Is the Church still the Pillar of Truth?

1 Timothy 3:14-15 “I’m writing these things to you so that you may know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”

The Apostle Paul identified the church as a ‘pillar and buttress of the truth‘. If there is any group of people on the planet that needs to know and represent the truth of Jesus Christ well, it’s the people of God. Representing the teachings of Jesus well doesn’t mean selecting a few verses out of the gospels that suit your position on the latest social issue but requires understanding the whole context of the bible, including the Old Testament, the epistles, as well as the historical and apocalyptic literature that make up the New Testament. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a shift away from truth as the bible reveals, within the church, because of pressure from the surrounding culture. The antichrist spirit is gaining momentum across the media and culture at large, making it easier for fence sitters in the church to choose the broad pathway that leads to death instead of the narrow pathway that leads to life. More and more believers are using Jesus name to justify ideologies that aren’t even in the ball park of what the Scripture teaches. This demonstrates poor exegesis and a growing ignorance of the fundamental teachings of the Word of God. It appears that some believers are basing their beliefs on feelings to suit their conversations with family, peers and voices in the media rather than on the solid rock of God’s Word. It’s becoming a case of the blind leading the blind. The universal church, by and large, has held onto essential orthodox beliefs for 2,000 years because the truths underpinning these beliefs have been painstakingly clear in Gods Word for 2,000 years. It’s only been in recent times that we are now seeing such liberal views of Scripture infiltrate the church on a mass scale. This is a time for the church to be revived in its passion for God and truth, and not only for people and grace. This is a time for the church to be revived in its belief in the authority of Scripture, interpreting it and applying it in a way that honours God first and foremost, whether it’s popular or not. Explosive Insights!

Innovation is Compulsory!

If you don’t innovate, you become stale, outdated and irrelevant. The rate of change in our culture is overwhelming and whilst none of us can keep up with it, we can respond to the promptings of our own heart convictions by assessing what we are currently producing and be willing to hit the refresh button. What’s your brand, product or service? Look at it with an outsiders perspective and make changes accordingly. Stay true to principles but be willing to change preferences to engage with what’s current in the arena you are apart of. Go window shopping to discover what others in your industry are doing that’s proving to be attractive to customers. #ironprophet

From revelation to dedication!

Acts 17:21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

Our culture loves new. Our economy thrives on us consuming the new gadget and product that is coming next. What was cool yesterday is obsolete today and what’s relevant today is being replaced by something new tomorrow. We are much like the Athenians who reveled in what was new but never actually embraced what was true. We can bring that same sort of consumer mentality into our relationship with God. We can delight in hearing and revelling in the new insight we’ve heard but never actually do something with it and outwork it in our everyday lives. Every fresh revelation requires a new dedication. It’s not enough to get a new revelation, if we’re not going to dedicate ourselves to its truthfulness in our lives. Are you being obedient to what God has already revealed to you? Some of us are more educated than we are obedient and we hear more than we are putting into action. Dedicate yourself to the revelations Gods showing you and the fruit of your life will speak for itself. 

Your Future is in your Mouth!

images-15When you pray, whatever you desire, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. Mk 11:24

Too many of us “pray the problem” when we should be “prophesying the solution”. Jesus didn’t say ‘pray the problem’, he said, ‘pray your desire’ and believe that you have received it. Your prayer life may need a renovation. You may be guilty of praying too much, ‘Houston, we have a problem’, rather than, ‘Heaven has a solution’. It’s too easy to become pre-occupied with our problems than to pay attention to our words. If you become more word-conscious and less problem conscious, your problems will lose their power in your life. Magnify your words and you will minimise your problems. Words are powerful, they have creative power in them. The power of life and death is in the tongue. Jesus said, ‘If you speak to the mountain to be removed, it will be’. Too often we complain about the mountain, we spend inordinate time defining the mountain, we take pictures of the mountain to show our friends but Jesus said, ‘Speak to the mountain’. Nothing moves until you speak to it. Your future is in your mouth!

Intimacy and Identity!

identity-manGrowing up I based my identity on what I achieved not on whom I was in relationship with. Whether it be in the sporting arena, the police academy or in the early years of my ministry, I valued myself on how I performed rather than who Christ said I was.

We live in a culture that’s obsessed with accomplishment and image because western society works on a functional paradigm rather than a relational paradigm. A functional paradigm is task oriented and purpose driven. We function together and what little time we have left over we connect and often very surface level.

Living in this functional paradigm can lead to tension and frustration. When we make life about something other than what God intended it to be, chaos is the end result. God intended us to live from a relational paradigm first, a functional paradigm second.

The kingdom of God operates on a relational paradigm. When Jesus was tested as to what the greatest commandment in the law was, he pointed to a relational paradigm, not a functional one (Matt 22:34-40). He said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and… love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ God’s will is first relational, second functional. We get saved through a person, not a task. Jesus said, ‘I am the way’, not ‘This is the way’. Everything God teaches us about life begins and ends with relationship.

Our identity flows out of our intimacy. Jesus is so attractive because he’s so secure in his relationship with his Father. Before Jesus ever healed the sick, preached a sermon, raised the dead or cast out a demon, he had his Fathers approval over his life (Matthew 3). Father God said, ‘This is my son, in whom I’m well pleased.’

We don’t attract God’s presence through performance, we are already attractive to him and he calls us into deeper levels of relationship with him. Intimacy is not an event, it’s a lifestyle. Out of intimacy God shapes our identity and it’s through our identity, that God shapes our destiny. What we ultimately possess in life is determined by who we become.

The more rooted our identity in Christ is, the healthier our relationships will be. The vertical relationship with God precedes the horizontal relationship with others. If there is conflict in our relationships with others, its possibly because there’s conflict within our own identity.

Your identity is inextricably connected to your identity. What do you value yourself by, achievement or relationship?

The Oracle!

Don’t Trust in Plastic Promises!

Matthew 16:25-26 ‘For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul.’

We live in a world of plastic promises. Our consumer cultures saturates us with a hyper-reality that if we buy the right car, experience the right holiday and wear the right clothes, we will hang out with the right people and be fulfilled and happy. The track record of our culture highlights this is a plastic promise and leads people into more and more depression and discontentment. As a result, we fill our days with the romantic notion that there is a place somewhere out there that will satisfy all of our longings and desires. That place just doesn’t exist.

Jesus’ example and teaching highlights to us that if you try to save your life with the plastic promises of this world, you will lose it. If you try to gain all that this world says is most important, you will end up forfeiting your soul.

At their core, there is nothing wrong with products, holiday trips and achievement but if you measure your life by those things and sell your soul to pursue those things, you are building  on shifting sand rather than the sure foundation of meaningful faith in Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, this consumer mindset has become common place amongst western believers, whom are constantly searching for the next spiritual experience that will make them happy and as a result leave one church after another to satisfy their craving that actually is more familiar with the hyper-reality of our culture than of God’s Spirit.

Don’t put your trust in the plastic promises of this culture but in the promises of God in His Word. Build your life on a sure foundation and leave a legacy that glorifies God and fills life with meaningful moments and relationships, not just plastic ones.

The Oracle!

The Source of Your Confidence!

Pop Culture promotes the idea that we are to have self-confidence. Self-confidence is a good quality to have but eventually we all let ourselves down at some point. People who only have self-confidence are doomed to hit rock bottom because none of us are self-saviours. We are all in desperate need of someone external to us to save us from ourselves, hence why Jesus lived, died on the cross and rose from the dead.

I am growing in confidence. I feel it developing everyday. God spoke to my heart recently about building a stronghold of confidence in my heart. The more I spend time with Jesus and discover more of who He is, the more He helps me discover more of who I am in Him. There is nothing so freeing like knowing who you are in God and being comfortable to be the best version of you God has called you to be.

The first step to greater confidence is not an evaluation of your talents or abilities but a revelation of God. As you grow in your awareness and insight into who God is, He gives you a revelation of who you are. Without a sure conviction of who you are in Christ, you are destined to come unstuck.

Regardless of the circumstances around me, I belong to Christ and I am seated with him in heavenly places. My worth and value is not determined by my efforts but by His love and grace lavishly extended to me. I am redeemed from the poison of sin and forcefully taken from the hands of the enemy. I am blessed and have access to every spiritual blessing in heaven. I have been chosen before the foundation of the world. I have an eternal inheritance and I am sealed by the power of the promised Holy Spirit. I belong to God and He is my Abba father. (Ephesians 1:1-14)

My confidence comes from knowing God is my Father and He delights in me as His son. Many of us struggle with real feelings of insecurity, unworthiness and condemnation, despising ourselves and skeptical of anything to do with God. I know what that feels like cause I lived in that place for a long time. But I have been set free by Jesus and when you know the truth, the truth shall set you free.

Where does your confidence come from? Have you based it entirely on your self, your bank account, your job, your contacts, your image, your reputation, your talents and your experiences? Anything other than a revelation of God as your Father is destined to crumble. The things of this world are temporal and passing away. The kingdom of God is a kingdom that cannot be shaken and will last for eternity.

The Oracle!