More than forgiveness, peace with God means to be joined to Him, connected with His divine nature and intertwined with His life through the Holy Spirit. Peace with God is being accepted by Him and connected to Him. All are invited to experience this deeper walk in God’s presence in 2016 and, as a result, enjoy His grace in greater abundance. Continue reading
God’s words to us are like food – they’re life-giving nourishment to our hearts. When a child of God has recently heard from the Father, there’s a sense of being “seen” and loved by God that brings fresh energy, faith and peace. Hearing Him is like eating life, and God invites “those who have no money…come and eat” (Isaiah 55). We need to eat healthy food daily to sustain our bodies, and also we need to hear the Father regularly and clearly to strengthen our spiritual lives. So how do we do this? Continue reading
This afternoon I took off in Houston for a flight to Chicago. The weather has been rainy and miserable for a couple of days and as a child of the sunny South Africa Highveld, that tends to make me sleepy at best, and unhappy at worst. As the plane rose past 10,000 feet, we broke through the thick layer of clouds into bright blue skies and happy sunlight. I pressed my face against the small window, closed my eyes and let the sunbeams warm me; within minutes I felt cheerful again.
It struck me how this is a picture of our connection with God on earth: on this side of eternity the radiance of God’s sunshine is very often hidden by thick clouds, part of what Jesus meant when He said, ‘in this world you will have trouble‘. Man’s sinful nature spews fear, insecurity, guilt, anger, greed and a hundred other ‘pollutions’ into the spiritual atmosphere and, like thick clouds, these dampen the Father’s warming sunlight for men. Our enemy, the ‘ruler of the kingdom of the air’ accumulates and steers these evil clouds to oppress and distress, darkening and crushing hearts.
Quite a depressing picture? Actually no, because our Lord Christ tore apart the clouds, exploding with the ‘radiance of God’s glory’ to shine brilliantly on all those who call on Him for help. By His Spirit, God creates an ‘open Heaven’ for the each of His children every time they reach out to Him in faith to do so. The Holy Spirit carries us, like a Boeing, through the dampening clouds of the world’s heavy atmosphere and into the sunlight and blue skies of God’s Presence, otherwise know as ‘Heaven on Earth’.
This is lesson #1 of how we hear God’s voice, and it is expressed so well Continue reading
Our Father is not silent. Some have a picture of God as a silent person who folded His arms after the Bible was given to men, now sternly watching to see if they will do what He said.
Not so. The Father made us to be His children and re-created us in Christ, holy, righteous and full of His living Spirit so that we could interact with Him as sons and daughters do with their fathers.
He loves and He speaks, and He listens to us when we talk to Him. He sings songs over us as we sleep, and He loves the worship we sing back to Him. He put His Spirit in us so that we can walk with Him in a ‘new and living way’ – this isn’t dead religion. The Father has specific things to say to each of His children to express the individual thoughts and plans He has for each of our lives as Ps 139 beautifully describes.
There are two things about Jacob that put him into history’s ‘hall of fame’ of heroes in God’s eyes. Hebrews 11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. What stood out to God about Jacob is that he left a legacy of blessing to his descendants, and that he worshipped in the dying moments of his life. Its striking that his worship was not a set of elaborate actions or huge effort – in fact it seems he had little strength left – it was an act of faith. Think about that: his worship is noted for being ‘by faith’ in weakness.
Bill Johnson recently wrote something that caught my attention and seems to grab everyone I tell it to: Continue reading
“How much more will those who receive the abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through Christ Jesus” Romans 5:17
Many Christians live with insecurity about their position with God. They’re not sure whether they’re doing enough to be acceptable to the Father and their effort becomes focused on trying to achieve what they’ve already been given in Christ – a full “thumbs up” from God. Living to earn God’s acceptance is “living for righteousness” and its an awful thing. Its not how we were created, because its the nature of a slave rather than a child.
Instead we need to learn to live “from righteousness”. Continue reading
In Acts 3 we gain insight into the supernatural lifestyle that Peter and John lived, or as the Bible terms it, the “spiritual life”. We learn secrets of experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, living surrounded and overshadowed by God Himself.
We owe the world an encounter with the living God, or as Paul put it, we should give more than “persuasive words but a demonstration of the Holy Spirit and power”. The truths of Acts 3 show that this is possible not only for elite Christians, but a clear path for us all. Continue reading