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Archive for May, 2012

BlessingsAbideInUs

You can choose to watch the video or read the text below . .

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10

One of the reasons I fell away from God in my late teens was that I saw all these people doing things for God and I tried to do them too, yet I just could not shake off a feeling of guilt. As well as this I had no abiding sense that God deeply loved me, I didn’t know how to intimately connect with Him except through the occasional happy accident. Then after our Father rescued me back in ’94 I started to learn how to experience His love for me. After this, for a number of years, when someone said, ‘be like Jesus’, and pushed that idea a bit with me there was just a kind of blank and a subconscious thought that Jesus did these things because He was God and therefore I was off the hook. Yet we read in John’s gospel that we will do greater things than Jesus did and in Ephesians we see that God works on us, creating in us not only the ability to do good works, but, even more amazingly He has lined up these things before we were born! In other words we are destined to do amazing things for God! So what’s stopping us? To help answer that I want to look at some aspects of who Jesus was, who we are and a starting point for how

Who Jesus was:
Jesus came to earth as both God and Man. If all His miracles He did as God, then we are just spectators, very glad He did, thankful, even trying to be like Him, perhaps attempting to model Him – all good stuff and blessed by our Father! As soon as we realise that He actually laid aside or put to one side His direct access or ability as God and did what He did instead as a spirit filled*. yielded, obedient* man we begin to see that we can do that also. And Let’s not misunderstand, Jesus always was, is and always will be God, during His time on earth He always had access to the person He was, ie God, yet He chose to live with human restrictions, This changes everything. Where as before we would stop pursuing Him as an example at a certain point, because, what we faced would seem impossible and subconsciously or consciously or somewhere in our spirit would be, ‘Well Jesus did that because He was God and I’m not, so I can’t do that’. We can now go to our Father with confidence, just as Jesus did, and seek to listen to him, just as Jesus did, and through faith and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, do what the Father is doing. The only difference is that Jesus never sinned, where as we are justified by faith through what Jesus did (through His death and resurrection). Praise God ! Everything that Jesus did, we really can do, and greater things!

Who we are:
Firstly we are beloved of God, He is our perfect Father, He would love us just the same if we never did anything for Him. With such love why would we want to be like that though? I say this, because we can so easily fall into the trap of ‘earning’ our Father’s love. It’s hard in this world where everything seems reward based, to accept that our Father just loves on us whatever. It is out of this intimacy that we grow into doing things for Him. Intimacy first, doing only out of intimacy, how do we start to operate this way though?

How:
When we think of repentance and turning to Jesus we tend to think of particular sins, being bad tempered, for example. However, we often have our back to Jesus when we are striving in our own strength to achieve, even achieving things for Him. And repentance (changing our way of thinking) happens as we turn to him, then we begin in faith to ‘see’ what our Father sees, to begin to have a burning conviction within about that thing, seeing and praying about it, then moving and thinking with the anointing of the Holy Spirit toward that thing. It may not be the same thing we were moving toward before we repented, often times it is though! In these cases, wher we have not turned, through His grace, He blesses as much as He is able (in the space we have created for Him). So ‘we are His workmanship’, means this,:a continual learning to turn from doing things our own way to doing them as Jesus did, listening to our Father, anointed by the Spirit, seeing what our Father sees and moving toward that thing guided by a burning conviction, ie faith. Please don’t take this as a condemning word, rather it is an inviting one.

So, you can do what Jesus did, learn to turn, practise seeing and listening, ask God for more of the Holy Spirit, then when you have seen or heard, act on the burning conviction (faith) that comes as a result!

I pray we all ‘turn and burn’ ! 🙂

Andy

*”But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you”. Matthew 12:28 NKJV

*“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:8

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Manchester 10K

Hi

Would love anyone who knows me (or anyone that doesn’t) to sponsor me for the Manchester 10k on Sunday the 20th May 2012

I am running for three great charities: Christians Against Poverty (supporting those in poverty in the UK), Christies (Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, to support sufferers and familes) and tearfund (supporting those in poverty in the 3rd world)

Please sponsor me or give here http://www.justgiving.com/andyharper10K

Thank you!

Andy

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