Victorious Christian Living 2: Surrender 7/5/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
Last week we saw how the first step to Victorious Christian Living is to let go of the past through forgiveness: forgiving all who have hurt us, and forgiving ourselves. Jesus said that unless we forgive others for what they have done to us, our Heavenly Father cannot forgive us for the wrong things we have done. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Jeremiah prophesied that God will forgive our “iniquity”; the carnal condition of our hearts and that He will “forget” all of our sin! So as we cleanse our hearts through forgiveness, released from our past, what is the next step? Surrender. Now we are ready to move forward with Jesus Christ as our Savior and Guide, we must not only receive Him as our Lord & King but also submit to His leadership of our lives.
Matthew 7:21 It’s not enough to say “Lord, Lord” with our mouths if we do not do what He calls us to do, and the first thing that He calls us to do is to let go of the past and willingly yield to Him. It may seem contradictory that “surrender” is a pathway to “victory”. It is the opposite of the way of the world but a powerful truth in the Kingdom of God.
Luke 8:27-39 This demon possessed man was wild and violent; “he wore no clothes” and lived “in the tombs” among the dead bodies. “He was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles, but he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.”
We don’t know how this man came to be in this condition, but it is clear that he needed a powerful release. He was possessed by spirits of darkness, manifesting in nakedness, violence, madness and sleeping with the dead. He was dominated by the authority of Satan, and even man’s best efforts at restraining him with “chains and shackles” were not enough as he “broke” them and continued to run wild.
Although most people do not manifest demonic spirits like this man, he is nevertheless a picture of millions of people around the world today. They live what may appear to be “normal” lives but are still motivated by “iniquity” and “sin”, dominated by the power of the spirits of the kingdom of darkness, and man’s efforts at restraining or controlling them are useless. Many times, the “chains and shackles” of warnings, punishment, even police, courts and gaols do not bring the necessary results. They continue to break “the bonds” and run wild. “The law” is powerless to control their behaviour. But the good news is:
Romans 8:3 “For what the law could not do… God did by sending His own Son.”
This man was insane and uncontrollable until the Son of God stepped out of the boat onto the beach. He was about to have a life-transforming encounter with the love, the grace and the authority of Jesus Christ.
Luke 8:30 Jesus walked up to the man and asked him, “What is your name?” He was not afraid or repulsed; He knew what He would do and He is looking beyond the dirt, nakedness and bondage to the release and potential fruitfulness of this man.
Verse 31-33: The demons recognized the absolute authority of Jesus and “begged Him” not to send them into “the abyss”. He commanded them to enter a herd of pigs who immediately destroyed themselves. The man was delivered and set free. He demonstrated his release:
Verse 35: The man “from whom the demons had departed” was now “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.” Set free, surrendered and ready to follow Jesus wherever He goes but Jesus told him to go back to his community and “tell what great things God has done for you.” Quite a testimony!
All of the “chains and shackles” binding him could not stop him or help him, but one encounter with the Son of God and the man was not only completely well, but ready to serve Jesus. He has come from depravity and sin to wholeness, peace & joy.
When we encounter people whose lifestyle may seem evil or repulsive to us, we make a mistake by trying to manipulate or control them by using the “chains and shackles” of the law or threats of punishment. What they need is a powerful encounter with the love, grace and authority of Jesus Christ through us!
The second step to Victorious Christian Living is to surrender to the Lord, allowing Him to set us free from whatever has bound us; the “strongholds” that have resulted in the “chains and shackles” of our lives.
Romans 6:18 “And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
Victorious Christian Living 1: Forgiveness 30/4/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
The first step to Victorious Christian Living, as we begin this series today, is to be completely free from the past. This
means that we must understand how God, in Christ, has provided for our total freedom, so that we will be
unencumbered as we step out in faith to serve Him, and to impact those around us in a positive, Christ-like manner.
Remember that we have an enemy, Satan, who is committed to making sure that we are not free, so he can keep us in
bondage and rob us of our fruitfulness in the Kingdom of God.
When he reminds you of your past, you remind him of his future!
As we saw last week, Gideon needed to overthrow the idolatry and the evil traditions of his family and his community
before he was free to lead God’s people in victory over all of their enemies. He took authority over the forces that had
kept his people in bondage in preparation for leading them in victory.
1. Forgive everybody who has ever hurt you.
As you release them from your own personal judgment, you release yourself.
Matthew 26:28 As Jesus took the Last Supper with His disciples, He took the cup saying, “This is My blood of the
new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.” The blood of Jesus has already been
poured out for “many”; some who are still lost in darkness and some who have already found salvation through
repentance. (1 John 1:9, 7). Forgiveness is available to everybody because of Jesus, so we must forgive, too.
Matthew 6:14-15 If we do not forgive, God cannot forgive us.
Ephesians 4:32 “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave
you.” Unforgiveness and bitterness are a destructive epidemic. We must break out of it!
2. Forgive yourself.
Jeremiah 31:33, 34b: In these verses Jeremiah is speaking prophetically of the “new covenant” through the body and
the blood of Jesus Christ. (These verses are quoted again in Hebrews 8:8-12). One of the most powerful benefits of
this “covenant” that cost the Lord so much to make available to us all, is that “I will forgive their iniquity and their
sin I will remember no more.”
“Iniquity” is the unregenerated condition of our hearts: the “old nature”; the disobedience and rebellion that we
inherited from Adam.
“Sin” is the act: the outward product of the “iniquity”.
God has provided completely for us to be “born again”. The evil condition of our hearts is forgiven and the sinful
things that we have done as a result of our “iniquity” are not only forgiven but forgotten!
So we must apply this to our own lives and extend it to others. If we do not understand and receive the power and the
completeness of God’s forgiveness for us because of the cross of Christ, whatever we have done, then it will be very
difficult for us to forgive others. We will nurse judgment and hope for retribution. It is the opposite of the nature of
Christ, who said, “Father, forgive them!”
Genesis 50:19 When faced with his ten older brothers who had committed such evil against him, Joseph demonstrated
his total freedom from the past and his absolute understanding of the power of forgiveness. He said, “Do not be
afraid, for am I in the place of God?” He understood that judgment belongs to God alone. Joseph’s job was to
forgive, just as God had forgiven him.
When we hold grudges, refusing to forgive, we are pushing God off His throne and putting ourselves there. We want
to be the judge and hand out the punishment. That is not your place and it is not your job.
Verse 20: Joseph also understood that even though his brothers “meant evil” against him, they were not the final
authority in his life. God is! “God meant it for good.” As Joseph forgave his brothers he tapped into God’s higher
purposes. He was mightily blessed and whole nations were saved, including his brothers. (Romans 8:28)
Revenge was available to Joseph, but he knew that would only drag him and his brothers down and undo so much that
God had accomplished in his heart and his life. Forgiveness is the nature of God, and as he forgave them
unconditionally, “spoke kindly” to them and provided for them, he not only released them from judgment, but he
released himself into God’s magnificent higher purposes for his life.
As we continue to forgive, we continually cleanse our own hearts and release others from the bondage of our
judgment. Our forgiveness of others often opens the door for them to become convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit
(not by us!) and to repent and be saved. We represent Jesus!
Victorious Christian Living begins with releasing the past so we can freely move forward with Jesus into the destiny
that He has for us.
Romans 5:20 “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”
“I am the Resurrection and the Life” 16/4/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
Here we are at Easter Sunday. On Good Friday night we remembered all that Jesus accomplished for us, with His sinless life, His suffering and death. But that was not the end of the story: on the third day He rose from the dead.
John 11:17-27 Lazarus had died and had “been in the tomb four days.” Jesus came to Mary and Martha, Lazarus’s sisters, and they wished that He had come sooner, but Jesus’ timing was always perfect.
At that time, people grappled with who Jesus really was. Some said that He was a prophet, others called Him “Rabbi” or “Teacher” and others said that He was demon-possessed. But He made it very clear just who He was:
John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever.”
John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Here, Jesus intentionally waited until there was absolutely no doubt that Lazarus was truly beyond healing, and his body even beginning to rot.
John 11:21 Martha wailed, “Lord if you had been here…” Jesus was ready to take their faith to another level.
Strengthening their faith was more important to Him than shortening their sorrow.
Verse 23: “Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’”
Verse 24: Martha believed that Lazarus, like all of us, will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.
John 5:28-29 “All who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth…” But Jesus is about to do something new and startling to demonstrate His power over sickness and death, as a precursor to what He Himself will do a little while later.
Verse 25: “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’”
The earthly resurrection of Lazarus after four days in the tomb; Jesus’ own resurrection on the third day after His horrible crucifixion; and our own resurrection that will happen at the return of the Lord… they all depend on Jesus. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” It is all found in Him alone.
Just like at the tomb of Lazarus; after Jesus died on the cross everybody believed that this was the end: the end of His life and ministry, the end of the miracles and the end of their faith. But He had told them many times that He would rise again, demonstrating His absolute mastery in the natural realm as well as in the spiritual realm.
Acts 13:29-39 Apostle Paul preached a powerful message in Antioch, explaining just who Jesus was, and quoting the Psalms which prophesied about Him.
Verse 38-39: Our salvation is only possible because of the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour. Our sins are forgiven only because of Him. Our eternal life in Heaven is guaranteed only by faith in Him. He is “the resurrection and the life.”
Verse 9: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved.”
Two Questions 9/4/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
Several weeks ago I ministered a message, “The Gift of God”, about the discussion Jesus had with the woman at the well, resulting in her salvation and many of the Samaritan city of Sychar receiving Jesus as their Savior.
John 4:5-10 Jesus went “through Samaria”, a place and a people shunned by the Jews. He did things like this over and over to show us that there is nobody unworthy of His attention, His love and the gift of His salvation.
Verse 10: So as Jesus was sitting at the well with the woman who, like all of us, had issues and struggles, expecting to be judged and rejected by Him, He said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink’, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
Two vital questions that we all must answer:
Will we receive “the gift of God”?
Will we receive the Giver of that gift?
They are inseparable: you cannot receive the gift without the Giver. The gift?
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We cannot separate the gift from the Giver. The “gift” of His salvation is only found “in Christ Jesus our Lord.” There is no other pathway that leads to God; no other way to be assured of our “eternal life” other than receiving it through the Giver, Jesus Christ. (John 14:6)
From the beginning, God’s desire has been to be in close relationship with you and me, whom He created in His “image” and “likeness.” Jesus revealed the love, the mercy and the forgiveness of God to so many unlikely and seemingly undeserving people, but that’s why He came! When He was criticized for eating with “tax collectors and sinners” He replied, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
And as He sat there in the hot sun by the well, He said to her, “If you knew… who it is” who is speaking to you, you would immediately “ask Him” and He will give you “the gift of God.” If you realize just who He is and what He accomplished for you to set you completely free, you would forget about your troubles and open your heart and your life to Him!
People try to find life and fulfillment in so many ways. Every kind of worldly pursuit and activity will not do it. Religion will not do it. Trying your hardest to be a good person will not do it. It is only found in Him. And just as He looked at that woman at the well, with her sins and her failures, He is also reaching out to you and me, asking, “If you knew who it is who is speaking to you now…” The answers to life are not in some code of practice or some philosophy or even a religion. They are found only in Him. It is Him we need.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me…”
In John Chapter 6 Jesus miraculously fed the 5,000 with the 5 loaves and 2 fish, then He walked on the water during the storm. Nobody had ever done anything like that before!
John 6:25-27 The people followed Him, “because you ate the loaves and were filled.” Then Jesus urged them not to struggle to get “food which perishes but for the food which endures to everlasting life which the Son of Man will give you because the Father has set His seal on Him.” He went on to say, “I am the bread of life” (Verse 48) and “I am the living bread which came down from heaven.” (Verse 51). Don’t worry so much about the physical things of this world which will all “perish”, but come to Him.
Verse 27: Jesus said that the identifying factor of His power and His life was “His seal” placed by the Father. In Jesus’ time the “seal” was a mark of ownership and authority. When the father of the prodigal son gave him the ring, it had the seal which showed the family to which he belonged and the authority to operate in that name.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 All of “the promises of God”; all of the Old Testament prophecies and blessings are wrapped up in Jesus Christ.
Verse 21: So our relationship with Christ “establishes us”; it settles us and gives us peace and belonging, in the midst of the turmoil and trouble of the world. And it is God who anoints us for service.
Verse 22: He “also has sealed us”. He has given us His Holy Spirit as His mark of ownership on us; as His acceptance of us as His sons and daughters, anointed by Him and sealed with His Holy Spirit.
Matthew 3:16-17 Before beginning His ministry Jesus submitted Himself to water baptism by John, knowing that now would begin the greatest spiritual battle of all time, to defeat Satan and redeem all of mankind. Jesus knew it and the Father knew it. And as He came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit, the seal of God “descending like a dove and alighting upon Him” and the Father spoke from heaven, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Signed, sealed and delivered.
Like the woman at the well, do you know “who it is” who is speaking to you?
Why I Speak in Tongues - Ps. Joe Pulea - 26.04.2017
Proverbs 18:16 NKJV – A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.
Before I was a Christian, I didn’t know the gift of music that God had placed upon me. I’d sing around home, listening to the likes of Whitney Houston on repeat, and I’d stand in the middle of our lounge and sing at the top of my lungs. At school, I had always been a part of the choir or part of the chorus in the school musicals, but because of someone’s perception of me, I was never offered anything. I was always told, you’re too fat to have a lead role. Of course, this added to the numerous insults I received as a youngster and I was never validated by leaders, yet I always had a DREAM, in fact in my school senior yearbook I wrote “one day, I will record an album of my own songs, with me playing all the instruments”. NOW, at that time, I’d never written a song and I could only play the recorder… I used to go and sit in the music room and watch the drummer play, but I never played.
When I came to know the Lord in my early 20’s, I became the Nanny for a couple of Christian entertainers, Phil & Sally, who at the time would sing around the clubs and restaurants in the city. And the reason I started singing, was because they encouraged the gift that was in me. I went to visit my Dad one night at work, and Phil was playing at Dad’s work, and my Dad asked Phil if I could sing a song with him… I was SO embarrassed… but, I got up and sang and one song became another and another, until I’d ended up doing half the gig with him. Phil then introduced me to Sally and we’d sing all the Lionel Richie songs together and through that, I was led to the Lord. You see, they had a GIFT and they encouraged the GIFT that was in me.
I love Ps. Bill’s saying “You being great takes nothing away from me.” Your success validates me… if you are better at something than me, as a leader, it validates who you are.
One of the greatest lessons I learned about how God see’s me and the gift He’s given me, I never thought I was good enough. One of my closest friends for many years, was a worship leader and I used to struggle thinking, “If only I could lead worship like she does”… I struggled with this for years. And it wasn’t until I went to Israel and I was sitting in the middle of a night of Hebrew worship, which was very different to anything I’d ever encountered, and I sat there judging the worship and struggling to enter in… and I heard that still small voice inside of me saying “I didn’t call you to worship like your friend… I called you to worship as YOU, Janet, I’ve called you to sing of my holiness” – and right at that moment I broke and began to weep. What I learned was that, no matter was happening in the worship, I needed to enter in and forget what’s going on around me, or if I approve of the type of worship it is. If I struggle, then I need to press in harder and find JESUS in the Worship.
We all have different roles in the body of Christ. We can’t all be doing the same thing. I am wired differently to you, as you are wired differently to the person sitting next to you.
Seriously…ask me to go get a sledgehammer and tear down that wall, I’m like yep…let’s go! Give me a needle and a piece of cotton and tell me to fix a hole in my sock… ummmm NO THANKS! Do I like to cook…NOPE, in fact I try and stay OUT of the kitchen… it’s not my thing, BUT, ask me to problem solve an issue on the computer and I’m there.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27New King James Version (NKJV)
Unity and Diversity in One Body
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into[a] one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
We ALL have different gifts, some people like to do Art, others Cook, some people are amazing teachers, others musicians… it doesn’t make one gift less important than the others… it just means that we’re different and make up different parts of the body of Christ.
If everyone was like me:
• Then we’d have no meal after this morning’s service
• We’d have no artwork at the front of our pulpit
• We’d have no-one to sew up the holes in my jeans…lol
BUT just because I do what I do, also doesn’t make you less important than me. We need people to serve, to clean, to welcome people as they come in, to put their hand to the plough.
I remember when I was about 8 years of age, we were still living in England and my sister had a horse called “Scooby” and we’d keep Scooby in the garage at the back of our home. Now at the time, we lived in old miner’s cottages, so there were about 5 homes, and then a driveway to the back of the cottages and a laneway behind, so people could get to their garages and back yards. Anyway, one day, at the end of winter, we were bring Scooby out in the garden and he got away. We spent so long trying to get him to calm down and come back to us, that we devised a plan… all us kids in the neighbourhood would link arms and stand strong and then Scooby would stop because he wouldn’t want to harm us. So there we stood…thinking yep we can do this…and here comes this frisky horse, galloping towards us…and we stood there and then when he was a few meters away from us….we all dropped hands, screamed and moved out of the way.
You see, when we link arms, we are stronger – together… just as ONE BODY.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 - 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
“gifts are given for the profit of all AND YOUR GIFT is what will help you fulfill your vision
I started to sing and was invited to be part of the church choir… I’ll never forget one day, while practicing a song, I had a choir member turn round to me and tell me that I was singing too loud… of course the choir director kept asking me to sing louder…lol… I couldn’t win. BUT even though I was singing, I still couldn’t play a musical instrument… so when I was nannying, I picked up a guitar and started to teach myself how to play the guitar… I’d practice every night for two hours, I write the chords out on a piece of paper and have it next to me while I practiced song after song…from there I wrote my first song… I then learned how to play piano in two weeks, so I could fill in for Sally in a restaurant… you see, I exercised my gifts and they were multiplied.
It reminds me of the parable in Matthew 25:14-27
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
Don’t ever think that your gift or talent isn’t good enough or you’re not good enough.
We need to believe in each other… if you see someone with a special talent or gift, encourage them…sure sometimes, they/me/we are going to get it wrong… but let’s stand together.
I remember learning to play the drums and I had a lady come up to me at the end of the service – and God had moved during the worship – and it was the first time that I’d led out on the drums… and this lady came up to me and said “you killed it when you started hitting the drums, I hope you never play again”… and I was devastated… and a few years later, I had the opportunity to play drums again, and I remember Ps. Ben coming over to me and he encouraged me and prayed with me and I’ll never forget his impartation to me… you see, that’s what made me want to play and try again…
So please…use your gift, your talent, don’t hide it under the bushel but shine it out. You might be the only song that someone hears…
GOD CAN TAKE WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND, TO FULFIL WHAT’S IN YOUR HEART
James 1:17 NKJV– 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
“The Gift of God” 12/3/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
John 4:5-6 This was a special place. Jacob had given Joseph this “plot of ground”, as Jacob said to Joseph: “above your brothers”. (Genesis 48:22) Now, it was a place inhabited by Samaritans and the site of “Jacob’s well.” Jacob had been a deceiver and had tricked his brother Esau out of his rightful inheritance, but he encountered the unstoppable grace of God and it changed his life forever. He went from being Jacob, which means “deceiver, supplanter” to being “Israel”: “prince with God”. The last word on Jacob was not that he had deceived people and done some pretty rotten things, but that he was a “prince with God”; the father of the nation of Israel. It is never too late for God to totally transform your life!
Verse 7-8: So as Jesus was sitting by the well, weary and thirsty, a Samaritan woman came alone to draw water. Jacob’s well is still there today, and it is 42 metres deep.
Jesus, also alone, asked her for a drink. The well was deep and He had “nothing to draw with”, so He needed her to help Him.
Verse 9: She wondered why He would ask her, as “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” The Jewish law said that if a Jew drank from a vessel used by a Samaritan he would become “unclean.” But Jesus came to break that ungodly tradition. He ministered to all kinds of “unclean” people: lepers, thieves, diseased and immoral people and anybody who needed grace and forgiveness, regardless of their race or background. The woman acknowledged the difficulty that existed between their peoples, expecting to be judged or rejected by Him, but that’s not what He intended at the well that day.
Verse 12: We were just like this woman; lost and “strangers from the covenants of promise.” This covenant would be established by His sinless life and by the shedding of His blood and His death on the cross to make sure that we are “strangers” no more.
Verse 13: “In Christ Jesus” we are no longer “far off” but members of God’s family.
Verse 14: “He Himself” brings “peace”; between man and God and between peoples. There is no racism in Christ; no difference between skin colours, cultures or lifestyles. He died to take all of that away.
Verse 15:” In His flesh” all the “enmity” between God and man and between peoples is “abolished” forever. The “middle wall of division” that has kept us apart from God and from each other is “the law” and our human traditions, but Jesus came to “create in Himself one new man from the two.” There was a barricade in the Temple in Jerusalem which separated the Jews from every other nation, but in Christ every division is wiped away.
Verse 16: He brings us all together because of His blood and the cross and He reconciles us all to God.
When you look at blood, you cannot tell what skin colour that person had or whether they were male or female, good or bad, young or old; it is just blood.
Acts 17:26 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.”
So the woman at the well was expecting to be rejected by Jesus on the basis of her race and because of her breaking of God’s laws but that is not why He came.
John 4:10: “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink’, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’” Jesus asked her for a gift: a drink of water from her vessel, as He was not able to get it for Himself. Now He offered her a “gift” that she had absolutely no way of receiving without Him!
There they are, looking at each other and she began to tell Jesus why this was not possible, and talk about the difference between their peoples, but Jesus broke through all of that, and even though He acknowledged her sin, He gave her the gift. She now knows “the gift of God.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 5:15 Adam sinned, as we all have, but there is a higher truth: that God, through Jesus Christ, offers us a “free gift… the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ.”
The woman at the well expected rejection but she encountered grace.
Romans 5:20 “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”
“Grace, glorious grace”. No matter what you have done or where you have been, God is offering you His “free gift” today. All you have to do is to open your heart and receive it.
Passion: the Missing Ingredient.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Passion turns the hot water of mediocrity into the steam of success.
Experts spend a lot of time trying to figure out what makes people successful. They often look at people's credentials, intelligence, education, and other factors. But more than anything else, passion is what makes the difference.
The Bible is full of stories of ordinary people who became fired with passion for the Lord and His Kingdom, and against all odds, were victorious against whatever enemy stood against them.
Joshua 14:7-14 Caleb was a man of faith, who had to endure 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because of the unbelief of the people of Israel, but when they finally crossed the Jordan River and possessed the land, his passion was just as strong as it had even been!
Numbers 14:24 “But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him, and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.”
Judges 4:4-15 Deborah was the judge, or leader of Israel for a time. Because of her leadership Israel was victorious over their enemies. (Verse 14). She, more than many of the men, understood the importance of integrity and righteousness in those who would lead God’s people:
Judges 5:2 “When leaders lead in Israel, when the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the Lord!”
Of course the people will “willingly offer themselves” when they trust their leaders, who are walking in integrity and righteousness! Leaders must lead! When the calling and the anointing of God is on us to lead His people, we must not be hesitant or intimidated; we must rise up with the ability that the Lord supplies, and lead His people into their God-given destiny.
1 Corinthians 14:8 “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” The bugler sounded the call to battle, the call to arise or to rest, to advance or to retreat etc. The army was accustomed to listening for the sound of the bugle and then to respond accordingly.
We are the Lord’s “buglers”. If we are compromised in our walk with God, or are bowed down by sin, discouragement, condemnation or a lack of faith, then we will not give God’s people a clear “sound” to follow!
John 2:17 “Zeal for Your house has eaten me up.” Even Jesus was consumed by passion for the house of God and for the Kingdom of God.
Poet Rudyard Kipling said,
"If you don't get what you want, it is a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price."
How badly do you want to reach your potential and fulfill your God-given purpose in life? It will take passion on your part to keep growing, learning, and moving forward with the vision the Lord has given you.
1. Passion is the first step to achievement - Your desire determines your destiny. The stronger your fire, the greater the desire and the greater the potential. Nehemiah is a good example.
Nehemiah 1:3-4 Nehemiah’s passion was fueled by his love for God and His people, and by his relationship with God through prayer and fasting. He caught God’s heart, and therefore nothing could stand in his way!
Nehemiah 2:20, 4:14-15 Faced with opposition, Nehemiah inspired God’s people and “the entire wall was joined together.”
2. Passion increases your willpower - There is no substitute for passion. It is fuel for the will. If you want anything badly enough, you can find the willpower to achieve it. The enemy can place many obstacles in our path, to try to stop us from fulfilling our destiny in God, but as we grit out teeth and refuse to become discouraged, and press into God when things get tough, nothing can stop us!
Acts 20:24 Faced with imprisonment or even death, Paul said, “none of these things move me.”
3. Passion changes you - If you follow your God-given passion, instead of others' perceptions, you can't help but become a more dedicated, productive person. In the end, your passion will have more influence than your personality. Our passion for God, and as we endeavour to become more like Jesus, will inevitably change us, and the world will see that here is a group of people who will love them unconditionally, and be vessels for God’s grace, to be poured out on the desperate and the hurting. Lord, make us more like you!
4. Passion makes the impossible possible - Human beings are so made that whenever anything fires their soul, impossibilities vanish. A fire in the heart lifts everything in your life.
1 Samuel 16:13 “The Spirit of the Lord came upon David.”
1 Samuel 17:45-49 David “hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine… and he fell on his face to the earth.”
A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and no passion.
When your passion for your walk with God or your ministry starts to disappear, take a long hard look at yourself: something is wrong.
Philippians 3:12-15 Apostle Paul said, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Character creates Self-Discipline
Fruitful Christians and great leaders always have self-discipline.
As General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "There are no victories at bargain prices."
When it comes to self-discipline, people choose one of two things: Either they choose the pain of self-discipline, which comes from sacrifice; choosing to persevere and live with integrity, no matter what temptations or stresses come our way, keeping our eyes on Christ, and growth is the result, or they choose the pain of regret, which comes from taking the “broad way” (Matthew 7:13-14); “going with the flow” of the world and the flesh, and thus missing God’s best for their lives. Each person makes the choice.
Is there something that you are believing for, that has not yet come to pass? If so, then come and let us pray with you and for you.
Story of Israel Trip – I didn’t realize that going to Israel was a desire of my heart until everything unfolded. The dream. 9-11 etc.
I was searching the Word for confirmation that I was to go (right after 9-11 attack) and I stumbled upon these words “go up to Bethlehem and worship with the saints”… I closed my bible and then went to open it again to find a scripture reference, and I’ve never found that particular scripture to this day…
People told me that I wouldn’t go, word came back to me that I wouldn’t go and said I will be so disappointed when I don’t go.
Let me tell you about the trip itself $300 Australian Dollars for the ENTIRE trip – I was away for a month in total 15th September – 2nd October in Israel and then 2 weeks in the UK.
Psalm 37:4New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
So, what does that mean? That everything you WANT God will grant you? NO… He shall give you the DESIRES of your heart.
It’s not that we think, Oh Lord, I’d like a new 812 Superfast Berlinetta, 6.5 litre V12, 6,496cc, with a maximum speed of 340km/h and does 0-100km in 2.9 sec…oh by the way, that’s the brand new, latest model Ferrari with a cost of approx. ½ million dollars. That’s NOT a heart’s desire…that’s a WANT!!!
But when we truly rejoice or “delight” in the eternal things of God, OUR desires will begin to parallel HIS desires.
You see, sometimes, I don’t even think we know what our heart’s desires are, sometimes I believe they are so deep in our hearts, that when something happens we look back and realize that was a desire of our hearts.
Matthew 6:33New King James Version (NKJV)
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
1 Timothy 6:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 John 2:15-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
We will never be deeply fulfilled or “happy” with the things this world has to offer. If we place our joy and hope in God first, He will meet all of our needs. He will even grant our wants, as our hearts’ desires begin to match up with His will. If we truly place priority on the Lord, chances are our heart’s greatest desire will not be a brand new Ferrari, but eternal treasures in Christ.
This world can never satisfy our deepest longings, but if we choose to delight in God’s way, He will always provide above and beyond our expectations.
John 4:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
On Saturday we will celebrate together another Water Baptism. The Bible teaches that we should be baptized as soon as possible after receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Why is that? We come to Him just as we are; sinful, broken, sick, depressed… in whatever condition we come and He will never reject us. So, by His grace, having died that terrible death on the cross to take away our sin and to heal us: inside and out, we are cleansed “from all filthiness of the flesh” and we are “born again”. This is usually a deeply personal experience.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 This is not an exhaustive list, but it highlights some of the sins and the condition in which we came to Christ. But did He send us away? No! “And such were some of you. But you were washed… in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.”
Revelation 1:5 Speaks of Jesus “who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
And this washing is demonstrated powerfully through the waters of baptism. That deeply personal experience needs to be openly proclaimed through water baptism.
“Baptize” means to “dip” or to “immerse”. The same word is used to describe dishes that are immersed and washed and ships that sink or people who drown. It was used to describe cloth being totally immersed in dye. When the cloth came out of the dye it had a completely new appearance. It was identified in a new way. Cloth immersed in red dye came out completely red. Cloth immersed in blue dye came out completely blue. The cloth was now identified by its new colour. “Baptize” means complete immersion. Dirty dishes aren’t cleaned if they are just sprinkled. Ships do not sink if they are sprinkled with water. Cloth does not change colour if it is sprinkled with dye. So our salvation and our water baptism cause us to be no longer identified or recognizable as we were before, as belonging to the world, the flesh or the devil, but to Jesus Christ!
Matthew 28:18-20 Here Jesus gives us His “Great Commission”. In those days, as person’s name spoke of their attributes and their character. When Jesus said, “go in My name” He is calling us to represent Him in the world. To be baptized “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” means that you and I are now identified with the Trinity: the Father, who has revealed Himself to us by the power of the Holy Spirit in the person of the Son, Jesus Christ.
Verse 29: Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
Verse 30: John, who was about 6 months older than Jesus, explains that Jesus “ranks higher” than he does and “He was before me”; the eternal Son of God.
Verse 31: John did not realize who Jesus was at first, but his baptizing caused Jesus to be revealed. When you and I are baptized Jesus Christ should be revealed in our lives!
Verse 32: As Jesus was baptized, John “saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.” A new day is dawning.
Verse 33: The Father told John, “upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 3:16-17 Here we see the Trinity functioning together: Jesus being baptized, the Holy Spirit descending upon Him and the Father speaking from heaven.
This will begin the most important time in human history. The Son of God, sent by the Father and baptized not only in water but also by the Holy Spirit would begin His ministry. Now, by His sinless life and His death to take away all of “the sins of the world”, allowing Himself to be crucified, but on the third day rising from the dead: this becomes the hinge point of all history and the means by which we will all be judged. Have we truly repented? Have we forsaken sin? Have we received His sacrifice in our place to pay the price for all of our sin? John baptized in water. But Jesus? “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11)
We repent of our sin and we are washed. We stand clean and holy before our Heavenly Father. Then Jesus baptizes us with “the Holy Spirit and fire” so we can move through the earth representing Him and revealing Him: His unconditional love, His holiness, His anointing and His power, everywhere we go!