Friday, October 19, 2012

The Grace Message is about No Condemnation!

You have a future. A bright future filled with success and great destiny. Not only does the Bible tell you so, but it's likely you've received numerous prophecies from church members and leaders declaring the great future you have ahead of you and the plans God has for you. But for some reason, you just don't feel like that's you. You don't feel good enough for such a future.

It is so unfortunate that some of the world's most successful people today are unbelievers. There are more Christians than any other faith in the world. Where are they in society's elite? I have no doubt that they should be there. The reason they're not? Shame and guilt. Far too many Christians feel too unworthy to step into their bright destiny and thus end up settling for mediocre lives. Unbelievers on the other hand have dreams in their hearts that they pursue with all their might and aren't ashamed to do so. They don't think twice about being worthy for such success.

Why is that? I believe it has to do with how we view God. Too many Christians intrinsically believe that God is keeping score of their lives and that they constantly fall short. While unbelievers have so distanced themselves from consciously being aware of God that they don't care what He might think, and thus have no hinderance to feeling worthy enough to go after their dreams.

Whose the better person of the two? Neither of the two are better than the other. Both are equally loved by God. The unbelievers are at least accessing some of their Earthly inheritance. While the believer has access to the Life Source of the Universe, Jesus Christ. But what good is having such access if we're not drawing on Him?

God isn't some distant Being waiting to judge us on the “Last Day” and evaluate whether we make it into Heaven or not. He is a Father who wants to see us succeed now. In whatever area it is that we find ourselves. Whether it be in our Grade 11 mid-year exams, our swimming trials on the weekend, or an audition for the lead role in a Hollywood Blockbuster!

Christians are the most powerful beings on the planet when they realise who they are, and what their Father is like. An incorrect view of our Father and ourselves will limit us in our destiny. We are part of a generation of God's children who will supersede the accomplishments of the unbelievers in this world. God is removing the cloaks of shame, and His children are rising up to take their place as those who inherit the Earth! (Check out Romans 4:13 for confirmation of that promise)

My passion is to help Christians throw off the shame of not feeling good enough for God and their bright futures, because I believe when they do, we will see the world changed. So allow me to take you on a journey of seeing how much God values you, and how much He wants you to succeed. Are you ready? Let's go...

First and foremost, if you are a Christian, God is for you. He is not against you. And He is most certainly not holding your sins against you. Check out 2 Corinthians 5:19:

God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.”

The Scriptures are full of this wonderful Truth that God is not counting our sins against us! Not only does He not hold them against us, He removes them entirely!

David had a revelation of this Glorious Truth in Psalm 103:12:

As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgression from us.”

How far is the East from the West? It's infinite! My friend, your sins have been infinitely removed! They are gone... FOREVER!

When we Christians get the revelation that God does not hold our sin against us, we will realise that He looks at us with Love and passion. He doesn't see the sin and the failures, because in His mind they have been removed. And if He doesn't see the sin and the failures, why do we focus on them? God wants us to move from a “sin-consciousness” to a “God-consciousness”. For so long, we've focussed on sin. Trying not to do this sin, exposing that sin, etc. But the point was never to focus on sin, the point is to focus on the Lover of our souls who empowers us to change the world!

You see, it's the devil who has conned us into believing that we aren't good enough for God, and therefore certainly not good enough to accomplish anything great and walk into our inheritance. Scripture tell us that he is the one that accuses us when we fail, not God! Revelation 12:10 reveals satan as the “accuser of the brothers”. He is the one accusing us for our failures, not God!

This is why when Jesus finished His Work on the Cross He disarmed the powers of darkness. Colossians 2:11 clearly shows us:

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross!”

The only power the devil has is to accuse us of our sin and failures. And God removed that power by removing our sin and failures! It's because of this Glorious Truth that Paul could declare in Romans 8:1 that “there is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!”

Notice a keyword there? NOW. There is NOW, right now, right this instant, no matter what you just did, NO CONDEMNATION! None whatsoever! None at all! God is not condemning you for anything! God is not pointing out your failures. It's not His nature. It's not His will. His will is to point out your bright future and reveal His Love for you. If you just sinned, He is standing with arms wide open waiting to Love on you and remind you of your worth as His child. When you receive that Love, you'll be empowered to change.

The more you realise how much Daddy Loves you, and how great His plans are for you, the less you will find yourself sinning and instead pursuing the great destiny He has for you.

Like the vision of Joshua in Zechariah 3:4, the time has come for us to allow God to remove from us our garment of shame, and wear the rich garments of royalty. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15:22, we need to realise our Rich Father has clothed us with His Best Robes despite our failings.

We are royalty! We are children of the Most High God! We are princes and princesses of the most powerful Kingdom in the Universe! There is nothing to be ashamed of!

Rise up, take off your shame and never wear it again. Jesus wore it for you, and then He destroyed it entirely by dying on the Cross. He killed your shame! Now take your place as the royal child of God that you are. And get out there and change the world.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Daniel 6 - Distinguish Yourself From The Rest

This devotional is based on a sermon James Preston preached on Sunday 16 September - You can download it here:  "NO FEAR OF HUNGRY LIONS"

Daniel 6:3
Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 

Daniel had exceptional qualities.  For a number of reasons which I won't get into right now.  Did you know that, like Daniel, you have exceptional qualities?  In case you didn't know that, you do now!

As a Christian you have exceptional qualities that make you different to everyone else.  You are a New Creation who has passed from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light.  You radiate Christ!  You are different in every way.

But I want you to notice something...  the verse opens up with Daniel "distinguishing himself".  You see, Daniel had the exceptional qualities, but he still had to use them in order to distinguish himself.

As Christians, we all have exceptional qualities, but the responsibility lies with us in order to use those qualities to distinguish ourselves.  We don't become worldchangers by osmosis!  Noah built an Ark.  Abraham went.  David met Goliath's challenge.  You get the picture.

Friends, this is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 25:21 when he encouraged us to be faithful with the few things.  When we start being faithful with what we have been given as children of God (more than just a few things!) then we will start to activate the favour of God over our lives and see abundant blessings poured into our lives.  The abundant blessings will not pour out of nowhere if we are passively sitting waiting for things to happen!

We have the ability to distinguish ourselves from all others around us; other leaders, co-workers, business-people, politicians, etc. and when we do make conscious decisions to walk in the fullness of our identity, we will naturally distinguish ourselves from the rest.

How can you be faithful with the little?  How can you distinguish yourself from the rest of the crowd?  Here are a few practical areas where you could start right now:

  • Be submitted
  • Always positive attitude
  • Offer solutions
  • Do the work you have been given to the best of your ability
  • (Paul said 'do everything as though unto the Lord' – Col 3:23)
  • Be honest – no matter what
  • Look to help others, not yourself – Considering others always

These are just a few "handles" with which Holy Spirit can help you grab onto as you pursue the inheritance God has planned for you as a child of God!

You are favoured!  You are exceptional!  Now distinguish yourself by using that favour!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Being a Christian in the Workplace - Daniel Series Part 1

Daniel 1:8 - 9
Daniel resolved to not defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favour and sympathy to Daniel...

For those that may not know the story; Daniel, along with a few of his royal Jewish friends, had been drafted into Babylonian royal service after Nebuchadnezzar had defeated and captured Israel.  These Jewish royals were destined to become great advisers and leaders in Babylon.  Nebuchadnezzar had great plans for them.  As those of elite Israeli nobility, they were seen as assets to Babylon, and thus trained as such.

These jewish nobles didn't have a problem with that.  They did as they were told and submitted to the requirements placed on them by the Babylonian rulers.  As long as these requirements didn't compromise their faith in the one True God.  He was their number one priority, always.

When the Babylonian requirements conflicted with their Godly standards, they stood their ground.

Friends, I want to encourage you today, and with this series study through Daniel, that it is possible to work in and for a secular environment and yet still honour God.  And when you do, Grace will flow beyond what you thought was possible.

Christians face this challenge daily.  Trying one's best to remain faithful to the call of God all the while living in a secular world filled with dishonouring decisions and selfish choices.  It's not an easy challenge to overcome, but necessary if we are to fulfill our commission...  to make disciples of all nations.

In order to make disciples of all nations, we must impact all areas of society.  In order to impact all areas of society, we must immerse ourselves in those areas, get to know the leaders within them, and hopefully ourselves become the leaders within them in order to pioneer the way of God's design; a culture of honour and love.  Establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth.

The key to successfully overcoming this challenge is to keep God as first priority in our lives.
(It may sound a bit legalistic to you, but trust me, when you realise how good God is, and let His Love into your life, it is easier than you think!  Not to mention His Power that will flow through you!)

If, like Daniel, God is first priority in your life, you will find yourself standing your ground where others around you are succumbing to dishonouring choices.  And when you make those "quality decisions", the favour of God, already there because of Jesus, will be activated in your life.

For example, just by making the decision that you want to honour God with your finances will activate the favour of God!  You will attract God's favour to take you further than you ever imagined!  You will find yourself with better business deals than before, you will find yourself promoted to better positions, you will get meetings you wouldn't normally get.  All while your colleagues and competitors look on in bewilderment.  All because your choices and actions reflected that of what you believe.

Friends, when you act on your faith, that God is the one who looks after you, provides for you and promotes you, you will be raised up into positions of influence you never before imagined!

Rise up!  Take your place as princes and princesses of the Most High God!  And invade Babylon like Kingdom covert agents.

Friday, August 10, 2012

God Will Never Rebuke You Again!

Isaiah 54:9
To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.  So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.

Do you feel like you have disappointed God?  Do you feel like there may have been things you should have done but you didn't, and thus you've created room for God to be unhappy with you in some way?  Maybe you made a mistake that you deeply regret, and you feel like God has every right to be angry with you.  You feel like you've rebelled against God.

My friend, if you ever feel that way, stop it!  Get that out of your thinking and renew your mind to the Truth of the Gospel!  The Gospel announces God's anger has been consumed at the Cross!

The Scripture tells us that His anger lasts for a moment but His Love endures a lifetime.  This verse clearly reveals that God will never be angry with us again, and neither will He ever rebuke us.  This sheds some clear light on the topic of God disciplining His children.  If He is never going to rebuke us again, His discipline cannot be a rebuke!

Friends, God can and will never be angry with you again!  He rebuked sin, its effects, and evil in the Body of Jesus Christ.  His anger was consumed and absorbed in the Body of Jesus, and because of that God is in such a good mood it is stunning!

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes and other such disasters are not God's anger being expended on mankind, but the groanings of a fallen planet longing for redemption.  God is in love with the world.  He so loved the world that He sent Jesus to save them.  God is not angry with them!  And neither is God angry with you!  God is happy with you!  God is deeply in love with you!  And the more you realize His Love for you, the more you will be transformed into His image.

Stop hiding from God today because you think He is angry with you, turn to Him, and allow His Love to transform you from the inside out.  He's not angry with you.  He Loves you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

How To Grow Your Faith

Romans 10:17
"Consequently, faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

We have been seeing lately that in order to walk in our inheritance as Christians and enter into everything God has for us, we need to do so by faith.  Without faith, not only is it "impossible to please God", but it is also impossible to step into the inheritance God has for us.

That may sound a bit harsh.  But before dropping your head and feeling like you're not worthy enough (please no!), remember that we have each already been given a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).  So it's not like you have no faith!  The point is to grow the portion of faith we have within our hearts.

Before I get into "how to grow your faith", let me answer some of you questioning "why it is impossible to step into our inheritance without faith".  Well, if you don't have some small ounce of belief that what you are about to do might just work, then you will never do it.  Every person who prays for a sick person has at least a tiny ounce of belief that the person might just get healed.  Every person who takes a risk on a business idea they believe God is leading them into does so because they believe, even slightly, that the idea really was from God and it might really just take off.  This is what faith is all about.  Our challenge is often countering unbelief, it is not necessarily that we don't have enough faith, it is that we have too much unbelief counteracting our faith.  But that is another topic.  Hopefully this paragraph has helped some of you shed some light on what faith actually is.

The topic I am addressing here is how to grow your faith.  Well, it is simple:  It is clearly laid out for us in this verse of Romans 10:17.  It comes by hearing the message of Christ.

Firstly, note that the verse says the Word of "Christ", not the "Word of God".  While I agree that the Word of God is our sustenance, I can also tell you many people who think they are preaching the "word of God" are actually preaching a legalistic message of condemnation.  This is where and why I am glad the Scripture differentiates it with the "Word of Christ".  Because the term points toward a hearing a message about our Saviour and what He has done for us.  The Good News.

My friend, if you want faith to go out and pray for the sick, to take business opportunities, to sow financially, etc...  Get your hands on Gospel-based materials!  Read brief encouragements like this, download Mp3 sermons from Gospel-centered churches, read books magnifying the Work of Jesus, read/listen to testimonies of what God has done for other people, watch DVDs or YouTube videos of Gospel-centered sermons and preachers.

Fill your life with the Word of Christ!  For It is our daily bread.  He is our daily bread.  When we consume Him, our faith cannot help but grow.  And when our faith grows, we will truly shine among the nations!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Glory and Grace 2012 Summary Recap

Glory and Grace 2012 was simply an incredible time.  God moved in so many of our lives, and we will truly never be the same again.  There are mighty things happening in the spirit realm, and as we turn our ear to Heaven, we will be aware of what to expect and prepare ourselves accordingly.  In this blog post, I am just going to highlight some of the stand-out points that the speakers made in order to recap on what was shared, and to provide a reference for you to remind yourself of what inspired you.

Here are some of the important points made and shared:

Session 1 - Wednesday evening - Rob Rufus
- God so loved the world He didn't send a Message, He sent a Person!
- Theology and doctrine can never replace the Glory of the Presence of God.
- True identity comes from a true vision of how God sees you.  We need revelation of this!
- How God saw you before time began is how God sees you today!
- We must learn in our identity not to fall into the trap of self-pity.
- If you keep reaching for more power deeper than the level you understand your identity, eventually you self-destruct.
- Nothing can stop your destiny when you see yourself the way God sees you!
- "Blessing" means "the empowerment to prosper"
- Untested faith is no faith at all.
- We must make the Gospel of Grace attractive by the lives we live and display to the world!
- Most of us have been trained from childhood to see ourselves negatively.

Unfortunately I was unable to take notes during Fini de Gersigny's Session 2.  You can download it on our sermons page:
The sermon is entitled:  "A call to spiritual fathers"

Session 3 - Thursday morning - Rob Rufus
- The Bride of Christ exists to change the culture of nations.
- Our business is to change the world, see the lost saved and to equip to change the world!
- Our weaknesses are an invitation for other people's strengths
- True service in the Kingdom must come out of a place of a secure heart
- The church has manu vision casters but not enough vision carriers
- "Your seed will dispossess cities!"  Abraham's promise from God.
- If cities do not dispossessed by the sons of God, He will be guilty of perjury.
- The Law condemns the best of us, Grace approves even the worst of us

Session 4 - Thursday Evening - Isi de Gersigny
- The voice of God is faster than the sound of reason
- Too many of us doubt what God has done in our lives because we think it was us who did it!
- God doesn't grieve the way we think He does, because He is not in time
- God doesn't need to change His mind about who you are
- Nothing is birthed without waters
- Creation recognises the sound of God
- When you agree with God you resonate with His reality and you start to manifest His Nature
- God is so worthy, that we will never run out of the desire to cry our how worthy He is!
- You can have as much revelation as you want to
- You can become as much revelation as you want to
- The greatest gift God ever gave us is the gift of hunger
- Prepare your kids for Heaven
- Revelation 5:8 - You are never worshipping alone
- The angels come from the Face of God and look for your voice, and they match it with THE Voice of God!
- Don't be intimidated by the Bible, God won't give you all 5 loaves at once!  He will give you the Truth of Manna and multiply it in you.
- When God reveals something to you, bury yourself in it.  Saturate yourself in it.  SAY IT!  Because when you say it, you create it!

Session 5 & 6 - Friday morning - Rob Rufus
1 Corinthians 1:17 - What empties the Cross of its Power?
- When you go back to Law, your faith stops completely!
- If you take the Law off people but you don't release them into faith you will have worse people!
- I don't just want the doctrine of faith, I want the spirit of faith!
- Galatians 3:12 - The Law empties the Cross of its Power
- Faith in the Power of God is unbelief in the wisdom of man
- A man hearing how He is the righteousness of God is not compatible with being stuck in sin

Session 7 - Friday evening - Rob Rufus
Mark 5:21
- Faith mobilises us to touch and engage the Power of God
- There is something very dangerous about passive self-pity
- You need 3 gifts to raise the dead:  1) Faith to do it. 2) Miracles to uncongeal the clotted blood etc. 3) Healing for whatever killed them in the first place.
- Faith cannot work with condemnation
- Faith is knowing you can receive good things from God that you don't deserve
- People say "I don't have time to meditate on God's Word".  Well, worrying is meditating on the demonic!
- "I'm not aggressive with people. I'm aggressive with the devil!"  Smith Wigglesworth
- Jesus didn't say "my anointing made you well", He said "your faith has made you well."
- Fear will make you run from God, faith will make you see God Face to Face
- Look at Mark 6:56, after the miracle of the woman with the issue of blood.  Her faith set a divine precedent for all to touch His cloak and be healed!

Friday, July 13, 2012

God Will Make Your Name Great - Like Abraham

Genesis 12:2
I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

Deep inside each and every one of us, there is a longing that our lives, or at least what our lives contributed to, made an impact on this world.  That is the destiny of God inside His children.  He created us with that longing.

Abraham was spoken something over him that I am sure would have galvanized every fibre of his being.  He was told that his name would be made great.  And He was told it by Almighty God.  What a promise!

Most believers today are weary of such a promise though, and understandably so, as they are careful not to chase fame, instead walk in Love and humility in serving the people of this world, much like Jesus did.  But Jesus' life was the most famous ever lived.  You see friends, if you walk in the purposes of God for your life, your name becoming great is inevitable.

You may ask how this promise to Abraham applies to us?  Well, Galatians 3:8 tells us that the Gospel that applies to us was announced to Abraham first, and the author is referring to this verse in Genesis 12 when God made this promise to Abraham.

You see, the Gospel is so life-transforming that it empowers what would have been average lives to become greatly significant.  So much so that our names will be remembered for ages to come.  That is the kind of impact we were created to make.

And of course, clearly it is all to "be a blessing".  Greatness is not without a purpose.  It is to be a blessing to the world.  To those around us.

Friends, we have been designed and created to make a significant impact on this world.  Not just an average one.  A significant one.  Believe God that His purposes for your life are great, step out in faith as you believe that, and watch as your greatness blessed many!

At the onset of our 3rd "Glory and Grace" conference 2012; I believe Highway Christian Community's name is destined for greatness.  I believe the plans that God has for us as a church are gigantic!  I believe God wants us to shape the very social economic structure of our country, and even Africa!  Such a conference is all part of God's plan to equip us to become the great people, and great fellowship of saints that He has destined us to be!