Sunday, 27 July 2008

A Generational God

What a great Sunday we enjoyed together in the presence of the Lord. God is a generational God!

He loves every generation. He revealed Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the generations who always live before Him, Matt 22.32. We also explored how these generations represent different stages of life, 1 John 2.12-14, children, young men and fathers.

I see this as representative of spiritual development rather than addressing gender categories. The key is to enjoy each stage for what it is and then be prepared in the process of life to move on. The sad reality is that some get stuck at a particular stage. This happened to the Corinthians. Paul wanted to speak to them as mature people but had to revert to feeding them milk, 1Cor3.1-3, something fit for babies. At a later date we will look at some of the things that hinder us from moving on to maturity.

For now we will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each stage of spiritual development. This will help us to know what to appreciate in each other and what to watch out for. John seems to emphasise two simple realities for those who are new to the faith. Their sins are forgiven and they know the Father. What glorious truths. We are loved for who we are.

The first thing the Holy Spirit does for us is cry out from deep within, ‘Abba, Father’, Gal 4.6; Rom 8.15. We belong to the family of God, born of His Spirit. In this great adventure of faith we begin with a clean slate. Our sins are forgiven. Not only that, we are told how to keep it clean, 1Jn 1.9. Through confession (saying the same thing, agreeing with God about our sin and what He has done with it), we are free to walk in the blessing of Sonship. What is also interesting is that as we mature, these truths are abiding. They become part of the foundation of our identity in Christ.

I pray that this week you will have a fresh appreciation of the love of God for you and walk with a heart cleansed from unrighteousness through the amazing power of confession.

You can listen to the message here.

When our words line up with Biblical truth they have the power to change our world.

Enjoying the journey with you!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

The Beginning of Something Beautiful

As often happens at this time of year, some have been away enjoying annual holidays while others were visiting family and friends. For the rest of us back in Chertsey it was my first Sunday ministering as the new pastor of Jubilee.

I spoke on the importance of having our hearts set on Pilgrimage from Psalm 84.5. A pilgrim is one who commits himself to going on a journey. Abraham’s first call in Gen 12.1 was to journey to a land God would show him. He did not begin knowing where he would end up. Clarity came as he took his first steps of faith.

According to Psalm 84.5 the person who does this has their strength in God and is blessed. I believe this word carries a prophetic significance for us as a church. I have spent much time seeking the Lord about the way forward and have a clear sense of the subjects and teaching that will enable us to move ahead together.

Please endeavour to listen to this message and others you may miss, (it is available to download from the website as an MP3 here. Soon we hope to have them as podcasts). It will ensure that we are all tuning in to present truth that the Holy Spirit is guiding us into. Let me also invite you to approach my messages as the Bereans did with Paul’s ministry in Acts 17.11 – they received the word with all readiness and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

An attitude of readiness and a commitment to constantly go back to scripture to test everything you hear and prove it for yourself is one of the highest compliment you can pay me. As God’s pilgrim people there is something for us to see, be assured of, embrace and confess, Heb 11.13. They are the promises of God. To embrace God’s promises is to embrace God’s reality. Every promise that is fulfilled now is a token of a greater promise yet to be fulfilled in the future.

Healing now points the greater healing that comes through the resurrection, owning property now points to the greater reality that one day we will inherit the earth. So let’s receive every blessing with thanksgiving, but hold it lightly so that we can move forward together in the purpose of God, as pilgrims. Our hearts are not set on temporal realities but on words that will outlive creation, Matt 24.35

I look forward to this faith venture with you.