Billy Wouldn’t Want Us to Honour Him – But like Paul, simply the Christ IN Him
I remember that during the week when I heard about Billy Graham’s promotion to glory, I immediately went to social media and I think it was our great mate David Willersdorf who was my first FB friend to post something. I commented on his post that like Paul before him when before King Agrippa, I felt very strongly that Billy would be able to say, ‘I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven’.
We may not all respond to a call to speak to millions through evangelistic rallies, or counsel nations’ leaders or other unique task responsibilities but, we can be obedient followers of Jesus, dwell in the revelation Christ brought and like Jesus have compassion to see and engage the harvest which is and continues to be ready; whether this is our immediate or extended family members, our friends or work colleagues, the people we do community service with, our neighbours or the shop assistant at the grocer down the road. Every single one needs to experience the forgiveness and empowering grace and favour of Jesus in and through their daily experiences. Like Billy we can be assured that the good news is for everyone so let’s give Billy Graham, this obedient servant, the last word. ‘Christ belongs to ALL people’. Thank you Lord for Billy Graham’s faithfulness to represent and demonstrate the kingdom of heaven for 84 years and for showing us the genuine impact of a life lived intimately with Christ.
The Prayer Group with Legs for HOPE – TUESDAYS 5.30pm in the Prayer Lounge
There was a simple but profound atmosphere of Christ’s presence as we utilized some guidelines from the National 40 Days of Prayer Relay towards seeking God’s heart for our neighbourhood, our city and our nation. During our prayer time we started to see some pictures of what God has in store and one particular offering was clear enough for us to write down and consider meditatively. Julie sent me a copy of what she received and it follows here for your prayerful reflection and motivation.
Inspired by Proverbs 25:2 … ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, to search out a matter is the glory of kings.’ I believe God is saying He has hidden a treasure that will be revealed by our church. This treasure will bring benefit to the body at large. It has been hidden specifically for us to find and will be credited to our account in eternity as we release it. It is hidden in the journey.
We were encouraged by the revealed mysteries associated with the kingdom of heaven and we prayed for softer hearts to receive more. I was drawn to Ephesians chapter 1 and verses 9 & 10 … ‘And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth under one head, even Christ.’ Join us if you can from 5.30pm to 6.30pm this coming Tuesday evening for more. If you can’t get there, text me on 0418 297 504 and let me know you would like to be a part of our corporate effort from wherever you are and we’ll journey it together the best we can.
Jesus Changed the Water into Wine So the Party Could Continue
In John Chapter 2 we find the beautiful story of Jesus changing water into wine. There is a lot of debate about the true meaning of this passage. One of the revelations I have received is that Jesus was simply ensuring that the young hosts weren’t humiliated by the wine shortage. Hosting these things back in the day was a big deal and there was a protocol to it all. Jesus is the King of Kings but he did this small, unheralded thing to serve a family in need. As usual when demonstrating the kingdom of heaven on earth, Jesus didn’t grand stand or seek some response to the miracle in terms of people being saved or similar. He simply served because things change when service is the motive and the priority.
We have a chance to be a part of something like this and so I will briefly outline the opportunity. There is no obligation upon us to do anything; I am simply sharing awareness so we can seek God’s best for us in response. Let me know if you have any thoughts.
There is a combined church effort in our region that exists under the banner of ‘CityServe’. The basic idea is that a bunch of churches in a given area find a project that needs some work and any amount of effort towards completion is solely designed to encourage and generously bless the community the project is in.
On Saturday the 17th March between 8am and 3pm, ‘CityServe’ will be renovating the inner courtyard between classrooms and the assembly hall at Corrimal High School. Now a fair bit of the work required will need some level of qualified skilling (i.e. carpentry, landscaping, installation of sliding doors etc.) but there is some opportunity for general labouring under supervision and also provision and serving of morning tea, lunch and or afternoon tea.
I have contacted the coordinator to let him know that I would ask to see what might be possible, even if it’s only for one of those hosting opportunities, a portion of the 8 hours helping or even donating to the effort as money is still needed for some aspects of the reno.
Anyway, it is true that we have been taking genuine steps towards developing a relationship with CHS, mostly through our membership of the Northern High Schools’ Scripture Board. We may not be ready for anything else at this point in time which is OK. Please let me know what you think and we’ll make a decision ASAP. Thanks …
The Leadership – Empowerment Challenge
At the end of last year we began a process to affirm a group of leaders (whom we refer to as Deacons) to assist the minister to preside over and help facilitate the day to day logistics associated with being a local church in community. In our desire to expedite the process to ensure we had a solid launch pad for the development of the sort of spiritual leadership we will need as this new season continues, I made some errors and others some oversights which resulted in the process being halted whilst we prayed through the issues towards determining what our way forward should be.
After a few weeks of seeking the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, the current deacons met with me in order to make a decision and that decision has been recorded in the minutes of the meeting. It is our desire during March to commence work on the agreed to process.
The shape of our church’s leadership may be and may very well have been appropriate for the journey so far but it is simply not enough, nor the right shape for what God has been and continues to lead us into.
So …. we want to honour the existing leadership which will continue to facilitate this process whilst exploring what leadership development could look like if we take the opportunity that The HOPE project affords us (i.e. to measure everything we say and do against Jesus’ representation and demonstration of the kingdom of heaven on earth) and START again with Jesus, re-align our service and ministry facilitation needs to the kingdom of heaven and in the language of Nehemiah, ‘rebuild the wall’.
Our simple premise is that if Jesus says to do something and then models it for us to emulate, then if we want to receive His full favour (i.e. represent His fullness) then we should do what He says and follow what he does.
As such, we absolutely believe that both Jesus and Paul showed us by representing and demonstrating God’s rule on the earth, how to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the responsibility for the advancement of God’s Primary Purpose; His kingdom come, His will being done on earth as it is in heaven.
The basic steps in this process, without all the added intricacies, were and are to
- GO – To all those people you are directly connected/related to (Jerusalem/Judea), to those you feel hesitant to go to because there might be some risk even danger (Samaria), and to those in any place God gives you a relational connection, wherever and whenever He does that (the ends of the earth).
- MAKE DISCIPLES – Identify fellow workers who have chosen to follow Jesus and apprentice them in everything that Jesus represented and demonstrated to the point where these fellow workers are performing their BEST FIT functions and are sustaining and reproducing the work associated with God’s primary purpose of completion with OTHERS themselves, in the same way you and I have been doing with them
- BAPTISE – Be immersed yourself and immerse others, prophetically and symbolically as Jesus was when He came to the Jordan to be baptised by John; in order to usher in all the obedience and humility required to be a fool for Jesus with whomever and whenever just as Jesus was for us; in so doing helping our brothers and sisters ‘reach to the very height of Christ’s FULL stature’ which is the life-long responsibility of the church, the body of Christ.
- CELEBRATE – ‘He is with us always to the end of the age’. It is the promise that we aren’t solely responsible for, or alone in this calling. We SHARE the responsibility IN Christ and just as God sent Jesus to share it with us in a way that empowered us to share it with others who were empowered in the same way to share it with others and so on … we encourage each other with the stories of victory, we warn and embolden each other by honestly testifying to the struggle, we stand alongside each other at the front of the battle, we minister to each other’s’ needs ….. ‘and the Lord adds to our number, those who are BEING saved’.
In order to support and resource this wineskin, we need the sort of facilitation that doesn’t allow us to get distracted and caught up in the intricacies but supports us and aligns us to the goal so our steps are ordered by Jesus and not by anything else.
Let’s join together from March and search for the leadership we were designed for; the leadership service that helps us look more like Jesus. It’s the only sort worth searching for.
A Summary of this week’s message for Prayer, Reflection, Response & Action
The Series is … ‘Cultivating the Culture of Heaven On Planet Earth’
Cultures 7 & 8 (Part 2) ‘SALT & LIGHT: THE FLAVOUR & PERSPECTIVE OF HEAVEN’
Our FOCUS Scripture is Matthew 5: 13-16 (Please read from verse 1 to give you context)
Becoming Salt that doesn’t lose its flavour and light which doesn’t lose its illumination (is a prophetic word of Jesus that I’d like to reflect on some more) – I believe it is timely
“The Church is nothing but a section of humanity in which Christ has really taken form. …. The church has essentially nothing whatever to do with the so called religious functions of human beings …. What matters in the church is not religion but the form of Christ, and this, taking form amidst a band of people” (Bonhoeffer)
“The HOPE Project is an END GAME co-ordinate that keeps us focused on Christ, and Him taking form amidst us whatever time of day it is” (Hush) WHY?
Do we believe that Jesus was SENT by the Father to save the world / loving the world indiscriminately & redemptively so that you & I can see & hear the message (Christ), be cut to the heart by it, receive it and believe i.e. ALL can be rescued? (John 3:16-17)
Do we believe that Jesus Christ represented and demonstrated ALL of heaven on earth? (John 1:10-18; Phil. 2:1-8. Col. 1:15-23)
Do we believe that God’s Primary Purpose is that His kingdom rule comes to replace the world’s kingdom rule on the earth as it IS in heaven? (Matt.6:9-15; Col. 1:15-23; Rev. 21:1-4)
Do we believe that the church is Christ’s body; His Holy Spirit led representation on the earth? (Ephesians; Matt. 16:13-27; 1 Cor. 12)
Christ IS HOPE therefore Church IS HOPE – If Jesus aligned everything with the Kingdom of Heaven THEN the church needs to align everything we say and do with the Kingdom of Heaven so that people can see, engage & experience Jesus, by engaging with the church
The HOPE Project keeps us focused and moving towards this goal as we mature IN Christ …
Here’s where salt can lose its flavour and light its lumens (a lumen is the unit measure of the amount of visible light emitted from a source – The Stories of the Billabong and Lighthouse … in the preaching of this message, I reminded people of what happens over time if the light house isn’t rebuilt to deal with the fact that in its original state its light can’t penetrate smog, changed atmosphere etc. and remain an effective tool for safety. I also talked about what happens when people settle to get their sustenance from a flowing, vibrant river but over time they don’t notice when the river carves a new path leaving a dying billabong.
If we focus on the good outcome (how good it was) we will become satisfied there, then become anchored to it and eventually only keep measuring what we are seeking, against what we HAVE experienced and what others have succeeded at (lot’s of life applications) instead of ALWAYS SEEKING FIRST HIS KINGDOM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS … It’s a matter life and death
Our PLUMBLINE can NEVER just be a worthy process or an excellent outcome
Our TRUE PLUMBLINE must ALWAYS be the SALT & LIGHT SOURCE i.e. CHRIST ….
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever BUT the world isn’t so we need to be immersed into Christ so we represent the same Christ in a new world. To call people to REPENT for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, the Kingdom of Heaven needs to BE AT HAND
We lose our saltiness and our luminosity largely because our effort is focused on defence and justification for sin. THAT’s GOD’s JOB. Our effort needs to be focused on building the wall in front of our place. Fighting the fights that come whilst building the wall is God’s agenda; fighting the fights that we feel we have to win before we start building, that’s the great human mistake.
This prophetic word of Jesus wasn’t stand-alone …. Here is another example … Luke 9:57-62
This is the devil’s most effective plan, a plan he wasn’t able to exact upon Jesus in the wilderness because Jesus didn’t try and deal with the subtle attacks and surface level temptations of satan, He simply responded with the FULL presence of the kingdom of heaven. Let me suggest again, as Jesus’ own presentation of his prayer suggests … the evil one has hardly a foot to stand on if we align with heaven (God’s COMPLETE presence) and walk FORWARD towards THAT goal in our lives, on the earth we are planted on, daily … This is a consistent prophetic word (Phil. 3:12-17) …. Let’s Talk
Here’s the Link to What’s Happening at the HUB this week http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/7-click-here
Here’s the Link to this week’s Prayer Diary for The HOPE Project http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/9-click-here
Here’s the Link to HOPE College, Student information & Application Process http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/10-click-here
Here’s the Link to Graeme’s Available Weekly Calendar Times https://graeme2.youcanbook.me/