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At HKC Youth this term we’ve been looking at the behind the scenes stuff – the spiritual stuff that goes on behind the scenes in our life, how that affects here and now, what we can see, how we feel, how we act, and how we are not victims but how God has given us tools to equip and empower us for any situation.

A couple of weeks ago one of our awesome youth leaders did a phenomenal message about the armour of God – who can remember the different parts of armour?

One of the parts that especially challenged me and made me go mmmmm was when he wrote on each nerf bullet a tactic or strategy that the enemy uses to mess with our minds.

Shame.

Fear.

Insecurity.

Guilt.

Hate.

And he shot them out of his nerf gun at his brother who was wearing his helmet of salvation and had his shield of faith up and the bullets just bounced off and were deflected.

Our shield of faith is made up of all the truth we know about God.

He is good.

He is for us.

He is powerful.

He gives us peace.

He heals us.

He is at work to make all things good.

When the enemy fires a lie at us, fires a dart at us, his aim is that it will hit us, penetrate us, wound us – kill steal and destroy us.  That we’ll get hit and then we’ll buy the lie and it becomes the way we think.

But faith identifies the lie and replaces it with the truth of the Word of God.

Jesus did this when the devil tempted him in the desert after he was baptized.  The devil would say “so if you think you’re the son of God do this or do that” and Jesus would hold up his shield of faith and say “it is written in the word of God” and the lie would just bounce off.

There is power in declaring who God is.  Regardless of our circumstances, regardless of what it looks like, God is faithful, He is good, He is mighty to save. When we declare Who God is, our circumstances have to bow to the truth.

But sometimes we have our own lies.  We have our own issues that fight against God.

The war is within us.  My will vs God’s will.  My ways vs God’s way.

There are things that I don’t want to do, that I end up doing.

There are things that I want to do, but I don’t do them.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride,  and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope,  humility, kindness, , empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Everyone loves a good love story.

The Princess Bride.

Tangled.

The return of the jedi.

 

If you flick through the tv channels you’ll see evidence of our cultures fascination with love stories.

The Bachelor.

Married at First Sight.

First Date.

 

Not endorsing any of those programmes – especially as these ones often end up unhappily ever after!

Hosea is one of those books that probably should come with a PG rating, and would make reality tv viewers go nuts on social media but is my favourite book of the Bible.  It is a phenomenal picture of the gospel and of God’s unrelenting, everlasting, never stopping, never giving up love for us.  The name Hosea even means Salvation and is the same name as Joshua and Jesus and as we read Hosea we see that not only his words, but that his whole life was a prophetic message to Israel.

The book of Hosea is a love story.  Of the epic romance movie kind.

I’ve been doing some research bout love stories and romcoms this week.  There is a formula for romantic movies did you know.

Boy meets girl.

Boy and girl like each other but must overcome obstacles to be together.

Plot twist.

Happy ending.

 

The book of Hosea follows the genre well.  It focuses on one of the craziest things that God asked anyone in the Bible to do. God told a man named Hosea to marry a woman who had a “shady past” and thus, boy meets girl.    God loving good Christian boy Hosea meets worldly atheistic good time girl.  But the craziness doesn’t end there.  Plot twist number one.  Gomer abandons Hosea and sleeps around, becoming a professional hooker, having kids by these other men. Plot twist number two.  The good times run out for Gomer, and she ends up being sold into sexual slavery.  Plot twist number three. God tells Hosea to go and buy her back and bring her back into his home and to share his love with her again. Believe or not, Hosea obeyed! What was God up to? And will there be a happy ending by the time the credits roll?

The human story was to teach people about His Story. It’s a story that definitely gets our attention, and it’s an incredible reminder of God’s radical love for us. Read the rest of this entry »

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The good news of the gospel is that Jesus did not wait until we were loving before He loved us; He didn’t even wait till we asked Him to love us before He loved us—He loved us in our unloveliness. And His love for us births love in us, which bleeds love through us to those around us. ~ Tullian Tchividjian

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As I pause to help others, I am reminded that, just like Jesus, we are called to notice the people around us and to bring a touch of hope into their lives.  A person pursuing obedience is able to pause and touch those that He says need our time, in spite of busy schedules.  The obedience soul redefines who she is through God’s eyes and any hesitation to do what He asks fades way. // Lysa Terkeurst

 

Whether I’m writing an encouraging note to a discouraged friend or lending a helping hand to a mother who is overwhelmed with the responsibilities of her life, I’ve discovered its so simple to bring the light of God into the midst of our everyday world.  It is in the small acts of life that He can be reflected so beautifully – taking a meal to a new mother, welcoming a new neighbour with an invitation for dinner, or even just smiling at strangers as we pass them on the street.  as i pause to help others, I am reminded that, just like Jesus, we are called to notice the people around us and to bring a touch of hope into their lives.  // Lysa Terkeurst //

 

“Sometimes the God of the universe pauses in the midst of all His creation to touch the heart of one person.”  // Lysa Terkeurst

Always moved by this creative presentation of the gospel

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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God has made us ALL to be witnesses – not just the people people, or the extroverts or the youth or the whatever, but all of us.   If you are a born again Holy Spirit filled believer in Jesus Christ then the bible says that you are filled with power to be a witness.

Sometimes we need a reminder as to what that means and to how that can look in our real life, and a reminder about how passionate God is about this.  God is passionate about the lost and the prodigals.

 

Now we can know that in theory.  We can know the nice bible verses and have a mental agreement that yes, God loves Lost… people.

But how do we embrace and engage the wonder of evangelism and make it real in our lives.

What does it look like for your life?  For your context?

 

Who do we invite?

How are we invite someone?

Why are we inviting them?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Jesus breathed His final words on the cross: “It is finished.” Bowing his head, He gave up His Spirit. ^John 19:30

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples, showing them His nail scarred hands. And with that, He breathed on them and spoke: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” ^John 20:22

His breath gives us life.

Breathe in God’s Word, grace, and Spirit.
Then breathe out your praises to Him.
Each and every day.

 

Crucified_Jesus__the_face_by_DevCageR.jpg“He loves you. God knew you were going to be messy. God knows that you are going to screw up. That’s what the cross is all about. You are going to fail, and stumble, and feel dirty and awkward. The whole point of the cross of Christ is that there be this mighty picture of His love and pursuit of you despite you. The cross is necessary because of you but it is also the picture we have of how far God is willing to go because He loves you. “

|| Matt Chandler

How deep is God’s love for us?

Everlasting.

Wide.

High.

Eternal.

Never ending.

Forever.

Unfathomable.

Relentless.

Amazing love, that held Jesus on the cross, paying for my sin, setting me free.

 

 

You put Your love on the line
To bear the weight of sin that was mine
Washing my river of wrongs
Into the sea of Your infinite love

With arms held high
Lord I give my life
Knowing I’m found in Christ
In Your love forever
With all I am
In Your grace I stand
The greatest of all romance
Love of God my Saviour

 

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