The Restless Soul

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When Jesus sees the multitude of people thronging to hear from Him, He realises they are ‘harassed’, people without a shepherd.

Matt 9:36 (NIV) ‘When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

One of the Bible’s recurring themes is God’s ability to give peace. Of the many reasons we humans are not peaceful, the biggest, is we are troubled in our conscience. No matter how many justifications well meaning people attempt to placate our troubled conscience with, there is within us a God-part, and when we violate that part by doing the wrong thing, no matter how deeply buried that God-part is, we will be tormented with the fact that we have cheated on ourselves.

Integrity is our inner life aligning with our outer life. This is being ‘integrated’, which is harmony between the inner and outer us. We are ‘disintegrated’ when this fails. This breaks our ease in living. It could even be called our ‘dis-ease’. Living with unresolved guilt leaves us in a state of dis-peace. Our inability to live happily with ourselves spills into us having conflict with others. One follows the other. Even though we try to achieve calm within through many different means, meditation, remote places, none can actually deal with the spiritual reality crying out for peace with God.

Our restless soul has it’s own consciousness. It only comes to rest when we are reconciled with God and this can only happen when we repent from sin and we receive forgiveness from God. The payment for our sins has already been made. The only payment that satisfies the penalty for sin is death. Ours! However, in His love for us, God has provided a substitute, His only Son. So when we accept Christ and believe in His substitutionary sacrifice for our sins, a spiritual experience takes place in the deepest parts of our created being and we finally come to rest with God, knowing that all is right and all is well with Him. Our sins have been forgiven and washed from our entire lives. He has imputed to us the perfect life of His only Son, Jesus, as though it were ours. So, all that Jesus has received from God, so have we, even being seated at the right hand of God.

This knowledge should bring us considerable peace!

If you’d like to read more about peace, you can grab my book here.

Also, check out one of our services this Sunday. We’d love to meet you!

 

FEAR NOT.

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2 Timothy 1:6-7  Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Fear shuts down our gifts, talents, and potential in life. Fear pushes itself into our emotions. Unlike God, fear does not wait for the invitation to enter our lives. Fear simply forces itself on us. To be free from phobias we have to take charge deciding we will not be afraid, to literally, ‘fear not’.

The power of a fearless life rises from our relationship with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of fear has no place to live. Secondly, if the Word of God lives in us, in our thoughts and hearts, then the words we speak become reality in our lives. The Word of God must reign in us if we are to reign in life.

Why does it need to be stated that God has not given us a spirit of fear? Because the devil works hard to make fear feel as though it was from God. If we believe that the anxieties we feel are from God trying to communicate with us, then we will open ourselves to that emotion. If Christians can be deceived into believing their fears are from God, then they will be rendered powerless. Know this, any fears you have are not from God. Any voice that accuses you, intimidates you, makes you feel guilty, worried or unsettles you is not from God. It’s the devil. Take your stand, resist the devil and gain the victory over those voices.

The family of fear is intimidation, timidity, anxiety, despair, doubt, unbelief, confusion, hardness, negativity, complaining.

Faith is the antidote to fear.

The family of faith is believing, trusting, courage, confidence, positivity, praise, thanksgiving and decisiveness. This is the spirit we walk in. We are saved by faith, not fear. Faith rests in the finished work of the cross. Fear tries to gain assurance of salvation through standing on its own efforts, appeasing an unhappy conscience. Faith accepts that the grace of God Himself has already provided in Christ all that is needed to be accepted by God Himself. A fearful person worries that God is displeased with them, and tries to gain acceptance with God through their own goodness.

The irony is that when we live in fear we are far more prone to sin. People lie when they fear the truth becoming known. People steal because they fear they will not get what they need, not believing that God will provide.

Dr. David Yonggi Cho says, ‘the two most powerful motivators are the fear of loss and the hope of gain’.

Thanks the reading this week! To read more about this you can get a hold of my book Peace on my website here.

Also, check out of our services this Sunday. We’d love to meet you!

7 Fears That God Dismantles

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‘Fear not’ is proclaimed in 365 Scriptures in the Bible. One for every day! The Lord doesn’t want you to be fearful on any one day of your life.

In the book of Isaiah, the prophet clusters seven ‘fear not’s’ together in quick succession. The background is that the Israelites have been dispersed in foreign lands from their homeland for nearly seventy years and now Yahweh’s promise to cause them to return is coming to pass. He is telling them he will use a Gentile, foreign King, Cyrus, to do this. They need not fear because God will keep His Word, His covenant and His promises. On this basis they need not fear anything at all. Their God is reliable and has the power to do anything He wants.

In these Scriptures we can see seven reasons that fear gets a hold of our lives, but then also seven reasons to neutralise those fears. All of those reasons to not be afraid are because God gets involved personally.

  1. Fear of abandonment – ‘I am with you’
  2. Fear of helplessness – ‘I will help you’
  3. Fear of our own mistakes catching up with us. – ‘I am your Redeemer’
  4. Fear of not belonging anywhere – ‘I have bought you, you are mine.’
  5. Fear of being disconnected from family – ‘I will gather your descendants’.
  6. Fear of being left out – ‘I have chosen you’.
  7. Fear of having no significance – ‘You are my witnesses’

Let’s get the magnifying glass on the first line;

Isa 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you;

‘Fear not’. Why not?

‘for I…’

Who is ‘I’?

This is the God who has created the entire universe, the Earth and everything in it. The God that has created every human that has ever lived, giving them life and consciousness. He is the author of eternal life for those choosing to receive it.

He is the same God who guides one man to build and ark that saves his family and a multitude of animals from a flood that covers the entire Earth.

This is the same God that worked with a shepherd called Moses to deliver a nation single-handedly out of 400 years of slavery from the most powerful nation on Earth.

This is the same God who descended to Earth healing every sick person who came to him, cast demons out of the possessed, who stopped a storm with a simple command, who multiplied small amounts of food to feed multitudes.

This is the same God who allowed men to crucify Him, but then who came back to life after three days, rising from the dead ascending into heaven.

This is the same God who came down from heaven on the Jewish festival day, Pentecost, overwhelming the disciples so they began speaking in languages they had never heard.

This is the same God who turned the world upside down then and has been doing the same in millions of people’s lives ever since.

This is the ‘I’, the God who says, ‘fear not, for ‘I’ am with you.’

Life can be lonely, but when God is with us, we do not need to be afraid.

If you want to read more about the peace of God, you can get a hold of my book Peace on my website here.

Also, feel free to swing by one of our services. We’d love to meet you!

PEACE //

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Isa 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you;

This Scripture has always spoken so very loudly to me, maybe because I’ve found I regularly need to calm fears of my own, but also I see it as the root cause of so many problems people have. In 1984 I wrote a song called ‘Fear Not’, based on this Scripture, which enjoyed some popularity for a while.

Fear shuts down our gifts, talents, and potential in life. Fear pushes itself into our emotions. Unlike God, fear does not wait for the invitation to enter our lives. Fear simply forces itself on us.

To be free from phobias we have to take charge deciding we will not be afraid, to literally, ‘fear not’.

The power of a fearless life rises from our relationship with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of fear has no place to live. Secondly, if the Word of God lives in us, in our thoughts and hearts, then the words we speak become reality in our lives. The Word of God must reign in us if we are to reign in life.

Why does it need to be stated that God has not given us a spirit of fear? Because the devil works hard to make it feel as though that fear is from God. If we believe that the anxieties we feel are God trying to communicate with us, we open ourselves to that emotion. If Christians can be deceived into believing their fears are from God, then they will be rendered powerless. Know this, any fears you have are not from God. Any voice that accuses you, intimidates you, makes you feel guilty, worried or unsettles you is not from God. It’s the devil. Take your stand, resist the devil and gain the victory over those voices.

Stress, pressure, anxiety, depression, rage, terror and fear are just a few of the words we hear all the time in society today. In the middle of all this we try desperately to seek a restful, peaceful calm for our own souls, for our families and our world. God himself is the peace we seek. There is no other source for genuine peace. It cannot be counterfeited. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, brings this peace to anyone connected to Him. This book is about how we all can have internal peace of the heart, mind and spirit.

You can order the new book Peace by Phil Pringle on my website here.

 

 

Jesus As Lord

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Jesus is the Lord of this world; his power and grace is boundless. However, all this is pointless to us as individuals if He is just ‘Lord’, and not ‘my Lord’.

We once heard of Jesus the Saviour, and received Him personally, so He became, not just ‘the Saviour’, but ‘my Saviour’. God calls all of us to take the next step and not stay at the beginning of our salvation, continually getting saved from living a life where Jesus is not our Lord. We need to surrender to Him, so He is not only our personal Saviour but also our personal Lord. Knowing Jesus as Saviour is all about what He does for us, but knowing Him as Lord, is all about what we can do for Him. As Saviour, Jesus dies for us. As Lord, we die for Him.

We make Jesus our Lord, not just by praying a prayer or standing on an altar call for surrender. This may be the starting point, but unless He governs how we live our lives, He is not our Lord. This is where He needs to be established as the Lord of the basics in our life, otherwise He will not be Lord of the specifics relevant to our destiny.

There is a lot of teaching about the plan and destiny God has for each of us. All of it is true. God does have an amazing plan for each and every person on Earth, but there is a price tag. The price is obedience. None of us find obedience easy. There’s something within us refusing to bow down to someone else telling us what to do. We clothe our rebellion in a million slippery ways, trying to slide around being obedient to anyone. We ask God to bless us, but sometimes we dare not ask Him whether or not we should proceed with something because we fear He will say ‘no’. We reveal how little we trust Him. Surely if the He says ‘no’, it’s because it’s in our best interest. He loves us, but we’re not sure if we want His kind of love, so we hesitate to ask, ‘Should I marry her?’ ‘Should I marry him?’ ‘Should I move to this other city to take the better paid job?’ Often we simply go right ahead without stopping to ask, and when we’re in a mess afterwards, we ask God to be our Saviour one more time, when if He had been our Lord in the first place we could have avoided the need for saving, and instead of wasting years up a dead end street, we could have been fulfilling an amazing plan, being blessed and being a blessing to others in so many ways.

We need to constantly make sure that we do more than just acknowledge him as Lord of all; we need to institute him as Lord of our life and humble ourselves and live submitted to his divine plan for us.

Thanks for reading this week! If you want to know more about this, or would like to pray with someone about this, why not join us at church this Sunday? We’d love to meet you!

Faith Comes From God’s Word.

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Romans 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Remember, faith comes from one source and that is the Word of God. It does not come from experience. The Israelites saw more miracles than you and I will probably ever see; astonishing, breathtaking miracles. Yet they would go from the last miracle to the next problem, and fall into the same unbelief they had at the start. Miracles don’t give us faith, the Word of God does. Neither does faith come from answers to prayers we’ve had in the past. We are unable to tackle today’s challenges with yesterday’s faith.

Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Just like we need to eat food everyday, our spirit needs God’s Word every day. The Lord’s Prayer calls it our ‘daily bread’. The fact that you had a chicken dinner recently doesn’t mean that you’ll never eat another. You need to hear faith every day of your life. We need to feed on the promises of God every day!

Thanks for reading this week! If you would like to read some more I also have a new post on my Linkedin, you can click here to read it.

Also, if you would like to check out our church, click here to look at visiting a campus. If you can’t be with us on campus why not check out my podcast?

See you in Church!

COME TO THE WATER

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Isaiah 55:1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Let’s break this verse down, and see what it has to tell us about God and our salvation.

‘Ho!’ is an exclamation to grab attention, and it reminds us that we should be doing anything and everything we can to draw people’s attention to the Gospel. It also says “everyone”, which makes it abundantly clear that no one is exempt from His invitation. Anyone and everyone is welcome to His feast; the only criteria is thirst. Anyone with a thirst for God (which is everyone, whether they know it or not) can come to Him to drink and be filled, and we should be making sure that everyone feels invited. ‘The waters’ that we come to drink from are the Word (as in Psalm 1:3), the Holy Spirit (as in John 7:37), and the life of God in the church gathered in prayer and worship (as in Psalm 46:4). It mentions that those without money can come and eat from God’s Word and Spirit, and that this is because all that God has is freely given. Nothing is for sale, nor do we have to earn it. Even salvation itself has all been made available to us through Jesus, free of cost.

May we never lose touch with just how extraordinary this news is, and may we never stop sharing it.

Thanks for reading this week! If you would like to read some more I also have a new post on my Linkedin, you can click here to read it.

Also, if you would like to check out our church, click here to look at visiting a campus. If you can’t be with us on campus why not check out my podcast?

See you in Church!