September 26, 2015 at 7:18 PM
There is a model of church leadership, which I have been taught in the past, that says we are like a flock of seagulls flying in 'V' formation. We are all looking ahead towards Jesus, but there is someone in front leading. Behind him are others as part of the 'V' and if the leader gets tired they can take his place. This is what happens with seagulls.
In the church this justifies senior leadership teams, ordinary leadership teams, etc. etc. I think I'd be more impressed if the first actually took a turn at being last. That at least would be scriptural.
Speaking of being scriptural what is wrong with Paul's description of the church as a body?
My name is Tony. All the parts of my body are Tony. My left big toe is Tony. My right hand is Tony. my liver is Tony. Every part of me is Tony.
Similarly I am Jesus. And if you are a Christian reading this you are Jesus too. We Christians are all Jesus.
If I want to do something it is not hard. All the different parts of my body work together so that i can run, jump, walk, eat or whatever. There are some sophisticated processes that occur for that to happen but these aren't noticeable.
The church is Christ's body. Do we say that the one who created the human body is incapable of the level of sophistication that the human body has? Maybe we want to simplify things for our own comfort? Or maybe it is really about power and position.
Jesus said he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matt 16:18). I think we need only Him:
"He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (Eph 4:16 NLT)"
August 9, 2015 at 3:09 AM
Finding Church is the title of a book by Wayne Jacobsen. I have found it interesting and challenging. I would say (and this might be my poor description) that it is about finding the church that Jesus is building rather than the church that man is building (although you can find the church that Jesus is building in and amongst the church that man is building). Anyway, follow the link if you are interested.
March 1, 2015 at 11:08 PM
For the last few months I've been getting into the message about grace as given by Paul Ellis in Escape to Reality and by Joseph Prince. I am convinced. Not only that but I have remembered a lesson/deliverance that the Lord gave me personally.
There was a joke that some people used to tell about a man who wanted to win the lottery. So he went to church and prayed to God "Lord, please let me win the lottery". But the next week came and he hadn't won so he prayed again "Lord, please let me win the lottery", And the third week came and he still hadn't won so again he prayed "Lord, I know you can hear me, please let me win the lottery". Then a voice came from heaven: "Help me out. Buy a ticket".
I know it is a joke but it was Christians who used to tell it to me. The message seems logical - you do your little bit and God will do His big bit. It is a mixed grace message.
And the Lord showed me it was wrong long before I had begun to read and hear about mixed grace. I was on my way to a prayer meeting taking some friends. They were talking about the lottery and I said (thinking about that joke) "I can't win because I don't buy a ticket". But when I arrived at the prayer meeting someone gave me a lottery ticket and said *That will help you with your petrol money". It was a winning ticket. Only for £10 but that was enough to get the lesson home. I could win without buying a ticket.
And that's grace. Jesus Christ has done it all. If you want to know more follow the links above.
September 21, 2014 at 2:09 AM
I have had issues with teaching about forgiveness. Basically because they seem to get away from the all-sufficiency of Christ and the Cross. The teaching of Watchman Nee on this has blessed me (see previous post
). The prayer he recommends is"Lord, I cannot love and I give up trying, but I count on Thy perfect
love. I cannot forgive, but I trust Thee to forgive instead of me, and
to do so henceforth in me."
A prayer that I think the Lord has given me is"Lord Jesus, I give to you all those I have hurt or harmed in any way in this life. I give to you all those who have hurt or harmed me. And I ask that I now be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit".
June 26, 2014 at 9:06 PM
This is another quote from Graham Cooke
to whom a friend introduced me not very long ago. He suggests doing a search for "one another" in an on-line Bible. If you follow the link below I've done it for you:
There are a series if videos by Graham entitled 'What is Church?' on YouTube. Follow the link for the first one if you are interested:
June 16, 2014 at 1:31 AM
A few weeks ago I had really bad toothache. It took a couple of days to get it sorted out and until it was that was the most important thing in my life. Our bodies are real. There's no denying that. But they're not really real, not eternally real. They don't last forever.
March 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM
This is a quote from Graham Cooke. He goes on to say the reason the Holy Spirit said to tell us that He is a genius is because a lot of us don't know it.
When I think back to when I was doing my Ph.D. there were a number of times I'd tire myself out trying to get the solution to something. Then I'd go to bed and wake up in the morning with the answer. Where did that come from?
I suppose some people would say that's just the way the mind works. But I'm beginning to learn that He actually is a genius in all sorts of areas (and why wouldn't He be)?
Here is a link to a Graham Cooke YouTube video that's not especially about this but worth watching: How to Recognise God's Voice Speaking to You.
March 7, 2014 at 3:29 PM
I am a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy. In his day Saul (Paul) was equally and maybe greatly more qualified. Mine was a Pauline conversion. I read the bible and had experiences. The experiences backed up the bible and vice versa. In fact over a period of a few months I had revelation after revelation after revelation.
And here's one of the major revelations. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know. Just before this the passage says: Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.
In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul defends his apostleship by saying his knowledge is in no way inferior to any of the most eminent apostles. He's saying (I believe) "If they have knowledge then I have more, but if they really had knowledge they would get back to just loving and edifying each other." In 1 Corinthians 2 he says "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."
I have noticed recently that my pleasure or annoyance when I am listening to speakers seems directly proportional to the number of times they actually mention Jesus and the Cross during their talk/preach. (This could be just a phase I'm going through). Maybe this is because when we talk about Jesus and the Cross we are talking about love in it's best and purest form.
February 15, 2014 at 10:22 AM
What do you notice about a bride? Do you notice the way she's put together? Well, perhaps you might to some extent. That she carries herself well. That she has an elegant posture. But what you really notice is her radiance, her beauty, her smile. And if you get talking to her you will feel her sheer joy at being a bride and maybe catch some of the humility the occasion brings to her spirit.
And you notice her dress. How beautiful her dress is. What should we notice about how the church is dressed?
We are to put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. And above all love. That is what you should notice about us - as well as the joy and the radiance and the beauty. It cannot be about events and being preached at. If you notice leaders at all you should notice them flat on their face before the Father (just my opinion).
So if the church isn't yet a radiant joyful bride of Christ, how is it going to get there? We need the Holy Spirit to make that happen. And many people are prophesying a new wave of the Spirit coming soon.