SERVE THE KING!

SERVE THE KING!

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Our Lord and King came not to be served, but to serve so; “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow…’   (Phil 2:5-10) The concept of a servant king is somewhat alien to our understanding, for ordinarily it is kings who are served by others.  Jesus demonstrated something remarkable, something that challenged contemporary thinking during His time on earth and still does today.  As God and King, He came to earth to represent His Father, teach about the kingdom of heaven and prove it by manifesting kingdom power and authority with signs and wonders.  He knew that “a servant is not greater than him who sent him”, words He shared with His disciples just before the last supper, after He’d washed their feet.  He was teaching them an important point – that they too were called to humble themselves and serve the kingdom and God as He was. However, in 21st century England, servitude carries negative connotations.  Perhaps the notion of servant-hood conflicts with our imperialist past?   Modern society places so much emphasis on...
THE GOD OF UNCONVENTION

THE GOD OF UNCONVENTION

(Download PDF Print-friendly version)   “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are My ways your ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 From beginning to end, the Bible is full of stories demonstrating God’s ways and thoughts frequently vary from our own, and even conflict with them. Sometimes it’s hard to understand, but God simply doesn’t do things our way, for He is the Potter who forms and shapes the clay, not the other way round: “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.” Jeremiah 18:6 He is the Lord and Father of mankind who created the heavens and flung the stars into space, He sees the beginning from the end. So dare we think we can put our expectations or sense of entitlement before His divine will and knowledge? “For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has become His counsellor?”i Therefore as we begin 2017, let us purpose in our hearts and minds to stay close to Him; to seek first His ways, His heart and His mind in order to know what pleases Him. Such purpose may bring us into conflict with our secular world, our church and even our families, but as Isaiah wrote, God’s ways are not man’s ways. We must grasp this very important point and seek first the kingdom of heaven and His definition of righteousness, not our own man made interpretations, because...
TEST THE SPIRITS – Part 1 – ISLAM

TEST THE SPIRITS – Part 1 – ISLAM

(Download PDF Print-friendly version)   ‘Test the Spirits’ – Part 1 – Islam Confusion still exists in many parts of the church, including its leadership, as to the true nature of Islam.   So as part of our new season of tackling difficult issues, this letter will address what remains for many, an enigma. Understanding the true nature of Islam is actually very simple.  One only needs to recognise the ‘spirit’ behind it.    If we understand this, everything else makes sense, including the violence, pursuit of power and control, and deception committed in its name. The spiritual litmus test to discern the spirit of Islam is clearly explained in 1 John 4:1-3: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you will know the Spirit of God.  Every Spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is not of God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming and is now already in the world.” The Quran acknowledges Jesus existed and recognises Him as a prophet, one among many, but states clearly He was not the Son of God.  The texts below taken directly from the Quran are self-explanatory: “That they (the Jews) rejected faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge;  that they said (in boast): “we killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.”  But they killed him...
BE HOLY AS I AM HOLY

BE HOLY AS I AM HOLY

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come, Holy is His name. Amen. Disciples of Jesus Christ are called to be holy as the Lord they serve is holy. We are His people, a royal priesthood, chosen and set apart for Him. Therefore as His bondservants we are to remain unspotted by the ways of this world. The word holiness in Greek is hagios, and means different or otherness. The temple of God was to be holy, different to any other building. Set apart for special service to Him. This is holiness – to be set apart. It implies something is distinguished and distinct. For us, being holy means we to are to be distinguishable from the world, like our Master. The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament was qodesh and again means apartness, set apart or sacred. As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, be holy as I am holy. – 1 Peter 1:15 Jesus told us clearly to come out and be separate, not to do as the world does. This is being holy: setting ourselves apart and distinguishing ourselves from the world by not doing as the world does. It’s why Jesus teachings were so revolutionary in their day going against the current of contemporary culture at the time, including religious culture. It’s why He had such challenges from religious leaders who nullified the commands of God by replacing them with the traditions of men – just as today! As His word does...