Handle On The Inside

Welcome in Jesus name to Harrow International Christian Centre. We are so privileged to have you with us. Our prayer is that you will be at home among the family of God here. You are in a safe place where you can express your love to God in worship.

In these days we are being challenged by the Holy Spirit to open up our lives before God in transparency and allow His grace and mercy to work in the deep recesses of our heart. This is a day to engage with Jesus and allow Him to cleanse and renew us by the Holy Spirit.

I am reminded of Revelation 3 v 20 where we read ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door. I will come in and eat with him, and he with me’. How many times we have heard this verse quoted in an appeal for people to receive Christ for salvation and of course it can correctly be used for this purpose. The challenge is to allow Christ in by opening the door of our lives, however, this verse is spoken to the Church in Laodicea who believed they were spiritually rich when in actual fact they were in a place of spiritual poverty. They were spiritually lukewarm which is why Christ is presented as being outside the door asking to gain entrance to revive and bring spiritual fire.

Laodicea was established two hundred and fifty years before Christ came with the population being made up Syrians and Jews who were transplanted by the Babylonians. The city grew to become the capital of West Phrygia and a centre of banking. Much wealth was accumulated because the land in the area was rich and fertile producing crops and healthy food for animals, particularly sheep whose wool was woven into coats and carpets. It was also famous for a product called ‘Phrygian powder’ which was said to have healing properties for those who suffered from disease of the eyes. Jesus is standing outside of the Church because they are taken up with the riches and wealth of the world rather than the spiritual wealth of being on fire with His Spirit. Jesus speaks and calls for them to recognise their spiritual condition. They thought they had no needs. They had acquired everything, yet in reality they were pitiful, poor, naked and blind. Jesus says, ‘Come buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

The deep love God has for us means he disciplines us and calls us to be earnest and repent, because to him who overcomes he will give the right to sit with him on His throne just as Jesus overcame and sat down with His Father on His throne. ‘He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.’

When I was young boy I loved to walk into the upper room in my Nana’s home. It was designated; ‘the prayer room’ and was full of the tangible presence of God. Hanging on the wall was the famous picture of Jesus holding a lantern in his hand as he stood and knocked at a door that represented the Church or a person’s life. There is no handle on the outside of the door. The door can only be opened from the inside. Let us open the door to Christ as individuals and as a fellowship recognising our spiritual need as we respond to the sound of His voice. Let us hear what the Spirit says to us as his Church.

Vision Sunday 2016

Welcome to our vision day which was planned to give the family at HICC the opportunity of moving forward together as one body. I feel it appropriate to remind you of the major points from my message last Sunday and to develop it further. I hope you will be inspired to run with us as we seek the purpose of God.

PURPOSE BEGINS WITH VISION. VISION FROM GOD COMES FROM THE FORESIGHT AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF WHAT GOD WANTS TO DO. Vision has to begin with what we can see by faith. We want our vision revealed and shaped by the Lord.

I asked three questions:

  1. What can you see for yourself?
  2. What can you see in yourself?
  3. What can you see for the fellowship?

The results of these questions are so closely linked because they overlap. We are partners in the work. A personal vision is generally fulfilled within the Church because vision from God is bigger than our own lives. God seems to work this way. He moulds our lives as one body because we can only achieve God’s will together.

We were reminded of the time Jeremiah went down to the potter’s house and saw a jar of clay being reshaped into a pot without blemish. It is an image of God working in our lives and also the Church. I know the context is primarily for Israel but the principal of God working within the clay of our mere humanity to produce his perfect Son in us applies to us all. Sometimes we cannot see the gold of God within because we cannot see past the clay of our imperfections. Until we see Jesus there will always be reasons why we feel we cannot fulfil God’s purpose but, amazing grace takes us up and uses us together for His glory. What a humbling thought!

VISION IS THE DOORWAY TO YOUR FUTURE, BUT GOD’S STRATEGY WILL UNLOCK IT. You will recall that I used Cornelius and Peter as examples. They were two men brought together by God. The power of the Spirit invaded the ordinary spiritual routine of life with the supernatural. Cornelius was already doing what he knew was right in the sight of the Lord, which enabled God to give him specific direction and his obedience was to start a chain of events that would reshape the New Testament Church. It broke the religious restrictions of the past and opened up the opportunity for many souls, Jew and Gentile, to be saved. Peter was already active in service and praying openly on the roof. He was busy and open to God. The Lord spoke to him in a dream which would connect these two men and change the shape of the early Church.

Drawing from Old Testament days I spoke of when the twelve spies went in to spy out the land and all saw it was good just as the Lord had said. Ten returned with a negative report. Only Joshua and Caleb believed they should go up and take possession of what God said was already their own. Forty-five years later Caleb reminded Joshua of the promise and claimed the hill country. He claimed the high ground which would be possessed by driving out the enemy with the help of the Lord.

  • What can you see? – clay or gold?
  • Can we believe for God-given strategy?
  • Can we decide to do what God has called us to do?

I believe together we can, with the help of the Lord.