We all have a battle going on inside each of us. The flesh versus the Spirit. The flesh represents our sinful nature, the nature with which we are born. When we give our lives to God we are born again, a new creation and the old is gone. When we place our flesh on the cross, surrendering our lives and giving up the old life we are changed. But, does that mean we stop sinning altogether? No! We must daily deny our flesh and follow the Spirit.
The authority we are talking about is the authority that has passed down from God to us through our faith in Jesus Christ, as we have been inhabited and empowered by the Holy Spirit. And yet, despite the delegated power that has been passed down to us, a lot of us hold back. We fail to consider that we are called by God and that by His ability we may live and represent His authority. We never, however, act out of our own authority – in and of ourselves we have no real power or control – we only reflect what God has given us to share. We are a people that should be committed to living with and exercising the authority that God has placed upon us.
We must never feel compelled to give for the Lord's work. What we offer to the Lord must be given cheerfully for God loves a cheerful giver. We can only give cheerfully when the condition of our heart is right with God and our giving is dictated by our love for Him. This is because God not only looks at the gift; He also looks at the heart. The condition of the heart when we give is much more important than what we give. Our giving must come from the heart if it is to please God.
As we reach out it is important for us to do so in the right way. In Acts 6:1-7we read how the early Church went about service and ministry. They looked for people who were full of the Spirit and wisdom. This is how the Church operated, following the Spirit's leading, waiting for the Spirit and then acting in obedience, empowered to do so.Â This is how we as a Church should be reaching out. Our mission into the world must be Spirit-led. As God has opened up to us these opportunities for reaching out and as we engage them, let us be prompted and led by the Holy Spirit.
Guest preacher, Michael Sischy from the Jews for Jesus organisation, shares the message of Christ in the Sabbath.
God asked Moses an important (and prophetic) question that He is asking each of us today. “What’s in your hand?” What is it that God has already built into your life, though it seems quite ordinary today, could become something quite different if used for the Lord? What passion for service has God sparked in you? What needs do you see that other may not? What abilities, talents or spiritual gifts has he equipped you with? What experiences have you had that God could use to touch the lives of others?
How often do we look for God in the big things, the "wow" moments? We ask for these signs so that we know He's with us but so often God is in the small things, the gentle whispers that can so easily be overlooked or ignored. God is in the small details, providing for us each day.
In Romans 12 Paul describes how we should behave as we wield the spiritual weapons of peace making, especially when dealing with people who oppose or mistreat us. He understands the classic military principle that the best defence is an effective offense. In no way does he encourage a passive response to evil, instead he suggests that we should go on the offensive, but not as the world would. This passage indicates that there are 5 basic principles that contribute to a victorious offensive and how we can use them with people with whom we are at loggerheads.
The Ten Commandments are not simply suggestions that God thought that we should follow, they are a grace in themselves. They assist us in living life to the fullest in that they help us to live in the way in which God created humanity to live. The ninth commandment essentially tells us not to lie, this includes deception, flattery and gossip.
Throughout scripture you see miracles that only occur after it has become absolutely impossible without God. Sometimes God allows the greatest defeats before He raises us from the ashes of despair. If God bails us out of trouble, we glorify Him a little, but if God redeems us from the ashes of despair we praise Him with all of our being. All too often we see that it is through the delay in His promise that our faith is established. It takes very little, if any, faith to demand immediate relief of fulfilment, but it takes a lifestyle of faith and a heart that truly finds its hope in God to remain faithful when the promises seem impossible.
Christy shares her testimony of what God is doing in her and her husband Nick's life and testifies of His faithfulness every step of the way.
It is good to come to the end of ourselves and realise our weakness, and give into God. It's then that we realise we can't do anything on our own anyway, so we ask Him to completely take over. We stop trying to make things happen and let Him have his way. To receive God's guidance, King Solomon said we must acknowledge God in all our ways. To acknowledge is to honour and obey.
In his first recorded letter, the apostle Peter writes to a church that was under escalating persecution. He writes to encourage the church and help remind them of their status in God, a royal priesthood in whom the Spirit of God dwells. Persecution exists today and is also escalating with no end in sight. Peter's principles for dealing with persecution can help us even today.
Jesus calls us out of the crowd and into discipleship, but in order to become a disciple we must do something. We must cross over with Jesus to the other side. We must step out of the crowd and get into the boat with Jesus. We must commit ourselves to Him, to travel where He travels, to do what He does, and to live with Him as the centre of our lives day after day after day.
When Jesus comes into our lives we experience a renovation of the heart. Like with any renovation, a lot has to be broken down, fixed and restored. When this renovation takes place people are changed from the inside, through ongoing personal relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit and through each other.
We learn from Scripture that God is consistent. This does not mean that God is not dynamic, that He is stuck in His ways. What it means to say that God is unchanging is that His nature is always the same. It does not change and the way in which the Lord acts and responds is always consistent with His nature. And what is God's nature? Time and again, in many verses in the Bible, God is described as gracious and merciful/compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The blessed benefits of God's love are core, central, solid benefits that are ours as followers of Jesus Christ. It is because our hope as Christians is rooted in God's great love. As a believer, if you fully grasp these benefits, and live in the shadow of these truths each and every day, you'll be filled with such excitement you'll have to backslide to go to sleep at night!
Life in the Spirit means to surrender complete control to God and His leading. Resisting the urge to take control and do it your own way but to trust in the Lord and be obedient unto Him.
When confronted with the reality of Jesus' resurrection, as reported by the Roman guards at the tomb, the chief priests and Pharisees resort to bribery, lies and corruption to cover up the truth. Why do they refuse to believe in Jesus even in the face of such evidence? Why do people in general refuse to believe in Jesus? Scripture helps us to understand the underlying, heart-reasons for unbelief.