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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!
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
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!
Revival in our community will happen when revival happens in our own heart. God gives revival. He starts the fire. Ask Him to revival your heart. Ask Him to give you an uncontained alignment with His heart and purpose. Philippians 2:13 says He is at work in us to make us willing to do His will. What is His will? To seek and save the lost.
So how do we keep the romance alive? How do we keep the fire burning? How do we have this attitude that Jeremiah has, unable to contain the fire within us?
I believe the answer is in what the priests noticed about Peter and John. They had been with Jesus.
Remember the Romance
The greatest love story in the world isn’t Titanic, or Princess Bride, even Romeo or Juliet, it’s the love that God has for His creation, demonstrated with the greatest act of love, Jesus’ death on the cross, exchanging His innocence and perfection for our guilt and shame. While we were still in rebellion, running away from God, ignoring Him, living our own way, Jesus died to win us.
Grace means the undeserved favour of God. It communicates that no matter how good or bad you have been or will be you’ll never be good enough. Jesus lived and died in your place and your salvation is not about your own acts of goodness but about God’s incredible mercy and forgiveness.
So often we can have this picture of God, stern and sensible. Distant and disinterested.
Isaiah 62:5 Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.
Have you ever seen a distant and disinterested groom?
Pause for a few moments and just imagine God smiling over you, rejoicing over you, celebrating you like a groom rejoices in his bride on their wedding day! I love weddings. I love that moment, the entrance song plays, the audience hushes. Everyone turns to the back of the room to see the brides entrance. But you know what I love to do, turn around and see the groom. See his response to her arrival. See his first glimpse of her in her dress. That is often what will make me cry. Now picture that love and that moment as the way God feels about you all the time.
When I am reminded of the great love of God towards me, I want others to know about it. And you now what, you know when someone is in love. You know when someone has an obsession about something. They tell people. They can’t contain their joy and excitement about the object of their affection.
Draw near to God, fall in love with Him, and allow God to stir your heart with love for others. Let HIS love for them fill your heart. That love will compel you to walk across the room and begin a conversation with someone.
Have you ever being rung by those Microsoft scammer dudes? I’ve had a few calls in the past fortnight. I am not scammed! But the thing that gets me is they are such bad advertisers and “not attractive” at all. They don’t attract me to getting help for my computer. They don’t draw me in and win me to rescue me from the terrible Microsoft virus that will blah blah blah blah blah. They don’t sell me, they don’t scam me.
How many of us are um, making God unattractive, by the way we live our lives?
And I’m not talking even about holiness issues here, but in the way we love and demonstrate the reality and grace of God.
Is it real enough in our lives to talk about it…?
Lets not contain God to ourselves or even to the 4 walls of our church but lets live uncontained and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and overflow into the world.
When you get it… others will get it.
When you get how much God loves you… others will get it.
When you get how God lavishes grace upon you… others will get it.
When you realize the price that was paid to rescue and redeem you, to save you… others will get it.
Matthew 12:34 says: For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Be full of God. Be fully in love with God. Be filled with God so you cant contain Him and so He overflows through you.
My horizontal living comes out of my vertical relationship.
Sometimes I tell myself
not to think about you, Lord,
or even mention your name.
But your message burns
in my heart and bones,
and I cannot keep silent. Jeremiah 20:9
if I say, I will not make mention of [the Lord] or speak any more in His name, in my mind and heart it is as if there were a burning fire shut up in my bones. And I am weary of enduring and holding it in; I cannot [contain it any longer]. Jeremiah 20:9 AMP
We’re called to be advertisers of the good news. Not the meh news.
We’re called to be unashamed and uncontained representatives.
If God has called you to be a giant slayer, He will make you a giant slayer.
He qualifies the called. He equips those He sends on a mission.
Think there was a prerequisite class for parting the Red Sea? You couldn’t google how to how to destroy city walls in 7 easy days and there were no books on lion taming, fire walking or rain making. Even when Jesus sent His disciples out they were unschooled ordinary men, fishermen, tax collectors, zealots.
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
This is the joy – its GOD’S power through you! Ordinary people! We are not sufficient of ourselves but because the Holy Spirit lives in us! The Holy Spirit lives in you to empower you. In our weakness He empowers. in our humanity He demonstrates His reality and power. We push out the boundaries of what is normal to talk to people we know and people we don’t. We in faith, lay hands on the sick, stirred by the promise that Jesus heals.
You may feel weak. But He is greater.
You may feel that you don’t have it all together. But He is greater.
You may feel like you don’t know enough. But He is greater.
You may feel out of your depth. But He is greater.
You may feel unqualified. But He is greater.
You may feel too old, too young, uncool, too new, too untheological, too theological, insecure. But He is greater.
He is greater than my fear and my insecurity. He WILL come through when we need Him because it is His mission and His purpose and His plan to use us. He equips us to serve.
The Holy Spirit is the promised Presence of God within us to love, experience God, share God.
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.’
Elisha replied to her, ‘How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?’
‘Your servant has nothing there at all,’ she said, ‘except a small jar of olive oil.’
Elisha said, ‘Go round and ask all your neighbours for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.’
She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another one.’
But he replied, ‘There is not a jar left.’ Then the oil stopped flowing.
2 Kings 4:1-4
Do you notice what happened in this passage. The woman had one little jar. One container. yet by the power of God when she poured the oil out the oil flowed and was uncontained and filled many jars. Likewise in our lives, it is the Holy Spirit who is the oil that flows through our lives to others and the oil will not run out!
If we want to walk on water we are going to have to get out of the boat! Don’t look at the natural circumstances – uncontained living means you get out of the boat and walk!
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my saviour. ~ Hillsong // Oceans // Zion
Don’t reject the possibility of God to work in and through you. Resist the fear. Resist the objections. Resist the temptation to say no, no, not me. Resist containing what the Holy Spirit CAN do through you! When you’re lining up your feelings of inadequacy vs what God promises, pick what God says and act on it!
Living an uncontained life means you push those boundaries of what may normally be your comfort zone so that the Holy Spirit can work through you to reach the lost.
1. Realize the Responsibility
Peter and John understood their responsibility as ambassadors of Jesus – they had being commissioned by jesus to go into all the world and make disciples and they made space for it in their lives. There’s such an intentionality, an awareness, about this moment that Peter and John have with the lame man. Peter and John allowed the opportunity to interrupt them. They didn’t contain God’s schedule to Sunday morning. How often are we caught up in the busyness of our lifestyle to connect with people we know, or reach out to strangers.
part of living an uncontained lifestyle is to make it a LIFESTYLE, not something we turn on and off.
when God speaks to me, do I hear it as an invitation or an interruption?
I was driving to pick the kids up from school the other day and a bus drove past with its headline saying SORRY. Immediately I thought about how sometimes we’re like that in our life. Driving around with our spirit doors shut and our SORRY IN SERVICE message broadcasting instead of being ready at any opportunity, open all hours.
You have been positioned by God in your class, in your workplace, in your community interactions, in your families, as a beacon of light in the darkness. Every day there are situations in our normal routines that require us to be the light of Christ in darkness.
I love how peter said one night “we are the senior pastors in our world.” You are the senior pastor in your world. You are the evangelist in your world. You can’t hire Billy graham to come have coffee with your workmates. You are there.
2 Corinthians 5:19-21 God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace. We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God. Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.
Stop and think about this for a moment.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that all who believe in Him will not die but have eternal life. And God uses you and me as ambassadors, as representatives, to proclaim this good news.
God’s plan is to rescue the world and the very agents of change to proclaim the gospel is you and me.
Rescued people. People who have experienced grace for real.
God wants us to live an uncontained life – letting go of the boundaries we have and the compartmentalization and the busyness that distracts us from the real purpose of life. Let’s wake up to the privilege and responsibility we have as believers. Wake up to those moments, like in the supermarket carpark, like on the temple steps, where God has an eternity changing moment marked in His calendar.
God is not half-hearted towards us and wants us to abandon indifference and to experience His love and presence so that we’ll overflow naturally to those around us.
“We nominate ourselves to love and serve the people here on behalf of the God who loves us so well.” Mark Driscoll
so today i zoomed around and did some shopping and wasnt super looking for an opportunity to step and out talk to strangers about Jesus though i think at the same time i was hungry for the chance…
so at the end of my morning i had to go back to a shop to pick up my I AM A BUTTERFLY KILLER tshirt (i am sure i’ll post on that one day… until then you’ll just have to wonder!) and i saw an older woman sitting on a bench seat by herself. she was polynesian and in her late 50’s-maybe 60’s (i so am bad at guessing ages!)
i thought to myself, if she was younger, i’d go and talk to her…
and i had one of those d-ah moments. d-ah just do it. God sometimes speaks in the d-ah’s to me.
so i went over and said, excuse me, my name is claire, and then i begun to share that i like to talk to strangers and tell them God loves them and ask if there is anything i can pray for. i EVEN told her that wee bit before, yip the d-ah moment and said how i felt from God that i should talk to her anyway!
i asked her if she was christian, if she believes in Jesus. and she said, oh yes. and told me she goes to a catholic church but has had many friends become born again and tell her that catholic is no no… so i encouraged her, said that when you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord as the way to heaven, forgiver of our sins etc that THAT is what makes us born again on the inside… i think she really is a true believer. so i encouraged her so.
asked her if there was anything i could pray for and she called her husband over who was coming out of a shop and told him what i was doing and he was like “wow okay” (but not in those words lol)
so she asked if i could pray for continued health, she is just recovering from breast cancer and also doesnt want to be worrying about health.
so i laid my hand on her shoulder, told her what i was doing and closed my eyes and prayed.
oh there was a beautiful sense of Holy Spirit there!
when i opened my eyes she had teared up.
Oh how HE loves us and reveals His love to us!
it was a beautiful moment.
thank you Jesus.
all glory to Him for His fames sake.
now if i can do this – go and do the same. go and share and love and pray and learn. i am doing it one step at a time and learning in each conversation.
something has stirred within me.
a desire to speak to the lost and to go out and just do it.
to pray for them.
to talk with them.
yesterday i dropped some books in at the library and it was just on my mind, i want to be like those who are OUT THERE talking and sharing and doing the work of an evangelist.
in my heart i felt, JUST DO IT. just do it. begin.
a young Polynesian man walked past. cool hat. lowriders.
just do it claire. just do it.
“excuse me” i said. he stopped and turned and a conversation begun.
i told him that i am a christian and believe God is supernaturally real and that He wanted me to stop him and talk to Him and encourage Him. i asked if he was a christian. “no” he said. so we talked and then i asked if i could do something even more weirder, than just talking to him – that is to pray for him… i would just close my eyes and would pray. it was okay so i did. this young man was quite moved and “touched”/impressed/wow’d a bit that i would stop and talk to him and tell him God loves him and knows him…and that he can know Him too…
i left the conversation buzzed. i did it!
i just did it!
and i learned – next time – ask the person what they need prayer for. more gospel – the gospel isnt just God loves you, there is more and i MUST share it and tell it.
so last night, lying in bed, i asked God to lead me and that today i would go on a mission for him.
i felt led to go to Boardertown at botany and talk and pray for someone in a red jumper. that was the instruction and leading. it popped into my mind and so that was my mission.
now, get this – i didnt even know if there WAS a Boardertown at botany – our mall. so i went there this morning after dropping the kids off to school and kindy and looked on the “shop location board” and sure enough – NO boardertown! but i knew there must be, cos God told me… so i walked around and found it
i waited a minute and there she was.
a red jumper – worn by a lovely looking young polynesian lady. with 2 friends.
“excuse me” i said.
i told them that i am a christian and believe God is supernaturally real and that i felt led to come and wait outside Boardertown for someone in a red jumper.
she was a christian so i felt led to encourage her that she is on His heart and then asked if there was anything i can pray for (what i learned from yesterdays mission – ASK THEM what God can do) and then prayed, all the time also talking and including her 2 non christian friends.
NEXT TIME i’ll ask to pray for the non christians who are with the person God led me too, and also more clearer gospel…
but it is a start. though i know not really what i am doing i am doing it. i am letting God lead the way and i trust that those people i talked to will be stirred and draw towards Him by Holy Spirit.
mission impossible is totally mission possible with the boldness and love of God!
more Lord, come Holy Spirit, let there be harvest