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Right now in Christ, you have unlimited resources, unceasing strength, unequaled peace, unfailing help — so you can face anything unafraid.

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Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For 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. Ephesians 6:10-12

as christians we live in a war zone.  we are saved and sent.  redeemed and recruited.  we are part of God’s glorious plan to see people come to know Him.   anyone that wants to be used by God will face contention and battle.  the war zone touches every area of our life.  the great strategy of the enemy has always being the same, right from the beginning.  God isn’t who He says He is, and He doesn’t mean what He says.  He aims to distract and dissuade us from knowing God and living for Him.  he hates that we are children of God. 

 

his goal is the same as it was in the garden.  he exists to silence God’s message of hope and genuine relationship with His children.  don’t pick up the lies the enemy is putting down.  @stickyjesus

 

but in this war we are not unarmed or weak.  we are not the losers.  we are children and heirs of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who one day will return and breathe upon the enemy and destroy him.  the enemy is defeated already at the cross.  

 

God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled 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. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.  Colossians 2:13-15

we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to stand and overcome. 

 

Greater is He in you than the one who is in the world.  1 john 4:4

part of the strategy we need as christians to have victory – in the big picture – and in our own personal lives as we live out for Jesus is to be intentional and aware.    we need to know we’re in a battle and that we are fully armed.  we need to know WHO we are serving and WHY.   we need to be watching and alert.

 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5

 

this isn’t just a observance mode.  its not just a looking out for danger but its a choice to live our lives aware and living according to the Word of God.

every choice is a choice between light and darkness, between obedience and disobedience, between the flesh and the spirit, between the world and the Kingdom of God.  choose God.  choose obedience.  choose to pick up your cross and deny self and follow Jesus.  this is your offensive attack.  make choices to avoid evil.  make choices to not compromise.  make choices to overcome.

we are flawed broken people.  yet we are forgiven and cleansed.  we are being transformed daily.  the Holy Spirit is our guide.  the Word shows us how to live.  we are greatly loved. 

we are children of God.  citizens of God’s Kingdom. 

let us stand strong, let us make the choice to stand strong and to take our stand against the enemy, not just in prayer, but in how we conduct our lives.  let us be warriors for Jesus.

 

 

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For 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. Therefore put on the full armour 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6

 

 

 

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And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."  In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Luke 22:19-20

Lord, help me to remember, that my freedom and my eternity and my life were purchased by your body and blood, by your death i have life, by your punishment i have forgiveness.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1

THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).  Romans 5:1 AMP

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12

In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear). Ephesians 3:12 AMP

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7

In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favour.  Ephesians 1:7 AMP

God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son. And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. Colossians 1:19-22

*** more communion thoughts

* notes for WHAT WE BELIEVE = AMMO (5-7 min slot) @ housegroup tonight, followed by worship and prayer

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What is Worship?

but i, by your great love, can come into Your house, in reverence, bow down in worship at your temple with deepest awe.  Psalm 5:7 NLT

 

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

 

worship reinforces what matters most, reminds us of truths we forget and renews our desire to live what we believe.  Rick Warren

 

it is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men.  CS Lewis

 

 

Why do we Worship?

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise Psalm 145:3

 

You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being

Revelation 4:11

 

For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”’ Matthew 4:10b

 

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Psalm 103

 

They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.  Psalm 145:7

 

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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in the land of intense darkness and the shadow of death, upon them has the Light shined. Isaiah 9:2 AMP

this is a verse that appears in a passage so readily quoted at christmas time: isaiah 9:6-7

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

but today the power and reality and promise of v 2 struck my heart.

to those walking in the darkness, in the darkness and oppression of life, in the sorrow and pain of grief, in the loneliness and despair of living in this generation… with poverty and depression, with economic recession and earthquakes and disaster… with divorce and death, sickness and fear… to those walking in the darkness, living in the land of intense darkness and struggle… a light has dawned.

a light has dawned.

a child given.

hope born.

life.

salvation has come.

to those far away and in rebellion, to those who have no hope and dont know the way or the answer

a light has dawned.

 

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:4-9

 

to those walking in darkness

a light has dawned

hope arises

life and love are here

born in manger

executed on the cross

light IS shinning upon you.

God’s grace is rich towards you.

mercy is here.

light has dawned.

bread-of-life

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."  In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Luke 22:19-20

Lord, help me to remember, that my freedom and my eternity and my life were purchased by your body and blood, by your death i have life, by your punishment i have forgiveness.

 

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1

THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).  Romans 5:1 AMP

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12

In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear). Ephesians 3:12 AMP

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7

In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favour.  Ephesians 1:7 AMP

God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son. And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. Colossians 1:19-22

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You used to be far from God. Colossians 1:20

 

once i was lost.  i was unacceptable and unwelcome.

once i was a stranger and rejected and rebellious.

 

God himself was pleased
to live fully in his Son.
And God was pleased
for him to make peace
by sacrificing his blood
on the cross,
so that all beings in heaven
and on earth
would be brought back to God.

You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things.  But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.  Colossians 1:19-22

 

once i was lost.  now i am found.

once i was a stranger.  now i am a friend.

once i was a rebellious sinner, now i am holy, faultless and innocent.

 

Ephesians 1:5 NLT says this: God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

 

You have been welcomed into God’s family with all the benefits and protections and rights and blessings of been a daughter of God.

 

The Message puts it like this: Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.  Ephesians 2

 

 

Evangeline, my darling 7 year old daughter, wrote me this beautiful letter a few months ago:

To Claire, I love you because you are lovely. You are lovely because you are loved.

 

It’s like that with God. He says you are lovely. You are lovely because you are loved by the Creator of the Universe, the one who breathed out the stars, who holds the universe in the palm of His hand, who designed zebras and butterflies and hummingbirds. You are lovely because God says you are.

Do you hear that?

You are a daughter of God!

Welcomed.

No shame.  No rejection.  No performance required.  No refusal.  No indifference.  No condemnation.

We do not have to live in the shadow of our past! We have been set free and redeemed and welcomed into the family of God!

Your past has no power of you because the cross cancels the junk and the guilt. Jesus heals. He redeems. He calls you by name. He declares you’re innocent. No matter what you have done or what has been done to you – God declares us not guilty and opens His arms wide to receive us, to welcome us. Nothing can disqualify us from His love.

Amazing things happen when we come home to God.

 

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

 

esp relevant today is that today marks the first day of being part of a Leading & Loving It Virtual Community Group – a group brimming with welcome and connection… cant wait to see what God does in and to and through this bunch of women!

#FiveMinuteFriday free write time! <—click to tweet this!

Five Minute Friday is a feature over at Lisa-Jo Bakers TALES FROM A GYPSY MAMA blog.  i first read about it on my friend Fee’s blog and thought it sounded fun!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready?

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The people kept their distance while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.  Exodus 20:21 MSG

Moses was the rare individual that would not settle for knowing the acts of God but he desired to know His ways. While there are many who will stand at the bottom of the mount wanting someone else to climb the mountain to meet with God and relay the information. There are few who will climb-(exert effort), press past fear and preconceived notions and disappear behind the cloud. It is there that a man meets God. All were invited but only one ascended. Only one who came back with the radiance of God still shining upon him, only one who spoke with God face to face as a friend. The mountain and the invitation awaits ….. Who will climb? Father I know how many obstacles/excuses there are for me to stay at the base of the mountain. My desire and longing is to climb to meet You. Keep that passion at the forefront of all that I do this day!  youversion note

 

its interesting to note in exodus 19 and in this chapter the limits had to be put around the mountain and how only one called man could come and approach God.  the people had to consecrate themselves but even then the mountain was off limits.  God appeared in a dense cloud with fire and thunders and lightenings.  if the people crossed the barrier they would die.

 

contrast to the reality that Jesus is God with flesh, incarnated.

  • The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

  • Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.  John 14:8-11

  • The Son is the image of the invisible God.  Colossians 1:15
  • Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men  Philippians 2:6-7

Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God.

and the beautiful thing is that He came and dwelt with us, to show us the Father, to demonstrate His love and grace and power.

because of Him we have access and freedom to approach God, just as Moses did : In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12

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last week we had our wonderful women’s conference – and i was blest to be the speaker on the friday night…  these are my notes for the message

 

So the theme of the conference is PREDESTINED for a PURPOSE and my goal tonight is to get you excited and wide open to what God is saying and doing in and through your life

One of the key verses that most of us will know from Esther is FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS – And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

This is our time. This is our “such a time as this” moment.

I love how Esther is introduced in the bible – she is to become the heroine of the story, the deliverer of her people and a mighty woman of God with a book in the bible named after her (which I think would be a pretty big deal!)

: and by the way – inst it interesting how so many of the bible heroes come from a place of obscurity and how God uses them: david the shepherd, Elijah who we have no idea what his past was, peter the fisherman, Lydia was in retail, matthew a tax collector, mary magdalane the demon possessed prostitute… God delights in taking the ordinary and the unexpected and using them as demonstrations of His greatness and goodness!

 

FAMILY:

 

Just like esther. Now you have to flick through to esther 2 to find her…

 

Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, 6 who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah. 7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.

 

Now we know the end of the story, that Esther is selected, along with all the single ladies, to enter the Ultimate Bachelor competition, undergoes a year of spa treatments and then is ultimately the one chosen, but when we meet her – she is an orphan, an exile, a grieving, broken, lost child. She has an unassuming unheroic ordinary beginning.

Esther was an orphan. We, can make loots of assumptions about when and how her parents died but her experience or ophanhood is probably very different from our glossed over Annie in the red dress picture we have in our head. As an orphan she had no rights. She had no one to depend upon. No sources of love and comfort. No to mention who would teach her to cook, how to apply mascara, how to deal with girl issues, how to meet mr. right.

Esther’s future as an orphan looked pretty bleak…

But the big point I want you to notice and catch is that God puts her in a family; He welcomes her into Mordacai’s family.

You see the reality is that like Esther we are, without God, all orphans and broken and lost and alone.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, Ephesians 2:1

You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. Colossians 1:20

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Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For 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. Ephesians 6:10-12

 

as christians we live in a war zone.  we are saved and sent.  redeemed and recruited.  we are part of God’s glorious plan to see people come to know Him.   anyone that wants to be used by God will face contention and battle.  the war zone touches evey area of our life.  the great strategy of the enemy has always being the same, right from the beginning.  God isnt who He says He is, and He doesnt mean what He says.  He aims to distract and diswade us from knowing God and living for Him.  he hates that we are children of God. 

 

his goal is the same as it was in the garden.  he exists to silence God’s message of hope and genuine relationship with His children.  don’t pick up the lies the enemy is putting down.  @stickyjesus

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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Worship Wednesday

1000 Things

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