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River Touch Your World **** preaching notes from today

 

A couple of weeks ago our SAS team went and spent some time up at Point View Reserve overlooking the city and spending some time with God one on one. They all had a specific assignment to do but I was free.

Free to stop and city watch.

I found a spot under a ginormous tree and cast my eyes over our city.

As I looked down I could see one house in the distance surrounded by emergency vehicles. I could see the lights flashing.

My heart did a double take. Someone in that house was having an emergency!

I don’t know what it was but it could of being anything. Perhaps a child had a fall and broke their arm. Perhaps an elderly person had a heart attack. Perhaps someone had gone into anaphylactic shock (okay, only an allergy geek would think that). Perhaps someone had broken into their house, or there was a home invasion, or a kitchen fire, or a cat up a tree. I don’t know, but the point is. There was an emergency happening, to real people in that house.

I didn’t know who they were but God did.

It made me aware afresh of the importance of touching our world.

I had a new vantage point and awareness that each house represented a person, a family, someone that needed to know God.

It made the mission really big, and really personal. They were no longer just houses intangible statistics… they were people.

God has orchestrated it that we are the delivery agents of the good news. Now if I was God I would have done it differently. I would have picked a reliable messenger service. Like angels. Or sky writing rainbows.

But God has entrusted us with the mission to reach out to those around us and to tell them about His reality, His grace, His love, His hope. He says “tag you’re it… you’re the light of the world.” Touch the person beside you and say “tag you’re it!”

His design is that He touches the world THROUGH us.

"You’re the team of God; the best He’s got. And He believes He has a winning team."

 

I’m esp stoked to be here today as our Street Outreach Team are out there, in our community today, knocking on the doors of those house, praying with people and talking to people about how good and real God is.

Last time we were out, you may have heard this, but it’s a but wait there’s more story, we met a young mother, with a newborn, who opened the door in her pjs. She apologised for her state and then burst into tears after we introduced ourselves and said why we were there. She had been up since 5am with a screaming baby and felt so overwhelmed and had been praying “God do you see me? Where are you God?” knock knock knock. Her family had all gone to church and she was feeling alone and vulnerable and incredibly overwhelmed. God had seen and was with her and equally impressive sent the only mother in our SOT (me) to knock on her door and pray with her, give her a big hug, and encourage her. Here’s the but wait there’s more part – we thought that was amazing enough – and like many of our conversations with strangers – we pray and walk away, leaving it up to God to heal and God to work in their life, often not meeting them again. Anyway last week I popped down to Mainly Music to say hi to the team and some of the mums I know from there and there she was. The pj lady. She hugged me so tight and began to tell Gail and I how that one conversation and prayer had changed her life. How she knew God was with her and how she had then being telling all her friends about what had happened and had begun to reach out to her new neighbours to invite them to church.

One conversation turned into a ripple that is affecting the world that SHE is in. Us touching her world is touching other peoples world.

Awesome eh.

 

Cool, lets turn our bibles, or flick on our devices…. To 2 Kings 7:3-11

Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, ‘Why stay here until we die? If we say, “We’ll go into the city”– the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.’

At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, ‘Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!’ So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

Then they said to each other, ‘What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.’

So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, ‘We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there – not a sound of anyone – only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.’ The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

 

What you may notice here is 2 things.

1. The lepers experienced the feast

2. They then went and told those in famine about the feast

The lepers were in a town under siege and suffering the affects of a long campaign. There was no food. It was a no win situation. So they made a bold radical choice. To leave the city and throw themselves on the mercy of the Arameans in hope that they had some food and a good bill of rights for prisoners.

When they arrived in the tent city they discovered it abandoned. God had turned up and defeated their enemies. And then they found the food. And the gold. And the clothing. And the everything. And then they ate the food. And then they remembered… their friends. Their family. Starving children. Hopelessness. Back in the city there were others who needed food too.

They said: This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.

This is a day of good news. Our enemies are defeated and gone and we have food!

The same thing works with us right here right now.

We experience the feast – experience salvation – experience grace – experience His goodness and greatness and then we go and tell others about our experience. We experience God bringing us into a family, into new understanding of purpose and love and eternity. We experience being able to be connected intimately to the Creator of the Universe, the One who breathed out the stars and spoke and there was light.

What you experience as real and good in your life you will broadcast to others.

This is the day of good news!

 

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.

You’re called to be a sneezer for Jesus. To experience all that He has to offer and then to sneeze it out into the world around you and infect the people in your life, in a good way.

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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.

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