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 December 2007

Love Louisa...(30Jan07)

Hi everyone,
 
As I contemplated the beginning of a new year and what might lie in store for me, I realized that I am at peace and that "It is well with my soul!"
 
What a contrast to how I felt at the beginning of this year! And how filled with dread at the prospect of it I was. What a year it has been. The tough times were very tough and the good times were amazing. Through it all I can say God has been good to me!
 
The on going revelation to me of God's grace and as we like to say being born again again, filled me with an inexplicable peace and joy and a real hope for the future. Does this mean that God answered all my payers exactly as I wanted when I wanted? Definitely not! Was God walking with me all the time? Yes! Was it always a tangible presence? Yes and no. I heard God's voice and saw evidence of His presence in amazing ways like never before. But I also heard and saw nothing, when times were really tough.
 
But throughout the year He answered my heart felt cries and met needs I didn't even know I had in the most surprising ways. Often so gently and subtly and peacefully, that if you weren't still and in tune with God's whisper you could miss it. If that makes me sound spiritual it's not meant like that at all. It's more like a relationship between father and child restored-it is well with my soul! And best of all God wants that for all of His children.
 
My prayer and hope for all who read this is Psalm 19:
God's glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madam Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
 
Their words aren't heard,
Their voices aren't recorded,
But their silence fills the earth;
Unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
 
God makes a huge dome
For the sun-a superdome!
The morning sun's a new husband
Leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The day breaking sun an athlete
Racing to the tape.
 
That's how God's Word vaults across the skies
From sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
Warming hearts to faith.
 
The revelation of God is whole
And pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
And point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
Showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
And easy on the eyes.
 
God's reputation is twenty-four-carat gold.
With a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
Down to the nth degree.
 
God's Word is better than a diamond'
Better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You'll like it better than strawberries in spring,
Better than red, ripe strawberries.
 
There's more: God's Word warns of danger
And directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
From thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
Scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words of my mouth;
These are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
On the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
God, Priest-of- My-Altar.
 
Lots of love Louisa

Friday, 28 December 2007

The Creative God

Psalm 139v13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. 14I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well.

Touch
Just before the 8th week of gestation, your baby develops his first sensitivity to touch. The first parts of his body to experience sensitivity are the ones that are the most sensitive in adults.
It starts in the cheek and then quickly extends to the genital area (10 weeks), psalms (11 weeks), and soles of the feet (12 weeks). By 17 weeks, the abdomen and buttocks are also sensitive. Your baby may stroke his face, suck his thumb, or feel other body parts. By 32 weeks, nearly every part of your baby's body is sensitive to heat, cold, pressure, and pain.
At birth, babies are suddenly thrust into a bright, cold world, where their arms and legs can suddenly move freely. This new freedom can make babies frantic and they may flail and thrash about. Swaddling, lots of cuddling and baby "wearing' in a sling is soothing to newborns. Breastfeeding ensures that a baby spends several hours in mother's arms.
 
Taste
By 13 to 15 weeks your baby's taste buds already look like an adult's, and the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby can smell strongly of curry, cumin, garlic, onion, or other strong tastes from your diet. (This will help your baby adapt to your way of eating, once he's on solids.) Studies show that a foetus's swallowing increases when surrounded by sweet tastes and decreases with bitter and sour tastes.
During the last trimester, your baby swallows up to a liter of amniotic fluid a day, which may serve as a way to introduce your baby to your breast milk (which also carries food flavours from your diet).
By birth, babies have a strong sense of taste, still preferring sweet tastes over sour or bitter tastes. Babies also show a strong preference for breast milk and breastfeeding, especially after the first few months.
 
Smell
The brain's olfactory (smell) center forms very early in foetal development. The nose develops between 11 and 15 weeks. Until recently, scientists didn't believe that foetuses had a sense of smell, since it was assumed that smelling depended on air and breathing. However, the latest research has opened up a new world of possibilities. The nasal system is made up of no less that four subsystems, and it's now believed that the amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus passes through the baby's oral and nasal cavities, triggering these senses.
Newborn babies have a keen sense of smell. Within the first few days they will show a preference for the smell of their own mother, especially to her breast milk.
 
Hearing
It's a noisy world inside you; what with gurglings from your digestive system, pounding and whooshing as your blood is pumped and circulated, plus the sounds of yours and other voices, music, etc.
Your baby's ears begin to form at around 8 weeks and become structurally complete at about 24 weeks. But as early as 18 weeks, the bones of the inner ear and the nerve endings from the brain have developed enough fro your baby to hear his little world. He may even be startled by loud noises. For the rest of the pregnancy, sound serves as a baby's major information channel. By week 25, your baby begins to hear your voice and may even recognize and be calmed by it as early as week 27. Sound may be muffled, though, because the ears are still covered with vernix, the thick waxy coating that protects the skin from becoming chapped by the amniotic fluid.
Hearing is fully developed in newborns. A baby with normal hearing should startle in response to loud sounds, pay attention to his mother's voice, and briefly stop moving when he hears a sound at a conversational level. Infants seem to prefer a higher-pitched voice (the mother's) to a low sounding voice (males). They can also tune out loud noises after hearing them several times.
 
Vision
Sight is the last sense to develop. As early as week 18, when the eyes are still closed, your baby's retinas can detect a small amount of light filtering through your tissue if you're out in the bright sun or under strong lights. In utero, eyelids remain closed until about the 26th week in order for the retinas to fully develop.
Around week 26, the eyes open and blink. By week 33, the pupils of the eye can now detect light and constrict and dilate, allowing your baby to see dim shapes. Studies shining a bright light on the belly of a woman at 37 weeks have shown a baby's heart rate speeding up in response, or the baby turning toward the light.
During the first few months, your baby may have uncoordinated eye movements and may even appear cross-eyed. He is born with the ability to focus only at close range; about 25-30 cm or the distance between your face and your baby in arms.
Your baby should be able to follow or track an object in the first few weeks. His focus improves over the first 2 to 3 years of life to a normal 20/20 vision. Newborns can detect light and dark but cannot see all colours. At birth, his eyes are a little more that half the size of yours. They grow the most in the first year, then they slowly grow until puberty.
 
from"Your Pregnancy - Issue 48 Dec/Jan 2006/7)

Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas


A sincere thank you for

your support & friendship during 2007!

I wish you

a blessed Festive Season

filled with joy and peace.

May 2008 be a year

of pure grace

for you and your loved ones.

Best wishes

From Grace in Flood

PEACE, LOVE & HAPPINESS



Sunday, 23 December 2007

The great deceptions

I have been convinced that many modern churches, and I dare say the majority of the Church have fallen into two deceptions.

1) The fact that they think they are a New Covernant people just because they teach out of the New Testament.

2) Christians are convinced by the accuser that they are not worthy NOW. That they still have to do more, pray more, be kinder....before they are worthy and loved by our Father. This in effect nuteralizes their abilities and giftings and calling.

Recently, while reading Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey (Hodder & Stoughton 2001), I came across another deception. This possibly combines the two mentioned above, but I feel that it deserves its own special mention. I have quoted from page 53 in this book, as I could not possible write better that this.

"Evil's greatest triumph may be its success in portraying religion as an enemy of pleasure when, in fact, religion accounts for its source: every good thing that we enjoy is the invention of a Creator who lavished gifts on the world.

Wayne's World...(23Dec07)

A Touch from Heaven

I believe that there are three longing hearts;

Your heart longs for more and more of God's presence and God's touch.

And I believe, even more so that God the Father wants to touch us, and interact with us, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

The devils filthy heart, desires to weaken your confidence, and separate you from the power and presence of God.

Two hearts desperate for each other. In fact the very longing is from God.

He placed it in our hearts. We long to be intimate with Him, we long to experience ever increasing degrees of his Glory. Isn't it amazing, no matter how long you've been saved, you want more of God. Well the good news is that there is always more of God. The other day Ron came up for prayer. I asked Him "what do you want prayer for? He said "I want more of the Holy Spirit". Now for those of you who don't know Ron is 91 years old. He has been serving the Lord for almost 70 years. The longing of his heart…more Lord, more. As I touched him to pray for him, he fell under the power. A longing fulfilled.

Are you hungry?

It's good to be hungry form more. Hunger sucks the power and prescience out of heaven and into you. I can tell with those who I pray for. Often the hungry ones, the open ones receive a touch quickly. The tangible anointing of God flows out of me and into them instantly, and there is manifestation of God presence.

God I believe is even hungrier to touch us, and to pour out his Holy Spirit on us. Buckets full, with out end. He loves it. He wants to do it. He is ready at every turn to pour out his pleasure on you. In fact he wants us to experience His intimacy and touch daily.

Today I believe God is looking for hungry hearts. Even now as I preach for a few more minutes, prepare your hearts. Today, were going to experience God. Today you are going to have an encounter with the living God.

Preaching is helpful, teaching beneficial, but this is not essentially what changes us. What changes us more than anything else is the prescience of God. His ministry to us, deep within is what changes us. His power at work in us changes us.

What happens to people when they are filled with the Holy Spirit?

There are many, but here are a few.

- People have a deepening sense and revelation of God goodness/holiness.

- People are set free from bondages

- People experience His great love

- People receive power to be his witnesses

- People receive strength to live life victoriously

- People are healed

- "the rubbish" is burned away by the fire of God

- People receive boldness

- People receive commissioning

- People are set free

- People are filled with Joy, peace

- People get direction

- These are just a few.

These are the internal, unseen effects of encountering God.

Externally we may see the following biblical effects.

Falling

Shaking

Crying

Laughing

Singing

Dancing

Trances

Lately we've also experience other manifestations..

Gold dust.

Others have feather or oil.

Now it's not about these manifestations, but it's helpful to mention them, so when it happens to you, you don't feel like something unusual is happening to you. No this is very usual, and can be part of everyday church, and even part of our devotions. Regularly during devotions or soaking times ill, shake or cry or go into a trance like state where God will show me things.

It's all about a kind loving Father that has not left us as orphans, but given us a loving tender, ever attentive Holy Spirit to fill us and lead us and guide us. Enough preaching, open your hearts, have an expectancy to receive. Remember this, you are worthy, you are clean through Jesus. We are loved and accepted by God. Hid grace and righteousness are our gifts. Receive them.

I need to say this. There is no reason, from God's side that he does not want to touch you and fill you with his glorious spirit. None, the only obstacles are in our minds, strongholds, lies from the enemy, telling you "you're not worthy". Do not hear the words of the accuser today. Every accusation that moves you away from God, is an ungodly thought. It must be taken captive to Jesus. Jesus, who is your defender and advocate, who intercedes daily for you before the Father! Hear the words of the loving Father who is drawing you into his presence. He says come…

All who are thirsty come…

All who are hungry come…

All who are far off come…

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

Come and delight your soul in the richest of fair.

by Wayne Duncan


Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Waynes World...(18Dec07)

I want to start by highly recommending a audio from Rob Rufus..His latest;
Self righteousness verses Gift of righteousness, it covers a some of what we've been looking at www.citychurchinternational.net/mp3_2/2007_12_09.zip

Romans 5:17 how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ

So here we see that two key elements to reigning in life are... "Gods abundant provision of Grace" and "Gods gift of righteousness".

This is what we've looked at the last two weeks righteousness, and Gods abundant grace.

I want to briefly massage these two concepts in, and also add a few things that I did not get to last week. I used my notes for about 10% of the time, and there are some key scriptures that I want to pick up on.

Firstly…we are righteous.

It's important to note here that it is a gift. Not something worked for, but a gift.

Romans 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." 4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Here we see that righteousness is not worked for, other wise God would be obliged to give you righteousness, and that would not be a gift, but a wages. Speaking of wages it reminds me of another scripture:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we were unsaved our wages for our sin was death, spiritual death. Now that we have been saved, we have the gift of eternal life. Please note here again, that it is not a wage of eternal life, but a gift.

We have two gifts here, the gift of righteousness, and the gift of eternal life. Tell me who pays for a gift, the giver or the receiver… the giver pays.(In this instance the price was very high. Jesus paid the price. The judgment for every sin you've ever committed, or ever will commit fell on Jesus at the cross. The punishment you should have received He received, and now we have the privileges of being righteous through HIM.) All the receiver had to do is receive it, and once received, you have it. Now unwrap it and enjoy it.

There was a picture of this in the Old Testament. The priest would offer a sacrifice of a perfect lamb, for the forgiveness of sins. Who was examined, the priest or the lamb? The lamb. They didn't say…we cannot accept this lamb, coz the priest is not dressed smart enough, or did not read his bible today, or sinned today. No, the lamb is examined, and if it was without fault it was an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God and resulting in the forgiveness of sins. The same happens now. We present Jesus for our sacrifice, God examines Jesus and finds him perfect and without fault, and so we receive the privileges of a sacrifice pleasing to God.

We don't have to be perfect to be accepted by God, coz he found one who was perfect on our behalf.

We don't have to perform well for God, Jesus performed well on our behalf.

Thank you Jesus!!

Were so inclined to want to be treated by God, the same way as when we were unsaved. "Surely my wages must produce death" we say. If I mess up it must produce death, curses. No your gift status does not change. You are still righteous, still have eternal life. It's a gift. No where in the Bible does it say that God takes these gifts away at any stage. The Bible says in Isaiah 53 he took all our sins and curses upon Himself.

Friends the rules have changed. God does not treat unsaved and saved alike.

The unsaved live under constant judgment and the tyranny of the law, the law constantly shows them their sinful nature and weaknesses…to which they have no response, but to turn to God for grace and mercy.

Once saved, our judgment is on Jesus, we are dead to the law, and God deals with us by grace and mercy, even if we mess-up. This is grace.

Every creature is either in Christ or in Adam. In Adam means, still unsaved…being judged by the law, separated from God.
In Christ means sins covered, and forgotten, no longer under judgment, and one with God.
You are either one or the other there is no middle ground. All humans on the planet fall into one of these two categories.

The tragedy of the world today, is that many Christians think they live half way between the two. Never sure if they are right with God. Never sure if they are doing enough to be loved and accepted by God. As a result, intimacy is lost, power is lost. Signs wonders and miracles dry up, and we are confused. Not reigning in life…wondering when and what God will judge us for next, and how he will pour out his wrath to get us back for sinning. This robs us of our confidence to approach the throne of grace. Wondering if were slipped to far, now God can't hear my prayers. Wondering if were done and are doing enough? Hoping we have not sinned too much so that we loose our gifts. The gift of eternal life and of righteousness.

I tell what you will loose if you think and live like this…you will loose your joy, you will loose your intimacy, you will get tired, depressed. You will begin to hate your faith and your church. Your patience wall begin to fail, as will all you other fruits. You will get sick, eventually you'll become totally unproductive for the kingdom..wondering desperately "is this all this is?"..awake beloved, this is not Christianity…YES there is more…much much more.

What God is doing with us as a church, and world wide today, is restoring the confidence of his love. The wonder of his salvation plan. As this confidence is returning, were seeing Christians rise up in authority, were seeing more healings that ever before, and were seeing signs and wonders. People are becoming confidant, sharing the gospel out there. Strongholds are broken over people and people are coming free. (story of lady in church)

Romans 3:20 through the law we become conscious of sin. 21But now righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.

This is a time for faith. A time for us to believe the promises of God. We have been saved through Jesus. We have the two gifts. The gift Righteousness and of Gods abundant grace. The power of this leads to praise and gratitude. This leads to reigning in life.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Releasing the life of God

I will never forget a day in Jerusalem sitting with a group of pastors relaxing and enjoying the cool shade below the leafy trees over looking the empty tomb of Jesus. Jonathan Leach rose to address us with exaggerated earnestness and a profoundly pensive face. His opening phrase shocked me to the core! "Jesus Christ was a total and complete failure..."
The protracted pause produced the desired effect. Dignified reclining pastors sat bolt upright and instantly became chronic asthmatics gasping for air! Corporate cardiac arrest was imminent, as souls filled with volcanic outrage were about to erupt, anti-blasphemy missiles prepared to launch! At which point Jonathan casually continued. "...at funerals. For in order to have a successful funeral the corpse must stay dead." Surely we, the priesthood of all believers, should have the same passionate response today when we detect discern or sniff any odor of death percolating up through the ground, over the sewers of hell and insidiously wafting over the Church. The musty smell of the sepulcher settling on the living stones of God is a blasphemous contradiction! A living Saviour demands a living Church. For the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, is toward us who believe, and our souls were created to be river beds for the life of God to flow!
 
What is the evidence of God's life in our midst? Firstly, I believe it's very helpful to be clear on what it is not.
1. It is not essentially noise, dancing, excitement etc. Sadly many worship services are filled almost entirely with songs about us. This has almost become an obsession. We sing about our freedom, our blessing, how we can sing and dance, how our chains are broken. These songs are sung with the same gusto that fanatical sports fans sing their victory songs when their teams win. It is basically self indulgent. Very rarely will you be in a service today where almost all the songs are entirely taken up with the attributes of God Himself!-His holiness, His purity, the clean, righteousness of His anger and intense wrath, His power, the wonder of His immutable Being, His majestic authority, reign and rule, His unlimited almighty, inexhaustible strength, the true terror of His fearful judgment, His infinite wisdom, justice, glory, integrity, His tenderness, love and grace, mercy, kindness, redeeming goodness and patience. Think very honestly about the average services you have participated in over the last year. What was the focus of most of the songs? God's life very rarely flows for long in a bubblegum-popcorn praise culture that focuses mostly on our benefits but away from His attributes-lots of noise, movement and excitement but very little supernatural owe, wonder and miraculous atmosphere.
 
2. It is not just good ethics and morality. Satan is very adept in his seductive cunning and deceit in convincing people that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is far superior to the Tree of Life. Trying to just do good and avoid evil brings the curse of death. There are those today who appear to be morally, ethically and theologically sound, but demonic death exudes from them, even through their polite political smiles that are in cunning conformity to the Pharisee's protocol so alien and foreign to Christ. It is not just for outwardly bad activities that God removes His candlestick but it is often in the midst of many outwardly good activities that God eventually removes His candlestick from a church (Revelation 2:1-5).
 
3. It is not being weird-some who have laid claim to the miraculous life of God have exhibited such bizarre behavior, mannerisms and tones of voice that Hollywood has not been entirely unfair in its portrayal of us. Jesus could never be identified with the myriad of religious sub-cultures that we see today. His entire life revealed a texture of sanity so attractive, convicting and authentic. He was naturally supernatural and supernaturally natural. What is the evidence of God's life in our midst? Fruitfulness! People being saved on a regular basis! Enemies of God being reconciled through His death on the cross and saved through His life! (Romans 5:10). Regular healings, signs, miracles and wonders! Radically changed lives! Ever-increasing victory over sin and demonic oppression! Increasing deep, sincere love for one another! The Kingdom of God powerfully advancing in measurable ways, not in sentimental ways!
 
In the organizational model of the Church, self promotion, political maneuvering and hype gains prestige and position. In the organic model of the Church, fruitfulness is the sign of intimacy with God and divine endorsement. God's test for those in rebellion and contention against Moses and Aaron was simple. They were to write their name on the staff and leave it in the tent of the testimony overnight. God said, "The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites." (Numbers 17). God is not interested in beautiful sentimental staffs but in budding fruitful staffs! How vain and foolish are our "works of God" if there is no God at work? (Galatians 2:8). It is not what we do for God that has any worth; it is what God does through us that counts! (Romans 15:18-19). God is infinitely more skilled in using us than we are in using God! What we try to do for God will always at best be earthly, human, ordinary and at worst, impart death! (Hebrews 9:14). What God does through us will be super-natural, sublime, extra-ordinary, transcendent, miraculous, sometimes frightening and shocking but irrefutable proof of God endorsing us by doing things through us this is impossible for us to do! That's evidence of His life! Sounds like a description of the church in Acts 2 to Acts 6!
 
Practically, how do we stay in this flow of His life?
1. By recognizing, by revelation. That we are in partnership with God! The Bible says we are God's fellow workers, co-laborers together with God and co-heirs with Christ! (1Corinthians 2:18; Romans 8:17). Mark 16:20 says after Jesus was taken up into heaven, "...The Lord worked with them..." The secret is letting God take the initiative and we make the responses. This is organic life. This requires sensitivity out of intimacy and servant hearted obedience that flows from faith motivated by love.
 
2. By Recognizing, by revelation, that what the enemy intends for evil, God intends for our good. Pressure, failure, betrayal and criticism should not drive us into sulking, withdrawal, bitterness and self pity. We should see pressure as God's opportunity to expose and put to death in us self reliance, selfish ambition, self promotion, independence and pride. We should rejoice with relief and gratitude to God that pressure exposes such dangerous and ugly characteristics in us! Instead of self justifying, covering up and being defensive, we should repent! What a wonderful opportunity to be delivered from self deception and enter into deeper dependence and reliance on God's grace. This humility creates a greater capacity in us to cooperate, comply and conform to Christ in a more tender, sensitive and pure partnership that produces a greater demonstration and display of His life and power through us! (2Corintians 1:8-11; 2Corintians 3:16-18).
 
3. By recognizing by revelation that we are essentially spirit beings-God is Spirit (John 4:24); God has form (John 5:37), and we are made in God's image! It is a mistake to think of ourselves as natural beings who are trying to be spiritual. Actually we are spirit beings living in a natural world. The world of the Spirit is not foreign to us; it is home! Sadly, some Christians think that it requires intense periods of prayer and fasting to make brief sorties into the Spirit realm for a temporary manifestation or revelation from God, as though it were unnatural for spirit beings to be conscious of and know the realm of the Spirit. Once we recognize, by revelation, that we are essentially spirit beings it will be just as easy to touch the realm of the spirit as it is to touch the natural world.
 
4. By recognizing, by revelation, our need for boldness. Intimidation and the fear of man is the number one hindrance that restricts the flow of God's life through us! It takes boldness to release God's life. The early Church regularly prayed for boldness and so should we! (Acts 4:29). Paul asked the Church to pray for him to be fearless (Ephesians 6:19) and so should we on a regular basis! We are ambassadors of the highest government in the universe, given a direct commission from the nail scarred One who has already authorized us as ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter which kills, but of the Spirit that brings life. Let God arise and His enemies be scattered! Let life swallow up death! Let the Prince of life be exalted among the nations!
 
We love you Jesus!
 
By Rob Rufus in the "Let's talk" - "Our Values" edition

Love Louisa...(17Dec07)

 
Hi Everyone
 
Sorry it's been so long since I wrote but I am without a computer at the moment as it got wet during our roofless rainy season!
 
This year has been a really tough one for me and my family, but in discovering and experiencing God's grace again it's also been a fantastic one!
 
In Max Lucado's book "Facing your Giants" - He asks the question who knows why?
How does God respond in times of trial? - nuke enemies? We may want Him to. He's been known to. How will He treat yours? I can't say. But how he will treat you I can say. He will send you a Jonathan.
You can read all about David and his friend Jonathan in 1Samual 18.
I can testify to this because, throughout this interesting year God has sent me a few Jonathans-
Good quality godly people. The one's that will stand at your side, no matter what!
 
These amazing people sent by God to you for specific times and trials often seem to apear out of the blue. What an incredible difference they make. I praise God of each and every one of them and pray that your life will be enriched and strengthened and made more special by them too!
 
Lots of love
Louisa.

Visit to the South Coast

We have been wanting to visit Wayno, his family and Coastlands Church for a while now, but until yesterday have not had the chance. Being late December, with everything winding down for the year, Shan (my wife) and I decided to take a small road trip.
Two hours later found us in the beautiful town of Port Edward (Look it up on the web).

We arrived just a bit late for their pre-service prayer time. I walked into the tangible presents of God as I joined their prayer circle. My body started shaking and I started weeping as we worshiped our wonderful Father.
This was a far cry from the first time I visited the church in January this year.
Since Wayno has been preaching Grace, the only Gospel, there has been revival. God has come with power and the church is alive. There have been healing, gold dust (I even got some later in the day) and people being set free, as the Father manifests His presents.
There is also an incredible joy, peace and life in this congregation that I did not sense before. People were there to meet with God.


Their worship has also gone through the ceiling. Neils, the band leader, has the gifting to help take you into the Fathers presents without any effort. Bless you bro. He is surrounded by very anointed and gifted musitions with a wonderful heart for the Father.

I had a chance to give a testimony on my grace walk so far. I really felt an anointing over me as I spoke. I believe this was received well and I hope people are blessed by what I had to share. It was great to be able to speak freely.

The service was followed by us going to Wayno's house and joining his family for a wonderful roast lamb, prepared perfectly by Jen (Wayne's wife) and Marje (Wayne's mom). Thank you very much ladies.

Bless you big time Coastlands Christian Church. I salute your courage.

Self righteous vs. the gift of righteousness

I highly recommend listening to this teaching by Rob Rufus.

http://www.citychurchinternational.net/mp3_2/2007_12_09.zip

Sunday, 09 December 2007

You gotta see this

 

Wayne's World...9Dec07

The Love of the Father, the obedience of the son, the guarantee of the spirit.

This topic gives me great and undying joy to bring. God wants us to live in the glorious freedom of the saints, and to have joy. This message produces great joy in me. It will produce great joy in anyone who hers it. It's the gospel, and guess what, the gospel is good news. So get ready to get happy!

If you could please turn to
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life".

We see here that the plan of salvation, was authored in great love by the Father. It was Gods plan, and always was his plan, to redeem a people who would be his very own. Man sinned and was separated from God. The Father engineered a way for us to be reconciled to God. The plan was to give his Son as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. It's a plan conceived by the master planner, out of a fatherly love.

You know what the primary picture of God is in the bible?..it's father. Jesus taught us to pray…our Father. Many of his parables teach us to see him as a loving father, and encourage us to approach him with confidence and intimacy.

Rory Dyer said if you could summarize the bible in a word, it would be…"father".

So the Father gave his Son, Jesus. All we need to do to enter this salvation plan is…believe. That's all, just believe. It's by faith that we are saved, and by faith that we are justified.

Romans 5:1 "Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God, through our lord Jesus Christ."

Before we were saved, we were not at peace with God. We were under the insult and tyranny of the law. We were separated from God, weak and defenseless against his accusations and the accusations of the enemy. Jesus died and silenced forever those voices. We looked at that last week, we are righteous forever, having been made perfect forever.

Our part, to believe.

So we have a loving Father, and an obedient Son, and everlasting life to those who believe.

Please turn to
John 6:38-40 "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me.39 And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I should loose none of all he has given me, but raise them up on the last day.40 For my fathers will is that everyone who looks to the son and believes in him, shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

What an amazing scripture. It shows firstly a loving Father, our Father in heaven. How this Father clearly has a will. His will is the fulfillment of his engineered plan. What was his plan? Clearly it is for everyone who believes, to receive eternal life. His plan was for Jesus to so something, to create everlasting life for those who believe. Now we also know that Jesus responded to the father in perfect obedience. So it's safe to say that Jesus will not loose one that the Father gives Him. Who does the Father give him? Verse 44 "no-one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them."

Has the Father drawn you? Have you become a son? Do you believe in Jesus?

You know believing in Jesus is an interesting topic. You see most of us will be happy with the fact that Jesus died for us. But we struggle to believe that once were in Gods salvation, Jesus job continues. He has to "not loose you". If he looses you, he becomes disobedient to the Father. Jesus would then cease to be God. He has to and wants to sustain us, forever. This is what it means to have eternal life. This is what it means when Jesus says I'll raise him up on the last day…shall have eternal life…will raise him up on the last day.

John 3:16…eternal life. John6:40 eternal life. This appears many other times.

Why do we find this so hard to believe? Well much of the Christianity that is preached today, and has been preached over the years, says yes Jesus saves you, but then you have to follow rules and regulations, and if you do that well, you'll be saved. The bible teaches other wise. It says were saved by faith, then Jesus sustain us! It's not us it's Him. Phil 1:6 says "being confidant of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion". We usually say "he who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion", please lets quote the whole verse…being confidant that he who.

The NIV Study bible interprets this passage as follows. "

Paul is confidant not only in what God has done "for" them, but also what God has done "for" them v11.(filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ). It is God who invites salvation, who continues in it, and who will one day bring it to consummation.

Thank you Jesus. Father you called us, Jesus you sustain us, spirit you produce righteousness through us.

It's amazing, it's not us, its Him!

Just incase you need a little more persuasion lets look at
John 10:27-29 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, no-one can snatch them out of my hand.29 My Father who has given them to me, is greater than all, no-one can snatch them out of my Fathers hand.

What an amazing promise. The Father has given us to Jesus. We will hear his voice and follow him. No one can snatch us out of Jesus hand. Now get this awesome revelation…are you ready. Were also in the Father's hand. How can that be? We can't be in two hands at once. Were in Jesus had, and then the father covers, Jesus hand with is, closing us in. We are sealed in God. Like a precious pearl in a clam.

What a glorious state. The purpose of this text is to provide undying certainty in the promise of Jesus. I will give you eternal life. Nothing, no-one can take it away. Aahh you say, but we might take ourselves out of Gods hand. Now tell me what does no one mean? No-one means no-one right? This includes you. No one.

In any case we're in Him and He holds all things together according to
Colossians 1 16 for by him all things were created: things on heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, weather thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created for him and by him.17 he is before all things, AND IN HIM ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER.

Further more
Jude 24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy 25 to the only God our Saviour be glory and majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more! Amen

He can keep us from falling. Wow what a God we serve.

He loves us.

He engineered a redeeming plan for us.

He called us.

He saved us.

And he sustains us.

Forever.

If this does not release Joy then I don't know what will. We are saved forever!

Look at
John 10:28 again
I shall give them eternal life, they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of my hand.

In the Greek its ( ou me). According to Wayne Grudum in his book "systematic theology"…he says

"It is especially emphatic. Might be translated, more explicitly "and they shall certainly not perish forever".

So we have a loving Father… who loves us unconditionally, and made a plan for our eternal reconciliation.

We have an obedient Son, obedient to save and keep us.

What about the Holy Spirit? What does he do in all this?

Ephesians 1:11-14 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.

In him we were chosen, having been predestined, the Father knew you and called you and made a way back through The obedient Jesus.

Two outstanding things about this passage, there are many but just to pull out 2.

1. This salvation of our souls, its all for the glory of God. Gods intention is that through this great plan, his nature would be revealed, and he would be glorified.

2. The holy Spirit is then sent from the Father, and put in us. This is to show us from the inside, that what God has said is true! We don't have to have and intellectual understanding of God, we can know him experientially.

I like this a lot; the word in verse 14 guaranteeing: in Greek is (arrabon)

"Legal and commercial term, means "first installment" "deposit" "down payment pledge", and represents "a payment that obligates the contracting party to make further down payments.

So God is saying he has filled us, and will continue to fill us, He is obligated to fill us. How can we say that? Well God swore that in the new covenant, He will pour out his holy spirit on his sons and daughters…all flesh!! And he promised to never leave or forsake us. And he has promised to change us from Glory to Glory, and he has promised that we will do miracles in his name. All of these things need an intimacy with God, and a close relationship with the Holy Spirit.

He puts his Spirit in our hearts so that we know that we know that we know, we are His, we are saved. We have eternal life.

The bible is much better that we thought!

We are going to worship now, and then we will ask the Holy Spirit for a deposit!!


Friday, 07 December 2007

Family of believers

Eph 4v4 There is one body and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all.
 
I was reading the blog "A joy to be me" (http://ajoytobeme.blogspot.com/) today.
Lydia comments on Grace in Flood often and has just become my friend on Facebook. Further than that, we don't really know each other yet.
What I read on her blog upset me to the core of my spirit. Not because she and her husband were being persecuted by the circumcision party, but rather due to the fact that a sister and brother in Christ and the grace walk were going through pain.
 
Eph 4v4 comes to mind. I can understand why we are encouraged to meet together often. I can see why meeting in each others homes and breaking bread daily created an atmosphere where there was no need, in the Acts church.
 
Heb 10:24 and let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
 
We need to stick together. Encourage one another. Love one another. Build each other up.
 
Be blessed and be together

Monday, 03 December 2007

Wayne's World...3Dec07

I want to continue to look at grace.
Now it’s so sad that whenever you preach grace you have to state the obvious. Were not advocating sin. Sin is wrong. God hates sin, and we should hate sin too. God wants a holy people, set aside for Him.
God wants us to shine like stars in a crooked and perverse generation. Gods wants to put his Glory on display for all to see, through us. At the end of Romans 5 it says where sin increases, Gods grace increases. 6:1 then says so what shall we say, should we go on sinning so that sin may increase?
It says “by no means””not al all” “God forbid” “may it never be”
What we are saying is that avoiding sin, and hating sin, comes from him working in us, more than it does from us doing it “we are being transformed from glory to glory”. We cannot be holy without his help. If we try do all that god wants, we will fall short, unless we allow him to do it through us. It’s the process of transforming our minds, until our spirits dominate our flesh. That’s why it says in Galatians,

Galatians 5v16
16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (NIV)
16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.(NKJ)


At the foundation of the grace message is the essential understanding of righteousness.
Righteousness, has become a bit of a religious cliché’, and there is a lot of misunderstanding about the topic.
So what does righteousness mean? In the NIV bible in the glossary of terms, righteousness is described as.
“The state of being perfect…without sin”…this is an excellent definition, in layman’s terms, it this. Being right with God.”
It's important to see here that this is a state. It's a position. It's also a permanent position. We do not loose our righteousness every time we sin. We are righteous through what Jesus did on the cross, if we have appropriated His death on the cross.
“Righteousness” and its counterpart “righteous” appear 540 and 520 times in the verses of the bible. In contrast “faith” and “faithful” are only used 348 and 328 times. This means that there are 1.5 times as many scriptures about righteousness as there are about faith. Righteousness is important.
Romans 1v17
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."


So how do we get righteous?
First of all it’s from God through faith, as this scripture says.
Righteousness is the condition of being in right relationship with God.
Righteousness can only come through total faith and dependence on God.
There is no other way to get Righteousness, it’s only through faith.
There is nothing we can add to our faith to have Righteousness.
Romans 11:6 “and if by grace then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

Righteousness you see is a free gift through faith, by god’s grace. You can’t have one or the other, you can’t mix works with grace. Its grace and grace alone.
Works are the result of God working in me. They are God’s works.
Philipians 2v13for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for [His] good pleasure.

Many say that’s well and fine for becoming a Christian, but once you are a Christian; you have to work on your righteousness. My beloved, how does this make sense? You see righteousness is a complete state. It’s a state of perfection. You cannot be more or less righteous. We have the very righteousness of Christ, its perfect righteousness, so how can we grow it?
He has made us perfect forever:
Hebrews 10:10-
10By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all.] 11And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 15But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16"This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," 17[then He adds,] "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 18Now where there is remission of these, [there is] no longer an offering for sin. 19Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21and [having] a High Priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the confession of [our] hope without wavering, for He who promised [is] faithful. 24And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,


We have been made perfect, forever. Perfect means perfect. If it broke, and we lost our righteousness, there would have to be a sacrifice again…Jesus cannot be sacrificed again, it was one sacrifice for all forever! If we do sin and we will, we have a mediator, Jesus Christ who stands in our defense and is interceding for us. We will need to repent but we will not loose our righteousness, it’s in a perfect state.
Imagine every time you sinned you lost your righteousness? If you broke the speed limit and had an accident, you would go to hell, coz you cannot approach God without righteousness. Remember that god sees all sin the same. So if you had committed adultery and were driving home and died in a car crash, would you go to heaven. Yes, your righteous..forever…God sees all sin as sin.
You say you can’t preach this, if you do, people will sin. No we will not coz grace teaches us to say no.
Here is a revelation for you .People sin under law and people sin under grace.
I was in a church that preaches law, and there were those who had affairs, those who were drug addicts and alcoholics, there were men addicted to internet pornography. But law was preached, so preaching that you must be good, our you will loose your right standing with God, and come under his wrath, was not enough to constrain anyone.
We preach grace, why?
Titus 2v11
11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself [His] own special people, zealous for good works.


Look at what grace does…
Teaches us to say no to ungodliness
No to worldly passions
To live self controlled lives
To live upright lives


All this it does while we wait for the appearing of Jesus.


He as redeemed and purified us (he has done it). And he has made us want to do what is right. The new covenant written on our hearts. Then Phil 2:13 he works in us to act and to will according to his good purpose.
Praise Jesus, forever amen.

This all comes through grace. Understanding that we are loved and accepted by God, we can freely approach him, with full confidence and no condemnation. Praise Jesus for this covenant.
If we live in this it will destroy all depression, sickness, discouragement. It will stop us from looking for fulfillment and attention is dangerous areas. Like sexual relationships and drugs. A deepening revelation of his great love and acceptance will change us.
Love and acceptance is a better motivator that fear and reward.
If we understand this, truly understand this, we will reign In life.
Romans 5v17
17For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

There is so much more we can talk about in all this, we will look at it more and more, as time goes on.
now this, if you believe in Jesus, and have faith in him, you are righteous. Perfect. Forever.
Live in the power and confidence of this truth.

Intro to Wayno

We lived in an average town and attended the same average government school when we were 13.
We started going to an above average, spirit filled youth group, at a Presbyterian Church.
Around the same time we came to know the Lord Jesus as our saviour.
We got to build a strong friendship over the next two years, when I discovered Rugby, beer and girls.
Around the same time the youth group was closed down for being "Too Spiritual".
Wayne and I drifted apart as he continued his walk with the Father and I went on the road more traveled.
 
It was 10 years after we left school that we ran into each other again.
My now wife (but girlfriend at the time) and I had just moved to the beautiful North Coast of Natal.
We were sitting on the beach, when Wayne came running past. Not seeing him in over 10 years, and not knowing where he lived, you can imagine that this was a pleasant suprise. Along with the fact that we knew very few people in this area.
Two months later we invited Wayne, Jen (his wife) and their new-born son Tyde to my birthday party.
It worked out that we lived in the same road. God had re-united us.
 
Wayne was a deacon at a local church. I was still drinking as much beer as I could and smoking anything that burned.
He invited me to church a couple of times, and I went. After a two years, the prodigal was back.
I owe much to Wayne.
 
This time last year Wayne took over a church two hours South of where we live. After attending a "church planters" course, where the Father started revealing His grace to Wayne and Jen. It took a year for the Holy Spirit to fully bring them into the grace walk.
Now there is revival in their church.
Thank you Father.
 
Wayno has sent me his teaching from Sunday 2 December. Hopefully he will be contributing much to this blog. He really is a great teacher.
 
Please hold him and his family up in prayer as they take the New Covenant to the people in this area.
 
Blessings