Andrew Hughes: One Thing
"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" - Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
It was great to have Andrew Hughes
with us over the weekend. He brought some great insight and revelation on the 'one things'
that occur in the Bible. I've found 17 in the NIV translation today. Among them are these gems of truth and wisdom:
"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple" - Psalms 27:4 (NIV)
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me" - Mark 10:21 (NIV)
He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but know I see!" - John 9:25 (NIV)
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? - Galatians 3:2 (NIV)
Andrew also touched on the 'one anothers' that appear in the Bible and how these can't be outworked in a 70 minute sunday morning service or meeting alone. They have to be outworked and lived out throughout the week. This is done as God's people share life and fellowship. As we devote ourselves to building community according to the design and heavenly pattern of church life as seen in the word of God, devotion will lead to manifestation (Acts 2:42-47)
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you - Philippians 3:17 (NIV)
Labels: Andrew Hughes, Community, One Another
I'm sure it will be an inspiring read! Here's a quote from the book:
"Hope is an important aspect of faith, because you can't have one without the other. Hope deals with the ultimate future and faith brings that future into the present"
Roger Aubrey, The Circle of Life, Xulon Press, 2007, Pg.21
Have a great faith filled weekend!
Labels: Books, Faith, Roger Aubrey
without borders 07: life to the nations DVD
Labels: bible week, DVD, ministries without borders
"I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ" - Romans 15:29 (NIV)
I read the above verse a few days ago and it really gripped my heart. The Apostle Paul states that he will come in the 'full measure of the blessing of Christ'. Do you think this means we can restrict the measure of the blessing of God to something that is not totally full? - What I do know is that God is the God of fullness. He fills our lives to overflowing with His grace, faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. There are no half measures in the faithful provision of God in our lives
Maybe knowing the full measure of the blessing of Christ is linked to our thankfulness in our daily confession and speech as Christians. Gratitude releases the gates of blessing and overflow in our lives in God. A grateful people will see great things. Thankfulness is seen as a distinctive and hallmark of Paul's apostolic ministry and writing.
I believe that the full measure of blessing is linked to the overflowing confession of praise and thanksgiving to God in our daily lives.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" - Ephesians 1:3
Labels: Confession, Increase, Thanksgiving
Duncan Fletcher, the England Cricket Coach has resigned. He led the team in their final world cup game against the West Indies on Saturday. Although they won this game, overall it was a terrible winter that led to the demise of Fletcher. Losing 5-0 to the Aussies in the Ashes and poor performances in the Champions Trophy and World Cup all contributed to his exit.
What a different tale to September 2005 when England won the Ashes. Then, the Fletcher/Vaughan partnership was heralded as one of the best coach/captain relationships that England had known for many years. In that series, all the England players were on top form. They played as a team, their timing was perfect and they beat the best in the world. In more recent matches, they have looked like a bunch of individuals, their timing has been awful in batting and bowling, and they have struggled to beat the likes of Ireland and Bangladesh.
What was once beautiful had become a bit ugly.
I believe Duncan Fletcher is a very good coach - but his time passed for various reasons. As I thought about this, God challenged me on his timing in my life. God has made everything beautiful in its time. That means that things that are not in God's timing can actually be ugly, awkward and out of place. To live in the beauty of God's plan and perfect will, we have to follow his timing in our lives - His beautiful, glorious and perfect timing!
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end - Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
Labels: Media, News, Sport
"It can be hard in the world of work, but it's harder by far if we choose to go to work alone...wherever we go, God goes with us - even at 9a.m. on a Monday Morning"
If you are a Christian, you are a carrier of God wherever you go. God is for you, He is with you and He lives in you. Praise God! - This is a powerful truth to live by as we live out our Kingdom lives in the world around us.
Watch out for some more quotes in the days to come!
Labels: Books, Care for the Family, Workplace
Architect of the Impossible
"For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God" - Hebrews 11:10 (NIV)
God is an Architect. I love that. As an Architect myself, I like it that my father in heaven is the best Architect in the world. In fact, He is the best at everything in the world!
I love the above verse. It describes Abraham, a man who looked forward in faith. He saw the future. He fixed his eyes on the Messiah and Saviour to come. He saw the coming of God's Kingdom over a thousand years before the coming of Christ. That's prophetic vision.
Moses, like Abraham, saw the impossible become possible. In God, all things are possible. God is the 'architect of the impossible'. Moses looked to the invisble realm of God's plans and purposes being outworked throughout all eternity. Not invisible because they are not real, but invisible as they can only be seen and brought into being by faith in Jesus Christ.
God was the architect of the impossible for Moses and Abraham. He is still doing that today. When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible - It's all by faith in Jesus Christ. Believe for the impossible to become possible today as you believe in Jesus Christ.
"He persevered because he saw him who is invisible"
Labels: Architecture, Faith, Vision
Well, the weekend is here once again! - Not had much chance to blog this week, but I've got a few things to post next week which God has been putting on my heart. I'm off to mow the lawn now. Daniel is very keen to 'help' me! - I'm sure it will be plenty of fun.
Have a blessed weekend.
Remember, God is the God of unlimited and miraculous increase!
Labels: Daniel, Images, Weekend
Virgina Tech Campus Shootings
The photo above is take from a vigil at Virginia Tech University following the tragic shooting of 32 people by student Cho Seung-hui on Monday of this week. Roger Aubrey has posted a thoughtful post on his blog. Click here
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the victims involved. It is such a terrible loss of life, in such a needless way. I also pray that wisdom and discretion will prevail in the USA with the senate and governing powers, to seriously look again at their laws and attitudes with respect to gun control and possession. I know the situation in the USA is very different to that of the UK in terms of attitudes to guns. I pray that a solution will be found that helps to bring peace and security.
I also pray for my fellow brothers and sisters in the body of Christ in the USA, that they will know a wisdom and direction to speak with grace, truth and power in this time.
Labels: Media, News, Politics
Bible Overview - Luke
This article was written for the Bible Tour BlogLuke
Luke is the third of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke) in the New Testament. Luke was a trained doctor. He was also a Gentile by birth who accompanied the Apostle Paul on some of his missionary journeys. Luke was very loyal to Paul (2 Timothy 4:11). This steadfastness of character shows the heart of the man that wrote this gospel. Luke is the first volume of a two-part story about the life and power of Christ. Luke continues his narrative on the work of Jesus Christ through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early church in the book of Acts.
The gospel of Luke carries many similarities to that of Matthew and Mark but is distinctive in the sense that Luke shows four main characteristics in his writings:
- Literary Skill
- Emphasis on Historic Detail
- Theological Significance of the life of Jesus Christ
- A Pastoral Concern for his readers
One of the main themes of the Gospel is the nature of Jesus being the ‘messiah’ (meaning the ‘anointed one’) and his mission to bring the gospel of the kingdom to the world. This theme of anointing, mission and kingdom is carried on in Luke’s writing in the book of Acts.
Birth and Childhood of Jesus Christ
The first two chapters of Luke look at the birth and childhood of Jesus. They go into the most detail of the gospels to the early years of his life. These early chapters also parallel the birth and ministry of John the Baptist with Jesus. Although only about 6 months older than Jesus; John the Baptist was a forerunner and prophetic trailblazer for the life of the Messiah here on earth.
These early chapters also tell the story of a generation of who were waiting in eager expectation for the fulfilment of the coming of the Messiah. This was a generation who were well versed in the scriptures that we now know as the Old Testament. Throughout these writings, the coming of Jesus Christ and his ushering in of the Kingdom of God had been foretold and prophesied. Simeon and Anna were among this faithful generation who were fixing their future and eyes on Jesus in all his radiance and glory. Through this we see the wonderful continuity that flows from the promise of the Old Testament into the reality of the New Testament. The covenant that is seen and shadowed in the Old Testament is made alive and becomes a wonderful reality in the life of Christ. We see this fully shown in the New Testament or in the new and ‘better’ covenant made possible through the coming of Jesus Christ.The announcement of Mission
Luke Chapters 3 – 5 follow Jesus on a journey from his Baptism in Water into his temptation in the desert where he overcomes the devil. Jesus then went onto Nazareth and announced to the world His mission from Isaiah 61:1-2:“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour”
These chapters also highlight the ultimate plan and purpose of Jesus Christ’ coming to earth. John the Baptist announces in Luke 3:16 that Christ will ‘baptise with the Holy Spirit and with fire’. This promise by John the Baptist is repeated in all four gospel accounts. The incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ that are seen in the book of Luke all point to the reality and experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that we see in Acts 2. The coming of the Holy Spirit in power and anointing is the ongoing ministry and mission of Christ in and through His church.Jesus in Galilee & Jerusalem
The ministry of Christ described by Luke revolves around two geographical centres and regions. In the region of Galilee we see Jesus announcing His mission and intent to ‘preach the good news of the kingdom of God’ (Luke 4:43). We also see the beginnings of Jesus’ controversy with the Pharisees typified by dialogue and conversation over his social network and the fasting habits of his disciples.
The gospel of Luke picks out the fact that Jesus spent the night in prayer before choosing the twelve apostles from amongst his disciples. This fact and detail described by Luke shows the importance of the choosing of these twelve men to be apostles. The word apostle comes from the Greek word ‘apostello’ meaning “ones sent with a special commission”. Christ, as the Chief Apostle (Hebrews 3:1) sends his disciples into the world with their Kingdom mandate and commission. In the same way that Christ was sent by the Father. We are now sent with the same power and anointing through the life of the Holy Spirit living in us to fulfil the same mandate of proclaiming and announcing the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Towards the end of chapter nine, we see Jesus moving towards Jerusalem. Luke picks up on the fact that ‘he set his face to go to Jerusalem’. He resolutely set out for Jerusalem as he knew that this would the place of the ultimate victory and conquest over sin and death in the victory sealed and won on the cross.
In Galilee and Jerusalem, we see that Jesus was fully aware of the context of the surroundings of his ministry. In the more rural context of Galilee, Jesus uses agricultural illustrations to make his Kingdom message known (e.g. Luke 8:1-15). When he moves to Jerusalem, he touches on issues more connected with wealth and commerce that would be more akin and associated with city life (e.g. 16:1-31).Salvation Plan
One of the key components of the book of Luke is God’s salvation plan. Two of Luke’s favourite words are ‘preach the gospel’ and ‘salvation’. The preaching of the Gospel was seen in the life of Jesus in his teaching, healing, acts of compassions and miracles. The content of this gospel message is summed up in Luke 19:10:
‘The Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost’
This salvation plan was announced and seen in the life of Jesus, and achieved and made possible for all mankind in his death and resurrection on the cross. Luke describes the events leading up to the crucifixion as depicted in the other gospels. Luke also picks up on some details that the other gospel writers don’t mention. For instance, Luke names the women who the two angels spoke to after the resurrection of Christ in Luke 24:10. Luke’s meticulous attention to detail actually adds further meaning and power to the truth of the Gospel message.
The wonderful truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom and God’s plan of salvation is that it doesn’t stop with the death and resurrection of Jesus. In the atoning work of Christ on the cross, our sins are totally forgiven. This is a glorious fact and one we should never take for granted. However, Christ died and rose again so that in his ascension and glory at the right hand of the Father, he could pour out the Holy Spirit on all people as promised and prophesied throughout scripture. Luke picks up on this truth and shows how Jesus reiterates this promise towards the end of the book in 24:29:“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high”Summary
The end of the Gospel of Luke finishes with the description of the ascension of Christ in the vicinity of Bethany. Jesus returns to Bethany as he ascends to the right hand of his father in heaven. Bethany is a significant place in the Bible.
· Bethany is a place of anointing – Matthew 26:6-13
· Bethany is a place of revealed purpose – Luke 10:38-42
· Bethany is a place of resurrection power – John 11:1-44
· Bethany is a place of worship – Luke 24:50-53
The gospel of Luke ends with a sense of anticipation and excitement of what is to come. The Holy Spirit is the author of scriptures and you sense that he can’t wait to go from Luke 24 to Acts 1 to carry on the next chapter of the unfolding and eternal plan and purpose of God.
The gospel of Luke records and details the glorious life of Christ here on earth. It records his incarnation, his humanity and his compassion. It records his divine power; it tells of his miracles and speaks of his wisdom and insight. The Gospel of Luke points back to the historical significance of Jesus being revealed through the pages of the Old Testament. It also points forward to the fingerprints of God being seen, performed and demonstrated throughout the New Testament by the person and power of the Holy Spirit.
Labels: Bible Tour, Book Overviews, Teaching Notes
without borders 07 : life to the nations
days to go till without borders 07, 'life to the nations'
- More importantly at this stage - only 7 days to go to book in at the cheaper prices! - If you're aged over 17, booking now will save you £9. Just think for a moment........you can do a lot with £9! - You will totally blessed by being at this amazing & powerful event
! - Get booked in this weekend!
Labels: bible week, ministries without borders
Daniel Plays the Piano
Within moments of Daniel playing the piano for the first time, he could play without looking, and also pray at the same time! - Daddy & Mummy were very impressed!
Labels: Daniel, Images, Music
Quotes on Work & Opportunities
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work" - Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931)
"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity" - Colossians 4:5 (NIV)
Labels: Quotes, Workplace
Daniel and Victoria's Wedding
I love weddings. They're great celebrations. All that free food and general party atmosphere!. We went to Daniel and Victoria Apparacio's (pictured above) wedding a couple of weeks ago. Rachel and I have known Victoria or 'Tors' for getting on for 15 years now! - It was a great day all round. I also got chance to share the gospel with a couple of guys who were sat on my table during the reception which was good. Anyway, even when the odd wedding drags on a bit, there is always something to have a little cheeky chuckle or smile about!
Labels: Friends, Weddings
“I am the resurrection and the life” - John 11:25 (NIV)
Every day as Christians, we can know the power of Christ’s resurrection life in our lives. Our lives are designed and defined by the life of Christ. He is our power, our strength and our wisdom. This is the truth of the goodness of God that is at work in every second and moment of our lives.
This is Easter Weekend. It’s not about chocolate, bunnies or eggs, however nice creme eggs are! Easter (and every other day) is all about the life of Jesus Christ, and the radical difference that He brings to our very lives.
2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ died for our sins. Three days later he rose again so that we might have life and have it to the full. His life means we can have life. ‘Real’ Life in our health, finances, homes and workplaces in 2007.
After he rose again, he spent time with His disciples before ascending to heaven to be at the right hand of His Father. Jesus then poured out the Holy Spirit so that we could know the fullness of His life, power and anointing to be His witnesses in the world. The Spirit is the seal & source of God’s life in us."You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you" - Nehemiah 9:6
People sometimes comment to us as Elders and Leaders here in King's Church, Manchester
about how much we go on about the Holy Spirit. They say that we always go on about how much we need to be continually filled day by day with the life of the Holy Spirit. We don’t apologise for this one bit!.
Being continually filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit is the only way to truly ‘Making Jesus Famous’.
It is the only way to advance the Kingdom of God in the world around us. It is the only way to truly live, and produce lasting fruit that pleases Jesus Christ. We want everyone we meet to know this gospel message. If you don’t know the ‘real’ life of knowing Christ and His Spirit in you, then you can this easter. Today, you can know the life of Jesus Christ, it’s totally amazing!
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life” John 14:6
Labels: Easter, Life, Salvation
Rob Bell on Gratitude
I'm reading a new book at the moment titled 'Sex God'. The author is Rob Bell. Rob is leader of Mars Hill Bible Church
in USA. He is also the brains and innovator behind the popular 'Nooma'
series of films and media presentations.
The title of the book is deliberately provocative. Rob's writing style is thought provoking and very much 'out of the box'. I'm enjoying the book though. It's very easy to read and brings some interesting insights into the whole connection between our relationships, identity, sexuality and spirituality.
Here is a quote from the book:
"Gratitude is so central to the life that God has made for us. Until we can centre ourselves on what we do have, on what God has given us, on the life we do get to live, we'll constantly be looking for another life. That is why the word 'remember' occurs again and again in the Bible. God commands his people to remember who they are, and where they've been, what they've seen, what's been done for them. If we stop remembering, we may forget. And that's when the trouble comes"
Rob Bell, Sex God, Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality & Spirituality, Zondervan, USA, 2007, Pg.74.
Labels: Quotes, Rob Bell, Thanksgiving
Faith and Politics
Further to my recent post
on William Wilberforce and the current film 'Amazing Grace'. Here is a quote from Bryn Jones in his book 'Radical Church' on a similar theme:
"People sometimes ask, ‘Should the church meddle in political issues?’; but the fact that politics is about the use of power over people means the church is already involved. Politics affects people, which makes it an issue for the church.
The question is not whether as Christians we should or should not be involved with politics but rather what issues should we be most concerned with, and what is the wisest course of action to be taken to express our convictions in this matter?...
....However, we also know that the working of the Spirit goes deeper than the reformation of political agendas or society and its institutions. God’s purpose goes to the very transformation of the heart of man. The radical gospel recognises the fact that the cultural lifestyle of society is the consequence of the corporate action and convictions of man. That is why restoration calls for righteousness and justice in public life"
Radical Church, Pg.45-46, Destiny Image, Shippensburg, USA, 1999
Labels: Bryn Jones, Politics, Quotes
Fool for Christ?
A little post to tie in with April Fools Day......
Paul, an Apostle of Christ, describes himself as a ‘fool for Christ’ (1 Corinthians 4:10). Hold on a minute I hear you say. Aren’t we supposed to be wise and mature, not fools in our walk and life with God? Well on the one hand ‘yes’, but God clearly says in his word that the foolishness of Christ is much wiser than the wisdom of the world. (1 Corinthians 1:25)
As Christians, we live according to the purposes of the Kingdom of God. God does things different to the world. He turns the wisdom of the world ‘upside down’ and makes it foolish in His sight. Whether it be how we handle our finances, relationships, work or time; God sets a radically different agenda to what the world around us defines as ‘wise’.
We are called to lay down our own ‘worldly’ or ‘man-made’ wisdom and become ‘fools for Christ’. God is seeking to humble us and change us by the prompting and leading of the Holy Spirit. We are kingdom first, heavenfocused, and Christ-centred people. We start from a heavenly perspective and allow the blueprint of heaven to define the reality & design of our lives on earth.
We are called to ‘turn the world upside down’ as we proclaim and declare that Jesus is Lord over every sickness, in every life and situation, and in every nation. We are fools for Christ called to GO & advance His Glorious Kingdom together.
“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” Acts 17:6-7 (ESV)
Labels: Fun, Kingdom of God, Vision