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Everything I lost in the garden, I find again in the Father…..

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Proverbs 4:23 says:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. NIV
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. NLT

Why do people “start” with such a passion, such a fire, such a zeal and end up with a mediocre complacent existence, more than living? Lots of that has to do with the condition of the heart.

Life is more than breathing.  Its about adventure and living for Jesus.  It’s about being authentic and being who God has made us and called us to be.

We have to have constant heart checks, it’s not easy to stay motivated and fired up but it takes grace from God and also intentionally stirring up that fire, stirring up that passion on the inside and doing the stuff that fuels that focus and enthusiasm in God.

Sometimes what takes us away from our destiny is that we have potential heart blockages and we need to regularly have heart adjustments to stay on track with the plans and purposes of God.

In the same way we take care of our natural heart to avoid ending up having a heart attack – we exercise, we don’t smoke, eat healthy, we eliminate the harmful lifestyle patterns – healthy hearts equal long healthy life – the same principal is true, we have to look after our spiritual heart and avoid blockages. Read the rest of this entry »

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I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. revelation 2: 2-5

This year as a church we’re looking at finding out who God has made us to be and how He has gifted us and how to get activated in using those gifts.

BUT before we get activated – and even if we’re on the journey of finding out who we are and what we’re called to – we need to have our own authentic real connected in love fired up passionate full on committed relationship with God.

It’s a what came first, the chicken or the egg?

It has to be real and it has to be our heart motivation to know and love Him and make Him known.

we may be uber talented but if we have no relationship with God we will not be serving His kingdom in a humble right manner.

Disclaimer: we’re all flawed and we’re all human and we’re all sinners but a consecrated committed disciple is different from a oh yeah whatever Christian.

But we want to be a person who embrace the call and purposes of God, who believe He is real and that He is the hope of the world

A person who pursue Him and find Him

A person who will dream and live and be marked for eternity, not just breathing and living but living with purpose and destiny

Determined to know Him

Determined to keep knowing Him

Determined to live to please Him

In the face of seemingly impossible odds God is up in heaven, not stressed at all. God is confident of His work in and through us.

Any ministry and service and adventure you have with God needs to come out of the overflow – out of the heart and core of who we are… otherwise its not sustainable.

Or pleasing in the sight of God.

First love: in revelation 2: 2-5 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

The Ephesians were doing plenty of work and using their giftings. They were pursuing the call of God and active in their church and community.

But it wasn’t been done from a place of overflow in their lives. It wasn’t originating from love for God.

You see, God isn’t after our behaviour. He is after our heart.

Behaviour and change and transformation and obedience flows out of love from God and love towards, love for God.

Those that are in love with God and know His love for them respond with love.

You see the most important thing to realize in the world is that God loves you.

“God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so. He loves you when you don’t feel lovely. He loves you when no one else loves you. While we may theologically and intellectually understand the transaction, motivated by love, that took place at Calvary, the reality must reach our hearts in order to complete its course. We are loved. Let the words linger in our ears. We are loved.” ~ Max Lucado

Out of knowing that everything else will flow.

Security instead of insecurity

Peace instead of fear and worry

Hope instead of hopelessness

Righteousness by love instead of compromise

Vision instead of disorientation

You are loved. Loved.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 john 3:1

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Guts to live out your destiny

Highest priority and ultimate destiny
We all.must grasp this
Foundation for individual calling

Self awareness and priorities and how that affects our destiny
Not just now living
How we spend our time money resources etc
Make sure private life is bigger than public life
Character and consistency
24 hours in a day, one life to live, prioritizing time, choices,
Lots of things compete for time
Matt 22.27-28 love the lord your God with all
Luke 14.26 does not hate own family and life
And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of your glory and grace
Matt 7.21-23 not everyone, did lots of works but I never knew you

What does it mean to have a living relationship with jesus?
What does it look like to put jesus first in our life?
God is calling his people to intimacy
Friendship john 15.15

Father of lights dvd – ravi calls God daddy
How do we get to this place?
Intentional time with God
Looks different for everyone
Aware of His presence
You cant live sunday to sunday
Bride of christ – don’t marry a stranger
Don’t just know ABOUT him
Don’t chose other lovers
entertainment/sport/success/relationships/money etc
Even His work can be another lover
Set God as our highest priority and first love
It wont be about how successful you were but do you know him

Revelation of him not only as king but as groom

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I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. revelation 2: 2-5

 

This year as a church we’re looking at finding out who God has made us to be and how He has gifted us and how to get activated in using those gifts.

BUT before we get activated – and even if we’re on the journey of finding out who we are and what we’re called to – we need to have our own authentic real connected in love fired up passionate full on committed relationship with God.

 

It’s a what came first, the chicken or the egg?

 

It has to be real and it has to be our heart motivation to know and love Him and make Him known.

 

we may be uber talented but if we have no relationship with God we will not be serving His kingdom in a humble right manner.

Disclaimer: we’re all flawed and we’re all human and we’re all sinners but a consecrated committed disciple is different from a oh yeah whatever Christian.

 

But we want to be a person who embrace the call and purposes of God, who believe He is real and that He is the hope of the world

A person who pursue Him and find Him

A person who will dream and live and be marked for eternity, not just breathing and living but living with purpose and destiny

Determined to know Him

Determined to keep knowing Him

Determined to live to please Him

 

In the face of seemingly impossible odds God is up in heaven, not stressed at all. God is confident of His work in and through us.

Any ministry and service and adventure you have with God needs to come out of the overflow – out of the heart and core of who we are… otherwise its not sustainable.

Or pleasing in the sight of God.

 

First love: in revelation 2: 2-5 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

 

The Ephesians were doing plenty of work and using their giftings. They were pursuing the call of God and active in their church and community.

But it wasn’t been done from a place of overflow in their lives. It wasn’t originating from love for God.

 

You see, God isn’t after our behaviour. He is after our heart.

Behaviour and change and transformation and obedience flows out of love from God and love towards, love for God.

 

Those that are in love with God and know His love for them respond with love.

 

You see the most important thing to realize in the world is that God loves you.

“God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so. He loves you when you don’t feel lovely. He loves you when no one else loves you. While we may theologically and intellectually understand the transaction, motivated by love, that took place at Calvary, the reality must reach our hearts in order to complete its course. We are loved. Let the words linger in our ears. We are loved.” ~ Max Lucado

 

Out of knowing that everything else will flow.

Security instead of insecurity

Peace instead of fear and worry

Hope instead of hopelessness

Righteousness by love instead of compromise

Vision instead of disorientation

You are loved. Loved.

 

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 john 3:1

Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanour, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use. Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.  1 Timothy 4:11-16

 

just-one-conference

 

SPEAKER: Jessica Cornelius – Leading With Your Life @ JustONE Virtual Conference at LEADING AND LOVING IT

 

we can get so busy doing THINGS for God and then we stop and breathe and realize were were doing work FOR God and not WITH God, we’ve unintentionally changed the parameters of our service

 

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.  You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.  Revelation 2: 3-5

 

we can be characterised as this: working hard, putting in the hours, changing lives, doing great deeds, standing up against injustice, persevering

BUT we have left our first love

BUT your heart has changed

we can be unaware of it, unintentionally shifting focus and heart – substituting labour for love

 

FIRST LOVE YOUR GOD

SECOND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR

 

Don’t reverse the order of the Great Commandment.

we often LOVE PEOPLE FIRST

and LOVE GOD SECOND

 

we have to keep them in the right order, the first thing comes first and the second comes from overflow of the first

 

the people are the pressing needs around us everyday, we have to be intentional about keeping our first love

 

Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!  Galatians 3:2 MSG

we can complete with our own efforts the work that was begun by God.

God has already started your calling.  He invites you to come and partner with Him and walk with Him.

 

we so need God to be with us and help us:

Hudson Taylor “God’s work done God’s way will never lack supply.”

  • emotional supply
  • physical supply
  • spiritual supply

all our needs – our emotional needs – God can supply THAT capacity and stamina to do the intangible

 

be REPLENISHED by God

 

to keep your passion and zeal for ministry and serving God – listen to the right voices.

yes there are some sacrifices to be made, that’s reality.  have positive voices and passionate voices that influence you.

If it is an honour to commissioned by an earthly king, why then is it a sacrifice to be commissioned by our Heavenly King?

listen to voices that say:

be the best you you can be

follow Jesus

you can do it in His strength

that He is able

 

likewise, be aware of the voice that you are sharing.  YOU are a role model.  leave a legacy that makes a mark on peoples lives

And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father  1 Thessalonians 3:11

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This year as a church we’re going to look at finding out who God has made us to be and how He has gifted us and how to get activated in using those gifts.

BUT before you get activated – and even if you’re on the journey of finding out who you are and what you’re called to – you need to have your own authentic real connected in love fired up passionate full on committed relationship with God.

It’s a what came first, the chicken or the egg?

It has to be real and it has to be your heart motivation to know and love Him and make Him known.

You may be uber talented but if you have no relationship with God you will not be serving His kingdom and prob will not get picked for promotion and adventure.

Disclaimer: we’re all flawed and we’re all human and we’re all sinners but a consecrated committed disciple is different from a oh yeah whatever Christian.

But we want to be a person who embrace the call and purposes of God, who believe He is real and that He is the hope of the world

A person who pursue Him and find Him

A person who will dream and live and be marked for eternity, not just breathing and living but living with purpose and destiny

Determined to know Him

Determined to keep knowing Him

Determined to live to please Him

 

Life is a journey and we’re all at different places spiritually and all that but THIS – housegroup – is a place where we have fun, make friends, eat a lot and where we press in and press through, into something greater than just hanging out and having a good time, where we learn and step out and are challenged and encouraged, and are ignited by a very real personal alive mighty God.

 

In the face of seemingly impossible odds God is up in heaven, not stressed at all. God is confident of His work in and through us.

 

I have to confess, I don’t want you to live ordinary lives.

I want you to be used by God so that you have the greatest adventure and so that you experience the greatest love and greatest satisfaction.

Ordinary is not enough.

Any ministry and service and adventure you have with God needs to come out of the overflow – out of the heart and core of who we are… otherwise its not sustainable.

Or pleasing in the sight of God.

 

First love: in revelation 2: 2-5 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

 

The Ephesians were doing plenty of work and using their giftings. They were pursuing the call of God and active in their church and community.

But it wasn’t been done from a place of overflow in their lives. It wasn’t originating from love for God.

You see, God isn’t after your behaviour. He is after your heart.

Behaviour and change and transformation and obedience flows out of love from God and love towards, love for God.

Those that are in love with God and know His love for them respond with love.

You see the most important thing to realize in the world is that God loves you.

 

“God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so. He loves you when you don’t feel lovely. He loves you when no one else loves you. While we may theologically and intellectually understand the transaction, motivated by love, that took place at Calvary, the reality must reach our hearts in order to complete its course. We are loved. Let the words linger in our ears. We are loved.” ~ Max Lucado

 

Out of knowing that everything else will flow.

Security instead of insecurity

Peace instead of fear and worry

Hope instead of hopelessness

Righteousness by love instead of compromise

Vision instead of disorientation

You are loved. Loved.

 

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 john 3:1

 

My prayer for you all for this year is that you will encounter God like never before, that you will know that He loves you and has done everything needed to save you and that His promise is that He will complete the good work He has begun in you and that nothing can separate you from His love, that He will never leave or forsake you and that you are created and called to draw near to God.

 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right) , and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

We’re going to spend some time worshipping now and I encourage you to join in and participate, even if you don’t know the songs.

When I became a Christian I was 16 and had gone to youth group to meet the boys – and when I was there they had some worship and at the start a guy prayed, a real simple prayer, and at that moment I knew God was real. It was like my heart and eyes were opened and all of a sudden I knew that God was real and I could know Him.

Worship is a great opportunity for us to turn ourselves towards God, to ask Him to reveal Himself and for us to thank Him and honour Him and surrender ourselves to Him, so we’re going to take this moment to draw near to God. And His promise…that He will draw near to us. I believe that amazing things can happen in worship, that life can change in worship… because we’re not just singing songs but we are drawing near to our Heavenly Father who loves us and created us for this very purpose.

 

WORSHIP SET:

one thing remains – the loft sessions

came to my rescue – hillsong united

fall afresh – the loft sessions

the stand – hillsong live in miami

 

 

 

housegroup notes from Wednesday 15th Feb 2012

Trials and refinement don’t sit well in our 21st century western way of thinking. We have our microwaves, popcorn makers, dvds, im, mysky etc etc etc… but the work of God takes a lifetime and there are seasons that take time. The work of God is precious and good and right. God is working a miracle in our lives. In my life. I AM a miracle. I am a demonstration and ambassador for him. 

The message of Jesus has never been a happy happy joy joy promise.  He does promise abundant life, but that life is characterized by a life of surrender and relationship with God.  This promise comes with the outworking and demonstration of our faith, shaped by trials and obedience.  Jesus calls us to walk a narrow road, to take up our cross, to put Him first above all others, including and especially ourselves.

As Christians we may experience seasons of great joy and freedom, and likewise seasons when God seems very far away and that our spiritual life resembles the Sahara Desert.  There is a bigger picture involved.

“In all your journey as a believer, you will have two categories of spiritual experiences. One is tender, delightful and loving. The other can be quite obscure, dry, dark and desolate. God gives us this first one to gain us; he gives us the second to purify us.

First He deals with you as if you were only a child. Then he begins to deal with you as though you were a strong man. In the first there is a great deal of your Christian experience tied to that which you can sense outwardly. But the other category of Christian experience calls for a believer to no longer mind the outward senses. Rather he must know warfare against his own passions, and attain to a will that is in complete agreement and concert with the Lord…. This is the proper occupation of us all.

Dry spells are the instrument of God, for your good. Yes, it is true in such times, your five senses have been deprived and all outward progress of outward piety ends. Know this; In such times you are either going to leave off prayer and perhaps even a large part of your Christian walk, or you will be drive to a comfort which has nothing to do with the outward sense.” Molinos from 100 Days In The Secret Place (by Gene Edwards)

In these dry places we learn to persevere and to draw near to God regardless of how we feel and what we sense. In this time God is still at work, even more so I would think, as He develops strength of character and hunger for Him. We learn to pray in new ways, to seek after God and to in that action to hold onto our faith and beliefs. We may even find our beliefs and faith changing as things that are built on works and feelings and comfortability fall away. We may discover that we do know in our deepest parts that God does love me and knows me and forgives me – despite all our failings and unworthiness. In a dry spell the greatest watering and growth can occur. 

Even if we know nothing else we can have hope in WHO God Is.   God is God, the God of mercy and compassion, love and peace, grace and hope, Jehovah our Provider, Jehovah our Healer, Jehovah our Breakthrough.  He is the same today, yesterday and will be tomorrow. He will never leave or depart us, never abandon us. Our names are written on the palm of his hand, and there are nail scars to reinforce the point.

The dry place is not a time to give up. It is a time to hold on. It is a time to not let go of those “disciplines” that we practice. By the way those disciplines we do, bible reading and prayer and going to church must be actions of relationship or they become ritual. They must be actions of love and discovering who God is and what he does rather than form and just doing. We must read the bible to discover the author and creator – to know The Word, not just the words. 

Revelation 3 warns us to have fresh love for God.  Rules and rituals are no substitute for really knowing God and having the friendship available.

Knowing who God is will help immeasurably in the storm and the fire. Isaiah 43:1-2 promises that when we walk in the flood we will not be overwhelmed and when we walk through the fire we will not be burnt.  Jesus told us that in this life we will have troubles but that we can take heart and be confident that He has overcome the world.  Knowing what God says and promises for those situations brings hope and faith. It causes trust to rise in our hearts.  This is why knowing the Word is so vital. It strengthens us for the hard road, and refreshes us in the dry place. It teaches us who God is. 

Refining and shaping occurs so that we are more like Jesus in heart and character. This is so we are more effective in service for God. I do believe we are all cracked pots containing the great treasure of God, himself, the Holy Spirit, who works through us and in us and that our brokenness only serves to demonstrate how great and graceful and compassionate God is.

 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.  

1 Corinthians 4:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

God does not change.  He does not leave us.  He does not forsake us.  But He does allow us to be transformed and refined.  He has a bigger picture and no quick fixes.  God doesn’t use band aids but gets to the heart of the matter.  

Finally, take great hope from the Word of God that promises that when we are dying of thirst (spiritually) “He will come to their rescue.  He will make rivers flow on mountain peaks and send streams to fill the valleys.  Dry and barren lands will flow with springs and become a lake.” (Isaiah 41:17-18 CEV)  Don’t give up.  Keep praying.  Keep reading The Word.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

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Worship Wednesday

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