// the great light \\

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A TOUCH OF PRESENCE LARGE

Mt 4:16

      The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,

      And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death

      Light has dawned.

When Jesus was brought to the Temple to be dedicated to the Lord an old Prophet Simeon, came by the Spirit and prophesied over Jesus that He would be a light to the Gentiles.

Lk 2:32

      A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,

      And the glory of Your people Israel.

IN DARKNESS;

PEOPLE STOP

When people are in darkness, they stop moving, or move very slowly, very cautiously, however, after a while they stop, then they sit, going nowhere. There are several things that are essential to our well being. One of them is to know we are moving forward, to know we are making progress. To feel like we are going nowhere, completely frustrates how we are built.

People sit down also because they’ve lost the energy to walk or even stand, to make decisions or to hold ground against the pressure.

When we’re in the darkness of condemnation and guilt we lose energy. We are drained of enthusiasm and motivation when the darkness of discouragement or despair comes over our minds.

We have the choice, to fix our eyes upon the darkness or to fix them on the light.

Isaiah told us darkness would cover the Earth

Isa 60:2

      For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,

      And deep darkness the people;

      But the Lord will arise over you,

      And His glory will be seen upon you.

However, he also told us to not let the darkness overwhelm us but to realise that the Light has come and that we should therefore no longer remain sitting, but stand and arise;

Isa 60:1

      Arise, shine;

      For your light has come!

      And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

In the dark we;

IMAGINE THE WORST

When we’re in darkness we imagine the worst. Something moving nearby is a threat, we imagine it’s a snake, or a spider. If someone touches us we jump with fear. Crime increases when night falls. Most crimes are committed in darkness, not in bright light.

FEEL HOPELESS

People sit in darkness when they’re guilty and feel condemned under the darkness of no hope.

People sit in darkness when they don’t know where they’re going or what to do.

FEEL COLD

Without light there’s often also no heat. When the sun rises the cool night turns to a warm day. Light and heat are often together. Plants grow in the sunlight but die without it. Health comes with sunlight. An old Italian proverb – ‘Where the Sun goes, the physician need not’.

To these people a great light rises, even those sitting in the region of death and in the shadow of death,.

Jesus is not just like the sun, nor is he just like a candle, or a light bulb. He is the great light.

CHRIST IS THE LIGHT, THE HOPE OF THE WORLD.

The reason Christ is a great light is because above all these things He is the HOPE of the world.

When we talk of light shining on our future, it definitely refers to hope beaming into our lives.

See you in church

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// 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)

// INNER HEALTH \\

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Phil 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Phil 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Our hearts (attitudes, desires, trust and emotions), and minds (thoughts, memories, conscience, imaginations), need guarding because this is what comes under the severest pressure. Our only defence is the peace of God which acts as a fortress against all incoming troublesome thoughts and attitudes.
Mental health and emotional well-being come by relieving anxiety from our minds and hearts. This is achieved not through medication but every day through prayer. But this is not just prayer, because prayer on its own can be simply the pleadings of worry. Thanksgiving must be part of our prayer life and our all day speech. Complaining is the language of victims and is the fastest route to a negative mindset which in turn leads to our minds being ill at ease and depression. The person who takes pains to appreciate others and be grateful will find their hearts and minds in far better health than the prayer-less, cynical complainers. Following our prayers comes His peace.
His peace is totally unreasonable. There is no logical reason why we can be peaceful under dreadful circumstances, yet we are, because of His Presence upon us. This beautiful serenity pervades our hearts and minds with sanity and a bright perspective on whatever comes our way.
Cast all your cares upon Him!
Why?
Because He cares for you!

See you in church.

HOPE ROARS

Little by Little

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Ex 23:30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land.

Great achievements rarely happen instantly or ‘overnight’. We grow into our greatest achievements little by little, sometimes the progress is barely visible. This is why we simply walk by faith, believing that what we are doing is having an effect and that eventually we will experience the results.

Even though the deserts of the Sahara are so vast, they are simply comprised of countless little grains of sand.

Isa 28:10

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,

Line upon line, line upon line,

Here a little, there a little.”

We grow gradually into our possession, our destiny. A child may, by inheritance ‘own’ the car and the house, but he is far from able to drive the car or manage the house. He grows into that by having one small job after another until, he has learned all the skills needed. God gives us our inheritance a little at a time, so that we are not suddenly handling responsibilities and situations beyond our wisdom, strength and capacity.

We also need to maintain what we have attained (Phil 3:16). The very skills to do this are won through the ‘little by little’ application of ourselves to the smaller jobs we have had. The Israelites needed to increase in numbers as well so they could outnumber their enemies and the beasts of the field (Deut 7:22)

On the negative side, we are tempted to justify sin to ourselves by it’s smallness, yet little by little the decay will rot away a person’s soul. More houses are destroyed by termites than by earthquakes. More fires are started by matches than by volcanoes. Conversely, little acts of righteousness, little, regular, consistent times of prayer, seemingly little attentions to the Word, eventually will build a magnificent life.

Every little bit counts. It may not seem like it at the time, but each step we take is taking us somewhere, and after a lifetime of steps we will reach certain destinations. The person who restrains themselves from eating foods that add weight, won’t see the result for a while, but eventually they start to see the difference, feel better about themselves and have a new eating habit. Conversely, if we think we can get away with eating small amounts of extra that we don’t need but just want, eventually it too will show. Some people will eat everything on the plate in front of them just because it’s there. Self impose a limit on yourself as to how much you will eat and stick with that. Our results in life are because of the cumulation of all the little things we do over time.

With our money, we can start by putting a little money away into an investment. Every little bit counts. If we don’t waste the money we have in our hand but save it, invest it, soon we will have more than we need. However, if we waste our money and spend all the little amounts on futile things, justifying to ourselves that it’s just ‘little’ spending, we will soon find we don’t even have the money that we do need.

This is living with control. When we’re out of control it shows in our lives.

Our budget is not what we have in our hands. Our budget is the amount of what we have in our hands that we have decided we can spend. For some people, whatever they have is what they spend. Self impose limits on yourself and only spend that amount.

Make these choices as lifestyles, not just something you’ll try for a week. We change our lives when we change our lives.

Bless you,

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

Meditation on the Holy Spirit

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‘The anointing empowers
People become bold and powerful under the anointing.
The anointing lubricates our minds, emotions and
personalities. We cease being ‘squeaky’ Christians.
Too many believers are ‘squeaky’, complaining about
everything. Under the anointing we stop ‘squeaking’
and start thanking God.
Acts 10:38 ‘…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went
about doing good and healing all who were
oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.’
Samson had a secret to the anointing that gave him
supernatural strength. He never cut his hair. The vow
of a Nazarite covered his life (Judges 13:5). Under the
anointing, great work can seem so easy that we can begin
to imagine that we can do anything we want, that we can
live however we like and God will still be with us.
Samson thought this. He was wrong. He played with
the world and finally lost the secret to the anointing on
his life that gave him his great strength. When he lost
that, he also lost his vision. His enemies bound him and
took out his eyes. He was then consigned to grinding
corn in a basement like a donkey. But eventually
Samson rediscovered his secret. His hair grew again and
he killed more Philistines in his death than he had in his life (Judges 16:20).

See you in church!

How to move in the Holy Spirit more effectively – Click here

 

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.