EXPECTATION

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Rejection and disappointment are two of the major culprits for causing a poisoned sprit. Both Jesus and Paul understood the need for people who were receiving rejection to experience the opposite, both from people and God, if they were to be healed and restored.

After Peter had denied Christ three times, (just as Jesus said, ‘before the cock crows’), he told the others he was going ‘fishing’. This was a return to his previous life He was on a backward journey. His heart had been so disappointed in himself, and in Christ. He ad previously had every confidence that he would easily eclipse the devotion of the other disciples under pressure. He was sure he would never deny Christ. He had even announced his superiority of commitment to Jesus in front of the other disciples;

Matt 26:33-34 “Peter declared, ‘If everyone else deserts you, I won’t.’ Jesus told him, ‘The truth is that this very night, before the cock crows at dawn, you will deny me three times!”

We set ourselves up for a fall as soon as we become conceited in our opinion of ourselves. We also set ourselves up fro disappointment when we have expectations on ourselves that are too high. Expectations can come from:

  • What others expect of us
  • What we imagine others expect of us
  • What we think God requires of us
  • What we expect of ourselves

Peter had failed Jesus, and himself, and the others. They were all discouraged over their seemingly fickle commitment. Not one had seemed to remain as true as they would have liked. Yet the Healer of the broken heart knew that Peter needed some attention. This wound to his spirit needed to be resolved.

When Jesus appears to the disciples on the shore, he exposes the wound and then heals it by asking Peter if he really does love Him (more than the other disciples) He asks him three times, and each time reassures Peter of His love for him, and his acceptance with God, and that a great purpose still awaits him. When the interview was finished Peter was healed, yet this was not what we could call a supernatural, miraculous healing. It was the healing that happens when we know we have failed, yet we are still loved and accepted by God. This in turn helps us to accept and love ourselves in a healthy way.

Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below or over on my facebook page!

See you in Church!

HEALED

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All of our life springs from our spirit, therefore it is vital we are in good spiritual health. A troubled life can only spring from a troubled fountain, That is an unwell spirit.

Prov 4:23  “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”

The word used here, (Hebrew =’leb’) means ‘heart’, or the ‘centre’. It is referring to the centre of our lives. This needs to be guarded, because our whole life flows form here. The sprit that is wounded causes us to limp through life. There are many Christians who have simply died out on the battlefield and never been revived or raised back to life in Christ.

Just as our physical body needs food and water, our spirit must receive nutrition. Acts 3:19 speaks of ‘times of refreshing from the Presence of the Lord’ and in the Amplified Bible, “recovery as if from the effects of heat and reviving with fresh air’. However, the upkeep of our spirit is a two-way process and we can choose to let God into our lives or not. It’s a choice we make.

The hope for believers whose spirits have been broken is only in

  1. The intercession of other Christians. It is incumbent upon the ‘mother’, the church, to intercede and bring God to bear upon these people who have simply died.
  2. A direct encounter with God Himself
  3. The Spirit of God reviving them, bringing them back to life. This is why it is so imperative for us to allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in our gatherings as Christians, because He alone brings fresh life into the Body of Christ. This is especially true for those slain in the harvest field or in the inevitable battles every Christian faces.

If we are able to deal with, resolve, and heal these illnesses before they cause great damage, we have a far greater chance of enjoying a victorious Christian life There is healing in Christ. There is always a way through!

If you are in need of healing we would love to meet and pray with you, click here to find a service near you!

TRANSFORMED

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Paul declares that because of the cross, the world is now dead to me and I am dead to the world. I am no longer under the domination of whatever is happening in the world because I have been transferred into the kingdom of God. In fact, Paul calls it a ‘translation’:

Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son..

We too have be supernaturally “caught away” from one place and landed in another. We have been ‘translated’ from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. We are no longer under the dominion of the darkness of this world, but rather we are now dominated by light.

The word ‘power’ in the verse above is translated from the Greek word exousia, which means ‘privilege’ or ‘authority’ (i.e. force, capacity, competency, freedom, mastery, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, delegated influence, jurisdiction, liberty, power). What ever controls the world no longer controls us. The spirit that is at work in the people of the world no longer holds any power over our lives.

Noah’s ark is another very clear picture of God’s people being set free from the world. Whatever calamity might come on the world, we are able to escape it through being in Christ. All those who believed God and got into the ark were saved from the terrible disaster that covered the earth. It seemed as though there was no way whatsoever to escape the flood. But God had called a man to prepare a way out. Those who accepted God’s way were delivered; those who did not were drowned in the catastrophe.

Remaining in Christ means staying free from the world. Christ gives us the power to separate ourselves form the world. As we remain focused on Him, we are set free from its enticements. It no longer chains us to either its pleasures or its pains

See you in Church! click here to find a service near you!

GRACE

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God moves in our moving. Once our will is set in motion we can expect the power of God to assist us. Even though we may slip and fall in this pursuit of forsaking sin, the blood of Christ is still effective to cleanse us.

Ps 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.

God fully understands our flesh, and our propensity towards sin, so He has made provision for this in the New Covenant.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The blood of Christ is not just effective when we first come to Christ and receive salvation. We will need it many times throughout our Christian life. Even though we may feel disappointed with ourselves we are not to run from God when we fall, but run to Him.

When He attempted to wash Peter’s feet, Jesus told Peter that although he was completely washed He still needed to wash his hands and feet. The picture Jesus was creating for the disciples refers to the Roman public baths. People would wash in the public baths and then return home. On the way however, their feet and their hands would become dirty again. So, arriving at home they wash their hands and feet. This is the Christian walk. We first meet Christ and He washes us completely clean. We receive salvation and acceptance into the family of God. As we travel through our lives though, there will be times when we offend God (1 John 1:8). At these points we must repent, confess, and turn from our offences again. We are promised the blood of Jesus will cleanse us again so that sin and all the curses that come with it will not stick to our lives (1 John 1:9). This is the great work of the cross. God, through grace has provided a means for regular cleansing, and renewing of our relationship with the Lord.

Thus the power of the Cross is manifested in our life. Repentance is how we apply the blood of Christ to our soul and so find the power of cleansing and forgiveness through the blood of the Lamb.

Thanks for reading! If you would like to read more on this, check out my book “Dead for Nothing?” or we would love to see you in church this weekend! click here to find a service near you!

RIGHTEOUSNESS

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Jer 23:6 His perfect life is imputed to us for righteousness

We must realise that Jesus did not live, die, or even rise from the dead for Himself. He did it all for us. We are counted as righteous as Jesus was, because His life has been freely imputed to our account.

This is one of the most awesome facts of our salvation. Jesus lived a perfect life. Scripture describes His life as ‘without spot or blemish’ (1 Pet 1:19). He was perfect in His relationship with God. He was perfect in His relationships with other people, His family, community, and friends. He was perfect in His moral life. Perfect in thought. Perfect in attitude. Perfect in motivation. Perfect in speech. Perfect in action. Perfect in obedience and calling. Perfect in pleasing the Father. Jesus was sinless. Without sin. Without fault. Perfect!

Jeremiah says in his writings (Jer 23:6), there will come a day when the Lord will be known as Jehovah-Tsidkenu, literally meaning, ‘the Lord our righteousness’. This is the kernel of our justification before God. We are declared righteous, perfect, not because we are, but because Jesus is. The Lord Himself is our righteousness. Let me explain a little further.

After the resurrection Jesus appears before the Father. He presents His life. The Father views this life. He declares it perfect. In fact, it is the life God would live if He had became a human. And that is exactly the case. Jesus, being our advocate, explains to the Father that Phil Pringle down on planet Earth desires to be right with God, to enter Heaven and have a relationship with God. The Father replies that it’s out of the question; hopeless. He fully knows the life of Phil Pringle. It falls far too short of the glory of God. It is full of faults and shortcomings, sins and iniquities. But Jesus says to the Father that He wants to ‘give’ His perfect life to the man, so he can be saved, acquitted from all guilt, and declared righteous before God in Heaven. The Father agrees that this is a wonderful idea, and accepts the act as legitimate. God is not looking for ways to reject, condemn and curse man. He has always been looking for ways to save him.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

This is the perfect way. It is a perfect salvation. The saved person places His trust in the righteousness of Christ, not their own. In terms of righteousness this places us in exactly the same standing before God as Jesus Himself. It places us in the position of being fully qualified to receive all the blessings that are promised throughout Scripture to the righteous. This is ‘imputed’ righteousness. This is salvation. It is the awesome gift of God. It is Jesus Himself being given to our lives. We live by the righteousness of another: the righteousness of Jesus Christ the Perfect.

To read more about what the Cross has done for you, pick up a copy of my book Dead For Nothing? here.

See you in Church! click here to find a service near you!

THE BROKEN SPIRIT

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There are two types of ‘broken’ spirit. There is a brokenness of spirit which is positive and encouraged by Scripture;

Ps 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart; These, O God, You will not despise.

This psalm refers to the heart that is broken to God. It is speaking of a person who yielded to the will of God and soft in heart, so that their purpose is no longer their prime objective, but God’s is. These people are repentant and contrite about their sins and come to God broken over their condition. This repentant heart brings a person close to God.

There is another kind of brokenness, however, which is damaging to the soul. This is when a person’s spirit and motivation has been broken. These people feel no reason to get up in the morning. They suffer from a mysterious fatigue and generally mild depression. They become physically sick easily and find faults in others and all the negatives about life are easy to locate. They have an abundance of reasons why they shouldn’t bother attempting anything. Life appears hopeless to these people.

Proverbs speaks of this condition in different contexts;

Prov 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Prov 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Prov 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?

These proverbs are saying that even if a person is sick, when their spirit is strong and healthy, they will be able to cope and keep going. But when a person is damaged in their spirit, even the slightest of physical troubles, sickness or otherwise crushes them.

When our spirit is broken, and that damage begins to affect our lives in ways beyond our control, we find ourselves owners of attitudes we wish we didn’t have. A damaged spirit becomes impatient and angry. We talk of someone who is ‘short of spirit’. This is a person with an unresolved sickness in their soul.

The parallels between physical sickness and spiritual sickness are very close, and that the healing processes employed for physical problems are similar in concept to those that bring healing to a person’s spirit.

Fortunately, when a bone has been broken, it will heal, however, it requires nutrients and conditions for it to heal properly.

A person who is in need of restoration in their spirit should be surrounded by strong supportive people (like a cast on a broken bone) who will help them carry out the normal responsibilities of life. They should also enter a time of confinement, (like hospitalisation). This involves a greater set of disciplines that need to be activated while they rest and heal.The discipline of prayer and Bible reading, restraint from things that are questionable in their Christian life. This environment speeds the restoration of a broken spirit.

If you feel you need restoration, please come visit us this Sunday at church, or grab a copy of ‘Healing The Wounded Spirit’.

// LET \\

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Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Who would ever have conceived such an incredible notion that doing away with the Old Way meant that now everyone could have equal access into the holiest by the shed blood and through the broken body of Jesus. The writer is so bold in breaking down the holy exclusivity of  the access to God being limited to just the Levites, and then only the family line of Aaron, and then only once yearly. Yet now God Himself has determined that not only those of Israel, but the entire world can enter into fellowship with the Father. A passage in Hebrews enlightens us as to how we draw near to the Father now that the way is made clear;

Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

‘Let’ – the beautiful New Testament word describing the posture of gentle action, neither slothful nor pushing with force of self, but that happy flow of restful work, of gracious effort, working with empowerment ‘without sweat (human effort)’. ‘Drawing near’ leans on the word ‘let’, too. To draw near is to find access with ease, not forced entry. The term we sometimes hear – ‘storming the gates of heaven’, implies we are attempting to break through the unwelcoming portals of God’s home. It says we are resisted from above, and if we exercise enough force we can break in. This idea really is not supported from Scripture. We simply draw near on the power of Christ’s blood and crucified flesh, the supreme sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
The criteria for nearness to the Lord, a true heart, is being real with ourselves and God. We must be authentic, honest and without hypocrisy before the Lord. The conscience can be good or evil, working with God or the devil, working for us or against us. We must develop the mental strength to accept forgiveness and reject the accusations of a conscience that demands punishments and consequences, when all that God’s justice required has been satisfied through the blood of Jesus.
Our bodies have been baptised in water cleansing us from the world. It is our bodies that place us in contact with all that defiles, through eyes, ears, hands, feet etc. Being separated to God enables us to enter the consecrated pathway into the Holiest drawing near to God Himself fulfilling the ultimate intention of God, fellowship with His people.

To read more about what the Cross has done for you, pick up a copy of ‘Dead For Nothing?’ here.

See you in church