The Good Journey

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The Good Journey

The Good Journey

3 John 1:2 (NKJV) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

John is writing to his friend Gaius, and is saying 'I want you to prosper in all things, and be in health even as your soul is prospering. 

In our culture it is the opposite, we can focus so much on our health, but we can neglect the soul. 

This year we are going to focus on the soul. Over the next couple of months we will continue talking about what a prosperous soul looks like. 

For some of us the word “prosper” can negative connotations. When this word is taken out of context it can be preached for all the wrong reasons, but the word itself - the word “prosper” - when we look at the definition is something God wants for our lives. 

The word prosper in this scripture is defined “a good journey”

God wants you to have a good journey. 

 

Share three things about how to have a good journey. 

1) Lay everything down. 

When we lay down our life - i mean, really lay it down - and say God everything I have is yours, my past, my present and my future we set ourselves up for the good journey. 

Some of us are happy to give God our past, but not our future. 

Laying down my life means laying down all three of those categories - past, present and future. 

This is what it means to prosper.

 

2) Take steps of faith. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

When we trust in the Lord, and lean not on our own understanding then he will make our paths straight.

This verse because it’s so simple, yet so hard. 

It’s simple - trust God, acknowledge him and he will make your path straight. 

Yet how many times do we try to do things our own way...

But when we trust him, when we take steps of faith, and acknowledge him he gives us a good journey. 

 

Maybe you’re in a season where he’s calling you to step out in faith, go for it. 

What’s your step of faith? 

Maybe it's to get baptised, or to share your faith with someone, or to give in the offering...each of these requires a step of faith. 

 

The success of this church is not built on the talents of few, but the sacrifice of many. 

 

This church will only be all that it’s called to be when we step up be part of something bigger than ourselves. 

 

3) Have the right people around you. 

You may have heard of the saying: “show me your friends, and I’ll tell you where you’ll be in 5 years”

This is true for all of us, we have to have the right people speaking into our lives. 

We have to have the right leaders above us, and the right support around us. 

 

This is what I love about the church, God has set it up as the family of God. The church is not a building, it is people. 

 

If we aren’t in relationship with the right people then we are not going to have the good journey that God wants for our lives. 

Put yourself around people that are going to build you up, speak into your life, and encourage you forward in the things of God. 

 

If we can apply these things to our live we will truly prosper. 

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Finishing Well

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Finishing Well

Finishing Well

 

It’s in our nature to love to start things. 

But the problem isn’t with how we start something, but how we finish it. 

 

Ecclesiastes 7:8 ESV - Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 MSG - Endings are better than beginnings. Sticking to it is better than standing out.

 

3 key areas to finishing well. 

 

REMAIN

Remain in God. 

John 15:4 NIV - Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

We need to make a decision that we will remain. 

 

Remain in the house of God

Remain in the word of God

Remain in the presence of God

 

Even if our circumstances change, or our situations change, we must choose to remain in a God who doesn’t change. 

 

Psalm 92:12-13 ESV - The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.

 

“When we see a noble palm standing erect, sending all its strength upward in one bold column, and growing amid the dearth and drought of the desert, we have a fine picture of the godly man or woman, who in his uprightness aims alone at the glory of God; and, independent of outward circumstances, is made by divine grace to live and thrive where all things else perish.” (Spurgeon)

 

God is calling us to remain in him. Everything else is built around this.

 

Maybe it’s been a great year - God is calling you to remain in him. 

Maybe it’s been a year to forget - God is calling you to remain in him. 

 

Once we have made a decision to remain we can move on to the next stage which it to: 

REFLECT

 

Finishing well requires stopping and looking back on where you’ve been. 

We REFLECT by doing the following things:

1) Review - what have I learnt? Where have I grown?

James 1:2-4 ESV - Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

What areas am I being perfected in?

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Maybe there are things that have happened this year that at time they didn’t make sense, but when you look back you can see the hand of God?

 

2) Retrace - Look how far you’ve come. Where were you a year ago? What breakthroughs have you had this year?

 

This one is so important - looking at how far you’ve come. 

What areas have you had a breakthrough in? 

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3) Rejoice - what am i thankful for?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 

Finishing well means giving thanks for all the things God has done for us.

 

What can you be thankful for in 2017? 

Examples: Health, work, family, the church, God's grace... and the list goes on. 

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4) Refocus - think about next year, about what you want to achieve, what God is calling you to do, who he is calling you to be. 

 

Next year is an opportunity to step up. 

Next year is an opportunity to step out

Next year is an opportunity to step forward. 

 

REFUEL

 

In order to run into next year you need to get filled up.

 

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Generosity House

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Generosity House

GENEROSITY HOUSE

John 3:16 For God "So Loved" the "World" that He "Gave"..

The Churches command is to go into ALL the World and make disciples.

-      God’s plan is to use the church to go into “ALL the World”...

-      The Church is to be a Blessing to the World

“If God’s desire is for you to live Blessed not Stressed, then it is God’s desire for the Church to live Blessed not Stressed.”

 

There are many Biblical principles and practices for us to adopt and live by. The practice flows from the principle which attracts the blessing.

 

PERSONAL BLESSING

Jeremiah 17:7   But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.

Proverbs 16:20      Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers

Deuteronomy 30:16   For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

 

COLLECTIVE BLESSING

Malachi 3:10   Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

 

TITHING

 

Tithing is essentially giving a tenth of your income to God.

·     It was established before the Law

·     The tithe is Holy.

·     The tithe belongs to God

·     It transcends the law and It is found in the New Testament. Luke 11:42

·     The OT practice was based in Law and was done out of a “Have To” approach

·     The principle was perfected in the NT by the Law of Grace and moves from a “Have To” to a “Love To” attitude

 

1. GIVING IS A GRACE

2 Cor 8:7

7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

 

·     Just as you freely receive by grace, therefore you can freely give, by grace.

·     Giving is a Grace that has been given to you, just as love is a grace by which we operate by.

·     Salvation is a Gift of Grace.

·     The extension of Grace toward ourselves and others is linked to our revelation of own personal salvation.

 

”Tithing is an Act of gratitude responding to the Gift of salvation." - RT Kendall

 

 

2. FORGIVENESS FLOWS FROM GIVING

Luke 6

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

 

  • As giving is an Extention of the Grace of God. As you extend forgiveness, you are “for” the extention of the Grace of God to others.

 

 

3. FREELY RECEIVE TO FREELY GIVE.

Luke 19

6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.

8 Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

 

If you struggle in the area of joyful giving you could actually struggle in the area of receiving.”

 

When we understand Grace, we understand freedom. Giving does not become an issue when we understand GRACE.

 

4. MONEY REPRESENTS “UNREDEEMED TIME.”

 

 

 

TITHING: “GODS PLAN FOR THE CHURCH TO LIVE BLESSED AND NOT STRESSED..”

“If all Christians tithe there would be no such thing as poverty.”

— RT Kendall

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Blessed Not Stressed Pt 3

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Blessed Not Stressed Pt 3

Blessed not Stressed Pt 3

 

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

 

Context - this passage is one of Jesus first sermons that he preached. It is called the Beatitudes which means a "statement of blessing". 

 

We are looking at blessing. What does it mean to be blessed? 

 

The word "blessed" in Matthew 5 is the Greek word "Mak-ar-ee-os" meaning "fortunate, happy and well off". 

 

I did some research and from a biblical perspective blessing is defined as:

"Both a public declaration of a favoured status with God and endowed power for prosperity and success".

 

I would personally define blessing as:

"having the favour of God in us and the favour of God on us"

 

What happens in us and what happens to us.

 

If you don't have a relationship with God then you won't life a blessed life. It starts with knowing God is in your life.

 

So how do we live a blessed life and not a stressed life?

 

We need to have the right checks. 

 

These are three things we must always keep in check

 

1: Live from the inside out. 

 

The Beatitudes was preached to the religious Jews at the time.

They were living a life that was consumed with what was happening on the outside.

 

They neglected what was on the inside. 

 

Jesus shifts the focus from whats happening on the outside to the inside.

Spirit, soul, body

 

- Popular opinion says you get to heaven by being good enough. 

 

Jesus says:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3 ESV)

 

Poor in spirit represents a need for God. A position of humility. 

 

- Popular opinion says the pursuit of happiness will satisfy you

 

Jesus says: 

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4 ESV)

 

Who mourn over their sin. They will be comforted.

 

- Popular opinion says stand up and always do what's best for you, don't let anyone tell you what to do. 

 

Jesus says:

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5 ESV)

 

Meaning blessed are those who refrain from the right to do something for the sake of someone else benefit. 

 

- Popular opinion says satisfy yourself. 

 

Jesus says: 

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

 

- Popular opinion says be ruthless in your pursuit. 

 

Jesus says: 

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7 ESV)

 

- Popular opinion says be immoral: 

 

Jesus says:

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8 ESV)

 

- Popular opinion says fight for your rights

 

Jesus says: 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

 

- Popular opinion says live a comfortable life

 

Jesus says:

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10 ESV)

 

- Popular opinion says clear your name under all circumstances. 

 

Jesus says:

"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

 

We must order our lives around a desire for the spirit.

 

2) Have an eternal perspective

 

Perspective is everything, it is the difference between a blessed life and a stressed life

 

WHERE you see will determine WHAT you see

 

You'll see either an average house or a beautiful house

You'll see either and average life or a beautiful life

You'll see either a blessed life or a stressed life. 

 

When your eyes are fixed on God then our perspective shifts

 

WHERE we see will determine HOW we walk - DEMONSTRATION

 

2 Kings 6:14-17 ESV
[14] So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city. [15] When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" [16] He said, "Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." [17] Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see." So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

 

An eternal perspective means we understand how blessed we are and the stresses of life aren't as stressful. 

 

Living a blessed life is seeing things in light of eternity

Life is temporary

 

Prayer changes our perspective.

When we pray we are taking on the perspective of God. 

 

3) Keep God at the center of everything. 

 

Jesus in the sermon on the mount continues by saying:

 

Matthew 6:31-34 ESV
[31] Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' [32] For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. [33] But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. [34] "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

 

Seek first the kingdom of a God and all these things will be added to you. 

 

What are you seeking? 

A blessed life is one where God adds to it.

 

In the blessed life you aren't the priority, God is.

 

In the blessed life you aren't the centre, God is. 

 

We are all faced with decisions - where will I place my relationship with God and his kingdom

 

Some small decisions, some bigger decisions. 

 

6 years ago I was faced with a big decision - God was calling me into ministry as a pastor. 

I was in my final year at university - about to finish my degree in Medical Radiation in the area of Radiation therapy and had jobs lined up. But he started calling me - do you trust me with your future. Long story short, after confirmations I decided to go to bible college and "give up" my future I had planned and studied for. There isn't one day that I have regretted this decision God has truly blessed me with an amazing job, wife, daughter, family and future. 

 

When we seek first the kingdom of God we live the blessed life. 

 

Where is God for you right now? 

 

How are your priorities going? 

 

There are a few indicators that can help answer that question. 

 

What I do win my time

What I do with my talents

And what I do with my tithe are all indicators of where God is positioned. 

 

When he is positioned at the centre and his kingdom is my priority then all of those areas come second. 

 

Those who truly have God at the centre of their life are truly blessed.

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Blessed Not Stressed Pt 2

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Blessed Not Stressed Pt 2

 

TOP 10 SECRETS OF THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE

According to psychcentral.com these are the 10 most common attributes that happy people have in common.

1. They Practice Gratitude.

2. They Enjoy Their Own Company. 

3. They’re Honest and Tell the Truth.

4. They Make Time for Fun.

5. They Make Sure to Get Enough Sleep.

6. They Practice Forgiveness.

7. They Help Others.

8. They Enjoy Their Work.

9. They Have Good, Healthy Relationships.

10. They Believe in Something.

 

Jesus is the Centre of all things..

          "For from him and through him and for him are all things." - Romans 11:36 

 

JOHN 3:16….FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE....

The most Generous act in History by God the Father who sent Jesus to this earth for you and I.
Generosity personifies the character of God.
Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.
This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives. That’s what prompted us to ask Titus to bring the relief offering to your attention, so that what was so well begun could be finished up. You do so well in so many things—you trust God, you’re articulate, you’re insightful, you’re passionate, you love us—now, do your best in this, too.
I’m not trying to order you around against your will. But by bringing in the Macedonians’ enthusiasm as a stimulus to your love, I am hoping to bring the best out of you. You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich
— 2 Corinthians 8 (MSG)

1.  Everybody can be Generous

They were  “desperately poor.”

·     Often we see generosity as something we do when we can afford it.

·     Generosity is not an affordable item. 

·     Generosity comes from a position of your heart, not a position of your head.

"They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!"

 

2.  Generosity is Evidence of God at work.

 Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. 

·     Generosity is an evidence of a person walking with God.

 

3.  Generosity Opportunities are not always timely.

Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit.

·     Generosity is often defined by the circumstance.

Mark 12 (The widow) "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford—she gave her all."

·     The opportunity of generosity is defined by the circumstances surrounding it. Generosity, in this case, is defined as what she couldn’t afford.

 

4.  Generosity is the result of Revelation.

vs5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

·     The fight was between the natural (reason) and the spiritual (revelation)

·     The generous opportunity will be a decision of revealed conviction.

·     When you give out of Revelation and Conviction,  Lord calls it PURE.

 

5.  Generosity leads to Purity of heart.

The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts.

·     John 3:16 For so loved  that "HE GAVE"…..

·     Generosity comes form the place of "SO LOVING"....

·    "SO LOVING" demands ACTIVATION….

·     You can give and not love but you cannot love and not give.

 

6.  Generosity is a privilege and spontaneous.

They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians. This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard.

·     It becomes an a privilege because “WE GET TO” as compares to “WE HAVE TO.”

Generous - Self Assessment
Generous - Self Assessment
Here is a little self assessment you can take to help you of your journey of Generosity..
I am always looking for opportunities to be generous.
I count it a privilege to give to others.
I find it difficult to be generous when I look at my finances.
I would love to be more generous.
Generosity does not come easy to me.
I need to work on this more in my life.
I am going to look for more opportunities to be generous

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Blessed not Stressed - part one

LIVE LARGER WITH LESS.

Today I want to talk to you about the one word that is KEY to living blessed not stressed.  One word.  An elusive word.  A difficult word to master.  A difficult word to live by.  But one word that changes the trajectory and happiness of your life.   One word that allows you to be blessed with more,  without it being stolen by stress.

Jesus said Matt 6  Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”  

In other words it’s the quality of your life that matters.  It’s about living blessed not stressed.

Paul writes to Timothy and says I’ve learned living blessed and not stressed.   Remember I’ve been through everything you could imagine, but I’ve realized the secret is contentment.

1 TIM 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Contentment is not the word we think it means which means to settle down.  Contentment means to get more bang for your buck.  It means to gain more than just money or possessions.

Contentment:  Greek word autarkeia

1) a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed. It means to be blessed not stressed!

“Until you make peace with who you are, you will never be content with what you have.” ~Doris Mortman

In the 6th chapter of Paul’s letter to Timothy there is a detailed explanation about the enemy of the blessed life.  It’s the stressed life that is consumed with consuming.

1 Timothy 6:5,6  These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think  that godliness is a means to financial gain. But Godliness with contentment is great gain.  9 -10 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Some translations

Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit.

A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have.

But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment.

The greek word for GAIN is the word PORISMOS.  It’s a very uncommon noun and only used 2 x in the whole of the NT.  And both times it appears in verse 5 and verse 6 of 2 Timothy 6.  In verse 5, the word PORISMOS means financial gain and it’s obvious from the text.  ‘some think  that godliness is a means to financial gain.’

Then in verse 6 it says, but Timothy please understand something.  Godliness with Contentment is GREAT GAIN.  The word PORISMOS is used here too.  What Paul is saying, is if you will get it the right way around.  If you will seek Godliness and contentment, first you won’t be stressed, but even more your will be blessed not stressed.   And it includes great gains financially, relationally, emotionally and spiritually.

Contentment is the great protector against greed, and against the love of money.  Contentment stops you being a slave to Mammon.  Contentment with godliness Paul says leads to great gains.   If we are going to get ahead in life and in deed live blessed not stressed, then we have to aim to be contented.  To be Godly, means you have put Jesus first and you trust him with all your heart and to be contented means you aren’t LONGING for stuff.  You aren’t longing or pinning your satisfaction of achieving a certain status.  You have realized that he is the all sufficient one.   The longing and striving is gone.  Can you say that about yourself.

WHY IT IS SUCH A GREAT WAY OF LIFE.

Because you are able to live larger and lose less.   Because you aren’t longing, living and a slave to GAINING stuff, you lose less.

  • You lose less time trying to keep pace with everything.

  • You lose less money to banks and credit cards in continual interest payments.

  • You lose less sleep and have more energy because you aren’t chasing everything and trying to keep up.

  • You have less stress because you aren’t worrying so much. You aren’t so tired.  You have less stress therefore less arguments therefore less conflicts.   You have less frustration.

  • When you are content, you have more time to be creative and do more for others.

The greatest thing stopping God’s blessing sticking to your lives is Godliness and contentment.

Because we don’t live content most of our blessing is lost in

a)   Bank interest

b)  Worry

c)   Comparing what we have to what others have

d)  Working harder to keep up with the repayments

e)   Unnecessary effort.

SO HOW DO WE LIVE CONTENTED LIVES.  BLESSED NOT STRESSED.

1.  Stop looking at the lack you have

You can choose life, or you can choose to chase after your lack.
Luke 12: 14   “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Start looking at life, and not the lack.   When you are focused on your lack, you completely miss life. What does it profit you or materially gain you if gain the whole world but lose your marriage, lose your kids, lose your faith, lose your joy, lose you peace.

2.  Stop comparing yourself to others

eg;  Have you noticed you are doing fine, until you compare yourself to others.  They have a man, they have a woman, they have more time. They have a better job.

3.    Develop a thankful attitude.

4.    Focus on accumulating not acquisition

God’s blessing is on you.  You can’t stop God’s blessing.  Nobody can stop God blessing you.  The only thing that can, is stressing.  Stressing ruins the blessing.  Stressing is messing up the blessing.

Over the years we haven’t got wealthy, but we have accumulated things.  Making small incremental moves forward.  Sometimes failing, often getting it right.  Accumulation is God’s plan of sustainable wealth creation and contentment.

5.  Create Margins

Is 5:8  Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.

NB:  Many of us want to give so that lives can be changed, but you are choked by your lifestyle.  It’s time to downsize so you can include God in your life FULLY.

6. Be content with what you have, but never with what you are.

Never stop learning, growing, or discovering. Take pride in your person and the progress that you have made, but never become so content that you cannot find room for improvement. Contentment is not the same as complacency. As soon as you stop growing, you start dying.

What are you going to do for Jesus this next 3 months?  Thanksgiving for me this year was about looking at all the times I encouraged people and changed their lives with my smiles and my words.

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More Opportunity

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More Opportunity

MORE OPPORTUNITY

 

Opportunity is one of the greatest gifts of life!

God has given us a world full of opportunities,

 

Three requirements of more opportunity:

 

1) More Opportunity Requires More Perspective. 

 

Two shoe salesmen were sent to Africa to see if there was a market for their product.
The first salesman reported back, “This is a terrible business opportunity, no-one wears shoes.”
The second salesman reported back, “This is a fantastic business opportunity, no-one wears shoes.”  Please send me more containers

 

Your perspective will determine what you see

 

What's the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Your mindset. 

 

How we see things will determine what we see. 

 

There is opportunity all around us, the question is can we see it?

Moses sends out a group of spied, and they come back with this report:

Numbers 13:25-32 ESV
[25] At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land. [26] And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. [27] And they told him, "We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. [28] However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. [29] The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan." [30] But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, "Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it." [31] Then the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are." [32] So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, "The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height.

 

Both groups of men saw the same thing, one saw an obstacle, the other saw an opportunity.

 

Joshua saw an opportunity for breakthrough. The other spies saw another impossibility. 

 

Sometimes the biggest obstacles are in fact opportunities for breakthrough.

 

What obstacles are you facing???

Maybe they are not there to take you out, but to propel you into your promise?

 

Sometimes God answers our prayers of opportunity, but they look like obstacles. 

 

More opportunity requires more perspective

 

2) More Opportunity Requires More Responsibility. 

If we want more opportunities then more responsibility is required

 

Responsibility is exactly that - response to an ability. 

 

Praying for more opportunities to share the gospel requires more boldness

Praying for more opportunity to be used by God requires more sacrifice

More opportunity to grow requires more stretching

 

Carl Lentz says "the local church is not built on the talents of few, but on the sacrifice of many"

 

As the church we have a responsibility to look for opportunities. 

If we want the church to move forward then we must embrace the responsibility

"More requires more."

More opportunity requires more responsibility.

 

3) More Opportunity Requires More Action. 

 

Matthew 9 shows us Jesus in a hurry. 

He is: healing paralytics, calling disciples, raising the dead, healing issues, the blind and the mute.

We find the heart behind why Jesus was doing what he was doing in Mathew 9:36-38:

Matthew 9:36-38 ESV
[36] When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. [37] Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; [38] therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

Jesus was moved with compassion.

 

The harvest was plentiful but the workers were few. 

What was Jesus saying? Pray for people to respond to opportunity

 

Opportunity is knocking at the door of the church - People are relying on our response to the call. 

Are you moved with compassion? Can you see the opportunities?

 

In a few months we are moving to a new building - what are we doing? Positioning ourselves for a greater opportunity to reach people. 

To reach people and tell them about the good news, that Jesus conquered sin and death. 

As we move into this new building there is more opportunity. 

As a campus we are believing for more new people,  more services, more teams, more disciples. 

And this means more opportunity.

I want to give you the opportunity right now to get involved as part of the dream team.

 

Please fill in the form below to express your interest in joining the DREAM TEAM:

 

Name *
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Phone *
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Please choose the area you are interested in

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Embrace Koinonia - Ps Ted Evans

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Embrace Koinonia - Ps Ted Evans

‘Behold I am doing a new thing Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it (embrace it)’
— Isaiah43:19

EMBRACE KOINONIA!

Meaning:
- Apprehend
- Lay ahold of it

 

TO EMBRACE ALL THAT GOD HAS FOR YOU THIS YEAR WE NEED TO LET THE PAST GO!

Forgetting the former thing-do not dwell on the past

 

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted(Don’t be like the ones that doubt) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
— Matthew 28:16-20

Primary Focus is: To Obey.....

"Obedience is the key to walking with God."

 

1. Discipleship

"Discipleship is my day by day life, not my expository preaching."

Its how I live more than what I say.

A disciple is a person living christ 24/7 (public & private)

A disciple is a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ!

‘Neither Heigths nor depth, angels nor principalities.....shall be able to separate us from the love of Jesus...’
— Romans 8

A disciple loves serving Jesus. (faith without works is dead)

A disciple understands the importance of human connection.

'Life' is discipleship...a key aspect of our life is this word 'Koinonia'

 

The New Testament model of nurture & care...

-  for growing in God

-  For relationship building

-  For team building

-  Koinonia (to give out of yourself)

-  It's changing the focus of self... to

How can I bless the Kingdom by blessing others? 'Blessed to be a blessing!'

-  Koinonia is Kingdom focused!

-  Not just hanging out!

-  ITS missional in purpose.

 

 

Koinonia

Koinonia is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible.

Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing in common, communion.”

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
— Acts 2:42
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”
— Philippians 2:1-2

"Our Koinonia with each other is based on our common Koinonia with Jesus Christ."

“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
— John 1:6-7

BIBLICAL KOINONIA:

Romans 12:10 Devoted to one another honour one another, live in harmony with one another.

(Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8), Accept one another!

(Romans 15:7), Serve one another in love!

(Galatians 5:13), Be kind and compassionate to one another!

(Ephesians 4:32), Admonish one another!

(Colossians 3:16), Encourage one another!

(1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13), Spur one another on toward love and good deeds!

(Hebrews 10:24), Offer hospitality!

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The Principle of Remaining

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The Principle of Remaining

The Principle of Remaining

 

January 15, 2017
by Steve Hilder

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! ”

— John 15 1-11

1. Live by CONVICTIONS not Convenience

 

“Never for the sake of peace and quiet deny your convictions. ”

— Dag Hammarskjold

 IN ITS SIMPLEST MEANING, A CONVICTION IS SOMETHING ABOUT WHICH WE ARE CONVINCED. 

"CONVICTION IS A CONVINCED CONSCIENCE."

“Biblical convictions are essential for spiritual growth and maturity. What is ironic today is that people often have strong convictions about weak issues (football, fashion, etc.) while having weak convictions about major issues (what is right and what is wrong).”

— Rick Warren

“38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

— Romans 8:38

“20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.
21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 
22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 
23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded
24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”

— Romans 4:20-24

 

·      It is much easier to live by convenience but far less fruitful

·      Conviction requires thought, contemplation, belief, decision

·      Convictions cause you to become aware

·      Convictions are not easily reversed

·      Convictions cause you to become unwavering

·      Convictions will tend to say “NO” more than they will “YES”..

“A “NO” uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a “Yes” merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”

— Ghandi

Convictions are formed by the decision to REMAIN in him

“Never give in - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. ”

— Winston Churchill

2. Live with Godly CONFIDENCE.

 Confidence is the assurance we sense as we start to live out our convictions

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord

Our Confidence is not in ourselves or or ability BUT in the LORD. 

“For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.”

— Colossians 1:27

“23 But you must continue (move forward) to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.”

— 1 Corinthians 1:23

“12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.”

— Ephesians 3:12

“14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.”

— 1 John 5:14

3. Get CONNECTED - Move from the Crowd to the Core

“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. ”

— Acts 2:42-44

“32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.”

— Acts 2:32

 

The early church was characterised by many amazing attributes;

·      Incredible Generosity

·      Passion for the Word of God

·      Miracles – Signs and Wonders

·      Amazing growth

·      Transparent worship

 

All was underpinned by an undying commitment to UNITY and literally "BEING TOGETHER."

FAMILIES STICK TOGETHER

FAMILIES LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY

FAMILIES COVER EACH OTHER

FAMILIES CREATE BOUNDARIES OF SAFETY

THEY ARE GENEROUS TO EACH OTHER

UNCONDITIONALLY ACCEPTED

 

4. CONTINUE to Remain

CONTINUANCE SPEAKS OF TIME AND LONGEVITY

SUCCESS IS A “LONG OBEDIENCE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION”

 

GOD FAVOURS CONTINUANCE.

“Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off. ”

— Romans 11:22

CONTINUANCE IS A CHARACTER TRAIT OF GOD.

“And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.”

— 2 Corinthians 1:10

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

— Philippians 1:6

5. Remaining Grows Fruit - Remaining leads to Refreshing

“ 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! ”

— John 15:11

 

The grafted branch has to change, and the host has to support and nourish.

“You, by nature, were a branch cut from a wild olive tree. So God was willing to graft you into his cultivated tree..”

— Romans 11:24 (revised)

 

Here are some important facts about grafting —

·      the host never changes.  

·      The cultivated tree stays exactly the same, other than being cut to accept the graft.  

·      It is the graft that changes, but the graft will never, ever make the newcomer exactly like the natural branches.  

·      The fruit won’t ever look or taste exactly the same as the fruit the host tree originally produced, but it will change.  

·      Wild fruit is generally not as abundant as cultivated, or as large.  

·      Grafting changes that — and within a few years, the grafted branch will produce fruit that is far superior in quantity and quality to what it once produced when attached to the natural wild stock.

“Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”

— Hebrews 10:36

6. REMAINING is Foundational to REPRODUCING

 

Remaining leads to Refreshing – Refreshing leads to Reproduction

 

SUMMARY:

Live by Conviction NOT Convenience

Live with Godly Confidence

Get Connected

Continue to Remain

 

Homework?

1. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to develop God honouring convictions.

2. Do all your convictions line up with the Word of God?

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to live according to your convictions, especially when it is not popular.

4. Are you a part of the Crowd or the Core?

 

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Follow Your Dreams

Welcome to 2017!


1.  What is a dream?

  • A dream is a desire of your heart that won't go away.
  • A dream is a desire in your heart that God put there.
  • A dream is a desire to achieve something that stays with you.
  • Dreams from God are always bigger than your capability.
  • Dreams from God are always about your impact on people for their eternal destiny and the fulfilment of their life missions.
  • Dreams are compelling desires
Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 21:2 You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.

The implication in these verses is that God wants to be in your dreams. In fact the Hebrew language picture of this is of an empty vessel being filled. God wants to pour dreams into you, dreams of blessing and impact and breakthrough.  

2.  The result of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is dreams and visions

  • The language of the Holy Spirit is dreams and visions
Acts 2: 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, your old men will dream dreams.  

3.    People in the Bible had dreams

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians,enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.”  Then the astrologers answered the king, “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”  The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honour. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”  Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.” The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.” This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death. When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him. Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said:
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  He reveals deep and hidden things   he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:  You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you  you have made known to us the dream of the king.”  Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.”

Nebuchadnezzar was desperate to know the dream. He knew he had one, but he couldn't remember what it was. Sometimes we forget the dream. Sometimes we need to find wise people not only to interpret the dream, but to tell us what the dream is.

So many people are lost.

  • Lost in their job
  • Lost in their debts
  • Lost in survival
  • Lost in their hurts.

Why? Because they don't understand the journey.

4.  Getting in touch with your dreams.  

Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  

Getting in touch with your dreams starts with getting in touch with your hearts desires.

 

This is your life, your one and only life. You and God determine what's possible!

In 5 years Columbus opened up a whole new world by discovering the Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola and North and South America.  

In just under 5 years Michelangelo painted the Sistine chapel.  

In less than 5 years Shakespeare wrote ‘Hamlet, ‘Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and 5 other immortal plays.  

You have the same number of hours per day that were give to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.  

If you don’t have a dream, how can you have a dream come true?

Exercise:  multiply your age x 365 = ?

Now take the number 27375 and deduct your answer from that = how many days you have left on earth.  

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