The Holy Spirit:
Cannot be manufactured
Cannot be conjured up
Cannot be produced
Cannot be faked
Cannot be created
Cannot be taken
Will not be taken away
It can be grieved
Is Gods awesome presence which is given Once and for always
2 Cor 1:21-22
21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
John 14: 15 -17
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth.
Ephesians 1:11 – 14
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, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
This is an amazing video.
On a recent trip to Blackpool Illuminations I was left more than a little disappointed. One of the main reasons that I loved the illuminations was because of the Jesus Light of the world illumination. (possibly the only reason I loved the illuminations….other than the endless sitting in traffic of course!)
But this year This particular light was missing and had been replaced with a happy Diwali light ( no problem with this!)
Again this weekend I watched Songs of Praise ( i must be getting old) and was left very disappointed when on one particular hymn – How great thou Art – the verse referring to Christ was edited out!! and through the whole episode Jesus was not mentioned once , there were plenty of references to God and to Love but they felt mostly generic.
The Clue here folks is in what we call ourselves ….CHRISTians, Christ is the foundation of our belief, this country used to declare itself a Christian country and here we are finding ourselves afraid of proclaiming the name of Jesus on even the most religious of TV program’s, where the name of Jesus is banned from Schools and where any declaration of our faith in the work place can result in the sack!!
Is it any wonder that our country is in the mess its in, I’m not blaming the whole financial crisis and associated mess, the social decline on the nations godlessness… but it certainly wont have helped!!!
We have become a nation were the desire for stuff and money has overtaken any other desires, where the desire to have the next big thing is what is exciting our hearts. God is so much better than the next I-phone or the next televisual revelation , he is so much bigger than Apple or Sony.
God has so much stored up for us that we cant even begin to imagine what he is going to do…He is just waiting for us to ask!! waiting for us to turn to him and away from the god of stuff.
PLEASE PLEASE! don’t get me wrong I don’t think there is anything wrong with Christians writing or reading Books!!!!
But I feel that there is an inherant danger in them and this is from experiance.
There are a lot of very very good christian books out there and i could recommend a few!! but why I feel there is a danger is that we can become obssessed about books.
I fairly recently read The Cross and the Switchblade closely followed by Run Baby Run both of with are great books but I did have to cathc my self when i started thinking things like ….We should be doing this or Why arent we out doing this type of work!!
My wife even more recently read the to book and is something of a book worm so had read a couple of other books in a very short space of time, shee also found herself getting ahead of God.
Another person who I know very well and love very much reads a lot of books from one particular Christian author and many a time I hear her saying things like “well so and so says this ” or so and so says that”
And there in lies the danger..
We can become focused on what the books say and are about or what is going on in other places and lose focus of what God is telling YOU!,what GOD is teaching your church and lose sight of the good works your church is doing.
Trust God, trust Jesus and trust his Holy spirit to guide you.
By the way I really would recommend The Cross and the Switch blade and Run Baby Run but read them in that order!!
Lets be honest, having had a look around the web this question has been around in one form or another for quite a while now.
I was asked this question by one of our Genetik Students recently.
My initial answer was fairly simple in that you have consider the heart behind the writing of the song. But as we continued to discus this a few interesting points were raised.
In the end we challenged each other to come back with a list of 3 song we thought could be claimed for God. ( not Definative!)
Sounds easy I thought!! but having gone through quite a number of songs and having trawled the web……it was not not as easy as I though. I have a list of around 20 maybes but only 3 definite’s and None which i thought could be used in a Congregational setting!
For me Yes we can claim songs for God but and its a massive BUT some conditions would have to exist.
if it was written about a relationship it would have to be a bit ambiguous i.e. no reference to him or her
it would have to be from an unselfish viewpoint!
more did come into my head but they have gone now!!! ( Any ideas?)
so my list:
I’ll stand by you – Pretenders
If everyone cared – Nickleback
Jesus take the wheel – Carrie Underwood
by no means is this definitive and I don’t have a right or wrong answer ! but I would like to know your thoughts!!!
10 Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
you islands, and all who live in them.
Make me Lord a Dreamer for your Kingdom
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.
In worship at what point do we decide we have done enough songs and then the next song becomes to many?
Surely we should want to sing out our praise and worship to God – the more the merrier.
To do a set list and have someone say surely we are not going to do all them is limiting God?
I wouldn’t say ” OK enough of the prayers now” or lets keep the preach to 10 mins max, -so, to me limiting a set list to 3 or 4 is just daft!
When I prepare a set list I want God to have his way, I want to create space for change and for the movement of the spirit.
There are 150 psalms in the bible, Did God say after the first 10…”OK I think I have heard enough now lets move on to something else”
No God couldn’t get enough of it, in fact in Revelation we are told the living creatures are sing just one song over and over again “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
So is 4/5/6+ songs to many – for me – no the song of our hearts is endless and our hearts should sing an endless praise to God.
Truth is if I felt God only wanted me to do 1 song I would only do 1 but if he wanted me to do 10 I would also do 10 –
There can NEVER be to much!!
hope this makes sense!
New International Version (NIV)
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Image from Flickr
Over the last few weeks we have seen some pretty incredible things happening! I won’t go into detail because you all know what they are.
What I will say is that in our country we have seen possibly the Worst and The best in society!
The worst being the riots, which along with many of you, I never thought I would see.
The best – for me what occurred in Wootton Bassett was just awesome. Where ordinary members of the public came together in a extraordinary show of Gratitude.
What I will say about the Riots is fairly simple.
No matter what the government does to deal with the issue long term – their solutions will always result in a section of society becoming disillusioned! But the Church should also take a long hard look at its self. If the Church was united in carrying out the mission that it was tasked with so many more of OUR! youngsters would feel like they had a purpose – If the church was united in carrying out its mission many more of OUR! youth would feel real Love. ( PS- I know there are churches working hard!).
I am Luck enough to work for a fantastic charity that is working in the many of the areas of need in our country but there is only so much they can do, It will take the whole of the Christian church to unite together and work as one body – as we were tasked! – to prevent anything like this from happening again!
No there’s something I WOULD like to see in my life time!
Last night I completed my first day of the iFast…Just a week late but i started!
I still love the idea and intend to stick to it but we all know how intentions can pan out!!
So what did i do……..
I prayed, for the first time in a long time I prayed with no aim, not out of a sense of duty not requests, only for God to lead me where HE wanted me to go.
I felt led to read Romans 8, not what i usually read in Romans 8. As i started to read i felt drawn to just 1 verse:
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Somehow… dont ask me how!! I felt led ( I have to say felt led because I didnt hear a great booming Voice saying” NOW YOU HAVE STARTED YOU MUST DO A-B AND C!)
I felt led to do 3 things in my prayer life:
A- DAILY Confess my sins
B- Give thanks!
C- pray for 1 person specifically
To some these may seem fairly simple but to others these can be fairly hard to achieve.
To be honest I am not 100% sure of the link between the 3 and the above scripture but I do know that if I do the 3 things then I will be part of the way to removing my mind from the fleshly desires and on the path to a mind set on what the spirit desires…( so I did know the link after all!)
I hear a lot about how various pastors and preachers want our churches to be more like the early church!!
To be honest this does confuse me a bit at time ( not particularly difficult!), maybe I look to much into the negatives at time, but to me this seems a bit short sighted.
I love reading Pauls letters to the churches – The early church – to me there seems to be a lot of good stuff but there also seems to be a lot of areas where the churches were getting it wrong.
so my question today is simple:
Are we more like the early church than we think?