On the Radio
I had the great opportunity on Sunday 28th October
to go on the Mike Shaft show on BBC Radio Manchester. I was asked to go on and talk about our ‘Superhero Party’ that we are holding on the 31st of October as an evangelistic alternative for 5-11 year olds instead of Halloween.
I was pushed in the interview about where I stood on Halloween. I was asked whether it was evil or whether it was just ‘harmless fun’. I was able to answer this, but I really wanted to get across on the Radio that we’re not doing this party to tell Manchester how bad Halloween is, we’re doing it to tell them how amazing and good Jesus is. Yes, we don’t agree with Halloween and all that associated with it. It is bad. But the life changing message of Jesus is so, so good. That’s what we want to focus on and give all our energies towards. Making Jesus Famous
in all that we do is our focus, it’s our passion and it’s our vision for Greater Manchester and beyond. I believe that this life changing gospel message will change the face of Manchester and beyond!
To listen to the full interview, then click here
– (forward the Mike Shaft show onto about 1 hour 25 minutes and you can listen to the interview with me!)
For more information on the Superhero Party this Wednesday Night at King’s House for 5-11 year olds then contact Rachel and Judah Cole on 0161 273 2168.
Labels: BBC, Making Jesus Famous, Media
Mission 193 - UK Report
When Keri Jones launched the Mission 193
vision in October 2006, he stated that we shouldn’t forget to reach the UK as we went to the 193 nations of the world. Something gripped my heart as he said this. It stirred me in my desire to influence, pray and prophetically speak into the government and political authorities in the UK.
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” - 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)
In response to this call from Keri and the verse in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, I wrote to Tony Blair whilst he was Prime Minister. I asked him if I could visit 10 Downing Street to pray for him and give him a Bible. Soon after this, he retired from office, so I wrote to Gordon Brown to ask him for the same opportunity. His office wrote back and said I could visit 10 Downing Street but probably not get to meet him in person. I thought this would still be good to do. I saw this opportunity as a prophetic statement to go to the top of the nation, to the seat of political authority and declare the Kingdom rule and reign of Jesus over the UK.
So, in late September – Dave Knight and myself set off for London from Manchester on Virgin Trains and went to 10 Downing Street. We were able to share with the policeman on duty our vision and aim for coming to Downing Street with a couple of Bibles and a prayer for the nation. We had to give a formal title for our ‘petition’ and visit to Downing Street – this was as follows:
‘to influence the government of the day with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God’
The police were very interested in our visit and the one who escorted us up Downing Street moved his loaded machine gun enough so he could look at the Bibles we were about to hand over to Gordon Brown’s staff. We handed over our Bibles and letter of blessing to the staff on duty and have since received a personal letter from Gordon Brown thanking us for the gift of the Bible and our prayers for the UK nation.
After we went to 10 Downing Street, we then prayed along Whitehall and went to the House of Commons to proclaim the prophetic scriptures over the seat of political government and decision making in the Nation.
It was great to do Mission 193 right in the centre of London, right at the political heart of the Nation. We believe that we have sowed a seed of truth and divine DNA into the heart of the nation that will bring about an increase of King Jesus’ government rule and reign.
The Kingdom of God will overthrow the kingdoms of this world as the church fully engages in it’s calling and mandate to announce, demonstrate and extend the rule and reign of Jesus Christ in the UK. Move over Gordon, the Kingdom of God is coming!
For more pictures of our Mission 193 Trip to London, UK - Click Here
Gavin White & David Knight, Manchester, UK
Labels: ministries without borders, Mission 193, Politics
We had a great weekend with Roger and Dianne Aubrey
here with us as a Church Family. Roger spoke on Satuday Night and Sunday Morning on the whole subject of the life of faith, it was excellent - I've posted the following article from what I wrote for our church update on Sunday:
"Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” - Hebrews 4:14 (ESV)
When you become a Christian, it is impossible to do it silently! Paul said this to the church in Rome in Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
There is a confession of faith that we have to declare to enter the Kingdom of God. What is true for us as we enter the Kingdom, is God’s plan for us as we continue to journey in the life of the Kingdom.
God wants us to be a vocal people. He wants us to confess and speak faith. Our tongues were always designed and destined to speak the word of God. They were made to worship Jesus Christ. They were put in our mouths to share the good news of the Gospel as the Holy Spirit prompts us at every opportunity.
Let’s always make a good confession in line with the word of God. When we see sickness in our families, let’s speak health and healing. When we see poverty in our communities, let’s speak the provision and prosperity of Christ. When we see death in our nation, let’s speak the life of God!
God wants our hearts to be fertile ground for his Kingdom. There is a rich harvest of His blessing as we allow the deposit of faith in our hearts to be watered by a true confession. Confess the word of God today, tomorrow and forever! The word of God is living and active. It will radically change your life and the lives of those around you. Let’s live a life of radical speaking faith this week!
"The seedbed of faith in your own heart is being watered by your own confessions" Dr. Roger Aubrey, The Circle of Life, Xulon Press 2007
Labels: Confession, Faith, Roger Aubrey
Notes on James 1:22-25
Evidence of Wholeheartedness : ‘Doing what the Word says’
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does”
God’s intention and mandate for us has always been for us to be a wholehearted people. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people were exalted and encouraged not to be ‘half-hearted’ in their attitude towards God. Caleb was described like this:
“But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” - Numbers 14:23-25 (NIV)
We see that our wholehearted approach to the Kingdom of God reaps the true rewards of inheriting all that is ours in the Kingdom of God – Salvation, Health, Wealth, Miracles etc.
In James 1:22-25, James uses the word ‘do’ or ‘does’ three times. Whilst who we are in our faith identity in God’s saving grace is foundational to our everyday lives, the Bible calls us to ‘do’ something in response to this identity or ‘being’ in Christ. Jesus exalted the Pharisees to ‘produce fruit in keeping with repentance’ (Matthew 3:8). You see James is a very practical book. It exalts us to take action, with faith, from a position of who we are in Christ.
The Bible was never intended to be solely a work of theological debate, or intellectual reasoning. The Bible is fundamental for our everyday life. It is living, it is active. It is the very words of God for our lives to build upon and act in response to in the here and now of 2007.
I’m sometimes told off by my wife Rachel, usually in the Kitchen, that I don’t really listen to what she is saying because as soon as she tells me to do something, I then go and do something completely opposite! – This is the type of behaviour that James is challenging in this chapter so I think Rachel must have asked Dave to give me this passage today!
It’s like us hearing the word of God on a Sunday Morning from the book of Gal. 5:13 where it says: ‘serve one another in love’. Straight after the meeting, one of the Deacons comes up to you and says ‘Could you help for 15 minutes with some washing up today please?’ – You respond, ‘Sorry, I don’t think I can help with that today, it’s not my place to serve’. Now hold on, 10 minutes ago you heard that the Bible says to ‘serve one another in live’ – Your ‘AMEN’ to that verse is not only a response & confession in the meeting but an action in the community & family of the church.
When we truly act on the word in our lives, we show our submission and acceptance of its truth for our every day lives. It’s not until we do it that we show that we agree with it. ‘Living in Denial’ or deception as James puts it is basically verbally stating something about your life but not living it out or following it through with action. E.g. someone may say that they believe that God can heal the sick, but they never step out in faith and pray for people in faith in line with the word of God. Or, someone may say that they believe in community and fellowship in the church, but they never break bread with people during the week, serve in the church, attend an open home or phone / email people up to see how they are doing.
We are called to believe the word, accept it as God’s authoritative word for our lives and then DO something in response to it.
The concept of ‘practising what you preach’ was commonplace in the time that James wrote this book. We see in the life of Jesus that he backed up all his words with action – that’s what gave and gives His gospel such integrity, such power and such life changing truth.
Jesus refers to this in Luke 11:28:
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it"
Paul refers to this in Romans 2:13:
“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous”
We cannot separate here the sovereign, saving grace of God and what our practical response should be to that grace at work in our lives. We are not saved by what we do, nor do we impress God or earn his favour by our actions. The gracious initiative of God and the grateful response of our everyday lives are the two sides of the same ‘gospel’ coin in effect.
We have already looked at what James describes in what is called an ‘imperfect double simile’ in verses 23-25 to show that we should not only hear the word but also obey it. A man who looks at himself in the mirror and then forgets what he looks like is like someone who hears the word and doesn’t act upon it – Putting the word of God into practice is all about having a true understanding of our identity, it’s about knowing who you are in Christ, it’s about being who God has always intended us to be – a reflection of himself to the world.
In v.25, he abandons this form of language & goes even more direct. James shows that the key difference between the person who only hears & doesn’t act is that they ‘forget’.
Like with what we looked at in terms of being wholehearted, God constantly encouraged His people in the OT to not forget his mighty acts on their behalf and to remember his mercies and his ways:
“Then Moses said to the people, "Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the LORD brought you out of it with a mighty hand” – Exodus 13:3 (NIV)
This theme of remembering continues in the NT, where Paul encourages Timothy to:
“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel” – 2 Timothy 2:8 (NIV)
And in the context of the covenant meal, Paul reminds the church in Corinth that Jesus introduced the bread and wine as a means of grace, that we should ‘do this in rememberance of me’ (1 Corinthians 11:24-25). Noralv Askeland said this at an Elders Conference in 2003:
“God knows how forgetful we are, and how easily we slip into routines, and how we even become very religious and have empty routines, that’s why he wants us to remember the Lord”
James exalts us to remember the word of God by looking at it intently, by investigating it, by taking time to see what it says & how it affects our lives. He calls us to look at the ‘perfect law’ – the introduction of the word law is not intended to refer to the mosaic law of the OT but to the ‘perfect’ fulfilment of that law that is found in the life and message of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that he didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfil it and to go beyond it in setting a Kingdom standard for the church to follow (Matt 5:17).
This is further emphasised by James using a similar phrase to what Jesus uses in his testimony after driving out a demon in Luke 11:28:
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it"
James 1:25c states: “he will be blessed in what he does”
Following the ‘perfect law’ of Christ brings freedom & release – the fruit of building your life upon the authority of the word of God and led by the Spirit of God. True freedom is the opportunity and the ability to give expression to what who we truly are in Christ. We find this by allowing the word of God to be mirrored and displayed in our lives.
Summary and Conclusion
James 1:22-25 shows us that the man with the mirror observes, goes away, and forgets. The believer with the word looks into, perseveres and acts. Do we either deceive ourselves or bless themselves in our action and response to the word of God? - We are called to be active doers of the word not merely forgetful hearers.
As Keri Jones has said:
“It's good to go through the Bible in a year - but so much more valuable if you let the Bible go through you”
Labels: James, Second Saturday, Teaching Notes
"Christ in you, the hope of glory" - Colossians 1:27 (NIV)
Hope is a short word but one that carries a wealth and depth of meaning and power. People of all faiths and none talk about ‘having hope for the future’ whether that is for their family, for their career or for their nation. Hope is a universal term that carries much power when you find the true source from which it comes from.
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" - 1 Peter 3:15
I became a Christian when I was eight years old. I grew up in an atmosphere of hope that was found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. My parents were passionate and committed Christians. Their lives pointed me to Jesus. However, I knew that I had to have this hope for myself. It soon dawned on me from a young age that I couldn’t have a faith that was purely something I did by attending church or saying the right things. A true hope can never be just an external thing. This hope had to become living. It had to become part of who I was – it had to change my heart and my whole life.
I once saw the preacher Keri Jones, show how when a can of coke is empty, it can be very easily crushed. But when it is full, it is nearly impossible to crush. Our lives are so similar to this. It’s what happening on the inside that matters.
You may know that God is for you and he is with you, but until you know that he lives in you; then you can be easily crushed. I was a very shy lad when I was growing up. I used to get discouraged quite easily by various things like not being able to swim or being short. God radically took hold of my life during my teenage years and not only showed how much he was for me, how he was with me and how he loved me. I also knew deep down that he lived in me by the powerful and living presence of Christ – Paul told the church in Colosse over 2,000 years ago: ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’That’s my reason for hope: ‘Christ in Me, the Hope of Glory’
My reason for hope is not about me, it’s about him. It’s about Christ and how he has changed my life. Christ gives me a hope for my wife and my family. Christ gives me hope for the council estate where I live that is running pretty empty on hope. Christ gives me hope for our nation which has false hopes in many other ‘gods’ like the Premier League or the National Lottery, but not in the true ‘God of Hope’.
The hope that is found in the Bible is one that faces facts, but stays in faith. It’s one that dreams big but starts small. It’s a hope that satisfies the soul but humbles the spirit. There is nothing lacking in the Christ in me. He is all that I need for a hope filled life. There is never any deferred or failed hope in the Kingdom of God. Jesus gives us hope and fulfils our dreams bringing life to us in all its fullness. That’s my reason for Hope."Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" - Proverbs 13:12
Labels: Hope, Jesus Christ, Testimony
Identity in Christ
I'm enjoying reading 'Velvet Elvis'
by Rob Bell. I read a statement in the book today which spoke to me and got me thinking:
"If people were taught more about who they are, they wouldn't have to be told what to do. It would come naturally" - Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis, Pg. 144
It reminded me about an article on 'Identity' that I wrote for our church
update a couple of weeks ago, I've posted it below.
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” - 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
We’ve been hearing in recent weeks about who we are, and what our identity is in Jesus Christ. The word of God has come to us about being ‘Fishers of Men’ and that we are the ‘Light of the World’. Dave Emmett also exalted us as a Church recently about being people of a good confession, and knowing that we are right before God because of what Jesus Christ has done in his saving work in our lives.
Foundations are so important. Jesus is the Rock of Truth upon which we should build our lives on. We need to know where we have come from and where we are going. Peter states that we have all that we need in God through his divine power at work in our daily lives (2 Peter 1:3)
“Knowing our true identity will
determine our ultimate destiny”
Here are a few things that we are in Christ:
• ‘I am fearfully and wonderfully made’: Psalms 139:14
• ‘Blessed in Christ with every Spiritual Blessing’: Ephesians 1:3
• ‘Righteousness of God’: 2 Corinthians 5:21
Let’s continue to be faith speakers in line with the word of God at work in our lives. We can put into action the prompting of the Holy Spirit as we pray and fellowship with him. Let’s live in line with our true identity in Christ. Let’s stand in our identity and walk into our destiny in Christ. We have a sure hope, a certain future and a glorious inheritance!
Let’s encourage & speak faith into one another in line with who we are in Christ.
Labels: Destiny, Identity, Rob Bell
Mission 193 - Ireland Report
We decided as a family to go to Ireland for our Mission 193
'Vacation with a Mission' for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons was that God has laid the nation of Ireland on my heart for a number of years. This included me visiting Dublin and writing my dissertation on it's architecture whilst completing my BArch Diploma at University in 2000-2001.
In early September, we set sail across the Irish Sea from the UK knowing that many had crossed these waters over the years with various agendas and reasons for going to Ireland. Our trip and our mission was one of peace, of blessing and of proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom to the nation of Ireland. We also nearly got blown off the deck of the ferry, but that's another story!
We had an amazing time in Ireland and found the people to be really friendly and welcoming. We found it to be such a beautiful nation with plenty of rich history and diversity in it's daily life.
Ireland is a very religous nation. Over 88.4% of the population claim to follow the Roman Catholic faith. This fact became very apparent as we travelled around Ireland as we had to make sure we didn't crash into all the statues of Mary that were dotted around the roadside shrines in the countryside! In fact, we found there to be more statues of Mary than roadsigns in Ireland, hence a few wrong turns on our trip - religion never seems to point you in the right direction!
Before we went to Dublin, we made contact with the Lord Mayor of Dublin about our visit. Unfortunately, he was due to be on Holiday when we visited but his assistant and staff were very welcoming when we showed up as a family with our Bibles and letter of blessing! The Lord Mayor of Dublin is based at a beautiful and historic building called the 'Mansion House'
This building was where in 1919, the first Irish Parliament was held after they became independant from rule and governance from Westminister, London. We felt we were in a place of significance and purpose as we gave the word of God into the nation.
We were able to spend an hour with the staff at the Mansion House. They loved our 2 year old son Daniel who immediately took to running up and down the long corridors of power!. We were received in one of the state rooms where the King and Queen of Belgium were due to be welcomed later in September. The staff of the Lord Mayor promised to pass the Bibles and letter from Keri onto the Lord Mayor when he returned from his Holiday.
We spent a great week in and around the Dublin area and declared the prophetic scriptures on the 'Millenium Bridge' on the River Liffey in the centre of Dublin. It was beautiful hot and sunny day when we did this and it was great to declare such prophetic truth as a family over the nation.
The second week of our holiday took us to the West Coast of Ireland to a place called Westport. On our first day there we spotted a shop called 'Good News 4 U'. Rachel immediately said: "that's a Christian Bookshop" and it was!. We went in there a couple of times and talked to the staff who were from a local church in the town. It was great to meet fellow believers and share with them the vision and purpose of Mission 193. It was encouraging to hear that they are involved in many evangelistic activities in the West of Ireland. They are involved with an outreach initiative in giving a free gospel magazine to over 100,000 people in Ireland with an offer to visit people personally with a Bible upon request. In this magazine, it shares testimonies of those who have been saved and miraculously healed by the power of Jesus. It is linked to a good website titled '4 you'
. We left them the letter from Keri and got contact details for future communication, which was a great contact to make.
We loved going to Ireland as a family and we had a great time doing Mission 193 - We know that we will keep Kingdom Mission at the centre of our family life in the years ahead as Daniel and our future kids grow up in an environment of faith to reach the nations with the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
For more pictures of our trip to Ireland, click here
Labels: Ireland, ministries without borders, Mission 193