Monday, 26 March 2012

Ressurection! The Antidote to Entropy

Resurrection! The Antidote to Entropy

‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death’ (Ro 8:1-2)

I am not a scientist and neither do I have any deep understanding of scientific things.

However, I have gleaned from people who have a scientific knowledge that there is a scientific law called ‘The third law of thermo-dynamics’, otherwise known as the ‘law of entropy’.

This law states in layman’s terms that, ‘everything left by itself, without any outside influence, falls into decay’.

This law is seen to be at work all around us in the natural realm e.g. beautiful garden without a gardener becomes a plot of weeds, a beautiful home without continual maintenance becomes a pile of dust, a brand new Mercedes without tender care will become a pile of rust.

It is a law that those that dismiss a belief in creation and cling to the belief in the theory of evolution seem to forget. For a state of nothingness cannot produce anything without an outside influence.

Can I suggest to you that that which science has discovered and called ‘The third law of thermo-dynamics’ or the ‘law of entropy’, the Bible has known about for a very long time.

However, the Bible calls it by another name, ‘…the law of sin and death’.
Very simply it means, if you sin you die.

Adam and Eve in the Garden disobeyed the Command ‘Do not eat’ and their disobedience brought judgement.
Man rejected the outside influence or higher power and is now left by itself with decay.
Ever since the world has been subject to this law.
This is the natural order.
Since man fell in the Garden of Eden things have progressively become worse with the passage of time.
Oh yes, man has made many advances in life, technology, medicine, art, science and discoveries, but the deterioration of the law of sin and death continues.
We still get older, weaker and die.
The world, despite its advancements has suffered more death through war in the last 100 years than throughout history combined.
Atrocities still face us day by day.

Man still has no cure for a broken heart, guilt, or fear.
Why? Because without and outside influence, without intervention from a power greater than itself, man is locked into the law of sin and death and continues into decay.

The answer we come up with is to look into ourselves, discover our true potential, work harder, learn more, increase, invest, follow this way or that way. But all of them are based on the natural order of things.
We do not have the answer.

As you prepare for the Easter holidays you are facing probably the most important day in the Christian calendar.
Why? Because it reminds us that on this day 2,000 years ago man was given the opportunity to participate in a change from the natural order of things.

Jesus Christ, who was crucified, certified dead and buried three days earlier, was raised to life!
The resurrection went against the natural order of things and the Bible promises that all who trust in Christ with all their heart will do the same.

The law of sin and death was impacted by a higher law.
The law of the Spirit of Life sets us free from the law of sin and death,

What is the law of the Spirit of Life?
Very simply it is this, just in the same way the law of sin and death came into the world through the sin and disobedience of one man, Adam, so the law of the Spirit of life comes through the obedience of one man, Jesus Christ.
Death came into the world because of what one man (Adam) did, and it is because of what this other man (Christ) has done that now there is the resurrection from the dead. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, being members of his sinful race, and wherever there is sin, death results. But all who are related to Christ will rise again’ (1Co 15:21-23 TLB)

So what law are you living under?
Why not take a step this Easter and break the law that kills and submit to the law that brings life.

Just saying......

Friday, 16 March 2012

Why Face Impossibilies

Have you ever noticed how God sometimes in bringing us where he wants us be takes us through places we don’t want to go.

Joshua and the Israelites were being called to enter the Land of Promise at most difficult place (Jericho) and at the most inopportune time (Jordan in flood).

God called them to the impossible, through the impossible, by the impossible!

Have you ever wondered why he does this?

Here are 5 reasons why!

Reason 1. To make us bigger people
‘Today I will begin to exalt you’ (3:7)
The Hebrew means - 'To make great
God wants to make us great - bigger people - to do it he needs to stretch us, test us, see what is in us - refining process - Joshua had lived in Moses shadow - now needed stretching as he takes up responsibility of something bigger.

Reason 2. To reveal His presence
‘This is how you will know that the living God is among you’ (3:10a)
If God didn't lead us through impossible circumstances by supernatural means what would mark us out as having the presence of God with us

Reason 3. He wants to do it so he can defeat our enemies and drive them of from our possession.
‘He will certainly drive out from before you’ 3:10b
He uses us to take back ground the devil thought was secure and safe in his possessions.
In those impossible situations, wilderness experiences that we go through we can cause light to shine in darkness.
IJn 3:8 “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devils work”
He uses us to enforce that victory and take back ground that Adam lost and which Christ restored.

Reason 4 He did this so his power could be revealed and that all men might know he is the Almighty.
'He did this so that all peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful’ (4:24a)
He uses our impossible situations to reveal his glory and power. If we can always cope in natural - when will supernatural be revealed.
Uses circumstances of journey to reveal his power

Reason 5. So we might always stand in awe of him
‘So that you might always fear the Lord your God’ (4:24b)
The God of impossible deeds
So that we might have a confidence in him, not only to take us in and then through impossibilities but in and through the last enemy which is death.

God wants us to cross great obstacles have great adventures and overcome impossibilities.
Everything God does is to a purpose.
‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ (Ro 8:28)
Even the trouble we face in this world God uses to a purpose.

 So what do we do to become victors in difficult times
 So what do we do to become available for God to take us through impossibilities.
 So what do we do to fulfil God’s purpose in our trouble?

1. They moved off from a place of rest (3:1)
‘What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Ro 8:31)
‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?’ (Ro 8:35)

2. They followed God’s leading (3:3)
Follow the anointing – comes a time when all are tested in this, i.e. Jesus into wilderness (Jn 4:4, Ps 23, Ps 66)

3. Consecrated themselves (3:5)
Set themselves apart to do his will.

4. They took a step of faith (3:13)
Faith to fight. Faith to go with flow.
Faith to believe God’s in control

Laugh at the darkness and sing in the rain.

Faith is hearing the music of tomorrow but dancing to it today.

5. Be obedient to His word (4:8)
If you keep doing what is right according to the Word then what’s wrong and who’s wrong will soon leave your life.

6. We have to desire the place God wants us to be in more than we fear the journey to get there.
40 years earlier the people were fearful but today was different.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Don't just tell; Show

In Luke 5:12-14 Jesus heals a man covered in leprosy.
Leprosy was and still is a terrible disease. In the culture of our text it was not only a very debilitating disease physically but caused the sufferer to be judged as unclean meaning they would be treated as a outcast by society and excluded from any social involvement.

We are told that the moment Jesus touched the man that the leprosy left him immediately.

What is interesting is that Jesus told him not to tell people but to show people that he had been made clean.

As Christians, the issue isn't simply that we tell people that we are forgiven and that we are saved but to show them by our lifestyle and actions.
What people see will always triumph over what people hear. When their eyes and ears conflict they will believe their eyes.

So let me ask you if you are showing, by your holy lifestyle that you are forgiven and clean?
What do people see by your behaviour and habits?
Is your lifestyle different than the worlds?
Live holy, live clean, avoid temptation, keep good company

Think about it.....

Monday, 22 August 2011

Phil 3:12 ‘I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me’.
Paul's 'that’ was to be conformed to the image of Christ in this life and to posses resurrection life in the future.
However, Paul's ‘that’ in the immediate was to fulfil what Christ had called him to when he called him on Damascus road i.e. take Gospel to the Gentiles.
He kept hold of his call and never wavered from his ‘heavenly vision’.

Becoming formed into the image of Christ is the priority of our ‘being’ but what is your ‘that’ that is the priority of your ‘doing’.

So what is your ‘that’?
What has God called you to do?

Why is it important?

Because doing our will more than his is a constant temptation
Mt 7:21-23 NLT ‘The things you did were unauthorised’.
These people were active in ministry, they were active in mission.
They prophesied, cast out demons and performed miracles.
It seems their faith was great and their deeds effective.
But……… ‘The things you did were unauthorised’.

Vision for the ministry we do (whether individual or corporate) must come from revelation according to the will of God.

Jesus was God, had faith, carried an anointing and lived to purpose but even he only did what pleased the Father (Jn 8:29)

The motive behind what we do is vitally important.
Looking at the context of the passage, it seems Jesus is saying, in the preceding and proceeding passages to our text, that the motive needs to be obedience (post) not self-promotion (pre)

It has been said of those trying to climb the corporate ladder that they had better make sure that it is resting against the right wall. The phrase is simply a warning to make sure that the effort needed is worth the destination.

How sad it would be, if we spent our time doing what looks to be important and necessary in Christian ministry, that in our own eyes and those of others seems so successful, only to find that on that day when Jesus returns he says, 'Away from me, I never knew you....... the things you did were unauthorised'.

Think about it......

Friday, 10 June 2011

Stepping Out From The Ark

Ge 6:9-8:22

You will probably know the outline of the story of Noah and the Ark.

The key points relate to: -
Ge 6:5-8 God offended by man's wickedness and blessed by Noah's righteousness,
Ge 6: 14-22 Noah to build an Ark to escape the coming jusgement
Gen 7:14-16 The Ark was to take in "according to their kinds"
Gen 6:18, 7:13 God looking to start again with Noah and "his kind"
Gen 7:17 "Then the Lord shut him in" or KJV "closed the door".

God allowed Ark to be in the flood but didn't allow the flood to be in the Ark.

Why was Noah chosen?
1. Righteous Gen 6:9 . Blameless not innocent! This because he....
2. Intimacy Gen 6:9 He walked with God. . This released him to.....
3. Faith Heb 11:7 . Which caused him to live in.....
4. Obedience Gen 6:22 . Which qualified him to enter.....
5. Covenant Gen 6:18 . Which brought him out to......
6. Safety!!! Gen 8:15-18

But it didnt just take faith to enter the Ark; it also took faith for Noah to leave the Ark.
They were to leave their place of safety and security after 1 year 10 days.
Having been saved from flood, now told to step from rescue vehicle, safety boat, life-raft into a different world/experience than they had known.

The Ark was not a pleasant place among the animals i.e. smells, dirt etc.
It was filled with Isolation, loneliness, seclusion.
Locked up with pain of past memories i.e. How it used to be, people left behind.
But it was THEIR Ark, it was their safe place against the rain, it was their refuge against the flood.

The day came to step out from the Ark.

And for you too, this is that day!!!
You may have been there a long time (1yr 10days).

But God didn't forget Noah and he hasn't forgotten you Gen 8:1.
God sent a wind and flood receded.

Today the Holy Spirit is blowing to rescind your flood so you can step out of your safe place ( but not necessarily good place) Gen 8:1

We all go through storms and floods and we all look to jump on some passing Ark to help and protect us i.e. rejection, bitterness, hurt, isolation, doctrinal stance.
But there comes a day when God remembers to call us out to our destiny.

Noah came out with purpose and a new beginning Gen 9:7

God closed the door of the Ark but Noah had to open it to face his tomorrow's.
So do you!!!!!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

How to win in a losing situation
Often in life you face losing situations: situations that are bigger that you are, that are stronger than you are and that can last longer than you can.
The good news is just because at times you get beat it doesn’t mean you have to lose.

You can lose but actually you still win!
What do I mean by that?

Read: Php 4:2-9
Philippi was a church in Macedonia (Northern Greece) that Paul planted on his second great missionary journey and was the first church to be established in Europe.
When Paul wrote his letter to them during his final imprisonment in Rome, he had been locked up for 2 years!!!!
He was facing death and it seems that this death was imminent.
It was a 'lose' situation!

So Paul writes to the church, because it seems that it was facing some 'lose' situations as well!
It seems that there was some real disunity because there are many encouragements for oneness i.e. 2:1-4 and in 4:2-3 we read about two prominent women falling out.
It was a lose situation!
Not only that, but it seems that in Paul’s letter that the church was facing severe trial from the authorities, because he says things like, 1:29 ‘For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have’.
It was a lose situation!
Not only that, but it seems that some were trying to mingle Judaic ritual into the church and were leading some a stray.
It was a lose situation!

As well as all this there were people who were enemies of the cross in the congregation and were giving a bad example to the believers 3:17-20
It was a lose situation!

But I want you to note that in the midst of these losing situations Paul tells them how they can win!!!
Because in the end it is not what happens to you that causes you to lose in life, it is how you react what happens to you that will cause you to lose in life……. OR WIN!!!

Ps 1:1-3 tells us that we can live in such a way that whatever we do will prosper (not what other may do to you). However, what prospers will be according to whatever you do

Paul writes to the Philippians and tells them 5 things to do to be winners no matter the circumstances of their life

1. Choose the right attitude – Rejoice v4
Not feel happy but rejoice. Choose the right attitude. It is something you choose to do.

2. Express the right emotion – v5 Gentleness; better consideration or gentle forbearance. No matter peoples attitude to you, to be a winner, you have to keep a right emotion towards them.

3. Pray the right prayers – v6 With thanksgiving
It is not just about praying and asking but doing it with thanksgiving.

Interlude: These three things release God’s peace to guard our heart and mind – source and outflow.
If we determine to get these three right we can then……

4. Think the right thoughts – v8 True, noble, right pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy
Gr. Think = logizomai = to ponder, to give proper weight to and to allow the resulting thoughts to influence what you do.
If we don’t think right we won’t do right.
And we won’t think right if we don’t choose the right attitude, develop the right emotion of consideration and forbearance and pray the right prayers.

5. Live the right way – v9 Put into practice
Paul tells them to imitate him as he imitates Christ.
What would Jesus do?????

So learn to win even when you lose. It's possible if you follow the right angle of approach. Ask Paul!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Overcoming Discouragement

Genesis 26:12-25
Water is the most common substance on the earth. 70% of the earth's surface is water.
The availability of water has given rise to some of the great civilizations of history.
Civilizations have fallen when water supplies failed.

The reason being is that water is one of the great needs of life and essential to sustain life.
People have killed over a muddy water hole.
Man can live an average of 2 months without food, but only one week without water.
In the semiarid climate of Palestine, the availability of water was priceless.
In a land where water was scarce, wells were extremely important.

It is not surprising that wells were a source of strife and fighting, as well as great joy and rejoicing when one was dug.

I have discovered that encouragement is just as vital to the success of your life as water is to the vitality of your body.

Without encouragement, even the best of ideas, the brightest of hopes and the biggest of our dreams, can shrivel and dry up in the heat of the process and barrenness of unfulfilment.

Th story of Isaac and his wells is a great example in overcoming discouragement.
It is important that each of us learn to dig wells of encouragement because like Isaac we have an enemy who wants to turn our hopes and dreams into graves of despair and depression.

Isaac was enjoyng a time of great blessing (v12-13) yet his success provoked his enemy to envy (v14)
Yet dispite the opposition Isaac rose above it all and prospered and so can you.

1. By removing the stuff others dump on you v18
You only get offended when you take offence.

2. Dig your own wells in God v19
It is observed that oil companies that are the most successful in finding oil are not the ones with the best technology or equipment or competent staff. Rather they are the ones that dig the most wells.
Persistence is the key to success

3. Move on. Don’t grow old fighting battles v22
Isaac could have focused on the issue of whose well it was and missed the big picture – Got hung up on principle
Never allow the issue to become the issue

4. Make the most of encounters with God v25
God spoke to him with a word of encouragement and comfort.
When this happens, build an alter so you can revisit it when discouragement comes again.

Let me encourage you to never gratify the Devil by being discouraged.

Don't allow negetivity to stick to you

Encourage yourself in the Lord

Nothing is more important that a healthy heart; even being right!

Continually remember the Lord's favour is upon you

Stay blessed