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Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. John 6:1-6

God always has a plan.  Always has a provision.  Always makes the way.

Nothing is impossible for God.

All things are possible for God.

God has all the details of our lives and the world in hand.

Jesus asked the disciples to feed the crowd, but he already had in mind what he was going to do.  He was teaching the disciples a lesson in faith and the power of God.

Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”  John 6:7-8

Jesus had a plan.  He already had it worked out, in the boys lunch box.  In times when Jesus is calling us to accomplish the impossible he isnt asking us to naturally accomplish what only HE can do.  He is asking us to align ourselves with him and his power and provision and plan.  It is not by our might or our power our our natural ability but by the power of the Holy Spirit that anything miraculous and supernatural can occur.  We do not possess the natural resources for miracles.  Jesus is the miracle worker.  He has a plan.

We can see this played out also in Ezra 1.

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing:

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

” ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.  Anyone of his people among you—may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’ “

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.  All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.  Ezra 1:1-6

First we see the heart of Cyrus, a heathen king, being moved by God.

Then the people are moved to return and build in Jerusalem.

and the staying people are moved to give and provide for those going.

God had a plan.  A plan that may have seemed impossible on paper.  But all things are possible iwth God.  God moves the hearts of kings and stirs the spirits of people to do his will and carry out his plans.   He moves and prepares and provides.

We can be confident that if he calls that he will equip and empower and provide whatever we need, be it resource or wisdom or compassion or the right words or power.

a friend emailed me this and i am so glad as it so resonated in my heart and stirred me even more!

I’ve seen Angels and chariots being released into New Zealand; fireballs are being thrown into the land by the angels hitting homes, Schools, factories, business parks and churches.

The message of the fireballs is “Wake up, See the salvation of the Lord.”

We see revival, he sees harvest.

Ian Johnson – His Amazing Glory Ministries

for me this is mightily encouraging as my heart has being stirred by God about harvset – while reading John 4 the other day verse 35 JUMPED out at me and has begun to settle and stir as a message for when i preach at our young adults service next… OPEN YOUR EYES AND LOOK – THE HARVEST IS RIPE.

oh and in case you didnt know… my nick name is fireball – so you may also see why i got a bit excited on the inside!

Perhaps the greatest barrier to revival on a large scale is the fact that we are too interested in a great display. We want an exhibition; God is looking for a man who will throw himself entirely on God. Whenever self-effort, self-glory, self-seeking or self-promotion enters into the work of revival, then God leaves us to ourselves.  Ted Rendall

open your eyes and look.  john 4:35

Here am I, send me.  Isaiah 6:8

368.  the Word became flesh!

369.  a happy and successful christmas with family and friends.

370.  happy smiles of wonder on the faces of the kids on christmas morning.

371.  my new mp4 player and the potential to listen to awesome preaching and great worship and other cool music.  me happy!

372.  christmas food!

373.  sleep ins and holiday time.

374.  family time together.

375.  cranberry and coke drink – mmmmm

376.  i have a watch!  well two watches actually – after about 3 years of no watch.  so now i know the time :o)

378.  giving the right gifts to both children and adults alike – again the faces of wonder and joy and contentment

379.  sunny days and cooler days.  both are needed and both are enjoyed.

380.  trying new things

381.  good friends who ring up and say come round and bbq with us.

382.  my new NIV bible.  its cool.  is the first NIV i’ve ever had.  my first bible as a 16 yr old new christian was a NKJV and then the last few years i have had a CEV, and i know most people use a NIV (i’m a bit slow, or rather, i rebel against what everyone else has…) so now I have an NIV, nice leather cover, silver leaf on the side.  tiny writing but all good!

383.  the new Star Trek movie.  oh i like it!

384.  Esther 4:14 For such a time as this

385.  The Word of God – i just love reading it and learning from it and even though i’ve been a christian 16 years i still learn new things and get new insights that refresh me and restore me and give me vision and hope!

holy experience

Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”  John 4:35-38

Jesus tells us to OPEN OUR EYES AND LOOK!

Look – the harvest is RIPE.  READY. GREAT. PLENTIFUL. LARGE.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matthew 9:36-38

fter this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  Luke 10:1-2

The harvest is limitless and expansive.  But the workers are few.  Or perhaps it could be interpreted, in my heart and mind anyway, as the workers with willing hearts, is few.

My prayer for this upcoming year is that i would have a willing heart and would be in the fields, harvesting.

When you think about it the worker is called to GO and it is GOD who harvests and works in peoples hearts to move them towards salvation and new birth.

We are called to be partners with God, co-labourers, ministers of reconcilliation.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  2 Corinthians 5:20-21

What is it that holds us back from the harvest, from going out as a worker in the field for God, in the field for who Jesus stretched his arms and died for?

Perhaps we have our eyes closed – we need to heed what Jesus said, to open our eyes and look!  to look at the neighbours around us, our classmates, our workmates, the checkout chick at the supermarket…   the lost are lost and need a saviour.

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36

We have become complacent children, content in the grace of God lavished upon us, so much so that we forget the days before we were found and we disgregard the fate of those around us.  Oh may God stir me and stir us!  May our hearts be filled with love and vision for the harvest!  Time is short!

last night me and a wonderful friend watched ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING movie, based on a book by Tommy Tenny, and based on the book of Esther in the bible.

though not a straight from the pages of the bible, it has some interesting insights and is generally a beautifully crafted movie.

and the king used to be one of the lead singers in my favourite boy band when i was a short one…

if you’re wanting a girls night movie, i’d recommend this one :o)

so christmas is past – very much enjoyed and contently cherished – a good time with family and friends celebrating the birth of my saviour – sharing good food and giving and recieving thoughtful gifts – and so now i am looking ahead to what the year brings – or should i say continuing to look ahead to what the new year brings.  i am by nature always pressing forward in various degrees – planning and thinking and dreaming and visioning.

so the new year is ahead of us, less than a week away.

this year, for my 2nd year running i dont have a restless feeling – a need to do something new and to expand.  i am content with the things i am involved in and dont need new things.  i am hoping to take our in house church preaching course again but otherwise it will be continuing to serve and dream as i am now.  when i say content i dont mean comfortable.  i know there is room – much room – for increase and improvement and growth in the areas i am in which is so good. there is always new challenge and contention and victorys to be won and fought for.

last year was an incredibly rewarding year for me.  i did the preaching course and preached at least once a month at our young adults service and at 2 youth outreaches and a childrens church outreach.  our housegroup went through an incredibly painful time when one of our young men was killed in a car accident – and together we have walked through the grief, especially supporting his girlfriend, also a member of our group.  together we have explored the bible and expressed a desire to see God move in increasing measure and to pray more for this to be reality.  our young adults service, which underwent major surgery in oct 2008 (when i came on board the leadership team!) has flourished and developed a culture of seeking God, worship, on fire preaching and fun connection hang out times.  we laugh together, we mock each other and we strive to follow God and to change the world for our Lord Jesus Christ together.  last august i also started to step back from main leadership of mainly music, a preschool community outreach run by many churches here in New Zealand.  my heart is refreshed to continue my role in this outreach and i am excited by the potential and possiblity as we have forged great realationships and trust.    it is good to love the lost.  and this year my challenge is to redesign our church magazine – to give it a fresh new look and style!  good things ahead.

my heart is to also pray more, reach out more, see God move more, grow more faith.

i want to know God, and make Him known.  i want to know God, be strong and do exploits by his power and for his glory and fame.

on another level, i have a desire to run.  to run and be fit and strong physically.  so we’ll see where that takes me :o)

move my heart O Lord that i might seek you and be in your ways and will.

here am i.  use me.

come as you have promised!

Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”   The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”  exodus 4:10-11

i read from my new NIV bible last night – yay – following my bible plan (which i begun 4 years ago and have adapted somewhat so it is more my plan than the mc’cheyne bible plan) – and am continuing to read in exodus.

i was particularly stuck by verse 11 – who is it that designed our mouths – who gives us ears to hear and eyes to see?  it is God.  he is the one who designed us and equipped us.  likewise spiritually he is the one who enables us and empowers us to speak his message and to hear his voice and to see his revelations.

we can be confident – or i am confident – that because God is the one who created me and empowers me that he WILL empower me and give me the words to speak when i am preaching and ministering and in conversations about him.

my prayer today is that i will have a mouth to speak for God, that my ears will hear his voice and that i will see what he reveals to me. here am i Lord, use me.

Merry Christmas – Your Saviour is HERE!  Your Saviour is BORN!  God with us.

Thanks so much for coming and joining in the conversation of this blog – i pray you’re inspired to know God and make Him known!

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23

i was thinking more about this last night as i lay awake in the middle of the night.  i love how God gives His name – how His name is a sign or a relfection or a THIS IS WHO I AM type thing.  God honours His name – as in He lives up to the expectation of His name.

JEHOVAH-JIREH: “The Lord will Provide.” Gen. 22:14. From “jireh” (“to see” or “to provide,” or to “foresee” as a prophet.) God always provides, adequate when the times come.

JEHOVAH-ROPHE: “The Lord Who Heals” Ex. 15:22-26. From “rophe” (“to heal”); implies spiritual, emotional as well as physical healing. (Jer. 30:17, 3:22; Isa. 61:1) God heals body, soul and spirit; all levels of man’s being.

JEHOVAH-ROHI: “The Lord Our Shepherd” Psa. 23, from “ro’eh” (to pasture).

from The Names of God

and if you want to have your mind totally blown and happy dance about the names of God go read HERE – here is another list of names!

so back to lying awake in teh middle of the night…

Immanuel – God With Us.

This is the name God declared would be the name of the Messiah and Saviour.  This is WHO HE IS – He IS God with us!  He is declaring something about His very heart and nature.  He is saying “expect me to be with you, because I AM GOD WITH YOU, I AM WHO I AM!”

Now that is good news!  Good news to ordinary people – it makes God so personal and real and close – God with ME – ordinary me, in my today, in my tomorrow, while i lie awake at night, as i drive, as i am needing Him, as i am resting, as i am working.  God with me.

This is the fourth post counting down to Christmas…  counting down to celebrating the day God became flesh and dwelled with humanity, living and dying on the cross for our salvation.

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