Hi this is our Blog on Grace. We hope and pray that the Grace of God will flood into your life like it has ours. A good place to start is to listen to the mp3 messages, they will not only turn your world around, you will feel like you have just been saved all over again!

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Love Louisa...(30 Sep07)

Hi I'm Louisa Stranack, a Christian friend of Gregg's living in Salt Rock on the North Coast in Kwa-Zulu Natal South Africa. I hope to write a few words each week, summarizing how I and others are experiencing as we like to say, "Being Born Again, Again!" What I mean is that after being a Christian for 28 years, I felt disillusioned to say the least. Many aspects of my Christian experience left me cold and miserable. But over the last few months of honest soul searching and desperate cries to God, slowly changes have occurred which have enabled me to begin to see things in a different light. I have begun to see things through a grace filter and what a change this has made. One of the greatest changes I have noticed in my life and in the lives of others is JOY!

How can I not be deliriously happy when I realize how blessed I am? When I realize that Jesus paid the price in full for my salvation! I am redeemed and free, no wonder I laugh out loud often. I'm living in the Good News again and loving it....

I would love to hear of your experience where ever you are in the world because I know my experience isn't unique.
Isaiah 9 in the Message version of the Bible sums up how I feel.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
For those who have lived in a land of deep shadows-light! Sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation, you expand its joy.
Oh, they're so glad in your presence! Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants-all their whips and cudgels and curses-
Is gone done away with, a deliverance as surprising and sudden as Gideon's old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops, along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned, a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born- for us! The gift of a son-for us!
He'll take over the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow, and there will be no limit to the wholeness He brings.
He will rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom.
He'll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going with fair dealing and right living,
Beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.

Here's to an increase in JOY!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Off To Bloem

We are off to Bloemfontein for the annual N.C.M.I (www.ncmi.net) South African Leadership Training Time ( www.bloemltt.co.za)  from Monday To Friday.
Worshiping our Father with 5000 brothers and sisters. I can't wait.
I will report on the blog when we get back. I am very excited and even more expectant.
Chat soon

Monday, 17 September 2007

This weeks question

2Tim 2v15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Do you think that not "rightly dividing the word of truth" can keep New Covenant believers from experiencing true freedom?

Monday, 10 September 2007

This weeks question

As a New Covenant believer. What is your take on what the Bible says about Tithes and Offerings?
Please comment and support your opinion with scripture.

God gives grace to the humble

We cannot understand the full implications of what it means that God is love. God is light and God is spirit. We have to be humble, and acknowledge that God is super-intelligent and knows far more that any of us.
1 Peter 5:5 says, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' The more humble we are, the more grace we receive. Humble people are not those who put themselves down.
Truly humble people are those who acknowledge their total dependence on God. It is only our pride that keeps us from grace.
The more we depend on God, the more grace we receive. We can never depend on God too much. His supply of grace is totally unlimited.
God is heaps better that what we think

From: Living In The Grace Of God - Rob Rufus - Publisher: Zondervan Bible Publishers 1997

Sunday, 09 September 2007

Who God is

1 John 4:16 says 'God is love'; 1 John 1:5 says 'God is light'; John 4:24 says 'God is spirit'. What does that mean? God is love, God is light, God is spirit.

God is love
To say that God is love does not mean that God has love. It means that his whole being, everything that he is, is eternally disposed to show unfailing pure love towards us.
There is nothing we can do to stop God loving us. For God to stop loving us he would have to stop being who he is, because he is love.
We need to remember this at those times when we think God has stopped loving us because we've blown it and messed up.
For God to stop loving us is for God to stop being who he is.
God is heaps better that what we think.

God is light
The Bible says that God is light. This refers to his majesty, his magnificence, his glory, his power and his truth. All of God is light, but throughout scripture that primarily refers to God's moral character. God is light. God is a moral being.
He doesn't have morals and good manners. God is morality, God is good manners. He will never do anything immoral to us.
He'll never manipulate us, he'll never abuse us, he'll never send us anywhere that he didn't call, anoint and enable us to go.
He'll never require anything of us that we can't do, because God is light.
He's pure integrity, loveliness, beauty and morality. How can we fellowship with such a being? Because of Jesus. God remembers our sin no more because he's so madly in love with us

God is spirit
God is spirit. What does that mean? It means that we will never be able to contact or understand God with our flesh or with our brains. As clever as we might think we are, we could never keep up with God.
God has infinite unlimited intelligence. God's dimension is beyond the comprehension of human IQ.
Does that mean that God is irrational and illogical? No God created reason, logic and rationale. But he operates above these human levels. He is 'super-rational.' Reason has to rest in revelation.
We are created in the image of God, and if God is essentially a spirit being, then on the inside of our bodies we are a spirit.
With our soul, mind and emotions we contact the intellectual, emotional world. With our physical bodies we touch, taste, see, smell and hear the physical world. With our spirit we contact God.
God is spirit. Our spirit has the capacity to comprehend God, not in the language of our brain, but in spirit language. With him we have spirit to spirit communication.
Our spirit has the supernatural capacity to fellowship with God, contact God, comprehend God, commune with God and touch God.
God is heaps better that we think

From: Living In The Grace Of God - Rob Rufus - Publisher: Zondervan Bible Publishers 1997

Tuesday, 04 September 2007

What is God like?

He is like Jesus - taking children with runny, snotty noses and dirty feet up onto his lap.
Discipline? Yes!
Order? Yes!
But with humor, fun and laughter, loving them and embracing them. That is what he is like.
He sees the women at the well living with a man outside of marriage, living in sin. Yet he takes the time to be with her, talk to her, love her and restore her dignity. That is what God is like.
To the woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus says, 'Neither do I condemn you...Go now and leave your life of sin'
(John 8:11).
When we read the Bible we see that God is the God of the second chance, the third chance and the fourth chance. If a righteous man falls seven times, the Lord will lift him up (Prov. 24:16). Why seven times in the book of Proverbs? Once for every day of the week.
Every day of the week you can fall and God will lift you up.
You know that dream you have held so long in your heart?
It isn't destroyed because of your mistake. God is restoring it to you.

From: Living In The Grace Of God - Rob Rufus - Publisher: Zondervan Bible Publishers 1997

Monday, 03 September 2007

A true image of God

I believe that until we understand what God is like we are going to be vulnerable to periods in our lives where we are infiltrated with a skeptical, cynical spirit that makes us barren and destroys future hope, aspirations and dreams.

I am not only talking about our Christian ministry, but also:
  • Promotion at work.
  • aspirations for a better marriage.
  • aspirations to achieve in sport.
  • aspirations to advance in life.
  • aspirations for our children.
  • a future hope.
I have a future hope of seeing churches planted in many nations of the world.
I have hope for every area of my life. I dream, I think, I live.
Why? Because I am not barren. I understand my Father. If we think God is a hard taskmaster, we will take our talents and bury them for we fear God.
If we realize he is not a hard taskmaster, we will take our talents and multiply them because we have vision, a confident hope and expectations for the future.
I refuse to allow people to distort or pervert the image of God to me because the Bible says that 'you will know truth, and the truth will set you free' (John 8:32).
My image of God is formed by scripture alone and not by religious bigots.

From: Living In The Grace Of God - Rob Rufus - Publisher: Zondervan Bible Publishers 1997

Sunday, 02 September 2007

Hebrews 10v26

I asked Rob Rufus to explain a part of scripture that was really bugging me a while ago. I hope you find his reply is helpful.

In response to you question about Hebrew10 a good principal of interpretation is to first look at the very clear and unquestionable truths of the great redemption we have in Christ that Paul lays out so vividly in the book of Gal & Rom. It is impossible for us to be justified and condemed at the same time this is not only biblically consistant but also logically and legally consistant! That is why it says in Rom 8:1 that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Some translational have added" to those who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit" but this is definitely not in the original language. It is because even the translators did not have the courage or stomach to simply write exactly what Paul was saying. If people were always walking perfectly in the spirit and never in the flesh they would not feel condemmed neither would they need to be justified-there is no condemnation because thru the gospel all our condemnation passed, present and future was once and for all layed on Jesus. Any interpretation of scripture that appears to contradict this glorious truth of the new covenant is always because we are still reading it thru old testament lenses, so we need to see the context very clearly. In this chapter in Heb 10 the verses you quoted, the writer is clearly addressing people who have received the knowledge of the truth of the gospel but have not been saved by it there are many people who have understood the gospel but have not yet been converted by it or entered into it by faith, this is the condition of these people in these particular verses-under pressure they are in danger of drifting back to putting there confidence in the old testament sacfices , in the blood of bulls and goats. The writer has just spent time in prior verses in this chapters to explaining the superiority of the blood of Jesus and the total ineffectivness of the blood of these animals-he has already told them about the one sacrifice that Jesus made, has made us perfect forever and he is warning them that if they are not converted by the truth of the gospel but go back to relying on the old covenant then there is nothing left for them but the wrath of God!The reference to the blood that sanctifies them that does not mean that they are saved by that blood yet-that blood is available to sanctify any who believe. The main sin that the writer is addressing in the whole book of Hebrew is the sin of an evil heart of unbelief as in Hebrew 3 as summed up in vs19 and Heb 4:2 this deliberate sinning refers to the sin of unbelief that is the only sin that cuts us off from the blessing of the gospel. In John16:9 that the only sin the H.S. would convict the world of is the sin of unbelief all other sin deliberate or by accident is fully dealt with by the finished work of the cross where Jesus who knew no sin was made sin for us so that IN HIM we are made or given the permanent status of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God (2Corth5:21)The law of double jeopody means you can't punish the same sin twice!! The only sin that can be judged is the sin of unbelief in the gospel.Trust this is helpful. I am possibly planning to do a pre-emptive teaching on all these scriptures in the next few weeks to answer questions that regularly come up. This will go on the web. My undated version of my book :Living in the Grace of God" has just been completed and will be able to be purchased thru Authentic Media or thru Amazon May 4th. http://www.authenticmedia.co.uk/ or http://www.amazon.co.uk/ or phone + 44 (0) 1228611725.

Regards Rob

Saturday, 01 September 2007

Who am I in Christ

I am Accepted
John 1v12 I am God's child.
John 15v15 I am Christ's friend.
Rom 5v1 I have been justified.
1Cor 6v17I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him.
1Cor 6v20 I have been bought with a price. I belong to God.
1Cor 12v27I am a member of Christ's body.
Eph 1v1 I am a saint.
Eph 1v5 I have been adopted as God's child.
Eph 2v18I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
Col 1v14I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Col 2v10 I am complete in Christ.

I am Secure
Rom 8v1,2 I am free from condemnation.
Rom 8v28 I am assured that all things work together for good.
Rom 8v31-34I am free from any condemning charges against me.
Rom 8v35-39 I cannot be seperated from the love of God.
2Cor 1v21,22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Phil 1v6I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected.
Phil 3v20I am a citizen of heaven.
Col 3v3I am hidden with Christ in God.
2Tim 1v7I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
Heb 4v16I can find grace and mercy in time of need.
1John 5v18I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I am Significant
Matt 5v13,14I am the salt and the light of the earth.
John 15v1,5I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life.
Acts 1v8I am a personal witness of Christ.
1Cor 3v16I am God's temple.
2 Cor 5v17-21I am minister of reconciliation of God.
2 Cor 6v1I am God's coworker (see 1 Cor 3v9)
Eph 2v6I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.
Eph 3v12I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Phil 4v13I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

From - Victory over the darkness by Neil T. Anderson (Regal Books 2000)