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"Show me a godly woman, and I’ll show you a woman who pursued godliness. Show me a spiritual man, I’ll show you a man who pursued the things of the Spirit. This WILL NOT come to us accidentally!"
you may have seen this list… it is a list of bible refernces and statments about who we are as christians – the benefits and blessings we have as christians… and i think it is really important that we “get it” – that we know who we are as chrsitians, so we can live in that freedom and grace and relationship with God. so many of us have hang ups about whether God loves us or things like that… if we get who we are, and how we are related to God, and his work in our life, then that is all good! here are a few of my favs…. and then the rest of the list…
I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)
I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)
I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)
I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)
I am born again (I Peter 1:23)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am delivered (Colossians 1:13)
I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)
I have been brought near to God through Christ’s blood (Ephesians 2:13)
I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)
I have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)
I am a member of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)
I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)
I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
One of the most important things we can do in our recovery is to embrace our new identity and see ourselves through Jesus’ eyes . . . i.e., who you and I are “in Christ.” Below are listed (with supporting Scripture) just a few of the many TRUTHS contained in the Bible concerning our secure position in Christ Jesus. The facts are there . . . all we need to do is believe them!!
and another book i highly recommend is The Heavenly Man about Brother Yun.
it is moving.
i had heard much about this book and knew it was about persecution and suffering in China, but thought it was set 1940sish…
it is set in the late 1980s-2000′s. aka MY time. your time. OUR TIME. NOW.
this is brother yun’s story of what God does in his life and through his life.
it is humbling to read.
it stirs the heart towards God.
there arent really words to describe it.
but read it.
i want to read it again.
i want to own it and give it away and away again and again.
i always want to be passing on my best to my housegroupies… to give them real life keys and strategies to following God and living life in this world following Him…
tonight i’m going to talk about 3 spiritual realities – mashing 3 kinda different but kinda same things into 1 night
1. God is real.
He’s real, near, personal, all powerful, holy, mighty, to be obeyed, to be feared, to be honoured, to be worshiped, to be loved…
live your life like God is real.
life is more than breathing.
live your life to please Him.
the world is moving to His timetable.
my life is not my own, but His.
are we living with the awareness that we are called to walk in relationship with God – every day, every moment, like a great romance, like Father and child, like friends….?
are we living with the awareness that how i live my life matters?
1 john 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
who do you see God as?
do we expect to meet with Him and hear His voice.
He is speaking and His promise is that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.
Rev 3:20 says He, the Almighty God who breathed out the stars and holds the oceans in His palm, knocks at the door of my life, and if i open, He will come in.
Matt 7:7 says ask, seek, knock, because if you do, you will recieve, find and have the door opened.
God is generous with Himself. He created us to walk with Him.
do we expect that?
John 1:12-13 has undone me this week. He is our Father. by right because of the blood of Jesus and by faith in Him, we are His children.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Romans 8:31+ says that if God is for us, how could anyone be against us? He gave His only Son to die for us and make the way for us to be acceptable, what is there to withhold? Nothing can seperate us from His love – and love is a verb, not an abstract.
If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31:39
do we make TIME to encounter God? do we make TIME to press in and pray and seek Him?
what is your expectation of God? you will live by expectation. you will live in the reality of your faith.
in this life we have an enemy. a defeated enemy, but one who is lashing out because of his defeat. every time we step out and draw near to God and take some land the enemy will try to strike back and kill, steal, destroy, restrict, hinder. his tatics are oppression and temptation. he will lie to us and tell u we are not good enough or he will try to lure us into sin. he is like a roaring line trying to ensnare us away from God. his suggestions are lies. his accusations are lies. as christians we need to be aware of spiritual realities and deal with them accordingly. every time something goes wrong or you feel stink it is not the devil. but sometimes it is.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand…. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one… Ephesians 6
Faith in God deflects that attack of the enemy. When you have faith in God you realize you are forgiven, protected, empowered, called, chosen, cleansed, transformed.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:13-15
“The devil’s fears are always falsehoods. His suggestions are always lies, and if lies, they cannot harm. If fear comes from Satan, then we can conclude there is nothing to fear.” John G. Lake
be aware of what is going on in your life. live intentionally and awakely. be alert. its not a matter of expecting contention, but when it comes, be aware and alert and prepared.
24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
last night i was reading in john and listening to lou engle talking about “For Such a Time as This” (Esther 4:14) and was reminded that so many of the great people in the bible came from obscurity or difficulty and had a SUDDENLY experience with God where God SUDDENLY changed their cicumstances.
Joseph – a favoured son – sold into slavery – falsely accused – convicted and jailed – prime minister of Egypt
David – shepherd boy – illigitmate son – in exile running for his life – King of Israel
Amos – shepherd – prophet
Esther – orpahn – Queen
Daniel – exile – orphan – parents unknown whereabouts or survival – traumatic capture – brainwashing camp – leader in the nation
Paul – saul – christian killer and pesecuter – christian leader
Moses – destined by birth for death – set into the river nile – rescued by the princess – raised in the house of Pharoh – discovered heritage – murdered a man in anger – fled into exile – becomes shepherd – encounters God – deliverer of Israel
Queen Esther from One Night With The King (movie)
you get the picture. there is always in a life a before and after.
a before – when the circumstances are difficult and when there looks like no possiblity of change and hope.
after – after God intervines and calls and promotes.
as i said i was in john, and read the following and thought the following:
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” John 9:3
Q: How is the work of God being displayed in MY life? in your life?
Q: In what areas is God demonstrating and displaying His love, grace, power etc
Q: What areas – that we may consider “defaults” or brokenness or weakness – are part of our lives to display the work of God to heal, restore, redeem, transform?
Have faith and patience and SEEK JESUS – the One who does the work of God – that for His glory we may be a display for Him!
as seen at www.onepassiononedevotional.wordpress.com
you see, this man, the blind man – had a before. Before when he was blind and begging and outcast and dispised because of his disability. before Jesus healed him. and he had an after – after Jesus healed him he could see. He was blind but he could see because of God.
God demonstratd his power to heal and transform in this mans life.
God demonstrated in Pauls life that he could save a life, redeem a life and change a man’s heart in an instant. Saul to Paul. Before and after.
God displayed his greatness in resucing His people by positioning a young orphan woman in a position of royalty and power, as He divinely orchastrated her life and destiny. For such a time as this.
What is God doing in YOUR life, in MY life?
What is He demonstrating?
What is He displaying?
What is He positioning us to do and how can He use us?
He uses the weak things to confound the wise, the shepherd boy to become king and shepherd His people, the blind to see.
Have faith and confidence that you are a work in progress and that God is not finished yet. He will complete the good work He has begun in our lives and He is the one who works out all things for good according to His plan and purpose which is for His glory and fame.
kindle a fire in me o my Lord God for your presence and your purposes
let me stand for you ways and let me stand and overcome
let me be intentional in pursuing you and encountering you
let me encounter you so that others too who need your presence and love and grace and healing and salvation and deliverance will encounter you
kindle a fire in me to see you move in my church in my land in my life
burn in me Lord that i might burn bright for others to see
stir me towards your purposes
dare me to follow you
tranform me into your likeness
let me be aware of spiritual things and contention
that i might live toe to toe with the enemy, taking ground and not being distracted by his influences and subtle oppressions
let me live with clarify and purpose and intention for your holy ways and knowing you
reveal to me who you are and let me hold onto that vision and reality, let that burn within me and keep the fire kindled
let encountering you not be a memory but be a reality
let me stir
move o Lord
move our hearts
stir us to pray
stir us to pray
stir us to pray
“If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn’t it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death.” — Dave Davidson
When i think of HOPE i am reminded of a verse in Romans 15 that says “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
I want to point out the first phrase – the God of HOPE – God is a God of HOPE, he gives hope, he inspires hope, he fills us with hope, he IS hope. one of his very characteristics – his very essence – is HOPE. hope is found in who God is and in what he does.
Hope gives life to peace and trust – as we hope we have peace that there is a brighter day, that there is a tomorrow, that God cares and is with us and that he has a plan and a purpose. We put our trust in Him who cares for us and is our heavenly Father – we have hope. hope, faith, trust and peace go together, growing each other, encouraging each other.
Hope is a gift from God that we can choose to accept or reject. Sometimes it is uncomfortable to have hope – it stretches our spirits because we choose to have faith and trust and peace and hope in the face of what circumstances may say. choose hope.
choose hope over hopelessness.
chose peace over restlessness.
choose faith over unbelief.
choose trust over doubt.
my awesome friend has an awesome post on HOPE – swapping my hope - that i encourage you to read. she puts life into perspective… “My HOPE is in God. It is in Him I make my decisions, around Him I centre my dreams and visions.”
If i need hope there are a few places i look: my family – my encouraging husband who makes me laugh, who supports me, and keeps me grounded… my kids who wrap their arms round me and say “youre the best mummy i’ve ever had” and love me iwth all they are and can do (wet kisses and all!) – and the Word of God. the Bible is filled with hope and encouragement and couraging giving life – as God speaks his love and hope to us – and as we choose to follow His words and his ways and to believe and trust in Him and his provision for us and his power to work in our lives. Today if you need hope, turn His pages and read for yourself and find hope. choose hope.
The LORD has chosen and sent me
to tell the oppressed
the good news,
to heal the brokenhearted,
and to announce freedom
for prisoners and captives.
2This is the year
when the LORD God
will show kindness to us
and punish our enemies.
The LORD has sent me
to comfort those who mourn,
3especially in Jerusalem.
He sent me to give them flowers
in place of their sorrow,
olive oil in place of tears,
and joyous praise
in place of broken hearts.
They will be called
“Trees of Justice,”
planted by the LORD
to honor his name.
4Then they will rebuild cities
that have been in ruins
for many generations.
5They will hire foreigners
to take care of their sheep
and their vineyards.
6But they themselves will be
priests and servants
of the LORD our God.
The treasures of the nations
will belong to them,
and they will be famous. 7They were terribly insulted
and horribly mistreated;
now they will be greatly blessed
and joyful forever.
8I, the LORD, love justice!
But I hate robbery
and injustice. My people, I solemnly promise
to reward you
with an eternal agreement.
9Your descendants will be known
in every nation.
All who see them will realize
that they have been blessed,
by me, the LORD.
10I celebrate and shout
because of my LORD God.
His saving power and justice
are the very clothes I wear.
They are more beautiful
than the jewelry worn
by a bride or a groom.
11The LORD will bring about
justice and praise
in every nation on earth,
like flowers blooming
in a garden.
Bright red. The hue of bullseyes. The exact opposite of camouflage. That’s the colour Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the red baron, chose to paint his warplane during WW1. This was not the irrational decision of a self-destructive mind however, but rather the calculated intimidation of a seasoned, deadly hunter. The Red Baron did not want to hide. He wanted to be a beacon of arrogance in the sky. A challenge. A dare.
I read this at the Blenehim Airport. It is on a sign advertising the Air War Museum thing there.
But it hit me in my spirit and I could feel God speaking to me right there, in the airport.
To wear bright red on a battlefield means you are declaring who you are that you refuse to back down and hide. You’ve picked your side and you’re not afraid to declare it.
You are a Christian. You are forgiven. You are righteous. You are a child of God. You are loved. You are saved. You are redeemed. You are the light of the world. You are called. You are chosen. You are a servant of God. You are filled with the Holy Spirit. You are witnesses empowered by God. You are ministers of reconciliation. You are ambassadors. You are supernatural. You are Christians.
Lets see how this plays out in real life. Please turn to Acts 3. Acts 3. This attitude, this no camouflage living is demonstrated and lived by the disciples.
Lets put this in context. 50 days before Pentecost Jesus was arrested as a criminal and convicted and condemned and executed. 3 days later he rose again but the movement he begun with his teaching and his life still was viewed by the religious authorities as criminal and treasonous. Before getting saved the apostle paul was hired by the jewish leaders to purge Christianity from Israel – by killing followers of Jesus. It was unsettled crazy dangerous times. It was all brand new. Jesus had really JUST died and JUST rose and the Holy Spirit had JUST fallen and the church was JUST born. Acts 1 Jesus asends to heaven. Acts 2 is Pentecost – the Holy Spirit falls, tounges of fire, speaking in tounges, miracles, salvations, revival.
So in this brand new dangerous time we see how the disciples responded – and we should take a leaf out of their book and make this real in our lives.
The time of prayer was about three o’clock in the afternoon, and Peter and John were going into the temple. A man who had been born lame was being carried to the temple door. Each day he was placed beside this door, known as the Beautiful Gate. He sat there and begged from the people who were going in. The man saw Peter and John entering the temple, and he asked them for money. But they looked straight at him and said, “Look up at us!” The man stared at them and thought he was going to get something. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold! But I will give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, get up and start walking.” Peter then took him by the right hand and helped him up. At once the man’s feet and ankles became strong, and he jumped up and started walking. He went with Peter and John into the temple, walking and jumping and praising God. Everyone saw him walking around and praising God. They knew that he was the beggar who had been lying beside the Beautiful Gate, and they were completely surprised. They could not imagine what had happened to the man.
Matthew 5:14-16 says You are like light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot. A lamp is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.
The disciples let their light shine. They did not hide their light under the bed. They went out into their community and shined hard and bright. Did you notice verse 1 – it was the normal everyday usual time of prayer – their everyday day ordinary lives. We don’t just let our light shine between 10 and 12 and 5 and 6 on Sundays (and 7.30-10 on Wednesday nights….) we be Christians, real christians everyday and every moment. We don’t turn it off like a lightswitch…
And just so you know – Jesus isn’t talking about a this little light of mine - though in saying that, the light from even one match in the darkness can be seen for miles away….
Light will always penetrate darkness. It is a law of nature. It is the same way in the spiritual realm. When the light of God shows up, it literally shows up, and the darkness flees before it. It must, because that’s what darkness does when light comes. Simple.
Don’t hide your light. Don’t hide The Light of the World, Jesus Christ! Camouflage is for sissies.
The disciples had a choice. They were having awesome fellowship times and prayer meetings in each others homes. They could of hide in their homes, they could of turned their housegroups and housechurch into a place of hiding but they made the choice to get out there and to be bold and to BE Christians. To BE light. To be demonstrating the love and grace of God to those in need around them. They did not hide but they shinned a bright light in a world trying to get darker.
The man was healed. The Gospel was declared and shared.
We are called like the disciples, like the apostles to get out there and shine and to be real Christians. To not hide away the power of God that lives within us.
BREATHER: LOTR clip….
Lets jump forward a chapter to Acts 4…. Living a no camo life is bold and awesome… but can have its adventures on the way….
The disciples were arrested. They were dragged before the courts and told to sit down and shut up pretty much…
Peter’s response – Peter who had JUST over 50 days ago denied he even knew Jesus Christ – “Do you think God wants us to obey you or to obey him? We cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-10)
Do you think God wants us to obey you or obey Him?
Do you think God wants us to please them or Him?
Who will I live to please?
The world? Or God?
Myself? Or God?
My friends? Or God?
The lukewarm Christians I know? Or God who calls me to love him with all my heart and soul and strength?
As Christians we live our lives, not for ourselves but for our God.
We are not our own? For we were bought at a price ; we were rescued from the useless way of life that we learned from your ancestors. But we know that we were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don’t last forever. we were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb ; so it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
1 Peter 1:19, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Galatians 2:20
We are not of this world and we don’t cling to it. We make a choice to live our lives in this world, living and breathing and physical, but we are citizens with a Holy Mighty King whom we serve.
Any Star Trek fans here? The world is the borg and we reject assimilation! Resistance is not futile!
“Do NOT be CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD (Don’t Copy the Behaviour and Customs of this World), but let God TRANSFORM you into a New Person by changing the way you THINK. THEN you will learn to know GOD’S WILL FOR YOU, which is GOOD and PLEASING and PERFECT.” Romans 12:2
Live bold obedient lives. Make the choice to follow God. Don’t camouflage yourselves by compromising. Don’t camouflage yourself by blending in with the world and disobeying God. Don’t let compromise become a way of life. Be holy and follow God.
Don’t compromise in the way you talk.
Don’t compromise in what you wear.
Don’t compromise in relationships.
Don’t compromise in what you watch.
Don’t compromise in what you do socially, in the music you listen to, in the places you go, in the conversations you have, in the computer games you play, in the things you read…
The goal is not to live gray lives but to live lives knowing our awesome amazing God that stretched out his arms on the cross, as Jesus Christ, dying to make the way for us to be saved and clean and forgiven and new.
Today the call is to live our lives knowing God and following Him and making Him known… to be bold and radical and Christian! Christians are not called to wear camouflage. The call is to not blend in but to stand out as lights in this world. The challenge is to not be assimilated into this world but to be Christians in it – demonstrating the love and grace and power of God as he leads us and empowers us.
preaching notes for this sunday young adults church
we played and worshpped to this version of Revelation Song – by Jesus Culture – at our young adults camp – it is AWESOME. awseome on so many levels. including musicality. but esp because it draws you into God and his presence and you just cant help but worship him and declare his goodness!
Lord, reveal yourself to us. Show us who you are that we may worship you more and live more closer to your heart. stir in us a desire for your ways and your kingdom. we love you so Jesus!