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*** tweets from Cross Conference with Matt Chandler preaching

 

 

"When God saves you, he doesn’t do it because you gave him permission. He did it because he’s God."

"There isn’t a violent soul on the planet that God might not save and transform for himself."

God could’ve just destroyed Saul who was ravaging the Way, but It pleased the Father to reveal the Son to Paul. By grace alone!

"It brings God pleasure to reveal Himself to us and save us."

"It brought the heart of God pleasure to save Saul of Tarsus."

The conversion of Paul from persecutor to apostle gives us confidence for those even violently opposed to Christ.

Saul of Tarsus wasn’t seeking Jesus or doubting his own doubts; Jesus didn’t care. He kicked him off his horse!

 

“Everyday we are being discipled about what life is about. Paul declares with conviction: TO LIVE IS CHRIST!”

"The god of our generation is comfort. Suffering is only looked on as something to be solved."

"Paul says ‘To live is Christ’ because he knows that all other paths are bankrupt."

To live is Christ means that Jesus is supreme over every thing in life including the best things in life.

"Too often we live according to our version of Christ than to truly live for Him."

"We agree with ‘To live is Christ,’ but so many areas of our lives aren’t even about Him."

You can’t say "to live is Christ" until you hold Him as more valuable than anything in this world. All else is rubbish

"To take up your cross is to consider it better to die than to live for something other than Jesus."

“To live is Christ means I have seen the surpassing knowledge of knowing Christ above all other things.”

"If Christ is our treasure than our lives should be marked by Him."

"The motivation [to go to hard places] must be, ‘Christ is my treasure.’"

 

"Every missionary I know is extraordinarily ordinary. Everything they do, they do by the grace of God."

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*** great message this morning by Pastor Peter @ The RIver!

 

 

Philippians 2:1-
Four rivers that flow into  your life and out of your life

 

Inflow : We receive from God

Encouragement
Comfort
Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
Affection

Outflows :

Likeminded
Maintaining the love
United in spirit
United in purpose

Read the rest of this entry »

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But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life-a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy.  Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:11-12  MSG

 

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  NIV

 

i love the way the Message bible puts it… RUN HARD AND FAST IN THE FAITH

to me that says: get committed, be devoted, push in, push in past the pain, keep at it, seize ahold of God

exercise is hard work.  my dad is a marathon runner.  he spends TIME training.  he works his body hard.  he sweats alot.  he has to choose to persevere to finish the race and achieve the goal.  so often we give up when the going gets tough. 

in life we forget to PURSUE the right things, to be INTENTIONAL about living a right life

we give up when the going gets tough and take the easier road

but we miss out on the reward and the achievement

 

so what does this look like in real life?

  • make wise choices
  • spend TIME with God
  • follow the Word of God
  • reject sinful actions and temptations
  • get involved in a church
  • feed your spirit
  • grow your character, esp how you relate to people
  • speak truth
  • be selective about relationships
  • etc etc etc

 

life is more than breathing

its an adventure led by God, to know Him and make Him known

there is reward in pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

we can never EARN God’s love or REPAY His salvation – but there is a lifestyle that pleases Him, responding to Him in love and honour

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ  Philippians 3:7-8

the best strategy for dealing with sin is to fix your eyes upon Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2

willpower is not enough

behaviour is driven by values.  to change your behaviour change your values – you have to value something/SOMEONE more

the key to dealing with sin is to encounter JESUS

the best strategy to being intentional and running hard and pursuing righteousness is to fix our eyes upon Jesus and to fall in love with Him more and more each day.

lets be INTENTIONAL at this

lets be intentional about the choices we make TOWARDS God and AWAY from distractions and discouragement

lets be intentional about believing God and His promises

lets be intentional about fixing our eyes upon Jesus

what do you do to pursue God and a righteous pleasing life?  how do you run hard and fast in the faith?

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon].Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  AMP

rejoice in the Lord when it suits you.

rejoice in the Lord when its all happy joy joy times.

rejoice in the Lord when the sun shines.

NO that’s not what the bible says!

rejoice always.  rejoice at all times.

celebrate God all day, every day.

Delight in Him, worship Him.

Be thankful for His loving-kindness and goodness at all times and in all ways.

an easy thing to write on paper, but a challenge to live out in our every day ordinary lives, with all its obstacles and difficulties, bad hair days and valleys.

and paul says it again.  REJOICE!

rejoicing unlocks something within our heart.  for me it unlocks trust and hope.  i CHOOSE to rejoice and i CHOOSE to see God’s hand at work even in the trial and test.  i CHOOSE to acknowledge Him as my loving Father and because of His love and grace i CAN rejoice.

 

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Rejoicing should manifest itself in the way i live my life.  With gentleness, not worry and anxiousness.  With a peace that surpasses the situation and limited understanding.   With a grace that extends itself to others instead of unleashing our burdens and anxiety on those around us. 

God is near.  With us.  Always.

And the return of Jesus is near.  we should live with a holy expectation and expectant trust that God is powerful and that He will make all things new and that Jesus reigns.

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

the remedy to anxiety is prayer.  in prayer we find peace which guards us from a downward spiral into doubt and fear and anxiety.  as we continue to pray and worship God we meet Him and are changed and have renewed peace and perspective. 

Jesus is the answer to every problem we have. 

need peace?  Jesus is the prince of peace.

need hope?  He is the God of all hope

need comfort?  the Holy Spirit is called our Comforter

there have been many times when circumstance screams at me to give up and lose hope and rail against God, to get stressed and burned out… but i know that in all things God is my heavenly Father and that He will work out all things for my good and His glory and that He is at work intentionally in my life.  I know He is the giver of peace and that though the valley may be dark, He is the light of the world and with me.  This gives me confidence to walk forward and to keep trusting.

 

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.  MSG

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**** following on from Session 6 and Session 7

Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:16-21

 

Growing in truth is connected to you practicing what you already know

Let us live up to what we’ve already attained

 

You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:1-8

 

Imitate me
Follow those who set the example

 

Our faith although personal is not meant to be private

Community
Mentors

Find someone who is strong where you are weak

 

The WHY to give us purpose and perspective to continue forward

Eyes were here on earth, temporary things, leading to destruction
Vs
Eyes fixed on Jesus and eternity

Live with eternity in our hearts

All there will be will be the story of our great king and the heroes will be those who followed him

How do you do that in real life?
Now and not yet KINGDOM

Let God chisel me, hard times are gifts to remind us that this isn’t home

 

Where are your sights set?

My eyes
My mind
My heart
Fixed on that day
Reminds me
Stirs me
Towards following wholeheartedly

 

we all make plans about things that are important to us

 

How and when
Just do it

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*** notes from housegroup Matt Chandler Philippians session 7

 

Phil 3:12-14 – Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

 

4 ways to stirring Holy Discontent:

1 introspection – know yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses
2 measure yourself against the holiness of christ
3 know and embrace the promises of scripture like phil 1:6 that God is transforming my life
4 get around yourself who are uber godly, who are beyond you spiritually and challenge you, who have strengths where you have weaknesses

Holy discontent stirs us towards God
Insatiable for jesus

Be careful of resting on your victory
Be careful of being held back by your past – the cross saves us

1 timothy 1:12- I received mercy, jesus came to save sinners of which I am the chief for the purpose of demonstrating the gospel

Straining forward to what lies ahead

Strain
Press
Pursue
Go
Run
Chase
Toil
Strive

Yes I’ve found him, he has found me
This is the only prize there is

1 cor 9:24-26 run to obtain the prize
Do not run aimlessly, discipline your body

How do we make this real?
What does ot look like for ME to follow God wholeheartedly

No one stumbles into godliness by accident

Eg Israelites mega display of power yet made gold calf

Its ok to set spiritual goals and make a plan

How and when
Answer those questions in the context of growth

Want to pray more – how and when
Give more – how and when

*** notes from church sunday morning, peter morton preaching @ the river

 

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Phil 1
God promises to complete the good things he has begun in us

Phil 1:3
This is my prayer
That your love may abound more and more
With understanding and insight

What is visible comes from something invisible

What enables us to do great things

What burns on the inside

Prayer life

Don’t seek to imitate the masters but seek what they sought

Its not about replicating the first church but going further.  The first church weren’t trying to be the first church, they just were

That your love will abound more and more

 

4 things im certain of:

1 The world needs revival
2 For the world to be revived the church must be revived – dead paramedics cant help dead people – dont be just theoretical pentecostal but be practicing pentecostals. The church will only get revived when we do the things we say we believe
3 the church only be revived of i am revived
4 revival needs room

The undeniable fire of revival is prayer, hearts on fire
Christianity is not meant to be heartless. Don’t do it without love.

Love – agape – love in action, has to have an action

Not our niceness would abound but that the action motivated by love would increase

agape love is "an intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being.”

Intentional
Blessing
Love

We are called to flow in supernatural love

Abound
Same word used for the leftovers in feeding the five thousand
Please say fish please say fish please say fish

When you give you will have more

God gives us impossible situations for his glory

How do we abound in love: in knowledge and all discernment

Knowledge
Col 1:9
God wants you to be filled with knowledge of God and his will
Because Gods abundance is found in his will
Eg Israelites following the cloud. No provision where the was no cloud
Follow God and run to him. Dont hold onto the old or go your own way

Gods will his bill. Hudson Taylor

Depth of insight:
Spiritual
Precise understanding of the way of God
Knowledge of his will – general
Depth – specifics of way

Do the will of God by the way of the Lord
His will, His way

Will: feed the people
Way: with five loaves and fishes

Why do we do it this way:
that you sense what is vital

Will: God will provide
Way: specific leading by God

He likes to get the glory so the way may look impossible but its in being in his will that provision happens

matt_chandler_philippians

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, ttaining to the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Philippians 3:7-12

 

thoughts from MATT CHANDLER’S PHILLIPPIANS SERIES which we watched @ the best housegroup in the world last night. what was beautiful and spectacular (my new favourite word, is that i had tossed and turned and hummed and ha’d about watching it the first housegroup night back from camp… was there something else we should be doing was my thought.  but God is awesome.  Matt’s message in session 6 OWNED was PERFECT and followed on from Caleb’s message on the saturday night.  down to the verses they used and down to a song they quoted!  spectacular!

 

Where there is indifference to jesus you reveal you dont know Him.

Why else do we pursue Him? Because we’re broken people.

Dont try to control and manage your sin but press in to jesus… We’re imperfect people and we need Him.

Jesus has taken hold of us

Before the foundation of the world God chose me, in christ, to be blameless.

In that moment of shame and guilt and darkness… Before the foundation of the world God chose me and calls me His own

Its about God’s grace not our cleanness… All sin is covered by grace

I belong to jesus. He says MINE about me

You can either chase Him or be miserable.

I was never worthy of salvation but yet He saved me

Oh that i might know Him…

For the sake of His name

what is it that stirs my affection for Jesus?

what is it that robs my affection for Him?

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When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." "Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." The Lord turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?" "Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." The Lord answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive."  Judges 6:12-16

 

 

There are some people in the bible that you just want to take by the shoulders and shake them or give them a slap… right? 

We KNOW the end of the story and if only THEY knew what we knew eh… We have the hindsight, or the foresight… since it hasn’t happened to Gideon yet to know the great things that God is going to do to and in and through and for Gideon…

As much as I want to slap Gideon – I also love him! He is an ordinary man living in difficult times that has an extraordinary encounter with God that changes his life. And it shows each one of us that we can trust the Word of God and that we can trust the promises of God and that with God we can do all things!

In fact I think Gideon would describe himself as even less than ordinary… in his first conversation with God he calls himself the least of his family, which is the least in his tribe, which is the least in all the tribes of Israel. He is threshing wheat hiding in a shallow pit instead of out in the open so the chaff blows away… Israel is oppressed and subdued by the Midianites and life is really really hard. In order to stay alive you didn’t stick your neck out and children were taught to survive, not succeed…

 

 

All of us hear the Word of God in the context of our life and the challenge is to not respond out of context but to take the truth of what God says and make that real in our lives…

Gideon heard the word of God – heard God calling him a mighty man of valour and he put it in the context of hiding in a shallow pit and calling himself a useless weakling.

Again God calls him a strong warrior, promising to be with him.

 

 

That is the key – God with us. In ourselves we are just us… human. Ordinary. Gifted yes, unique yes. But still human.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us;

 

 

One God plus one weakling is always a majority in any fight. ‘I will be with you’ God tells Gideon, and that is all that we should ever need to know.

 

Remember Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

Gods word is truth. Truth. Nothing changes that. We cant dumb it down to our context. We need to lift our faith and experience and live it out, trusting God. God sees all and he knows all. He sees the past and the present and the future. He works in us to complete his plan and purpose.

 

The challenge for each of us is to not look at what God says in context of our lives and even the way we feel about ourselves, but to fix our eyes upon HIM and his truth… the God with us part. It is him that makes us succeed and overcome.

 

We need to know that God is with us and when God is with us we can do all things! We need not self-confidence but GOD CONFIDENCE – confidence in who God is and that he will act exactly as he says he will! We can have faith in God! Today we need to put our hope and our trust in God and step out and be all that God has called us to be. We need to believe His Word and what He says about us. We may feel small and insignificant but God takes our lives and demonstrates himself through us. Nothing is impossible with God and that means that when he is with us nothing is impossible for us! All things are possible because of the might and glory and power of God. Have confidence in God. Go and change the world!

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as humans its like we’re hardwired to want to go from A to B the shortest way possible. but sometimes that isn’t the best route to go. sometimes we need to take detours and go the scenic route. its better for our character and our strength and our relationship with God.  sometimes its better we change.

 

God loves us too much to take us through the short cut. He knows we might see what’s required and go back to where we started. So sometimes He takes us on a detour. Jon Acuff

 

 

 

i am so glad that God promises in Philippians 1:6 that He will complete the good work He has begun in us.

He will finish the change.

The process is in His hands.

My part in the change is to say YES. 

to surrender.

to lay my life down into His will and ways.

He knows that is required and the best way to complete the transformation.

YES is my response, every day, every moment, every week.

YES i will believe.  YES i will trust.

 

its just like olypmic athletes.  the difference between an olympic marathon runner and a runner is that the olympic contender has done the hard yards and disciplined himself or herself to go the distance and to increase in strength and stamina no matter what the cost and the pain.  they are disciplined, dedicated and devoted.   the olympic athlete has made the necessary changes in their life to hone their body and skill to maximise performance. an ordinary runner becomes extraordinary.

 

it will hurt.  it will take time.

it will cost.

there are easier options.

it requires sacrifice and will power, determination and guts.

change takes effort. and grace. 

 

the motivation comes from knowing you’re not living just for yourself but living to know and make known an amazing awesome mighty God and that He has a plan and a purpose for our lives

perspective gives us courage to press in and press on, to get past the burn

what I do today will determine who I am tomorrow

what i allow God to change will determine who i am tomorrow

YES is my response, every day, every moment, every week.

YES i will believe.  YES i will trust.

 

change can be hard.  okay, change IS hard.

i’m so glad for the invitation to come and find rest, amidst the chaos of transformation

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

 

 

the great things God will do through you are going to grow in the soil of persistence, prayer, obedience and sacrifice. that means there will be plenty of plowing and pruning. that is the way living things grow, whether you’re talking about vegetables or vision. steven furtick

 

 

 

#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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