RECYCLED


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Just recently we had a fabulous women’s evening at Manukau City Baptist Church.  We called it Recycle Runway.  A Runway Show displaying all second hand clothes with gorgeous models from our church family.  After the show the ladies could shop to their hearts content as we had available a huge variety of recycled clothes at the ridiculously cheap prices..  It was so much fun but the recycled theme got me thinking and so on the night I shared this with the ladies…

I have four daughters and for some reason this caused people to have great pity on me.  For a long time I thought my house must look to the outside world like a big red bin with a huge slot in the front.  I am not kidding – bags of clothes would arrive at my house on a regular basis.  My four daughters would descend on the bags like hyenas on a dead carcass.Recycled Runway 3  There was lots of yelling as they grabbed items they thought had potential and there was also the occasional, “mum could wear this.”  And every now and then someone would shriek, “This is even too ugly for mum to wear.”  Within what seemed like minutes the hungry hordes would depart with their treasures in their arms and I would be left standing there thinking, “I can’t remember Hurricane Katrina being forecast for today!” as my house would look like a disaster zone with the clothes that didn’t make the cut flung all over the place. Yes recycled clothes have played a major role in clothing the 5 Holmes girls for the past 20 years.

We all have a history. For many of us our past is exactly that, our past.  We don’t want to remember it and the last thing we can ever imagine is that it could possibly be used for good. But God disagrees.

God knows that if you give him your past and your present no matter how painful and yuk he can recycle it for good.

Romans 8:28 in the bible says:  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Everything!!

How do I know this is true – because I am one very recycled person.  God took a very angry, hurt and broken girl and he has cleansed me, healed me, made me whole and has recycled me, and he’s using my story for good.  I am proof that the promise in this verse is true.

Possibly you are saying to yourself “Well there is no way I want certain things brought up, let alone recycled!”  Look, I am not talking about sin or wrong-doing.  The bible promises us that when we ask God to forgive us for our wrongs then he throws them as far as the East is from the West and remembers them no more (Psalm 103:12).

What I am talking about is experiences.  If you give these to God and you decide you are going to love him, he will cause those experiences to be for good / to be recycled well.

Why would he want to recycle them? – Well from my experience with God it seems to be for two main reasons:

Firstly, to show you personally that your life has not been a waste.  That those years trapped in hurt, abuse or illness, aren’t wasted useless years that would cause you to live a lifetime of regret. When you see God recycle them for good there is no longer pain over that time. And the second reason he recycles them is so that we can help others who are going through similar experiences.  You are NEVER alone in what you are facing.  There have always been others and there will always be others going through similar experiences.  Letting God have those experiences allows him to use them so you can help someone else.

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If you have not experienced God taking away all the wrong doings (sin) from your life and cleansing you and making you feel brand new, then let me share about the miracle that can make this happen. It is called the good news – the Gospel – and it is so simple.  The bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  ALL!  Sin separates us from the loving, but pure and Holy God.  The only way this separation could be fixed was by God coming to earth in the form of the man Jesus, who lived a perfect life and so then was able to be a blameless sacrifice.  His horrific death on the cross, taking on himself the punishment for our sin, was the only way we could be made pure so that we could then come to know that the God of the Heavens wants a personal relationship with each of us.  It’s as simple and mysterious and as amazing as that. And this same Jesus can then recycle your past.

If you allow him, if you say “God you have my life” – that gives him permission to come and clean up the mess you or others have made in your life.  God is in the business of redeeming and recycling situations. Make sure you give him the opportunity to do just that for you.

FOR THE ONE – Called by Name

I hated being pregnant.  I was not one of those woman who glow – oh no! A better description of me would be; I grumped my way through pregnancy.  I had terrible morning sickness with them all and then for the remaining months every part of my body seemed to hurt and I was so ridiculously tired a late night was 8:30pm.  In my opinion pregnancy pretty much sucked (I know you are all thinking, “why on earth did she do it four times then?!”) There was however one part of the pregnancy months I did enjoy – the chance to choose my baby’s name.  I loved finding names, sounding them out, adding middle names and even changing my mind.

Our name is so much part of our identity.  It’s how people know us and call us.  Our name is something very special to who we uniquely are.

I love the story of Zacchaeus in the bible found in Luke 19:1-9. Zacchaeus was a very influential and apparently very short man. The bible doesn’t specify how short but when he was standing in a crowd he couldn’t see a thing.

Zacchaeus desperately wanted to see Jesus – just see him. He must have heard a lot about this man called Jesus and  wanted to know what all the fuss was about. So one day he joined the crowd in the street who had all come out because Jesus was in town. I imagine the scene something like Queen  Street in Auckland at the Christmas parade – too many people to possibly move with ease and often you are on your tip toes swaying one side to the other trying to see over the people in front with little success.

Zacchaeus too was stuck behind a whole bunch of people and unable to see a thing. But undeterred the bible says “he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree.

How many influential men do you know that would climb a tree to have a look at someone let alone run  to do it, in his curiosity he threw aside all inhibitions and pretense and did exactly that, run and climb a tree – just so he could see this Jesus.

As Jesus walked by he stopped at the tree, “looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name, “Zacchaeus!”

CALLED HIM BY NAME!

Astonishing! Of all the people Jesus could have noticed that day, he noticed the man up a tree. But not only did he notice him – he called him by name.

It’s the same with you. Jesus notices you and he knows your name. He is calling you.

He is calling you to come to know him better.

He is calling you and saying, “I love you!”

He is calling you and saying, “Let me have your life and watch what amazing things I will do.”

He is calling you to give all your worries to him.

He is calling you by name because he knows your name.

You are not a faceless being...

You are not a faceless being in a crowd of millions. You are known, you are loved and you are called by the King of Kings, and Saviour of the world – Jesus.

Why don’t you say Yes to him today?