“God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance” - Romans 8:15-17 (The Message)
Did you know that our ultimate identity is not defined by our passport, driving license or place of birth? Our true identity is found in our relationship with Jesus Christ through the leading & life of the Holy Spirit.
God has been speaking strongly to us as a church about being led by the Spirit and being full of the life of the Spirit. When we flow in the real anointing (1 John 2:27) of the Holy Spirit, we walk in who we truly are. It’s in the life of the Holy Spirit that we find our security in life. It’s in the life of the Holy Spirit that we discover our destiny in the Kingdom. It’s in the life of the Spirit that we come into the full maturity of Christ (Eph 3:14).
There is nothing more secure for a child than to have loving parents that always want the best for their children. That atmosphere of love and direction gives purpose, peace and prosperity to that family. We see this outworked even more in our relationship with God as our Father. He wants the best for us. He loves us. He protects us. He brings security and direction to our lives in all that we do. How does He do this? He does this by the continual outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
“God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” – Romans 5:5 (NIV)
Let’s live in the truth of who we are as God’s children. Let’s live our lives in the river of God’s Spirit, in the flow of His anointing. It’s what we are destined and designed for – the life of the Spirit, every day, every moment in every way.
"Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him" - John 12:41 (NIV)
I read this verse this morning. It really blessed and inspired me. The Apostle John describes the ministry of the prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament as someone who saw the glory of Jesus and spoke about him. The powerful thing about this is that Isaiah lived around 800 years before Jesus even began His ministry on earth! This shows us that the glory of Jesus is eternal. It has no beginning and it has no end. It also points to the truly prophetic nature of the ministry of the prophet Isaiah. He saw the glory of Jesus way before he came to earth.
I've always loved Isaiah 53 where Isaiah prophecies about the death and crucifixion of Christ. It goes into great detail. It's almost like he was fast forwarded into the future to stand at the foot of the cross as he wrote it. This is amazing prophetic ministry and insight.
Praise God for what Isaiah saw and what he spoke about in relation to Jesus. How much more should we who live at the other side of the cross in the power of His resurrection life see the glory of Jesus and speak about him at every opportunity? We have seen and received the life of Christ through the pages of scripture and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We have received all that we need to see more and more of the glory of Jesus everyday and to speak about what we see to the world around us.
As Christians, we are called to be a prophetic people, like Isaiah, who see the glory of Jesus and speak about him to those who are lost, blind and in darkness without the love of Christ in their lives.
Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" - John 3:3 (NIV)
Rachel and I were looking at some photos last night of when Amy was born in January of this year. New Birth is such a radical change of life. It's a very distinct and special event. The birth of my children is up there in the most significant moments of my life so far. However, the most significant moment and decision I have ever made in my life was to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour when I was 9 years old. I was totally lost before that time but when I fully gave my life to Jesus in response to His grace through repentance and faith, I was born again!
Sometimes when I tell people that I am a Christian, they say 'are you one of those 'born again' type Christians?'. My response is always, 'that's the only type of Christian there is!'. The Bible gives us no choice, you are either born again or you are not! Coming into the Kingdom is not some small decision in your life - it is a radical change! Jesus describes this amazing turn around and change in John 3 in the Bible. I'm truly honoured & privileged to say that I am a 'Born Again Christian'. I was a sinner, but now I am a saint. I am saved by His glorious grace, filled with His wonderful Spirit and destined for great things in the Kingdom of God.
I believe God's people should be sure and confident about how they are and what God has made them to be. We are new creations. We have been 'born again'. We have been radically saved and eternally changed - Praise God!
"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable through the living and enduring word of God" - 1 Peter 1:23 (NIV)
A true understanding of our identity in Christ is key to not only our maturity but to our destinies in God. God wants us to know who we are, so that we can be like Christ, so that we can become who God has always destined us to be! The destiny of God for His people is that they know his blessing so they can be a blessing to the world around us. God wants us to know increase in every area of our lives, so that his love, power and wisdom can flow to those around us who are lost, hurting and sick.
God has great things in store for His people! It's time for us to walk in the realities of who we are so that we can be who God has always destined us to be.
"The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen" - Acts 1:1-2 (NASB)
I was sharing with the other Elders this week about what God had been saying to me about the Holy Spirit being visible & vocal. Ezekiel also shared on the truth in relation to Jesus Christ about all that He began to 'do and teach' whilst He was here on earth. It's great to know that Jesus is still doing all that He began to 'do and teach' through the person and power of the Holy Spirit at work in His Church.
So what did Jesus do and teach whilst He was here on earth? Jesus taught on the Kingdom of God at every opportunity. He taught the disciples what Heaven on Earth is like as he raised the dead, cast out demons, healed the sick and saved the lost. Jesus did many great things; He was a man of devotion & fellowship, He cared for the poor, He prayed and fasted, He only did what He saw His Father doing in Heaven. Jesus Christ was a man of radical action. The Holy Spirit is now the ongoing power and action of the Godhead at work in our lives. He is equipping and anointing us as God's people to be 'visible and vocal', and to 'do and teach' all that Jesus began in His ministry on earth. The Kingdom is ever advancing as the Holy Spirit flows in power & action through the Church of Jesus Christ.
There are good works for all of God's people to do to continue with this amazing Kingdom vision and mission. It's not just for the few, it's for all who are filled, led and anointed by the Holy Spirit.
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" - Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
"God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear" - Acts 2:32-33 (NIV)
When Peter preached at Pentecost in Acts 2, he described the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as something that you could see and something you could hear. It was visible and it was vocal. That is what the Holy Spirit is like. You can see what He is doing and you can hear what He is saying.
I believe that this truth is a key for the church. The Bible reveals that our true identity in Christ is found in the leading of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14). The Kingdom of God is in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17) and our ongoing freedom in Christ is found as we allow the Holy Spirit to move in and through our lives (2 Corinthians 3:17).
As God's people, we are called to be visible and vocal. The world needs to see what God is doing in our lives through our words and in our deeds. This is the way that Jesus impacted the world in His time here on earth (Luke 24:19). God has destined that His glory and power would be seen and heard through the showcase of the church here on earth. The Church is the theatre of heaven to the world around us. We are the house of God, the gate of heaven where God's Kingdom will be announced, proclaimed and demonstrated. We are a visible and vocal people.
We spent some time praying together as a church for Zimbabwe last night. We prayed for a peaceful solution to the current problems in the nation and for a future that is built on justice, integrity and righteousness.
On Saturday, there is a summit of various leaders of nations that surround Zimbabwe. South Africa's President, Thabo Mbeki (above right) will chair and lead this meeting. He is a key man now as he mediates in the political vacuum that Zimbabwe is currently in.
Let's pray that the peace, justice and rule of God is seen in that nation.
We're currently running a Joining King's Church Course in our home. This course is for those who are new to the church and want to find out more about our vision and values as a church community. There are 9 people on the course in our home. They come from Nigeria, Cameroon and Mexico and we meet right in the centre of Withington! They are a great group of people.
Over the last 3 weeks we've seen some of them get baptised in water, some get baptised in the Holy Spirit and this wednesday night somebody was healed. She rang us at 7:30am on thursday to tell us how amazing it was to be healed and that nothing had ever happened to her like that before! Others on the course have testified about coming into fresh clarity and revelation about their identity and destiny in Christ.
Its great to welcome people from all over the world into our home. We're going to finish the course with a meal and an evening of breaking bread and fellowship together. God is doing great things in and through His Church in this time. We are such a blessed people!
"Local Churches are designed by God to be crucibles of discipleship. They are communities for Christ-likeness, placed throughout the world, so that Christ may be seen and His transforming power known in every place"
Graham Cray, Disciples & Citizens, Inter Varsity Press, Nottingham, UK, 2007
Location: Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Why the title 'Thousands and Millions'?
Well, it's a statement of Faith, a dream, a mission statement for my life and witness as a believer in the house of God and a lover of Jesus living to make him famous
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