Session 6. “A Holy Dissatisfaction”.
There is something that happens in the heart of a leader and a disciple of Christ, usually before God puts a vision there. Christians who powerfully impact their generation have a “Holy Dissatisfaction” with the status quo: they see injustice, poverty, suffering, and there is a fire in their hearts to do something about it. Jesus had it; Apostle Paul had it.
Nehemiah 1:4-6a, 2:1-8, 4:6 Nehemiah had it. He was just a Hebrew “cup bearer” for the King of Babylon, but when he heard that the walls and gates of Jerusalem were burnt and broken down, passion filled his heart, and he wept, and, at great personal risk, moved to correct the situation. He didn’t waste any time: he put a team together and traveled to Jerusalem, cutting down trees in the King of Babylon’s forests on the way, and rebuilt the walls in record time! There was all kinds of opposition, but he got the job done.
Esther 4:15-16, 5:1-3 Esther had it. At the risk of her own life, after fasting and praying for three days, went in to see King Ahasuerus, and found favour in his sight, and all of the Israelites in the kingdom were saved.
Esther 4:14 “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” We must discern the times in which we live, and the place and people where God has placed us, and hear His voice: maybe YOU have come to where God has brought you “for such a time as this?”
1 Samuel 17:45-47 David had it. When he went to see his brothers in the battle against the Philistines, he heard Goliath defying his God, and a holy anger rose up in him: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” His brothers and the Hebrew soldiers mocked him, but he “ran” down into the valley and took Goliath out. He went on to become the greatest King Israel has ever had.
All of them fueled the fire in their hearts, and all received a vision from God to act, and they did, and they changed whole nations. God sees this fire in our hearts and He calls us to act. One of the greatest sicknesses in the Body of Christ today is laziness, and an uncaring attitude towards the poor and the broken people.
Look at what was in the heart of Moses, long before God called him:
Exodus 2:11-12 Moses saw the injustice, and took action. It was probably the wrong action, and it cost him everything, but he revealed his heart to release his people from bondage.
Exodus 2:15-17 After being sentenced to death by Pharaoh, and fleeing for his life across the desert, Moses slumps exhausted “by a well.” When Jethro’s daughters came to draw water, some shepherds “drove them away”.
Now Moses, sore and tired from his long trek through the wilderness, does not know the daughters, and he does not know the shepherds: he has just arrived! But that fire in his heart against injustice and suffering is still burning brightly, and he “stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.” Wouldn’t it be good if we had some more detail of how he “helped them” against the gang of shepherds!
That “holy dissatisfaction” in his heart continued to open doors for him, as he moved into the purposes of God; even without realizing it. Ultimately, it became a vision from God to release the nation of His people.
After forty years of obscurity in the deserts of Midian, God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush. The fire was still in his heart, and together with the Lord, he brought whole nations into the purposes of God.
Freedom from Bondage
As we approach the season when we will begin to bear fruit for God’s Kingdom in increasing ways, many people need to make the commitment to “break the cycle” which has held them and their families in bondage, shame and fruitlessness for generations.
There are many negative cycles and cultural bondages that we must overcome in order for us to achieve our maximum potential. There are “Learned Responses” which have been a destructive part of our cultures for generations, and we must watch for them, and refuse to yield to them:
These include addictions of all types, domestic violence, “outbursts of wrath”, racism in any form, habitual immorality and pornography, and patterns of deception, which vary from place to place. These are just some of the inherited and environmental bondages that need to be broken as we move forward with the Lord.
As we yield to Him and submit to His leading and to His word, He will set us free.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
But His grace is available to us! And we can be totally free to serve the Lord: 2 Corinthians 5:17
“An Altar to the Lord” 23/4/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
Last Sunday we celebrated Easter together: the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. But how can we allow the victory He won for us become a reality in our lives?
Judges 6:2-6 The Midianites implemented a “scorched earth” policy against Israel, leaving nothing alive and Israel was “greatly impoverished.” God needed a man who would be surrendered to Him, and be strong and courageous.
Verse 11-16: Gideon went from being the weakest member of the weakest clan in Israel to becoming exactly what God had called him and destined him to be: a “mighty man of valour.” God said it and Gideon believed it and the rest is history.
Verse 25-26: Gideon knew that before he could lead God’s people in victory over their enemies, he must destroy the idols that had kept them in bondage.
The first thing to come down was “the altar of Baal.” Baal is translated, “Lord, possessor” and was the principle idol worshiped by the Canaanites and the surrounding nations. He is the male counterpart of the idol Ashera, who represents fertility and sexual immorality. God said these two must go.
They were the two main demonic strongholds over the minds of the people of Israel, causing the presence of God to withdraw, and allowing enemy forces to come and “steal, kill & destroy.” It would take a powerfully anointed and strong man to overthrow them.
These same strongholds still grip many people today, even in churches.
The Angel said, “Build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement.” “Rock” here in Hebrew means “Stronghold.” God must be our “strong-hold”, not sin and depravity.
Deuteronomy 32:15-18 This is a song of Moses, at the end of his life, warning the Israelites. God is our “Rock”!
Isaiah 17:10 “Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold…”
1 Corinthians 10:1-4 No matter where His people went “the Rock that followed them” in all their wilderness wanderings, even though they were in unbelief, never left them for a minute. And the same is true for you and me, but the question is: upon what are we building our lives? At which altar are we worshiping?
Gideon understood. He knew that there is no God but the One True God, and before he could begin his leadership of the people he needed to totally destroy the false altars.
An altar to Baal was recently excavated at Megiddo. It is 1.5 metres high and 8 metres square. It was a platform for all kinds of idolatry, sacrifice even of babies and children, and all kinds of wickedness. Gideon totally dismantled it and cut down the Ashera pole before he could build “an altar to the Lord in the proper arrangement.” In fact he used the wood from the Ashera pole for the fire to offer the sacrifice to God. He got rid of it forever!
Many Christians today are trying to “build an altar to the Lord” in their lives on top of the old altars. It will never stand. Destroy the old altar. Repent totally of all the sin and darkness in your life and in your past. Deal with it. Get rid of it. God will help you. Turn away from idolizing the world, the flesh and the devil and build a new life on “the Rock”, Jesus Christ.
If the old altar is still lurking underneath it will undermine the foundation of your new life in Christ and you will find yourself grappling with the old temptations while trying to serve the Lord. It will never work!
Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters.” (Luke 16:13) The “double-minded” man or woman cannot expect to receive anything from God, he is “unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)
But… “He gives more grace.” (James 1:6) God wants you to do this and He will give you the grace and the strength you need.
Gideon destroyed those old altars and built an altar to God, worshiped Him alone and then led God’s people in the power of the Holy Spirit to victory over all of their enemies… sometimes overcoming seemingly impossible odds!
Judges 6:34 “The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon.” In the Hebrew this means that the Holy Spirit “clothed Himself with Gideon.” Wherever Gideon went now, his life was simply the outworking of the Spirit of God. Victory was assured.
It is the same with us. As we turn away from the sin and darkness in our lives, allowing the Lord to set us free completely from our past, we establish a firm foundation on which to build a new life that will be God-honouring and fruitful, growing in holiness as we mature in our faith, moving forward with our King and Lord, Jesus Christ,
Matthew 7:24-25 Build your house on the Rock.
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.