Now here in the West the question arises more than any time in my life whether the light of the gospel that we have been handed on, that we are to shine before all people, may be in danger of going out? The historic value of the church in society, the idea that this is a Christian nation, that the word of God has a hearing, that flame is burning down in society, in churches and, yes, believers.
Here’s something that the church should be known for and it seems to me to be more needed in the world than ever. We are constantly told that so many things are in short supply and I know at times, as I reflect now on sabbatical, I’m asking God to increase this attitude and put it into action. I’m not always as kind as I could be. Who do you know and when you think of them you’d say ‘that’s a kind person.’ (Let me know in the comments?) Maybe some people are kinder than others by nature? But I am talking about the supernatural gift the Holy Spirit wants to be more evident in you and me. That famous passage in Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit— characteristics that are meant to grow inside of us as we live for God and let his life and love change us from the inside out. LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE…. the Holy Spirit wants to develop these in us so we mature in our lives as Jesus followers. And number 5 on […]
“My God,” he prayed aloud, “I’ve served You on earth.. And my reward should be that I shouldn’t die before I bring a Jew to Christ, because Jesus was from the Jewish people.” He sighed. “But I’m poor, old, and sick. I can’t go around and find a Jew. In my village, there aren’t any. Bring a Jew into my village, and I’ll do my best to lead him to Christ.”
Some time around 10pm (I think) a singer put down his trumpet and said, ‘The Holy Spirit is here, let’s be silent and welcome his presence.’
Within a few minutes, we all knew the anointing, overwhelming, presence of God – come to counsel and comfort, to convict the world with regard to sin and righteousness and judgement.As I looked around I saw hundreds, many hundreds, all kinds of people around the Arena where not long ago death and horror reigned doing just that men and women and young people coming back to life! Hands up everywhere. Many were in tears and others smiling broadly as they did business with God in what was now surely a holy place as he made himself present where he had been so royally welcomed and honoured. The King had come.
You are unique and unreproducible. God made the universe in such a manner that even if you’re a twin no one looks exactly like you, thinks your thoughts, or feels your feelings. There is no other person in the world equipped and gifted like you, with your track record of faith through life’s ups and downs, sharing your particular passions and if you are a Christian, nobody else has your uniquely designed pattern of spiritual gifts. There are tests you can take to try to get an idea of what they are, and some of them may even be helpful to give you some idea of whether you’re more of an apostle or evangelist or teacher, but I have found that discovering our place in the Body or our spiritual gifts is not something we do alone by going online to take that kind of test, like a true-or-false quiz or Myers Briggs. So how do we work that out then? First of all it requires us to recognise that it’s not about me – it’s about Jesus. Jesus moves in this […]
John 17:6-11 ‘That they may be one – even as we are one.’ This is what is on his heart and uppermost in his mind – unity. He has everything being put into place on the other side of his death and resurrection. And he knows that UNITY is the Key, if we are to build anything in life. Nobody can do it alone. So his emphasis, his prayer for us – is unity. Even as he’s on death row effectively, he’s not praying ‘Lord be with me, in this trial, make it easier.’ He transcends his needs to pray for ours. We are here as church, because of this prayer. You can’t just have revival because you hold a prayer meeting or an event, how do I know? We have tried it! It comes – to the desperate, those who know their own poverty who cry out, in their desperation for God, and for their own condition. Our lives are made up of moments. Some of have had those life changing, life shaping moments. What if this happened now when […]
How do I pray today?
And HOW ON EARTH am I meant to do what this verse commands and submit here on earth, for heaven’s sake? “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”