~THANKSGIVING~

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  1. First Give Thanks

Romans 1:8

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Before we do anything else, we should pave the road ahead of us with thanksgiving. In almost every letter Paul writes to the churches, he begins with thanks to God for them. All of his letters, except the one to the Philippians were written to correct problems they were having bringing grief, pain and anxiety to Paul. He was in prison. He had no access to mobile phones, fax machines, email, or any other kind of instant communication. There was not even a mail service. He had to rely on his own fellow workers to bring news of the churches and then he would write the letter, send it back by their hand and then wait again for news as to how they received it. There were no jets, trains, cars or fast transport either. They only had the slow options of walking, or sailing or riding donkeys and horses, thus the turnaround for communications to distant lands could easily be months, even years. How anxious would you be, not knowing how your congregations were doing, in the light of the problems you had become aware of? Paul kept himself in faith, first, thanking God for all of them, believing that all would be well.

He thanked God for them before He began writing to them because this created the atmosphere in which all his other words would be couched. Giving thanks forces us to pinpoint the positive things about the people we are talking to. Even if we may have grief over some areas of their life we should not make that the first mention. Start with gratitude. It is the antidote to any prejudice or negative things you’ve heard about them and any presumptions you may have entertained. First, give thanks.

Begin your days with thanksgiving. Begin your conversations, your letters, your phone calls, your communications with how much you appreciate the people you are talking with. Begin prayer with thanks to God. Make this one of your ‘first’ practices from today.

See you in church

For more information on C3 Church or Ps. Phil Pringle visit our website at philpringle.com

 

 

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PART 3 ~ ABIDE IN ME

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7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

If you successfully resist all the temptations to the thousands of other distractions that remove you from meditating in the Word of God and spending time in prayer, then you will be abiding in Christ. If His Words, as distinct from all the other words that can abide in you, then your prayers, your declarations, your commands will be done.

8 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

No farmer is honoured by a poor crop. Our father’s honour is in our hands to ensure he is glorified by much fruitfulness. By what? By answered prayer. How is prayer answered? By abiding in Jesus and His Word abiding in us. This is how we prove to be His disciples, because we bear much fruit because of answered prayer, which in turn glorifies the Vine-dresser, the Father.

9    “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love

The Father loved Jesus by:
1. Publicly endorsing him at Jordan,
2. Equipping him with power and authority so he could heal, deliver and rule over circumstances.
3. Being close to Him,
4. Protecting Him,
5. Speaking with him every day.

Regularly Jesus revealed to His disciples that the way the Father dealt with him was the way he dealt with the disciples. Everything the Father does for us is not just for us, but for us to bring to those we are called to lead, Jesus loved his disciples as he had been loved. He invites them to ‘be with him’, ‘to come to where he lived’, ‘involving them in his deepest agonies’, telling them what the Father had told him.

As parents we begin a legacy of family culture. How we treat our children will be transferred into the next generation. How we love is a result of how we were loved and how those we love will love others. This is easily seen in the negative in so many situations. We must draw a line in the sand if we have been on the receiving end of a lineage of abuse or violence. We declare it ends here and we begin an entirely new heritage  for those who will come after us. We love as we have been loved. Someone has to take the first step. ŒWe love Him, because He first loved us!

See you in church friends

// 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)

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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Keys to Carrying the Presence of God
The presence of God is extraordinary. We carry it with
us all the time. If we are careful about the way we live,
the Holy Spirit remains the undisputed ruler over our
lives. His power manifests around us continually. This
power affects others deeply as we focus our faith on
realities within us. Consider this key scripture:
Philemon 1:6 ‘…that the sharing of your faith may
become effective by the acknowledgment of every
good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.’
Acknowledging every good thing in us releases those
same things through us. This applies equally to the
negative case. People who are constantly acknowledging
weakness in themselves live weak lives. Continually
acknowledging failures, sins and shortcomings defeats
us. We should repent from these things whenever we
need to, but that’s it. Repentance is a doorway, not a
living room. Once we’ve repented, we need to accept
forgiveness from the Father and cleansing by the blood
of Jesus and move on. We acknowledge the grand
qualities God placed in us by grace.

1 John 4:4 ‘You are of God, little children, and
have overcome them, because He who is in you is
greater than he who is in the world’

See you in church friends

For further tools on hoe to move more effectively in the Holy Spirit my book ‘Moving in the Spirit’ is available at philpringle.com

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.

Terms of Endearmemnt

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Terms of endearment - BLOG, not posted yetJob 42:5  I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.

‘Heard of you’ – is a distant relationship.  God wants closer fellowship with all of us.  Even though none of us enjoy pain, sometimes it’s the only thing that causes us to draw near to God.  Once we see Him, nothing is left to the imagination.  We start to ‘know’ God, instead of just having information we have heard about Him.  God is very present in the fire.  Draw near to Him & He will draw near to you.

See you in church!