You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Evangelism’ tag.
So this past month we’ve been preparing for ILLUMINATE – well since the start of the year really – but here we are!
Last week I went shopping, new jeans. Had my brows done. But then… gutting of guttingness. I went to get my hair cut. And my hairdresser has moved. To Australia. On a scale of 1 to 10 you know this is up there at a 9 on the disaster scale. Every woman needs 4 things in their life. A good lady doctor, a best friend, a good pastor and a good hairdresser. Hands up if you agree!?
So all week I debated. To cut or not to cut. To be brave and step out of my comfort zone and into the hands of another hairdresser.
So this year I had spent the first term and some of term 2 having light theraphy. Basically I would go 3 times a week to Manukau superclinic, and have this treatment for my skin and allergies. – googles, naked, little room, boom light on… my dermatologist had an easy way to explain what it does – it resets your immunity so then my skin and body should function normally. And ladies… we are here for some light therapy. We are here to let the light of God shine into our hearts – to reveal the good things He has placed there, to reveal the places that “aren’t functioning normally” so that He can heal those places, to speak truth to us, to encourage us, to transform us. We are not just here for a girls escape weekend, but we are here to meet with the living God.
Anyway, lets turn to judges 6 in the bible. Judges is a smallish book near the start of the bible, about 7 books in, page XXXXXXX in my bible. We’re reading about Gideon, whose life stretches over about 3 chapters here in Judges so bear with me if we’re jumping b/w passages.
Some of you will be familiar with Gideon – he has an incredible angelic encounter and is called by God to bring liberation to his people from darkness into the light.
The Israelites had been oppressed by a people group called the midiantites and it had gotten so bad that the land was driven into a famine impoverished mentality. All their crops were destroyed, their livestock taken. It was recession big time!
It was in this place of desperation that the people cried out to God and God stepped in and intervened in history and we see this played out time and time again in the book of Judges, and in the narrative of Gideon.
My message tonight has 4 ways in which God came and brought light in these dark situations – to a people trapped in darkness God brought hope and rescue and illumination!
Gideon was one man chosen by God, anointed by God, appointed by God. The angel appears to Gideon and says ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’ I confess I had to laugh as I looked this up on my puter – I had it set to the NIV UK version and Gideon’s response must be done in your best downtown abbey voice: ‘Pardon me, my lord,’
Back on track: God shows through Gideon that one man, that one woman can make a difference.
The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. I will try my utmost to be that man. -D.L. Moody
What would your life look like it you realized the unlimited love and grace and backing you have by God?
You following Christ will not always look the same as someone else following Christ. Why on earth would He have bothered to form you in your mother’s womb with your own DNA and life experience ahead just to copy what someone else you’re seeing is doing? Who would you be if you loved Jesus with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength? That’s what you’re meant to look like.
Today you don’t have to be a superwoman – you can be you – on the journey, living today to the fullest, living today in the grace of God, living today significantly. Gideon certainly didn’t see himself as superman – he backed right off how God defined him and was like no way man, not me!
But how many of you know there is a difference between embracing your vulnerability and putting yourself down? There is a difference between knowing you’re human vs disqualifying yourself because of self esteem and circumstances.
Today you are not a prisoner of your past or of limiting words – you are free by the power of Christ – you are called into victory by the Victorious King. Your past and your present doesn’t have to determine your future – even your future as close as the next second. Gideon was the runt of his family, the lowest rank clan of them all. And in the end he didn’t let that knock Him down but he leaned into God’s truth.
Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears. (Laird Hamilton)
Today the unlimited resources of God are at your disposal as His all surpassing power dwells within us – so that HE is glorified.
Today we have a choice to magnify Him by trusting in His words and His promises.
Today we have a choice – will we believe what God says about us or will we stay saying “who me?”
Imagine believing everything God has spoken to you, whispered over you. Imagine living out those promises with confidence and faith, despite the fear and fragility. Imagine beyond the boarders of today.
Now – go be her.
Be that woman that God says you ARE.
Loved. Chosen. Called. Empowered. Kind. Gracious. Able. Loving. Forgiven. Self Controlled. Peaceful. Cherished. A Mighty woman of God.
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” ― St. Catherine of Siena
Did you know ONE match lit in the darkness can be seen for 25 miles.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
One woman can change the world.
The night after Gideon had his amazing encounter with the angel God gave him a big task. A task that I am sure gripped his heart and made him pace in his room. Made him squirm – it makes me squirm. He commanded Gideon to have gospel influence at home, with those he most loved, with those who knew him inside out. It was almost like God was saying before you go out there and win the victory, you need to make a stand here, where it counts.
We all have different families. Different connections and blends and relationships.
God told Gideon to go and destroy his father’s altars to Baal and the Asherah pole beside it. He was then to build and altar to God and sacrifice one of his fathers bulls.
There is no going back from that. Talk about showing your colours and declaring where you stand. This weekend is about stepping out of the shadows and into the light. This is exactly what Gideon did. He destroyed a stronghold in his life and replaced it with the truth and reality of God – he broke down one altar and built an altar for God.
And in doing so rewrote the destiny of his family. When the town woke up in the morning to find their “precious false altar” gone they were livid and went on a manhunt. When they discovered that Gideon had done this they threatened him, but his father stood up for him. His father because of the actions of one man changed. One family was changed because of one man.
Consider though, how Gideon must have felt tearing down what his father had spent his lifetime building, teaching, and defending. With each stone that he and his servants dismantled, another layer of the ideology that had overrun his family came unglued. This overnight idol-demolishing wasn’t affecting some random town and family he would never see again. This was a task he’d feel, see, and endure the consequences of every day from that point on.
Your strategy from God might not be to take a hammer to the background lawn decoration but it may mean honouring them and making intentional decisions to build relationships and make it real.
I remember as a newbie christian reading about honouring your mother and father in the bible and honestly I was like what the F! I was mortified. I think I shut my bible with a slam and then looked up into the white faces of my shocked youth group friends. For me it began a process of listening, forgiving, talking, being respectful, watching my tone, forgiving, making an effort, connecting. My family – my parents – my brothers and sisters – my husband – my kids – they see me at my best, and my worst. They see when I come unglued, they see when I’m happy, what I’m really giving my life for, what I’m trusting in. I can be having a good day and thinking, yip halo on, I’m a great witness, full of fruit, and then boom, the halo slips down and I’m verbally expressing anger, frustration, unkindness and lack of self control.
But Matthew 5:14-16 says: ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
The stakes are often much higher when the mission field is so personal.
One man – one woman – can change the world, and change their family for Jesus.
God has positioned you in YOUR family for a purpose. This is the hardest mission field, but believe me it is the one most worth it.
You know, when I got saved, I was full of, lets call it, evangelistic enthusiasm. After talking to my sister, a lot, she told me DO NOT EVER TALK TO ME ABOUT GOD AGAIN. Which was so counter to everything that I reckoned God wanted me to do. But God agreed with her, and encouraged me to pray. And so I prayed. And I prayed. Nine years later she rung me up and asked me about God. Earlier this year we had this incredible prophetic moment when I had seen a card with a quote on it and thought about buying it for her and she texted that same quote to me and said she had felt my prayers, she had felt God with her. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. The road may be long and hard but God is faithful and He is with you. Just as God turned Gideon’s family upside down and right way up, back to Him, He can do the same with your family.
You see the thing is – YOU build an altar with YOUR life. If you are the only Christian in your family know that YOU make a difference. Your life is worship to God. Your life should show the magnificence and reality of Jesus. YOU are the one that opens the door for the blessing of God. Through YOUR faith victory will come.
ONE CRAZY PLAN
When I was praying about this message this part of gideon’s adventure really jumped out at me. But for ages I was trying to wrap words about what was really going on and what God was saying to us as His daughters.
4 But the Lord said to Gideon, ‘There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, “This one shall go with you,” he shall go; but if I say, “This one shall not go with you,” he shall not go.’
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, ‘Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.’ 6 Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
7 The Lord said to Gideon, ‘With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.’ 8 So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.
I feel it’s a real call for us to live intentionally. The men that bent down and scooped up the water, they lived different. They made intentional choices. What intentional choices is God calling you to make?
As a mums group we’ve been doing a dvd series by lysa Terkeurst called Unglued. It challenged us to examine our lives, the way we emotionally reacted and responded to situations and people and to choose a new normal. It challenged us to think differently and to live intentionally.
Lysa says: A moment of conflict handled the right way is hands-down one of the grandest opportunities we have to shame satan back to hell. A Jesus girl who rises up and unexpectedly gives grace when she surely could have done otherwise, reveals the power and the mystery of Christ at work – in her life and in the world.
Here are four real life practical things we can do to live this out:
- Choose a REPLY over a REACTION. A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1 now this one I need to practice all the time. When we did the unglued series we even kept a behaviour journal, to diary the times we “lost it”. Which I confess was a really good way to teach me to “pause” and have some self control, to reply instead going insanely mental at my children or husband. Because if I lost it… I would have to write it down!
- Choose FAITH over FORGETTING – how often do we forget the promises of God, we forget the things that God says about us – we have inside negative chatter instead of thoughts of faith – you know those thoughts that say, I’m not good enough, not pretty enough, not clever enough, not spiritual enough. We need to eliminate the toxic thoughts and let the truth flourish. See yourself as how God sees you. Chosen. Called. Empowered. Loved.
- Choose GRATITUDE over ATTITUDE – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 – I can’t control the things that happen to me each day, but I can control how I think about them. I can say to myself, "I have a choice to have destructive thoughts or constructive thoughts right now. I can have an attitude and make things worse, or I can ask God for a better perspective, have some gratitude, rejoice and again I say rejoice, to help me see good even when I don’t feel good."
- Choose JESUS over JUNK – how often do we try and fill ourselves with something temporary instead of with Jesus? It might be food, it might be tv, it might be serial dating, it might be shopping, appearance, approval, success. In of themselves those things are not bad… they just may not be beneficial. The kind of love our souls crave will never be found in the things of this world. Lasting, satisfying love will only be found when we stop chasing others or possessions, and thirst for the things of God.
Walking in faith means we choose Jesus and His ways – we make intentional choices to be His daughters, living in the light.
We need to Choose LIGHT over darkness. Now darkness can sometimes be more comfortable. Familiar. You can’t see all the um, blemishes, flaws, curves etc in the dark… but Jesus says:
1 Thessalonians 5:5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
Romans 13:12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.
Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
In the midst of conflict the men of Gideon’s army made intentional choices that set them apart from the rest of their fellow soldiers. It was something that gave them the X factor!
"God always knows just what each person needs. Because you have been created by God as a unique person, His plan to grow you will not look the same as His plan to grow anyone else.
He had Abraham take a walk, Elijah take a nap, Joshua take a lap, and Adam take the fall.
He gave Moses a forty-year time out, He gave David a harp and a dance, and He gave Paul a pen and a scroll.
He wrestled with Jacob, whispered to Elijah, warned Cain, and comforted Hagar. He gave Aaron an altar, Miriam a song, Gideon 300 soldiers who drunk differently, Peter a name, and Elisha a mantle.
Jesus was stern with the rich young ruler, tender with the woman caught in adultery, patient with the disciples, blistering with the scribes, gentle with the children, and gracious with the thief on the cross.
God never grows two people the same way. God is a hand-crafter, not a mass-producer. No wonder we get frustrated when we think that everyone is supposed to look like the pastor or author or whoever is teaching us at the moment about spiritual growth.
We learn differently, struggle with different sins, and relate to God in different ways. – John Ortberg
2 Corinthians 4:7 says But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
How many times do we write ourselves off based on our past? Based on our flaws? Based on our limitations? Based on our brokenness? Based on our circumstances?
Don’t suppress the miraculous just because you aren’t impressed with your own resources – God can use one man, one woman to change the world. He can transform and save one family, using you. He has a plan and a purpose for your life and though at times it may seem crazy, He seems to know what He is doing. His weapons of warfare were trumpets, lights and broken jars. "It’s not the size of the darkness but the power of the light!” Christine Caine"
« What is impossible with people is possible with God. We just have to believe that God has called us to go into the world in His name, and not listen to the crippling or even paralyzing labels and limitations imposed by others. We cannot allow them to daunt us.” Christine Caine »
It doesn’t seem like much – but it was His plan and His power. What can often look like lack or weakness can be used by God for His purposes and His glory. Wherever we feel too weak to fulfill our calling, our ever-redeeming God will make us strong!
ONE AWESOME GOD
Gideon is not the hero of this story.
When you think about it, Gideon was doubtful, doubleminded, desperate and ….
In the beginning God planned the end; across history HIS Story of redemption reigns. My story has purpose only in Him! I am called to REFLECT HIS magnificence. To demonstrate the reality of His goodness and greatness.
Ladies you are called to change the world. God has a unique purpose for each one of us. We may feel inadequate and insignificant but God doesn’t see you that way. He loves you with an everlasting love.
Like Gideon, you are called. One woman to change the world.
Like Gideon, your life is an altar to God that can and will bring change to your family.
Like Gideon, God has a crazy plan for your life. Say yes. Choose Light.
He is an awesome God.
Tonight – if you want to respond and say YES to God afresh, this is your moment. If you want to come and pray and stand here on behalf of your unsaved family, this is your moment. If you need a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit, come forward now.
Gideon had been reared in an idol-worshipping family. His own father was the keeper of the Baal altar in their town of Ophrah.
So Gideon took 10 of his male servants and did as the LORD had told him. But because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it in the daytime, he did it at night (Judges 6:27).
Often, like in Gideon’s case, our smaller spheres of influence are not easier to contend with just because they are smaller. On the contrary, some of the most difficult and intimidating opportunities to walk in God’s calling come when we are staring in the faces of those who know us best and whom we love the most.
Consider how Gideon must have felt tearing down what his father had spent his lifetime building, teaching, and defending. With each stone that he and his servants dismantled, another layer of the ideology that had overrun his family came unglued. This overnight idol-demolishing wasn’t affecting some random town and family he would never see again. This was a task he’d feel, see, and endure the consequences of every day from that point on.
- When the Christian daughter chooses to evangelize her non-Christian parents . . .
- When the godly wife chooses to set an example for her unsaved spouse . . .
- When the teenager seeks to impact his pagan school environment . . .
- When the coworker tries to influence her friends on the job . . .
The stakes are often much higher when the mission field is so personal.
What lies ahead in your journey is not nearly as critical as where you are right now. Wherever you are now is where you are meant to serve now. These innermost circles are often the ones that offer the least amount of recognition. This is why so many people try to circumvent them. And yet your greatest impact will be done here – in the ordinary rhythms of your daily living.
Following God wholeheartedly within these up-close loops of faith will often cause you an internal uneasiness and daily faithfulness that cannot be escaped just because it’s 5 p.m. and the workday is over. It’s easier to stand on a platform and teach people we may never see again than to walk with our own children, friends, and loved ones in accountability and discipleship. But these spheres encompass the heart of true ministry.
Begin to clarify who the people in your primary sphere of influence should be. Refuse to search for significance in another place if you’ve bypassed any near and necessary steps in the journey God has for you. Pray for a courageous faith and holy boldness to start where you are. He’ll give it to you.
// by Priscilla Shirer
So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
That same night the LORD said to him, "Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.
We have to let Heavens strategy guide our Earthly activity and get on the same page with God. Like marching around Jericho, like stepping out of the boat onto the water, like facing off against a giant, like sending the worship team at the head of the army God has a unique way of doing things – He has the power but He uses us to demonstrate His reality and goodness. When we say YES He steps in and moves. The walls fell AFTER they walked around the city. Peter walked on water AFTER he stepped out of the boat. David defeated Goliath AFTER he stepped in the ring to fight, Jehosaphat won the battle after worshipping God. The valley of dry bones became a roaring army AFTER Ezekeiel prophesied. What is your AFTER moment? What is God calling you to step out into? from DRY BONES
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
"Yes, Lord," he answered.
The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."
"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here-has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptised, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. Acts 9:1-19
This is one of my favourite passages in the bible. not just because of Saul’s salvation but because of Ananias’s courage and obedience despite what circumstance told him.
sometimes it takes one act of extraordinary courage to be the tipping point to bring change ~ Andy Stanley
Ananias is a man of courage and faith. He was at home and had a vision from God. His response, – YES LORD.
in essence, here am i, send me.
how often have we prayed those famous words from isaiah 6 – but then when God calls us and sends us we hesitate or get spiritual amnesia (who me?) and doubt that we’ve really heard God.
Ananias heard God and heard God send him to the most feared destructive man in their world. I would dare to say that Saul was their enemy, their joseph kony, their osama bin lama… Saul spent his time hunting down christians and having them tortured and killed.
i bet Ananias wondered if he was QUALIFIED to do this mission.
i bet he thought he wasn’t spiritual enough.
had he ever prayed for anyone to receive their sight before?
had he ever prayed for someone to be healed before?
did he wear out his carpet pacing?
or did he just go?
did he know that this one act of courage would be the tipping point for changing the world, that saul would go from persecutor to passionate preacher and church builder?
did he know that his one act of courage would change christianity as they knew it?
there was something in Ananias that rose up and enabled him to fight the fear and doubt and to cause him to go. Jesus. the Holy Spirit.
Ananias put his trust in God and his trust in the Holy Spirit in him and through Him.
Ananias put his trust in the power of God that when he prayed that God would work, that God would do something supernaturally remarkable.
Ananias put his trust in God, expecting Him to as He said He would.
in our lives we can have that same confidence.
If God says GO and DO – we can GO and DO in confidence of God’s power and might to perform mighty acts through us and in us.
Where God leads, He has gone before us.
Lets be people of courage who step out and follow God and see extraordinary things happen for His glory.
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road-the desert road-that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." Acts 8:26-29
i love Philip’s availability to God.
He was a man led by the Holy Spirit, and invited interruptions. The interruptions led to this Ethiopian leader becoming a believer, and who knows the follow on through affect of this one man that Philip talked to.
Be open to those divine appointments, those moments where the Holy Spirit leads you to talk to someone – be it a stranger as in Philips case, or a friend or a work mate. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, because where the Holy Spirit leads, He is moving!
i always count it such a privilege that God would choose to work in me and through me – as a witness to His reality – a demonstration of His love and grace.
A distinct memory i have is when the Spirit nudged me to talk to a guy outside our local library. I had just dropped some books in the return slot when a shadow passed behind me. i turned around and was about to go to my car when God said, talk to that guy. That guy was about 6foot6, Polynesian, with low riders and sunglasses on. so off i went. “excuse me” i said, looking up up up up up! at the end of the conversation i prayed for the guy and he took his glasses off. his eyes were misted over. i’m glad i said yes to the interruption, yes to the Holy Spirit.
those interruptions are opportunity for God to work in you and through you to communicate to another person. Philip explained the gospel contained in the passage of Isaiah. you might be nudged to encourage someone, tell them your story, give hope, speak life. God may give you insight and revelation into their life and destiny.
lets be bold and lets step out!
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. acts 3:1-10
Peter and John are normal Christians.
They are ordinary men. Peter and john were fishermen. Yet the extraordinary was going on in their life. They had encountered God. They had been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. They were living for a different reason now.
And they had something to give away – they were do havers.
They said to the man – the man who had NEVER walked, who spent his life begging and depending upon the pity of others – silver and gold we don’t have, but what we DO HAVE we give you.
What did they have?
What is that extraordinary thing that God has given YOU and how can it be released in your life to impact others? That extraordinary thing that God has given you to be released to impact others is… wait for it – GOD!
What Peter and John had was the knowledge that God was real and that He had the power to heal that man. They had faith that if they did what Jesus said – lay hands on the sick they would be healed. They believed that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and that by His wounds we are healed. They believed what Isaiah 53 said about who God is and what God can do.
They believed But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
They believed Acts 1:8 that they had received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them in Jerusalem.
Luke 24:29 puts it as “clothed with power from on high.”
Power is for a purpose – and The Word says – we got the power!
They believed John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
You know, Jesus said – I only do what I see the father do –I tell you the truth, he said, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. (John 5:19-20)
How do WE know what the Father does and wants to do and is doing? We look at what Jesus did and the revelation of the right here and now by the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus is our model, we follow Him, we do what we do, we copy Him. Paul said that – imitate me as I imitate Christ. Lets copy Jesus! And Jesus challenged us – that we would DO even greater things that these because the Holy Spirit lives within us! Now that is a challenge and a half that smacks me around – GREATER THINGS!
They believed Jesus when he called them in matthew 10:1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
You know, just to point out the obvious – THOSE passages weren’t written yet – they were being lived! The things that are written in the NT are things they learned by revelation from the Holy Spirit and things they did and lived. This is from experience, from real life! They believed what Jesus told them and taught them and modelled to them and promised them. Jesus taught them about normal Christian life.
They believed and they did.
And the man they spoke to immediately felt strength in his legs and ankles and jumped up and could walk and jump and dance and skip. Which in itself is a feat because most people that have an accident and are paralysed have months and months of rehab to get just stand… he went from nothing to fully totally remarkably healed in a finger click. Only God can do that! Only the reality of God can do that. Only the power of God can do that!
Only the power of God can heal a broken heart, can set someone free, can change someone’s life in an instant. Only God can bring real joy and real hope and real peace.
Just because its 2000 years later doesn’t mean the plan has changed or that the power has run out! In fact – we should be seeing so much more because its all multiplied. In the start it was just Jesus – then he died and rose again and went back to heaven and then the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and all of a sudden ordinary people were filled with the extraordinary power of God – not just one Jesus – but now His followers, with the same mission as Jesus!
The plan has always been to know God and make Him known – He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Mark 16:15-18
That’s our call. That’s our normality. That’s our reality.
The cool part is if you read on:
19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
What happened on the steps by the temple gate is normal Christian life.
Peter and john were DO HAVERS. They had something within them ready. They knew the Holy Spirit was the one with the power – but that He uses our bodies and our mouths and our prayers and our doing and our obedience and our hands and feet.
Peter and John did their part. They reached out and declared the power of God. And God did His part, He came and fulfilled His promises of power and healing and deliverance. He is the power in all our doing. He is the do have. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. We believed that God would works with us and confirm His Word and our faith in Him with signs like healing and supernatural encounter.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
His power that is at work within us… its at work within us to work THROUGH us. Immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.
Peter and John took God at His word. Jesus had told them that they were called to do this. That this was how they were to live their lives. As witnesses and living demonstrations of the reality and power of God. They had faith not in their own ability but in the supernatural enabling of God through them.
Those promises Jesus made to peter and john are promises valid to us too. They are His Word. It’s not about any power we have – remember, we’re jars of clay.
Do you know that you’re a do haver?
Do you know that God has called you and more importantly empowered you?
So how does this work in our real life?
1: Know you’re called. If you’re breathing you’re called.
2: Know the promises in The Word. Promises are truth you can rely on. Know who God is and how big and powerful He is. Stir your faith in those things. If your mind is fritzing out about praying for someone to be healed or about talking to someone about God then deal to that lie, just saying, ya hear me.
3: Take the opportunities around you. Do you work with people? Go to uni with people? Go to school with people? Ride the bus with people? Shop with people? Peter and John were going to the temple like they did everyday. Everyday you are with people. Be intentionally aware of the reality of God wanting to bust out of you to touch others….
4: Something interesting to consider, over in acts 4 verse 13 it reads ”When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
What made these ordinary men different was that they had been with Jesus.
I am unschooled and ordinary and I have been with Jesus.
The challenge for all of us is to live intentional and to redefine living and living for God, to redefine normal Christian life. We want to live the adventure. We hear about people doing great things – and doesn’t your heart burn to do them too? Mine does! Sometimes I think the only big difference between people having the adventure that I read about and my life is the DOING part… just saying…
God’s plan is to reach the people around us – our family and our friends – by using Christians. He loves to demonstrate His reality and power – His Word says so. Lets man up and have faith and do it! This world wont change until we rise up and really be who God has filled us and made us and empowered us to be! We’re stretching towards the greatness of God!
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
some of us are naturally wired to connect and talk with strangers and friends about what God is doing in our lives. but others of us are not so comfortable stepping out and sharing. regardless of who we are and how we work and are wired we are called to be witnesses and to share the gospel, with our lives and actions and with words. the awesome thing is that it is GOD THAT SAVES and the HOLY SPIRIT THAT DRAWS AND REVEALS but we are the SEED PLANTERS. we are called to share and witness and be ambassadors for Christ. and God has lots and lots and LOTS of promises that can give us confidence that as we step out His power ENCOMPASES US and STEPS OUT with us to ACCOMPLISH great things. when you step out His power is available and He empowers us. when we step out He can give us the right words to say. These promises are for stepping out. they come into effect when we step out. you get my point.
so be confident. be secure. be encouraged. be inspired.
God’s is ready and willing to empower you to tell the Good News of His love and grace.
Jesus Christ is alive. Jesus is actually alive! Jesus died for sin and rose and that Jesus Christ can take away sin. People don’t need to go to hell. They can go to Heaven. They don’t need to be disconnected from God. They can be connected to God. They don’t need to live lives of sin. They can live lives of transforming grace. People don’t need to do anything to merit the love of God. “God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
The good news is that Jesus is alive and that he is seated on his thrown in Heaven. He’s ruling and reigning over all creation. That means that every nation and every city and every neighbourhood and every block and every suburban and rural area and every cul-de-sac and every coffee shop and every house is under the lordship of Jesus,
And there are people there that he loves.
There are people there that he’s willing to forgive.
There are people there that he’s willing to save.
There are people there that he’s willing to befriend.
There are people there that he’s willing to change.
There are people there that he’s willing to be with forever in the New Jerusalem, the great city that he’s created for us. So I urge you today: if you don’t know Jesus, give him your sin, receive his salvation, and get connected to Jesus.We implore you to be connected to Jesus’ mission.
“We nominate ourselves to love and serve the people here on behalf of the God who loves us so well.” Mark Driscoll Mars Hill
The biblical model is that God deliberately chooses imperfect vessels — those who have been wounded, those with physical or emotional limitations. Then he prepares them to serve and sends them out with their weakness still evident, so that his strength can be made perfect in that weakness.
~ Undaunted || Christine Caine
MAKE TIME FOR GOD. Now walking with God and knowing God isn’t about trying harder or about meeting a must have must do checklist – it’s about RELATIONSHIP. Its not religious activity but relationship. The amazing thing is God starts the fire – just as He started the fire in the tabernacle and solomon’s temple – supernaturally boom – He starts the fire in our hearts. And then we choose to respond and fan that flame. The priests were instructed to keep the fire burning 24/7, they had to add the fuel to maintain the flame.
- Make Time To Rejoice
- Make Time To Remember
- Make Time To Pray
- Make Time To Read The Bible
- Make Time To Worship:
Worship reinforces what matters most, reminds us of truths we forget and renews our desire to live what we believe. Rick Warren
Worship REMINDS us who God is, His greatness, His goodness, His power, His grace
It REFOCUSES our attention on Him, His greatness, His goodness, His power, His grace
It REFRESHES our heart and CONNECTS us in RELATIONSHIP
It is an expression of love, adoration, surrender
I like my worship loud – I don’t have a quite time, I have a loud time. On Tuesday I was listening to our God reigns by Jesus Culture the other day – it has 3 words in the whole song, repeated. Our God reigns. Over and over again. I can tell you by the end of the song my whole being was like, Yes, He reigns. My God reigns. He reigns. On the inside I was jumping round like I had just won an oscar or a gold medal! It’s the same with the worship song How He Loves Us… I just have to put that on repeat for a few times and boom, I know He loves me…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
In the Bible the word most often translated “wait” in the sense of waiting on the Lord is the Hebrew qavah. Qavah means (1) “to bind together like a twisted rope” (2) “look patiently,” and (3) “hope, expect, look eagerly.”
The picture here is like a braid in the hair, there are three pieces, but they become so intertwined that it is hard to tell them apart. Don’t you love that picture?
Isaiah 40:31but those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
What a great picture of living an uncontained life. Soaring like an eagle.
Waiting on the Lord develops intimacy with God – it intertwines our heart with His, it teaches us to become sensitive to His voice and Spirit.
And interesting when you apply that thought to Jesus command to the disciples after his death – wait for me in Jerusalem – and they waited and then were filled with the Holy Spirit and went out from there, looking like Jesus, doing the works of Jesus, representing Jesus to the world.
Anyone here on tank water? Bet you’re desperate for rain. When I lived in edendale we had a tank, and when it got dry you couldn’t water the garden, wash the car, have long showers, or flush for number ones. When the tank is filled the limits are removed. When we are full we live more uncontained. let it RAIN on our lives today!