Sunday, December 23, 2007
In Genesis 5 we read of the lineage of Adam. It's the kind of chapter that becomes tempting to skip over because it's so repetitive. However it's usually in these types of chapters that the Lord slips in something slightly different just to grab your attention! So here's the pattern: We're told someones age at the time they became a father, after this event they live for a certain number of years during which they have other sons and daughters, then, at a particular age they die.
But then we get to verse 21. Enoch was 65 when he became the father of Methuselah. Like the other accounts Enoch continues to live for another 300 years and has other sons and daughters during this time. But there's a few differences. The first one is this: he didn't just live for a further 300 years, it says; 'Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.' (verse 22). A subtle yet significant difference, and perhaps God wanted it to grab our attention? I initially began to think about the blessing of God upon Adam and Eve - be fruitful an multiply (Genesis 1:29). The fact that Adam's descendants where having lots of kids in Genesis 5 was a good thing, but i wondered whether they were indulging in the blessings of God yet neglecting God himself? Perhaps this is why God mentions that Enoch was different, but i also wondered whether this very thing had anything to do with the fact that Enoch didn't die? - the second difference from the other accounts. 'Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.' (verse 23-24). Its almost like God wanted to snap it up and freeze this moment in time, like it was meant to send a prophetic shock wave throughout the course of human history. My mind went to this: 'I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.' (John 6:51). Walking in the blessing of God is where we want to be, but not at the expense of a close relationship with God himself. And the fruit? ...eternal life!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Todays Revelation; 'Our eyes see according to what our ears hear and our heart believes.'
A great mentor of mine would often say to me, 'Just because you think it, feel it or believe it - doesn't mean that it's true'. If only he told Eve that :-)
I read again this morning that famous conversation between Eve and the serpent in Genesis 3, and it struck me again; Eve heard the voice of the serpent, she believed what she heard and then saw accordingly. Verse 6 of Genesis 3 says 'The woman was convinced.'
She was convinced!
Make no mistake about it...the devil is a good convincer!
What was she convinced of? She was convinced that there was greener grass! She was convinced that there was something greater than what she already had. And because she was convinced,'She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her.' (v6). She now saw according to what she had heard and believed.
But here is today’s real revelation, Eve was also convinced not only of what she heard, believed and therefore saw - but she was convinced that her eyes had now been opened so clearly to this great revelation, however verse 7 suggests the opposite…that her eyes had been infact closed.
Because she heard, believed and then saw accordingly, the next logical step was to act. Verse 6 says this; 'The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it.' But then...'At that moment their eyes were opened' (v7).
At ‘that’ moment!
At the moment Eve believed her eyes were opened...they were in fact covered in deception.
So why is it that the true opening of our eyes comes only after the act that follows the deception? Perhaps it has something to do with light and darkness. The act brought the deception to light. If the act had been to seek out the Lord and his wisdom, the life that was 'the light of men' (John 1:4) would have overcome the darkness that was his death, and Eve & Adam would have saved us all some serious grief! Although, because of Jesus, we have the same opportunity, to save ourselves in a sense. Not that we can implement an act of salvation, but we can surrender to the act of Christ. How? By believing in Him only; 'But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' (John 12:12-13).
So what we need to Hear is the voice of God. We need to Believe in his word and See the result of what he speaks and not the serpent - because not only did God speak the world into creation, but he spoke our redemption across the canvas of the universe when he said "It is finished!" (John 19:30). All of darkness heard Jesus speak these words. I think of these words as I do of those in Genesis 1:3, "Let there be light,"
The darkness knows the light.
The key is not the fact that God said, "let there be light" but the fact that once he said "let there be light, there was light!
His word conquers the power of darkness - but for us; only if we hear it, believe it and see accordingly.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Interesting revelation came to me last night during church; We know that in the times of the Old Testament when a king would send his men into battle, after they defeated their enemy the King would walk through the battle ground and take for his men the spoils. But the greatest recognition for the king that he had been victorious was signified when he would have a piece of the defeated king's robe cut off and then sewn onto the bottom or the end of his own. For a king in Old Testament times, the length of his robe would therefore be a sign or an indication of his greatness i.e. the longer his robe, the move victories he had won and the more kings he had defeated.
So God began to speak to me about the temple, about what the temple represents. If we think about the temple of the OT, it was a place where the people would come to offering sacrifices because of their sin, because of their defeatedness. It was a place where they would bring their failure, their insecurity, and their inadequacy. Not much has changed over the years. For us, the new Israel, the temple of the church is still a place where we can bring our brokenness. As we attend every week, of failures, our fears, our insecurities, and our sin all follow us through the door. But then came the revelation; 'the train of His robe filled the temple'. We worship the God of Victory, the King of kings and the Lord of lords who has defeated the power of sin, and if that piece of cloth is sewn to the end of the train of His robe, and if His robe fills the temple, then everything we bring into the temple is covered, everything we bring into the temple is defeated. We are covered by the robe of the King who has conquered death! His Robe signifies the defeat of the enemy, His Blood seals our redemption and our righteousness (past, present & future) in His name.
So lift up your eyes and see that the train of His robe fills your temple.
Thank you Jesus.
Monday, December 3, 2007
There would seem to be a clear distinction between 'hearing' and, 'hearing and understanding'. Verse 19 says some hear but don't understand. Verse 20 says that some hear, and receive what they hear with joy, but fall away when trouble and persecution comes. Why is that? Perhaps their understanding of trouble and persecution is greater than their understanding of Christ? Verse 22 says that some hear the word, but the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. So perhaps their understanding of worry is greater than their understanding of Christ? I wonder how much time we spend worrying about things that we think money will be able to fix? I wonder how many of us think that worry is a good thing. I guess if we worry about something for long enough, eventually we'll arrive at a place where we're forced to do something about it? I think we trust in worry. Verse 23 says that the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown is the one who not only hears, but who hears and understands. But understands what...what was said, or the one whom said it? Perhaps true understanding comes via relationship. Most of us understand worry because we have relationship with it. Some of us understand persecution and trouble - because we have relationship with it. Some have a knowledge of poverty...some have understanding, because they have relationship with it.
The bible says that the Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Corinthian 1:18). Why is it foolishness? Because they hear the gospel, but they don't understand it. And why are they perishing? Because they have no relationship with the Holy Spirit, the one who brings understanding.
1 Corinthians 1:18 says, 'For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.'
So today's revelation; I want to know and understand Christ, and I want to understand Christ more than i understand trouble and persecution, more than I understand worry and the deceitfulness of wealth. I want to understand the power of relationship with the Holy Spirit and the fruit that multiplies from that.
Philippians 1:9-11 'And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.'
Thursday, November 29, 2007
We know that Haran was the name of Terah's son whom had just recently died.
Perhaps he couldn't let go of his son's death? Perhaps the pain of death in the past hindered his ability to receive new life in the future? Perhaps he settled too early? Perhaps he settle for far less that God had in store for him?
Interesting that in the original Hebrew, the spelling of the town 'Haran' is slightly different to that of Terah's son, but even more interesting that the town of Haran was a place where the moon-god was worshiped. We all know that the moon is visible predominantly when it's dark. Perhaps in his spirit, Terah was walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but only to stop right in the middle of it!
We know that Haran was a man that served many gods. Perhaps when you serve a god a darkness, the darkness is where you will feel most at home? 'The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it' (John 1:4-5), but when you serve the God of light...your only option is life, 'In him was life, and that life was the light of men' (John 1:4). No doubt important the note that God is not just the God of light...but that He is light, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12; John 1:9 says 'The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world'
Perhaps God was leading Terah to the promised land, but he only got as far as the place where his heart would allow him to go no further?
Lord i pray that my heart would not settle in the valley of the shadow of death. I pray that the things that have died in my life would not be the things that hinder me from walking in 'life' toward the promises that you have set before me.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart' (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."
In Chapter 12 Jesus continues to demonstrate what he has just spoken;
He speaks to the Pharisees about food (v1-8), He heals a mans crippled hand (v9-14) and he restores sight and speech to a man who is demon possessed (v22-32)
Praise the Lord. But it would seem that the message still wasn't getting through. This wasn't just about the people on the other end of the miracle, but it was just as much if not more, about those that weren't - it was about the religious leaders...the Pharisees!
They were the ones that were hungry, because they weren't feeding on the bread of life. They were the ones that were crippled, because the work of their hands contradicted the work of the Messiah and therefore the work of God. They were the ones who were blind...because in their attempt to fight for the ways of God, they became blind to God himself, and therefore the words of their mouth were powerless.
The pharisees were good people...they simply believed that if we all just got everything absolutely right...the Messiah would come and we'd all be saved. True. But the only way they'd ever get it right would be if Jesus got it right for them (and us).
I wonder if we (both corporately and as individuals) fall into the same trap...of believing that if we can just get everything absolutely right...we'll get out miracle, or, we'll see revival, or the Lord will bless the work of our hands. We'll perhaps that's why we're still sick, still crippled, still hungry, sill poor and still blind!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Would it be inaccurate to say that Kevin Rudd is a sensitive new age guy? My perception is that he prides himself of listening to the needs, hopes and dreams of his people and then seeks to bring about change in those areas. I believe that the leaders of Israel during the reign of Kings Josiah, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah were the same. The problem was that what the people wanted was unrighteousness. The greater problem was the leadership that allowed it to happen, and the consequence was exile.
Jeremiah 10:21 says that the shepherds, (pastors, leaders, rulers - civil and religious) were 'senseless'. Not necessarily senseless to their people - but senseless to the voice of God.
'The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.' (Jeremiah 10:21)
verse 23 says this;
'I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.
Today I pray for our 'New Leadership', I pray that Kevin Rudd would become a, sensitive new age guy...sensitive not just to the people of this nation, but sensitive to the sovereign God who reigns over us, and who seeks from among us righteousness.
Monday, November 26, 2007
(1) That God has promised himself he will never again destroy all the earth with the flood of rain
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Abraham had a dream - to be a father. God gave Abraham a dream - to be the father of a great nation. But then God said to him...lay it down.
Jacob had a dream, to be blessed, but God was asking for a heart of surrender...lay it down.
Joseph had a dream, but for 13 years, God said...lay it down.
Moses had a dream, a God given dream, to lead a nation into the promised land, but God said...lay it down.
Gideon had a dream, a God given dream, to lead an army (a whole army) into battle, but God said...lay it down.
Perhaps Jehoshaphat had a dream, to be a leader free of attack, but God said...lay it down.
David had a dream, to build a temple for the Lord, but God said...lay it down.
Joseph would have had a dream, to be the natural father of his first born son, but God said to him...lay it down.
Mary and Martha had a dream, the see Lazarus saved from death, but God said...lay it down.
The disciples had a dream, that Jesus would rise as a victorious militant leader, but God said...lay it down.
Paul had a dream, to preach the gospel in certain places, but God said...lay it down.
I wonder if at times Jesus had a dream, to save the world without the cross...
Does 'i surrender' mean 'i give up'?
Does 'i surrender' mean 'i give over'?
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The desert is a place that (in my mind at least) represents death. The environment would be harsh and unforgiving. Signs of life, as we've come to understand them, would be extremely rare. Surely when you dwell in a place like that, it would begin to condition your mind to that being the norm. But that there was my answer, exactly that is today's revelation. As i began to read Matthew 3 this morning i found myself thinking, 'thank you Lord for John the baptist'.
Before the people of Israel could accept the gift of life, they needed their eyes to be opened to what lay before them, to what they were walking into, or even currently living in the destiny of - death!
John the baptist was a prophet. He lived his life 3 steps ahead of the flock. He was living in what they were walking into. His life was shouting at their current destination.
Thank you Lord that in the place of death, you place a prophet who speaks life.
Today's revelation again highlights the importance of whom it is that you listen to. When your in the Desert, it would be easy to listen to the voice of death, but the Lord desires life, His purpose is fruit, fruit that is produced in keeping with repentance (v8)
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
When you hear the voice of life (in this case John the Baptist), a repentant and obedient response brings not only a destination of life, but a light that shines the way - the way out of the desert - the way to life.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I think it's interesting how something inside of all of us says...i wish that was me!
Simple but significant revelation; we don't need to wish we were Jeremiah, or even wish that the word would have come to us as it came to him, because according to John 1:14 we've received perhaps an even greater gift, 'The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us'.
We know that because God is God; he formed us in our mothers womb, and before he formed us, he knew us. We know that before we were born, he set us apart. Romans 8:28-30 says 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.'
So again, perhaps we've received an even greater gift than those who've gone before us, because we know that for us - he conquered sin and death - and therefore redeemed 'us' back unto himself...not just our time or our gifts or our voice, but us.
John 1:11-13 says 'He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God'
Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. (Jeremiah 1:9)
Our words can be born of natural descent
Our words can be born of human decision
Our words can be born of human will
But surely now that we are children born of God, our words must be also
Monday, November 12, 2007
But even being somewhere that you do want to be - for an extended period of time - can become hard work; ...heard one chart - heard em all...!
As i began to pray this morning the Lord immediately said to me, 'Abide in me...' (John 15:4), My immediate reaction was 'yes, i will...i want to...i'm on to it...i'm working at it...i promise...!
When you have a full perspective of the word 'abide' you do understand that there is an element of conscious remaining; of responsibility; of not departing from that 'place' or 'time' or 'state of condition'. But to remain or 'abide' also means 'to be held' or 'kept, continually'. This i found releasing.
To be held against your will (at the dentist...) is tough, but to be held in the arms of God is the most freeing reality you'll ever experience. But it's only freedom if you allow it to be. God is saying to me 'be still', 'Let me keep you', 'Relax for heaven sake :-)'
Friday, October 26, 2007
So were the people of Israel called to walk 'with the law' or 'in the law'? And if we believe that the old testament foreshadows the new, are we then called to walk 'with Christ' as much as we are called to walk 'in Christ'?
To turn from it [the book of the law] to the right or to the left wouldn't necessarily suggest that the people of Isreal we're leaving it behind, but perhaps shifting it to a place of secondary focus - a bit like standing at your car door ready to get in, but then at the last minute turning to the right and proceeding to walk along side the car in order to get to where you want to go - doesn't make sense does it! The book of the law was not established for the people of Israel to carry in their brief cases, (in either their right hand or their left)!
When God called Noah to build and ark, all the people became focused on 'the ark'. When God called told the people of Israel that he was giving to them the promised land, their focus became 'the promised land' and the fact that they had not yet received it. When God called the people to build the tabernacle, their focus became 'the tabernacle'. When God released Solomon to build the temple, their focus became 'the tempple'. However, when Jesus came to sepak the 'Word', or the fulfillment of the law, or the new covenant - everyone's focus remained locked into 'the temple' or 'the tabernacle' or 'the ark' or the 'law of Moses'!
Perhaps without becoming fully aware, it's easy to turn to the right & to the left, to believe that we haven't forgotten about the Lord, but perhaps in reality, he has become just another resource that we carry with us if & when needed.
So the revelation is this - Sometimes the object that carries the promise becomes more of a focus than the promise itself, and sometimes the promise becomes more important the one who made it with us. When God spoke to the people of Israel as they were about to cross over into the promise, he didn't say - don't let the ark depart from your mind; he said, 'don't let the book of the law [that lies within the ark] depart from your mouth' (v8). Do not turn from it to the right or to the left (v7). In other words, don't let it be with you...let it be within you. We know that four walls don't constitute a church, yet the outworking of the church can easily get in the way of it's purpose - Covenant relationship with God & with each other. Noah's ark was not about the ark, it was about Covenant relationship with God and with each other. The tabernacle was not about the tabernacle, it was about Covenant relationship with God and with each other. The temple wasn't about the temple, it was about covenant relationship with God and with each other. Jesus Christ wasn't about himself, he was about the Father and his covenant relationship with you and me and us with each other.
'Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me' (John 15:4). For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. (Colossians 2:9-10)
So the deepest form of relationship with Christ is relationship in Christ not relationship alongside Christ?
Just a thought.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
You could say that after 40 years in the desert, the people of Israel had become conditioned not only to failure but to the consequences of it. We know that it was the attitude of their mind and the words of their mouth that hindered them from entering into the promises of God many years before (Numbers 14:26-34). Their minds said, we can't take them - their too big, and their mouths simply echoed their unbelief. We know that all of the 12 spies, excluding Joshua & Caleb, died in the desert, and they took a whole generation with them - because the words of their mouth and the pattern of their mind were carnal.
We know that Joshua is a prophetic book. We know that the story of Joshua leading his people into the promised land is a foreshadow of Chirst ushering us into the Kingdom of God (in fact we know that the name Jeshua or Jesus comes from the name Joshua). That's why the new covenant instructs us to renew the condition of our mind (Romans 12:1), and to guard closely the use of our tongue (book of James).
So Joshua is about to lead his people into the promised land (Joshua 1). I began to wonder, what was the condition of their mind? Did even joshua have doubts? Had they become content with the familiararity of living on the current side of the Jordan river? I wondered what came out of Joshua's mouth on behalf of his people just before God responded, again saying, 'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
When the time came, they had to physically step into the Jordan river in order to cross over, but surely their success was determined not by the fact that they took a physical step, but because God was with them, 'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
'Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?" Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you." Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by. The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here. " 'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. " 'In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,' declares the LORD Almighty."'(Zechariah 3)
To have Christ with us is to be clothed in his Righteousness.
'You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.' (Ephesians 4:22-24)
'...put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.' (Colossians 3:9-10)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
We often talk about the importance of reading the word of God 'in context'. It really is quite easy to think about how we're feeling, to find a single verse of scripture that says something we like the sound of, and then to spend however long it takes to make that scripture speak to our circumstance and justify our current state of mind (otherwise known as isogesis). We need to be reminded to ensure that what we read and what we take from the word is true and consistant with the full tenor of scripture (and therefore the charachter of God). But how often do we view the text of our own life 'in context'? I'm not just talking about piecing together different circumstances to get a full picture, i'm not just talking about connecting a feeling with an event that took place 15 years ago in order to understand it, but i'm talking about reading the text of life within the context of who we are in Christ. As i began to pray this morning, i found myself speaking these words; 'Lord, i feel out of context'.
However, today's revelation is this; whether i'm in context or out of context has nothing to do with my emotions, my state of mind, my circumstance or my station in society, but it has everything to do with knowing who I am in Christ. If in know that, and if i'm secure in that, then no matter where I am, how I feel or what i think, I'm in context.
'But our citizenship is in heaven' (Philippians 3:20).
'But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy' (1 Peter 2:9-10).
So now I'm in context.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Because we're on the other side of the story, we know that this encounter was the fist indication of Jesus calling Simon to die to himself and to come alive in Christ.
Simon had worked hard in the natural, but for no result. and it wasn't like he was going in blind either, Simon was an experienced fisherman. Sure he knew that sometimes you catch a lot and sometimes you don't, but at the end of the day if you keep working hard, the rewards will come.
Perhaps this wasn't the first time he'd worked all night for no return, but i imagine it was the first time that a stranger stepped into his boat and questioned his rationale, his judgement, and his wisdom. It makes a lot of sense at time to rest right? Peter was no doubt wise to return home for the night and to rest. But at that exact time when in the natural Simon was exhausted both physically, mentally and emotionally, Jesus instructions seemed to be for him to return to the deep waters and to continue to work in the natural for even longer.
And here is the first sign of Simon's greatness in Christ. Although what Jesus was asking seemed to make no sense at all, Simon's response was one of obedient faith. And what took place was an outworking of the supernatural - followed immediately by a revelation of inadequacy. Suddenly the game changed. Suddenly, Peter was in deep water and he hadn't yet learned to swim. If casting his nets into deep water at the point of exhaustion required faith; to be exposed to the supernatural power of Christ found him in a far greater realm of the unknown.
Then Jesus said this; 'from now on you will catch men' (Luke 5:10)
From now on, your destiny changes. From now on, who you are is in me.
Today's revelation comes from these three words, 'from now on'.
Jesus had to lead Simon to a point of death, not physical death but perhaps death to his own wisdom and judgement. Perhaps to a point of mental and emotional surrender. Perhaps to the place where revelation can come; that working in your own strength is not kingdom DNA
And then he said to him...'from now on...you will catch men'
'I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me'. Galatians 2:20
Thursday, October 18, 2007
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
In Acts 1, The disciples suddenly found themselves in a moment of the unknown and the very unfamiliar. After having a routing conversation with the Lord, he was immediately taken on a cloud into heaven. For the first time in 3 years, Jesus was't there anymore! They'd been excited about 'change' for 3 years. From the moment Jesus began to preach, his message was this; "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near" (Mark 1:15).
But when the time for the arrival of the kingdom of God was at it's closest, the disciples were left looking to what they knew rather than what was to come
'They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."' (Acts 1:10-11).
According to Hebrews 12:2, their intent was good - 'Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith'. Trouble is, Jesus doesn't live in a cloud. Jesus doesn't operate in our past - no matter how immediate it might be. But Jesus opperates in our future. I imagine that the walk back to the upper room would have been the hardest 30 minutes of their life. Not because they were walking the kokoda track, but because for the first time in 3 years, something was radically different. But if they had remained fixed on a cloud, they would have missed the outpouring of the kingdom of God.
I'm in an unfamiliar place.
My heart is torn between two things - what I know and what i believe God has for me. I eagerly desire what he has for me, but my mind tells me that i will only find rest in what i've always known.
Perhaps the angel of the Lord has spoken...again..."why do you stand here looking into the sky?'
Monday, October 15, 2007
Imagine the battle that could have taken place whithin his mind! and I say 'could have' intentionally. It would be easy to believe that he wrestled every day with his selfless position, for he was made in the likeness of man, but was still God (v5-6). 'But made himself nothing' (v7) literally means, "He emptied himself". He Stripped himself, he rid himself, dissacociated, separated, denied and deprived himself of his own self-interest. He 'humbled himself' (v8) and that is how he 'became obedient to death- even death on a cross (v8). It would seem that for a season, he made no attempt to 'grasp' the equality with God that was still his. But he lived every moment in complete submission to the Father. Why, so that i might see the glory of God.
It would seem that his own 'self interest' was (and is) in fact, you and I :-)
Friday, October 12, 2007
Today's revelation comes from Psalm 3:5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
I've blogged before from Revelation 4:11 - He's the creator and sustainer of all things. He gives life to those [actions] which are according to his will and death to those which are not. But i believe that Psalm 3:5 is proposing that although he may not approve of or agree with the actions of your day, that doesn't change his approval and acceptance of you - of who you are,
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) :-)
Thursday, October 11, 2007
As if he would have been able to remain standing - in that place- unless he was absolutely certain that God had spoken. Standing is good - but only if the Lord instructs it. I think sometimes we think we're acting in faith - and perhaps we are, but faith in the word of God...or faith in a rationalised dream, idea, plan or strategy? This morning the Lord took me to James 4:15 'Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall...')
anyway...here's where i wanted to get to this morning;
Thank you Lord for my family.
Bless us with every blessing that's resting in the wings of heaven,
Anoint us and empower us with your sovereign hand,
and may no weapon formed against us prosper,
in Jesus Name.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
2 Chronicles 20:3 says that he 'resolved to inquire of the LORD'.
Being a king, with many options available to him, he still chose to step into God's temple and seek the voice, the council and the instruction of the Lord. (It sounds simple i know, but considering yesterday's revelation; often because of pride, finding ourselves at the alter to inquire of the Lord can be the last step once we've run out of all other options, as apposed to being the first). Interesting also that if we do seek to find the council of the Lord, we usually seek to do it in private. I love that when Jehoshaphat stepped into the temple, Judah came with him; 'indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him' (2 Chronicles 20:4).
Then he stood up and began to intercede. (note: for all of us out there who are called to be priests of our own home, perhaps the revelation is this; we can't just seek the Lord's council for our family in private, we need to do it 'in the assembly' - with all of our family present...!).
Then came the instruction of the Lord;
Step onto the battle field (v16). March right into the centre of your conflict,
And then Stand!
'Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you' (v17).
This morning the Lord led me to the account of Jehoshaphat right after he led me to Ephesians 6:10-14 'Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power'.
(I found this to be significant, again considering yesterday's revelation. To 'be strong' is to 'be strong in the Lord and in his might power', which in this case means to stop, stand in humility, and let the 'armour of God' as apposed to your own armor protect you. Bit like the army of Jehoshaphat!)
'Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm...'
So are you stepping? or are you standing?
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Strength is a good word right? The Lord said to Joshua three times, 'Be strong and courageous' (Joshua 1:9), and Jesus said in Matthew 5:5 'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth', however we know that meek doesn't mean week, but rather, strength that is restrained or under control.
But i read something the other day that caused me to think a lot about the word strength, from a book by Bishop Paul S. Morton called 'Why Kingdoms Fall'. He said this: 'strength of pride is a weakness, a gateway to a stronghold'.
Have you every noticed that pride is nearly always wrapped in strength? Don't we feel 'extra strong' when someone challenges something we say? Don't we experience a baptism of relentless determination when someone out of turn tells us what to do, or somehow seems to place a question mark over who we are? But if all we ever see is the wrapping paper, then our perception is one of strength - but unrestrained strength, out of control strength and a strength born of the wrong motive.
Strength is good, but strength of pride is a weakness - a gateway to a stronghold, and I renounce it in Jesus name!
Monday, October 8, 2007
Sorry folks, it seems I’ve been awol on the blog for a while, woops…
This morning the Lord spoke to me out of two passages,
The first was one that he’s recently drawn my attention to, and the second; one that I know well but hadn’t remembered for quite some time,
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you (Isaiah 26:3)
Winning the battle of the mind is something I wrestle with everyday. Although I know (and can quote) heaps of verses that point to victory, it sometimes seems to be a whole lot easier (and even comfortable, or familiar or ‘normal’) to remain in a negative and somewhat defeated frame of mind. These two passages SCREAM at me from the pages they’re written on. Why? Because I have no strength, because I’m weary and faint, because I function a whole lot more out of anxiety than I do out of peace.
So my question is this; what does it mean to ‘wait’ upon the Lord?
How do I arrive at a place of ‘perfect peace’?
We know that patience is a fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22), and tere's a lot of things that I’m ‘waiting’ for, but it seems that whilst I’m standing in line, I’m left idle! I feel like I’m on the shelf, collecting dust…waiting… and I feel as though it’s in my ‘waiting’ that I’m becoming defeated, and as long as I’m defeated – my time on the shelf seems to multiply…and so the cycle continues!
So, out comes the trusty Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance (red letter edition by the way J ),
And here’s the revelation;
To ‘wait’ is ‘to bind together’. It calls for a 'straining of the mind in a certain direction with an expectant attitude…a forward look with assurance'. (Interesting that the word ‘straining’ is used)!
It would seem that Isaiah 26:3 is somewhat of an 'instruction manual' for Isaiah 40:31
To 'wait' according to Isaiah 41:31 is to keep you mind 'stayed', or 'steadfast' upon God, (and it suggests hard work!). The Hebrew word from which we get the word 'wait' also suggests, 'to gather' or 'collect'.
I remember John Maxwell saying that one of the first lessons his father ever taught him when he began to drive a car was this; always keep a good book in the glove box, so that if you're ever left idle in traffic, you can always take it out and redeem your prescious time.
It would seem that his father was teaching him to keep his mind 'stayed' upon the Lord, to gather, and bind, collected thoughts from the word of God, and nowhere else.
Philippians 4:8 says Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things
p.s. this comes right after Paul says, 'Do not be anxious about anything' - 'Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!'
p.s. this comes right after Paul says, 'Do not be anxious about anything' - 'Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!'
In other words, You keep your mind stayed on me and I'll keep you in peace - perfect peace!
In other words, You keep your mind stayed on me and I'll keep you in peace - perfect peace!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
He led me to 1 Samuel 18 and the relationship between King Saul and David.
I read an interesting observation by Neil. T Anderson from his book 'The Daily Discipler', it reads; 'People who are secure in Christ are less prone to anger, because their identity and sense of self worth are found in Christ, not in the success or failure of others, not in the positive or negative circumstances of life'. (p244)
I wonder whether our anger at times - is birthed out of a need to defend who we are. Whereas if we know and are secure in who we are in Christ, we're free from the weight of negative and ill directed emotion and free to address the facts.
Just a thought.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Especially in the morning, you can’t help but think that you just lazy! That sleep must hold a greater priority than communicating with the creator of the universe.
It reminded me of Eutycus who fell into a deep sleep when Paul preached all night (Acts 20:7-12). Falling asleep whilst talking with God must be bad…because he fell from the 3rd floor and died!
No not really, he survived. the question is was it Paul who brought him back to life or was it the word of God that was living within him?
The Lord did take me to a couple of scriptures;
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Monday, September 24, 2007
In John 4:13 & 14 Jesus says this; "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Perhaps Jesus first priority was to allow her to become aware of the true source of life (as apposed to her sinfulness, which he doesn’t avoid, but addresses later on)
In verse 15, The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
Immediately her desire changed, because she sensed something greater.
And her initial response was one of sacrifice; you sense within her a desire to sacrifice whatever she needs to in order to get to what Jesus is proposing, that she wants it more than what she finds herself doing everyday. And what was she doing? She was laboring every day to gather the most precious source of life – so that life would be sustained in her and in her village. But she was drawing a natural substance to sustain a sinful life which Jesus subtly points out in his next instruction;
He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." (v16)
It’s at this point (and I think important to say – not until this point) that Jesus allows her to become aware of her sin. Perhaps the application for us, when seeking to save the world would be this; we must always desire to introduce Jesus before we seek to point out someone’s sinfulness. Even Jesus came into the world not to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17-18). If we look to the pattern of Isaiah 6, when anyone finds themselves in the presence of God, an awareness of their own sinfulness will take care of itself. Perhaps as the church we subconsciously feel better about ourselves when someone else’s sin is revealed – because it somehow increases our holiness. We develop a ‘separated’ mentality. Yes a separateness from sin is good, but not a separateness from the sinner (or the Samaritan). You can’t separate the holiness of God from his act of salvation. He didn’t incarnate to engage in our sinfulness, but he came to reveal himself. The conviction of the Holy Spirit in us takes care of the rest.
Verse 19 "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet.
I found it interesting to note that the Samaritans response to Jesus pointing to her sin (at this point) was not bad. She didn’t say, ‘how dare you point that out’, ‘who do you think you are bringing up my sinful past…’ But she said this, ‘I can see that you are a prophet.’
I don’t think she was doubting her sinfulness…just her focus was more on Jesus and even her original purpose – for she’s the one who brings up the subject of worship! Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." (v20)
Jesus next response opens the door for the greatest of revelations – his desire for relationship. ‘we worship what we do know’ (v22)
Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (v21-24)
Perhaps when we’re introduced to our sin before we’re introduced to Jesus, the nature of our relationship with God continues to follow that pattern. We expect that God’s next move is to point out our next floor. But I think that’s backwards. I think God’s only desire is to reveal himself. Here I am.
When God said to Adam and Eve ‘where are you’ (Gen 3:9), perhaps he was really saying…Here I am. In your sinfulness…I’m still here. Perhaps you’ve left me but I haven’t left you. What's the response he's looking for?
Here I am.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
It's a humbling thought to know that when we worship, the elders who surround the throne 'fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever'. (v10)
The way we live our lives; as a Lion, an Ox, a human and an Eagle (see yesterday's blog) - when we worship from every angle of our lives - the ripple effect extends to the most inner circle of God's throne.
Isaiah 6:1-5 is possibly one of the most well know theophanies; In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
What struck me when i read this passage was verse 3; And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
In particular the first 7 words 'And they were calling to one another:...'
The ripple effect of every part of our lives should be one that calls those that surround us to look to the King and fall before him in worship. (Is it safe for me to assume that if anything that has breath were to be found looking upon the King their natural yet almost involuntary response would be one of worship?).
So what do you call? What worship song resonates from the way you live your life?
Does your Lion face call others to worship? Not just the elders in heaven, but the person you sit next to at work? Because the effect of our worship is one that causes others to see & therefore worship the King.
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. (Revelation 4:9)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I began to think about the Lion, the Ox, the Human and the Eagle and the fact that the living creatures had eyes all around, and that, Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."
For us the Lion represents the protector, the provider. The Ox the worker, The human...well the human and the Eagle the worshiper.
Perhaps the difference is that we operate with only 1 set of eyes. Therefore when we're working, all we see is work. Trouble is what we're not seeing is more important than what we are seeing. When we're providing and protecting, all we see is our self provided provision and our own self provided protection. Trouble is what we're not seeing is more important than what we are seeing. In our Humanity, all we see in our humanity. And because we're not looking to the throne at the same time, (because we're only operating out of 1 set of eyes) we see the 'fallen' humanity as apposed to the 'created in the image of God' humanity. We certainly worship, we all look to the throne, we all seek to soar as close the heaven as possible...but these eyes are in operation usually on a Sunday when we're in a church building.
Perhaps for 3/4 our time we cease to intentionally worship.
So the key is to open your eyes when your Lion face is on - and see the throne. open your eyes when your Ox face is on - and see the throne. Open your eyes when your Human face is on - and see the throne. And open your eyes when your Eagle face is on - and see the throne!
Some more revelation around v9-11 to come (tomorrow).
In Luke 10, Jesus has commissioned 72 disciples, appointed and sent them - ahead of himself, to the homes of those they encounter.
Knowing that Jesus sent the disciples 'ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go' (Luke 10:1), my next question to myself was this; Has he come yet?
Perhaps we rely too much on the miraculous. We think that the Holy Spirit hasn't arrived yet because the day doesn't feel like a sequel to Acts 2! We (I) need to recognise that he has come already - through us. Recognise Jesus -in you - in that place - already.
v8 eat what is set before you.
Sometimes being appointed can seem a lot like your mum not allowing you to leave the table until you've eaten all the lumpy custard (which is now cold by the way).
If we can get past eating what is set before us, then we get to do what it is that we were sent to do, v9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.
Interesting that the preach comes after a demonstration of the power of God, and the demonstration of God's power comes after you've sat with them in their home and ate with them.
v10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
I found myself considering the tone of voice in which one would deliver this message. My mind went to one of rebuke, but the Lord said this to me; Don't do it with a spirit of condemnation but with a broken heart for a people that are lost - knowing full well that you will not be well received. Rebuke (correct & encourage) with a broken heart - in faith filled anticipation for the response of a heart that begins to break (or soften).
Then move on into their house - eat with them - become a channel for the power of God to move through...then give them the good news of the Kingdom.
v16, "He who listens to you listens to me;
It's not about you, but the one who sent you. Easy to get caught up in yourself.
v17, The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."
Rejoyce when the kingdom of heaven is advanced, but don't get stuck on rejoicing in the spectacular. See past what everyone else sees, see into the Kingdom. Rejoyce because a new name is written in Heaven. Rejoyce not because of what you have done, but because of what Christ has done - through you. Therefore, don't put faith in what your about to do, have faith in the one who is about to close the deal through you. He holds then pen, (blood not ink by they way) he writes the new name in Heaven.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. (Luke 10:1-7)
v1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two.
It’s good to be reminded that we are appointed. To be appointed means to be directed to a specific situation, place or circumstance. The one who appoints you points to the place where you are appointed to. So for you, where I God pointing to?
v1 and sent them.
So God not only points, but sends us to that place. God’s not into guided tours. God’s not about window shopping. We’re sent directly to what we see.
v1 ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
Let’s assume for a moment that we are all in the place where we have been appointed to. Or let’s believe that were we are about to go today is the place where God is pointing to right now. After all we do serve the omnipotent “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev 19:16). So according to Luke 10:1 God is about to arrive at the place where you are right now. Jesus sent the disciples to the ‘place where he was about to go’
v1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
Interesting revelation when I find myself thinking everyday, I wish I wasn't here…!
v4 & 5 say, Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.'
Perhaps we too often approach the appointment with a ‘preach’ mentality. After all, preaching is rather glamorous these days! But Jesus said, ‘do not greet anyone on the road’. Perhaps because he knew our approach would be to preach at them. Instead he says, “When you enter a house” When you enter a house, first say, “Peace be with you”. It’s not about our preach, it’s about he who is lost & a peace that he doesn't yet have.
Verse 7, Stay in that house,
Perhaps we souldn't be too quick to move on, after all Jesus is about to come to where you are right now!
hmm, this one will have to be continued…
Monday, September 17, 2007
LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I found myself considering my portion. According to Leviticus 2:2, what do i have that i can give back to the Lord; what is my sacrifice? what is my offering?
My cup - What is it that i drink of? What is my cross to bear?
My lot - Where is it that my boundary lines have fallen? What is my inheritance? Can i be pleased? Am i satisfied?
Then came the revelation,
Although I can find good answers, (great answers) for all of the above - (if i put my New Covenant lenses on), what brings me peace is not my portion, my cup nor my lot, but a trust in the one whom assigns it. Verse 2 says, I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." The beginning of verse 5 says, LORD, you have assigned me my portion... My portion, my cup and my lot have been assigned; secured, written, documented and stamped!
My cup is one of salvation; salvation from my cup! I drink of the Lord because he drank the cup of my sin on my behalf. Therefore my calling and my commission is of the Lord and of His cup and not my own.
My lot should have been handed down according to the name of my ancestors, but then i received a new name. My lot, my inheritance comes from the Lord. Not just my eternal inheritance but my earthly inheritance. Life abundantly now!
With New Covenant lenses, my perspective changes. Take God out of the picture and it's easy to find fault in your portion, it's easy to find disaster in your cup, it's easy to see lack in your inheritance. But with Jesus in the story, what I see, what I have and what I receive is pleasant. My Inheritance is delightful.
Two more thoughts .
(1) My portion, my cup and my inheritance still take their place with me in the world.
However, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23:4-6)
(2) Although my inheritance is now, my inheritance in all it's fullness is yet to come.
Ps Steve Kelly delivered a great preach Sunday morning. Genesis 1:5 says, And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. For us the day begins with light and ends with Darkness. For the Lord, the day begins in darkness and ends in light.
The end of the day, the end of the season, the end of the valley is better than the beginning.
The best is yet to come.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
What makes this verse even more incredible is it's context. The Lord is about to release the people of Israel from exile. Restoration.
Psalm 103:1-5 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The good things; 'treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.'
God wasn't restoring their past, he was unveiling and releasing them into a future that they could not even begin to comprehend.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
This passage of scripture speaks two things to me, (1) The Grace of God. Despite all the sin and the controversy of the Israelites; the arrogance, the rebellion and the disobedience, God's compassion remained. (2) Even though humanness led the process to take many a wrong turn, the promise never changed, or more importantly, ceased. God didn't just express compassion for them, but he continued to provide, a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, 'to shine the way they were to take' (v19). By the grace of God, they still had a way to take! God's plan lived on. God's purpose and God's promise, through them, remained.
The Lord spoke to me out of Matthew chapter 1:1-17, usually a passage that you'd skip right over, and even question at times why on earth it ever made the cut!
But these 5 words spoke of a promise wrapped in compassion and grace; 'After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel...(Matthew 1:12) The Israelites found themselves in exile due to their arrogance, their rebellion and their disobedience. All was lost! Well, almost all; God's compassion and his promise lived on.
Abraham received a promise. The process took a few wrong turns, but the promise (wrapped in compassion and grace) remained.
The continuation of that same promise made its way to Mary, and this was her response, “His mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50)
"Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert. By day the pillar of cloud did not cease to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. For forty years you sustained them in the desert; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen. (Nehemiah 9:19-21)
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God." At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter."He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
The key words in this verse would have to be, 'O God!' right...?
How easy is it to live by this passage - but minus those two most important words? We'll not easy at all come to think of it! (otherwise known as living in a state of constant anxiety). So much of how we live is determined by what other people think.
I understand the first part of this next verse well,
but it's the second part that requires my undivided attention.
Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
So im interested in what God thinks, nothing more, nothing less.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
Monday, September 3, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
He knows that when it comes to being a Hebrew, he is a 'Hebrew of Hebrews' (v6). No one was more zealous for God than Paul. Paul's righteousness (from a Pharisaical, legalistic perspective) was faultless. According to the Law, Paul had good reason to feel good about what he had achieved in his life time.
But in verses 7-10, Paul counts everything that he has achieved as 'rubbish' (v8), I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (v8)
Paul was saying...i don't want to know my old self any longer, i don't want to even talk about myself any more, but what I want to know is Christ; nothing can surpass the greatness of knowing Christ.
When Paul uses the word 'knowing' in the above verse, he's using the word 'gnosis', basically a head knowledge; general intelligence, understanding. So he's effectively saying, I want my mind to be no longer focused on myself, but on Christ, I want to know...about Christ.
But he goes on to say, ...I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him (v9). To be 'found' in Christ (heurisko) means to be in pursuit of more than simply general intelligence and understanding. Paul desires to meet with Christ himself.
In verse 10 Paul takes things 1 step further, he says, 'I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead'
When Paul says, I want to 'know Chirst' in verse 10, he uses a slightly different word, this time its 'ginosko' and in the Jewish context of the time it refers to a level of 'knowing' found only in a sexually intimate relationship between husband and wife.
So the journey looks a bit like this,
Forget about yourself, concentrate on him, worship him (is that a song...?), give yourself to him, pursue more than a knowledge of him; seek his face, and when you give yourself to him...give everything!
...And the things of earth will grow strangely dim...
I want to know you Lord.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Praise the Lord!
It's one thing the believe that God forgives us of our sins,
However, according to the fallen carnal mind, it's perhaps another thing to believe that God will choose to continue to use us despite our failure.
But today's revelation comes from Psalm 32:2, it says, Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.
The Hebrew word here for deceit translates 'remiyah' , it means 'slackness', slack as in 'a condition of a cord or string not being taut, and so not having strength for an intended use, and so be faulty ' Psalm 78:57 says, Like their fathers they were...as unreliable as a faulty bow.
Sin leaves us feeling slack like a faulty bow, without strength, without strength for an intended use...and so faulty.
But...Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deciet.
That's Gold! Well...Grace actually :-)
Blessed is the man;
In whose spirit...there is no slackness.
In whose spirit...strength is restored.
From whose spirit...a sweet sound can resonate once again, because we are no longer faulty...!
Let me be a sweet sound in your ear, again.
Praise the Lord!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
If found it interesting to read the verses (and the chapter) that surround it, Verse 13,"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people... Verse 14, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray...
I found myself reading verses 13 and 14 together a number of times over, and as I did my understanding of verse 14 went to a new place. I know that it clearly says '...and turn from their wicked ways...' a direct reference to us, the church, 'if my people', but perhaps my initial revelation was that I've always approached this verse from an intercessory perspective (kind of an Ezekiel 22:30 concept) but that changed (or perhaps evolved to a new place) for me today.
We know that when the people of Israel took possession of the promised land there were still some Canaanites to be overcome, or, some 'giants to be conquered'!
Perhaps their greatest challenge was around the influence of the Canaanite religious culture, and in particular its relationship between the weather and the ability for the ground, of which they worked, to produce a life sustaining harvest.
In verse 13 I believe that the Lord was making it very clear again to His people, that He is the God not just of the Hebrew people, but of the whole earth, including the weather, the rain, the sun, the locusts and the harvest.
So the revelation for me was this; God was directly relating their life inside the temple (church) to their life outside of the church, i.e. Don't live a compromised, faithless, idolatrous life out there looking to else where when things don't make sense, and then come on in and present a bunch of ritualistic sacrifices out of fear and routine. But when times are tough (and they will be according to verse 13), when the world throws you a curved ball, don't turn to what you see the world turning to, turn to me. You are my people, so live like your my people outside the temple (church) as well as when your inside the temple (church)!
Verse 15, Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
Then our intercession has power, because when God heals the land, His answer to our prayer has direct impact on the people of the world, because they share the land with us.
Verse 19-22, "But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, 'Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?' People will answer, 'Because they have forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.' "
According to Lieutenant Dave Collinson...'just a thought'.