Now when I thought of this title I did think about a post from 'Song of Songs' - maybe another time soon!. However, God does love us passionately. He has shown that throughout eternity in his plan and purpose for his people, culminating in the greatest act of love when Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again, so that we might know the forgiveness of sins, restoration and the promise of a brand new life with Jesus as Lord and Saviour of our lives.
My fellow elder and good friend, Ezekiel Shibemba, brought a great word to us a church family on Sunday about being 'rooted and established in love'
. Our response to receiving God's passionate love is to love God with a wholehearted devotion and commitment, and to love each other in the same way.
One of my favourite authors, C.S. Lewis stated this in relation to love:"Every Christian would agree that a man's spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God"C.S. Lewis – Beyond Personality, Pg.11
God wants us to be rooted and established in love (Eph 3:17) - this is the language of health, strength, stability and security. There is nothing healthier, stronger, stable and secure than knowing God's love, and then giving that love to others."In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it one from the house of David-one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness" - Isaiah 16:5
Labels: C.S. Lewis, Ezekiel Shibemba, Love
Read, Hear, Believe and Act
I had a great chat with a young guy from our church family yesterday. He has been a christian under a year and he was telling me about how after reading his Bible he had decided to fast and pray today for his friends to be saved . He said to me 'Jesus fasted and prayed - so i'm going to do the same'
I thought to myself and told him that he had caught hold of something powerful. He had read and heard the word of God, believed it to be true and then acted upon it. I read this morning the powerful statement of Jesus Christ at the end of the book of Mark, about what those who believed in him would see and do:And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them." Mark 16:15-19I believe this to be true for me, for the church I am part of and for all those who believe in Christ and obey his word. It's not just true, but the truth. What a honour we have to see people healed in the name of Jesus as we lay hands on them - that he trusts us as his people to use his power in this life changing way.
I thank God so much for his powerful, life changing word that is true yesterday, today and forever. It is changing lives as his people put their faith in Christ and his word into powerful action under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. - PRAISE GOD!
Labels: Healing, Prayer, Salvation
Money - In whose hands?
Another post from the news this week on 'millions'
.... I've been following the intriguing story from this week
of the £50 Million Robbery in Kent. The events and nature of the crime unfold day by day. This crime reveals to me the truth of the scriptures about what the love of money does, it is the root of all evil. The abduction of the family involved was terrible, leading to the father of the family to describe it as the 'worst night of his life'.
As I've been thinking about this story and praying about what God feels about it - I believe God put on my heart that money in the hands of evil, ungodly people is bad news. It leads to all sorts of problems and strife. It is used for injustice, greed and extreme selfishness.For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil - 1 Timothy 6:10
However, God also spoke to me though that money in the hands of righteous and God fearing people is a good thing. Why, because the righteous will use money for the purposes of justice, providing for the poor and look to see how it can be given and sown to be used for the purposes of the Kingdom of God. These are always good for the communities of people that they relate to.
Money in itself is neutral, it is neither good nor bad - but what is important is our attitude towards it and our use of it thereafter - that's when the rubber hits the road with money. As God's people we should be wise stewards of the resources God has given us, obey the requirements of the Bible in relation to Tithes and Offerings
, and to bless the poor and needy in our own communities and nation, and right across the world with the financial blessing he gives us.
God's desire is that we use spiritual wisdom in our use, stewardship and sowing of money - How we relate to, and see money is one of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves in life?
- See it through God's eyes and it will be a be a great servant, see it through the culture of our world's eyes and it will be a terrible slavemaster.Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom? - Proverbs 17:16 Dishonest money dwindles away - Proverbs 13:11
Labels: Finance, Millions, Stewardship
Making Jesus Famous in the Workplace
Making Jesus Famous in the Workplace
I believe that the people of the Church should live as Ambassadors of the Kingdom of God and mirrors of his gospel message in all that they do. This includes in the workplace; whether that be an office, factory, school or home looking after children (that’s more work that all the rest put together!)The Workplace – A Place of Mission and Witness for Jesus Christ
God has a message of truth, life and salvation for this world
and we should be excited about proclaiming that message in
word and deed across the desk in our office, over the gate
at school or in the canteen at the hospital.
If you work an average 35 hours a week, that means you
will spend over 35% of your waking week at work – that
means that it is a place of opportunity and kingdom potential
not a prison of drudgery for those in the family of faith.The Workplace – A Place of Opportunity and Potential
The Bible talks a great deal about how we should work and act in our workplaces. The church should seek to embrace and work out these values in the context of their place of work:Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as
working for the Lord, not for men, Colossians 3:22-23The Workplace – A Place of Excellence for Jesus
Christian Workers should be the most hard working, honest,
gracious, reliable and dependable workers in any place of
Work – we should do all things well as it was said about
Jesus in Mark 7:37
I believe that the workplace and the gifts, skills and talents that
God has given his people there will open doors for the
Preaching of the Gospel and the healing of the sick.The Workplace – A Place of Healing the Sick in the name of Jesus
In Acts 19, the tools of the Apostle’s Paul trade as a
tentmaker were used to heal the sick. The used
handkerchiefs and aprons that he used as he worked the leather used to make tents were then given to people and God used them to miraculously heal and restore lives.
Today we can be used to reach out to the Sick in the workplace and lay hands on them and see them healed. Whether it be at the photocopier or school gate – God heals today and will use our places of work as doors to advance the Kingdom of God and see men and women come to Jesus
Labels: Healing, Salvation, Workplace
Came across this image whilst having a quick look at the BBC Website - 1 Million+ people at a recent Rolling Stones Concert in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil - The size and vastness of the people here is awesome.
The title of this blog
kind of gives it away that I'm very excited by most things that mention the word 'millions'
- Why? - Well, I believe it points to and reveals God's heart for a BIG
family worshipping and serving him in this world, and for the Kingdom of God to see increase upon increase, millions upon millions of lives submitting their lives to King Jesus - I'm challenged and inspired once again to keep thinking BIG
in my faith, and in my love, devotion and service to King Jesus.Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him Daniel 7:10 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"Revelation 5:11-12
Labels: Blogs, Increase, Millions
Today is my wonderful wife's birthday - She is an amazing woman of God, a fantastic wife and a great mother - Happy Birthday Rachel
Labels: Birthday, Family, Rachel
Deus incrementum dat - God gives the increase
Yesterday, I received a great letter from CARE
. In the letter, it describes the latin phrase 'Deus incrementum dat' meaning 'God gives the increase'.
This is inscribed in the entrance to BBC's
broadcasting house in London. The phrase is taken from 1 Corinthians 3:6-7:"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase" (NKJV)
Last night we had a great time praying as Elders into the word of increase that God has spoken over us as a Church here in Manchester. We believe God has spoken, and is performing a powerful work of increase in us and through us in the following areas as his people:
Salvation of New Christians in their 1,000's
Healings - In our meetings, neighbourhoods and workplaces
Miracles - Ordinary and Extraordinary
Faith and Prayer - God is increasing our spiritual muscles in these areas
Finances - Millions of Pounds are on their way
A Bigger Building - 'We Need a Bigger Boat'
Increase in Quality of our lives before God
Increase in Quantity of disciples of Christ
and much, much more! - 'of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end' (Isaiah 9:7) - God has challenged me once again to get rid of any small thinking, and continue thinking and dreaming BIG in faith, based on his word, truth and promises.
At the prayer meeting yesterday, God put this powerful verse on my heart again, and inspired me that God's Kingdom will come in power in all the above areas, and right across this world through his glorious Church. God is on the move, and he is the God of increase.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power-1 Corinthians 4:20 (NIV)
Labels: Church, Increase, Manchester
Spurgeon on Holiness
"Holiness is the architectural plan upon which God buildeth up His living temple"
Charles H Spurgeon Baptist preacher(1834 - 1892)
I came across this quote yesterday and it really inspired me. It reminded me of what God spoke to us as a Church a couple of weeks ago about holiness
. Jesus Christ is building his Church on the blueprint and foundation of holiness in our time and generation. PRAISE GODAs you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ - 1 Peter 2:4-6
Labels: Charles Spurgeon, Holiness, Quotes
Daniel Smiles at Daddy's Jokes
At last - someone likes my jokes! - told Daniel a few of my 'classics' last night and look at the result - a happy, contented, smiling and laughing little boy!
Labels: Daniel, Family, Humour
The Eternal Voice of Faith
'..And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead..' - Hebrews 11:4
The tragic, yet inspiring story of bravery of the life of PC Stephen Oake
has surfaced again in Manchester
over the weekend. His family have responded with dignity and again highlighted the strength and purpose that Stephen had in his life because of his Christian faith. Stephen's father stated:"At the end of the day, as a Christian man, Steve's reward is in heaven."
It reminded me of the courage and forgiveness that Gee Walker
showed last summer
when her son, a christian teenager was murdered in a racially provoked attack.
Both these stories reminded me of the phrase in Hebrews 11 where even though men and women of faith have died throughout the ages, their lives and faith still speaks. This stirs me to live out my life in powerful declaration and demonstration of the Kingdom of God in my time and generation in passionate and determind faith.
Labels: Faith, News, Testimonies
God deserves the best
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with the finest wine - Proverbs 3:9 (NLT)
God has been speaking to me about finance and how BIG
he is - one of the reasons I started this blog
in October 2005 was in relation to this.
In every area of life, God deserves the best - his Kingdom should be our primary concern and passion (Matthew 6:33). This includes how we use our money. Right from the start of scripture we see that God wants the best and first part of our wealth given in faith. This was the difference between Cain and Abel. Abel brought his offering from the best of what he had in faith, Cain gave a lesser offering in a bad attitude (Genesis 4 and Hebrews 11:4). Abel was commended for his faith, and he still he speaks to us because of his faith.
God wants the best. In finance, I believe this means bringing and giving a Biblical Tithe and Offering to God from the income he blesses us with as our source and provider (Malachi 3:10)
In this passage, God promises to fill our barns with grain, and to cause wine to overflow - God is an extravagant giver and generous to his people. Grain and Wine are terms of covenant. God is a covenant, he cannot lie - he has stated that as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, sowing and reaping will endure (Genesis 8:22). As we give of our best to God, he will pour out his covenant blessing, miracles and favour upon our lives so that we can be channels of his covenant blessing and power to the community and world around us.'Giving to God in faith can put you on the right road to miracles' Oral Roberts, Seed Faith 2000, Pg.96
Labels: Finance, Oral Roberts, Tithing
Labels: Cities, Manchester, Vision
Izaac Phoenix Wilson
Big Congratulations to our good friends Matt and Grace Wilson on the birth of their baby boy on Valentine's Day this week - Izaac Phoenix Wilson was born at a healthy 8lb 2oz - Check out Matt's Blog
for the full details - another little friend for Daniel! - Praise God for new birth.
Labels: Blogs, Friends, Matt Wilson
This is where we live...lovely Dennison Avenue in the centre of the Old Moat Estate, Withington, Manchester!
As a Church here in Manchester, we've been really blessed over recent years by the ministry of Arne Skagen
. He is an anointed evangelist. He is a real blessing to the people of God he equips and spends time with. One of the things that he has encouraged us with is the opportunities and openings we have for preaching the gospel right on our doorstep, with the people in our street, workplace and community that we meet everyday - With our Oikos
- The natural network of people we meet and interact with everyday.
I once counted how many non-christians I spoke to one week in one form or another - it was literally 100's - we have a great opportunity as the people of God to Make Jesus Famous in the communities we live in by getting involved in people's lives and sharing the love, power and truth of God with them. The Holy Spirit is always eager to impact people's lives with the good news of Christ - Get involved with what the Holy Spirit is doing as you get involved in your community for the glory and advancment of the Kingdom of God!"Escapism is never an option; Jesus showed us that through his life and preaching. God demands involvement. The Cross is the Ultimate proof of God's Involvement"
Bryn Jones, Radical Church, Pg. 47
"There is no impact with contact" - Charles SimpsonJesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously - Matthew 10:5-9 (Message Translation)
Labels: Arne Skagen, Old Moat, Quotes
Righteousness and Justice
Two Photographs yesterday in the news - the one on the left set a record for being the most expensive photograph ever to be sold - £1.6 Million - it was taken in 1904 by US photography pioneer Edward Steichen. Now I love photography and art - but when you contrast the amount paid for this photo against the picture on the right which shows some women of a Kenyan tribe looking for water in the dry Kerio river in a time of drought at the moment - It seems wrong in one way to pay so much, when so many have so few.
We live in a world of injustice, where the kingdom of this world with its thirst for consumption, indulgence and greed, and its humanistic mindset has resulted in inequality and poverty between various nations and peoples.
I thank God that his Kingdom is founded on different principles and foundations. The Kingdom of God will continue to increase and cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. God's Kingdom is one that remembers the poor, is founded on righteousness and justice and seeks to do good to all men as we live as wise stewards of this earth in this age. One of the fruits of the demonstration of the Kingdom will be righteousness and justice flowing like a mighty river through every nation of this world that we currently live in.Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you - Psalms 89:14But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! - Amos 5:24
Labels: Justice, Nations, News
Churchill on turning 30!
"Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains" - Winston Churchill
My 30th Birthday draws ever nearer, 12 September, same date as last year. This quote amused me - I'm not a liberal or a conservative so I'm not sure what Churchill would have made of me!
Labels: Birthday, Quotes, Winston Churchill
A Holy People
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God - 1 Pet 2:9-10
God spoke to us as a Church powerfully from this scripture at our sunday night meeting last weekend. We are a holy people. As I thought about holiness and the people of God, I was reminded of our summer holiday last year when we went to Chicago, USA. When we arrived in the city we came in on what seemed to be biggest and widest motorway (freeway or highway if you're from the othr side of the pond!) in the world - it was huge, at least 10 lanes on each
side! - As I thought about this, The Holy Spirit reminded me of Isaiah 35:And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away - Isaiah 35:8-10We are holy because of the atoning work of Jesus Christ and his grace in our lives, as we respond in faith to him as Lord and Saviour. The Holy Spirit continues the work of sanctification in us to form Christ and his likeness more and more in us each day. From Isaiah, we can see that when the people of God walk in who they are as a holy people on the 'highway of holiness' they enjoy the following promises:
It's a place of unique blessing for the family of God
There is no foolishness or wickedness there
It is a place of safety and protection
It's a place of restoration
It's God showcase of his redemptive work in his people
It's a place of worship and praise
There is everlasting joy and gladness
There is no depression or sorrow
When you look at this, why would we ever want to take a turn off from this highway, from the way of holiness as the people of God?
Holiness, it is our position, promise, provision and prophetic future in Jesus Christ.
'Be holy, because I am holy' - 1 Peter 1:16
Labels: Church, Holidays, Holiness
My Wonderful Wife - Happy Valentines Day!
Labels: Daniel, Love, Rachel
The Holy Spirit - The Agent of the Godhead
Continuing on with the recent theme of prayer and the essential work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as the people of God..here are a few 'meaty' quotes for you!
"Any effort to develop the church while ignoring prayer is an effort to bypass the executive of the church - the Holy Spirit. In contrast any effort to discover the will of God and acknowledge the Holy Spirit through prayer is a step toward biblical church life"
Charles Simpson, Challenge to Care, Pg. 147
"The Holy Spirit is the operative agent in the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit convicts us and converts us. He regenerates and empowers us. We receive gifts from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us in the Body. He is the active agent of the Trinity"
Ern Baxter, King, Kingdom and the Holy Spirit
“The Holy Spirit is God’s agent of the impossible”
Tony Ling, Quote taken from preach at King's Church, Manchester in 1999
Labels: Charles Simpson, Ern Baxter, Quotes, Tony Ling
My help comes from the Lord
I lift up my eyes to the hills where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you, the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore - Psalms 121In 2004, I heard Bear Grylls speak about how he became the youngest ever Britain to climb Mount Everest in 1998 . He described very humbly and eloquently that as a Christian, the words and truth of Psalms 121 was what he clung onto as he climbed a mountain that still today kills one in seven of the people who reach its summit. He talked about that he was totally reliant on God and dependant on his strength and grace to reach the destiny that he knew was on his life to scale the highest point on this earth.In a self centred world, where we sometimes try to rely on our own man made abilities and strengthes - 'The Lord is my helper' is a humbling yet powerful statement to make and confess. Yesterday, I heard Anna Thompson, my cell leader give an excellent talk on Ephesians 2 at our teaching series we call Second Saturday. She talked about how we need to be totally reliant on God and dependant on his grace and faith for us to live our lives, and live out his purposes in this world.I love how one of the ways that Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are described in the Bible are as our helper. The word paracletos in the greek means to care, counsel and comfort, to help and stand up for, to come alongside and help. This is the word that Jesus used to described himself and the one who would come after him to help us be all that God wanted us to be - The Wonderful Holy Spirit, our Helper -In our selfish, self centred world, the notion and idea of looking for all our help in God is one that I believe will be a powerful witness and demonstration to the world around us."If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that he might be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth" - John 14:15-17 (NASB)
Labels: Bear Grylls, Psalms, Second Saturday
New Life in Jesus Christ
Rachel and I are so grateful to God for our son Daniel, he is now nearly 9 weeks old now!. He is so full of life, which is so exciting to see him develop in and enjoy every day. God reminded of this statement in the Bible the other day when I was looking after Daniel:'if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come' - 2 Cor 5:17If you're reading this and don't know the life that Jesus can give you - then my prayer is that you would know Jesus Christ at the centre of your life, and his love and power that deals with everything in the past and gives you a fantastic new future - to find out more click here - God wants to invite you into his family - Today, you could make the best decision you will ever make in your life - the decision to become a Christian, and a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ.
Labels: Daniel, New Life, Salvation
The Spring of the Holy Spirit
'For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water' - Revelation 7:17
I love the promise of God that Jesus Christ baptises his people in the Holy Spirit. The dynamic and power of the Holy Spirit is so wonderful, fantastic and life changing. My testimony is that he puts a massive spring in my step everyday allowing me to do, think and say things that are beyond what I could do on my own - Jesus is the shepherd who leads us to the living waters of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a continual and overflowing source of refreshing, life, health and power for my family as we live to Make Jesus Famous in our day and generation - it's time to drink deeply of the living waters of Christ - The Holy Spirit "Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:14"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" John 7:38
Labels: Holy Spirit, Increase, River of God
Architectural Urban Gems 04
Tommorow, I'm going to a seminar at the wonderful Lowry Centre
in Salford (birthplace of my wonderful wife) - it really is a quality building, it has been slightly hampered by some very clumsy development around it but it still stands as a piece of 'gorgeous urbanism' for me!
Labels: Architecture, Cities, Urban Gems
Time to Speak Up
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy" Proverbs 31:8-9
God has been challenging me on the whole issue of speaking out, and proclaiming his kingdom truth. Both in the Church and in the World. It's a time for me to be in his presence and pray, and then proclaim and speak out the truth of God's word. God has been reminding me of what he said to me at the start of 2006
about Prayer, Proclamation and his Presence. I believe this is a call to God's people to hear the word of God in his wonderful presence and then to unashamedly speak those words out both in the Church, and to the World in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Tony Blair stated the following in relation to this, which I thought was relevant in this time:“Christianity is a very tough religion, It places a duty, an imperative upon us, to care about creating a better community to live in, It is judgmental. There is right and wrong. There is good and bad. We all know this, of course, but it has become fashionable to be uncomfortable about such language. But when we look at the World today and how much needs to be done, we shouldn’t hesitate to make such judgements. And then follow them with determined action”Tony Blair quoted in Reclaiming the Ground, Christianity and Socialism, Christopher Bryant (Ed), Hodder and Stoughton, 1993, Pg.66
Labels: Confession, Prophetic, Tony Blair
What the Angels look for in the Church: Authority
Authority has a bad reputation in the World today due to some unfortunate misuses. However, Authority is very important to God, and the Angels. The attempt to violate God's authority is what caused the fall of satan as an angel when he tried to usurp God's position (Isaiah 14) - that's why the angels look for authority in the Church - they want to see it used the way God has always intended
True Godly authority is there to build up (2 Corinthians 13:10), release and empower those in the Church, in the Home and in the Workplace. Godly Authority is expressed in the Leadership of the Church, in Marriages, with parents and children, and within the practice of uncovering and covering of the head during prayer and prophecy along with other expressions.
From the order of creation, we see that Man is the head of the woman. This has an impact on the marriage relationship where authority, submission and true love can be shown. The husband is called to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, and the wife is called to submit to her husband. God's Kingdom is all about Submission and Authority. His Authority is about release, empowering, miracles, salvation & unity been seen in & through the Church to the world.
Reading 1 Corinthians 11 we see that this is why a man uncovers his head, and a woman covers her head when praying and prophesying in the context of the Church. For the woman, it is not a sign of her subjugation or inferiority , but of her authority as a female believer in the Lord, for when she prays she acts in her priestly capacity and when prophesying in her prophetic capacity. On these occasions she represents the Body of Christ before the Lord when praying, and brings the word of God to the Church when prophesying. God wants these vital areas of the life of the Church to carry his power.
Prayer and Prophesy cause things to happen in the heavenly realms. Spiritual powers and principalities take note when the authority of God is displayed correctly in the Church. The phrase that the Apostle Paul uses is 'because of the Angels'
- When we move in Godly Authority, in submission to his word and leading of the Holy Spirit, the Angels take note and are eager and ready to act, awaiting the Father to send them to confirm his word.
For more on this vital subject, read Richard Anniss's Blog on Authority"The subject of Authority is indeed the great theme of the Bible itself"Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones, Pg.10, Authority, Inter Varsity Press, London, 1958
Labels: Angels, Authority, Dr.Martyn Lloyd Jones
Today, a friend and fellow member of the Old Moat Residents Association used this word (Punctiliousness) in an email to me - Well, first of all I couldn't say it and second, what on earth does it mean?, well not to be left ignorant and in the dark, I typed it into google and here is the result, it means:
Strict observance of social conventions
Attentiveness to detail
Strictly attentive to minute details of form in action or conduct
The trait of being painstaking and careful
So, it's quite a interesting word really - I'll give anyone a prize who can say it properly or use it in a future blog post! - Hope that fascinates you a bit, back to Angels and the Church tommorow!
Labels: Dictionary, Old Moat, Words
What the Angels look for in the Church: Distinction
Continuing on with a series of posts on Angels and the Church. Yesterday, Keri touched powerfully on the subject of Angels, and how they are powerful messengers as they represent a powerful God. Angels come to execute and outwork the word of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven in lives and situations on earth.
I believe Angels look for distinction in the Church.
The role of men and women in the marriage and church context is under attack in the days that we live in (See Post on recent Civil Partnership Legislation). This is of no surprise because it was the first relationship that satan attacked in Genesis. The devil has no new tricks so to speak!. The Church can demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God through Godly Marriages built on the principles of the Kingdom. Where the Husband loves the wife as Christ loves the Church, and the wife submits to her husband as the head, as the Church submits to the head of the Church, Jesus Christ.
Men and Women are different. Equal, but different. In Genesis 1, it says that God in his own image, created them, male and female. In their difference though there is distinction of function, order and role. One is not superior to the other, or better - they are distinct with God given roles, responsibilities and giftings to achieve his purposes in this earth
I believe that the Church should have much to offer in terms of evangelism in the whole area of marriage. As the Church models Marriages that are built on Kingdom Foundations, the world will see something that is radical and real, something that is prophetically different.
The Angels look for true biblical distinction between men and women, in the Church and in marriages. As we allow Christ to be formed in our lives and characters, the angels will see it.......and we will see Angels in our midst outworking and confirming the word of God in his people
Labels: Angels, Church, Civil Partnerships, Distinction
Bono Speech at National Prayer Breakfast, USA
Bono, lead singer with U2 has just spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast in the USA, his speech makes very interesting reading, the full text is here
- below is a short extract from his speech which caught my attention on the whole subject of Jubilee and the relief of third world poverty:'...It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this. Jesus is a young man, he’s met with the rabbis, impressed everyone, people are talking. The elders say, he’s a clever guy, this Jesus, but he hasn’t done much… yet. He hasn’t spoken in public before…
When he does, his first words are from Isaiah: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,’ he says, ‘because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.’ And Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord’s favour, the year of Jubilee. (Luke 4:18)What he was really talking about was an era of grace—and we’re still in it.So fast-forward 2,000 years. That same thought, grace, was made incarnate—in a movement of all kinds of people. It wasn’t a bless-me club… it wasn’t a holy huddle. These religious guys were willing to get out in the streets, get their boots dirty, wave the placards, follow their convictions with actions… making it really hard for people like me to keep their distance. It was amazing. I almost started to like these church people...'
Labels: Bono, Jesus Christ, Justice, Politics
A New Elder
Today has been a great day for us as a Church family here in Manchester. Keri Jones, the apostle to the Church here was with us as Ezekiel Shibemba was set into and released into his Eldership function and role. Ezekiel clearly meets the requirements of Eldership (see 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1) and carries a great anointing in his ministry. Ezekiel and Mahongo are a great couple and it is exciting to see all that God is doing in their lives. Ezekiel joins Richard, Andrew, Dave and myself as Elders
to the wonderful people of King's Church, Manchester - God is building his Church, and advancing his Kingdom!
Labels: Elders, Ezekiel Shibemba, Manchester
Architectural Urban Gems 03
Continuing on my love for Architecture, here is another 'Urban Gem' from London. This is the London Eye
from the Hungerford Bridge on the Thames. It takes about an hour for it go round once. Rachel and I went on it in 2002 and it was truly amazing. Awesome view and fantastic perspective on the sights of London. It's always good to get a different perspective on life! -
Labels: Architecture, Cities, Urban Gems
Power of Words
Keri Jones is coming to Manchester this weekend to pray with us as Elders as Ezekiel Shibemba
is set into Eldership here in King's Church. It will be a great time for the Church family here. I'm reading the 'Bright Side of Life' by Keri at the moment, a small book but full of wisdom and faith. Here is a quote from it for you for the weekend:"The victorious lifestyle of faith can be maintained and helped by the way we speak about ourselves and others. Rudyard Kipling said 'Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind'. He was only stating what most people have come to realise and what the Bible has long since declared, 'Death and Life are in the power of the tongue' (Proverbs 18:21). How careful we need to be when speaking! Proceeding from our mouths are the ultimate issues of life" - Keri Jones"Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding" - Proverbs 10:13
Labels: Ezekiel Shibemba, Keri Jones, Words
What the Angels look for in the Church: Unity
"..Even angels long to look into these things..." 1 Peter 1:12
Following on my from post
on prayer and the hevenly realms, I'm going to post a few entries on 'What the Angels look for in the Church?' -
Part 1 is Unity
The Angels look for Unity in the Church. Unity between God and Man, Unity amongst Leadership, Unity between Man and Wife, Parents and Children, and Unity between fellow members of the Church.
You see God wants to see himself in the Church. He wants to see the Unity in the Godhead, that which is within his own nature expressed fully in the Community of the Church. The ‘sweet society’ of the Godhead expressed in the local church. The love shown among the three persons of the Godhead is the basis and model for our love for one another. (John 17:26).
Richard of Saint Victor argued in the 12th Century for the plurality of the persons of the Eternal Godhead on the basis of love for each other:"In Order for Love to be true, it demands a plurality of persons; in order for love to be perfected, it requires a trinity of persons"
The unity of the three persons of the Godhead is the basis and model for the unity of the church: John 17:21-23, and for unity in Marriages - Ephesians 5:22-24. The unity of heaven is what the Angels look for in the Church on earth, they've seen unity broken and tarnished when satan fell with his host of angels, and they long to see the unity of the Godhead expressed now in the restoration of the Church.
Ern Baxter states:“My heart aches for the unity of God’s People in their respective cities and areas”
As we fix our eyes our Heaven, on things above we will see the Church as God sees it, One Church, One Faith, One Baptism, One People together for his glory. (Ephesians 4:4-6)“The Church is the Cosmic Showcase of God’s Mercy and if we fail to live as joyful benificaries of his mercy and fail to maintain the unity of the Spirit, we bring a cosmic reproach upon the wisdom of God” - John Piper
Sometimes as Christians we try to create unity by working from where we are at on earth, with our own ideas and ways forward, from the ground up. But, that is going against the flow of unity. The Church that God sees in heaven is totally united and one with himself and each other, that is the Church that comes down from heaven, and impacts the earth. (Rev. 21:2) The flow of unity is heaven to earth, not earth to heaven - this is seen and expressed in Psalms 133 where Unity is seen to flow down from Aaron's head onto his beard - that is the unity of blessing
Let us keep, maintain and stay in the unity in the spirt - the heavenly realms are watching!
Labels: Angels, Prayer, Unity
Daniel's first pair of trainers!
Labels: Bradforc City FC, Daniel, Family
Time to Pray
'Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed' - Luke 5:16I love living in Manchester, it's such a vibrant, dynamic and exciting city. However, the pace of life can sometimes distract from following the life of the Kingdom of God. At regular times, God encourages us to take time aside, to fast and pray in his presence. To be a people who will pray 'kingdom first' prayers and see lives, cities and nations changed.
Prayer and faith are the fuels that drives the engine of a people of power and purpose. Without the outpouring and refreshing of the Holy Spirit that comes from the place of prayer, we are left tired, weary and frustrated. However, when we come into his presence, praying in faith and expectation to Almighty God - We knew his peace, power and refreshing rains coming down upon our lives, and we see his kingdom coming on earth, as it is in heaven.
Jesus is calling us to walk with him afresh, abiding in his presence. Work with him, as he works through our lives, and to walk and minister in his grace, power and anointing, as we experience the power of prayer.Matthew 11:29 'Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you' (Message Translation)
Labels: Cities, Grace, Manchester, Prayer