Acts 3:6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
The context of this event in Scripture is the profound momentum of the early church. Souls are being saved, lives are being changed and miracles are a common occurrence. Two key church leaders, Peter and John are walking to the temple at the hour of prayer when they encounter a lame beggar, asking for money. Peter responds, (paraphrase) “I don’t have any money on me but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.” Peter acknowledges what he doesn’t have but simply gives out of the 4 things he does have: 1) A revelation of the name of Jesus Christ; 2) The anointing of the Holy Spirit; 3) Faith for healing; 4) A love for people. Peter possessed something far more valuable than riches, he owned a tangible faith in Jesus Christ. Money would have sustained the beggar temporarily but what Peter passed on transformed this man’s life forever. You can only pass onto others what you own for yourself. Frustration arises when we try to pass on what we haven’t cultivated in our lives. Too often we see needs around us but lack the resource material or spiritual to help the situation. Rather than letting these moments go by passively, we need to adopt a posture of personal growth in God to become a solution to someone else’s problem. You can’t lead others where you haven’t gone and you can’t help bring transformation in others where you haven’t grown in authority to do so. I encourage you to grow in a revelation of who Jesus is and what his name can do in people’s lives. Spend time in prayer and grow in a greater measure of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Increase your faith through hearing God’s Word and be ready and willing to reach out to others through practical demonstrations of God’s love. Explosive Insights!
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!
Ezekiel 7:26 “They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders.”
In the bible we have two ways that scripture is revealed to us. The Logos word is Gods word revealed through the written text. Line upon line, precept upon precept. The Rhema word is Gods inspired word, quickened to our hearts in a momentary encounter with the Holy Spirit, as we read the bible. Rhema has a prophetic nature to it. While God delights to quicken his Rhema word to us, unfortunately many of us are waiting for Gods prophetic word, whilst neglecting Gods logos word that is available to us everyday. Israel were guilty of the same thing, they neglected to hear the instruction of the law and the counsel from the elders overseeing them for the rush of the prophetic insight available to them through Gods mouthpieces. We need both Gods Logos and Rhema word in our lives. We live off the Logos and every now and then we encounter the Rhema. Don’t neglect one for the other.
Now here is a prophetic statement I don’t hear much these days and yet it is one of the most provocative truths the bible gives to us. In prayer the other day, the Spirit of God declared firmly, ‘I’m coming back soon!’
Over 2,000 years ago, the chief role of John the Baptist was to prepare the way for the coming of the messiah. In the same way, in every generation, God has raised his prophetic voices up to wake his people up to the fact that Jesus is coming back to planet earth very soon.
No person knows the day, nor the hour but this should compel us even more to be sober, alert and ready to do whatever it is God asks of us to do. I love the church but in some quarters, it appears sleepy and distracted by the lights, camera and action around us. God’s called the church to be in the world but not of it. We are not to conform to the pattern of this world but be kingdom oriented in our thinking and living.
There has never been a greater hour to be about kingdom business and prepare for Jesus’ return. Jesus said, ‘When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’ It’s a question intended to stir us to faithfulness while he tarries. I pray and believe he will as we stand together pursuing the Great Commission and being faithful to God’s call on our lives.
Jesus said, ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached throughout the world and then the end will come.’ Are you playing your part in sharing the gospel of the kingdom or are you distracted and enamoured by the things of this world?
I pray a Holy Ghost urgency will come into our hearts and ignite us into purposeful activity and passionate intimacy with God as we anticipate the return of Jesus.
Too many of us think we have what we need to get us where we need to go. I think that the person who is really committed to growth in any area of their lives needs to adopt the posture of a learner. Leaders are learners. The moment you stop learning, you stop leading.
The information you are currently operating out of might be satisfactory for your past but what about for your future? Do you think you’ve arrived or are you still hungry to learn something new? When was the last time you learnt something for the first time? Some of us are so familiar with the ruts of our past that we have become content to live in them. It’s time to get out of the rut.
Change is challenging for all of us but God deals in the business of change. If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come. To go from here to there requires change, adjustment and flexibility. Growth of any kind is a stretch but the rewards are significant. Growth is a process, not an event.
Just because you’ve got the degree, had the experience and bought the T-shirt doesn’t mean you are equipped to travel the next leg of your journey. There are times and places ahead that demand your preparation. Position yourself now for your tomorrow and you will have the peace, strength and faith you need to step into it.
Martin Luther once said, ‘Prayer, meditation and temptation make a preacher.’ We have little difficulty with prayer and meditation but the ‘temptation’ part we’d rather escape.
One reason why God allows preachers to suffer is that they might have the opportunity to grow spiritually and therefore to preach better. Even Jesus had to go through suffering to prepare him for his heavenly ministry (Heb 2:14-18), so why should we escape?
For a sermon to be good, the sermoniser must suffer. I wish there was some other way but apparently there isn’t. Trust me, I’ve been looking and I haven’t found one yet.
James 1:2-4 ‘Count it all joy brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.’
Jame’s wisdom is paradoxical and yet profound. I’ve been a first hand witness to this promise of this verse being played out in my own life and ministry and I’m expectant of the fruit to come as a result of the testing of my faith in God.
The true preacher is known as one whom deals out to the people his life passed through the fire of thought. Phillips Brookes once said, ‘Truth through personality is our description of real preaching.’ If the truth of the word bypasses the personality of the preacher, then the sermon may become a lecture, and the preacher may become a hypocrite. If the text isn’t real to you, then you will find it hard to make it real to anyone else.
For the text to become real to you and others it must pass through the fire of a test. Don’t run from your test. Run to it, see it for what it is and embrace the spiritual growth that God wants to squeeze out of it, into you.
1 Kings 19: 3 ‘Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.’
Elijah is one the great men of God in history and one of the greatest prophets that ever walked the planet. He operated in such a high level anointing and saw many mighty miracles unfold in his generation. He was a man who had angels appear to him. He called down fire from heaven. He prayed and the rain stopped for 3 years. He prayed again and the rain started. His anointing enabled him to outrun a chariot. His cloak parted the waters and a heavenly chariot of horses swept him up and transported him to heaven. The dude had some serious game and he walked a higher path, and yet…
Elijah still struggled with fear and fatigue. In fact his fatigue post Mt Carmel caused him to behave in the most uncanny and uncharacteristic way. He made a mockery of the false gods of Baal. He slaughtered Baal’s false prophets. He challenged the people of Israel to stop vacillating between 2 opinions and take ownership of their faith in God. And yet…
When Queen Jezebel heard the report from her intimidated husband, Ahab, she sent Elijah a death threat and he ran for his life. Why? Cause even the great ones struggle.
Elijah ran off into the wilderness, left his servant behind, slept under a broom tree and pleaded with God to kill him. Fatigue in life and ministry will make you do weird and wacky things. When you are tired, you respond out of character to whom God has called and anointed you to be.
Elijah perceived that he was the only one standing for God and yet his own gross over-estimation of himself blinded him to those whom God had established as a remnant amongst his people. His moment of weakness caused him to see his own pride and comparison to his forefathers. The real issue was he was tired and his weariness caused him to run away in fear.
Someone reading this wants to run away from the frontline of what God has called you to. You are weary and fatigued and you are considering a course of action that will prove catastrophic to God’s purposes in your life. Don’t run away from the battle. Seek rest and refreshment in the presence of God but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. God’s bigger than the threats coming against you and can help you see through the obstacles that stand in your way. Recognize your state for what it is and don’t fall prey to the lies and deception of the enemy. God is with you and just like Elijah experienced, He will sustain you miraculously.