Let the ‘Son’ shine in and make the summer count for Christ

I have to admit I just love the summer. Waking with the brightness of the early morning sun streaming into the bedroom is just so wonderful. The sense that the day is going to be bright and warm causes one to think about all the potential of the day ahead.  Breakfast can be in the garden rather than the kitchen or dining room, although I guess for some they may prefer it in bed. The sun makes you hit the ground running, full of zeal for what can be accomplished.

Spiritually we have the ‘Son’ in our hearts every day. It is Jesus who causes us to arise every morning with a sense of purpose and potential. We leap into the day rejoicing along the pathway that leads to all the potential a new day with ‘the Son’ can bring. Proverbs 4 v 18 says: ‘The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day’.

Isaiah 60 v 1: ‘Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you’. Each day we are presented with the possibility of displaying the glory of God. He is the light that has shone into our hearts. His message, his Spirit, his power and His glory has caused the light of the knowledge of the glory of God to be shed abroad in our hearts. 2 Corinthians 4 v 6: For God, who said, ‘let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’. The more time we spend looking at the face of our Lord the brighter the light will shine through us. It is his light we are displaying and not our own. This creates more than a positive outlook for the day because it causes us to arise in supernatural strength and expectancy as we live out his purpose.

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER
Our young people won’t remember the hit song entitled; ‘School’s out for summer’. Some of the older folks in HICC will remember the track, I have to say; it’s probably even a bit before my time. It was written in a time when caution might be thrown to the wind and rebellion was strong. ‘If it feels good do it’ was probably the best slogan that describes the era of the song. When we take our break and head into the holiday time we hold fast to our Saviour. We press into His fullness and make every moment count for Him. Enjoy the summer but fill it with everything that pleases God.

Let’s make the summer count for Christ. Bring someone along to our summer meetings. Keep sharing your faith as the ‘Son’ shines through and God will give you the joy of seeing people saved and set free. Have a great summer. Let’s pray we actually get some sun.

 

It need only take a moment

Our nation needs a spiritual awakening. We need a Holy Spirit revival that will turn our nation back to the true and living God.

The true story is told of a great revivalist who was on route to conduct meetings in an American town. Travelling by horse-back meant the journey was arduous and the man of God grew weary. He began to ask God to prepare the community for his time of ministry among the people. He was three days away and as each hour passed he fervently sought God that he might move by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was intending to preach in a field in the open air just outside the town. There had been no preparation and no advertising instead, he cried unto God and asked the Holy Spirit to take control.

On the day planned for the event, a few praying people who were expecting him went to pray in the field. God began to speak to people in the town and draw them towards the field for no apparent reason. They flocked towards the place where the man of God would deliver his message as the Holy Spirit began to convict men and woman, young people and children. People cried out for forgiveness and, as the holiness of God’s presence was manifest, a deep spiritual awakening began within that town. Many were slain under the anointing of the Spirit as God worked a miracle in their hearts and lives. Public confession of sin and acknowledgement of the need for mercy and cleansing was heard as the man of God approached the field. To his amazement he realised the Lord had already done the work by the power of His Spirit. He simply preached the good news and the revival continued for many days. A whole community came to Christ as a direct result of the prayers of this man and those who prepared for his arrival.

Just a moment of God’s manifest power would be enough. I am not referring to a feeling, or an emotional moment, although it usually affects every dimension of our being, I am referring to a moment of deep conviction of sin and need which causes us to fall before God and cry out for mercy. His presence and glory should bring us to our knees in worship. It should bring us to faith and belief in Christ. It should bring us to a place of acknowledgement of His work on the Cross as we confess our sin. It should bring us to confess Jesus as Lord and that He is risen from the dead.

We need to continue to pray for a sovereign move of the Holy Spirit. This is what will save our nation. No political answer can turn the tide and heal the land. Only a move of God will bring this about. It can happen in a moment. KEEP PRAYING.

 

 

 

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

We are living in significant days for our nation with decisions being made that will affect us all as we serve the Lord here in the UK. We are seeing many different responses from people ranging from joy and celebration through to disappointment and fear. The major question for us is: How should Christians respond to all that is happening at this time? Let me share the following with you.

As a young pastor I served under a senior man who was gripped by the question ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ He asked all his ministry team to begin to ask ourselves the question as we went about our daily tasks, after all, we are called to reflect Christ in the world not only in word but also action.

The Bible says that the distinction between the godly and the ungodly will become more apparent again as we see the day of the Lord approaching. Mathew 25 v 31 – 46 records the parable of the king separating the sheep and goats, which will take place when the Son of Man (Jesus) comes in His glory. Those who are welcomed into the Kingdom and who receive inheritance are those who have served the Lord. We know we are not saved by good works, but here the test of true service which brings eternal reward is ‘how we have ministered to those in need’.

The King of glory says; ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me’. The righteous are surprised because they cannot recall having done this directly for the King himself. The King replies; ‘whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’.

In Romans 12 v 18 – 21 we are challenged. ‘If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone’. It goes on to say; ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him.  If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head’, (referring to God as judge).

It closes with the following statement: ‘do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’.

In this time of uncertainty and vulnerability let us also ask; ‘what would Jesus do’? THAT IS THE QUESTION.

The Glory – Part 4

I have said that God’s glory is seen in the person of Christ, and it is saving faith that makes that new life more appreciate the Lord.   Peter puts it like this, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of GLORY” 1 Peter 1 v 8. “Yet believing”; what a challenging phrase! When all things go against us, we rejoice with full glory. Why?   We are growing in the knowledge of him that brings all things to perfection. The sure word to us is “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”…. [1 Peter 3 v 18]. As we grow we shall find glory the companion of our way.

The Scriptures are given for this precise purpose.  “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.”   “For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”, and that knowledge will bring glory, “But we all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” [2 Corinthians 3 v 18].

Resolution

But you are still uncertain of the glory and find that you have so little of it in your life, then consider that it may not be the right Lord you behold, or you may not use the right eye to behold Him, or the right glass to behold him in.  That mirror is no less than the scripture, for it is seen in the face of the Lord and our image is clear to read.   Look often in that reflection and let the spirit of God work the transformation, “Be ye transformed”, says the Book.  Simple believing faith can do what nothing else can. It can make us to be like Christ.   “He must increase and I must decrease”, and it can only happen as you are aware of his rightful authority.   The Bible gives us that.   Paul gives us the secret in Romans 15 v 13.   “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost”.

Abundant knowledge will lead to right reckoning of Christ’s glory.   I emphasise this point to bring you to this place of full clarity.   We need to put Christ’s glory before any other thing in heaven and earth.   To do this we must see right and strive to ensure that what we see is of God, ascribing to Him the eternal measure that is due.

Only by faith can we do this and faith is freely given of God. “And that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” to all those who long for right relationship, and have sincere motive in seeking. The use of this act will serve to convince you that you are saved.   For the more you see of God and find out by revelation about His glory in Christ, the more you realise that you are, in fact, saved.   Those who have a strong and unshakeable faith are those who have seen much of the glory. It is only by the divine operation that we see Him at all.  The greater degree of knowledge about Him that we possess the more fully we must consider that there is a supernatural Spirit that is guiding us into all truth.  The seeking of this glory then also serves to strengthen us in the safety of our souls. This is not a belief for belief’s sake, but true and open insight into God’s remedy against sin.

The Glory – Part 3

We walk by faith, not by sight, and therefore we leave the physical form unknown and concentrate on the matchless glory of His work and the regal outworking of His person.  All we need to know is that Jesus died for us and that by faith we secure His affection and eternal forgiveness.   If you turn to Isaiah you read “He has no form or comeliness, and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him”.   Hardly a picture of envy.   Enlarge the eye of faith and let this be your whole task; to see Him clearly in ascended power.   Let not images of human creation detract from that noble and glorious Saviour.   It is His glory that should enwrap us with wonder, and by diligent seeking through the pages of scripture we find out the greatness of His person.

Restoration

It is needful therefore to look for this glory.   Read 2 Cor. 3 v 8, “But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord”.   The quality is rare because it is eternal.   The things that are eternal are unseen, and if this glory is oftentimes outside our grasp it is because we are striving for the temporal things. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal”   II Corinthians 4 v 18.

For God did once send His glory on earth and there were few that saw and understood the divine intrusion.   “And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,(and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth” John 1 v 14. What miracle of omnipotent love, so vainly treated!   The only son, the manifestation of the Father’s glory was sent to bear the penalty of imputed sin.

Now also consider the relationship between truth and glory.

Our latest text joins them tightly. When men seek truth they are seeking nothing less than God’s glory, for truth is the very nature of God and therefore cannot be less than God.  Christ was truth and in this He manifested God’s glory.   Many miss God because they cannot face the truth!

Reception

While this age shall last and before Christ returns, the only means of seeing Christ’s glory is by that faith that also secures for us redemption. But this faith is not of man and cannot be encouraged in destitute sinners, except it be engendered by God.  So have you faith?   If you have, you have also the means of beholding the glory that comes of divine revelation.   You may strive earnestly but you will not see or enter the inner circle of perception.   Neither is it given to a select few.   The promise of faith is to “Whosoever”; all men may come, but so few do come.  God is not partial in His love; He bestows it upon everyone who comes to Him.   God will not push glory on any man, but He longs that individuals will seek for a further knowledge of Him past the elementary scenes of nature, that only contain his natural greatness and goodness.   Faith then is the key.   It opens the door to God and leads us inside to further joy.