to those questions, you better check who you’re worshiping.  Are you worshiping gifts or the giver?  Are you following Jesus as your Lord or are you following Him as your genie?

How you answer these questions has a huge impact on how you go about your daily life.  If you see God as just your genie, someone who’s only their to make your life “better” then when life turns rough your walk is going to struggle.  If, on the other hand, you see God as your Lord and Saviour then it doesn’t matter what happens on the outside because the most important thing God does for you is on the inside, your salvation.
Once you have this mindset, those difficult days become easier, because you realise this life isn’t only about your pleasure; it’s about becoming more like Christ – from the inside out.

This comic might be helpful in illustrating what I’m trying to say:

(find more at http://adam4d.com)

So as I said, this summer has been great, but for me and probably all of you there’s been some hard times too.  But through them all, it ultimately doesn’t matter because our Gospel, the true Gospel, can help us weather whatever storms are thrown at us.  Let us then, in whatever circumstance we face, have the same attitude as that of the Apostle Peter:

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed”
– 1 Peter 4:12-13.
#spiritualtimeswithToby
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