// PRE-DESTINATION \\

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Eph 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Every single person ever born and ever will be born has been predestined to be adopted by God, to be born of God, according to His good pleasure. He takes no pleasure in anyone perishing. It is neither His will, nor His pleasure for anyone that He predestined to be His child, to perish. And He has predestined everyone to be His child.

2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is … not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

For this Scripture to mesh with the abundance of Scripture proclaiming that ‘whoever will may come’, and ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’, it is obvious that even though God has predestined our adoption He has never overridden our choice as to whether or not that will actually happen.

It’s always been His plan, but whether or not it becomes our plan as well is left to our choice. Also it is incumbent (far too soft a word), upon us who have received this predestined adoption, to bring as many others as we can into the same state, through every means possible.

Some of our friends have imagined that Paul is saying that our acceptance of Christ was predestined, and, unfortunately, those who don’t accept Christ, was also predestined. This violation of Scripture voices arrogance from the ‘chosen’ and charges God, who is Love, with the severest of discriminations. The weak believer will wonder if they are part of the chosen few. The non-believer can only conclude God is diabolically prejudicial.

Ultimately, there can be no Day Of Judgement if we had no choice in the matter of our salvation. God would be evil to judge us for things He was fully aware that He made us do. To force someone to do something and then to judge them for that action is inconsistent with any notion of justice. His plans for people are His predestination. All of us have the chance to receive His magnificent plan for our lives and begin living it out.

I know there are always those who ask, ‘what about those who have never heard, to have the opportunity to choose?’ A more pertinent question may be ‘what are we doing who have the Word of Life?’ Should we not be sharing Christ, building the church, sending preachers, supporting broadcasts, television and radio, so that people who have never heard do have the opportunity to hear and believe.

See you in church (with a friend)

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Meditations on the Holy Spirit

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‘…Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!’
John 4:35 (NKJV)

We need a vision for the future.
– People, businesses, churches, nations lose their way without vision. With it they find life, hope and meaning.
– Romans 15:13, abounding in hope. Hope is visionary because it is by the power of the Holy Spirit!
– We need to be pre-occupied with the future and not the past. Looking forward will keep you alive.
– Over and over in the scriptures we hear God saying … ‘lift up your eyes’, ‘lift up your heads’. Downcast eyes and a bowed head are usually indicating negative feelings and a negative state of mind.
– When Jesus comes eyes are opened both physically and spiritually. He is the lifter of our heads. With a lifted head and opened eyes we can see the future and the direction we must go.

1.    See Others
John 4:4-26, Jesus and the woman from Samaria.
– Jesus was thirsty when he went to the well. But his circumstances didn’t stop him from seeing this woman and her circumstances.
– He didn’t see her objectively and relate to her on this basis. When he spoke to her about her life, it must have been done with mercy and without judgement, because she was excited about what he was saying to her.

2.    See Positive
Matthew 14:29-32, step out of the boat. Be bold and positive both naturally and supernaturally. Believe.
Hebrews 12:1-2, looking at and to Christ and running the race set before us.

3.    See a New Perspective
James 1:2-3, look at things positively and respond differently than how you would naturally or usually respond.
– You may well smile or laugh later at things that seem challenging or unpleasant now, so why not smile now.
– How you choose to look at something may well dictate the outcome.

4.    See God Your Source
Mark 6:35-44, in verse 41 Jesus takes the loaves and fishes into His hands and looks to heaven. The disciples’ eyes were looking to how to feed the multitude with so little.
– Jesus gave thanks, blessing what was in his hands and God in heaven gave the provision, the increase and the miracle.

5.    See Bigger
Genesis 13:14-15, we are the seed of Abraham and the promises are to him and his descendants.
– Believe that what God has given you is large and expansive.

6.    See Abundance
Genesis 15:5, look up to the heavens and count the stars. There are limitless possibilities, endless creative energy.

7.    See Transformation
Genesis 31:12, Jacob lifted up his eyes and saw the strategy that God was giving him to bless him and his family. He saw things differently; he saw them and their circumstances totally transformed.

The most powerful of creative forces is to see by faith. To see what should be, and then take that vision and put legs on it. Believe and join with others to make it come to pass.

See you in church

Meditations on the Holy Spirit

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Eph 4:18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

 Blindness; Greek, “hardness,” literally, the hardening of the skin so as not to be sensible of touch. Hence a soul’s callousness to feeling (Mk 3:5). Where there is spiritual “life” (“the life of God”) there is feeling; where there is not, there is “hardness.”

Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Eph 4:18). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

 A negative mind darkens understanding, so we misunderstand and simply don’t understand or have any insight into even obvious truth, because we are cut off from connection with God and the inevitable ‘life’ that flows through that connection from Him to us. Ignorance is a refusal to receive knowledge, in this instance because of the lack of ‘sight’ in the heart. We ‘see’ with the heart which is the seat of our trust, love and desires. When we sin we separate ourselves from God. We cannot connect with Him. In this state we look at the Bible and it fails to live for us, whereas when we are clean and close to God, every page of the Bible lives. Prayer provides easy access into the presence of God so we feel the anointing and a fountain of joy springing up within. But when we are guilty, our spirit is divorced from our mind and emotions. We are divided within, isolated from ourselves and God. As I said, we know we are in a state of divided-ness from God because we feel distant from the Bible. It doesn’t live for us. The division we experience within bleeds into our relationships so we find ourselves at variance with others. When we are at peace within ourselves, we find it easy to be at peace with others and to be peacemakers.

If you are feeling a divide between yourself & God, my book ‘Moving in The Spirit’ can help you reconnect and move forward into His presence.

Anointed

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Gen 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Gen 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

We are not told why the Earth was created empty, formless void and dark, but sufficient to say this is the first step in the creation of the Earth. The raw elements were created, yet unformed, the designs of God yet to be imprinted on the basic materials. The Holy Spirit was hovering over the dark, formless Earth. Today, the same is true. The Holy Spirit is hovering over all forms of formlessness and emptiness. He hovers over all darkness, waiting for the Word of God to be spoken, in grace and power, pronouncing the answer, not teaching about the problem, or trying to pave a path for people, but rather a creative transforming miracle of creation. Wherever there is chaos, confusion, darkness, the Holy Spirit is hovering over it, waiting for us to speak the Word of God to bring light and life.
People who are barren and in a wasteland life, empty in themselves, have the Holy Spirit hovering over them. This is an ultimate purpose of prayer – to declare the Words that harmonize with what the Spirit is wanting to bring and then He acts to materialize the Word. It becomes flesh, the Word incarnate.
We must look to the Lord to speak what He tells us to speak.
God does not hover over darkness to condemn it, but to bring light and life.
The word hover is used of a bird brooding over her eggs to hatch them.

‘The special form of this Divine agent’s activity is described as that of “brooding” (merachepheth, from rachaph, to be tremulous, as with love; hence, in Piel, to cherish young
Genesis. 1909 (H. D. M. Spence-Jones, Ed.). The Pulpit Commentary (4). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

We must hover in prayer with the Spirit without judgment but with vision and faith and proclaiming the Word of God over those situations of darkness, chaos and confusion He has called us to. We must continue to hover until the breakthrough. We hover in prayer with our imagination, seeing the finished result through prayer and faith.
We hover in prayer with our words, speaking of the situation  we desire as a completed reality.
The word hover is used of a bird brooding over her eggs to hatch them.
We incubate the situation until it hatches like the eggs of a bird. It takes time until they are fully formed. The warmth of our hovering is the very thing that brings the eggs to hatch.
The Spirit does not bring chaos but order, not confusion but clarity, not darkness but light, not emptiness but fullness, not wasteland but fruitfulness, not lack but abundance.
We live in the age of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament does not exist without the work of the Spirit. He is core and essential to the working of the New Covenant. It is the covenant of the Holy Spirit enacting in us all the reality of what the Word has declared.

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Plans

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PPapp_ The worldJames 4:15 ‘….Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that’

Instead of being presumptuous & saying this is what we ‘will do,’ make plans, but surrender them to God so He can change them, enhance them or stop them.  THIS is how He is Lord of our life.  Prov 3:6 says if we commit (surrender) our ways to Him, He will direct our paths (direction, timing, connections) & give us good success. Make plans, take steps, work hard, but place it all in the hands of God in prayer and declaration.  He brings success!

See you in church!