Father's Day 2018

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Father's Day 2018

FATHER'S DAY

Today I want to talk to you about WHY it’s important to celebrate Fathers day. 

  1. With the negativity so often attached to the reality of Fathers, it’s easy to forget that beneath it all there is also an underlying assault on our respect of fatherhood and honor of fathering. 
  2. The other reason to celebrate Fathers day is because you can find good in anything if you try.
  3. Thirdly celebrating fathers, is a celebration of the truth of Fatherhood.

Don't Expect More; Extract More!

We are usually focused on what we EXPECT dad’s to do. But imagine instead of expecting more, we extracted more, instead of expecting to it get better, we extracted something better.  Instead of expecting love, we extracted love. Instead of expecting his presence, we extracted his presence.  Instead of expecting him to communicate, we extracted communication.  Your dad has a lot to say if you can get him to say it.  He has a lot of love if you can extract it. He has a lot of pride if you can extract it. 


Ephesians 3:18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Gods love for you is.

It’s a struggle to understand how much God the Father loves us… And he’s perfect so imagine the challenge to understand whether our earthly dad really loves us. 

This is the at the crux of all our issues.  Does he really love us?  

So what does God want from us? If we can understand that we will also understand what our dad’s want from us.


Matt 18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven

Jesus said the greatest person in the kingdom of heaven was those who had the attitude of a child.   What does it mean to have the attitude of a little child.  A little child doesn’t wait for you to reach out first. A little child is the first to reach out, first to forgive, first to trust. 


  1. EXTRACT DON'T EXPECT
  2. BE GRATEFUL
  3. FORGIVENESS

 

 

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The Holy Spirit

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The Holy Spirit

THE HOLY SPIRIT

Acts 1:4 4 And while being in their company and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak.(A) 5For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with ([a]placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit. 8But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

John 7:37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.


What he isn't

What he is:  A person

Why we find it hard to understand how to relate to him.

Explanation of the trinity

The role of the members of the trinity.

  • The Father issues the commands. He speaks
  • Jesus does it. He fulfils the command
  • The Holy Spirit manifests it. He reveals it.

The role of the Holy Spirit in salvation.

Why was it good that Jesus leave.  

THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ACCORDING TO JESUS


John 14:15

If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. 16And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever--      17The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.  19Just a little while now, and the world will not see Me any more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.  20At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you.  21The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]  23Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.  24Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me. 25I have told you these things while I am still with you. 

 26But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. 

 27Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

13But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. 

  14He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you. 

    15Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.


CONFUSION ABOUT BAPTISM IN WATER AND BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.  

HOW IMPORTANT DID JESUS REGARD THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT


Luke 24:49"I am going to send you what my Father promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

Acts 1: 4"Don't leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about .  For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit"


NB;  A persons last words before they leave are their most important.

WHAT ARE THE EVIDENCES OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

(i)  You receive power

  • Power to speak  (Acts 4;  31)

 "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly"

  • Power to be above average  (Acts 4;13)

 Acts 4;13  "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled and ordinary men they were astonished and took note that these men had been with Jesus"

ii)  You receive vision

 Acts 2;17  "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy.  Your young men will see visions.

(iii)  A new prayer language

Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. 

2For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit


THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GIFT OF TONGUES AND THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.


1 Cor 14;

14 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[b] but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues,[c] unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.

6 Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.

13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,[d] say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.

18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.

20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Law it is written:

“With other tongues

    and through the lips of foreigners

I will speak to this people,

    but even then they will not listen to me,

says the Lord.”[e]

22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

Good Order in Worship

26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.

29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

34 Women[f] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.[g]

36 Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.[h]

39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.


There is a big difference between the gift of tongues to be used in a meeting and tongues as the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  1 Cor 12-14 is talking about the manifestation gifts of the Holy spirit, not the baptism of the Holy spirit.

Must understand that chapter 14 of 1 Cor is talking about the use of the gift of tongues in church.  If we follow the line of reasoning that some people use to stop people speaking in tongues then we need to be consistent and tell the women to keep silent in the church.  Must read it contextually.

Must understand that chapter 14 of 1 Cor is talking about the use of the gift of tongues in church.  If we follow the line of reasoning that some people use to stop people speaking in tongues then we need to be consistent and tell the women to keep silent in the church.  Must read it contextually.

Some say that according to 1 Cor 13 that tongues have ceased.  In context it is referring to when we we see Jesus.


WHAT DOES HE WANTS FROM US

a)  Availability

Luke 11:  9 “So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who [h]keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you, then, being evil [that is, sinful by nature], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!”

b) Hunger

c)  Relationship with him

d)  Openness


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Joy Part 1

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Joy Part 1

30 days of Joy - Part 1

1. Joy is a supernatural Pain Killer!

2. Joy produces extraordinary tenacity.

Hebrews 12:12 - Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that was put before him.

3. Joy overpowers trouble

James 1:2 - Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

Nehemiah 8:10 - And Nehemiah said,  Stop your crying“Go and celebrate…… for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”

Right from the beginning of creation, God gave us a formula for life. 


Genesis 1 - 3Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4And God saw that it was good. . 9And God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky be gathered into one place so dry ground may appear.” And God saw that it was good. 12The land was filled with seed-bearing plants and trees, And God saw that it was good.  14And God said, “Let bright lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night.. And God saw that it was good.  21So God created great sea creatures and every sort of fish and every kind of bird. And God saw that it was good.  24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth every kind of animal—And God saw that it was good. 26Then God said, “Let us make people£ in our image, to be like ourselves 31Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way. And God rested...

Right here in the first chapter of the bible, God’s unveils the first secret to living the life you’ve always wanted.


God’s pattern was very simple: Work/celebrate/work/celebrate/work/celebrate/work/celebrate/REST


Every day when God had done his work, he stopped and looked at what he had done and he celebrated. 

  • Serious Achievements 
  • Rest 
  • Superb Celebrations 

God was so serious about this that he even wrote it in law as a command for his people to follow.   God decreed celebration.

Leviticus 23:39 “‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, after you have worked hard, celebrate a  festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest.


1.  Celebration produces joy and joy produces strength.

Proverbs says "A merry heart does you good.  It’s like medicine."

Nehemiah told them to stop their crying.  

In verse 10  of chapter 8 it says And Nehemiah said,  Stop your crying“Go and celebrate……Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”

If joy brings strength, then a lack of it brings weakness.  

2. Celebration reinforces Hope

People going through rehabilitation after a car accident.  Every little milestone is celebrated, no matter how small. These celebrations reinforce the feeling that I can make it.

3. Celebration is the video camera of the soul.

Celebration is the video camera of the soul.  Celebration captures the achievements and growth moments in your life, and turns them into joy filled memories that are filed and stored away in your mind and heart. 

The celebration events become markers in your life.  Statements that life has been good to me.  They become almost like a dossier of facts in your life.  Evidence that build a case in your own mind that life is good and that God is with you.

It’s so easy to forget how far you’ve come. You have survived illness. You have got back from the bare bones of your backside and now you can start actually seeing a bright side.  

In Psalms 118:24 it says “This day is the day the lord has made, I will rejoice, I will celebrate and be glad in it.” 


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God Will Protect His Promise

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God Will Protect His Promise

God Will Protect His Promise

 

Genesis 17:15-16

15  And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai; but Sarah [Princess] her name shall be. 16 And I will bless her and give you a son also by her. Yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.


Not only did God make a promise to Abraham but he also gave a promise to Sarah


1. YOU HAVE A PROMISE

Abraham is commonly known as a type of God the Father in the Bible. He deposits seed into Sarah, the seed of promise. It is she who has to nurture that seed, protect it, nourish it and then give birth to it in order for the promise to live.

Sarah was given a promise by God but before the promise was given though, God changed Sarai’s name. 

Sarai means my princess, it is a possessive title given to her by her father or mother, it’s a local name; she is princess in the context of her family unit alone.

God changes her name to Sarah, which means Princess, in other words, not only is she a princess in her family of origin but she is recognized globally as a Princess.

She has gone from local acknowledgement of her royalty to a global recognition of who she is and the authority on her life.

God wants to change our perspective before we are ready to give birth to the promise, he wants us to think bigger, to go from local thinking, to global thinking. He wants us to expand our circle of influence, wants us to understand the power of the promise to extend beyond this family and into the nations of the world. 


2. WHAT IS THE PROMISE?

That promise Is 3 fold first he changes her name, he overrides the natural and speaks into her life, I don’t care what they called you, I call you this!

Then he promises her three things

  1. You will have my favour and joy in your life - I will bless you
  2. You will be fruitful you will have a son 
  3. You will have great Influence - rise to nations kings of peoples will come from you.

It’s the birth of the promise that creates the change for the future!

This promise was impossible in the natural and yet Sarah embraced it with faith, believing that God was faithful


Hebrews 11:11

And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.


3. WHAT MAN DOES TO THE PROMISE

Genesis 20:1-2

Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her


Sadly, Abraham and Sarah try to protect the promise themselves. They are faced with new surroundings and circumstances that produce fear in them. Instead of trusting God to protect His promise they put the promise in jeopardy.

They have to rely on God’s supernatural power and yet as soon as they are faced with fear they try to protect the promise using natural schemes and means.

1. THEY MADE WRONG ASSUMPTIONS

Genesis 20:11

11 Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.’.

2. THEY TWISTED THE FACTS 

And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her.

3. THEY BLAMED GOD FOR THEIR POOR DECISIONS 

Genesis 20:1-2

Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 

He was called out of his father’s house but he wasn’t called to wander


This results is:

1. Her being removed from the source of the seed of promise

2. Puts her in a position where she is vulnerable to being impregnated with a second rate substitute for the promise


4. GOD PROTECTS HIS PROMISE

This is the best thing about this story! You read and see that God swings into action. It’s His promise, He will protect it. It’s His Word that is being challenged by the circumstances, and God cannot lie or His word fail.


Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction [for what He has promised]. Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?


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WISDOM PART TWO

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WISDOM PART TWO

BUILDING GOD A HOUSE


Ezra 4:4 Then the people around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.

Ezra 4:5 They hired counsellors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.


Hag 1:2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the Lord's house to be built.'"  3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 

Hag 1:8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. 

Hag 1:13-14  Then Haggai, the Lord's messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: "I am with you," declares the LORD. So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God,


Hag 2:9 'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the LORD Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the LORD Almighty."


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KILL THE ENEMIES OF WISDOM

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KILL THE ENEMIES OF WISDOM

WISDOM

To seek wisdom in old age is like a mark in the sand; to seek wisdom in Youth is like an inscription on stone. 

-- Solomon Ben Gabirol (C. 1020-1070)


Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 


There are 2 ways to get wisdom:

  1. Life’s experiences
  2. From God

The problem with relying on life’s experiences for wisdom: By the time you have it, you have no energy to use it, and all you can do is become an advisor to the next generation. 


Proverbs 2:6  For the Lord gives wisdom.

2 Chronicles 1:7-12 7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.  10Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 11God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you.

Deut 34:9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. 


Imagine if you had the spirit of wisdom. What would happen to your life? Your life would largely be mistake-free. 

There are many scriptures about the result of wisdom in Solomon:

1 Kings 4:20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy. 21 And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon’s subjects all his life. 25 During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, each man under his own vine and fig tree.


It all started with:

 

  1. A desire inside Solomon to be wise

1 Kings 2:1-12 1 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.  2“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, show yourself a man, 3and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go,  5“Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. 6 Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace. 8 “And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD: ‘I will not put you to death by the sword.’ 9But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. 

He said Solomon, you have a wonderful future but there are going to be threats that challenge your future, that will interfere with God’s purpose for your life. 

The 3 enemies of wisdom in Solomons life were Adonijah, Joab and Shimei and each of them represented a real threat to his future. 

  1. Adonijah represents Pride and Ambition. 
  2. Shimei represents the voice of Negativity
  3. Joab represents an "I'll do whatever I want" spirit.

1 Kings 2:8 “And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim."

1 Kings 2:35-36 Next the king sent for Shimei. Solomon said to him, “Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and live there. Don’t leave the city. 37 The very day you leave and cross the Kidron Valley, someone will kill you, and it will be your own fault.”

Solomon said I will let you live, but you must stay within the boundaries I set for you. 

Don’t allow Negativity to get out. Don’t let negative thoughts turn into negative words which then become negative actions.  

Joab represents an "I’ll do whatever I want" spirit.  

Joab only ever did what he thought was right. Joab’s name means God, but in making decisions by himself, Joab became his own God. 

An "I’ll do whatever I want" spirit supports pride and ambitious attitudes and it will get you into serious trouble. 

Joshua got into trouble when he forgot to consult. 

An independent spirit is a threat to the spirit of wisdom on your life, because it brings deception.  It tells you to follow your heart, instead of the Holy Spirit.  


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Mother's Day

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Mother's Day

MOTHERS DAY 2018

Luke 1: Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.[b]  24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 "The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people."  

26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."   34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[c] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God." 


Listen to Zachariah’s response to the angel


18 Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”  


Think about the fact that God has not spoken or done anything powerful for 400 years. These women have never experienced the supernatural power of God. They have never experienced anything except religion. That’s all they know. And into that silence God speaks.  

Women have a great ability to believe, to have great faith. 

You could hardly get two different women. One is a teenager, the other is an older woman. God gives a promise to a woman that doesn’t really know God and he speaks to a woman who is disappointed with God. 

I don’t believe we will see the kind of impact that we could see, until the women rise up. God’s plan for his New Testament was a plan that involved women in a great way.

You see it’s one thing to be told God wants to use you. It’s one thing to have a vision like Mary did, it’s one thing to hear the voice of God speak to you but it’s completely another thing to BELIEVE IT. To accept it. To embrace it. To prepare yourself for it, to be bold and say what Mary said.  


35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[c] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God." 38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. 39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.


It takes one thing to hear, it takes another thing to believe. To believe that your child will change the world. To believe that you are part of the answer. To believe that God hasn’t overlooked you or that God would in fact want to use you. 

On the other hand, sometimes the call by God results in seclusion  


24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.


Sometimes preparing for the future, means not being seen. You are serving faithfully but no one can see you. You are in seclusion being prepared for the great outing of your destiny. Realize the seclusion is preparation for the celebration. 

I want to pray for you today Ladies that this is the season God shows up. Don’t abandon your focus. Don’t be tempted to get cynical or leave or run. Stay in the pocket. Stay planted and allow God to give you a word about what he’s about to do inside you that will change the world.  


Coming up at Influencers....

 

 

 

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THE WINNING SOUL PART 2

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THE WINNING SOUL PART 2

THE GIFT OF FAITH

THE WINNING SOUL PART 2

Heb 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them,[a] not being mixed with faith in those who heard it

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


  • Faith is a substance that is deposited into your heart when the Holy Spirit speaks to you.  
  • It gives you an unusual excitement.
  • It gives you a strong and unusual peace
  • It gives you an unusual assurance that it’s going to happen.
  • It gives you an unusual confidence that won’t leave you.
  • It gives you an unusual boldness
  • It feels weighty

Ephesians 2:8 It’s by grace that you have been saved through FAITH. It’s a gift from God. 

1 Cor 12:9 To another the gift of faith by the same Spirit;


  • An unusual ability to see the big picture and go hard for it. 
  • To believe for unusual favor.  
  • To believe for unusual breakthrough.  
  • An unusual ability to not be affected by trouble. 
  • An unusual ability to see that every deficiency as an opportunity for God to move and have the ability to believe for it to happen. 

Roman 12:3 Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you.

2 Cor 10:15 But our hope is that as your faith increases, 

Luke 17 Disciples said INCREASE OUR FAITH.  


Coming up at Influencers

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The Blessed Life Pt 1

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The Blessed Life Pt 1

THE BLESSED LIFE - WEEK 1

3 John 2  I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.

Today we start one of the greatest adventures you will experience - understanding and implementing the blessed life.

The word Blessed is the word Makarios and it appears 50x in the bible.  It means to be happy and to be envied by others. It describes a believer who is envied by others because there is evidence of God’s favor on them. Makarios also means to prosper very much in the same way as 3 John 2. To have a good journey because God is working for you.

Makarios is a divine act. An act of God to BESTOW blessing on you. It is not earned by you, it is endowed by God on you.  

3107 makários (from mak-, "become long, large") – properly, when God extends His benefits (the advantages He confers); blessed.

The hebrew word for makarios in the OT is the word Esher.

 
Psalms 1: Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

 

A tree prospers when it’s roots are good.  

 

For a tree to have good roots it must have 3 things:

  1. Be planted in the right place.

  2. Be in a right atmosphere. eg; you can grow roses in Adelaide, but not tropical fruit like bananas and mangos. The soil is good, but the atmosphere is not.  

  3. Be free from disease

 

For your soul to prosper you need to 3 things:

  1. to be planted in the right place.

  2. to create the right atmosphere

  3. to be free from disease.

 

This year I want you to commit yourself to these 3 things:

1.  Being planted, not just attending a life giving church.   

2. Create the right atmosphere so you can grow.

3.  Be free from disease.

 

Diseases are things like fear/anxiety/biblical unbelief/worry/anger/love of money/ love of pleasure.

Today I want to examine the great manifesto of the blessed life preached by Jesus in what is known as the sermon on the mount.

It’s the sermon where we find the Lord’s prayer, and the beatitudes. It's message tells us not to worry,  it’s the sermon which talks about us being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The Sermon on the Mount is the centerpiece of Jesus teaching on life as a follower of Christ and It’s the manifesto of living a blessed life.  In fact it boldly starts with headlines of the blessed life.   

Matthew 5:3-10 (NIV) 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

When Jesus addressed the people with his treatise on blessing he was upending all of their priorities. They lived with doing and not being. They followed other peoples priorities like the Romans. They followed the laws of the Pharisees. It was about doing. God called us to be human beings not human doings.  

As Jesus speaks, he tears to shreds their current priorities and gives them a new list of priorities.

 

PRIORITY # 1 Don’t worry be happy

 

Jesus' good news was this; there is hope people! The challenges of life are nothing to worry about if you are blessed.  

 

PRIORITY #2 Live from the inside out

 

As he opens up the 8 blessed life principles Jesus is teaching them about how to detach themselves from the oppression and religion that surrounded them and to live from the inside out. He focuses on the attainment of liberty and blessing by the power and the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers.

 

PRIORITY #3 Father first, Jesus First, The Holy Spirit First

In the blessed life you aren’t the center of your life, Jesus is.

Luke 7:37 On the last day of the great feast, Jesus stood up and said.  He who is thirsty let him come and drink and as the scriptures say, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

The Jews thought that the centre of the world was Jerusalem.  

They thought the center of Jerusalem was the temple.  

It was a symbol of Ezekiel’s prophecy in Ezekiel 47 where there was prophesied that one day there would be a river that would come from the throne of God and it would heal everything and turn everything around.  

Well Jesus right in the middle of their religion and ritual stands up and says, that’s not where the river of life is going to come from. I’m the water of life, I’m the river, I’m the center of it all. If you are thirsty come to ME and rivers of living will flow out of you. The revival you are looking for in your family is in ME. The financial breakthrough you are searching for is in ME.  The joy you are looking for is in ME. The peace you need is in ME. The rest you need is in ME.  

THE SECRET TO A BLESSED LIFE. THE SECRET TO BREAKTHROUGH IS PUTTING THE RIGHT THINGS AS PRIORITIES.


It’s simple really; if you want to build a great house, then you start with the foundations, then you build the rest. You don’t start with the TV or the airconditioning. You put the right things first.

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Boundaries Part 2

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Boundaries Part 2

YOU ASKED FOR IT - PART 2

 

Welcome to our new series where we asked you to submit your questions and topics that you would like us to answer or address. One of the most repeated themes in the questions that have been asked is to do with boundaries.

 

When we recognise that our boundaries have been violated or ignored we are then faced with several options

  • To build a fortress of protection around ourselves so that we will never be hurt again
  • Allow people free run through our lives to keep other people happy
  • To build boundaries into our lives that control the way people have access to our treasure.
  • The problem is that the first two options come almost instinctively to us. Depending upon our circumstances or personality we either build huge walls fortifying ourselves from the world, never letting anyone close to us, keeping out the bad but also unfortunately keeping out the good, or we allow the bad to remain so that we can occasionally experience the good.

    We need to realise that boundaries are not fortresses they are walls with gates that let the good in and keep the bad out.

    They are boundaries that will give others clear signals about the rules of relationship with us. 

    How do you know if you are building a fortress?  

  • You will feel lonely and isolated, 
  • Others will struggle to get to know you, 
  • You will be misunderstood in relationships because people don’t have enough information to make good judgements about you. 
  • You will feel like people don’t care about you or really see who you are .
  • If you use the walls to hide who you are on the inside, if you struggle to have honesty in your relationships with others then you are at risk of being a fortress builder.

    The Apostle Paul was having this problem with the Corinthian church.

    2 Corinthians 6:11 Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you. Our hearts are open to you. 12If there is a problem between us, it is not because of a lack of love on our part, but because you have withheld your love from us. 13I am talking now as I would to my own children. Open your hearts to us!”

     

    Last week I spoke about 2 laws that govern the way we function on an emotional level.  

    These are the laws that we need to use as guidelines, for what is “normal” when we are setting boundaries.  If you have a boundary problem it will be one of these laws that has been ignored or broken.

     

  • THE LAW OF SOWING AND REAPING

Galatians 6:11 (NLT) “Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!”     

That means if we sow irresponsible behaviour, then we will reap pain and the consequences of that behaviour.  If someone else sows irresponsible behaviour then they too should reap what THEY have sown.  This law was set up to stop us from destroying ourselves it was set up so that we would learn and grow from our mistakes to become responsible people.  When boundary problems exist we interfere with this law that God has set in place, by refusing to own the consequences of our behaviour or taking the consequences for someone elses bad behaviour ourselves in an effort to “help them".

 

  • THE LAW OF TO AND FOR

    This brings us to the next law of which says that we are responsible TO others not FOR others. Those parents are responsible to their son to be the best parents they can be for him, but they must make him responsible FOR his own choices and actions.

    Galatians 6:4-5 “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.”
Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”    
 

THE LAW OF THE PENDULUM

If you are human you will struggle with a little word called balance. Our pendulum either gets stuck on pleasing others, or on protecting ourselves.

When our pendulum gets stuck over here (pleasing others) we will do everything in our power to please other people, including neglecting our own needs, not setting boundaries in case we lose their love.   OR we get stuck trying to protect ourselves so we build up fortress like walls to take care of ourselves and then rob others of relational intimacy with us and rob ourselves of the good others have to offer while we are focussed on keeping the bad out!

If our pendulum is stuck at either end we will end up messing with our ability to establish healthy relationships.  

We need to recognise where we are stuck, realize that Both of these extremes are selfish because the motivation behind both is the meeting of our own needs. Then make a decision to allow something other than our own needs to be the magnetic pull for our pendulum.

Jesus gives us the simple answer in the Bible. 

Matthew 22:35-40 (NIV)
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

 

  • Love God
  • Love others as yourself

While we are hanging onto the hope of what in some cases can never be we are also holding onto a lot of hurt and garbage that is accumulating in our lives and it is this that stops us from being free to set healthy boundaries.

Another powerful key to forgiving is to recognise that you too have been forgiven. It’s easier to extend forgiveness when you recognise that you yourself need and have been extended forgiveness

 

Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 

 

When you love God, you will focus on pleasing him first, and then self-love and love for others will find their correct place in your life.

SO I KNOW I HAVE A PROBLEM…..

Okay so maybe you have realised over these last two weeks that you have some boundary issues in your life?  That is the first step towards healing!  Where do you go from here?

HOW CAN I FIX IT?

1. Change your roots

It’s the symptoms of our boundary problems that are the things that we notice the most, so these are the things we tend to concentrate on when we are trying to fix the problem.  But like any sickness if we just treat the symptoms it produces then they will constantly re-occur unless we deal with the thing that is causing the symptoms

It is frightening to begin to plug the depths of our need, when we come to the realisation that we are broken people without the ability to fix ourselves

It is even scarier when we realise that those we have looked to, to fix us are no more capable of doing that than we are.

The only way to deal with the root of a problem is to regraft the plant onto another root source.  If the plant is weak and producing poor fruit then it is cut off and grafted onto a strong root source so that it will improve the quality of it’s fruit.  

Why are we sick?  The Bible says it is because we are separated from the source of life, God.  When we are separated from Him, the roots that we have, have produced the fruit of broken relationships, anger fear, pain, guilt, depression, and confusion as to what is ‘normal.’

 

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 

 

We need to be connected to God, grafted into Him, so that His life source will produce good fruit in our lives.  We can try hard ourselves to do the right thing to meet others needs, to have our needs met but in the end we are only human.  Apart from God, the Bible says we can do nothing, nothing that is balanced and objective, without the pull of past dysfunction. (Going to give people an opportunity to do this at the end of my message today)

2. Work out what we have power to fix

A lot of our energy goes on trying to change the people around us and blaming them for the way we act.  But if we need to realise that our power boundary is our skin.  In other words we only really have the power to change the things that are INSIDE our skin, and we are powerless to change the things that are outside our skin.  We need to realise that we can’t change anyone else but we do have the power to change ourselves into the person I should be.

Phillipians 2:12-13  “Therefore, my dear friends,………—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

It is God and us working together that will bring change.

And we need to understand that the dynamic of change in us will cause pressure on those around us who have been part of or have got comfortable with our boundary problems, and still want us to behave the way we used to in relationship with them.

3. Own the bad fruit

The first thing we do when there is a problem is to look for someone to blame. We learn this as kids.  Mum comes in and she says, “Who did this?” The first thing we do is point the finger.  It was the first thing Adam did in the garden. “It was the woman you gave me, she made me do it”

The problem you have, might not be your fault but it is your responsibility. 

Let me explain.  If a drunk driver were to hit you as you were driving along in your car.  As a result of the accident you are left by the side of the road, with two broken legs.  Whose fault would it be?  The drunk driver’s of course.  But he’s probably not going to come back and fix your legs, even if he did he wouldn’t be of any use to you!  

Now, you can lie in your hospital bed and blame that person, curse and shout and say that life is not fair but the only way you are going to recover is to go to the physio, start moving those muscles, and building up strength back into your legs.

In the same way, the things that have happened to you in the past may not have been your fault but now as an adult you have to take responsibility for your healing and recovery.  It’s realising that although we may not be to blame for the roots, we have to own the fruit that this has produced.  We need to own the fruit of poor boundary setting in our lives, the depression, relational conflict, anger, desire to control, whatever it might be and decide to fix it.  One of the things that will help us to begin this process will be to….

4. Disconnect from the past through forgiveness 

Forgiveness is a letting go.  It doesn’t just involve words and feelings; it is the action of letting go. 

We have to let our pain go or it will end up controlling our whole lives.  All we will be able to think and talk about is our pain.

The key to getting rid of it, to disconnect from the past, is forgiveness

If we have been hurt or disappointed by someone and we haven’t forgiven them, it is like we are holding hands with that person deep in our soul. The unforgiveness we hold on to maintains the relationship with the person that has caused us pain.  Have you ever met someone who seems to find themselves in the same kind of hurtful relationships over and over again?  That is because they haven’t found freedom in forgiveness, the pain is constantly with them, so they find someone else to replay that pain with.

The forgiveness process is our only ticket to freedom, because we let go of our relational ties to those who have hurt us.  The reason we hold on to these ties is that we want something from these people.  We may be longing for their love, looking for an apology or acknowledgment of wrong on their part, or seeking retribution or compensation for the harm that they have done.  Many of us feel that these people owe us something.

It is for this reason that the forgiveness process involves grief, we are losing the hope of ever getting even, or the hope of getting the love from that person that we desire.  It is a sad thing to realise that Mum or Dad, our ex, a friend or a business partner may never love us the way we want them to, or to realise that we can’t FIX the situation.  We need to let this expectation go, cry over it. The Bible says “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted”.

CONTINUING NEXT SUNDAY

YOU ASKED FOR IT

Coming up at Influencers...

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YOU ASKED FOR IT

3 Comments

YOU ASKED FOR IT

YOU ASKED FOR IT - PART 1

 

Welcome to our new series! Where we asked you to submit your questions and topics that you would like us to answer or address. One of the most repeated themes in the questions that have been asked, is to do with boundaries.

  • How do I set boundaries in my marriage?

  • At what point does helping someone out, stop helping them and hurt them… or me?

  • Why can’t I ever say “no” without feeling guilty all the time?

  • Why do I have this desire to please others all the time but yet I never seem to be able to?

  • Why do people always take advantage of me?

  • Why does my life feel so out of control, no matter what I try to do to control things?

  • Why can’t I get my kids to listen to me?

I wanted to address this topic as we go into Thanksgiving week, and many of us will be gathering together with people who in the past have not respected our boundaries. The majority of conflict between people is based on the fact that each of them has a differing opinion about where boundary lines should be drawn.

Whether we realize it or not we are influenced by boundaries every minute of every day.  Our skin is a boundary that keeps our insides from spilling out, we park within boundaries (or we should!) whenever we go shopping. Most of us also try and stay within the boundaries of the law each day.  We automatically stop when we see ahead that the light has turned yellow or red, we stay on our side of the road, and the middle line provides a boundary for us that we don’t cross.  We have fences around our property that says ‘your property ends here and it’s also where my property begins.’ We all have an invisible line drawn around us that is the boundary of our personal space. We have all had the experience of feeling uncomfortable when the boundary is invaded without our permission.  

We are familiar with these sorts of boundaries and they provide a reliable consistent way in which we can relate to our physical world without experiencing harm.  

Think of all those physical boundaries that we observe each day.

Imagine what would happen if we ignored these boundaries or didn’t realize that they existed

It would be utter chaos, our lives would become confused, and the things that we are used to providing security for us would no longer be reliable.  We would feel extremely vulnerable, it would be like being involved in a game where you had no idea of the rules, you would be too scared to step outside for fear of serious injury!

The boundaries of our physical lives have been clearly laid out for us, we know and have been taught where they lie, but many of us are not so clear about emotional boundaries, where they should be placed in order to conduct our emotional lives without serious injury to others or ourselves.

This is often because the home we grew up in lacked clear and healthy emotional boundaries.  

Maybe abuse violated your boundaries, or maybe you were never given permission to be yourself, always having to fit into someone else’s idea of who you should be and how you should act.  

Whatever the case was for you, you did not have the correct information to establish a clear picture of what is ‘normal.’ As a result, what ever you grew up with becomes ‘normal’ for you.  

The problem is that every one grew up in a different house with a different idea of what was ‘normal’ behavior!

What is an emotional or personal boundary?

A PERSONAL BOUNDARY DEFINES WHERE I END AND WHERE I BEGIN.

It defines who I am, who I am not, and what I am responsible for.

We need boundaries in our relationships, healthy ones, just as much as we need them in our physical lives.  They keep us ‘together’ just as effectively as our skin does!

When we recognize that our boundaries have been violated or ignored we are then faced with several options

  1. To build a fortress of protection around ourselves so that we will never be hurt again

  2. Go compliant and allow people free run through our lives, telling ourselves that’s the way to get people to like us.

  3. To build boundaries into our lives that control the way people have access to our treasure.

The problem is that the first two options come almost instinctively to us. Depending upon our circumstances or personality we either build huge walls fortifying ourselves form the world never letting anyone close to us, keeping out the bad but also unfortunately keeping out the good, or we allow the bad to remain so that we can occasionally experience the good.

We need to realise that boundaries are not fortresses they are walls with gates that let the good in and keep the bad out.

These walls protect the three things that define who we really are: our feelings, our beliefs and our behavior. They are boundaries that will give others clear signals about the rules of relationship with us.  

We can use words, geographical and emotional distance and time, to put boundaries in place. God has made each of us with the need for physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries, and when these boundaries are functioning we are healthy, and happy!  

 

Symptoms of boundary trouble

We know we are sick when symptoms appear, When we have a problem with boundaries in our lives there are also symptoms, which begin to appear.

  1. Depression. This comes when we realise that our lives are out of control, we feel overwhelmed by life and at a loss!  We feel trapped and can’t see any way out, no matter how hard we have tried things just don’t seem to improve.

  2. Resentment. Resentment comes when we can’t handle the external control that others have over us and we grieve the loss of freedom.

  3. Rage or anger problems.The result of someone constantly being pushed against their objections, this builds up over a long period of time until only a little thing pushes them over the edge.

  4. Obsessive Compulsive problems. Where people develop ritualistic routines to gain control over something in their lives

  5. Loss of freedom in relationships, people are either directly controlled by others (a person who can’t say “no” is usually attracted to a person who can’t hear “no.”) or are indirectly controlled through guilt, fear and manipulation.  They always feel like they are treading on eggshells in the relationship.

  6. The inability to complete tasks or achieve goals. If we don’t have boundaries we are not in control of our ship, we don’t know where we are going or what we are doing.

  7. Extreme disorganization. People who find it hard to set boundaries will allow everyone else’s priorities to intrude into their lives. They will constantly be interrupted by the needs and wants of others and will be unable to focus on what they should be achieving.

  8. Decreased energy levels. As a result of doing things because I’m compelled to, rather than being called to.

 

Myths about boundaries

 

1. If I set boundaries I’m being selfish, you are actually being a good steward of the treasure that God has given you.

2. If I set boundaries I am going to lose the love of others.  If the people you are in relationship with can’t hear you say ‘no’ to them every so often then the thing that you are describing as love is not love it is a manipulated counterfeit.

3. If I set boundaries I will hurt others.  Does a pavement hurt a drunk?  Boundaries only hurt if you keep running into them and ignoring their existence.  The truth is that by not setting boundaries with people, we are allowing them to develop and continue behavior that is offensive and this will be the thing that hurts them in the end.

Proverbs 27:6 “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses”

Pain teaches us things, it will teach others things too. Just because they feel bad, does not mean that they are being harmed.

  1. Boundaries mean I’m angry.  Boundaries are proactive not reactive. When you set boundaries in the right place you actually get less angry because you don’t ever get to the point where you “have had enough and are ready to explode”

  2. When others set boundaries it injures me. That’s because you are looking to others to meet your needs, and making them responsible for the things that are your responsibility.

  3. But they have done so much for me. When someone has done so much for us the right response is gratitude not guilt.  Love is always a free gift and when you respond to love in guilty compliance you are not being loving.

  4. Once I set a boundary it can’t change. You are in control of your boundaries.  Circumstances change and so can boundaries, mature people can always negotiate.  Eg; the kids

Boundaries are walls with doors or perhaps a fence with a gate is a better description.  They are not meant to function as a fortress.  How do you know if you are building a fortress?  Others will not be able to see inside!  

  • if you use the walls to hide who you are on the inside,

  • If defense is your first reaction when people approach.

  • if you struggle to have honesty in your relationships with others

Then you are at risk of being a fortress builder.

The Apostle Paul was having this problem with the Corinthian church.

2 Corinthians 7:11 Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you. Our hearts are open to you. 12 If there is a problem between us, it is not because of a lack of love on our part, but because you have withheld your love from us. 13 I am talking now as I would to my own children. Open your hearts to us!”

You can’t exist in healthy relationships behind fortress walls, you need honesty and open hearts.

Setting boundaries is not a fight for your rights but a freedom to choose.

THE LAWS THAT GOVERN BOUNDARIES

Now there are physical principles or laws that God has set in place in this world that no matter how hard we try to change or alter them we can’t.  The law of gravity, the seasons, the law of seedtime and harvest.

It shouldn’t surprise us then that there are also principles and laws that govern the way we function on an emotional level.  

It is these laws that we need to use as guidelines, or as guides to help us set healthy boundaries in our relationships.

If you have a boundary problem it will be one of these laws that is being fought against has been ignored or broken.

 

THE LAW OF SOWING AND REAPING

 
Galatians 6:11 “Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!”     

This principle says that if we sow irresponsible behavior, then we will reap pain and the consequences of that behavior.  

If someone else sows irresponsible behavior then they too should reap what they have sown.  

This law was set up to stop us from destroying ourselves, it was set up so that we would learn and grow from our mistakes to become responsible people.  

Many people with boundary problems interfere with this law that God has set in place.  Here’s how they do it.  Somebody they are in relationship with, sows irresponsible behavior but instead of letting that person reap the consequences of that behavior they step in and try to ‘help’ the person.  

What happens instead of helping them, they end up reaping the consequences in their own lives in an attempt to shield that person from the pain and consequences of their actions.

A couple came to see a counsellor about their son.  They were deeply disturbed at the many problems he had and the mess that his life was in.  At the first appointment the counsellor asked them to outline the problems that their son had.  “Well he’s irresponsible with his money, is constantly in debt and in trouble with the law for not paying fines etc.  He has a significant drinking habit that also has landed him in trouble with the police.  He is supposed to be in university but has never attended a lecture all term.  So why isn’t he here today the counsellor asked.  “Oh, he won’t come he doesn’t think he has a problem he’s gone skiing!” Well I think he is right the counsellor said.  “What do you mean?” the parents asked angrily of course he has a problem, in fact he has at least three or four of them!  “No” the counsellor replied “I bet if I asked him right now he hasn’t got a problem in the world, he’s out skiing enjoying himself, it’s you who have his problem!” “What we need to do here is to give him his problem back so that he can feel the pain and want to fix it”
 

Some people think that they are doing a ‘noble’ thing in “protecting” those they love from reaping the consequences of their actions, constantly bailing them out and bearing the brunt of someone else’s negative behavior.  God says if you sow then you will surely reap.  When we are doing this we are playing God, we are violating the boundaries that He has set when we step in and try and fix the problem.

If the person sowing the behavior isn’t made accountable for it then someone else will end up reaping the consequences and this is not how God ever intended for this law to work.

 

THE LAW OF TO AND FOR.

 

This brings us to the next law of which says that we are responsible TO others not FOR others. Those parents are responsible to their son to be the best parents they can be for him, but they must make him responsible FOR his own choices and actions.

We are responsible TO others and FOR ourselves.

How many of you can think of a person that in the past you have in some way carried (maybe emotionally or financially) for an amount of time?  Now just think about that person for a moment.  How many of you can see that as a result of you carrying that person they are significantly more responsible and appreciative?

When we take the responsibility FOR someone we are in the business of creating emotional infants. You see the Bible clearly defines for us the role in helping others, or carrying things for others in.

Galatians 6:4-5 “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.”

This word ‘load’ means ‘responsibility’ in other words there are some things that are our responsibility to carry that should never be carried by another person.

Included in the things that we are responsible to carry are things such as

  • Our attitudes

  • Our behavior

  • Our feelings

  • The words we speak

Many of us try to offload these things onto others blaming anyone and everyone for our attitude, our behavior, the way we dealt with our feelings but we can’t blame others for ANY OF THESE THINGS, we are responsible for them entirely.

Yet in verse 2 of the same chapter it says that we are to carry one another’s burdens.  

 
Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”        

The word ‘burdens’ here although translated the same into English, is an entirely different word from the word ‘load’.  The word ‘burdens’ is not talking about responsibility at all but it is referring to those things that are too heavy for us to bear.  Things such as grief, loss, the pain of divorce, perhaps the picture here is of a wounded soldier, being assisted and supported by his fellow soldiers.

Our job is to help others with what they cannot do for themselves or carry themselves NOT what they will not carry or do for themselves or find it too hard to do for themselves.

Some people feel that they will hurt others or cause them pain by setting boundaries.  This may be so but we also need to understand the difference between hurt and harm.  Things that hurt don’t necessarily harm

The good news is that God respects our boundaries and in fact has created us with a free will to choose to let him in or leave him out of our lives.

He wants to have a relationship with you He wants to feed a heart that is hungry for relationship, hungry for a love that will not fail, a love that won’t take advantage of you, and a love that is unselfish.  He is asking for permission to be let in!

God says this to you today:

Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.

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IMAGINE PT 2

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IMAGINE PT 2

IMAGINE PART TWO

When you have a vision from God, there is always provision.   

The word provision means “Pro or For the vision”  It’s stuff to make the vision work. Gods vision creates provision.  

Proverbs 29:18 "without a vision the people perish."

It should say without Provision people perish. 

  1. What are the top 4 long term priorities in your life.
  2. What number is a fantastic marriage. 
  3. What number is the spiritual success of your children
  4. What number is the impact of Influencers Church on the world
  5. Would you describe your life as peaceful or chaotic.
  6. Have you completed the last project you committed yourself to do.
  7. Have you put into place a plan to guard your strength and gifts.
  8. Do you have someone you trust who can speak direction and correction into your life
  9. Are you able to take advice easily.
  10. Have you asked God for wisdom lately
  11. Do you possess quality relationships and friendships that keep you focussed on God’s kingdom.

Imagine how much provision God would give us if everyone of us got a Godly vision.  Imagine how much provision there would be at Influencers if we all got a vision for planting 200 campuses and going into every school and raising 10000 leaders. 

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning and better is the patient in spirit than the proud.  

If you can see the invisible, then you will possess the impossible.

EG:  Apostle paul 

Romans 8: 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Today I want to talk to you about the 3 different stages of provision on the journey of faith.

  1.     Temporary provision.

This is the place of the supernatural rescue.

Genesis 46:3  3 “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

2.  Daily provision.

The next stage of the journey of faith is Daily provision.  It’s where God gives you enough to last 1 day and no more.

God is blessing us, but it is an everyday walk of faith. 

Elijah never said to the widow she would have a cupboard full, he just said that the food would never run out.

But:-

  • This is the place where you can lose your perspective.  This is the place where you can forget where you have come from. 
  • This is the place where it’s easy to whine and complain 
  • This is the place where you think it’s too hard and too difficult to trust God and you want to go back.

11 The LORD said to Moses, 12“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’”  15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

 

3.  The place of continual provision.

The next phase of the journey of faith is the phase of living in the fulfillment of the promise.

This is the place where you have crossed over.  This is the place where you have learnt to trust God every single day.  This is the place where you no longer believe in your own ability to deliver but God’s.  This is the place where you know God can be relied upon.  This is where you can dream BIG because you have arrived in your promise.  


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IMAGINE

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IMAGINE

IMAGINE

Imagine means to form an image of something that is not present. It means to future cast. It means to look ahead. It means to understand the possibilities of the future.  

I want you to imagine what your life will be in 5 years from now. Do you believe that God is working on a plan?

Ephesians 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

This is talking about the Jews as God’s people and then how we were included by God’s purpose and will.  In other words, this was a deliberate inclusion.  You aren’t here except by the fact that God planned for you to be under his grace.  He chose you to be part of his plan.   So therefore we conclude God has a plan for those he has included in his plan.  

In verse 18, we read the challenge.  

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 

I want you to imagine today what would happen for you in the next 5 years if you did everything according to the plan God has for your family.  

Imagine what would happen if you made the decisions for your kids at the right time.  Imagine what would happen if you followed the plan for your marriage, your finances, your church.

I am shortsighted.  I can read things close up, but I can’t see things in the distance, like signs.

This story is a story of 2 men. One has short term thinking. One has long range thinking.  

2 Kings 5:5 Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lordhad given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

2 Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents[b] of silver, six thousand shekels[c] of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”  7 As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”  11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.  13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.  15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”  16 The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

17 “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. 18 But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.” 19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said.  After Naaman had traveled some distance, 20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”

21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.  22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent[d] of silver and two sets of clothing.’”  23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”  “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.  26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves?27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” 

The central question of the story is why Elisha didn’t take the gifts and money and clothes and why Gehazi did. Elisha had a long term view. When Elisha wouldn’t take the gifts, it forced Naaman to a deeper level.

“Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”  16 The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused. 17 “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. 

The result of Elisha not taking his gifts, was that it took Naaman deeper. Instead of his conscience being easily satisfied by giving gifts, Elisha’s refusal made him think deeper.  It pricked his conscience and that’s when he asks for dirt etc.

The result is the change of a nation.

Then a few verses later we read about Gehazi…

21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.  22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent[d] of silver and two sets of clothing.’”  23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house.

Gehazi chooses the short term outcome. I want what I want now. Gehazi’s name means valley of vision or shortsightedness.

Abraham Lincoln took the long view.

Prior to marrying Mary Todd, Lincoln’s original love was Ann Rutledge who passed away at the age of 22. Lincoln’s mother had died when he was just nine years old and later his sister Sara died in childbirth.

2) Of his and Mary Todd Lincoln’s four sons, two died as children during Lincoln’s lifetime, each of those deaths causing him enormous agony.

3) Until Lincoln was 21 years of age, his father sent him to labor for others, and then kept the wages his son earned. As an illiterate man the father saw no importance in Lincoln’s education.

4) Lincoln suffered from inferiority from his lack of formal education which ended with a partial year of grade school. He was often confronted by men from aristocratic families; those men having the best formal education money could buy, while he was self-taught.

5) Lincoln also suffered from inferiority over his appearance, which was mocked as being terribly ugly by some writers and political cartoonists among others. Some saw him as being gorilla like, while some others saw him as uneducated and ignorant, just a country bumpkin way out of his league in national politics.

6) In business, Lincoln failed twice, as a politician he lost eight elections and he suffered a nervous breakdown, bedridden for six months, as fears, doubts and uncertainties lived within his soul.

7) No surprise, Lincoln suffered from depression throughout his adult life.

8) As president during the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865), Lincoln was often criticized for the incompetence of his generals, particularly in the early years as battlefield defeats mounted and the death toll was stunning. Lincoln wrote one of the most famous speeches in history, The Gettysburg Address, as he poured his heart out, trying to make sense of it all.

9) Lincoln was haunted by a New Orleans slave auction he saw as a young man, the impact of which he never got over, and he witnessed the price in blood, black soldiers paid in the Civil War, with the hope of freeing their race.

As President, not only did Lincoln write and issue the Emancipation Proclamation that restricted slavery, but as the Civil War was ending in 1865, he initiated the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing U.S. slavery forever.

But what Lincoln achieved could not have happened had it not been for his long term view.  

In surveys Abraham Lincoln is the most loved president in History.

Being shortsighted creates major problems in life.   

  • Can’t see what’s ahead because we are stuck on today.

  • Miss important signs along the way

  • Made misjudgements about what the signs are saying.

  • Have to constantly slow down to read the signs and ask for directions.  

Gehazi shortsightedness caused him to lose his future.

He got what he wanted today, but missed what he was supposed to have.

  • He was supposed to be the next prophet in line.

  • He was supposed to be triply blessed

  • He was supposed to do great things.

  • He was supposed to change nations.

  • He was supposed to be world changer.  

The bible says:  Better is the end of a thing than the beginning.  Better is the patient in spirit than the proud. 

I’m inviting you today to take the long view.

Imagine what we could do if we took the long view and built something that changed Atlanta, America and the world.  


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The Cure Part 2

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The Cure Part 2

THE CURE PART 2

A child is no different to a poor person even though they have billions in a trust fund.  

Galations 4:1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 

In other words, nothing ever changes until you understand how loved you are. Until you know it, you are no different to someone who isn’t loved.  

In the law a child doesn’t get access to a trust fund till they are 18. 

  1. Because the law thinks that until that child is 18, they aren’t mature enough to handle their inheritance properly
  2. But even more so they could be susceptible to the manipulation of older adults to give away their inheritance.

1.   The way you feel is different.  

2.   The way you approach PAIN and Injustice changes.

3.  The way you pray gets better results.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, the very first word was the word Father.  Prayer means nothing and does nothing if you aren’t really praying to your father.   The whole of Jesus teaching on prayer depends on the Fathers love.

The bible says that Whatever you pray for….. believe and you will receive. Maybe he’s not just talking about the thing you are believing FOR, but the person you are believing IN.  

The 2 times God speaks audibly that is recorded in the NT, he says the same thing. He leaves nothing on the table. It’s not I love you if…or I love you because.  

Matt 17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.  5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

It was a revelation of God’s love for him that created unreasonable trust. A trust beyond the normal.  

Paul takes up the concept again in the book of Romans where he is trying to explain the grace of God.  Where he is trying to explain the radical concept that God your Father loves you.  

11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.   12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.  15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children

Now we call him, “Abba, Father. 

NOW……we call him……and he writes Pater, which is greek for father. But then he stops. I can imagine him sitting there after he has written the greek word for father and his mind is in a spin so after much thinking and praying, Right in the middle of his greek text, he inserts an Aramaic word called ABBA which was used by a child in that culture calling out to his Papa, his Dad.

I love what one dictionary says about Abba. Whereas Father expresses an intelligent apprehension of the relationship, Abba is the word framed by the lips of infants and betokens unreasoning trust.

We have to stop praying to G.O.D and start praying to D.A.D

4. The fullness of God comes to those who know they are loved

I want you to turn in your bible to Ephesians 3:14 and read what Paul wrote about this:

14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family£ in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp(it’s something you have to grasp and grab hold of)  how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—unto youa re filled with all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and [h]become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!


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The Cure

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The Cure

THE CURE PART 1

What is our biggest problem? TRUST! Why? Because we don’t know that we are loved. We don’t live in that revelation and therefore it’s all on us.

You can only live a high level of Christianity if you trust because you KNOW that you are loved.  

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. 

The truth is that we ONLY love him, because he first loved us.

The story of the last supper is packed with suspense and filled with powerful principles. How to treat others, how to respond in pressured situations, what to say and when to say it. It reads like a Hollywood film script. It shows what keeps friendships together and what separates them. It shows how betrayal destroys a community and how to respond to acts of treachery. It’s a bird’s eye view of the heart and actions of Jesus at his most vulnerable moment. It contains principles and power on how to love and to live.  

Interwoven amongst the main characters of Judas and Jesus are the characters of Peter and John.  2 men whose understanding of Christ is divided by one seemingly insignificant yet life changing point of difference. 2 men whose point of reference represents the 2 points of view about Jesus of the people in this room today. Peter the disciple who focussed on his love for Jesus and John who understood Jesus love for him. These 2 perspective are about to take these 2 men down different pathways and their lives are about to change forever. Jesus has just finished washing the disciples feet and teaching them about loving each other and greatness in God’s kingdom.

John 13:21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.” 22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.

Notice that in verse 23 John calls himself the disciple whom Jesus loved.

John wrote that about himself!

Jesus loved all of his disciples, but John knew it. Jesus cared about all his disciples and loved them all but it was John who had a revelation of Jesus love for him.

Peter on the other hand throughout the gospels constantly professes his love for Jesus. Peter had a revelation of who Jesus was, but John had a revelation of who HE was to Jesus. Peter tried his best to love Jesus, but John knew Jesus loved him.   

I’m believing that as we approach the conference, as we approach this spiritual encounter, this intentional spiritual retreat, that we would have a revelation of God’s love for us, instead of striving to get his love or love him.

Peter typifies every believer who rely on themselves and their love for God, whereas John typifies the Christian who lean on God’s love for them.  

When everything depends on your love for God, you will be constantly up and down.  One moment pledging allegiance, the next moment failing.

1.  Stability comes into your life

2.  You become an overcomer

Matt 3:16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven opened, and he saw God’s Spirit coming down on him like a dove. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him.”

a) Before Jesus ever did a thing for God, God showed him his love.

b) This revelation released power in his life to be effective for God.

c) This revelation empowered him to win the battle over temptation.

d) The devil tried the only ploy that could have possibly worked: Make Jesus forget that he was loved.


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RelationSHIFT Part 4

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RelationSHIFT Part 4

IMPROVING YOUR HEARING

 

The goal of this series to discover the secrets of great relationships, to challenge you, and above all equip you, to grow in your ability to conduct healthy, loving, lasting relationships.  

Why is hearing important?

John 15:14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

There’s no true friendship without effective listening, hearing and doing (in that order)

I believe it’s the reason couples say, “I do” to be married, as opposed to, “I hear”

Faith comes by Hearing

John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Furthermore, no matter how much some try, they can’t hear. Mark 4:11

Thankfully, Jesus said, “To you it has been given to know that mystery of the kingdom of God;”

Now this leads us into the relationship between sensitivity and identity

(Mark 7) The disciples of John the Baptist would be less sensitive if they recall their leader was The Messiah’s forerunner as opposed to His sidekick.

————

Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

 

Isaiah 6:9-10

And He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;

Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

“Make the heart of this people dull,

And their ears heavy,

And shut their eyes;

Lest they see with their eyes,

And hear with their ears,

And understand with their heart,

And return and be healed.”

 

Hearing with your Heart

Jesus said that heart content determines if our heart get content

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me."

Do you believe the one you’re listening to and are you listening to the one you believe?

The heart is made for believing

Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

MARK 4

In the parable of the sower, hearts that were too stony thought the seed was too dry - no moisture of compassion to cool seed.

Hearts that were thorny, thought the seed was too broken to grow.

Some fell by the wayside. This happens when friends have been replaced by (social media) followers. Your post is only another feed on their way to buying and selling. No room for you in the soil of their hearts.

John 14:28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

Mark 4:9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

What you retain is a function of what you contain.

What you make of things depends on what things you are made of. 

Mark 10:21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Jesus loved him, because Jesus listened with His eyes to see the weight of treasures the rich ruler was under.

Romans 10:14 says how will they believe if they haven’t heard. However, to better understand how they will hear, we need to look at.

John 4:48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”

Hearing with your Deeds

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Doing usually requires more steps than the preamble

When one listens with the heart of doing, deeper understanding is sought, keener attention is paid and more genuine engagement with the speaker obtains. Remember how much details are in scriptures describing the temple - it had to be built, that’s why.


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RelationSHIFT Part 3

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RelationSHIFT Part 3

CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN RELATIONSHIPS

The goal of this series to discover the secrets of great relationships, to challenge you, and above all equip you, to grow in your ability to conduct healthy, loving, lasting relationships.  

Today I want to address something that every relationship experiences, but not many use to their advantage. Conflict. 

When it comes to conflict we tend to have the same reactions as when we are threatened, we either experience FIGHT or FLIGHT reactions.

Who here wanted the argument to just go away, or felt an impulse to get away from the conflict?

And who had an uncontrollable desire to go sort it all out?

Conflict arises when two people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires. 

When conflict is mismanaged, it can harm the relationship.

But when handled in a respectful and positive way, conflict provides an opportunity for growth, ultimately strengthening the bond between two people. 

By learning the skills you need for successful conflict resolution, you can keep your personal and professional relationships strong and growing. 

We need to learn to fight well, and that means we need a healthy approach to conflict

Healthy responses to conflict are characterized by: · 

·The capacity to recognize, and respond to, matters that are important to others.

· Sticking to the issue at hand

· A readiness to forgive and forget 

The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing the other person 

· A belief that resolution can support the interests and needs of both parties 

Unhealthy responses to conflict are characterized by

· An inability to recognize and respond to matters of great importance to the other person 

· Explosive, angry, hurtful, and resentful reactions

· Bringing up past issues and clouding the present issues

 · The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment 

· The expectation of bad outcomes 

· The fear and avoidance of conflict

This morning I want to talk specifically about problem solving in our relationships.

Nehemiah was commissioned by God to re-build the walls of Jerusalem his home city, after it had been burnt to the ground, and its population taken into captivity. 

The Holy Spirit began to show me that many people here have had something destroyed by the enemy that was once a symbol of strength, security and community. The good news is that it doesn’t have to stay that way and God is in the business of rebuilding and reconciliation. 

One of the things that the book of Nehemiah highlights is that whenever you are passionate about building something of strength, there will be opposition to it!

1) Understand that conflict is normal and inevitable.

Some people try to avoid conflict at all costs, this usually comes from a deep fear rooted in past experiences. If you understand that Conflict is a normal, and even healthy, part of relationships, and that differences and disagreements are inevitable, learning to deal with them in a healthy way is crucial. You can use either conflict to strengthen a relationship, or it can break a relationship.

Nehemiah 6:9 They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination

You can allow conflict to intimidate you and to stop you building OR you can continue the work with even greater determination

2) Coming to the revelation that your problem is my problem.  

When you realise that whenever when there is a problem in a relationship, its not just one person’s problem. If you want the relationship to continue then you need to see it as your problem too.

When you realise this there comes a greater motivation to help resolve the problem.  You realise that you have a part to play in fixing the problem instead of merely pointing the finger or blaming.  Instead of waiting for the other person to get over it, fix the problem, or get their act together, you realise that as long as they have the problem you have the problem!

  • Some problems are impossible for one person to handle alone, that’s why God put us in relationships.  Each problem becomes easier to solve because there are two people working on it rather than one, Two peoples determination to get through, two peoples brains thinking of solutions, two peoples strength when things get tough. –accountability, support, encouragement, praise

10    If one falls down,

    the other can help him up.

    But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls,

    because no one is there to help.

 

  • The next time you have a problem you know there is someone who is going to understand, be there for you, you begin to realise you’re on the same team not in competition.  You begin to support one another’s weaknesses and play the game together.

3) Initiate communication

Things don’t build up to explosion point in your relationships.

  • I give my friends opportunity to share openly and honestly with me re; my faults.
  • I show my partner that I am serious about the health of our relationship 

Eg:  D and C who couldn’t talk to each other, so instead they prayed together and used their prayer time to raise the issues in prayer.

4) Idiosyncrasies vs Character

Get people to work out the difference. There is a big difference.

Accept the idiosyncrasies and deal with the character issues

  1. Never attack with personal words

When we have the revelation that words live forever we will use them differently. The words we speak don’t vanish into thin air after we have spoken them.  They live on in the hearts and Spirits of the people we have said them to.

Proverbs 12:18 There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
James 1:19-20 This you know, my beloved brethren But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

The words we say will either produce life or death in our relationships.  We need to make a commitment that in the heat of conflict we will not be personally destructive with our words, we won’t bring up the past, and we won’t belittle the person who we are in conflict with.  Conflicts are resolved when we attack issues not people!

If you have used personal words you need to apologise unreservedly!

 

6) Work out a plan before you enter the intersection, don’t wait until there’s a conflict

Its too late to work out where you are going to turn when a car is heading straight towards you, it becomes every man for himself.

Work out the areas in a relationship that are potential hazards and conflict triggers. Discuss a plan to navigate these and rules for engagement BEFORE a conflict arises.

We’ve seen that the risk of entering into friendships and relationships is a real thing.  Relationships take work, they need deposits from us in order to be maintained.   Building relationships at times may seem more like a liability than a pleasure, an assignment that none of us can safely or effectively complete, It may be tempting to remain aloof and alone, but the truth is that being alone is probably the most miserable existence of all. 

Ecclesiasties. 4
    Again I saw something here on earth that was useless:
8    I saw a man who had no family,
    no son or brother.(in other words a man without relationships)
    He always worked hard
    but was never satisfied with what he had.
    He asked himself, “For whom am I working so hard?
    Why don’t I let myself enjoy life?”
    This also is very sad and useless.

There is no one more lonely than the person who lives for themselves.  Even if they are successful, work hard, gain great wealth the Bible says in the end there is no satisfaction from this. This is because God made us for relationships with one another. Right from the beginning of time God said that it was not good for man to be alone, and so He created a friend and a companion for the first man Adam. God never intended for any of us to be alone, We were not meant to build monuments we were created to build cities. Monuments stand-alone, but cities in bible times were walled and built to encircle families. They protected, they gave security and community; relationships do the same for us.

In Nehemiah chapter one, Nehemiah who is an Old Testament type of Jesus Christ, weeps over the state of the city he used to live in, because its walls were broken down, and burnt and it had become a home for wild animals, not for people. 

Nehemiah 1: 2-4
I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. 
3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” 
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven

Jesus weeps over broken places and relationships in your life, things that have been damaged and pulled down that were once strong. There is no shame or condemnation, just affection and a desire to help you build again. It doesn’t matter how much destruction has gone on before, He has been sent by the king to help you rebuild.

 

Nehemiah 6:15-16 So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God

 


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RelationSHIFT Part 2

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RelationSHIFT Part 2

INCREASING THE VALUE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

Jim Bakker tells the story of how his heart was just broken as he realised that it had taken the physical restraints of bars and prison walls to get him to connect with his son. It didn’t mean he hadn’t cared before, because he had always made sure his son had everything any boy could want. He had bought him things, he had given him the most expensive gifts a Father could buy his son, but he had failed to increase the value of this relationship. And now it had taken a jail cell to deliver to him one of the most important encounters in a relationship he said he cherished but had never had time for.

Today I want to talk to you about increasing the value of your relationships. How do we make the most of each relationship we have?

What causes relationships to disintegrate? Relationships that started with so much promise, with such happiness, and yet over the years and months become broken down in our lives.

How do we avoid the emotional disaster of broken and trashed friendships and broken relationships.

How do we build relationships that grow stronger with time, that grow more intimate and more enjoyable, more fun, more exciting, more interesting.  

1 Thessalonians 5:11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

We all know what a bank account is. We make deposits into it and build up a reserve from which we can make withdrawals when we need to. We also know that if you want to increase the value of your bank account with the bank, you need to make regular deposits.  

Tonight I want to explore what I call the emotional Bank account. An emotional bank account is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust and love that’s been built up in a relationship.  It’s the feeling of safeness you have with another human being. If I make deposits into an emotional bank account with you through kindness, words of encouragement, courtesy, honesty and keeping my commitments to you, I build up a reserve. Your trust and appreciation of me grows, the value you place on our relationship grows and the emotional bank balance grows.  I can then call on that trust many times if I need to. I can even make mistakes and that trust level, that emotional reserve will compensate for it. My communication may not be clear, but you’ll get my meaning anyway. You won’t judge me harshly for a wrong word, you won’t misunderstand me easily.

When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant and effective.

But if I have a habit of showing discourtesy, disrespect, cutting you off, overreacting, ignoring you, becoming picky, betraying your trust, threatening you, putting you down, being constantly displeased with what you do, everytime I do I take a little bit out of the bank and eventually my emotional bank account is overdrawn. The trust level gets very low. Then what flexibility do I have. NONE> Now I’m walking on egg shells. I have to be very careful about what I say.  

If that trust and that love is not sustained by continually deposits, a relationship will deteriorate.  

With social media we might stay connected. However, being in touch will never replace being touched. 

Suppose you have kids and your normal conversation goes something like this.  Clean your room, turn down the stereo, be quiet, fix this, clean that, go and do your homework, over a period of time the withdrawals far exceed the deposits.

Now suppose this son is in the process of making some important decisions that will affect the rest of his life.  But the trust level is so low and the communication process mechanical, unconnecting and unrewarding, that he just won’t open up and ask for help.  You might have the wisdom and knowledge to help him, you might have all the answers, but because your account is so overdrawn, he will end up making his own decisions without any input from you and potentially destroy his life.  He hasn’t been equipped to make decisions on his own, but he sure isn’t going to ask for your opinion because your relationships are overdrawn.  

Imagine however if we started making some deposits into our relationships instead of just withdrawing and we started to speak life into our kids, into our parents, into our husands and wives and our friends, what do you think would happen.  

I want to give you half a dozen major deposits that build the emotional bank account, that you can do now, that you can go home tonight and start, that this week you can put into action in your relationships.

  1. Seek to understand others and their preferences

If only we could put ourselves in other peoples shoes, and try to understand what currency we need to use in order to deposit into their lives.

“We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

I read a story about a man who really tried to connect with his son. His son loved football, so even though the dad wasn’t at all interested in football, one winter he bought seasons tickets and went to every AFL game for the entire season to watch his son’s favourite team play. Every weekend for 4 months he spent attending the football. It cost him a lot of money and lot of time, but it became a powerful bonding experience in their relationship. One day at the end of a long season, this father was talking to an acquaintence, about the fact he had been to every game and watched it live and he was asked this question. Do you really like football that much?  No, he replied, but I like my son that much.

          2. Spend time attending to the little things

The little things we do are so important. Small acts of unkindnesses, little forms of disrespect make large withdrawals. In relationships the big things are the little things.

 

I remember an evening I spent with 2 of my sons some years ago.  It was an organised father and son outing, complete with gymnastics, wrestling matches, hotdogs, coke and a movie.
In the middle of the movie, Sean who was then 4 years old, fell asleep in his seat.  His older brother Stephen, who was 6 stayed awake, and we watched the rest of the movie together.  When it was over, I picked Sean up in my arms, carried him out to the car and laid him in the back seat.  It was very cold that night, so I took off my coat and gently arranged it over and around him.  When we arrived home, I quickly carried Sean in and tucked him into bed.  After stephen had put on his pyjamas and brushed his teeth, I lay down next to him to talk about the night out together.  How did you like it, Stephen?  ‘Fine’ he answered.  Did you have fun?  ‘Yes’  What did you like most? ‘ I don’t know, The trampoline, I guess’ “That was quite a thing, wasn’t it, doing those somersaults and tricks in the air like that?”  There wasn’t much response on his part. I found myself making conversation. I wondered why Stephen wouldn’t open up more. He usually did when exciting things happened.  I was a little disappointed. I sensed something was wrong. He had been so quiet on the way home and getting ready for bed. Suddenly Stephen turned over on his side, facing the wall. I wondered why and lifted myself up just enough to see his eyes welling up with tears.
What’s wrong, honey? What is it? He turned back, and I could sense he was feeling some embarrassment for the tears and his quivering lips and chin.    “Daddy, if I were cold, would you put your coat around me, too?”
Of all the events of that special night out together, the most important was a little act of kindness, a momentary, unconcscious show of love to his little brother.

 

      3.  Saying something and doing it

Proverbs 20:25 It is a trap to say something only later to consider one's vows.

Keeping a commitment or a promise is a major deposit.  Breaking a promise is a major withdrawal.

If you make a promise, then fulfill it to the letter.  This has a great influence on the level of joy and fire in a relationship.

       4. Showing personal integrity

Personal integrity generates great trust. Integrity is not just being honest, it isn’t just conforming our words to reality, but conforming reality to our words. Integrity guides relationships.

       5. Anchoring our natural relationships in a supernatural one.

1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

       6. Sincerely apologising when you make a withdrawal.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ.

When we make withdrawals from the emotional bank account, we need to apologise and we need to do it sincerely. Great deposits come when we are sincere with our words.

  • I was wrong.

  • Please forgive me, I failed in the way I handled that situation.

  • I‘m sorry.

  • I hurt you.

  • I’ve been very unkind to you.

  • I haven’t shown you respect.

  • I embarrassed you in front of your friends and I’m sorry.

It takes a person with a great sense of personal security to willingly admit fault and take the blame.  

It’s totally possible to see our relationships grow stronger and more secure. The value of our relationships can continue to grow for ever if we will take notice of the emotional bank account and be good accountants. Be good managers of our bank balances.

Tonight as we come to a close I want you to evaluate you relationships. What state do you find your relationships in tonight. Are they in credit or are they in debit? Are they full or are they empty and overdrawn? Are they solvent and in good standing or are they bankrupt?

HOMEWORK: NAME 5 ACTIONS YOU CAN DO THIS WEEK TO INCREASE THE VALUE OF AN IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP.


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RelationSHIFT

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RelationSHIFT

THE GREATEST RISK YOU'LL EVER TAKE

“My friends tell me i have an intimacy problem but they don’t really know me."
Matt 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The goal of this series to discover the secrets of great relationships, to challenge you, and above all equip you, to grow in your ability to conduct healthy, loving, lasting relationships and get your energy back.

Our TV series try to mirror our society or what our community wants to be. In the first 30 years of TV, it was about the family.  

Then in the 90’s as families faltered the focus became friends. Then in the 2000’s, it was reality TV relationships that took center stage. It was at once sensationalist but also comforting as these average people were more broken than we felt about ourselves. 

In 2017 we’ve gotten tired of the shock value of reality shows and now it’s about something safer, something that is more connected but less intimate. Facebook has offered us a safe way we can connect with real people all over the world and share our lives and conversations with. It’s not deep, but it’s safer.

Over 50 years we have moved from the nuclear family to friends to facebook.

Despite the change what relationships look like and what a “normal family” looks like there has been no change to the deep cry in people who long for meaningful and intimate relationships.  

RELATIONSHIPS are enticingly attractive and yet at the same time potentially hazardous!  

Today I want to talk about the risks you will need to take and shifts that will happen if you do.   

THE RISK OF BEING HURT

  • The risk of being hurt keeps us defensive

  • It makes us reject before we are rejected.

  • It makes us keep things surface deep.

  • It makes us keep our options open at all times.

  • It stops us committing for life.

THE RISK OF EXPOSURE

Great relationships demand openness and transparency.  We don’t want people to see into our souls...

  • So we wear masks
  • We pretend to be what we aren’t
  • We carefully manage our image.
  • The risk of exposure keeps us distant

Adam and Eve: it all started with them. Guilt and fear caused them to cover themselves and hide and we have been hiding ever since.  

THE RISK OF BEING MISUNDERSTOOD

I think the biggest issue with the speed of life misunderstanding.  We don’t want the details, we want the headlines.  We don’t dive in deep because it takes too long and it’s risky and the result is that we get misunderstood.

THE RISK OF REJECTION

PROV 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

One of friendships biggest predators is the fear of rejection. Rejection is powerful because its roots are in our self-esteem. How we see ourselves ultimately determines whether we can power through the rejection that will come as a part of life. 

I want to give you three RelationSHIFTs you can make today to start to improve your relationships

RelationShift #1

Understand that happiness is your responsibility

RelationShift #2

Understand where your anger is coming from.

There are 2 states in which we create our emotions from. One state is love and the other state is fear. Everything else is a variation on the continuum between these two states. Anger sits on the ‘fear’ side of the continuum.

RelationShift #3

Make decisions that are in the highest interest of the 3rd entity – the relationship.

In a relationship, there are 3 entities. There is the entity of you. There is the entity of the other person and then there is the entity of the relationship. When making decisions, if you make decisions that serve the relationship, you will find that power struggles subside.

Despite all the risks, why is the hunger still there? The answer is that God has made us that way.  You are wired genetically for a relationship. Your chromosomes are saturated with the need for friendship. Deep in your soul is a need to be close. It’s an unchangeable universal law. A law that you can’t ignore.  Woven deeply into the fabric of each persons spirit is this need to be interdependent and have strong relationships. God made it this way from the beginning of time.  We are not independent beings. We are not created to be alone.

We are not created to live superficial, or isolated existences without others. We were created for interdependence; in fact, the entire universe is wired with interdependence.


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Rescued to be a Rescuer

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Rescued to be a Rescuer

INFLUENCERS ARE RESCUERS

www.influencers.life/houston

 Today I want to look at the story of a minority orphan Jewish girl thrust into a foreign country, who has lost her parents through tragic circumstances. 

The little girl's name is Esther. She’s a minority orphan girl, who is insignificant, but with God’s hand on her life.  No destiny, no future.  But right in the middle of her trouble, she is rescued and her life is transformed

She is rescued and she goes from being a nobody to the queen of a foreign nation

This story of Esther is an epic love story and the ultimate story of redemption. The story of Esther is the story about every one of us who accepts Jesus into our hearts. Rescued from tragedy and trouble and catapulted into a relationship with the King of the world. What an amazing transformation connecting with God brings to our lives.  

Unbeknown to Esther, there is an enemy who wants to destroy her family, the enemy of her destiny is the prime minister Haman.    

We are like Esther, Really unaware of the times we live in. We live in a day where our freedom is under threat and where people need Jesus more than ever to rescue them. 

Mordecai represents the voice of the Holy Spirit trying to get the attention of the born again Christian.  

Esther 4:3-5 And as news of the king’s decree reached all the provinces, there was great mourning among the Jews. They fasted, wept, and wailed, and many people lay in sackcloth and ashes.  4 When Queen Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was deeply distressed. She sent clothing to him to replace the sackcloth, but he refused it.  5 Then Esther sent for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs who had been appointed as her attendant. She ordered him to go to Mordecai and find out what was troubling him and why he was in mourning

Mordecai does all he can to get her attention.  He fasts, he rips his clothes off and puts on sackcloth and ashes. Now that she is the queen it’s almost impossible to get her attention. Her new life is so good, that she has become disconnected from reality. That she was rescued in order to become a rescuer.  

But the question is ‘Can Mordecai get through to Esther now life is better. This is the question of the story of Esther.  Will he get through to her?'

Esther’s initial response is I can’t do it. It’s dangerous. I can't make a difference. I can’t do anything about it. She is disengaged and she is now just wanting to protect herself and her lifestyle. She feels torn, but is leaning towards looking after no. 1.

13 So Mordecai sent back this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that you will escape there in the palace when all other Jews are killed.  14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. What’s more, who can say but that you have been brought to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

The message of Esther is CAN the rescued become a rescuer??

The question is, 'Can the Holy spirit get through to you. Can he get through your good life and the new rescued existence you live and get you to see the big picture?'

"'Not called!' did you say? Said William booth
'Not heard the call,' you mean…...
Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face -- whose mercy you have professed to obey -- and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.
--

13 Mordecai sent back this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that you will escape there in the palace when all other Jews are killed. 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. What’s more, who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:  16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I perish, I perish.”

"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." -- C.T. Studd

ESTHER HAD ALL THE EXCUSES TO KEEP HER LIFEJACKET ON AND SAVE HERSELF

  • She has no Experience
  • She has a Tragic history
  • She is an orphan whose parents died while she was a child.
  • She is a Woman
  • She belongs to a Minority group.  
  • She is Comfortable. She feels no immediate danger
  • She could die.

Everyone of us has a reason not to respond to the call. But we must. We have friends, neighbours, work mates who need to hear about Jesus before it’s too late.


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