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**** preaching notes from preaching @ The River last night

 

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Disclaimer: revival starts with Jesus but you now

I respond and say YES

God is looking for a person, a youth group, a church, a housegroup, a leader, a community, a city to say YES

I don’t want to miss it, I don’t want jesus to be passing by and miss it

Blind bartimaeous heard jesus passing by and called out

The crowd shhsss him but he cries out all the more

Are we willing to lay down our reputation, our comfort, ourselves, to encounter God?

 

1 the world needs revival
2 revival must be in the church
3 revival begins in me
4 revival needs room

Revival comes through the revived.

 

And again He entered Capernaum and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.  Mark 2:1-4

 

It goes on to record how Jesus firstly heals the man inside out – getting him right with God and then heals his physical body – healing him on the outside.

I want to break this passage down to see what we can learn about it in sustaining our own personal revival – revival starts in me.

1.  Revival Begins When Jesus is in The House

Revival in our own lives is sustained when we have a daily awareness that Jesus is real and that Jesus is amazing and that Jesus is Lord – that Jesus is good and great – of who He is and what His purpose is – and that Jesus lives on the inside of me.

How do we get Jesus in the house? Firstly, you’re accepted now… Jesus died for you and now if you’re born again, He lives in you. He is IN the house.

 

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

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

But there is a different between Jesus being in the house and Jesus being IN the house!

When Jesus was in the house – when it was a tabernacle tent in the wilderness – the glory of God shone like a pillar of fire and a cloud of smoke and Moses would go and speak face to face with God and come out shinning like he was a giant spotlight.

When Jesus was in the house – in the temple Solomon built – the presence of God came so tangibly that the priests were laid out and could not stand or work.

When Jesus was in the house – there was sound of rushing wind, and people that had being holed up in fear took the gospel out into the streets and 3000 people got saved at the first altar call, Peter’s shadow healed people as he walked by, people got healed, set free, saved.

 

Jesus is the same today, in you, as He was yesterday in David, in Isaiah, in Daniel, in Peter, in John, in Paul, in Smith Wigglesworth, in Charles Finney, in Billy Graham.

 

There is something you get in the secret place that you can get no where else. Do everything you can to establish a secret history with Jesus.   ~ Banning Liebscher

 

I loved how Caleb put it this morning:

Your times of prayer matter
Your times in The Word matter

Your times of worship matter
Speaking in tongues matters

Submitting to leadership matters

Listening to teaching matters
Sow into the spirit, sow into your spiritual life, be intentional…

 

How do you get Jesus in the house – you invite Him in and you make room, you make time.

2.  Revival Begins When People Talk

You know, when there is stuff going in your life, people will see it and want to know more.

V3 says immediately people gathered together – they heard Jesus was in the house and they wanted to see for themselves if He was who He said He was and what He would do.

Seth Godin, a marketing guru says that people like that are sneezers – they catch onto a new thing really fast but more importantly they let everyone in their world know – they’re like an infectious bug that is then sneezed into everyone in the room so before you know it, you’re all sick. The aim of marketing is to get the sneezers excited about a product/service so that they’ll ah ah ah achooo it out into the world.

When there is a great sale on at the mall, or a new burger joint opening down the road, or a new movie opening or you’ve just had your hair cut by the most amazing hairdresser ever – don’t you tell everyone? We naturally sneeze what we’re into to the people in our lives.

How many of your friends on fb shared the clip of dustin hoffman talking about acting in tootsie?

You’re called to be a sneezer for Jesus. When Jesus is in the house, you should want the world to know.

Mission is not an add-on. It is not an optional extra. It is at the core of who we are.

Revival ignites when you have Jesus in the house – your house – when Jesus is doing amazing things in your life – and you then let other people in on the secret.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

3.  Revival Changes our life

There are so many renovation shows on tv at the moment – mitre 10 dream home, house rules, the block is coming back and if you flick through the tv guide there are probably a trillion more on a trillion other channels… this week tony and I watched house rules and there are 6 teams and they’re competing while renovated one of the other teams houses. So they’re renovating jemma and bens house and one by one each team who have all being assigned different rooms, or zones, are pulling up the floors to lay this gorgeous dark stained wooden floor…. Only to discover the house doesn’t have a concrete foundation but is laid on sand.

When Jesus is in the house sometimes things get pulled up and exposed, renovated and rearranged.

The paralytics friends ripped the roof of the house to get their friend in. They did a bit of DIY to make a new entrance. They uncovered the ceiling to allow miracles and forgiveness to flow.

 

Our God does not simply point to our sordid past and say “don’t live that way anymore.” No, our God cups our face in His nail scarred hands and says “my child, you don’t have to live that way anymore. You are free.” // Lori Wilhite

A changed life is a RESPONSE to the grace of God given to us. God doesn’t expect us to clean our life up first before He’ll accept us. We don’t whack up some new paint, get a fancy new makeover and then open the door welcoming Him in.

 

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

 

But our response to that is that we say YES to life change, that we say YES to His renovations, to things being rearranged and exposed and uncovered. We can rest in the fact that God not only won’t quit, but He’s holding our lives together & making us more like Jesus through it all.

There are times in our life when God supernaturally and sovereignly readjusts things in our lives – it can happen on an altar call, or in our bedroom, or at housegroup, wherever where BOOM you encounter God and know you walk away altered. And sometimes you have those altar moments or those times – actually every time you make time with God – and you don’t know how God is changing you but believe you me when you’re encountering God He is at work! But there are other times when we partner with God in the renovating. When we’re agreeing with Him and as Caleb said this morning, making intentional choices for change.

About 4 years ago Tony and I decided to renovate our toilet room. The wall paper had been peeling off and little fingers had helped it and it looked a mess. So we ripped all the paper off and that was about it. Since then we’ve done nothing. No sanding. No colour choosing. No painting. Every now and then I look at it and think, must do something about that. Sometimes its like that in our lives… God is putting His finger on something, stirring us, sometimes uncomfortably, towards change. But until we say YES and make intentional changes we’ve just got blank ugly walls…

 

King Josiah, in 2 Kings 23, is a man serious about revival and renovating. Chapter 23 is the most verb packed chapter I think I’ve ever read. He is serious about rearranging things in Israel so that God is followed and glorified.

He brought out

Removed

Burned

Ground idols to ashes

Threw the ashes into graveyards

Tore down

Broke down

Threw their dust into the desert

Defiled high places

Pulverised

Broke into pieces

Filled the idols places with bones

Put away

Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him. 2 Kings 23:25

 

Josiah was a man of revival.

There are things that God will uncover in your life that are uncomfortable. Trust issues. Stinking thinking. We might not have altars to false gods in the backyard or idols in the wardrobe but we do have to deal with what the bible describes as our old ways, with all its fears, anger, hostility, lying, lust, hate. Old ways. Old habits. The Old self.

 

But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:8-10

 

He is calling you to change, to put on the new self. It would be like the paralysed man, now healed, able to walk, set free to dance, to experience life, to be well and to live life to the max, to carry round his stretcher all the time, or to remain lying on the mat.

There are things that God might be saying Pulverise that and scatter it to the wind. You don’t need to live that way anymore, you’re free. There are things that God might be saying rip out and remove, put away the thoughts of the past and the destructive behaviours – replace them with a new way of thinking, His way.

I love how Caleb said this morning that our mind is conditioned by the world to respond and react in certain ways. In a way our mind is conditioned to look else where for the answer to every question we have in any other place than God.

YOLO.

If it feels good, do it.

It’s just a white lie.

It’s the way I’m wired.

Feeling lonely? Get a boyfriend / girlfriend / new husband / new wife

A lot of people turn to food or alcohol for comfort. Others spend all their time and energy pursuing romantic love. We can spin our lives around sex or physical pleasure or escapism. Money, fame and accomplishment call to us. They look like a pathway to our best life, but when we let them displace God, they stop being good things, and become our master. An idol in Josiah’s day was a physical altar or statue or “thing” but really an idol is anything that calls to us so strongly, that we’d rather respond to that call than to God. An idol is anything that replaces the authority and position that God wants in your life. It’s the thing your life revolves around. Those are the things we’ve got to knock down and get change in.

 

The bible calls it renewing your mind: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

 

Romans 12 goes on to give us some blueprints of what that renewed renovated life may look like:

V 3 – what do you think of yourself? Do you like yourself? Do you like yourself too much? The bible says that you were paid for by the life of Jesus – that’s the price tag on your life. That the creator of the universe, the sinless perfect amazing Son of God chose to come and live and die, for you.

V 4-5 we’re in a team, we belong. We’re no longer alone but in a family with a common mission

V 6-8 we have a purpose – you are not here by accident, but you’re here by design.

V9 – choose what is good. The NKJV which entitles this passage “behave like a christian” tells us to let go of the crappy behaviour.

V 10 – love each other like family. Be kind to each other. Treat each other like we’d like to be treated. It goes on to say be humble, listen and care, be authentic and stop stirring. Your feelings are indicators, not dictators, you have a choice to be renewed and renovated or to carry on living with a hole in the floor and a leak in the roof.

V 11 – stoke the fire: Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. CEV. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. NIV.

 

Sometimes the renovation occurs when we find ourselves in situations we can’t control, or where people are difficult, or situations require a ramping up of our trust levels… the rubber meets the road when tensions are high and you cant see where to put your next step.

Or when we’re convicted to live counter culture – not following the pattern of the world when it comes to dating, to marriage, to parenting, to honesty, to whatever.

Where we have to CHOOSE trust, CHOOSE purity, CHOOSE peace, CHOOSE kindness, CHOOSE compassion, CHOOSE peace, CHOOSE humility, CHOOSE understanding.

God has been working on me a long time. I am totally different to who I was when I was 16 and got saved. But I am still a work in progress and am grateful for the grace of God, and the grace of each of you.

Personal revival comes with a personal awareness of things that need to be changed – greater conviction, greater sensitivity to the world around us and the things that please or don’t please Jesus. And with that comes the awareness that we cannot change ourselves but that Jesus has done it all, that as we continue to say YES we’re allowing Him and more into our lives, to action that which He has made provision for. Remember, Jesus forgave the man’s sin FIRST. Before he could pick his mat up and walk and do anything, before he could change anything. Grace came first.

Jesus died for your sin. Your guilt. Your shame. Your crappy behaviour. Your bad attitude. Your indifference. Your control. Your hopelessness. Your anger. Change comes with when I say YES to God.

The paralytics friends knew they had to remove the roof to encounter Jesus.

What do you need to remove or renovate so that you are more open and close to Him? What is standing in your way?

 

 

4.  Revival Begins with me

It started with:

– the person that invited Jesus to his house

– the friends who took their friend

– the people who told their friends

– the man who stood up and was healed

– with Josiah who made a decision that enough was enough

– with you and me saying YES every day to walking with God

 

 

Tonight, we’re going to make space again for Jesus to come. This is an invitation to be filled more and more, to get fresh vision and enthusiasm for knowing Him and making Him known. Its also a good opportunity to let Jesus, the master carpenter, renovate our lives, to heal us, to pour His grace upon us again.

 Optical-candelier

 

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.  You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.  Matthew 5:12-16

 

"My life is my ministry and my ministry is my life. I am called to live out of my own authentic life in Christ. This speaks volumes as to who I am called to be before Christ and the world.

I am not called to live a transformed life because it looks good on my resume or because it makes a difference in the quality of my preaching/teaching. I am not interested in spiritual transformation because this seems to be the thing to do if I am going to stay current. The point of a transformed life is not to get me somewhere in my work with a church.

The reality? Every man and woman in Christ is called to live out of an authentic life in Christ. This life is my ministry. My ministry is my life. This morning as you are at home with your family, your ministry is already happening. As you go to work, your ministry is already being lived out. Your ministry is happening wherever and whenever you live and are present in another’s life."  Your Life Is Your Ministry is a post at the wonderful blog The God Hungry which i read frequently!

 

i totally believe that as we live our lives we are called to be demonstrations of the love of God to those around us. we are demonstrating His love in the ordinary events of life as well as the extraordinary. ministry can be defined so narrowly – as preaching, or worship leading or something like that, but our whole life is ministry – ministering God’s love and grace to those around us. serving our friends and family and strangers.

practically this can be making a meal for a family with sick kids, or mowing your neighbours lawn because they’ve broken their leg… or because the grass is long. it can be sending a "thinking of you, how you doing?" email to a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or even a smile to the check out chick at the supermarket you shop at. or learning her name. simple things.

 

“People were Jesus One Thing.   And they still are.  People who are sick.  People who are lonely.  People who are wandering, depressed and hopeless.  People who have gotten themselves tangled up in suffocating habits and destructive relationships.”  Bill Hybels from Just Walk Across The Room

 

we need to remember that God doesn’t use us on Sunday from 10-12 only. but every day and every moment. with our children. with our workmates. with our families. with our friends. be a demonstration. be a minister. serve God!

 

Jesus is THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, but here, he says WE are the light of the world – that we are to shine Him to those around us, unashamed and bright, bold and vibrant. 

 

 

 

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favour and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! 

 

Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favour and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!  

 

Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God! Matthew 5:3, 6

 

how upside down is that.

blessed are the hungry, the poor, the pure.

in our world we exalt those who have, who are rich, who have prestige, who get the most toys, who are popular, who achieve success.  those who are satisfied are those who are esteemed and “have it all.”

 

but God says those who hunger for Him, those who seek first the Kingdom of God, those who long to see Him, who intentionally pursue Him will find Him.

when you’re hungry you look for food, you look for something to fill the gap and ease the discomfort.

when we’re spiritually hungry we do things to fill that spiritual longing.

 

 

in the spiritual realm, only those who are hungry can get fed. One of the worst things that can happen to us is spiritual complacency. Being hungry for the things of God is one of the best things that can happen to us. Most people don’t feel that way. They would rather have the feeling of being full. But Jesus promised us that fullness would follow hunger. No hunger, no fullness. Therefore, what many people hate is actually a sign of spiritual health. Longing for more of God is a healthy sign. No one hungers for God on their own. That is not the nature of man. No man hungers for God unless the Spirit of God is drawing him (Jn. 6:44).
Hungering for God doesn’t cause God to move in our lives, but it is a sign that God is already at work in us. We should praise God for spiritual hunger and be encouraged. He doesn’t make us hungry and then let us starve. He does so in order to fill us with His blessings and love. We need a hunger that will never be satisfied until the marriage supper of the Lamb.  youversion note

this passage in matthew is so familiar and debated about by many for many angles…  but this for me was a new way of looking at it – our pastor preached on it a few months ago.  it is more about trusting God and his ableness to be our defender…

Matthew 5:38-44 You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist evil. But whoever shall strike you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. And to him desiring to sue you, and to take away your tunic, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and you shall not turn away from him who would borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you,

These are some of the notes that I took, fleshed out for a post…. :o)

He first took us to some OT passsages that show wht the law was regarding eye for an eye etc… prepared to be grossed out and freaked! This is what was required. This is what the standard was…

Exodus 21:23-25 And if any injury occurs, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Leviticus 24:17-20 And he who kills any man shall surely be put to death. And he who kills an animal shall make it good, animal for animal. And if a man causes a blemish in his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him: break for break, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him.

Deuteronomy 19:21 And your eye shall not pity. Life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Charming eh. This was the accepted and expected practice for justice in the Old Testament. It also does occur in our own age in some societies. This should set a frame work for the next part of Jesus’ talk. He is saying THIS IS WHAT THE LAW SAYS. This is binding and required and what is done.

Next Jesus adds a but.

BUT I AM TELLING YOU.

This is profound. Jesus is contradicting the law in a way – he is giving a NEW way. Now I am changing the rules, in a way. He can do this because Jesus IS GOD!

The new way Jesus gives is to not resist evil, to turn the other cheek, to give when aksed, to walk when compelled. His way is to bless those who do evil and pray for them.

Jesus is not giving a new moral code. He isn’t giving the listeners and us a tick for being more morally evolved than their predecessors in the OT. Eye for an eye in a way when you think about it is what our nature wants. We want “justice”. We react eye for an eye. Someone backs into the car… what jumps into our heart right away… Someone jumps queue in the mall… how do we want to react… our base nature likes the idea of eye for an eye, we can see the results…

Jesus is instructing us on how to live like Him, how to be sons and daughters of God. And he demonstrates for us how to do it in the most extreme way.

The arrest, trial and death of Jesus demonstrates fully how to turn the other cheek, how to walk the extra mile, how to pray for those who persecute and hate us. He shows us the big picture.

It is also about letting God be God. When we turn the other cheek we are saying “I will see what God will do.” It puts justice and vengeance in His hands. It gives God the plans and purposes. God is our deliverer… not us. It is God who can save. When our $ is stolen from us (speaker gave example of how in Eastern and Middle East chrsitians have their bank accounts emptied, houses stolen etc) we say “I will see what God will do.” God is our provider. When we pray for those who hate us we again say “I will see what God will do.” We take the control out of our own hands and make God Lord and King of our life. We allow Him to demonstrate His power and glory. We allow Him to administer His justice.

Jesus is calling us to be children of God. To act like children of God. Its not really just about justice. Its about total transformation. Its about living for the glory of God. Its about being led by the Spirit.

1 Peter 5:5-6 “all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “ God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

Humility is the character and nature of God.

Psalm 113:4-9 For the Lord is high above the nations; his glory is higher than the heavens. Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high? He stoops to look down on heaven and on earth. He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people! He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the Lord!

Philippians 2:5-11 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges, he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We often get caught up in wanting the power and the might and the gifts and the glory… but we need to be more concerned and more wanting to BE like Jesus – not to just DO the things he did (ie miracles).

Jesus demonstrated humility – in his birth, in his obscurity for 30 years, in his life, in his death… Matthew 5:38-44 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow. “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[c] and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.

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