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Posts Tagged ‘pay the price’

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Psalm 72:19 Blessed be His glorious name forever; let the whole earth be filled with His glory! Amen and Amen!

Psalm 47:8 AMP

God reigns over the nations; God sits upon His holy throne.

God is the creator and mover of nations.

He is big and he is able to change the destiny of nations.

At some point in the future Jesus will return to earth and all nations will bow to Him. He will reign on earth for 1000 years and those who have obeyed Him will reign with Him. God wants to give you a revelation that you are part of the biggest movement and events on earth – the church. The church is not small, impotent or insignificant, it is His bride and central focus – Jesus will use the church to bring His will to pass on earth. God can change nations in short periods of time. He puts one up and takes another down. God moves on nations according to His mercy and He hears the cry of His people.

God’s people, the Israelites, were living in Egypt after the time when Jacob and Joseph and the family went down to Egypt after the selling of Joseph into slavery. After many years a new Pharaoh arose and forgot the good that Joseph and his people did for Egypt. Now they were oppressed into slavery. And soon their cry arose to heaven. God help us. It was time for a deliverer.

Ex 2:23AMP  However, after a long time [nearly forty years] the king of Egypt died; and the Israelites were sighing and groaning because of the bondage. They kept crying, and their cry because of slavery ascended to God.

God raises up a deliverer. Who will He raise up in Australia? He is looking for people like you to lead others out of oppression and into the Promised Land. There’s a call going out. Can you hear it? Often young people hear it because they haven’t got the loud voices of mortgages, broken marriages, troubled teenage children and disappointment speaking to them. It’s been a pleasure to give up a career in Electrical Engineering and serve Jesus in the church. What will matter in 100 years from now?

In 1991, 1992, 1993, INC sent teams into Kiev in the Ukraine, to preach the gospel. We found a people crying out for God. For 70 years Communism had dominated the former Soviet Union, saying there is no God. The result was oppression, poverty, and millions of broken lives. Now they were ready for the answer – the gospel.

We preached the word and God was changing the city and the nation.

Is there a cry? Will God hear from us, from you, about this nation? Do we cry out to God about our nation? Does it bother us that Australia has largely abandoned faith in God? Does it concern you that the church is ridiculed by Main Stream Media? Does it touch your heart when family Violence rises continually, when ICE addiction threatens countless lives, when the State government bans religious education is schools?

What do you want for your life? Is your life focussed on happiness or getting things, or having a dream job, or living in a place where you desire to be? What dreams and goals fill your mind and heart? Essentially, what are you living for?

I’m living for Australia for Christ. It’s a focus for life. I want to be a part of Jesus’ plan for this nation. Think big about who our God is, don’t be or feel oppressed by lack, ungodliness, ungodly humanity around us, for God has big plans for the whole earth and for Australia.

So how should we respond?

  1. Let God know…. I surrender my whole life to you, everything I am, everything I’ve got
  2. Serve Him wholeheartedly walk away from sin, pray, read your bible, go to church every chance you get,
  3. Be part of a UC group, serve others.
  4. Study and seek to grow as a leader.
  5. Find your gift and calling.
  6. Work hard, live a passionate life, never give up.

What’s your Price? What will you sell out for? What will take your attention, occupy your mind, steal your focus away from the call of God?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. List all the things that you think stop you from serving God wholeheartedly.
  2. Now ask each other who in the bible had similar objections to serving God?
  3. In a hundred years from now, what will be the most important things to you? (Yes you’re dead and you’re in heaven)
  4. Can you hear a cry in Australia?
  5. What is tour gift or calling to serve God?

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NATION CHANGING FAITH #2PMSmall Nation Changing

John 3:36 NLT

36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.

What does this verse mean to you? The up side is that if I believe in Jesus I have eternal life. That’s truly great! The down side is that anyone who does not obey the Son of God, that’s Jesus, will never experience eternal life – ever! That’s confronting! I can think of a lot of people who don’t obey the Lord Jesus Christ. All around us are people who don’t know Jesus. Couple this with knowledge that each verse is divinely inspired and infallible (See here for evidence). All around us people are perishing! If you are truly saved that is disturbing for you and creates a compassion for those who don’t know Jesus and drives us to want to reach them effectively with the message of Jesus love.

With this in mind Jesus gathered His disciples together as He was about to leave planet earth and He gave them instructions, what to do next.

Luke 24:47-49 NLT

47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things.

49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

Jesus asked them to go to the nations. They went….

Every disciple of the 12 went to preach the gospel and 10 of the 12 were martyred for their faith.

My story starts as a uni student in QLD when I was studying Electrical Engineering in my second year. People from the INC church in Brisbane came down to the uni and sang in a band and someone preached. I just happened to be in the same room as that which took place from the church.

My life was full of waisted energy, getting drunk a lot and leading the Engineering Student Association which was mostly about booze ups and blue movies. Since school I had failed a few subjects and was repeating them all without even a clue whether I wanted to be an engineer. But then Jesus touched my life. He became to very real to me and I changed my whole outlook on life when I was born again.

There was a life changing experience at salvation.

Right away I got involved in the church and youth work and serving in Kids Church. I gave up drinking, swearing and sleeping around because Jesus was so real to me and I was very grateful that He had died for me and rescued me from hell. We studied the bible and we could see the reality of heaven and hell.

Hell was real and so many people were going there. I read scriptures like this:

Rev 14:10-11 NLT   10 must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.”

That sounds horrific and if that’s real then I need to do all I can to stop people going there.

There’s a motivation to serve Him.

Even though I was studying at Uni, I still managed to get to  the church twice every Sunday and Wednesday night for bible study, the early morning prayer meeting at 5am every Friday morning, then go out on the streets every Friday night to share the gospel with people until 12-am – 2am when we would drive home exhausted. There was youth meetings every Saturday, Uni Study and of course time with my girlfriend. No wonder my poor old mum got upset with me for not mowing the lawn sometimes.

There was an ethic to work hard.

For the disciples, the call of Jesus was to be with Him. The lawyers and Pharisees of the day took note that the disciples had been “with Him”. Maybe you didn’t hear an audible voice, maybe nothing really that dramatic has happened to you. But I want to ask you this question?

Did Jesus really touch your life? Have you got a compassion for the lost people all around you? Then all the motivation you need is to see the reality of heaven and hell and commit to hard work for the most important task on earth. That’s the call of God to be with Him and serve Jesus with all you’ve got.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Are you a patriot? Do you love Australia… Its people I mean?
  2. What would you do to win them to Christ?
  3. What if you were lost and you were counting on someone from Plenty Valley Church to tell you about Jesus?
  4. How many Aussies will end up in heaven?
  5. What;’s your philosophy of life concerning enjoying life and making a difference in eternity?

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God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. Ps 47:8 NLTSmall Nation Changing

We are part of a great movement of churches called International Network of Churches. Originally named Christian Outreach Centre, our movement began in 1974 with the church located West End in Brisbane. The founder, Clark Taylor was an unlikely choice as God’s choices often are. He was a cattle drover from the Northern Territory who got saved at a Billy Graham Crusade in Brisbane in 1959. As the church began, there was explosive growth, with many salvations and miracles of healing and very soon passionate men put their hand up to plant churches and so the one became many as new churches sprung up around QLD and NSW.

Pretty soon people wanted to travel overseas to plant churches and COC began in the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Zealand, New Guinea and further afield. As courageous men and women travelled to start churches in each nation there was a strong belief that the purpose was nation changing.

As I joined the church staff in 1980 as a youth leader, we were starting to expand across Australia and the vision was clear. AUSTRALIA FOR CHRIST.

We have a belief that God can change a whole nation. The gospel is the power of God that changes lives and impacts nations. The church is the plan of God to liberate the broken humanity and bring nations back to God. Jesus made the mandate clear when He said, “I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” I was dramatically affected by the vision. I wanted to lay my life down for the vision of Australia For Christ. How was I so moved? It was revelation, I had a clear understanding of how lost people are. We studied the bible and it was clear that without Jesus as saviour people were headed for hell, a Christless eternity of torment and destruction that lasts for ever and ever. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for what God had done for me in rescuing me from sin and death. I was saved and going to heaven now and what right did I have to enjoy such a huge and free gift while not having a care about those perishing around me. I was like Paul who said, “I feel myself under a sort of universal obligation, I owe something to all men, from cultured Greek to ignorant savage. That is why I want, as far as my ability will carry me, to preach the Gospel to you who live in Rome as well.” Rom 1:14 Phillips.

I was and am possessed by this vision. I love my country and I am passionate to see it come to Christ. I am believing and working as hard as I can to reach as many people as I can with the unmatchable message of His love and forgiveness so that far less Australians end up in hell than would have if I had not lived. I have been serving full time for 35 years yet I believe we have only just begun. My vision is to see 100 churches in Victoria and Tasmania before I retire or pass on. Is there anyone who would dare to believe with me?

God can change nations. O nations of the world, recognize the Lord; recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Ps 96:7 NLT

In Nepal, INC has a leader Ps Raju & Samita Sundas, who has been mightily used by God to plant churches and work alongside the new president of Nepal in assisting to form the constitution. He has started schools and a relief agency and has one of the largest churches in the nation. See here for more information.

Can God change nations? It’s easy to answer that question, if he can create the heavens and the earth, of course he can change nations. The important question is will He use us to change our nation?

Through Moses God changed the nation of Egypt and set Israel free to go out from under slavery and enter the Promised Land. Through Daniel God changed the heart of King Darius to follow The One True God and forsake their idols.  God says, “I have a plan for the whole earth, a hand of judgment upon all the nations.” Is 14:26 NLT.  God has changed nations in the modern era. In 1904 revival broke out in Wales and the whole nation was dramatically affected. Since the 1920’s South Korea has experienced a growth in Christianity from negligible levels in 1945 to over 30% of the population now born again. In Africa and South America national revival has created nations that have large percentages of born again Christians as their population.

Watch the hand of God on his servant Daniel.

Daniel 6:1-10  NLT

6 Darius the Mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces, and he appointed a high officer to rule over each province. 2 The king also chose Daniel and two others as administrators to supervise the high officers and protect the king’s interests. 3 Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.

4 Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. 5 So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.”

6 So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius! 7 We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions. 8 And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.” 9 So King Darius signed the law.

10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.

Daniel was old, he was faithful, he was stable, he had a real faith in God and a trust that God was in control. He prayed. People were out to get him because God was with him to such an extent that they were exceedingly jealous.

When the King proclaimed a decree that no man shall pray to any God for 30 days, Daniel did not fear, he continued to pray. Sure enough the enemies were watching and waiting, and they saw him pray. He didn’t hide away he opened the window towards Jerusalem. Consequently the governors brought him before the King, this man has broken your commandment O King! He must be thrown to the lions. Reluctantly the king followed through on his own decree. But he agonized over the fate of Daniel and fasted all night. In the morning the king rushed down to the lion’s den to see if Daniel had survived. He must have had some expectation. He’s alive!

Daniel’s God answered the king’s prayer, now the king was convinced, there is a God in heaven and he is Daniel’s God. Here’s his conclusion.

Daniel 6:25-27  NLT

25 Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you!

26 “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end.

27 He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

God changed a nation through one man. God can change Australia. Will you believe? If you believe, will you pray? If you believe, will you serve the Lord?

If the vision for Australia for Christ has touched your heart, then respond by doing these things:

  1. Live wholeheartedly for God
  2. Be in church every week and participate in UC groups.
  3. Give generously to the vision.
  4. Share your faith with everyone around you.
  5. Consider the call of God on your life to serve in the ministry. Some are called to plant churches, some to assist pastors as support ministries.
  6. Be trained for the ministry in HUB, church training, and Bible College.

To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations. Rev 2:26

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Discuss how grateful you are for your own salvation.

2. What can you believe for in terms of the growth of Christianity in Australia

3.  Do you have a vision for Australia to come to Christ?

4. How can you contribute to seeing this nation find Jesus Christ?

5.  Are you called to the ministry (part time or full time)?

 

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LOVE PRAYS #2PMLove Prays Combined

YOU HAVE ENORMOUS POWER

STORY – Read Josh 10: 6-15

Joshua 10:6-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, saying, Do not relax your hand from your servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the hill country are gathered against us.

So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the warriors with him and all the mighty men of valor.

And the Lord said to Joshua, Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hand; there shall not a man of them stand before you.

So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having gone up from Gilgal all night.

10 And the Lord caused [the enemies] to panic before Israel, who slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon and chased them along the way that goes up to Beth-horon and smote them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.

11 As they fled before Israel, while they were descending [the pass] to Beth-horon, the Lord cast great stones from the heavens on them as far as Azekah, killing them. More died because of the hailstones than the Israelites slew with the sword.

12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord on the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, be silent and stand still at Gibeon, and you, moon, in the Valley of Ajalon!

13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance upon their enemies. Is not this written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of the heavens and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

14 There was no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man. For the Lord fought for Israel.

15 Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

 

Joshua represents the new generation. He is a man who has been prepared for leading under the leadership of Moses. Now his turn to walk the stage of life has come. Joshua is about 80, yet he has the stamina of any young man.

After the children of Israel cross the Jordan and conquer Jericho, they falter briefly at Ai then keep going. One city decides to surrender to Israel instead of being killed. Gibeon and its King make peace with Israel and say we will become your servants. They would rather be living servants than dead heroes!

But the surrounding kings are outraged that Gibeon would surrender and five kings and their armies decide to go up and wipe out Gibeon, just to teach them a lesson. So the Gibeonites call out to Joshua and say, help us!

Joshua immediately gathers his army and leaves where they are. Straight away Joshua hears from God.

 Lesson 1. Be about God’s business and you’re going to hear from Him in prayer. God is wanting to encourage you that He is with you. Over and over again in the bible God is committing to us that He is with us, and this is because we are about his business.

The Gibeonites go up to Joshua on day one to tell him they are about to be attacked and Joshua travels all night from that time to arrive early the next morning to attack the five kings with their armies.

He fights all day against them, and God is with him to overcome so much that God sends hailstones down to kill the enemy and the hailstones wipe out more than the sword. The miracle here is that the hailstones don’t fall on the Israelite army!

Lesson 2 What God is doing for you behind the scenes will ensure your victory, so don’t sweat the dark clouds with hail because God’s got something powerful in mind.

Joshua realises that he is not going to have enough time to overcome all the enemies in the day before the sun goes down, so he prays the boldest prayer ever prayed on earth. Sun stand still! And God answers him with a massive miracle.

Lesson 3 Never underestimate the power you have in prayer.

You may easily say – Yes but that’s Joshua. I’m me and that’s different! However God is looking for great men and women of God to rise up and have faith. God is no respecter of persons; that means He has no favourites. We let ourselves off the hook too easily, by saying; I can’t do that and self-disqualify. But God’s word clearly says to all believers. Mark 11:23  Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.

Joshua has been awake all of day one, then travels through the night to attack the kings at dawn. Then he fights that day; so that’s 30 hours so far that Joshua and his men have been awake until about midday (Sun was stayed in the midst of the heavens). So now he asks for another day (12 hours) of sunshine so at the end of the battle Joshua and his men have been sustained approximately 42 hours.

Lesson 4 when God is moving don’t slack off in prayer. Keep going until the victory is complete.

At the close of the story we see Joshua bring all his top leaders together and place their foot on the necks of these defeated kings. What was that all about? The power of visualisation. The next 100 battles for these leaders was going to be fought out with the image firmly planted in their minds – this is how it turns out for me when God is on my side.

Lesson 5 Use your imagination to see the outcome you want in prayer. Prayer and walking with the Holy Spirit uses the language of dreams and visions.

Prayer changes things and you need to know that you have massive power in prayer when you believe. Learn to wage war in the spiritual realm by understanding your authority over all the power of the enemy.

Ephes 6:12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

Luke 10:19 Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.

Prayer is not a function of time but it is a function of authority. The factor of time comes into play when we need to spend time with God and His word so that we receive faith building revelation about who we are and what he has promised. We have a big job on our hands to reach the lost people of our city. It’s vital that we have faith and stand in our authority and pray so that the enemy’s power is broken and the Grace of God is released to touch the multitudes in this city.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How often do we think that our prayers won’t really change things?

2. If that is the case who benefits from that kind of thinking?

3. Do we often search for physical and emotional proofs of the prayers being answered?

4. What things would encourage you to continue in prayer until an answer comes?

5. Would it encourage you to hear of prayers being answered for those in your circle of friends?

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LOVE REACHES OUT #4PMreaches out

YOUR ASSIGNMENT SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT…

MY GOD STORY

I was not found in church growing up. I had no knowledge of the gospel. When I was twenty and studying at uni, we had a team of people from the church I am now part of come to the uni and perform some musical items and someone preached. A friend, who was studying in my course, was a Christian and he was connected to this church. When they invited me to come along I considered the invitation and decided to go to the church that coming Sunday night. As I arrived with my friend from uni I was amazed at the size of the church (about 700 people) and the friendliness of the people. I saw other amazing things. People were healed and fell over under the power of the Holy Spirit. Others told their story of how God had set them free from alcoholism, drug addiction and broken marriages. There was something going on here!

At the conclusion of the service an appeal was made for people to respond and give their lives to Christ. Although moved and compelled, I resisted as it seemed too hard for my mind to accept it all so quickly. Later a wise person said to me, “Just pray and ask Jesus to show Himself to you. If He’s real then you will know, if He’s not real nothing will happen and you can get on with the rest of your life.”

Sounded reasonable to me; so I set about asking Jesus to show Himself to me over that next week. Well some things happened. Prayers got answered and as I considered if God was real, I thought that if He was real, then I believed He would be healing people and restoring marriages as I had seen.

The next Sunday I went back to the same church with my girlfriend with me; and I received Jesus as my Lord and saviour! A new life had begun!  I was born again. Over the next little while I joined the youth street work team and began to share my faith with others. The training opened my eyes to understand the reality of heaven and hell. It was frightening to consider the horror of hell. I became more passionate about reaching lost people. My girlfriend (who is now my wife) and I served in children’s ministry then teens group, then after about three years I began working on staff as youth leader. For me there was a very deep sense of being saved from a Christless eternity, and a gratitude for being saved. I wanted to give my whole life to Christ and serve Him forever because of what He had done for me.

Has this love of God gripped your life? Are you apprehended by God for something greater? Are you called? Do you say like Paul, “My life is not my own.”

Matt 20:16  So those who [now] are last will be first [then], and those who [now] are first will be last [then]. [a]For many are called, but few chosen.(AMP)

John 15:16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as [b]presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you.(AMP)

There is a call from God, and there is a response from you. How will you respond? In the parable of the marriage feast the servant goes out to ask who will attend the supper but many refuse to attend, finally the host says to the servant, go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in that my house may be full. (Luke 14:16-24.)

Has the saviour called you? How have you responded? When God has touched your heart with His great love you are marked forever. This world cannot offer the peace and the joy that serving Him can give. All this world has is temporal and will one day pass away, but what is eternal will endure forever.

With His love on board you see the world differently. Ezek 9:4 And the Lord said to him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in the midst of it.(AMP)  How do you see your city?

When you’re called, you have a one track mind – God’s purpose, His kingdom comes first at all times. Nothing puts you off the glorious task of serving Jesus and winning lost people to Christ. I love the single mindedness of Paul in this story in Acts 21:10-14. 10 While we were remaining there for some time, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.

11 And coming to [see] us, he took Paul’s belt and with it bound his own feet and hands and said, Thus says the Holy Spirit: The Jews at Jerusalem shall bind like this the man who owns this belt, and they shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles (heathen).

12 When we heard this, both we and the residents of that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul replied, What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart like this? For I hold myself in readiness not only to be arrested and bound and imprisoned at Jerusalem, but also [even] to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.

14 And when he would not yield to [our] persuading, we stopped [urging and imploring him], saying, The Lord’s will be done! (AMP)

Paul knows what he’s called to. The prophet was right, and Paul would indeed be bound in Rome for the gospel, but did not interpret the prophecy to mean don’t go. He had a higher purpose. He intended to take the gospel to the heart of the empire! What are you called to?

Don’t choose Role or title, choose to serve – choose to go for souls. Choose to place yourself under a teacher or mentor or coach who will help you grow.  We Australians have a very independent mindset. It’s unhelpful and anti-biblical. It stems from our nations roots in growing out of a penal colony where there was a disrespect for all in authority. You will need to push that aside if you intend to be a disciple.

Consider the call of God for your life. To what are you called? Can you see the plight of the unsaved in your world and ask what can I do about it? Would you lay down your life for God and His great passion – to reach people with the gospel?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How do you know if you are called

2. Can you be called and not be called to a ministry such as pastor teacher etc?

3. Is your life and the result of your years to be more than just family job and pleasure?

4. What do you believe you are called to do for God?

5. What is your next step in your mission?

 

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LOVE ROMANCES # 4 PM pay_the_price

Do you love me?

When your significant other asks you the question, “Do you really love me?” We cringe and think – “Yes, well of course I do, but where is this leading?”  “What do you want?” “Well…” They answer sheepishly, “You know that diamond ring I’ve been looking at in the Michael Hill jewellers store lately? Well, it’s on sale at half price!”

Now we pit the depth of love for the little lady against the depth of love we have for the three thousand dollars we have saved up; and all the different things that money could do instead of buying a diamond ring. Life is full of choices like that.

“Do you love me?” Your mother says to you. “Then you’ll be home by 11 o’clock tonight.”

“Do you love me?” Your husband says to you. “Then you’ll let me go on this fishing trip with the boys to wolf creek.”

“Do you love me?” Your work colleague says to you in the corridor at work? “Then cover for me doing this extra shift, so I can go to a wedding interstate.”

“Do you love me?” Your old school friend says to you. “Then you’ll let me stash this stolen property in your garage for a couple of days while I find a place to stay then I’ll move it back.”

There’s the love commitment; and there’s always the cost.

Jesus said to Peter the disciple, “Do you love me?”

What a question! Loaded with so many expectations. When Jesus asks do you love Him, that’s totally different to anyone else in this world asking, do you love me? What’s more difficult is that Peter had just let Jesus down big time. Like, really let him down! Like betrayal at the big moment in Jesus’ life when He really needed support.

No pressure Peter, but “do you love me?”

There’s a cost, there’s always a cost. Peter was waiting for the cost. What would it be?

  • Confess my sin to all the disciples?
  • Give away all my money and possessions like Jesus asked of the rich young ruler?
  • Go back and tell the Roman guards that, Yes. I was the one who was with Jesus.

No; the cost was just this, Feed my sheep. – is that it? Is that all? Is that your best shot?

That is a statement of purpose. Jesus is always on purpose. Not a “make-you-feel-good” purpose, a kingdom purpose.

So I’ll ask you this same question tonight. Do you love Jesus?

Yes there is a cost. Will you baulk at it? Will you say yes now, and walk away later? Will you genuinely and sincerely mean yes now, but just never pay the price and have endless excuses as to why it was too hard for you?

Do you love me Peter, was followed by the next two times Jesus asked the same question. Peter was wondering why that was necessary. Didn’t Jesus believe him the first time? As usual Jesus had a reason for asking the same thing three times, and whether it was because Peter denied Him three times or not; it worked! Peter was restored and not just one of the boys but the lead preacher and top disciple in Jesus band of unlikely world changers.

You see Jesus prepared Peter for the kind of cost that he would later be asked to when He goes on to say, John 21:18 “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, when you were young you girded yourself [put on your own belt or girdle] and you walked about wherever you pleased to go. But when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will put a girdle around you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” There was going to be a cost for Peter to pay, and it was more than any of us will ever pay.

Are you ready for the question? Do you love Jesus? Sure there’s a price to pay when you answer that Question. So, will you answer it?

Paul talks about the price of that question when he says, Phil 3:7-8 But whatever former things I had, that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [[a]one combined] loss for Christ’s sake.

Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),

This is why we read the bible…. This kind of statement is loaded with so much truth and value as to what it means to follow Jesus. Do you love Him? It will cost you everything.

Teeny price I have paid, left well paid career, abused for following Christ, punched twice, endured hardship. What price will you pay to follow Jesus?

Jesus is asking you, “Do you love me?” The answer is in your heart. And if you want to know whether you do already love Him here’s the test….

John 14:15 If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. (AMP)

The story of Brother Yun in China shows pretty much the ultimate price a man could pay to follow Jesus. (Read the book) If you love Jesus in Australia today there may come some ridicule or maybe even some workplace bullying or persecution, but we get it pretty easy. Still there is a price to pay and that’s “Not my will but yours be done” – It’s all the things you want to do in your life but it isn’t what Jesus wants for you.

Sometimes obeying Jesus commands is dead easy, other times it takes every bit of courage and strength you’ve got. So what’ll it be? Do you love Him or not?

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INTRODUCING JESUS – DECEMBER 2013, 1ST – BORN FOR PAIN

 

What were you born for?

Every mother holding her baby in her arms dreams for her child – destiny, purpose and greatness.

Baby-sleeping-in-mothers-arms

JESUS WAS BORN FOR PAIN

The very purpose of His birth, His coming was to be destined for pain.

Luke 2:17-19 (AMP) – The shepherds who heard the angels announce the birth of Jesus visited His parents Joseph and Mary.

17 And when they saw it, they made known what had been told them concerning this Child,

18 And all who heard it were astounded and marvelled at what the shepherds told them.

19 But Mary was keeping [h]within herself all these things ([i]sayings), weighing and pondering them in her heart.

However Isaiah records the purpose of His life like this…

The message bible puts the colour into the story…

Isaiah 53:2-6 (MESS)

2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him.

Jesus Himself said of His purpose…

John 12:27 (AMP)

27 Now My soul is troubled and distressed, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]? But it was for this very purpose that I have come to this hour [that I might undergo it].

JESUS WAS BORN FOR PAIN

And on that day when Jesus was crucified on the cross, right there stood His mother, Mary. We cannot imagine the pain that pierced her heart that day. The agony of watching her son suffer an unimaginable torture of crucifixion. How much more the agony knowing His innocence and His glorious compassion for others. The monstrous injustice of His suffering would have ripped her heart out in that very hour.

Jesus had a heavenly father too.

At that moment His heavenly father turned His back on His only begotten son. And we read

Mark 15:33-34 (AMP)

33 And when the sixth hour (about midday) had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour (about three o’clock).

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?—which means, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me [[a]deserting Me and leaving Me helpless and abandoned]?

All of this was His destiny – Jesus, born for pain so that He could bring many sons home to glory.

Heb 2:10 (AMP)

10 For it was an act worthy [of God] and fitting [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest] through suffering.

WHY?

We had become sons of shame.

Gal 5:19-21(AMP)

19 Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency,

20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies),

21 Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

What became of us? We were born for destiny purpose and greatness, yet sin created a detour for our path and we ended up broken, wounded and filled withal manner of wrong thoughts and actions.

Jesus was born for pain.

He was born for this one great purpose.

Matt 20:28 (AMP)

28 Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free].

He died to pay the price of our redemption. To buy us back form the porn broker; to redeem us from an eternity of separation from our rightful owner.

Jesus eternal in the heavens before time began came to earth, born of a virgin and became a man. He was and is fully God and at the same time fully man. The hymn writer Charles Wesley wrote of this when he wrote…

Let earth and Heaven combine,
Angels and men agree,
To praise in songs divine
The incarnate Deity,
Our God contracted to a span,
Incomprehensibly made Man.

He laid His glory by,
He wrapped Him in our clay;
Unmarked by human eye,
The latent Godhead lay;
Infant of days He here became,
And bore the mild Immanuel’s Name.

JESUS, BORN FOR PAIN – He died for you. To lift you out of sickness, corruption and death, to give you new life; because you were…

BORN FOR MORE!

kid and plane no inc

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