Suggested Reading ...

As requested by a number of you, herewith a few books that I strongly recommend.

The Case for the Psalms:Why they are Essential - N.T.Wright

Journey to the Common Good - Walter Brueggemann

Gagging Jesus: Things Jesus said we wish he hadn't - Phil Moore

Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God - Bob Kauflin

The Writings of the New Testament : An Interpretation - Luke Timothy Johnson

These titles I have been able to source through happy reading!

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Daily Devotions by Grant Nuss
Be the Change. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Friday, 28 October 2016 16:35

2 Corinthians 3:18; “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.’

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself” (Leo Tolstoy). Hundreds of quotes speak about changing the world in some shape or form; it has literally become a cliché that no one really notices any more. It is said that, as Tolstoy aged, he became so fervently against all signs of government and the systematic control of people, that he renounced any inheritance or royalties produced from his most popular novels. Apparently he followed Christian values as expressed in the Sermon on the Mount so purely that he was excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church. Now as you look around you it seems as though our lives are oriented around lust, greed, material gain, and pride, so, if we are to have any chance at ever changing the world, the reality is that we have to deal with the biggest problem … ourselves. But, despite our best efforts, we cannot really change ourselves, only Jesus can. Are we prepared to change? Now this is not change because we want to be trendsetters, but change because the world is not as it should be, and we are part of the mission to restore it to how God intended it to be. Here's the deal though: to see change is for us to be change. In Scripture, if there is anyone who wanted to see change it was Zacchaeus. Remember him? He was the guy who was spotted by Jesus, saw change face-to-face, and instantly became changed. How? Well, the instant he welcomed Jesus into his life his behaviour changed, and his attitude was transformed Zacchaeus saw that, for his life and community to change, he needed to do something. It wasn’t up to someone else to make the change; it was up to him, and to do that he needed Jesus. So here’s the deal, being transformed by God isn’t about you trying to be a different person; it is about you being you, but ‘you’ wired into the power source which only God can help you do. As someone once said; “Jesus didn’t come to transform us into pew-filling, song-singing, rule-following Salvationists. He came to transform us into God-glorifying, grace-scattering, hope-plotting disciples of love”.

Suffering. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Thursday, 27 October 2016 15:33

Hebrews 13:1-3;” Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you.”

"Tell me how much you know of the suffering of your fellow men, and I will tell you how much you have loved them" (Helmut Thielicke). “Who is the burger and chips for?” “For the man begging at the traffic lights outside Tygervalley.” This is something I have become greatly accustomed too, and I thank God every day for my darling wife! Whilst you might not be in prison right now, perhaps your circumstances might make you feel as if you are. Here is a truth that you can bank your life on, it will not last. God has got your back, and will be using this season to refine you and mould you into His image. What I love about this text is that it is never God's intention for both Him and His church to turn against or condemn those who have fallen on hard times, but to draw near to them. My prayer is that you pray for those who suffer and determine to meet their needs in whatever way you can and demonstrate your love with a captive person today.

Lifestyle. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 15:14

Acts 13:12;”When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.”

“We are not only to renounce evil, but to manifest the truth” (Hudson Taylor). Like most of us here today in the 21st century, the proconsul was caught between two options: firstly, he had called Paul in so that he could hear the Word of God, but, no different to our day, a false teacher was trying to undermine Paul’s teaching. Many intelligent people today are also faced with a choice and are caught in a battle between truth and error. But what proved to be the clincher for the proconsul was that he ‘saw what had happened’ and that influenced him making it easy for him to believe in God. Why? Because the truth that Paul preached was backed up by a lifestyle, a message, and a sign which all testified to the authenticity of his claims. The message is clear for you and I called to be ‘missionaries’ wherever Christ has placed us, that a gospel that so clearly stunned those who opposed it, made the right choice easy to make. The governor (proconsul) was impressed by the hand of God. For me, the hand of God shows up in many ways: sometimes it’s a deep impression in the heart, a timely word at a specific time for someone in need, or even a supernatural phenomenon like this one. But here’s the deal, a mission that is not backed by the hand of God will be fruitless. Why? Because people will not believe in a radically new way, unless there is evidence for the belief itself. For us that means that we have to be people of evidence. It is a fact that no one believes a message that has not visibly changed our life, or that is not perceptibly affecting the people around us. Whether our evidence is a lifestyle or a miracle, something needs to be there for people to see, they will not just accept a statement about truth if it seems comparable to all the other opinions out there. Think about this with me. The proconsul was amazed. Why? Well, Paul was living in a way that amazed others and his words and ways were backed by Gods hand. Can the same be said of you and I on the mission of God in the world today? Like the proconsul, intelligent people, seekers of God, need something somewhere to see, and that is you and your lifestyle.

Godly Character. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:55

Proverbs 11:3; “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”

“A godly leader is marked by a servant attitude, transparent integrity, godly character, and faithful biblical teaching” (Anonymous). I was reminded at a function over the weekend of a great man who once taught me an amazing module entitled; “The Character of a Christian Leader”, Chris Reid. It was great chatting with his wife and family, and I stated that Chris was such a great fit to lecture a module like that (a leader with godly character that was evident in all he did and said). As I looked back on the module outline of 2008 it stated that; “A particular emphasis is given in this module to developing spiritual leadership through the understanding of the “being” of leadership, the developing of the character which can lead to more effective “doing” when using skills for the practice of being a leader.” Brilliant. Godly character is quintessential in leadership. When Satan wants to attack the church, he usually goes after the leadership. If he can bring down a leader who is starting to grow a church/ministry, or at least get people to slander him/her, he can discredit the entire gospel. As we look around us today and how the news media pounce upon a story of the president of a country, a politician, a sports figure, or church leader caught in a career-ending scandal, it is all about a character flaw, but little is offered as a solution for this call although 2 Peter 1:5-6 is a great start. Above all though, God cares more about our character than our skills, personality, or intelligence because biblically, character is a matter of the “heart.” Throughout Scripture, God chose people whom He could mold through their circumstances, so that He could use them for His eternal purposes. What about your life? God is building character qualities into your life right now with what you're facing, the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Whatever the stage or season of your life, God is preparing you for something more. You can rest assured that He is doing is developing a person of substance, a person who, regardless of what is happening on the outside, has the character of His heart. So may we allow Jesus to be our example and life coach, and assist us in shaping our character to be more like His? Finally, as we do this as leaders and employ His strategy for multiplying other leaders according to God’s heart and unlocking our potential, we will certainly propel God’s kingdom on earth.

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