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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

It’s ‘The Business’ !

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

The business of the gospel is what? We know it’s ‘the business’, but, really what does that entail? How does it feel living or doing the business in everyday life, moment to moment?

“The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” http://bible.us/Ps116.6.NKJV

In this Psalm the person realises he is close to death and calls out to The Lord to save him. In verse 13 we read of the ‘cup of salvation’, the Psalmist knows that God offers salvation. Those of us who are saved know that he offers salvation. Salvation from the Hebrew means full and whole salvation, ie deliverance, health, aid, saved. We live in New Testament times so we know that God offers salvation.Do we know that this is not just from our sins, ie sins we have committed? It is for any sin, because God operates outside of time, it is also for any future sin. It is sin that has caused sickness so the offer of salvation is also to redeem our emotions, our hurts, our physical bodies. So why is God in ‘the business’ of saving us?
Our Father is in the business of saving us because we are his greatest pleasure! Ephesians 1:5
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” http://bible.us/Eph1.5.NLT
And we were created to be in relationship with Him and for Him to be our greatest pleasure!
So, in our daily lives we should be experiencing, by the Holy Spirit, a great deal of pleasure, joy! There is nothing wrong with, as a first priority, seeking the joy of being in His presence every moment. We need to have our whole beings (body, soul and spirit) ever tuned toward our Father. So that, being ever more in His presence, we receive joy and our Father receives joy! So, ‘the business’, of the Gospel is first and foremost for us to enjoy God and Him to enjoy us, forever!
Everything else flows from this; enjoying God by His Holy Spirit. Just like Jesus did, when we have such a relationship, we hear the Fathers voice and seek to do what is on the Father’s heart. So then, why is it many Christians either fall asleep or enter a world of busyness? These are the two temptations, fall asleep, ie become a seeker after comfort, put our money on the plate, help out with church activities and expect that the vicar/pastor and/or his pastoral team will look after us in times of trouble. It’s what you might call the ‘comfort contract’! Or starting with and continuing with a right heart we seek to do God’s work . . for Him! ‘Don’t worry Lord’, we say, ‘I’ll get this one’ . . . and the next one and the next one . . ! What God is asking for is not our ‘doing’, nor a relationship where we treat Him as a recalcitrant genie in a bottle, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t! No, He is simply looking for relationship, we don’t need to earn it! Simple, He wants to spend time in our company, he misses us when we are busy, even if we are busy doing things for Him!
For example, last Thursday, I was walking toward Salford Central station, I had had a migraine all day. Unusually, I just prayed that I would meet someone on the train I could talk to about Jesus. And I did, It was brilliant, an 82 year old chap from Wigan wanted to know what life was all about, why was he here, etc. So I witnessed to him all the way to Bolton. As we were approaching Bolton a lady in front of us turned round and said, ‘that was amazing, I couldn’t help overhearing everything you said! And you know what? My migraine was gone.Relationship, lets pray we can get focussed on that, so that our whole desire, our longing is always for more of Him. Like the pearl of great price*, do whatever you have to do to have it! Because “Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Rest means, not having a rest, but, ‘resting’ in God

Dear Father, may our desire always be for more of you, more of your presence in our lives.May we always be seeking that deeper relationship and the joy it brings, through a greater infilling of your Holy Spirit. This day we invite you, Holy Spirit to fill us afresh. Amen

* http://bible.cc/matthew/13-46.htm

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Fat Kings and Swords

January 29, 2013 Leave a comment

or

Where’s Your Gilgal?

Judges 2:10 ‘Eventually that entire generation died and was buried. Then another generation grew up that didn’t know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel .’ or insert the work he had done for the United Kingdom (Judges 2:10 MSG)

That folks is what has happened to our country! And now just like the people of Israel in Egypt, we have become enslaved to another god! (Pharaoh was seen as the ‘son of god’). There is a strong man who thinks he is in charge of the UK, he thinks he has us in his grip and that he can’t be defeated! He gives the people no rest and just works them till they die, hoping then to feast on their flesh and become fat (just like Eglon in the story below) and send them straight to hell! Can that strong man be defeated? God calls us to rise up in an anger that won’t go away until we do something!

Click Judges 3 or read the story below

So what happened was that Ehud had a thought, he was probably scared and never believed he would actually carry out his half formed plan. He had strapped that sword there, to his inner right thigh, hiding it, and it went undiscovered. After paying the tribute to the King of the Moabites, Eglon, Ehud got back as far as Gilgal, and something happened there. He snapped, is what happened. We read earlier in Judges that the memorial stones, marking where the people had crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, had been replaced by stone idols. When Ehud saw that, he suddenly got very angry! I’m talking red hot anger, the kind that won’t go away, the kind that leaves you wondering what to do with yourself! So he went back, slaughtered the King of the Moabites, then went to the top of a mountain and blew a trumpet calling all the men to himself. Then he led those men, defeating the Moabites at the fords to the river Jordan, which they also secured against the enemy

Angry people are not popular. So we suppress our anger. In fact we are not that keen on ‘passion’, unless it’s about children in trouble or something! So what is your Gilgal? Is it when you see porn or lads mags displayed at eye level in your local news agents? Is it the hurt people you see every day? People without hope. People dying and going to Hell? What’s really getting your goat?

I would encourage us all to think of that one thing that’s getting us angry. If you can’t think of something, then ask The Lord to point it out. Then I would ask us us to strap on our swords and go out and plunge that sword deep into the enemy! Go on strike a blow!

Pray:
“Come on my soul, rise up in the name of Jesus! Let me grasp with a firm hand, that never tires, the sword Father has given me. Rise up, oh my soul! Rise up!” Amen, let it be so.

Let’s secure the fords of our Jordan, our land. And the only people we will bring in will be the captives, let’s usher in the captives, the rescued ones!

Thanks for reading and don’t be frightened about getting angry – it’s righteous, it’s sanctified!

Andy
Great website for men here

Judy Jacobs – Days of Elijah – No God like Jehovah – great song!

The Story:
There was a man called Ehood in Judea at the time of the Judges who suddenly came upon the realisation that the ‘strong man’ could be defeated. He came to this realisation at Gilgal, a red hot anger began to burn within him there. So what’s the story?
“But the People of Israel went back to doing evil in God’s sight. So God made Eglon king of Moab a power against Israel because they did evil in God’s sight. He recruited the Ammonites and Amalekites and went out and struck Israel. They took the City of Palms. The People of Israel were in servitude to Eglon fourteen years. The People of Israel cried out to God and God raised up for them a savior, Ehud son of Gera, a Benjaminite. He was left-handed. The People of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon king of Moab. Ehud made himself a short two-edged sword and strapped it on his right thigh under his clothes. He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Eglon was grossly fat. After Ehud finished presenting the tribute, he went a little way with the men who had carried it. But when he got as far as the stone images near Gilgal, he went back and said, “I have a private message for you, O king.” The king told his servants, “Leave.” They all left. Ehud approached him-the king was now quite alone in his cool rooftop room-and said, “I have a word of God for you.” Eglon stood up from his throne. Ehud reached with his left hand and took his sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s big belly. Not only the blade but the hilt went in. The fat closed in over it so he couldn’t pull it out. Ehud slipped out by way of the porch and shut and locked the doors of the rooftop room behind him. Then he was gone. When the servants came, they saw with surprise that the doors to the rooftop room were locked. They said, “He’s probably relieving himself in the restroom.” They waited. And then they worried-no one was coming out of those locked doors. Finally, they got a key and unlocked them. There was their master, fallen on the floor, dead! While they were standing around wondering what to do, Ehud was long gone. He got past the stone images and escaped to Seirah. When he got there, he sounded the trumpet on Mount Ephraim. The People of Israel came down from the hills and joined him. He took his place at their head. He said, “Follow me, for God has given your enemies-yes, Moab!-to you.” They went down after him and secured the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites. They let no one cross over. At that time, they struck down about ten companies of Moabites, all of them well-fed and robust. Not one escaped. That day Moab was subdued under the hand of Israel. The land was quiet for eighty years. (Judges 3:12-30 MSG)

Tell our Stories and Make Hearts Glad

December 31, 2012 1 comment

Those who reverently and worshipfully fear You will see me and be glad, because I have hoped in Your word and tarried for it.
Psalm 119:74

As people watch you tarry (persevere, wait, etc), in the midst of a difficulty or challenge, they are made glad, they are super encouraged! And one of the ways they are given this super natural confidence and joy is if you tell them. In 2013 let’s tell people our stories!

I want us to be encouraged to reflect on our ‘testimonies’ or stories of the past year and to tell these to other people. Let’s pray we can do this as naturally as possible, trusting in the Holy Spirit to do His work in the hearts of people listening. However well we do it, we will certainly encourage people. 
We can also tell other people’s stories. .

And as you think over the last year, remember the Lord can use every failure as well as every success in the year to come. His hand remains on all those memories, which reminds us that we can bring healing/salvation/grace/mercy/redemption to others, in those same areas. How does this happen? Revelation 19:10 tells us that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy . . when we declare what Jesus has done in our life, it prophesies in that person’s life, that Jesus will do the same . .

Help us Lord always to be ready to tell a story of your goodness

Make Them Glad

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

With Extreme Confidence and Extreme Hope!
Psalm 119:74

We bring joy to others as they see us struggle through difficulties trusting in Father God!