Thursday, August 30, 2007

Let me be a sweet sound...

Psalm 32:1 says, Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

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 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 my people

Perhaps one of the most well known, and probably most quoted verses of scripture among Christians today would be 2 Chronicles 7:14, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

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'.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Rev 3:12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

No friendship no function

Acts 8:18-21 says, When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God..."

I've been attending a church for about 1 year now that has built an incredibly successful culture based (among others) on this principle, 'No Friendship No Function'!
Perhaps the above scripture provides an extreme perspective considering what we know of the heart and the motivation of Simon the Sorcerer, but it does highlight my point;
Peter was effectively saying to him, 'You have no relationship with the one of whom the power that you desire to posses comes from, therefore your right to function out of that gift is denied'

Even though the majority of us Christians out there don't arrive at a local congregation with a motivation born out of the kingdom of darkness, but we do perhaps look to what gifts we can bring to that congregation before we look to building genuine and transparent relationship.

Jesus puts it like this, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

How often do we - the body of Christ - function out of our gift before we function out of relationship with one another?
John Maxwell may call it, The Law of the inner circle; the level of my success is determined by the people around me.
Jesus would probably direct our attention to not just his relationship with the 12 disciples, but
Peter, James & John in particular.

I think our 'gift' often allows us the opportunity to bypass the burden and the necessity of relationship - otherwise known as the less confrontational easy road. When you think about it, Jesus didn't really need to be born in a manger and then grow up and spend 3 years with a bunch of fisherman and tax collectors. Instead he could simply have exercised his power, or 'gift', and the world would have been fixed. But he didn't. He sacrificed his power for the sake of love. And through the ultimate act of love, his power not only conquered life and death, but set me free!

Perhaps function without friendship equals a love that has no power.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

But Martha was distracted

Another simple yet significant revelation;
But Martha was distracted... (Luke 10:40)
John Maxwell would cause me to ask three questions (1) What is required of me? (2) What brings me the greatest return? & (3) What brings me the greatest reward? (and if the answers to questions 2 & 3 line up with the answer to question 1, you know your on a winner)
3 great questions…providing you can settle on an answer, that would then allow you to get on with the Job. However it's an easy reality to fall into; never getting on with the job because your either still debating within yourself as to what the correct answers are, or discovering that the correct answers don't line up with your current job description!
Interesting that Martha believed that she had the right answer, yet when she attempted to get on with the Job, she only discovered frustration.
Interesting that the answer seemed to be even more the right answer because the job at hand was that of serving Jesus…yet it still brought about frustration.
How often do we get distracted - only to find that our distraction comes from within the task of 'serving Jesus'!
Having spent 5 years in ministry I can testify to the danger of moving from an intimate relationship with God toward a diligent and sacrificially ordered routine of 'serving Jesus'.

Here's Jesus response to Martha's frustration, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better... (John 10:41)

So when it comes to my relationship with God (my most important job description...)
What is required of me? To stop, to sit at the Lord's feet and to listen to what he says (v39).
What brings me the greatest return? To stop, to sit at the Lord's feet and to listen to what he says (v39).
What brings me the greatest reward? To stop, to sit at the Lord's feet and to listen to what he says. (v39).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More than enough

Today's revelation;
As i began to pray, the Lord said to me, "My grace is sufficient".

It wasn't until i look up the verse in 2 Corinthians that i remembered that this was the scripture that God took me to when i found myself in a moment of absolute crisis.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)


A few nuggets of gold from some background reading that followed;

When Paul prayed three times for the removal of his pain, he was asking God for a substitution: “Give me health instead of sickness, deliverance instead of pain and weakness.”
Sometimes God does meet the need by substitution; but other times He meets the need by transformation. He does not remove the affliction, but He gives us His grace so that the affliction works for us and not against us. (Wiersbe)

God did not give Paul any explanations; instead, He gave him a promise: “My grace is sufficient for thee.” We do not live on explanations; we live on promises. Our feelings change, but God’s promises never change. Promises generate faith, and faith strengthens hope. (Wiersbe)

Paul claimed God’s promise and drew on the grace that was offered to him; this turned seeming tragedy into triumph. God did not change the situation by removing the affliction; He changed it by adding a new ingredient: grace. (Wiersbe)

Wiersbe, W. W. 1996, c1989. The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. Victor Books: Wheaton, Ill.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A form of godliness

Today's revelation came in two parts,

My blog this morning was to be simply this; 'I renounce ever 'having a form of godliness but denying it's power'. (2 Timothy 3:5).

I think my initial reaction to this verse was around the word 'power'. I didn't want a denail of the power of God to be a reality in my life. I thought of a faith that births the supernatural, a faith that creates an atmosphere for the miraculous to take place (see Matthew 9:25).
But then i discovered a little more about the 'form of godliness' that I believe Paul was referring to.
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. (2 Timothy 1:8)

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2 Timothy 2:3)

This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. (2 Timothy 2:9)

So here's the revelation;
When i perceive my suffering to be of the world, then i desire it to be over. But if i desire for it to be over, i negate the power and godliness that is being formed within me. If i understand my suffering to be of God, then i welcome it, for out of it will come a demonstration of God's power, and then he'll receive all the glory, not I.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

You shall not be in want

Interesting how the most simple pieces of scripture can become the most profound.

The Lord said to me, 'grab your bible, and turn to Psalm 23'. As i was reaching for it, he said to me, 'grab a pen'.

I read the first sentence, 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want'.

Then he gave me something to write down; he said to me...'I am your shepherd, you shall not be in want'.

50 minutes later, i still hadn't got to the second sentence.

Perhaps the Lord wasn't ready to let me lie down until i'd arrived at a place where i was no longer in want.

Friday, August 17, 2007

In Christ

I am accepted.
One of my favorite passages in the bible is John 1:1-14
Once you've had almost no time to comprehend Christ, the Word, God, the power of the Spirit in bringing life to the spoken word of creation, the light of the world, and God's act of salvation - to name a few, God drops this bombshell on us, 'Yet to all who receive him, to those who belive 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' (John 1:12-13). Basically, verses 12 & 13 rip to shreds all foundation for any lack of self worth. I became a father almost 5 months ago. It's probably safe to say that i've never experienced this kind of love in such a powerful way before. I can't think of one thing in the whole world that would even come close to causing my love for Arielle to ever cease or even change. And here God is, with the right to choose to pass me by, but instead, he chooses Me, he chooses to give me the right to be called His child, he allows me to be born again, to be released from the bondage that can come via human decision - whether it be mine or someone elses - and to be reborn...born of God.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3)
In Christ, I am accepted, becuase I am God's child.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

By myself I can do nothing.

Revelation 4:10-11 says…the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

If a statistician were to monitor across 1 day of our lives the amount of things we do 'by ourselves' as apposed to the things that we allow God to do through us, I wonder what the percentages would look like? Today's revelation is about life. When we 'do' by ourselves, are we acting outside of the will of God and therefore producing fruit that cannot last? Perhaps this is why in John 5:30, even Jesus said, 'by myself I can do nothing'. Of course we know he could have, as like anybody else, Jesus had the ability to choose, but I wondered whether he was meaning, 'if I choose to act outside of the will of the Father the fruit of my action will lead to death and not life'. Perhaps therefore; when Jesus said 'by myself I can do nothing', maybe he did really mean, 'by myself I can do nothing', not because he didn't have the ability to choose, but because as a God that declares, 'I am the resurrection and the life' (John 11:25), to then act outside of the Fathers will, and therefore produce fruit that would not be sustained, would be to contradict the character of who He is, ‘…the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6)

Created in the image of God must mean that we're purposed to produce life.
John 15:16 says. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. If what we do is born of the will of God, then we will bear fruit that lasts.

‘…for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being’ (Revelation 4:11)

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. (Deuteronomy 33:15-16)

By myself I can do nothing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Praise the Lord, O my soul

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 (Psalm 103:1-4)
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Blessing of Reconciliation

Today’s revelation came from Genesis chapter 3. In chapter 2 of Genesis, Eve is deceived, and Adam then sins. God comes to find them, he approaches Adam, and Adam directs him to Eve. God approaches Eve, and Eve directs him to the serpent. God speaks to the serpent and says this,
"Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Genesis 3:14).
God then speaks to Eve and he says this,
'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children....’ (Genesis 3:16).
I found it interesting to note that the Lord spoke death to the sin (represented by the serpent) but he spoke life to the sinner (Genesis 3). I'm not denying or overlooking the consequences that Adam and Eve and therefore all of humanity incurred, however my attention was drawn to the term 'childbearing' in particular. In the moment of rebuke, of punishment and of consequence there came a reiteration of the blessing,
"Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…' (Genesis 1:28)
The beginning of chapter 4, the first thing to be recorded after God had dealt with the fall,
'Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." (Genesis 4:1).
I sensed revelation in the voice of Eve when she spoke these words (from the page), perhaps the first 'post fall revelation'; these are the two things I was created for (1) To be in relationship and in partnership with God and (2) To bear fruit.
John 15:16 says, You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Praise the Lord for the Blessing of Reconciliation.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Does God know your name?

Todays revelation comes from Psalm 20:1-2,
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
What do we need protection from? I'd like to suggest...mostly ourselves!
In Genesis 32:22-32 Jacob wrestled with God himself.
The two key moments for me in this passgae fall around (1) the name of Jacob and (2) the name of the God of Jacob. Notice that the angel of the Lord says to Jacob, "What is your name?" (v27), Jacob tells him, the Lord then changes his name to Israel. In verse 29 Jacob says to the angel of God, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?"
I believe that in the Hebrew culture of this time, to reveal your name to another was a sign of vulnerability, at times submission and even surrender. Perhaps this was the whole purpose of the angel of the Lord meeting with Jacob. Jacob was after a blessing, God was after a heart of surrender. Jacob knew who he was in his own strength. He'd spent his life from day 0 manipulating his circumstance to work in his favor.
Every find yourself wrestling with the world for some sort of clarification of who you are? Ever found yourslef in a state of distress because you don't yet feel you have the answer? Perhaps the answer to your distress lies not in your ability to make things work in your favor, but perhaps in surrendering your name to the Lord.
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
Does God know your name?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Peace be with you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I found it interesting to read these two verses together. It makes sense to Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that he might lift you up in due time. It makes sense to cast all your anxiety on him for he cares for you. But then came the revelation. I wonder if we learn to accept anxiety. Everyone gets anxious right…even Christians! If someone walked up to me in an anxious moment and said, 'Andrew, your not living in humility' I'd wonder what on earth they were talking about. However, the fact that I'm anxious clearly illustrated that fact that I've failed to hand over my cares to Him (whatever they may be at the time) and therefore function out of a position of humility. If I had already done so, why would I need to be anxious anymore? Perhaps thats why Paul says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7). Humility would then equal peace.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

And so John Came

Today's revelation comes from Mark 1:1-4

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
It is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"— "a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' " And so John came...

If only we could all exercise faith like John the Baptist. Whilst we're all searching for security from what we see before us, John heads to a desert, a place where there's really nothing to see, and probably not much set before you in the natural that's worth putting your faith in. But because it is written; 'And so John came...'.
John had no time to consider what might be set before his eyes, because a word spoken 400 years earlier had already cemented his cause.

And so John came.

It is Written.

Today’s revelation came from the beginning of the gospel of John chapter 1:1-3
How true is it that we sometimes draw personal and even corporate stability from what we see before us in the natural. The trouble is, if what we see doesn't make sense, if what we see we don't like, if what we see is something we don't want to be seing, we become unstable, we find ourselves battling insecurity and even doubt. Alternatively however, what we see can be good, causing us in that moment to be emotionally stable and mentally reasured. I began to wonder what went through the minds and the emotion of the people of Israel when the announcement of the birth of Jesus was made. Perhas they though... 'this is it, the beginning of our good news', and rightly so. However, here's the revelation;
'The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: ... (John 1:1-2a)
What they perceived to be the beginning what not the beginning. The answer to their lack of security was not only before them in the natural, but He was, before the heavens and he earth! The beginning (and in fact the end) of everything they would ever need came not only well over 400 years earlier, but berfore the existense of the world. The beginning of my good news, the beginning of your good news, the beginning and the end of the answer that any of us are looking for in our own lives, is and was, before our problem even arose. Praise The Lord that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1). Why? because 'It is written...' (John 1:2a)